This week I have mainly been…. party planning and getting exasperated by middle

Eldest is going to be five years old on Tuesday. I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that he was a baby and I was pacing up and down the hall thinking “oh my god, what have I done!”. Obviously, I wouldn’t change a thing. I just wasn’t expecting everyone to be correct about the whole lack of sleep thing. I actually thought they were all exaggerating- duh!

“What do you want to do for your birthday?” I asked him last week. I will admit to being thoroughly disorganised this year what with having three of them now and potty training one. “I would like a Super Mario party in the house” he replied. Oh bugger! There is nothing quite worse than a kid’s party let alone a kid’s party in your house. The tidying up of middle’s second birthday party is still ingrained on my memory as it was only in May. “Um, ok then” I said, “I guess we did that for Owen so, if that’s what you want to do, we will do it”. I set about ordering a few Mario related paraphernalia off Amazon in a panic. Party bags, a load of crap to put inside them, banners and paper plates etc. When the party bag pruck arrived, I decided to finally be organised and set about sorting them. Could I find said party bags that had arrived a few days prior? No, I could not. “You opened them on the top of the stairs” I said to eldest, “so where are they?”. “I don’t know!” he replied. “What do you mean you don’t know? I specifically said to you not to open them as they were for your friends!” I wailed. Having searched the whole house and, being unable to locate them, I gave up. What arrived the next day? The fu#king party bags! I mean, what in the name is going on in my head? I can vividly see myself opening them and eldest doing a runner with them. I am seriously losing the plot and, any wonder! This is almost as bad as that time I put my mobile in the fridge and spent two days trying to find it.

Next I began to think about food. Kid’s are easily pleased at parties. Cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, pizza- the usual. But, what about the adults? I quickly decided upon a chicken curry. Bung it in the slow cooker in the morning, cook some rice- job’s a good un! “That doesn’t really show a lot of effort” hubby moaned. “It’s a kid’s party, what will people be expecting? Some kind of A La Carte menu? They should just be happy they aren’t getting a bowl of super noodles” I responded. “I will make a curry from scratch then” he countered. “That’s grand, just don’t be complaining to me when it’s Sunday morning, we are trying to get three kid’s bathed and looking presentable, cleaning and, you are trying to cook with madness ensuing all around” I stated. It remain’s to be seen how Sunday will go, but, I imagine all the above will occur and, as always, I will be right. Men never listen and we will no doubt be like that Father Ted couple come guest’s arriving. “You fecking arsehole!” “Awk hello Mary how are you?”.

Middle is also becoming less of a baby by the minute and, this week, managed to go to nursery in pants and have zero accidents. This did not, however, continue when home. Instead he decided to wet himself at every opportunity. Didn’t I say he likes to surprise me? Two steps forward, five steps back. I will have to ask nursery what, if anything, they are doing different there that is ensuring no accidents. I cannot believe I have to do all this again with baby in a few years time. I really thought middle would be the last one I would have to potty train. FML. I am being quite harsh obviously as he has done so well considering he is so young.

In other news baby is back to normal and sleeping through. This deserves a party in itself! I also got my hair done again last night and, have decided, that this is going to be the norm from now on. I had three cup’s of tea whilst getting my colour on and, I think the girl was ready to throttle me. She probably thought ‘I’m only asking out of courtesy, you don’t have to keep accepting’. But, I had been let out for the evening so, why not! Upon getting my hair washed, I realised that this had been a very bad idea indeed. What with the bladder issues after having three kids. The hairdresser was spending forever doing a relaxing indian head massage with the conditioner and all I could think of was “I am about to wet myself right here and right now”. After she had finished, I ran like Forrest Gump to the bathroom and checked my phone whilst there. This is what confronted me:

I had been away one hour by that point! This is why I never leave them. Keep you all posted on the fu#kery that is the party on Sunday!

Toys My Boy’s Adore (and ones that keep them out of my sight)

I thought I would do a little post about the toys of which my boys love to play with. Toys that they will happily play with for a long time and thus, keep out of my way (whoop whoop). I wish I was doing a post filled with Barbie dolls, nail polish, and unicorns. But that’s just not a part of my life and, never will be. I’ve had no choice but to master the art of building things, getting drenched with water pistols and kicking a football about, unfortunately!

Lego 

What is it with boys and Lego? It’s like catnip to them. My boys will happily spend ages building insane, haphazard items with Duplo. “Look at my spaceship mummy!”, “Look at my house mummy!”. They never resemble a spaceship nor a house, but I hear it’s wholly frowned upon to inform them of this. They love the little Lego sets you can buy that come with (the highly confusing, in my eyes) instruction booklets. I will never forget my first attempt at one of these when eldest was allowed one as a treat, after successfully potty training. Daddy was at work and he was not patient enough to wait so, I eventually gave in before I lost the will to live. It was like looking at something in an entirely different language. My brain is in no way wired that way. I ended up getting so frustrated that I couldn’t do it for him, I took the hump and began to cry. This should have been the point my Lego journey ceased to continue but alas, more things needed built when daddy was gone so, I trained myself to do it (begrudgingly.) You know what? It is actually a great mummy win when you manage to build your first one and see your child so ecstatic. We now spend time as a family building sets with eldest when middle and baby go to bed at the weekend. Although middle much prefers the the Duplo for his building escapades, the Creator sets are eldest’s favourite. You can make three different things out of all the pieces and, they aren’t expensive. Beware though, this means three sets of instructions- arrggh! Downside: Standing on the little buggers! Worst pain imaginable (excluding labour obviously).

Marble Run

Oh Marble Run, how I hate thee! How you doth taunt me with your need for logical thinking in order to be purposeful! Daddy (sorry, Santa) got this for eldest one Christmas when he was two. I think this was more of a present to himself considering that, for a year, he quite happily played with it alone whilst eldest ran around ignoring it. The boys, including hubby, will spend hours with this, making different types of towers, flinging marbles down them and congratulating themselves on their building prowess. As much as this is my nemesis (the marbles too which seem to be everywhere in my house) it is educational and encourages them to try different directions and different pieces in order for the marble to successfully navigate its way around. They especially love all the little accessories that come with it. There are different pieces that you can place on that make the marbles spin, change the direction it will go in and even a little bell that once the marble contacts it, will ring. I found that this was great at helping middle learn his colours, as was Lego. Even saying the colour and pointing to the piece you need, helps them begin to associate. Downside: Marbles, marbles everywhere. A plague of marbles will descend on you and your house.

Magformers 

I thought I was bad at Lego until I encountered these things! Mental they are! But the boys really like them. They are building shapes which contain magnets. Middle’s greatest pleasure on earth is waiting until eldest has built something using all the pieces, then, silently creeping up behind him and wrecking his creation. Little s##t! You can get lots of different and crazy sets- ones with wheels and even ones that light up. Downside: Some of the objects the makers have built with the pieces, and dipicted in the guide, are highly complex. Eldest is a stickler for rules and this sends him into a meltdown when he can’t recreate them by himself. Also very expensive. A starter pack of thirty pieces will set you back £29.99.

Cars- of any kind, any shape, and any colour!

The boys are bonkers for cars and have amassed quite the collection. This is what happens when the pound shop starts selling Hot Wheels and eldest has realised that Nanna is a complete pushover! Middle will line them up, quite methodically, then race them down the car garage he got for Christmas. They also enjoy racing them up and down the hall to see who wins. I love cars for this reason mainly. It’s nice every once in awhile to see them playing together good as opposed to battering each other. This is the only time this happens as they are too engrossed and focused on trying to win the race. Downside: Before the calm, there are always multiple arguments over who owns which car and who will race which one. Also the fact that I have to put them all away afterwards (why are there are sooooo many?)

Trikes, Bikes and Scooter’s

Anyone who reads my blog will know that these will be the death of me. Between avoiding them in my kitchen to having to lug them around everywhere we go! The boys are obsessed. The whole point of the things is to use them outdoors. My boys, however, love nothing more than shouting “ready, steady, go!” and racing them up and down the hallway. This makes the dog go bloody mental as she scampers out of their way barking her disapproval. Anytime we have attempted to go a family walk and, brought all these things with us, it has been utter chaos. They will cycle or scoot on them for five minutes then abandon them to roll down hills and get positively bogging! The only plus side is that they expel lot’s of their energy. Downside: Health and safety hazards when dragged indoors and you will be forced to carry them around when you bring them anywhere outside.

Thomas Trackmaster 

Eldest was positively obsessed with Thomas when he was a toddler. Our whole living room became a dedicated Thomas shrine. Middle has recently inherited his old Thomas toys and, at present, this is the new ‘thing’ in our house. Eldest has reestablished his love affair with them and can now teach middle how to build the tracks. They will quite happily do this for a while until middle stops following orders and eldest loses patience. Downside: The trains for it run on batteries and tend to find their way under your sofa. I can’t count how many times I’ve been able to hear one chugging away and not locate it! It’s happened so many times, I can hear the sound in my sleep. I call this ‘Thomas Tinnitus’.

Nintendo Wii and XBox

This all started when my sister in law purchased hubby a Nintendo Classic for Christmas. We were shoving the boys to bed as early as possible so that we could relive our youth and play some Mario. Eldest noticed and asked to have a go. After a few wobblers over not understanding the controller didn’t operate like a tablet, he was a little pro. I class Mario as quite harmless, maybe others disagree. But it’s not like he is playing Grand Theft Auto or anything (one of the best in its defense. The Daily Mail would disagree however as that’s seemingly the cause of all youth violence.) After becoming bored with it, my MIL gave him her old Wii. He then progressed to playing the rather trippy ‘Kirby’. Finally, hubby has now dusted off his XBox and myself and eldest have taken to playing Lego games on it. These are quite good as you have to figure lots of puzzles out and really think about what you are doing. We have played Harry Potter Years 1 -4, Marvel Superheros, Indiana Jones and The Lego Movie game. Downside: It has become apparent that myself and eldest share the same competitive streak. This has led to us shouting at each other for ‘casting the wrong spells’ and resulted in hubby banning us from playing for a full week! So unfair- wasn’t even my fault!

 

 

 

Weaning The Wee Un

This week I decided it was time to fully commit to weaning baby. It’s funny how, no matter how many babies you’ve had, you forget all these little stages. Mainly, I had forgotten about the huge mess and the next day nappies. What have I done?

With eldest, I began weaning him at four months (those were the guidelines four years ago). Middle was weaned at the same time, despite the guidelines having changed to say six months.  This was mainly due to the fact he had awful reflux from birth and would consume milk only for it to erupt back up again from the depths of his stomach. Usually, over myself and him. I would spend most days changing both our clothes six times a day and, that was on a good day! Although baby does not have the dreaded reflux, he is a major gorb. The bottles just aren’t cutting it any longer. I also feel it’s important to introduce different textures and tastes, even just little bits, so they get used to them and don’t become fussy eaters. All you can do is try after all.

I would lovingly spend hours boiling various vegetables and fruit and mashing them up with the firstborn. Not that he ever ate my creations, mind you! I won’t take this too personal however as, he is now four and, still a nightmare when it comes to food. With middle, I just didn’t have the time nor the energy and had obviously learnt a valuable lesson with eldest. This is why I decided I would stick to jars to see how he fared. I was fortunate in that he loved most of them. He also wasn’t on them very long before we were introducing proper food. With baby, I have decided to do a mixture of both, by way of a compromise. The lovely guy’s at Baby Wings (https://www.babywings.co/) kindly sent me their nifty little Mash ‘n’ Stash weaning pots. I’ve found these fantastic! I can make up batches of pureed food for baby, freeze them, defrost some, pop them out, and heat. I cannot tell you enough how time-saving they are proving. As a mum of three boys, I live my life surrounded by mini men and one fully fledged one. When they want to be fed, they want to be fed and, baby is no exception. The pots also come with a few simple recipes to get you started. Great if this is your first time having to do this and you are struggling for some kind of inspiration! Baby has loved everything I have made this week and that is a great sign going forward. He is a natural! Though that’s my shopping tripled in price each week now.

Check out Baby Wings Amazon store, as I did, to see some of the other handy items they sell. Us mum’s need all the help we can get when it comes to making life that little bit easier and Baby Wings seem to get this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?marketplaceID=A1F83G8C2ARO7P&me=A7L8SL7GPEEML&merchant=A7L8SL7GPEEML&redirect=true

Loving his grub! Help from middle also

This week I have mainly been…. utterly disgusted with middle but thankful for my friends

“Mummy, can we wake Owen yet?” eldest impatiently pleaded whilst jumping up and down on the bed at 8am the other morning.

I have had some kind of throat infection all week and, I won’t lie, all I’ve wanted to do is die in bed all day. This is not an option, however, when you have three needy sprogs. “Ok!” I finally relented. “It’s actually a bit odd we haven’t heard him yet” I added. Off eldest went to wake him up, whilst I stole some baby cuddles in bed. Two minutes later I heard eldest convulsing in giggles and yelling “mummy, you have GOT to see this!”. I had a brief moment of utter panic that middle had possibly finally mastered jumping out of his cot, maybe he had thrown and broken something important? Eldest would be evil enough to find either scenario amusing. What I didn’t imagine I would encounter ladies, was some kind of dirty protest. Bits of poo all over his rug, cot and, more disgustingly, hands. I stood there for a few minutes, in complete shock, letting the fuckery of the situation seep in. “Who does something like that!” I finally yelled. “That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life!” I continued. “Monkeys at the zoo probably don’t even do that! Bad boy!”. Eldest is still in fits of laughter during this and middle is looking at me very unbothered and, almost looks impressed with himself. Middle bathed, poo removed and everything bleached, I found myself being unable to even look at him most of the day. There is no way my genes are in him, they can’t be. I mean, what even made him think to do that? The mind boggles and the stomach retches. As I am typing this, he has just done it again! I cannot believe it. Is it acceptable at times like this to just disown them? Or is that frowned upon? Guess I better start potty training soon. I’m sure this will make my days even more relaxing and stress-free- not!

In other, less disgusting news, I want to greatly thank my bestie Jess for what she did for me and my boys this week. I’m crying even typing this. I have no money at all and my fridge was totally bare, bar a few cartons of milk. I was off on a right moan to her about how bad things were- as us ladies do. The next morning, just as I was about to get showered, my doorbell rang. Standing on my doorstep was a chirpy Asda delivery man with bags of shopping. Strawberries, apples, Frubes, pasta, chicken, bacon, freezer stuff and even a bottle of wine for me. I was in floods of tears all day. The thoughtfulness and the kindness of this gesture will never be forgotten by me. I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends that I do. Jess, Yasmin, Diane, Andrea and my sister. I couldn’t get through what I am going through lately without them. One day I will find the strength to write a blog post about all that. At the moment this Mama is too emotionally and physically drained to do it. My humour will hopefully return next week.

How to survive a toddler A.K.A pint sized dictator:

Toddlers are such great fun, aren’t they? I mean, they are becoming more independent, can do some things for themselves and their personalities are beginning to emerge which makes them appear quite cute. Don’t be fooled however, the ‘terrible two’s’ are no laughing matter. If you have a two-year-old or, have surpassed this stage, you will already know all this and can thank god you survived it. If you don’t however, you can read on for some enlightenment/advanced warnings:

  1. “No!” is a pint-sized dictator’s favourite word. Infact, it might just be the only word they say (repeatedly). “No”, to us, means “no”. No to a toddler means a variety of things. Mainly everything other than no such as,  yes/maybe/ok/in a moment. You can be forgiven for getting confused by this, but beware- toddlers will not accept your confusion.
  2. This leads me, quite seamlessly, to the ‘toddler tantrum’. You may think you have witnessed a tantrum, you may think it can’t be that bad well, a toddler one is on a whole different spectrum of tantrums. It can also occur at any given moment over the most mundane of things. For example, the fact you opened something for them, the fact you dared dressed them, the fact Lego doesn’t click in, the fact you took them out of the bath, the fact you won’t purchase them a Kinder Egg and, my favourite one when eldest was two, the fact you wouldn’t ‘go into the kitchen’. Bit sexist no?
  3. The ‘toddler tantrum’ is mainly deployed in public places to further humiliate you, prepare for this. You will be quite peacefully shopping when, out of nowhere, your son or daughter will drop to the floor screaming and kicking like Eric Cantona let loose on a bunch of football spectators. Those around, who have kids, will give you an understanding look of “good luck, I’ve been there and done that, it’s mental”, those without kids however, will glare at you with disdain and make you feel like you are failing at life and cannot control your own child.
  4. Clothing, in any form, is deemed entirely unnecessary to a pint-sized dictator. With this being the case, they will attempt to discard items at every opportunity. The rampant little would be nudists will undress at any stage of the day and anywhere. Watch out for this.
  5. Throwing is a customary act and they cannot pass the toddler stage without having completed this. Be prepared to dodge numerous flying objects, toys, cups, remotes and the nappy they have just taken off and flung at you. Nice!
  6. Water is not just a source of hydration to a two old but, a fluid to fully drench themselves in (the garden and bathroom tap are normally the preferred method). Splashing endlessly is deemed satisfying, especially when having a bath. Your bathroom floors will be so soaked that the room will end up resembling a makeshift swimming pool. Please be aware that your flooring may fall into your living room due to this fact.
  7. A toddler will repeat everything you say, like the little parrots they are. They will never repeat all the colours you have lovingly spent time teaching them but, will happily repeat the words of which they shouldn’t. Refrain from using words such as “f#ck!” and “sh#t!”. These will be uttered by them at awkward moments, such as, at a family dinner, in the presence of your mother in law.
  8. Food becomes a necessity that they can take or leave. This even occurs with food sources they have previously loved. Be prepared to make five different dinners in an attempt to provide nutrition and appease them. If this does not work, you will lose the will to live and quite happily hand them a packet of Wotsits for tea. Enjoy!
  9. They become permanently attached to you, as their mother. Dad? Who’s he? Everything is “Mama!”. Fall- mama, sick- mama, tantrum- mama. Give up your limbs for the foreseeable future as they will be hanging off them until this stage has eventually passed.
  10. Finally, although the ‘terrible twos’ are pure, seemingly never-ending hell on earth, they will shape both your child and you. Your child will learn the extent of your boundaries as a parent and you will learn that you can now handle anything and anyone. The huge bear hugs and kisses at the end of the day will make it all worthwhile. DISCLAIMER: You may also learn that wine is your new best friend, after surviving each day. This is totally normal and acceptable.

This week I have mainly been…. in awe at how many times eldest can let me down a bucketful!

This week we loaded all three sprogs into the car and went ‘visiting’. As a parent, going visiting is a daunting and terrifying experience. Will my children behave? Will they annihilate everyone’s houses? Will we be forced to apologise endlessly for them not keeping the peace and running mental? All these things run through your mind and that’s before you’ve even left the house and arrived anywhere!

Thinking it would be a good idea to expel some of their energy first, we stopped at a park. Middle was loving life, recklessly flinging himself down the slide, as is tradition (see my swimming post). Eldest got bored after awhile so hubby took him rock pooling. All was going great until eldest got his shoes wet whilst performing said rock pooling activity. Complete meltdown about having to wear his soggy shoes to walk back to the car. Weeping and wailing he was, like some kind of tantruming toddler. Trying to keep the peace, I agreed to carry him back to the car until we dried them out at the place we were heading to next. So there I was, five foot three me, lugging around my huge four-year-old, two f@cking long fishing nets and trying to run after insane middle. Hubby was, of course, strolling peacefully along with the baby in the buggy.

Get to the MIL’s (mother in law’s) house with shoeless eldest. She enquires as to how he is doing with his numbers. Hubby replies that he can count to twenty and recognises numbers up to ten. MIL is very impressed and proud. I add that he also keeps saying a word then telling me what that word rhymes with. “What rhymes with clock?” MIL asks him. He looks at her and swiftly responds “Cock!”. I am horrified. “I hope you mean cockerel!” MIL replies. Hubby, who appears to be extremely proud of his son’s vocabulary, helpfully asks – “and what rhymes with duck?”. “F@ck!” he confidently answers. I have never been more mortified in my life! What happened to cap rhymes with tap? In fairness, I have never asked the clock or duck question. MIL then goes to another room and returns with a game she has purchased him called ‘Gas Out’. Cue excitement from eldest when he realises the objective of the game is to hit some green, gas cloud device that either bubbles or farts depending. If it farts, you are out of the game basically. Hubby, MIL and eldest play a few games and eldest is in his absolute element. Next, it’s off to visit their great gran.

Their great gran is the most lovely and ladylike woman you could ever meet. I call her ‘the lady’. Her house is always immaculate and not a thing is out of place. It’s filled with a multitude of ornaments and pictures of family members which are proudly displayed on the fireplace. This all serves to reduce me to a quivering, nervous wreck what with boisterous eldest, reckless middle and barfing/exploding baby. I knock her door and brace myself. A few minutes later and all of us are seated in her living room. We are having a serious conversation when, out of the depths of nowhere, a chorus of loud farting noises erupts. Unbeknownst to me, eldest has managed to smuggle the above-mentioned gas device into her house with him! Cue more horrified glances between myself and hubby as we frantically try and explain what has happened. Middle then gets bored and decides he will use her whole bottom floor as some kind of running track. Eldest looks on then concur’s that this looks like lots of fun so joins in. After herding them up multiple times, like the wild animals they are, we decide it’s time to leave. Load them all back into the car and wave goodbye to ‘the lady’ who seems ecstatic to see the back of us and thankful her house is still intact. Start the car, take one look at each other and state in unison “thank god that’s done for another few months!”.

This week I have mainly been….. rejoicing for Ireland- literally!

Screenshot to ensure I wasn’t dreaming

What news I woke up to on Saturday morning! I actually thought I might have been dreaming for a second. The Irish public had only gone and voted against their constitutional ban on abortion that had been inserted as an amendment in 1983! An amendment that declared ” The state acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, and with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in it’s laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The repeal the eighth campaign succeeded and by a landslide at that. Finally some progressive change and a huge step forward for a woman’s right to choose!

It’s such an emotive topic. To be honest I debated even expressing my opinion on it (especially as my dad might read it!). But I am honest about every other aspect of my life, so I came to the conclusion that I had to. I am sure many won’t agree with the outcome of the referendum, but personally, it is the outcome I hoped and longed for. I can’t believe how far behind the times Northern Ireland now seems in light of this monumental overturning. Not only in terms of abortion but, gay marriage also. Frankly I find it embarrassing. I also think the result in Ireland will only serve to ensure that politicians here never hold a referendum on our own abortion laws. Because they now know what would happen if they did. They wouldn’t want to face up to the truth that people here are sick of a bunch of dinosaurs dictating under what circumstances they are allowed to make their own choices at in life. So whilst I rejoice for Ireland, I despair for my own country and it’s backward views in this modern age. I hope to God I am still alive when change is finally effected. One can dream I guess.

Netflix Picks for Kids and Parents- May 2018

Once again myself and eldest (Aden) have sat together and compiled this. It’s like a new tradition now and he loves contributing (speaking freely without restriction whilst I type manically to keep up). Here’s what the kids have been watching endlessly and what myself and Hubby have just about managed to watch in light of this:

The Kids  (dictated by eldest Aden, typed by me)

Spy Kids: Mission Critical- One season 

There has hardly been anything new on Netflix lately for kids. That’s sooooo unfair, can you phone them and ask them why? There was that Spy Kids thing I watched. It was quite okay actually and was funny sometimes. It’s about a brother and sister and they are like, some kind of spy people who do spy type things. The boy is called Juni and he has orange hair and his sister is called Carmen and she has dark hair. They work as a team with other spy kids to feet (I think he means defeat?) the bad guys. Sometimes the bad guys pretend to be good and it’s only at the end that they know they aren’t so have to fight them fastly (quickly- he needs to start school soon, my correcting is doing nothing). The big, massive baddie is called Golden Brain and he is just super mean and cray cray (no more Jay Z and Kanye for him). I like how this looked like the Pixar films we have been watching and i liked most the fighting because that is cool. Can you be a spy person when you’re big or is that just pretend? Maybe I will do that then so I can fight baddies all day then fight Owen at nighttime (middle). 3/5

The Peanuts Movie 2015- 1hr 28 mins 

This film was sooooooooooooo boring. I changed it over to Horrid Henry like one day into it (one day?). I don’t know why you even put that on as you took me to the cinema to see it years ago and we had to go as it was so bad! I wanted to see the Star Bar’s film with daddy but you made me go see that stupid film instead (whoops, oh yeah- remember now). I never want to see that film ever again, I would rather eat a spider (ok then! I sincerely hope nothing serious ever happens in his life if this is how dramatic he is). 0/5

The Angry Birds Movie 2016- 1hr 37 mins 

This is a film about that game that I am the best in the world at playing (modesty son). All the characters from the game are in it- the red bird, yellow and black one. Oh, and the green pig things! The birds can’t fly which is like the game too as you have to put them in a big slingshot and fling them at wooden things. They live happily in their bird home place- where do we live mummy? Oh Norn Ireland, I never knew that (I tell him that all the time actually). Well, they live in their own Norn Island (Ireland, son) and then the pigs come to live there and this makes them very mad and really sad. The pigs put big bombs all round their houses and the birds have to ask some massive bird (eagle) to help them as he can fly. I liked how the red bird was really cross all the time. This made me laugh. I quite liked how colourful it was too and that it was like the game but more real life. Are we finished this now? I’m so bored! Maybe I can have your phone to play Angry Birds again? (oh no, what have I started reminding him of this- face palm).  5/5

The Rents : 

The Rachel Divide – Documentary (1 hr 44 mins)

I put this on randomly as I am so fed up with there being nothing to watch on normal TV, bar on a Friday- why is this? I will be honest, I thought it would be woeful but, it proved otherwise. Everyone has heard of Rachel Dolezal but, if you haven’t, she is a woman who is white but identifies and classes herself as a black woman. The whole saga is all the more perplexing as she shirked from telling anyone she was white and held a senior position in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). In this capacity she campaigned and gained the trust and confidence of many people. You begin watching this thinking it is the most bonkers thing you will ever view but, it succeeds in making you have an understanding as to why she went down this particular route. You begin to feel sorry for her whilst still questioning her honestly. The plight her children face in light of all her decisions will break your heart also. Worth a watch if only to be left scratching your head contemplating whether you accept the reasoning or not. 4/5

27: Gone Too Soon- Documentary (1 hr 10 mins) 

I appear to be in a depressive documentary phase this month! Note to self to watch some less serious shit for next post! But it is a fact that I will watch anything to do with music or artists who are/were truly artists. Those who can perfectly express pain because they can feel it deeper than others. This documentary deals with those artists who sadly became part of the so called ’27 club’. Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin  to name but a few. It explores their early lives before stardom, their lives after fame hit and the demons they tried and failed to battle whilst in the public spotlight. I found this so interesting and learnt about some artists that I hadn’t encountered before. Great snippets of some of the best performing live too and interviews with some interesting people. Hubby even put down his laptop to watch it, so it must have been good! 5/5

 

This week I have mainly been…. shattered, broke and miffed at men!

Well I knew I was in for a bad week with baby’s injections. I just didn’t realise how bad it would actually be! A wailing baby with a temperature is not ideal when there’s two other kids in the house to look after and try and keep alive. I am so wrecked, I can’t even describe it. Baby up every thirty minutes screaming for three nights back to back. Eldest still coming in at 3 am to our bed and middle up mourning the loss of the nighttime bottle I deemed time to take away from him. In hindsight I should have scheduled this mega change for another week. But I had committed to it for two days by time baby’s injections were served on Wednesday. Hubby lost patience by Thursday and decided to make the sofa his new bed. This only served to make me more pissed off with life. Why does he get to sleep and I don’t? I’m the one with them all the next day, running on two hours sleep and everything else still needs done. There’s no daytime naps to recoup with a four year old who wants to be entertained, even if baby is finally sleeping.

Really what I need is a personal chef and a cleaner on the days I have had zero sleep. What am I saying? I need a nanny and a long holiday! Yes, that is the answer. Anyone want to fund all that? Didn’t think so………..

My maternity pay has kicked in this month and it literally went in one hand and out the other. Most of it on nursery costs for middle that amounts to £390 a month for two days a week! So soul destroying. I have no idea how I will keep them all entertained with no money whatsoever. Here’s hoping the weather stays nice and I manage to keep eldest safe from deck chairs!

Next week has to be better- positive thinking and all that!

 

Soft play areas: A survival guide

 Who doesn’t love a soft play area? Me, that’s who! They are literally the most horrendous places on earth. I would much rather spend an hour listening to someone scrape their fingernails down a blackboard than go to one. But alas, sometimes you need burn them out mentally and physically and they are the only option. Here are my tips for survival when you have no other choice but to drag your spawn to one:

1. Never ever go to one hungover. It might seem like the better option to lying on the sofa, trying to die, whilst the kids throw things at you. But trust me, you will live to regret it the second you enter. These places have a decibel of their own range and a fragile brain cannot and will not cope.

2. Other people’s children are little shits and you only become fully aware of this once you have frequented a soft play area. Biters, pushers and thieves are swarming everywhere. Beware of the innocent looking ones- these are usually the worst culprits!

3. Sharing is caring, that is unless your child has something and some little cretin tries to pry it off them. You will find yourself whispering to the would be thief “oh but he/she had it first, you find something else to play with” until you spy their owner out of the corner of your eye and immediately direct to your child  “oh just give the other kid it, you’ve had long enough!”. There are unspoken rules when dealing with other parents, adjust your usual parenting technique to reflect a more serene, unbiased person.

4. Be prepared to do battle with fellow parents still, in spite of the above. Most go solely to drink their tea, read their phones and relinquish any parental responsibilities. With this being the case, they tend to not observe their little darling knocking the crap clean out of your beloved child. Be aware that , in the end, you will get into a fight with them and express language you never thought you’d utter in a venue filled with children.

5. Your child will insist on bringing one of their own toys then proceed to lose said toy in the ball pit, which will of course be huge! This will cause a monumental meltdown from child and result in you on all fours, flinging balls everywhere, trying to locate the item. You will not look good when this occurs but you will resemble some kind of flustered maniac.

6. Condition yourself for the onslaught of climbing up and avoiding swinging things by paying your local gym a visit at least once a week. This will ensure that your body is at optimum capacity to tackle what seems like an assault course and to run wildly after your toddler. The food choices on offer will also ensure that the gym is essential as you will eat your weight in buns and chocolate to keep your energy levels up.

7. The only other thing worse than having to go a soft play area is having to go to a birthday party in one. Kids party + soft play + small talk with parents you don’t know = total hell on earth. There’s no alcohol either which is pretty dismal.

8. “You would save so much more money here if you just took out a membership”. A membership to hell on earth? No thanks, I would save money taking out shares in Echo Falls, not here!  Never ever agree to a membership offer. You will feel like you have to go everyday to get your monies worth and nobody’s got the time nor the energy for that.

9. Thank me later for this advice!