The Kids (Sept 2016)

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written about the children and their school lives.

Matthew is now in Year 8, the second year of secondary school and fast approaching his 13th birthday. He enjoys Maths, Science, Cooking and PE. He is still not confident with his writing and does not enjoy English but gets through it all ok. He is back on the School football team this year as a Goalkeeper.

James is now in Year 3 of primary school. The school is now an Academy and everything I’ve seen from the changes they’ve made to the school from the staffing, the security, the building – right through to the attitude and feel of the school – has been nothing but positive so far. The school felt incredibly stale in recent months. The teachers had no passion and drive and with 4 of them leaving at the end of summer term, we were more than ready for new teachers and teaching assistants. This has made a huge impact on young James. He is now happy to go to school, he looks forward to lessons and learning every day. He runs in the door with a smile on his face and is currently enjoying his work. His new teacher is a really good influence on him, he is inspired and trying really hard. With that comes the realisation that he can do things that he always struggled with before a little bit easier than he found it before. With that comes confidence and the eagerness to try and learn more. So far, it’s all a win win situation. He’s still behind most of his classmates, still struggles with reading BUT he’s trying so hard and getting better all the time, Year 3 could really be the making of James.

Liam has recently turned 7. That means we have another 5 weeks of having two 7 year olds in the house that aren’t twins.  Liam is now in Year 2 and has the dreaded SAT tests this year to test the school, teachers and kids just where they are under government guidelines in the education tables. I think it’s too much on kids. James really struggled with these but Liam is soaring ahead at the moment. He’s on one of the top tables for Maths, Science and English but struggles with his writing just like his brothers. His reading is ahead and his spellings are pretty good. If only he would spend more time doing them then I’m sure he’d get really good marks at that too. He just sticks with the ones he knows for now and doesn’t work so hard with the learning aspect of spellings. Still, he’s only just turned 7 so I’m not going to turn all pushy parent on him just yet. He has always wanted to learn and thanks to his teacher last year he found his confidence and “happy space” a fair bit before James and has excelled since. This is why I’m hopeful James’s new teacher will take him further this year. Thankfully, Liam has the same teacher this year so I am really confident that he will continue to shine and be encouraged by what he is doing.

As the kids are getting older, I find myself looking back at the old baby photos and enjoying them as babies. I don’t get the yearning for any more.

I love my boys to bits and after the baby and toddler stages, it becomes such a joy to watch your children grow and develop mentally and emotionally. They are such real little people now with beliefs, with opinions, with ideas and dreams and it’s amazing to see them all so different from the others. They are very individual with different strengths and different interests. They really do have so much going on in their little lives that I am just proud to be part of it all.

The baby years are short, the toddler years are short, the school years – well they seem to be flying by too.

I can’t miss my “babies” when I am so in awe and adoration of the children they are right now.

They are strong, happy, compassionate, kind, sharing towards each other. Always help each other. Try to cheer one another up. Try to assist the others. And they are all the best of mates.

I really can’t ask for anything more than that.

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Valentines Day – My Take

This weekend, Valentines Day to be precise,  I am saying goodbye to long hair. I like playing with my hair but I also hate it that way too. It’s a distraction. It gets in my way. It’s long but not that long. It feels like it’s forever in an in-between state of nothing in particular. This weekend  I am going for it and getting a restyle.

THIS:
Short-Hairstyles-For-Women-With-Round-Faces-Layered-HaircutPretty cool cut huh?

I’ll know it’s been done. My hair is dark at the moment but attacking it with scissors will thin it out and make it look lighter again and maybe for summer I’d go blond again but for now, I just need a new look and to feel a little less frumpy and to get my style back.

Yes, I will pay more attention to my hair, I will straighten it, pin it, clip it again. Why have long hair just to bung it into a pony tail day after day.

It looks easy enough to handle and with my naturally wavy hair there will be enough volume and it will work both wavy and straightened.

Not only is Saturday hair day but Valentines Day.

What am I doing? No idea.

Kids are at mums for a weekend sleepover. Hubby is working.

A bit of preening, shopping (maybe a little bit of lingerie – wink wink – a girl needs to feel good) and  cooking something good should be enough to impress the husband and for me to feel I’ve made an effort. I don’t know what to cook as yet but something in the slow cooker tastes magnificent but takes little effort. You can enjoy the evening and just serve it when it’s done without all the slaving in the kitchen.

As much as I love the concept of Valentines Day, it falls flat. We, as a couple, don’t believe in making a big deal of it. You don’t need very expensive presents to say you value someone. A takeaway dinner so I don’t have to cook does that for me. That’s thoughtful. However, I do feel I should make an effort for HIM since he works hard and does little things for me (ie, takeaways, weekends away) so I like to do something back.

The biggest problem about Valentines Day is that it’s SOOOOOOOOOOOO tacky.

Presents, especially those for men are expensive or shit.

“Sorry love, I couldn’t afford an ipad/the new Hugo Boss Special Edition/racing car driving experience/hot air balloon trip for you so I got some overpriced chocolates that probably are over-rated and an ugly teddy toy thing you won’t appreciate cos a) It’s cheap and ugly and b) You are a grown man”

It doesn’t work does it?

We can’t really go out as hubby has a 5am start the next morning ready for work. Even then, a night in a restaurant with set menu’s, set prices and average food doesn’t win it for me. We’ll probably have a nice night in with a movie and an early night as that’s how our weekend tends to roll.

That’s Right, NO Fifty Shades of Porn for us at our local cinema.

2015, the year porn became main stream. I know there’s a bit of a love story in there somewhere but it wasn’t THAT part of the tale that sold the books.

I really want to watch Gone Girl. That perfect tale of why you should NEVER fuck around behind your slightly unhinged wife’s back. Haha, Perfect Valentines viewing which is intriguing, exciting, thrilling and for the husband that hasn’t read the book will have him thinking “What really goes on in my wifes head? Is this a threat? Is she plotting something all the time I’m at work?”

As for me, I don’t expect presents. I prefer a card (if he remembers) just to say he thought about it. Men aren’t the most forward thinking when it comes to romance unless prompted. I love my hubby as he is so it’s not a relationship maker or breaker.

Back when I was working as a waitress, Valentines night or Valentines weekend was always great to work. Despite being single or frustrated at the now ex boyfriends pityful efforts, it was always entertaining. There would always be a couple that would be constantly sniding at one another. This would end in an argument and one or both would storm off at the end of the night. This normally resulted in a good tip spurned on by the embarrassment of the payee, normally the male, who just wanted to be out of there as soon as they could be and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the tip. THAT couple either went home to some amazing sex or just had their last Valentine meal together.

Every Mothers Holiday Dilemma

“What can I do to entertain, maybe even gently educate the kids, in the school holidays without breaking the bank?”

My husband uses the car for work so I am limited in what I can do with 3 kids meaning it needs to be done at home or within walking distance.

This week we’ve enjoyed a riverside picnic. We took a walk down a country lane, crossed a bridge and parked our bottoms on the side of the river Stour and tucked into a nice little feast. Exercise, friends, healthy food (for me, not so much the boys) and sunshine are what make the days special.

liston
A trip down the lane to where the trees line the horizon, a right turn and over 2 footbridges gets us to the picnic field we use in the hamlet of Liston.
liston 2
Our picnic spot.

The kids love the great outdoors and as the river is just a few minutes walk from home, we spend alot of our summers here. The kids can have a runabout in the field, then we go through the fields to come back through the centre of the village stopping for a well deserved ice cream.

The next couple of days have been spent in town, having local walks and a trip to visit family.

Today we are being creative and learning a skill at the same time.

The kids are making homemade pizza.

homemade-pizza

Matthew has already prepared the dough. I’ve made the sauce. I will soon prepare the cheese, pepperoni, chorizo, ham, sweetcorn, peppers, onions, jalapeno’s, tomatoes and basil so the kids can help themselves to make their own pizzas, I know the boys will go for all the meat and I will go for all the veg!

The base is actually a basic Slimming World recipe. Bread flour, yeast, salt and water. And I am using my cheese as a healthy calcium choice today so it’s a Slimming World girls dream. I will have a smaller portion of cheese than the kids too. I’m having a good week, I’m determined not to cave in just because it’s the weekend.

Healthy eating is a daily lifestyle change. If I want to lose it and keep it off, then I need to change my ways of thinking as much as eating.

I’m not entirely sure where the rest of the weekend will take us, it’s sometimes just nice having no plans.