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12th August 

This post is sickening and full of love. Be warned!

12th August is our wedding anniversary. This year, 2016, we celebrate 6 years of marriage. Mostly marital bliss! In the last 6 years, our marriage and relationship has gone from strength to strength. We were just Mr and Mrs Childs, the two of us, for 18 months before we became a team of three and then last December there was four of us! 

I am always really excited for our anniversary, we never buy huge gifts, in fact, I don’t get Scott anything but he always buys me something special to represent the tradition, paper, wood etc. I am interested as to what my gift is this year. For some reason, I just really look forward to celebrating our anniversary. I look forward to it and get excited about it. We talk about the day and what we did at what time, what we ate, who we saw and what we enjoyed. I love sharing the memories and even the photos with Jenson now too. The yearly reflection on the wedding DVD comes out too and catching up on the photos albums! The standard wedding traditions. 

We have been good at celebrating our anniversary:

  • 1st Year – we went to London for three days and saw The Lion King.
  • 2nd Year  – we went to Mersea and had a picnic in a special picnic basket, we had a take away. Jenson was 6 months old.
  • 3rd year – We went to Windsor for a few days and went to Legoland.
  • 4th year – we had a dinner out, but we went to Disney on the 16th!
  • 5th year – we went shopping for Emeline’s Nursery last year and had dinner out.

It is hard with young children but it is the only time that actually, I really want us to be a family. Our marriage was the start of our family and our adventure and I think we should celebrate together. This year, we are going to the beach. The weather is meant to be lovely and we will have warm doughnuts, fish and chips, ice cream and fresh seafood. Every year we go and make a real day of it, we always have a lovely time and that’s how I want to spend it tomorrow, the four of us. 

So, to my Gorgeous Husband, 
Happy 6th Wedding anniversary. Thank you for another wonderful year full of laughter, tears, happiness, anger, frustration and love. We are the best team around, the A team, and I love being part of a team with you. We have two, truly wonderful children who have changed our lives for, mostly, the better. I love the husband and father you are. I love the life and family we have and the memories we make.

Thank you for working so hard for us as a family and giving me the family I always wanted. You’ve made my dreams a reality in the best possible way and there is no one else who I would wish to share these dreams with or my love with.

Love you always, xxx

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Country File Live

This week, my love for the outside peaked. My best friend got us tickets to Country File Life. I’m not going to deny that initially, I humoured her a lot! I think I was expecting bird watching pods and silence but it was the absolute opposite. We had an amazing time!!! 

Blenheim Palace

It was held in Oxford at Blenheim Palace, a huge, beautiful location. The grounds were stunning and perfect for Country File Live. We followed the amazing directions and arrived ready for opening at half 9, we took a long walk to the opening gates. We could have used the tractor shuttle but it would have been a nightmare with the two pushchairs. Jenson was so excited by the passing tractors and stopping to wave that he didn’t even mumble about us not getting on it! 

Once we were in, I realised the scale of the event! It was massive. I immediately saw archery for adults and children, fishing, kayaking and organisations such as the RSPB, the Woodland Trust and the National Trust to name a few. Everywhere I looked, it went on for miles and miles. There were tents full of crafts, clothes, food and drink as well as art, photography and homeware. There were shows and show grounds for dogs, birds, horses, farming and even mechanical.

We walked up the middle initially and we were welcomed by the smell of amazing food. As predicted, this event was full of small businesses selling their finest. You name it, it was there, Thai food, carvery, hog roast, pizza, pasta, BBQ, sandwiches, pizza… the list went on and on. There were the most amount of champagne and prosecco stalls, as well a pimms and cider. They even had a pub garden area. For us though, we are all about the tea! That was limited!! We searched for ages and finally found some tea, a coffee and cake stall… the queue was huge! As we moved around we noticed more and finally sat down and had a cuppa, the Woodland Trust had an amazing tent for tea and even gave away an “invite a tree to tea” pack for children. 

As we explored throughout the day, there was so much to do for children and families. Most of the charities and companies were aimed at exploring and making things and the children had so much to do that they could take home. Jenson was in his element all day, he learnt so much, had so many experiences and took it all in. Here are some of the things he did, although I am sure I forgot some:

  • Milking a cow
  • Collecting eggs
  • Petting farm
  • Holding a chuck 
  • Stroking rabbits 
  • Exploring owl pellets
  • Bug hunting 
  • Making seed balls 
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Toasting marshmallows 
  • Making a fire 
  • Driving tractors 
  • Stroking a micro pig 
  • Making a bug hotel 
  • Investigating moths and their wings and patterns 
  • Pond dipping 
  • Climb a tree
  • Making a den 

In particular, the Woodland Trust was amazing as was the National Trust. They had a huge area for children to work towards their “50 things to do before I am 11 and 3/4″. It was heaven for any child and family. Adam Henson also had a lovely area for farming with young children, it was really hands on and the children got to explore different areas. The day was filled with so many experiences, Jenson enjoyed every aspect of it, he loved seeing the tractors and the farming in action. 

There was such a variety. Jenson tried so many things, Country File Live provided him with so many opportunities and different things to explore. We finished the day by collecting pizza and eating on the grass by our cars. The children were shattered and the legs of the adults ached. Jenson had walked and ran around all day! 

It was a fantastic day and we will be back next year. 

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Roll on tomorrow

Today has been a bad Mummy day. 

On top of woman hormones which have returned after a long 15 months, Jenson has been the biggest whinge bag and Emeline has been in the most amount of pain from constipation. 

Now, of course, I am trying not to be dramatic and I am not wishing the end of summer away for Jenson to immediately start school, I am a teacher and I can’t wish away this beautiful, summer holiday but I missed nursery a lot today.

I am feeling like the world’s worst mum after losing my shit for the 50,000 time. That’s just today. Jenson has lost the ability to listen or even acknowledge me when I am talking and has developed the whiniest voice known to man. This is followed by 28 million questions yet he can’t even answer or decide when asked what sandwich filler he would like!!! I am a firm believer in carrying out out threats and discipline! So, no bedtime stories was threatened and then he lost that. That’s one of our favourite times of day being just us and Jenson, he loves stories and the absolute last resort but I had counted to 5 about a million times and I was begin to scream like a banshee. Bad parenting!!! We got Jenson out the house to let off steam in an attempt to change his attitude but it just wore him out and made him worse!!! 

Emeline has been constipated since Thursday, this is so unlike her. It is also uncommon as a breastfed baby. She has struggled and strained so much. She finally passed some yesterday but this was not easy for her. She cried and cried and sobbed and sobbed. Lots of leg cycling, baths and cuddles things started to get easier for her, she cut down her meals and has gone back to just breast milk. As a result of her straining, she has a tear in her bottom. The poor little poppet has exhausted herself with crying but she finally has softer stools. Emeline has been waking up with tummy ache and is so tired from her restless nights that she has been snuggling me. She never sleeps snuggling me so that has been a special treat. 

Being the summer holidays, I had lots of lovely fun things planned for my days with the kids but I am still waiting to be paid, usually 26th of the month but they hadn’t realised I had returned to work! This has put a stop to the world being our oyster feeling!!! Worrying about money is the biggest stress. I realise how fortunate we are and I make the choice to work so we can have and do nice things together as a family but we also live to our means, we have survived well on statutory maternity pay and still been able to do lots of lovely things, visited places, gone on days out, ate out and had lots of take aways but I wanted this to be extended over the summer so it’s mega frustrating. Payroll have reassured me I should be paid by the end of the week but that’ll be almost 2 weeks late. Frustrating. 

Not every part of my day was awful, there were glimmers of sparkles and glitter. Every woman needs sparkles and glitter! Last week, we had our milk stolen from our door step, after reporting it to the dairy, they suggested I reported it to the non-emergency police line incase there were more in the area and/or it happened again. I felt ridiculous. I also wanted my order refunded and needed to report it to get our money back, the dairy were fab. However, it was earlier today that our local newspaper reported on a similar incident, which made me howl laughing!!! 

Breaking news:

http://m.braintreeandwithamtimes.co.uk/news/14655009.Thieves_steal_milk_and_bottles_from_outside_a_house/

There were others in our neighbourhood, I certainly didn’t take my milk story to the newspaper!!! 

We also snuggled up and watched Minions on the sofa with lunch – that was disappointing! Our day was made better when Jenson’s school uniform arrived, labelled jumpers, fleeces, pblo shirts and PE kits and we had a fashion show! Can’t believe how grown up he is, nor the expense!!! 

I know that, hopefully, I’ll wake up feeling a bit happier tomorrow. Scott is on nights so I’ll get an early night. I am currently drinking tea and watching series one of Desperate Housewives. Tomorrow is a new day and it’ll all be okay. Jenson would have slept really well and Emeline will be less grumpy. 

Fingers crossed! 

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Everyday she does something different 

It goes so fast” – the line you hear throughout your parenting life and the line you say over and over constantly.  Whether it be when you’re watching them do something new or cradling them in your arms. It’s so true. There is nothing faster than looking back at the years, months or days of your child. 

Looking at Jenson, I am astounded at how old he is, how clever he is and what he can do. I remember the moment he was born and we cuddled for the first time. I was so mesmerised and completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do or how to feel. Then we had weaning, teeth, crawling, walking, running, talking, counting, reading, riding a bike, scooter, eating his own dinner… it’s endless. 

Amazingly, I am surprised each day by Emeline’s accomplishments. Every day she does something new. The beauty of the baby years. They change in a snap shot. Emeline is 7 months but I still look at her and see the tiny, warm, slippery baby that I delivered in the water 7 months and 4 days ago. 

The growth spurts and learning come hand in hand. She has two little teeth and she can say ‘mama’, ‘dada’ and ‘na na na’ as well as other sounds, she is learning to wave and she dances to familiar music, Emeline signs for milk and recognises familiar people. We have also experienced the attachment phase. Crying when she is put down or I leave the room. My ultimate favourite thing she does at the moment is drop things and cry, or cry when things are taken off her or she can’t reach something. The cause and effect stage. It is so frustrating for her and utterly traumatic but it makes me smile, it shows her ever developing little personality which I can’t wait to learn more about. 

There is definitely a difference between the first and second child when it comes to their accomplishments. I remember cherishing every moment Jenson did something, being utterly proud and mega excited for the an extra achievement. This time, I am still so excited but I want Emeline to slow down. The excitement and pride rushes over me and then the sense of disbelief that my 5 minute old baby can dance and clap! It makes me realise how quick it is going. I couldn’t wait for Jenson to have tummy time and get crawling, with Emeline, we avoid tummy time at all costs!! 

I try so hard to treasure every moment. To live for every minute and capture a snapshot and memory together but I also love every stage. I don’t want to wish their lives away but I have high hopes for them and their future. I don’t care what they do as long as they make themselves proud. I will always be proud of them.

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My role is changing

This week, I put my teacher hat back on.

Since November 13th 2015, I have been ‘Mummy’. Exclusively. On December 21st, my role as Mummy expanded and I was promoted to Mummy of two.

For the last 8 months and 6 days, I have 100% devoted myself to my two little people. Albeit, not 100% all of the time but they have been the centre of my universe. All of this is thanks to Daddy Childs who has worked hard and worked overtime to make sure we had a lovely time during this time too with two holidays and lovely days out. In fact, the kids and I had three holidays! 

Monday was my last day of maternity leave. Technically, I returned to work. Being a teacher, I am returning to work just before the Summer holidays, so on Friday we broke up and I have a further 6 weeks off. I will obviously be moving classrooms and planning for starting in September but, yes, it was planned like that. It’s a teachers prerogative! 

It has flown by. I can’t quite believe Emeline is 7 months, yet, it feels like she has always been here and that I have been off forever. We do, however, need to make some huge adjustments to our life:

  • I need to make lunch for myself and eat it.
  • I need to be up and out the door by 7.45am.
  • I need to pump breastmilk! Both before to prepare Emeline and whilst at work. 
  • I need to be a grown up.
  • I need to have adult conversations. 
  • I have to wear proper clothes. 
  • I have to use my brain. 
  • I have to be professional!!! 

But most of all, Jenson and Emeline need to adjust to me not being around. Likewise, I had to adjust not being with them. We have always had huge family support with the children, so fortunately Scott and my parents will care for the children whilst I work but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be massive to leave them. I feel comfortable and confident leaving Jenson, but I think he will be the worst. I also expect Emeline will get bored of her new cup of milk and will become a rat bag by late afternoon. We have the best feeding cuddles. 
This week, Daddy is in control. The children’s Daddy. However, this morning he mixed coloured washing with dark washing, reminding me that I have been the boss of jobs like that and obviously now everything will go to pot! Never mind the fact that for the last four years, before I went on maternity leave, Scott was the ‘stay at home’ parent, have four days off whilst I worked. 

All these worries and fears are so focused around me. I could bet money on the fact that they’ll wave me off happily and I’ll drive off balling my eyes out!!
Luckily, they had an amazing week. Emeline was more unsettled and didn’t take well to the beaker or bottle of milk but we have the summer to work on that. Jenson enjoyed some time with Scott and even built the bottom of the garage with Grandad. 

I just about survived!!! 

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Just call me The Godmother

Today, I was truly privileged and I became a Godparent. This is pretty spectacular. In my opinion, obviously it is, but I am feeling very honoured. 

In our Sunday best!

Choosing Jenson and Emeline’s Godparents was easy. We knew it had to be people we loved and trusted and who we knew my children could look up and that their Godparents would protect them and love them regardless. For me, I now fit in to that box. Someone loves me and trust me enough to have the role of Godparent for their child. This may not necessarily be the case but I made the cut.

The role of Godparent was made even more special by the fact it was my best friend’s son and that Mr T is my first Godson. Naturally, I am already trying to make the world a better place for my children and new Godchild ;). Mr T’s Mummy is both Jenson and Emeline’s Godmummy too so I now feel they are God cousins. I do love my over excited brain!

I also shared the role today with my brother in law (my sister’s husband). It was down to Dan and I that Abbi and Si are together after numerous attempts to set them up! They finally got together and eventually realised that Dan and I were always right! Now look at them. Pats self on back!

The day was really lovely. A lovely service held at Bocking Church. Our Father Rod is hilarious! We then went on for a little party at a local football club and had the most delicious miniature versions of food and the most amount of cake. Food heaven. Abbi’s Mum is one of the best bakers around and makes delicious cakes, thankfully her talents have filled out to her daughters and there was brownies, flapjack, lemon drizzle and numerous other beautiful combinations. Scott is currently in a cake coma on the sofa! 

Another benefit is that apparently my sins are repented! So I have this wonderful clean slate of goodness! Not that I haven’t ever been but that’s beside the point. Quite possibly yesterday, I should have let my hair done and gone a little crazy for today’s ceremony! 

So now I am all clean and wonderfully good and some kind of Saint, I am on cloud 9 with my new role as Godmother and I want to prove I’ll be a good one! Listening to Father Rod’s sermon earlier was about someone always working the hardest and another person taking a back seat, so I decided to act on my new role and put the washing away. I also collected the rubbish earlier and handed out plates of crisps. Whoop!

First act (not bad for the first day) as responsible Godparent. Complete

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End of an era

I am sitting here tying to keep my shit together. I can’t. 

September 2014. Jenson’s first day.

It is Jenson’s last day at preschool today. He joined when he was 2 years and 7 months. He leaves at 4 years and 5 months. The journey he has been on since joining is incredible, he has learnt to count and recognise numbers, learn all his letter sounds, read cvc words and actually read a book amongst other things. I am beyond proud of his achievements and what he had accomplished, we have done a lot with him at home but the support he has received from the ‘Aunties’ is incredible. I know how teachers dedicate themselves to the children in their care and I love that he has received this love. 

Jenson loves his nursery, he has always been so happy there. He hasn’t always gone in well and has had his tears but he has made so much progress. His confidence alone has grown so much. He was amazing in his end of year show this week, he spoke loudly and confidently and my heart exploded. He wouldn’t even stand up and dance at the end of last year. 

The nursery go over and above for the children there, they put so much effort in. Jenson received a wonderful end of year report with a gift, poem and a pack for his learning over the summer. His poem was what sent me in to emotional turmoil earlier in the week. 

So, here we are, the end of an era. Jenson said to me this morning:

“Mummy, tomorrow I won’t have nursery anymore”

I am not sure either of us are prepared for today, emotionally or mentally. We have spent so long preparing for big school that actually I hadn’t really thought about leaving nursery. It was only this week that it has really crept up on me.

I am sitting here realising that he must be upset. The women that have been in his life for two years no longer will be. The women who cuddled him when he cried, wiped his tears, grazes and even his bottom. The ladies who laughed with him and even at him and who made him smile and feel safe. The Aunties who taught him so much and made him feel so special, like he could accomplish anything. The girls who sat with him to do activities for surprises at Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They’ve loved him, disciplined him and cared for him whilst I wasn’t there and I am will forever be grateful for the bond and relationship they have and that grew. 

They have no idea how highly thought of they are in this house and through his eyes. We talk about them constantly, we are excited when we bump in to them in town. They’ve given my boy the best possible start to his learning. I love how they know him so well. His report modelled that, identifying his his little personality and mentioned his favourite things and quirks. Especially how he is a chatter box. I know that he has been happy there and felt safe and it proved it. We made the right choice in sending him there.

15th July 2015. Jenson’s last day at Nursery

So, thank you Christchurch Nursery. You wonderful ladies who we adore. See you in a few years with Emeline, we will be back. (Depending on Emeline, I suppose that could be a threat!!)