Hello,this blog is somewhere for me to record snippets of family life as these boys of mine grow up. Time flies,so the saying goes and I want to save some of my precious memories and this seems a good way to do it. I want this blog to be a happy place so much of what I post on here will be the nice stuff of life, that's not to say it is all blue skies and sunshine here but just that I choose to make the happy times recordable
In the dark,with the radio playing softly in the background and a cup of tea nearby.
To add to my blissful writing time,now, is a Christmas Tree....a big beautiful Christmas Tree...whose lights twinkle away in the dark.
To me this is perfect,the mix of dark and pretty fairy lights and of peace with just a little bit of music softly playing in the background and of course the warm cuppa at hand just adds to my state of contentment.
I'm up early,as at weekends Sharky does his paper round and in the week Tigs is at work. I get up to make them a cuppa and to perhaps do a lunchbox for the worker.
Then I have a bit of spare time ( when I'm not working).
I could try to go back to sleep or do a few much needed jobs around the house but too much noise and movement would wake the rest of the house up and once young Chips is awake then my peace is shattered. So I choose to use this time to write. To sit still and put my thoughts onto paper or even onto my phone!
And it's so peaceful at this time in a morning. And the tree looks so pretty shining away in the dark. And when a favourite song comes on the radio life just gets better.
When do you write? And where do you write? I'd love to know...I'm nosey like that!
Linking this up to Pocolo over at Verily Victoria Vocalises Pop over there if you have time,you will receive a warm welcome from Vic and discover some new blogs too.
And so young Tigs you find yourself in Manchester for the New Year.
Miles away from home.
As I walked home tonight, I thought about you,miles away from us,in a different city even.
And I smiled and wondered about what you would be seeing. What would be the same as it is here and what would be different. Will the lights be brighter up there?Will it be more fun?More trendy?Do you even say trendy these days...probably not!I imagine it will be busier where you are,much busier.
Last year you spent New Years Eve at a function nearby but you have always spent New Years Day at your Mammas,sat at that ever expanding dinner table,scoffing a gigantic dinner down you.
Boy,you will be missed.
Missed that much I can't begin to describe it.
But this is not why I wrote this,I don't want to go down the route of oh no my boy has gone,no,I wrote this to say that Iam smiling at the thought of what you might be up too and what you might be experiencing. I'm glad you have grown up independent enough to venture out to places out of your comfort zone. I'm happy to see you make adventures for yourself. I'm pleased that you are doing the young and going to have fun thingy.
I swear down Tigs now is the time to do this kind of stuff. You have a bit of money in your pocket....you work hard.so spend it as you wish. Your responsibilities are few,as of yet....make the most of this...stay up late,get up late,be frivolous while you can....later on in life this may not be so easy.
Its a long time since I have been at Six Word Saturday. Mainly because my weekends are so busy and I want to concentrate on the boys but I do miss the gang over there and I want to give Cate and all the regular six word Saturday guys a big wave and to wish you all A Very Happy New Year!
Oh and by the way thats my mums unit in the photo. I thought it looked so pretty with its dangly hearts and twinkly fairy lights.
And so Christmas Day came and went and all the stress and hustle and bustle of the past month slowly evaporated and left a feel good feeling behind it.
I spent the day slowly chilling out until all that was left was a feeling of let's be with family and just be.
It felt good.
No crowds of shoppers pushing and shoving by,no more worries about money and how we are going to pay for all this Christmas malarkey,no more frantic thoughts on what exactly to buy for everyone....just a feeling of phew...it's all done and everybody seems happy.
Now we have another week off work and I'm so looking forward to this.A time to be together with those people we love.
Wrapping up makes me smile. Whether its pulling my dressing gown tightly around me when I get up in a morning or putting gloves and hats on Chips - I like wrapping up....a lot.
Seeing everybody's reactions to Baby B's surprise visit. It certainly sparked the afternoon up! I saw a lot of love surrounding that little baby and he is a scrumptious smudge!Its lovely to see him when he's awake,he was really gazing at people.
Sat in the dark and listening to the radio,writing blog posts makes me smile.I know Sharky finds this very bizarre but I love the feel of the radio playing and the quiet of the house before everyone wakes up. It gives me time to clear my head before the rush of the day begins ~ a bit of peace listening to my beloved radio. Bliss.
Surprise gifts from my eldest son really make me smile and the smile stays put for a long time! A cup for me and the cutest minion hat,glove and scarf set for Chips. And as always with these sort of gifts...it's the thought that counts. The thought is way more special than even the gift itself. Thanks Tigs,you are a superstar.
Watching Harry Potter movies on a Saturday afternoon is making me smile. Me and Chips sit cuddled up on the sofa and watch good versus evil.Chips is beginning to get to know some of the characters and we enjoy eating a pizza tea whilst watching our hero conquer the baddies. This is a house where Harry Potter rules!
Due The sixteenth of December,a date that always sticks in my mind.
21 years ago it was the due date of my first baby and even after all these years I still pause and think on the sixteenth of December.
To be honest the details of that day are sketchy. I can't remember too much but what I can remember is standing gazing out of my bedroom window. The day was grey. Not a remarkable day at all. But I knew that very soon my life would change beyond recognition.
And I can remember thinking its the sixteenth,where is my baby. I knew full well that most babies don't come on their due dates but it did feel strange to have that much awaited for date come and then go without a little baby appearing.
I guess the feeling was one of waiting,feeling very apprehensive about what was about to happen and so very excited to become a mummy.
I didn't have to wait too long. On the seventeenth of December I went for a routine hospital check and got admitted with pre-eclampsia and four days later my baby boy was born.
So for twenty years we have celebrated a very special birthday on the twentieth of December but still every sixteenth of December I remember standing at that window and waiting.
Once upon a time,not so many years ago,there were more post offices. Perhaps not on every street corner but within a comfortable walking distance you would usually stumble across a post office.
There used to be a lovely little post office near my mum and dads house and when I moved into the house I'm in now there was a post office about five minutes away from us.
It's not the case now,both those post offices have been closed for many years. I think it's a shame...post offices can be such great little places to go and I know this especially because yesterday I visited our village post office.
Its quite a hike to our village post office now,about half an hours walk from our house,that might not sound too bad but when you count in the half hours walk back you soon realise that it's a considerable walk and something that takes quite a chunk of time up. But sometimes only a post office will do. Especially for parcels and birthdays of faraway friends and more topically Christmas things for faraway friends.
So it was to the post office I went and my dad came too.
Me and my dad rub along fine,we had been swapping Christmas jokes as we walked to the post office,I'm not sure who's was the corniest to be honest,they were all pretty bad,so the mood between us was quite jolly as we walked into the tiny little post office.
It's the kind of place that packs everything into such a small space. A bit like the corner shops of old that I can still remember,the sort of shop that used to close on Sundays....back in the day....
Imagine a Aladdin's cave of stationary and magazines and cards and sweets stacked on shelves that go right up to the ceiling. They run a Christmas club where you can put toys away and pay a bit each week,these ting my memories of my childhood and take me tumbling right back to Spencer Street and Mr Staines corner shop and of course my grandmas house. Evocative stuff.
There was modern stuff there too. They had a pay point machine and a cash machine so it wasn't all olde worlde. They had tried to keep up with the times and the needs of modern day living.
But oh the atmosphere,woah,that was what my dad and I both noticed. To put it bluntly it was like being wrapped up in a warm cosy blanket and cared for. And I'm not joking.
The staff smiled Genuinely smiled. And they were so helpful,nothing was too much trouble. They even stuck all my dads stamps on his Christmas cards. I said he was a lazy devil but the lady behind the counter just smiled and carried on sticking.
And,don't laugh,this made our day, they offered us mince pies,sherry or orange juice.
Well our faces were a picture. It's not often these days that you go into a shop and get treated so well. Because we are incredibly cheeky we asked if we could take a mince pie for my mum and they said yes! This compounded our feel good factor even more!
We had smiles on our faces as wide as anything by the time we got back to my mum.
And we both said what a great place that post office was.
That is how you gain customers. Without a shred of doubt I would definitely give that post office my custom and I think it's completely won my dad over. He was saying how it compared to the post office in town where he goes with my mum. And there is NO comparison.
I think that's the beauty of living in a village,the local shops have still got that feel of the past to them. They genuinely care about the customers and it's not a rushed atmosphere,they converse with you and for a lot of people that bit of interaction could be the only chat they have for hours,it's invaluable.
So it's yay to local post offices and yay to village shops and yay to free mince pies!
Today our little hammie girlie died. Her name was Squeaker,she was only just over 18months old and she was a rogue,a loveable rogue.
She was also the mummy of the hammies....the great brood of hammies,some of which still live at this house.
I remember clearly the day that I first saw her. It was July 2012,a warm sunny July day. I had been helping out at Chips school,we had been swimming...a true nightmare in most ways,like the hot school bus or the crowded noisy changing room which was not far removed from hell on earth,but good in other ways,like wow these kids were getting the grasp of swimming or hey look at the kids faces as they played catch in the pool. Anyway,we had wearily trudged home and as we walked up the drive Tigs appeared at the door. And I knew then that we had got a new pet. Honestly,I just knew.
The day before,our little hamster Budge had died and Chips had been devastated. And just by looking at Tigs face I knew that he had brought his kid brother another hamster.
I slowly approached him and saw the excitement on his face as he ushered Chips inside and yep,there in our lounge sat two little Russian dwarf hamsters.
The thing was,I didn't want another hamster,I wanted a guinea pig. I thought a guinea pig would be a ideal pet for Chips. Bigger for him to hold and stroke and more placid than a hamster.
The thing was though,I had now got a hamster,two hamsters infact,two little girl hamsters,who,after much deliberation we named Pip and Squeak. They were nearly Snow and Flake but the boys vetoed that name as too sickly sweet,so Pip and Squeak it was.
And very cute Pip and Squeak were. They lived in a big cage in the kitchen and were loved by all.
During the summer holidays,Chips started saying that Squeakie was getting a big tummy and that she was having a baby. Oh no said I,Squeak can't have babies...impossible....they are both girls,they won't be having babies.
Early in September Chips insisted that he had seen something moving in Pip and Squeaks cage,he said it was 'a baby.'
No,I said. Impossible. Two girls can't have a baby.
One Monday morning I decided to have a good look. I nearly died. There were babies! Four beautiful babies! I dived upstairs to tell Tigs and Sharky,nobody could believe their eyes. However we got to school that day I'll never know! We were flabbergasted.
That night we separated Pip and Squeak but the damage had already been done. The following Sunday Squeakie had more babies....five more babies and so the hammie saga began.
And it rumbled on for months! Some babies went to the farm park to live,one baby went to university ( with Tigs girlfriend) but most stayed with us.
Squeakie was a good mummy in general,give or take a few nipped hammie babies along the way! And after a while she had no babies left in her cage.
She still got up to tricks though and escaped a couple of times and went on the run until captured and bought back to captivity. In fact her last daring escape was just three weeks ago when she was found in the shoe cupboard by Sharky!
And she did have one last night of passion on the night that young Prince George was born. Don't ask me how but that night Pip found his way into Squeakies cage and spent the night there. Luckily there was not the pitter patter of tiny feet later and for that I was truly grateful!
As she got older Squeakie calmed a lot and would take food from our hands. Infact we fed her like this daily,she especially liked nuts and would beg for them and we could never resist her,so she always got some.
Young Chips adored her and always spoke to her whenever he was in the kitchen. She would always come to him. I don't think she had much choice,he would stand by her cage making the most horrendous screeching noise ever,he said she liked it,maybe she did.
Just this week we noticed Squeakie was really poorly,she had a lump and it looked bad. And within two days she was dead. We are sad.
I wrapped her up in some soft tissues and held her as she slowly slipped away. We had said our goodbyes earlier in the morning before we went to school but when I came home at dinner she was alive.
I'm glad she didn't die alone. I'm glad I held her and stroked her and talked to her. She looked very peaceful and she did hear my voice,I saw her eyes move,just as they moved when she heard Chips voice this morning.
It's always so flippin sad when a pet dies,isn't it. You get used to them being around. No matter how small the pet is, you just get used to it bring there. And the thing I find with animals is that they are there for you when sometimes people aren't. They don't judge you or fall out with you or say nasty things and when things are going wrong elsewhere in life you can always depend on your pet to be there. So when they are gone you miss them. And you realise what they have given you,unconditional love,no matter how small the little creatures are,they have given you love. I'm so glad I was there for Squeakie in the end,I hope she knew how much we loved her. I don't think there will ever be a hamster who has so many adventures as that young hammie had! Sleep tight little girl,we love you and will miss you but rest assured we will never forget you.
For weeks now I have been in the middle of Christmas Concert season and it's a pretty magical place to be.
Chips school are doing a panto this year,oh no they're not,oh yes they are!The boys faces were a picture when we first pulled that phrase out! They couldn't believe we knew some of the panto words.Ah boys,you don't live this long without knowing a few tricks! It's actually called Panto Pandemonium and it has a witch in it. I already have my tickets,they are stuck firmly to the fridge,worth more than gold dust those tickets are. Chips is in the choir and he seems to be really enjoying all the practising,he already knows some songs off by heart and I love to hear him sing them and quote lines from the panto.I can still remember the special feeling at school when Christmas approached and I hope Chips feels the same tingly excitement.
He waits with me over at the infant school in a morning for a short time and I think he was amazed at how beautifully the hall is decorated. Even I cannot believe just how big their tree is,it's massive,so to a child how huge must that tree look. Yesterday he asked if he could have a walk around while I was busy in the classroom and I think he was on the lookout for Christmas,it made me smile.
There are quite a few different concerts going on in school ~ Oopsy Daisy Angel is the one I hear most but I also get to listen to the year twos nativity concert and the year ones concert and I bet over at nursery they are singing nursery classics such as Twinkle Twinkle and When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney.
You can hear the children singing all morning long as each class are practising like mad so that they can be ready for the big day. When I take the registers to the hall,when we are working in the shared area,when I'm organising the milk,when we go for lunch,there is just the constant sound of children's voices singing sweetly. And it makes me feel very Christmassy and very lucky to be able to be a part of such a important time of year for all children - Christmas.
Christmas time in school can be stressful but it is also magical. Working with four year olds is great,they are just that bit older and they are beginning to really appreciate Christmas but they are still so very innocent. Their eyes shine brightly at any mention of Santa. Their little voices get so excited as they speak of the north pole and Christmas trees. It's gorgeous to see.
So,all you mums,dads and grandparents out there,get ready, because soon it will be your turn to go and watch your little angels preform to you. Get your cameras sorted and bring plenty of tissues because you know you will blub! It's almost mandatory to have a few tears after all. Enjoy!
Recently I've been noticing that it truly is the little things that make me feel like I'm a good mum who is succeeding in looking after her precious boys.
I don't go around thinking hey look at me I'm a good mum and I never say to anyone guess what,I'm a good mum but deep inside I get a small satisfied feeling if I get certain things right or under control and I feel like I'm doing my job properly and Iam a good mum.
And these little bits I talk about are so tiny, it's amusing really. Let me tell you what makes me feel like a good mum.
The little blue freezer pack that I put in Chips lunch box. Yep,that makes me feel like I'm a good mum! If I get that frozen every night and ready to put in his lunch box I feel good inside. Infact it's this very item that started me noticing how much the little details of life meant to me as a mother. Yes. Just a little blue freezer pack. Funny,isn't it!
Then it would be the wrapping up stuff. Hats,gloves,vests,scarfs,all the trimmings that keep Chips warm when he's going to school on these frosty mornings. If he is all togged up I feel a sense of pride and I know I have done a good job and yet again I feel settled inside and I'm happy.
Added to the above would be the school shoes. A couple of weeks ago we lost/misplaced the school shoes. It led to a horrendous scene where I just literally melted down,I was going to be late for work,we had no school shoes,it was stressful to say the least. When the shoes were found,much later I add,I started to take extra special care of them. I polish them every night and this is really funny because I'm not sure why this is, but in a morning when Chips puts his shoes on it makes me feel good. I look at those shiny shoes and I feel warm inside.
I know this is mad really because none of these tiny things determine whether I'm a good parent or not but to me it must matter because I literally feel much better and happier with myself when the little bits are done.
I know this because of the other feeling,the awful bad mother feeling that I get if I forget to do something that I should have done. That feeling is the worst of all. Call it mother guilt or whatever,I bet every parent has had a good gulp from the bottle of bad parent juice. It tastes bitter,let me tell you and it's far more potent than any alcohol I've ever known. It gets right into your system and makes you feel bad all day long. And it also loosens your tongue and gives you the urge to shout out to everybody that you are a bad parent. Nasty stuff - parenting guilt. It occurs if you have forgot to fill a important school form in or if you have forgot to give your little one their inhaler or if you have sent your child to school with no gloves on a cold day or if you have forgot their PE bag. You may have done 1000 things right but just that one wrong brings parent guilt crashing down on you like a ton of bricks.
Luckily, I think most of us do more of the good parenting stuff and only have the occasional slip up.
Good job,isn't it, that the little things in life DO count!
I have been thinking about you a lot recently and in particular the time we spent together,just you and me,before this family exploded into a family of five. I had three and a half years where you were my only child,my firstborn child. We had some good times together and today I want to talk about Saturday Mornings.
For better or worse I have always had a paid job as well as being Mummy to you boys. So to me, time spent with you was ultra special and I tended to grab every single bit of it that I could.
So..... Saturday mornings were our time. Time spent with you,doing things that you enjoyed. And during the early years of your life this involved a trip to town.
We would go to the library so you could play and meet other children. You were such a friendly sociable baby/little boy,you just loved to be where there were lots of people of all ages. Although you adored looking at books,you adored playing with children more,so I would hunt us some good story books to take home whilst you would play in the play area. It was such a busy play area too! Lots of children there on a Saturday. Some supervised by their parents,some not supervised by their parents and therefore running wild. I can remember they had a Little Tykes play house there and children would bang on the walls with toys and clamber into the roof and you had to be really careful if you went in there,just incase your fingers got trapped in hastily slammed windows. It was a kinda take your life in your hands kind of house where only the brave would survive. You were never the one to start any trouble and you wouldn't get involved in any trouble but you weren't scared by any kerfuffles either,they probably interested you! And anyway Mummy was always nearby,you knew that. You knew I would wade in and sort things out. Well someone had too! And as always I would have been sat where the children played. I'm still that person Tigs,only now its your kid bro I look out for.
When it came to having our lunch Tescos was our cafe of choice.There was nothing grand about it but it was roomy enough to park your big silver cross buggy and seat you in a high chair and they did great meals for young babies,things that you loved - real veg and mashy potato that I could mush around with gravy to make a meal that was just like a homemade one,this pleased the I want my baby to eat proper food side of me and you would wolf it down,so it obviously pleased you,therefore Tescos it was. Over the years we eventually may have moved to McDonalds but for a long,long time we ate at Tescos. That Tescos has been closed and stood empty for years now Tigs.I wonder if you can even remember shopping there. I'm certain you won't remember the cafe. They did eventually start a new shop up,one of those bargain kind of shops that come and go in a flash. I often think it was a shame that Tescos closed,it was convenient for such a lot of people.
After dinner we would wander around some shops and most weeks you would end up with a balloon or some kind of treat. I can remember the time you accidentally let your balloon go. The balloon drifted slowly past the subway bridge and up to the clouds. You screamed and cried,you would have been about two and you were not happy about your disappearing balloon. We would eventually stick the balloons up on your bedroom wall,you only ever lost one,thank goodness!
As you grew older the Early Learning Centre became an important part of your Saturday fun. And wow I can remember some right kick offs you had when it was time to go home. You were such a good boy but you could throw a strop like the best of them and many a time I would have to scoop you up under my arm and carry you out of the shop while you screamed and kicked and squealed. And as for sharing the Thomas trains....well let's just say that you and all the other toddlers found that incredibly hard.
Sometimes we would catch the bus back home,sometimes we would get a lift back home and sometimes we would walk all the way back home.This was quite a walk and involved a very steep hill. Goodness knows how I managed to push your buggy up that hill!Especially as I know that the bottom of the pushchair would be ladened down with library books.
You would have been in your pushchair facing me,we would had chatted together or if you were sleeping I would gaze down at you whilst probably musing about all that was in my head,I'm not sure if you know this Tigs but there is always so very much that is in my head,most of it is very random and abstract but it's always there and it always has been there,from as far back as I can remember.
When I reached the top of the hill the road I turned onto was long but thankfully straight,it was quite a lonely road to walk along,lots of cars zooming by but no walkers at all. I could walk the whole twenty five minute lane and not meet a single soul. I used to like this lane,I guess after the hill the flatness of the lane was a good feeling. The end of the lane dipped down and we would be very close to home then.Pass the park with its big wrought iron gates and under its tall shady trees and onto the estate where we lived and eventually back home.
And that was our Saturdays. Twenty years ago. Nearly twenty one years ago. How time flies. Precious memories.
Precious times. Precious boy.
Always remember how adored you were Tigs and still are