Friday, 31 August 2012

Home Sweet Home

Our previous house was huge. There really wasn't any need for us to have a house that big. It was a 3 storey, 3 bedroomed old Victorian house. The types that had the toilets outside, so there was even an extension to accomodate a downstairs bathroom.
All of the bedrooms were big, and the whole top floor was just one bedroom. This room actually ended up being our storage room and was full of rubbish. There were boxes that I couldn't be bothered to unpack, furniture we didn't need/want to put up. No one ever really went up there.
Then Princess came along and the 2 middle floor bedrooms had to be changed. Ours was moved around to accomodate a moses basket and all things baby, and the second bedroom was turned into a nursery.

When we wanted to decorate, we had to ask the landlords permission. We asked if we could decorate the nursery and he said "Yes. Any colour but pink." Obviously we were a bit gutted about this considering Princess was indeed a girl. He didn't specifically say "no purple either" but if he didn't like pink, chances are painting it purple would have been pushing it. Eventually we settled on a very, very light lavendar colour (that you could barely see) and went OTT on the pink furniture.

Our bedroom never got decorated. Obviously neither did the top room. Neither did the kitchen, the study or the bathroom. The only room in our house that ever really got a make over was the living room. We decorated it twice in the two years we were there, three if you count putting it back to neutral when we left.

That is why decorating our new house has been such a pleasure. It's been so refreshing to watch an entire room take on a whole new shape right in front of you.

This house is much smaller. It has two double bedrooms, an upstairs bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. Plus a small entry way which leads to the stairs. Right now, the only room that hasn't been decorated is the kitchen. And that is only because whilst decorating all of the other rooms, it has been our only 'safe place' where we could huddle without the fear of things falling on to us/stepping in paint/falling over.

I wrote a post about the first room we decorated, which was our bedroom. We did think about decorating Princess's first, but her room was already suitable for children. It was yellow and brown paint with a monkey border. It sounds gross but it was actually really cute and I'm quite sad I didn't get a proper before picture of it.


So yes, our bedroom was the first to be decorated. The second room was Princesses room (we couldn't leave her with a brown/yellow/blue room forever could we? She is a Princess after all!) This has been painted purple & cream but still with her pink furniture. She also has laminate flooring in her room which was there when we moved in. We decided to keep it because the thought of her getting pen/crayon/food/drink marks all over a carpet was too horrendous to contemplate.

The final room to be decorated was our living room. This is the room we all spend the most time in. It was important to me to get the right colour and make it a warm place to be. I settled on grape purple. We bought a whole new laminate floor (which I helped lay, just so you know!) and it has completely changed the feeling of the room. Before it had a dingy beige carpet which had been there with the previous tenants who if I'm honest, were far from the cleanest of people. The walls were all magnolia and bare. Although honestly, I don't mind the magnolia, it's the durable paint meaning I can just wash the walls - how amazing is that!
Being able to decorate isn't often easy for us. Mostly, we just can't afford to do it. Yes I know paint isn't all that expensive, but if you want to completely change the room like we have done now, it's not cheap. I'm not the most DIY orientated person and would much rather be the person picking the colour scheme than actually putting it on the wall, but watching it come together and knowing I had helped was really satisfying - and fun!

We probably won't be able to decorate again any time soon, and if we do, it definitely won't be in the magnitude that we did this time. But I'm happy with the end result. We didn't have to decorate the bathroom because it was really pretty already. The landlord fitted it himself, it's all red and white tiles. Very shiny!

I'm so happy with our renovation, I couldn't ask for a more homely and warm house. For the first time, I actually feel at home. I feel like I finally don't have to worry about the 'odd jobs' and the plainness of it. It's finally a home.

Now to pick out the colours for the kitchen...




Wednesday, 29 August 2012

See It. Snap It. Love It - Help

When I saw this weeks theme for See It. Snap It. Love It, I knew I had the perfect picture to share. This weeks theme is Help, and here is my picture..


I have so many of these types of pictures, Princess and her cousins. This one is featuring her favourite female cousin Millie-Jayne. She helped Princess put on the helmet, climb on the scooter and helped push her along. They were doing this up and down the patio for about an hour, both enjoying themselves.
Even though Princess has a look of fear on her face, don't be fooled. She absolutely loved it!

I'm linking up with Dear Beautiful Boy for this weeks See It Snap It Love It. It's open for everyone so if you fancy joining in - even if it's for the first time like me - then pop on over and grab the badge! Oh, and don't forget to link up.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Inadequate

moth·er

1 [muhth-er]
noun
1.
a female parent.

Yes, I am in fact a female parent. I am the person who carried my child for 9 months and subsequently gave birth to her. Surely, a Mother demands a bit more of a description?

Last night I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. I began to feel that I have achieved nothing in life, other than to bring another life into the world. In my mind I know that this is probably the greatest thing I will ever achieve, but I was still left feeling inadequate.

I feel unimportant. I feel useless. I feel that the only thing I am good for is to raise a child.

Surely this is something amazing? Something that I should be ridiculously proud of?

The answer is: I am. 

But is being a Mother everything that defines me? Being a Mum includes being a whole bunch of different things. I'm a cleaner, a cook, a friend and a foe. I'm a play mate,a referee and a nurse. Is that what defines me?

Right now, it is. I am nothing but a Mum.

I am woken in the morning by Princess. Unless we have a prior appointment, I wait for her to wake me. During my day I will feed, play, occupy, kiss, cuddle and teach my child. That is all I will do. Inbetween there might be a few trips out, a bit of adult conversation and some shopping. However, somehow all of these things still seem to revolve around Princess. I can't be too long in a shop in case she gets bored and begins to scream. If I bump into someone I know, they'll mostly ask questions about Princess. 

Don't get me wrong, I love her with all my heart. I wouldn't change her for the world. I am immensely proud of my little girl; the girl who is not even 2 yet but can tell me colours and shapes, something she shouldn't be able to do until she's 3. The girl who says 'bless you' when you sneeze and 'sankoo' for 'thank you'. Who tells people to move if they're in her way but will then laugh at herself. She's the girl I would do anything to make her happy.


So why do I feel so lost?


I think the main part of it is, I've lost sight of who I am. I don't know who I am now, apart from a Mum. I don't remember the last time I had 'me' time. Although even if I had it, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. That's probably half of the problem. Most people I know, if given the night off from their child would probably get dolled up and go out. Whether that's with the girls or with their partners. Sadly for me, money is an issue and we can't afford to just go splashing cash on meals and nights out. Every penny literally counts.



So is that why I'm feeling so down? Money?


It's also part of the problem. Without money, what can I actually do? I can't go out. I can't buy myself a treat. I can't even go to college because I already have level 3 qualifications. After having a look at the night courses available which are often free, there are none that interest me apart from 'Creative Writing'. But that's not really going to get me anywhere is it? I'd probably enjoy it, but after 10 weeks when the course ends, then what do I do?


I'm being horribly pessimistic.


I just can't help it right now. I can't see a way out of the rut. 


I feel like I need a break. But the thought of being away from Princess upsets me.


So I really don't see where I can fix this or make it better.


Maybe I should just suck it up?


For now, that's what I'm going to do. Suck it up. Deal with it. Carry on like I have been doing for the past few months. 


And hope, that eventually, I'll find myself again.


Maybe she's lost between all the dirty nappies and ironing piles.


If I find her, I'll let you know.



Wednesday, 22 August 2012

There was a little girl...


There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good
And when she was bad
She was horrid.


I'm linking up with Louise's Middle Man's Mischievous Monday. I need no words this week. If you would like to join in, pop over to A Strong Coffee and link up

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Book Review - The Lake of Dreams

I read The Lake of Dreams, written by Kim Edwards a few weeks ago and have just thought about how I would write my review for it. 


The Lake of Dreams

The story tells us of a woman, Lucy Jarratt, returning home to her childhood house where she finds herself stirred by unresolved issues she has with her fathers death and the way she left her home town. One night, whilst pacing the floors of her once familiar home, she stumbles across some old letters stashed away under a windowseat that nobody knew existed.

From the offset this book seemed promising. It had all the aspects of an exciting and mysterious novel, emotionally confused leading lady, a handsome blast from the past, family secrets and more. I have to admit, about a third of the way in, I was very disappointed. 

I was drawn into the book quite quickly, but after a while, the descriptions of how flowers smelt and how the lake looked began to get really boring. There's only so many different ways of describing the smell of jasmine, I can assure you. 
Everything seemed a bit predictable to me. From the way Lucy's relationship with old flame Keegan began and ended, the decisions she made, and ultimately the outcome of the book. I won't spoil it for you because I think it's supposed to be a 'twist'. 

The letters that Lucy finds in the windowseat are letters from a woman named Rose to her daughter Iris. Rose left her daughter in the care of her brother whilst she joined the suffragette movement. Rose was outcast by the rest of her family and so was unwelcome back home. She did however visit her daughter a few times, although Iris didn't know who she was. 

The rest of the story see's Lucy follow links and clues to find more letters from Rose to Iris. Along with this comes glass windows which are also linked in to Rose's story and coincidentally Lucy's old flame Keegan who is now a glass artist. 

Ultimately I found the book quite boring. It's a very mundane evaluation of it, but it's true. I will probably receive a verbal bashing for not being interested in reading about the suffragette movement, but I know what happened, how it happened, I just don't want to read a fictional story about it. Especially a story that started off with so much promise. Personally, a family scandal is not having a secret Great Aunt who was arrested during the suffragette period. There probably wasn't enough 'shock factor' for me, but there also wasn't enough to keep me interested. I didn't find the leading character, Lucy Jarratt, likeable either. Nobody likes their 'Mums new boyfriend' but when you're pushing 30, it's time to grow up a bit.

Despite all of this, I read the book through to the end. Like I said before, I wasn't surprised about the ending, it was obvious to me whilst reading the book. It didn't offer any of the mystery it has promised and I was constantly left feeling a bit bereaved. 

However, the way the book floated easily between past and present was very well written. If you like every scene to be painted for you, then Edwards did an exceptional job. 

Having read Kim Edwards previous book 'The Memory Keepers Daughter', I was very disappointed with 'The Lake of Dreams'. I would recommend it to possibly the older generation who like to read books where everyone is nice, friendly and gets along in that strange, unlikely way. Oh, and who like to read about the smell of flowers. 


Oh, and I'm just going to add this in here, it's not part of the review, it's more of a question to those who have read it. This part of the book was never actually explained and I'm confused. It says that Iris never receives the letters from Rose, but does not explain why. Were they intercepted? Because it also states that Rose never once stepped foot in the house where Iris was risen, so how did one of the letters and the piece of blanket end up there concealed in leaflets about womens rights for Lucy to find?
Can anyone shed some light on this?




Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. It is a personal review, all opinions and statements are my own.

Lumpy Frumpiness

Do you ever get that feeling where you look at yourself in the mirror and just see a lump?

Well that's how I feel right now. I wouldn't particularly call myself fat, but I'm chubby. I have bingo wing arms, a fat ass and an extra tyre around the waist. According to my BMI I'm  not overweight. (Well according to the BMI reading Boots gave me, I am overweight - I'm also only 4ft9in apparently) I may be short but I'm not that short.

Which brings me to my next point. When I tell people my weight (it's normal to tell people right?) I always get the same comments. "That's NOTHING!" "That's no weight at all!" "If you lose any more you'll be anorexic!" Okay, let me stop you right there. Maybe my weight isn't a lot to YOU, but please bare in mind I am only 5 foot tall. If you were 5ft9 and my weight, then yes you would be highly underweight. But for my height, it makes me chubby. So please, keep all comments to yourself.

Basically what I'm trying to say, is I'm going on a diet. Well I have started already.

I've downloaded the MyFitnessPal and Pedometer apps to my phone, I've cut out all the fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate and I'm making sure I walk as much as possible. I've been doing this now for about a week, but I only weighed myself for the first time yesterday so I've no clue if I've lost any weight yet. Doubtful to be honest, I haven't really done much exercise. I promised Ross's Mum I'd be back doing Zumba with her again but haven't actually made a session so far. Including tomorrows because my brother is coming round for a catch up and a cheeky bottle of wine *oops!*

I've dieted before and it's gone well. So long as my mind is set on losing weight, I can do it. I'm not so great at the exercise part, after a long day of looking after Princess I usually don't feel like jogging/running/dancing. Although I suppose chasing a toddler round all day is pretty good exercise in itself.
*Makes note to get her on the trampoline tomorrow*

I will keep you all updated of my weight loss (or gain, we'll see how lucky I am) but for now, just keep your fingers crossed for me, and any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mischievous Monday - Week Two

Once again I am taking part in Louise's Middle Mans Mischievous Monday linky! 

 

Last week saw Princess being her usual mischievous self. This week we saw even more antics.

Since Daddy has been off work, all routines have gone out of the window. You may have read about my mission to stop Princess napping, and how hard it was for us to get into a suitable routine. Well now, there's no chance of that happening. She has been falling to sleep here, there and everywhere for the past week, which has resulted in some very late nights. Most nights she has seen us up until 1am, running around, laughing and squealing. It's very hard to be annoyed with her, especially since we're the ones who let her sleep, but sometimes I need an early night! Her cheeky smile makes it all okay though. Sometimes...



The warm weather this past week has also seen Princess form a new found love of bubbles! Yes that's right. The simple concoction of water and washing up liquid has kept her occupied for hours. Okay, that's a lie. They've kept her occupied for a matter of minutes until she decides that she wants to have a go herself. Then when she can't blow the bubbles, she gets frustrated and proceeds to tip the bubble mixture all over the floor. Most recently, on the carpet of her Grandads shop. Oops!
(There was picture evidence of this but the bloody picture won't work!)

Whilst spending time at her Grandads shop, Princess has also enjoyed the pleasure of tripping people up. Every now and then she would dart out of the shop door and run across the path over to the barriers. It didn't matter who was coming or how fast they were walking, she would zip across that path like her life depended on it. She would then run back, dodging and ducking the oncoming pedestrian traffic. It was like her own little game of Chicken.

Notice said bubbles armed in hand!


This brings us to todays most recent bout of mischief. Well, I wouldn't really say mischief, but it was most definitely the worlds longest tantrum. She spotted a Peppa Pig bubblebath in Boots earlier on today and insisted she wanted it. I told her no because for one, we didn't need any bubblebath and two, it was £6!! So we left the shop, cries of "my Peppa!!" filling the ears of everyone within a mile radius. 
Usually her tantrums end within a manner of minutes, but not this one. Oh no. This tantrum lasted well over an hour. An entire hour of constant crying, screaming, heaving and throwing herself on the floor. Twenty minutes in and she was sweating like a pig. I managed to ignore most of it, but eventually it really was funny. She was still screeching about "My Peppa!!" and nothing would console her. Not even a teddy Peppa Pig, or Peppa Pig on the tv.
Over an hour later she stopped. The silence was bliss. This particular tantrum was so epic, it will forever be known as 'Peppa-Gate'.


Girl's obsessed. Check out the blanket!




So that finishes off this weeks Mischievous Monday! I look forward to reading everyone elses posts.

Middle Mans Mischievous Monday is open for all to join in and take part. If you have a mischievous toddler or like me, a bit of a diva, then pop on over to Louise at A Strong Coffee and link up your post.

I don't think I could have endorsed Peppa Pig much more if I tried. That was not intentional...

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Mischievous Monday

 


Princess is no stranger when it comes to mischief, in fact trouble could be her middle name. So when I saw that Louise over at A Strong Coffee had started a linky dedicted to her mischievous middle man, I knew this would be a fantastic one for us to join in on.

Firstly I would like to apologise for lack of picture evidence of Madams mischief, but these past couple of days have been busy like you wouldn't believe. Out of the blue, Ross and I have decided to decorate. Now when it's just the two of us with a toddler who if I'm being honest, is a tad adventurous, things start to get messy.

For example, we now have no spare paint brushes. This is because Princess decided she wanted to dip each and every one into the tin of paint and paint her bed frame. Maybe she wanted her bed to match the colour of the walls, I don't know? But either way, she made one hell of a mess with it.

Maybe I should do a list of all the mischief she has managed to get herself into over the past week or so? I probably shouldn't, I'm guessing you all have a life to get back to! I'll give you a few...


Saturday night, I was enjoying a lovely glass of wine - or "Mummy juice". It's not very often I get to have a drink, I'm usually too tired and forget. But that night I was enjoying it. Princess was still awake because *ahem* Daddy had let her have a nap in the day time (5pm!!) so come 11pm, she was still hyper and running around - obviously causing mischief. All of a sudden, the glass is nearly knocked out of my hand. I look down and Princess has her entire hand shoved into my wine glass. She then proceeded to take it out and shove her whole fist into her mouth. When she'd finally sucked every last ounce of wine from her fingers, she turned to me, smiled and said "Mmmm Mummy!"
I think I'll wait until she's in bed before cracking a bottle open in future!

The other day whilst on the bus, Princess sadly found the button to ring the bell. Usually she can't reach it, but on this occassion, she could. This meant that every couple of minutes when I'd finally let my guard down, I'd hear the bell ping and have to apologise to the bus driver. It only made the situation worse when she'd press the bell just before we got to a stop making the driver slam his brakes on in a hurry. Needless to say I think him and all the passengers were happy when we finally got off. In fact, I have evidence of this mischievous behaviour!


I'm looking forward to reading up on everyone elses Mischievous Mondays, I'm sure they were all as eventful as ours. If you fancy joining in, just head on over to A Strong Coffee and link up your posts.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Bittersweet

This week has been sort of bittersweet for me. 

Monday started out as any other day. It was pretty boring, we didn't do much and spent most of the day indoors due to the miserable weather. Tuesday was near enough the same, but I was put in an instant bad mood.

You see, Princess has taken to screeching my name at the top of her lungs every morning. For no apparent reason. After the 100th "Mummyyyyyyyy!!!" it really starts to grate on you. Nothing will placate her apart from a bottle of juice and I refuse to give it to her first thing in the morning. She has her bottle of juice with breakfast. 

Anyway, instant bad mood for me. On top of that, a friend I had been really looking forward to seeing cancelled our plans. This added to my bad mood because I was in desperate need to get out of the house. It also annoyed me because it wasn't the first time she had cancelled. I have now decided to give up. After four cancelled lunch dates I think the message is pretty clear.
So needless to say, I felt like rubbish on Tuesday. To add to that, Princess decided that it was the perfect time to misbehave. Lets just say I am really surprised our kitten is still alive. My stress level then rose when it suddenly dawned on me, I can't even punish my own child.

Nobody wants to punish their child, we'd all rather believe that our children are perfect and never need to be told off, but we all know that's not true. I can't very well ignore Princess body slamming a kitten against the floor, especially when it's crying in pain. However it turns out, nothing I say or do bothers her. I can't tell her off, I can't use the naughty step or time out, I can't take her favourite toys away, because she's not phased by it. She'll just carry on doing exactly what she was doing the moment before. 
It probably stressed me out much more than it should, but I was honestly worried for the kittens safety by this point. She seems to have taken a huge dislike to the poor thing. And it's not just the fact that Princess can't be punished, because she can, it's because I'm the only one that she doesn't listen to and I don't understand it at all. It's not as if I let her get away with everything, because I don't. I never placate her or give in to her tantrums, and if she's naughty I'll let her know, which is why I don't get it, and why I was getting frustrated. Ross only has to give her a look and she'll burst into tears. Same with pretty much everyone else. Apparently I'm just not scary enough.

When I finally thought the day was over, I'd endured a scream-filled bath time, got Princess into her pyjamas and was ready to sit down and attempt to wind down when I got some horrible news. Sadly, my Great Aunty Irene had passed away. It was a surprise to us all. Everyone knew she was ill, she had only been discharged from hospital a few weeks ago due to a chest infection, but the news that she had passed was a shock. Irene was my Grandma's younger sister and they had been very close. At that point I was just wanted to be there for everyone else.

Safe to say, I was glad when that horrendous day was over.

Wednesday bought much better times. I headed off to Lark in the Park down at West Bridgford with my Mum and an old family friend. Princess was given free reign and spent the entire time running around and finding new things to do. We had one or two tantrums, mainly when I wouldn't let her climb up on to a moving ride, but if that makes me a bad Mum so be it! Overall it was a really nice day. We met Peppa Pig and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Princess wasn't impressed though and clung to me for dear life. Definitely won't be forking out for Disneyland any time soon. Peppa Pig at least got a wave goodbye though. 


My week that was


Thursday was also a boring day, I spent the day inside with Princess cleaning and playing. She behaved much better which I was thankful for. 

Finally some good news. Ross has landed himself a new job! He can finally get out of that hell-hole of a school. A new cafe has opened on our highstreet and they were in need of a Chef. Enter Ross! At the moment there's still a bit to work out, such as what days he will be working and what hours, so at the moment he's still sort of in limbo. However, it's a perfect job for him and he already seems much happier. The people that own it our Turkish and so lovely. Everytime I go in I land myself and Princess a free coffee/milkshake. Win-win I think. Fingers crossed everything works out this time and we won't be once again let down by the instability of a job.


Overall that was my week. Like I say, bittersweet, good news entwined with the bad. Today I am being visited by my Mum and Brother whom I haven't seen in sooo long, so I'm really looking forward to them arriving. If the sunshine holds out then we'll be heading to the park - after I've been and fetched a free smoothie from the new cafe! The weekend will probably be spent down the Riverside with Princess for the Riverside Festival. It comes once a year and is probably my all-time favourite fair. I just love it. 

Here's hoping that things can only get better. I hope everyone elses's weeks were better than mine!