Friday, April 13, 2018

Time to put Easter Away!

This week is week 2. Week 2 of that "joyous" time called term break/spring break... That's right, week 2. This week has not only been overcast, rainy, cold, and extremely wet outside, but daddy has also been gone. Amazingly enough, our week has gone pretty smoothly, and the tantrums/meltdowns haven't been overwhelming. (I'm now coming back to this to finish writing and I have a toddler who has a fever of 39.2C last I checked - so yeah, I think I wrote the previous sentence a little prematurely. LOL) However, if you're a parent who stays home you can tell (and pretty much EVERY visitor to your home can tell) when your kids don't have school. It's nothing bad, it's just a simple fact: When kids are home you're house is a mess! It doesn't matter if you clean every day, if you have a maid to follow your children around and pick up after them (I haven't tested this theory out yet, if someone would like to hire a maid for us to do that so I can test it out, I won't argue!), but really it doesn't matter - your house will look "well lived in". What does that have to do with putting Easter away you're wondering? This!
Real life living room
This is the room that is somehow destroyed every day! Now before you think: "Of course it is Mel! It's the living room!"  But see, the living room isn't the most used room in the house by the kids or me - sure it's the "special room" because it's where the TV is, which in our house usually isn't turned on till the kids are in bed (electronic things literally turn our children into zombies... Like you better not want to do anything the rest of the day if you put them in front of the TV.). So usually if it's the kids and me we're in the kitchen, dining room, outside, or playroom (which let's be honest, a "playroom" is only a "playroom" if the kids are getting along, a parent is with them, or a friend is with them...they will NOT go into the room with ALL their toys to play by themselves... Instead they will bring ALL.THE.TOYS out of the playroom to whatever room you're in so they can show you, play around you, or in the hopes that you will stop what you're doing and play with them - which isn't always possible (bathrooms are not the best place to play with toys...OR to eat snacks - even if you're a parent hiding from your kids... Because every parent knows - that's the 1st place your kids look!)

But back to putting Easter away and the mess our house is in after 2 weeks of our oldest being out of school! The Easter stuff is mostly in the living room (hence the mess of Easter stuff) and the kids LOVE playing with it - baskets, eggs, egg hunts, bunnies, chicks - you name it and they LOVE it, for at least 10 min before they're done and ready for the next activity. As a solo parent this week, I've watched them go in and make a mess, refuse to pick up because "I'm coming right back!" yet not actually coming back until much later or the following day. Usually our kids are good about helping to pickup things they get out - but for some reason, around holidays, they forget or ignore that rule (most likely ignore because if they don't pick up the rule is Mommy takes it...and since the decorations are mostly mine - hey, they don't lose out by leaving it out! They're kinda smart like that... At least in my head that's what I think they're thinking)...and this week I just let it go. You know what eventually happened?! They refused to go in the living room, except when we had a "movie day" (which consisted of us watching shows because neither one really like watching movies. Lol) And it wasn't until today, when I said "I'm putting Easter up." - because it was driving me batty - that either one showed an interest in playing with the Easter stuff this week!

In fact, you know the hilarious part of it?! It was when the toddler came into the room and got SUPER excited and started pointing at the back window yelling "TREE! TREE! MOMMY, TREE!!" I was a bit confused because I had no clue what was so exciting about the tree in the back garden! Well, I was confused until she ran to the back WALL (not window) and started hitting it excitedly saying "TREE, MOMMY, TREE!" That's right, the 2 1/2 yr old was excited because she saw this!
Storage container
Did you figure it out? The last time she saw containers like this was when I got and then put away Christmas!! She was so excited thinking that we were going to put up the Christmas tree that she was hitting the wall where the tree goes! When she realized that wasn't what I was doing she quickly moved on to needing to play with every Easter decoration RIGHT THEN! Thankfully they both allowed me to put up the Easter stuff after they looked through it all 1 final time! And that folks is the reason our living room now looks like this.
The painted rocks on the table are another story
At least for the rest of the night. Tomorrow I'm sure it'll look like a playroom once again!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Eeeewww... dirty puddles

Today, after dropping big brother off at school, we ran home to get mittens and boots so we could walk up to see the horses - which are a toddler favorite!
Of course walking through the gate and past the water puddles proved to be too difficult a task and so instead of visiting the horses someone walked and then ran through the puddles!
She normally stomps in puddles when it's not desirable, but today since I was ready and expecting it, it took her a little bit longer to get comfortable with the whole situation.
But once she got started she just couldn't stop!
Sure she was a little concerned about the water being "yucky" but thankfully that didn't stop her from continuing in the fun tradition of running and getting as wet as you possibly can!
Sure, by the end she thought she was "soaked" but we all know she was just a little wet!
And sure she wanted me to carry her home, but she didn't fuss TOO long about having to walk the short walk home... Of course promising her a cookie might've helped speed that tantrum up!
This kiddo had a blast getting dirty, and that's the important thing, especially since neither of my kids really like to get dirty! We came home and she had a warm bath and got all clean and warm! Because it was cold outside! And no, we never did stop by the horses to say "hi"... Maybe next time we're out!

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Our back garden: winter wonderland
That's right it SNOWED!! The forecasters actually got this right - they said we were going to get snow...and we did!! We woke up to a ton of snow outside and more falling from the skies! Now, when I say "a ton" I don't mean that literally - but for us, here in good ole England it was quite a bit! (5-6" if you're curious)
We were all pretty excited about all the snow, except when it came time to go out in it - then the excitement for some disappeared completely.
But honestly, I can't blame her, it is the 1st time she has ever seen snow! Thankfully she was the only one who required being held while outside, and she did go in shortly after she came out... Then she stood at a window and we threw snowballs at her and PaPaw which she thought was HILARIOUS!
We had snowball fights - did I mention this was PERFECT snow?! It was! Perfect for snowballs, for snow angels, for snowmen, for building an igloo/fort, or for making rollercoasters!
My snow angel - the kids were all in appropriate clothing for making snow angels but didn't want to... Meanwhile there's Mommy in jeans - laying in the snow to make a snow angel!!
The snowman - he doesn't have a mouth, and we didn't clothe him, but honestly - he might overheat in a scarf and hat! (We used crabapples for the eyes and nose - we have those in abundance still!) We made him outside our dining room so the Munchkin could watch, and she did get brave later on and she ventured out again and touched the snow and snowman while I held her (she still would not walk in the snow)!
Daddy was making a pile of snow that we originally thought we'd turn into a fort or igloo, but instead we made the pile into a "rollercoaster" - sure you might call our rollercoaster a ramp/hill, but if you use your imagination it's a rollercoaster!
We also had to make a sled, because we haven't bought one yet - I mean really, how often do we need a sled?!
The snow shovel however we have lugged around with us for at least 5yrs, and I think this is the 2nd time we've used it! But you know as soon as you get rid of it - that's when the snow comes and you need your snow shovel!
I actually got a pair of boots last year (or the year before) for snow/wet winter weather, and I had just thought -a couple days ago: "I'm never going to wear these because they're not my style, I should pass them on." But guess what?! That's right - today I wore those boots! So I'm glad I didn't get rid of them!!

Thankfully the snow plows came and cleared the road in front of our house, although it was fun watching cars get stuck on the hill outside the house and just abandoning their cars... Or the passengers would get out and attempt to push the cars up the hill - and the tires would just spin. Fun times, fun times! But hey, it's SNOWING!!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Freezing at the playground

Sometimes you get a horrible idea into your head and you mention it to the kids and then you HAVE to follow through. Like yesterday when Daddy said something about going to the park in the morning and then (this) morning came and the kids couldn't stop talking about going - even though it was FREEZING outside - so you decide to take them while Daddy made the ham for lunch... Yeah, um, HORRIBLE idea!
It wasn't that they were naughty - for the most part they were amazing - it was the fact that it was FREEZING outside and the sun hadn't quite broken through. In case you're wondering how horrible of an idea it was - there were NO other people at the park besides the regular "park run" people (our park has a run every Saturday morning, and it's called "park run" - very original I know)... And everyone knows runners are crazy! (Crazy in a good way. For instance runners don't care WHAT the weather - they run. To me, a non-runner, that is CRAZY. And that is why I say they're crazy - not for any other reason.)
But there we were, out in the cold, on a playground by ourselves, so we took advantage of it until they put the "pay to ride" motorcycles out. Which was the REAL reason we went to the park.
You see the 5yr old had £1 that he had been given and it was burning a hole in his pocket! The thing is, even with how mean he can be at times, he's also a very loving and kind big brother and so just because he had money to ride the motorcycle, didn't mean he wasn't going to share the experience with his sister. He refused to put the money in until she was on the back and ready to ride with him.
What you might not know is that the Munchkin LOVES motorcycles! She's always been obsessed with watching them when they drive past us on a walk... If there's a motorcycle to ride she'll pick that over a car... There's just something about them that she can't get enough of. She sat on one for the longest time before we convinced her to move to the other one so she could ride on the back. Then after the ride he pushed her around so she was able to "drive" it. (See what I mean about being a great big brother?!)
I also pushed them both around once - because I hadn't taken money to pay for the rides, but honestly I wouldn't give them money for these - except for the fact that they were doing so well together, so maybe I would've given them a £1 or 2, just because of how sweet they were being!
But like all good things, they must come to an end... And in the end we were ALL frozen (Daddy, GG, and Lee Lee were all smart and stayed home in the warmth)!
You might think this was a tantrum over not getting to ride the motorcycles anymore, and you'd be partially right... She was also very upset because she was cold. She was crying "cold Mommy" so that was all I needed in order to head home, did I mention it was COLD?!
Of course, once we decided it was time to head home, the sun broke through the clouds and started to warm the air up - still not SUPER warm, but warmer than freezing. We arrived home to a nice hot home cooked meal of spiral sliced ham and a side of greens...
It was perfect! Then while the kids napped I got the tree put up - so it'll be ready to decorate when they wake up from their slumbers... And then I can get the rest of the Christmas decorations our so we can Christmafy the house! Man do I love Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Going to the store, Toddler edition

Do you remember those times when going to the store meant that you were going to be leaving the store WITH items?! Depending on the store you might've left with way more than what you anticipated you would, but you were able to have a successful shop as long as the store had the items you needed. Yeah, the good ole days...then enter kids... Now it's a total crapshoot as to the outcome of your shopping "adventures/expeditions/torture sessions". Like you think "Oh! I'll just run to the store and grab such and such." But it's never that easy! You can't just "run" to the store. It's a super planned out "adventure" - even if it's last minute - make sure you have nappies, change of clothes, snacks, drinks, shoes, coats, etc...

When you get to the store - and it BETTER be one the small tyrant (toddler) wants to go to that gives free fruit out, otherwise you're in for A REAL torture sessions, along with everyone else in the store! You see, small tyrant wants her yummy Tesco banana, unfortunately Aldi ONLY has the sauces she desires daily
Big bag of 48 sauces, should last us a few days
which are great except when she's wanting her free yummy Tesco banana, in which case the sauces are like rubbish! Don't get me wrong, she'll eat them, but she still dreams of her free yummy Tesco banana.

Then if you're really daring and you think "Maybe we can go to another store", because let's face it Aldi doesn't have everything you need - so you tempt fate. You go to another store! The tyrant SEEMS ok at first, she's kinda excited to be getting more snacks and something special for her big brother... We then see Paw Patrol jammies and she loses it! So as a good mom I said "Oooh, let's get those!" because, let's face it, you can NEVER have to many jammies, especially with an occasionally potty training toddler... But then all hell breaks loose, because WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING ASDA?! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU SELL JAMMIES IN SETS OF 2?!  Small tyrant ONLY wanted 1 set of jammies, NOT 2 sets! So the 32 min tantrum started. (You, without kids, just don't understand, heck I have 2 kids and I STILL don't understand.)

Small tyrant was NOT having it. She pulled the 2 sets apart - she almost pulled the plastic bands holding them apart as well, but thankfully those suckers are hard to pull apart! 5 min in and she was pulling and flinging jammies around. 7 min in and she was flinging herself around the trolley/cart as I was calmly picking out jeans and trousers for big brother (who has grown out of almost all of his trousers, or they have holes in them, or both... Not a big concern since he wears uniforms to school, but he's needing some to wear on the weekends and after school). 10 min in and I was returning ALL the items I picked out and taking small tyrant out of the store...
15 min in and she was finally buckled into her seat and we were heading home.
20 min in and I was STILL listening to a screaming child.
25 min in - still trapped in the car - I started screaming along with her, because if you can't fight them you might as well join in. 30 min in and we were home and this was her tantrum finally winding down.
32 min in and she finally calmed down and played with the laughing jack o'lanterns while I got her lunch ready...30 min later and she was down for a nap, because throwing tantrums can make a toddler VERY tired! That's the positive outlook at least.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Drive Home

The neighborhood...
The sad part of going on holiday is that they always come to an end...and usually when they end you need another holiday to recover from the holiday you just returned from, especially if you're a parent and your holiday was with your kids. Don't get me wrong - we had a fabulous time! Sure we all became exhausted over the course of our holiday (waking up at 4/4:15 am and skipping naps will do that to anyone!) but we were able to work together as a team and see and experience so much - and today as we were driving home everyone talked about what we loved seeing/doing and how we all wanted to go back! (YAY!! Mommy succeeded!! See at first not everyone was as excited about going to Wales as I was - but by today they were all so happy I talked them into going!)
Today as we left we decided to drive to the beach that was just down from where we were staying, after all the sun was rising and it looked like it was going to be a glorious day!
The beach was called Black Rock (I believe) but unlike the other beach we visited a few days earlier (a post will come about that later) - there were no rocks on the beach, only sand!
See the castle down the beach on the cliff? Yeah, it was one we didn't get to...this time!
It was the perfect spot to see the last part of the sunrise...
But then it was off, past the golf course and up into town...look at those colors!
Pretty much the entire drive was filled with these colors - everywhere you looked! We did take "the scenic route" because we wanted to take advantage of seeing all of this...
It was hard to get all the pictures I wanted to, we did stop when the chance came, but when there weren't places to stop I still wanted to try to capture the beauty we were driving through.
The landscapes and then the towns, followed by more landscapes and more towns
We stopped here, because I mean
I'm sure it's beautiful no matter what time of year, but the fall colors really made it breathtaking!
I could take multiple pics of the same scene and I still wouldn't tire of it...
And then we came across some smart sheep - smart because they moved out of the road so we could continue on our journey...they were in the middle of the road when we first spotted them, but they ran pretty fast. Further ahead was a sheep that wasn't so smart - he had been hit and was dead on the side of the road...don't worry we didn't point him out to the kids.
Roads and more roads - because even looking ahead instead of to the side was beautiful!
Our 5 yr old did see the fog and suddenly said "OH NO! I see smoke!!" We had to assure him that it wasn't smoke and there was no danger at all.
We stopped the car again, because someone needed their nappy changed suddenly. We had a toddler who is extremely talented in going potty and leaking out of every nappy she goes in - when she's in a car! But thankfully she knows it and so will notify us immediately so that we can get the situation taken care of quickly.
So my phone doesn't actually take panoramic photos - but for some amazing reason it decided to piece together 3 of my photos and make a panoramic pic! I was pretty excited, because when we stopped to take this picture I was really wishing I could make it panoramic! (If you look closely you can see it's 3 pics, otherwise it would've been the perfect pic!)
It was a spot where I could've just sat and enjoyed the view all day, except for the fact that it was right off the road and there were cars zooming not really as serene as it looks.
I really feel like someone should paint these pics
I mean if I could I totally would...hmm, maybe that should be my new hobby...
But maybe I should start with something more paint a pumpkin that looks like a pumpkin.
Of course if my parents had gotten me the "Bob Ross painting kit" when I was younger I might be able to just sit down and paint this right up!
But instead of getting me that they just let me finger paint or paint with those kid watercolor paints...neither one of which comes in handy when I want to paint something to resemble the photo above.
As our drive progressed we eventually arrived at this bridge, and when we pointed it out to our kids, our 5 yr old said "I don't need to see this bridge, I've already seen a lot of bridges." And really it wasn't all that interesting - except that right after this bridge we entered England and left Wales behind...but yeah, as far as bridges went - it wasn't really interesting.
We continued on the drive, and one little girl got extremely tired (surprise surprise) and she required just 1 thing from mommy...that 1 thing was to have her foot held and rubbed by mommy. This is not a rare occurrence - this is something that happens at least 1 time on every road trip we take.
And for everyone in the car, I put aside my comfort so that we don't hear the screaming and crying until she eventually passes out. Now you might say "Oh you don't have to hold/rub it the entire time!" To which I can say "Yes, I do!" You see I tested it today, because daddy didn't really believe me that she needed it, so I felt the need to prove to him that I know what I'm talking about. Calm child with my hand...remove my hand and within 5 seconds she would wake up and cry. I started rubbing/holding her foot and this is what happened.
Once she was good and asleep I was able to move my arm and get the blood flowing again, but yeah...every.road.trip this happens! Thankfully when we got home both kids went down for naps and took really good naps - the power of sleeping in ones own bed! But boy did we have a great trip, we're already talking about another trip - even if just a long weekend, after all Wales is only about 2 1/2 hrs away (we went all the way to the coast so it was about 3 1/2 hrs) - and we have so much more of Wales to explore!