Our ‘Date Nights’

Over the past few years what I consider to be ‘date nights’ have been fairly few and far between. I understand that this is somewhat inevitable once you have kids but it does grate on me. Then the other week I realised that that wasn’t a fair outlook on the time Hubby and I spend together. We actually spend quite a lot of quality time together and although we may not get to go out for dinner once a month as we would like to that doesn’t mean we don’t have ‘date nights’. So since September is our special month I though it was a good time to reevaluate what I consider to be some of our dates both out of the house, having utilised a babysitting token with the ‘in laws’, and stay at home dates. Plus I’ve thrown in some ideas that we haven’t done yet but we have discussed in the past.

Baby-sitter dates:  

  • .Dinner at a restaurant with cocktails pre or post romantic meal. Candles are a bonus. I’m currently a huge fan of Japanese cuisine.
  • G.o karting. Not the most romantic of dates but loads of fun. Plus a bit of ‘healthy’ competition.
  • Pub quiz. I struggle with this as a date but I love a pub quiz and since kids we just don’t get to do them. We went to one a couple of weeks ago and it was really good fun.
  • A night in a hotel, maybe even a really swanky one! My fav! I love a good hotel, I’ve stayed in quite a few over the last few years so now I think I’m a connoisseur (I am not!)
  • A night time haunted tour. I like the idea of this but in reality I don’t think I would sleep for a week afterwards.
  • A museum or art gallery trip. I’m not sure Hubby would go for this one. Maybe the Imperial War Museum, or Churchills War Rooms could persuade him.
  • We’re going to the zoo zoo zoo. I fecking love the zoo!!!!
  • Boating on the river. Very wind in the willows. Probably not in reality.
  • Day at a Theme Park or one of their special fright nights over hallowe’en.
  • A picnic. Very romantic! Just beware when you set up the picnic blanket and don’t almost put it on top of the dog shit left by an irresponsible owner. I nearly did this the other week…. It would likely ruin the mood.
  • Visit a local farmers/craft market.
  • Spa day. Maybe even enjoy a couples massage in the interest of spending time together. I like this idea in theory but I’m 99% certain I’d be bored after an hour.
  • Cinema trip. The end of December through January is ‘Oscar Season’ which is when a vast majority of the best films are released in the cinema. This is an added bonus as I would rather be in a cinema in the winter months than the summer ones.

Staying-in Dates:

  • A takeaway with a bottle of nice wine. I’m a wine snob and not hugely proud of it…. So it has to be nice wine!
  • Turn the TV off and play a game. We enjoy scrabble or a few card games. Recently we’ve even managed to calm some of the competitiveness.
  • Light some candles, put some cushions on the floor and talk, maybe plan the next holiday. Again wine and a takeaway helps.
  • Make a home cooked meal together. Add dessert. Add wine. Again… Good wine only please. On these evenings I go out and buy an expensive cut of beef, Hubby cooks it whilst I sort the trimmings.
  • Movie night. We don’t get to go the cinema these days. Fortunately this isn’t really a problem anymore as most films get released fairly quickly from cinema. We have Apple TV so I use my iTunes to rent a movie at home. Plus a bag of microwave butterkist popcorn 😋😋😋😋😋.

I’m sure there are other ideas I have missed.

I’m open to further suggestions……?

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
This Mum's Life

Time to ‘Wife’ a bit more

This month Hubby and I will have been married for five years. It’s not that long in the general scheme of planning to be together for the rest of our lives, but I can’t believe it’s already been five years. This year our anniversary lands on a Saturday. Bonus! This of course means we are going out. Out out parent style! Dinner and cocktails before heading home to relieve the baby sitters (brother and sister in law) and collapsing in a tired, makeup smeared heap. I can not wait! I may even buy a new dress for the occasion.

As Hubby has written we have done a lot in five years, and two of those huge things take up so much of our time and mental capacity. I wouldn’t change Pinky and Perky for the world but I have decided that since September is our month, I am going to concentrate on husband and wife stuff. I parent daily but I’m not sure I can honestly say I ‘wife’ daily.

I don’t think our marriage needs ‘spicing up’, we have a really good relationship, we really really work. We talk about everything, no subject is off limits. As cliché as it sounds we laugh daily. No one can make me laugh like Hubby. If one of us needs a quiet sulky evening we have it, if we need a cuddle the other simply knows. I want this to last. Forever.

Since becoming parents our stuff has taken a backseat. Of course it has, it has to. We don’t go out as often as we did because two more humans need feeding and clothing. Speaking of which our wardrobes could really do with updating. We had originally said that we would try and have a date night once a month after Pinky was born and I was comfortable leaving her for a couple of hours. This hasn’t happened, life got in the way. That’s not to say we don’t ever have date nights because we do. However, what has generally happened in the past is we don’t go out for a few months at a time, so when we do, we go out out. All out out. We organise a sleepover at the grandparents for the girls and we go up to London for the night. ‘The Big Smoke’ isn’t far on a train (just ridiculously expensive) but we don’t go up as often as we would like as we love the city. To make the most of it we will head up in the day and do a spot of retail therapy. Solely my therapy I suspect but bless Hubby he tags along with minimal complaint, mostly just unsubtly asking if there is anywhere to get a drink in the department store in which find ourselves. Then it’s dinner and a hotel stay before heading back home on the Sunday morning. This is expensive. I love this date and would do it more regularly if we could but until our lottery numbers come in it will have to be a very occasional treat. Having said that just because we are parents doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a little luxury ourselves every now and again. Many people enjoy a little spa weekend and there are many good offers out there to take advantage of. I love a good back massage but to be honest a spa weekend really isn’t our style. We would be bored by lunch.

So this month I’m going to concentrate on marriage stuff. I am going to think about Date night ideas, ways of lowering my own expectations and accepting there are other ways of having a date that doesn’t necessarily involve leaving the house or needing to organise baby sitters. It doesn’t need to involve an over priced, white table cloth adorned restaurant that serves lobster (not actually something we have ever ordered but it’s nice to know we could). I want to concentrate on the smaller things and appreciate them.

I am also in the market for a suitable anniversary present, wood for the fifth year. All ideas on a postcard please.

This Mum's Life
Cuddle Fairy
Dear Bear and Beany

This went quickly – Daddy

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We are approaching our 5th wedding anniversary. We have been busy since we said ‘I do’, houses, children, work… the list goes on. I was sat in my office last week and just happened to catch a glance of the picture of Special One on my desk. I smile, that smile that only she can bring to me. I’m guilty of not stopping and thinking as much as I should,  I started to reflect on some key moments in our life.

In 2008, I stood next to you whilst I dreamt about what might be… Your smile, your laugh, your company, what could I say or do for you to give me a chance to spend some time with you.

In 2009, I stood next to you as we walked into our first flat together.

In 2011, I stood next to you while I put a ring on your finger, and you put one on mine. Smiling in amazement, shaking in anticipation, heart pounding through my chest because I knew my dream had come true…

In 2013,  I stood next to you waiting to hold our first child. Nervous, inexperienced, I had no idea how to be a Daddy….

In 2015, I stood next to you waiting to hold our second child. Nervous, worried, I had made up being a Daddy and now to 2 of them…

In 2016, I stand next to you knowing the only reason I can stand next to you, is because you hold me up.

I watch in pride as you do your thing: wipe tears, settle sister arguments, smile when world war 3 is kicking off, feed us, care for us, look after us, cuddle us, pick us up when we are down, love us.

Happy Anniversary Special One, I love you!

 

Packing List

As mentioned in a previous post here is the personal packing list. This will be the third time we have been on holiday with children and the second time with two of them. The last time was to a resort but this time is self catering so I do plan to buy some nappies and swimming nappies out there, perhaps some wet wipes mostly as these take up so much space with the suitcases, especially two weeks worth.  We also have a washing machine in both the villas (first week is just us four and the second week Hubbys family are joining us and they have hired a large Villa for all of us) so I do plan on doing a little washing at some point. No I can’t really be bothered but I know it is the sensible thing to do. I am also very lucky with the girls as neither of them have sensitive skin so I am not worried about using new washing powder on their clothes. If this is a concern then do pack a few more outfits. To ensure I don’t forget anything I write an itemised list on my phone and I tick each item as I pack it, that way I know how much I still need to do, it also means I can add to the list if I forget something. I have put this list at the end of this post more as an insight into the crazy level of list making I go to.

  • Hats x1 each no one really needs more than one hat, just chose wisely.
  • Swimming Costumes I could save some room here as realistically we all only need 1 each but we do take 2/3 each. My reason for this is because of how we spend our days on holiday. We spend the morning at the pool, then go get lunch and get Perky to nap in her pushchair (hopefully Pinky won’t need a nap as we aren’t taking the double stroller this time). Then we return to the pool. None of us like putting damp swim suits on so we have a spare.
  • Beach Towels Some resorts provide these but sadly self catering doesn’t! So one each of these. I’m hoping there are at least bathroom towels in the villas.
  • Buggy Sunshade There are various ones on the market so its easy to find one you like within your price range. Most come with a 95% UV block. We have one that changes depending on how you tie it to the buggy and as it is only attached near the hood it allows really good air flow around Perky whilst she is sat or sleeping in the buggy.
  • Outfits x5 each This should be plenty as I will do some washing, gives me four days before I have to think about it then do four days worth on the fifth ready to start again. Make sense? It does in my head but thats not saying much. We don’t like to walk around in beachwear when not actually near water and never go to a restaurant in a bikini even if they don’t object (each to their own but its not for me!) so we do tend to get dressed into shorts, tops or dresses to go and eat. And although self catering, I don’t plan on doing much cooking besides conjuring up a bowl of cereal or a ham sandwich so we will be going out. In a large resort I take 1 outfit per day for the girls if I don’t have any means to wash clothes. It may seem excessive but that is usually only to people who don’t have kids or people who have these freakishly tidy eating children you occasionally hear rumour about….. I take less outfits for myself and Hubby as logically we make less mess eating (this is not true 60% of the time, is it Hubby?)
  • Flipflops x1 pair each Before now I have always taken 3 or 4 pairs, outrageous I know! But all of us only ever wear 1 pair of shoes. Both Hubby and I will travel in our Toms or Trainers, the girls will have their Doodles. So really I only need to pack 1 pair of chosen summer shoes per person. Worst case if a pair of flip flops break I will go and buy some more super cheap ones I can throw away after the holiday.
  • Sun cream Ok I go a little crazy here. I know you can get it abroad but it’s one of those crazy irrational mummy brain things for me that I don’t trust anything that I haven’t bought in Boots or Sainsburys. So I pack s**t tonnes of the stuff for all of us. I do let the girls get a little dose of vitamin D but beyond that that stuff gets lathered on and on and on.
  • Nappies I will take about four days worth with us this time of both swimming and normal nappies and I will buy some more in Menorca. We ran out on holiday last year and paid extortionate amounts to get more within the resort. This time Spanish supermarkets are on hand.
  • Toiletries This is where most of our space gets used up. Hubby and I will share a shower gel so I chose a relatively non fragrant one. The girls need a moisturising bath cream, shampoo and conditioner (they have as much hair as I do, refer back to point 2!) plus moisturiser. To save overall space Oilatum do a large bottle that should last two weeks and is so good for both adults and children. Our GP recommends it as a first line defence against eczema and now we always have it in the house. I don’t really need my usual cream so sharing this with the girls is a great way to save space and weight in the luggage. Alternatively a large tub of E45 cream would work. I don’t use aftersun, it is just moisturiser with a higher price tag….
  • Comforters I don’t know anyone that would forget these. The vital object in a childs life that can help make every situation or injury seem a little less scary. Mr Rabbit and Muzzie come everywhere with us. Literally f****ng everywhere! There is only 1 Mr Rabbit for Pinky as no other identical toy will suffice and this causes many panicked moments where we think we may have lost him. As such when Perky started showing signs of attachment to the Muzzie (Muslin cloth with a dogs head on it) we bought numerous identical ones and give her a clean one at least once a week. So much so, that now, if her current one gets a little smelly she goes to her wardrobe where they are kept and she gets a clean one out. So for her one will be a carry on item and the others will be in the suitcase. Pinky will be allowed 1 other cuddly toy that will be packed.
  • Chargers No point in taking technology with you if you cant use it. This includes camera chargers, Kindle and phone if you need it. Which we do. We are a fairly tech heavy family but that is what happens when you both enjoy good new technologies. (I don’t include these in my itemised list as it is very much Hubbys remit).
  • Baby Monitor There is an argument that we could probably live without this for two weeks. We have a camera monitor that runs of its own signal so you don’t even need Wi-Fi. Since the girls don’t usually share a room I would like to be able to keep and eye on them and make sure they are behaving themselves.
  • Calpol This stuff is vital some days at home so I would be very nervous if we forgot this.

Hand Luggage:

  • Entertainment iPads are the greatest invention ever if only for flying with children. We download age appropriate games, some films or cartoons and a drawing app. We take two iPads so the girls can have one each so there are no arguments or tantrums over what to watch or play next. We will also take a small colouring book for each of them and a few crayons. I used pack all sorts of toys and books in the suitcase to make sure they stayed entertained at all times and they just don’t get played with.  The wonderful thing about holidays is that because you don’t have a household to run or a job to go to the fun never really stops, toys are no longer a requirement for a small window of time, and if for some reason there are a spare 10 minutes that the children need to be occupied the iPads can come back out. For us toys are a ‘Just in case’ item and therefore expendable.
  • Passports 
  • Foreign Currency 
  • E111 cards If you don’t have them then get them. You can fill out a form online and then you will be sent the cards as proof of your entitlement to medical treatment as an European Citizen. This does not replace Travel Insurance but it means you may not have to make an insurance claim. Each country calls back medical cost from each patients home country. By having the card it simply makes any possible doctors trip abroad slightly less stressful.
  • Credit Card We keep this and the cash separate due to my paranoia. That way if one is stolen we should still be able to eat with the other for a couple of days.
  • Empty beakers Obviously you can’t take them through security full.
  • Snacks We will buy these and drinks to fill up the beakers at the airport. I suspect the only way we will get Perky to sit still for the 2 hour flight is to feed her for most of it!

We have a ‘Travel Wallet’ that we put everything in. It is just a clear A5 sized plastic zip pocket available in any stationary shop.

Lastly a Buggy. This year will be the first time we take a single one and to be honest I think we are taking a risk. Our double was super cheap and you can tell. Its so difficult to push with both the girls in it and if Pinky falls asleep her feet usually drop to the floor and drag. So we have made the decision to take our single one. This year only we will be taking the buggy board with us also but mostly because if we don’t one of us will likely end up carrying one child most of the time, simple sods law really. Next year the board won’t be coming. I’m hoping to have saved so much space in the cases by not packing non essential items that it won’t matter.

Obviously some sort of toddler transport when they can barely walk goes without saying but I have put it on here because on our first family holiday I saw a woman try to take her beautiful Stokke travel system with her.  Now obviously what pushchair you take with you is absolutely your choice. Helpfully the airlines will take it off you as you board and take it down to the luggage hold. With a single buggy, or a double you fold it up and give it to the airport staff. If you get it back at the other end and it has a couple of bumps or scrapes on it you are unlikely to notice. This poor woman had to take apart the travel system and then wrap it all up in numerous luggage ties. She obviously loved this thing, it was so clean and pristine (mine are always covered in mud… we don’t even really live in the countryside). Then she had to hand it over to airport staff and trust they wouldn’t throw it about, not just here but at the destination airport also. I didn’t see it when we arrived but I hope for her sake it treated with respect. Just get a buggy, they are lighter, smaller and even if you don’t use it daily at home it will be invaluable.  My logic is if I wouldn’t want to have to replace something then I probably don’t want to put it in the hold of an aeroplane for two weeks abroad.

I love packing to go away. It’s one of the best bits. I just wish I could enjoy doing it to come home.

Happy Packing X

Packing List

Toiletries 

✅E45

✅Mummy Shampoo & Conditioner

✅Girls Shampoo & Conditioner

✅Shower Gel

✅Bath Cream

✅Bio Oil

✅Face wipes

✅Flannels

✅Frizz ease serum

✅Nappies x 12-16

✅Swim Nappies x 4

✅Wipes x 6

✅Muslins X 10

✅Deodorant

✅Toothbrushes

✅Toothpastes

✅Nail clippers

✅Nail file

✅Tweezers

✅Contact lenses

✅Contact lense solution

✅Glasses

✅Make up bag

✅Suncream

✅Hair dryer

✅Hair brushes

✅Comb

✅Hair bands

✅Hair clips

✅Nail polish

✅Polish remover

✅Cotton pads

✅Cotton buds

✅Razor

✅Razor blades

✅Calpol

✅Nurofen

✅Paracetamol

✅Ibuprofen

✅Antibiotics

✅Hay fever tablets

✅Fathers day present & Card

✅Carrier bag

✅Buggy sunshade

✅Hair wax

Pinky

✅Dresses x 6

✅Knickers x 12

✅Socks x

✅PJ’s x 6

✅Flip Flops

✅Jelly shoes

✅Hats x 1

Swimming bag

✅Swimming costume x 3

✅Beach towel

✅Floats

Perky

✅Dresses x 4

✅Tops x 3

✅Shorts x 3

✅Playsuit (blue with stars)

✅Hats x 1

✅PJ’s x 6

✅Muzzies

Swimming bag

✅Swimming costume x 2

✅Beach towel

✅Floats

Mummy

✅Shorts x 3

✅Dungarees x 1

✅T-Shirts x 2

✅Maxi dress x 1

✅ Jumpsuit X 1

✅Knickers x 10

✅Flip Flops

✅Sandels

✅Hat x 1

✅PJ’s

Swimming bag 

✅Bikini x 4

✅Beach coverup

Daddy

✅Tops x 6

✅Shorts x 2

✅Pants x 8

✅Flip Flops x 2

✅Black cap

Swimming bag

✅Swimming trunks

✅Swimming shorts x 2

Extras

✅Buggy Board & Seat

✅Buggy Hooks

✅Elephant Buggy Tidy

✅Chargers: iPhones, iPads, Kindle

✅Monitor Screen & Camera

Hand Luggage:

Mummy & Daddy

✅Travel Wallet

✅Changing Purse

✅Empty beakers

✅Snack Pot

✅iPad

✅Camera

Pinky’s Trunki

Mr Rabbit

✅Cuddly toys x 3

✅iPad

✅Books x 4

✅Colouring book

✅Pencil case

Travel Clothes

Pinky 

Dress

Cardigan

Socks

Doodles

Perky

Top

Leggings

Cardigan

Socks

Doodles

Mummy

Dungarees

Vest Top

Jumper

Toms

Daddy

Shorts

T-shirt

Trainers

Socks

A Break Away

After a few weeks of general nervous and fractious energy caused by both Hubby and myself (bloody work related as normal) a last minute decision to have a few days away just the four of us turned out to be more vital than I thought.  The holiday doesn’t seem like much on paper. It was only a Centre Parcs, not too long of a journey from home. At first I really couldn’t be bothered with the hassle for four days away but I knew it was important to Hubby so I went with it. And I am so glad I did. We hired a couple of bikes and Hubby pulled the girls along in a trailer, which they both loved. So did we! We completely fell in love with cycling again, something I haven’t done for approximately 12 years. Although after 4 days of hills and miles after miles of cycling both our legs and bums are now glad the holiday is finished!

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We went swimming every morning, by the third day Pinky even plucked up the courage to go down the flumes on our laps. She loved it so much that was all she wanted to do after that.

“Again. Again.”

In the afternoons we would go for a cycle whilst the girls napped in the trailer, then to the outdoor play area, find some ice cream….. the weather was amazing for the first time this year. Two of the afternoons the girls went to the kids club so Hubby and I could have some child free time.  We had grand plans of going to the spa, however on reflection we cancelled our appointments and decided instead to go a prat around in the swimming pool.  We haven’t fooled around like that together since I fell pregnant with Pinky.  We went round the water rapids again and again like we were in our teens! Plus the slides. I laughed so much I’m sure I pulled a stomach muscle.

Throughout our break away we all relaxed. It made me realise how important it is to remember to take time out every now and again.

Pinky started to come out of her shell and grow in confidence.  I have often worried at how timid she can be and in need of extra reassurance compared with her peers of the same age (thus breaking my own number one rule to never compare her against anyone else). But by the time we came home she was as outgoing and playful as most other three year olds. Not once did I hear her say ‘I can’t do that.’ Instead she would respond ‘Ok! That’s a good idea.’ if we suggested an activity.

Perky got more and more exhausted attempting (and failing) to keep up with her older sister. The plus side to that is the extra cuddles we both got.

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The weekend has also been really warm and sunny so we all helped sort out the garden ready for the summer.  Planting the pots, mowing the lawn, getting the garden toys out and the obligatory first BBQ of the year.

This week of sunshine and family has regenerated us all. We all seem to have more energy, we have been sleeping better, despite the heat and we are all having fun. I get a small amount of respite as the girls don’t necessarily come to me immediately to have their needs met. They now appreciate that actually Daddy is able to strap them into the car, get them a drink reach, the toy that just rolled under the sofa.

Of course the working week has started again and by Friday Daddy’s capabilities will be long forgotten and I will again be expected to be there for every little whim. I love how much they need me, and I don’t doubt that I will miss these days when they are grown and fled the nest, but every now and again it is refreshing to not be needed. At least not all day.

 

Let’s talk about it…?

I have recently enrolled Pinky onto a Saturday morning ballet class. She is still a little nervous so I am having to stay with her rather than wait outside with all the other mums and dads. This also means that I can’t realistically have Perky with me either. This isn’t a problem as Hubby is about.  This week he came with us and said he would wait outside with Perky and then we could all head into town together afterwards for coffee and cake.  As silly as it sounds this was a treat for me, I’m so used to doing all the girls things on my own just having some support there (albeit on the other side of a door and unseen) really helped.

Unfortunately due to some of the other mums there I doubt very much he will be coming back.  All he said was that they are very ‘Cliquey’ and spent the whole time bitching about their husbands.  Maybe I’m sadly immune to this now as I definitely notice it less and less but I know what he is taking about. It’s the group of mums we all think we want to fit in with but they will do their best to ignore everyone because getting to know someone new is too much effort! I am over this now and would hate to think I was part of a ‘Clique’. Surely we should all be there to help each other? A simple nod in another parents direction that says ‘Hi’ or ‘We’ve all been there, you’re doing great’ rather than a venomous look of ‘who are you? We haven’t seen you here before.’ or as Hubby got the ‘oh a man pretending to care… shame’ look.

This is water of a ducks back for me now, you encounter it all to bloody often as a mum.

But the thing that really got to me was the Husband bashing. Now don’t get me wrong, no marriage is perfect. We get on each others nerves, wind each other up and do things we know full well will piss the other off. We bicker with each other and disagree often, but above it all we are a partnership and parents.  We have each made our own sacrifices and compromises for the family we have. Decisions are made together.

Of course I have on occasion moaned about something Hubby may have done to my closest friend, but never in public and I usually know I’m just being over sensitive because the times there really is a problem I talk to Hubby about it and not an outsider.

Now my point isn’t that we should never discuss these things in public, of course a good old gossip with friends does wonders for the soul, and better out than in as they say. Unfortunately Hubby got the impression this was all the women ever spoke about and was mortified at the prospect that that could be me, if not now maybe in the future. There was discussion about ‘The Husband’ being out at work all week and then playing golf on the Saturday morning. Annoying I know, I think I’d be a little pissed at that too, who wouldn’t want a little more involvement with the kids, but then she announced she was off to the hairdressers (a very expensive chain) for 4 hours later to get her hair done whilst he had the Kids….. moaning leverage lost I feel.  There is the other side to this which we didn’t hear. I did point out to Hubby that he simply isn’t familiar with partner bashing from the Wives perspective, he usually only hears the mans side. I don’t believe for one moment that only one partner can speak so degradingly about the other without them both doing it.

But are really at a point in society where it is becoming normal to be unhappily married? As we rush around with work and children how much time do we set aside to simply talk to each other? Everyone highlights ‘quality time’ referring to some form of date night, dinner, movie etc…. the apparent only time that sex is a ‘guarantee’ for some couples. Personally I don’t believe sex should ever be considered a guarantee. But what about just talking? Holding a normal conversation that couples presumably did before children? It has taken me a long time to get Hubby to discuss his working day with me. I understand he finds it boring, but to me its a window to the outside world I don’t get now I no longer work. The same goes for me, I find relaying what the girls have done for the millionth time that week fairly tedious but its the only way he knows, he isn’t lucky enough to spend the time with them I get. Now we both go through our own tedious motions which pleases the other equally and then we move onto other conversations. Household matters to politics, depending on what has occurred during the day and the level of tiredness between us. The important thing for us is it doesn’t matter what the topic is so long as we talk, a lot. It helps avoid bigger arguments in the long run and helps us feel closer. We fell in love and got married because we find each other interesting (among other things) so why should that change now we have children?

I hope in the future I do not find myself sat with a group of friends on a Saturday morning bad mouthing Hubby. I hope I can continue to see things from his perspective as well as mine and see that his need for a break is as great as mine, be it golf or a night down the pub.  To appreciate that maybe I am not the only one in need of a lay in at the weekend after his week of getting up and out to the office before 7am, whilst I get up and get the girls sorted.

I think most of us try to do the best for our families and for each family what is best will vary. Thats ok. But lets show some respect for all the dads out there being dragged to Saturday ballet classes to support their wives and children and all the mums that are pulling their hair out dealing with the fifth tantrum since 6.30am. I think it is time to stop moaning and to reclaim our happiness.  Is talking about it the key?

My 30th birthday weekend

The Birthday Weekend exceeded all expectations. Hubby did well on an epic scale!

A nice relaxed morning of getting the girls ready and droppig them off at their Grandparents for the night, then straight to the train station and up to Waterloo.  We had lunch at Wagamamas ont he Southbank.  I enjoy Wagas even more now as we rarely get to go. As child friendly as they are the girls would generally prefer pasta or burgers.  From there we got in a taxi and headed to Claridges! Claridges! Seriously! What an amazing surprise. Hubby and I like to go up to London every now and again if we can. We try and stay up there in a hotel, often booked via Hotwire to have a surprise within my obsessive organisation. Every time we go up we somehow find ourselves walking past Claridges. It’s not exactly on the main strip but it happens overtime, and overtime we both comment on how much we would like to stay there one day. So for my 30th i guess it was fitting. Thank you Hubby what a fabulous choice.

We received the warmest of welcomes from every single staff member we came into contact with. At check-in they had upgraded our room to a one bedroom suite which was absolutely divine. In the main bar we were given a welcome drink of Champagne with some cheese straws and nuts. After lunch I was quite full but the cheese straws just melted int he mouth so i couldn’t stop myself from eating most of them (twice as we went back for a drink after shopping). I had booked Hubby in for a wet shave in the afternoon. He loves them but never thinks to organise it before we go to London so this time I though I would. He came out looking like a different person. The shave was so smooth and they even did his hair for him making it look so thick and full.

From there we went to Selfridges. One of my favourite places. I hit the MAC counter (I have had this obsession for some time now). Then off to pick my birthday present. I had asked for shoes so instead of buying some for me and risking getting the wrong size as they all seem to fit slightly differently.  I chose a pair of Sophia Websters Evangeline Sandles. I loved these the moment i first saw them weeks ago on Instagram. I occasionally have dreams about shoes, shoes that don’t exist or at least that I have never seen before. These are similar to ones I’ve dreamt about so I had to own them at some point in my lifetime. I already have a wedding and a race day at Ascot I plan to wear them to.

Back in the room the staff had left a little cake with a candle and a birthday card. It was such a lovely touch. I never got to eat the cake…. I was so full I kept forgetting about it.

For dinner we ate at the Foyer restaurant at Claridges followed by a cocktail in the bar. The food and drink was amazing. I have a huge sweet tooth so the fig carpaccio with white chocolate mousse was a true highlight.

To top it all off it snowed. Ok so only a light fluttering in London but there was a little on the ground at home. It hasn’t snowed on my actual birthday since the day I was born.

In the morning we had breakfast in our room before checking out. Breakfast was as special as everything else had been. Any where I go I test out the pancakes and at Claridges they did not disappoint.

It was back to reality with a bump as we arrived home to two little girls wanting all our attention.

The break was greatly needed and it will go down as the best birthday ever. I was throughly spoilt and enjoyed every moment. Now to finish planning the joint party I am having for my 30th and Perkys 1stIMG_1785IMG_1793IMG_1805

Holy Crap I turn 30 next week! 

I turn 30 next weekend. I’m not really sure where the last year has gone let alone 30 of them! 
I’m OK with it though. Hubby really struggled turning 30 a few months ago, he’s not sure why but he found it very hard. Maybe the mourning of a lost youth? I am more optimistic about turning 30 as I have achieved so much in my 20’s (maybe I will start to slow things down). I trained and qualified as a nurse. I met and married Hubby. I had two children and thus completed my family. The next decade for me will dedicated to focusing on my family. Spending more quality time with Hubby as he has mostly played second fiddle to other things without complaint. The uni work, the long hours of nursing, the extra hours I did to pay for uni. Then the girls. I will see them grow up and start school, they will even have moved on to secondary school by the time I turn 40 (but less about that, 40 I am not excited about).
It’s exciting for me, and it’s the first birthday in a long time I’ve been excited about. Being a January baby no one has ever been that keen on joining my celebrations. 
‘Sorry, I just have no money left after Christmas.’ 
‘Sorry to be a kill joy but I’m detoxing in January.’ 
It’s got to the point where I don’t do anything for my birthday. Hubby and I will go for dinner and we will invite a close friend and partner to join just so I don’t feel completely rejected or miserable, let’s face it no one really likes turning a year older past about 25. 
To be clear I don’t organise huge extravagant things for my birthday (other than the obvious 21st), the last thing was dinner at pizza express which I organised before December so everyone had advanced warning. Even then some people made a fuss about the money. I do understand, we don’t have a money tree either, that’s why I picked that particular pizza restaurant. I don’t even like it! That was 4 years ago now. So this year is going to be different! 
This year as it’s a big one and I don’t want to ignore it (unlike Hubby) I’ve left it up to him to plan. And so far I don’t think I’m going to be disappointed. I believe he contemplated inviting some of my close friends but for various reasons outside his control that was a logistical nightmare. Instead he and I are going to London for the night. It’s something we try and do at least once a year anyway. The girls are having a sleep over at G’ma & Grump’s house starting early Saturday morning whilst we head into London for shopping, probably just of the window variety, then out for dinner. A posh dinner somewhere in Soho. Then an overnight stay in a hotel. I know which restaurant were going to but the hotel is still a secret. He’s promised to tell me when it’s all confirmed, apparently it’s a choice of two or three. He knows me better than anyone so I can’t wait to see which hotel he chooses.  
I don’t like wishing time away but truly I can’t wait for our night out, we always have the best fun in London. I think it will be the best birthday yet! 
I am having a party too this year, I really want one. But since my mum lives 250 miles away and we have such a large family I have decided to throw a joint party for myself and Perky in February as she will be turning 1. The idea of organising two parties 3 weeks apart and then one in March for Pinky just didn’t appeal. 
Here’s to the next decade. May it be as family focused and enjoyable as I wish for. 
Mummy x