Does Pinterest make you feel like a bad mum?

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Dear Pinterest,

I’m sorry, It pains me to say this but I just don’t think we’re compatible any more.

You with your pretty ways, me with my lazy arse. If we don’t part ways now I’m afraid we’ll just end up hating each other. You see there are things you don’t know about me,  bad things. Things that would leave you feeling disappointed and let down.

Ok here goes.

1, Most lunchtimes I feed my kids *whispers* sandwiches. I’m ashamed to say they are served square and have never been cut into dinosaurs or bunny shapes. I don’t tie neckerchiefs onto their bananas and I don’t hand carve faces into their babybel. Does that make you want to want to weep for them Pinterest?

2, I make my kids sleep on beds! Just you know, normal beds – slats, cheap mattresses and a headboard. Not castles, boats, tree houses, nor VW camper vans.  It gets worse Pinterest – to get out of bed they just flop their feet down over the side! There’s no fireman’s pole or rope ladder, there’s not even a f*cking slide!

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The BHS school uniform range – A review

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When I was offered the chance to review BHS’s school uniform range I may have done a small fist pump because as it happens, buying the final bits and bobs we needed for September has been hanging about on my to do list for a while. I was also very keen to try an alternative brand to Clarks shoes for reasons already explained (ahem).

When the package arrived in the post I was immediately impressed with the clothes but I had one small, but very real worry. How was I going to persuade the boy to take off the Buzz Lightyear birthday pajamas he has pretty much worn non stop for two weeks? The answer – Tangfastics! Come to think of it most of life’s problems could be solved with the adequate provision of Tangfastics, but I guess that’s another blog post.

Anyway I needn’t have worried because check out the results! Man alive, BHS’s ad agency is going to be quaking in its boots; how the hell are they going to be able to justify the hundreds of thousands they charge in fees now? All they need is me, my iPhone, a garden wall and a kid who loves Tangfastics :)

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A ‘relaxing’ bath

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On one morning over the weekend I like to have a nice relaxing bath. All going to plan this involves lots of bubbles, a cup of coffee from the machine with actual frothy milk and the Guardian weekend magazine.

However it very rarely goes to plan.

Pretty much as soon as i sink into the bubbles I hear the sound of elephant feet pounding up the stairs and a booming voice in the distance.

‘F where are you going, please stay down here. I told you Mummy is trying to have a nice bath’

‘But I just have to talk to her about something Daddy. It’s important!’

[Elephant feet recommence and grow steadily louder - enter eldest son]

‘Mummy I just need to talk to you about something!’

‘Ok, whats that?’

‘Um, um, um…Do you think Lightning McQueen or Francesco Bernoulli is the fastest?’

‘Lightning’

‘Yep me too! Oh…do you need some toys in there Mummy?’

‘No thanks’

‘But you’ve got nothing to play with! I’ll just put some boats in for you and, and do you want the fireman Sam that transforms into a fire engine in too?

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How to survive a kids party

On Saturday we held F’s 4th birthday party. It was the first ‘proper’ kids party we have actually done. It sounded simple enough. Hold it in a church hall to avoid mess, get a few party bags together, make a pass the parcel, buy some crisps, blow up balloons, bake a cake – job done!

How wrong I was.

I am too scared to calculate the number or hours invested, the number of pounds spent, the number of expletives directed at ready roll icing and the number of times I flicked myself in the forehead as punishment for deciding to throw said party when we could have easily got away with it for another year.

‘BUT HE LOVED IT!’ you say.

Yes, he did. He really did. But then again he also loved watching our neighbours dog take a sh*t in the street and in any case 4 days later the party has been totally forgotten. The dog taking a sh*t in the street has not – and that was free and not my mess to clean up.

Anyway i thought i would give you the lowdown on what i have learnt about kids parties over the last few weeks in case you are stupidly thinking of hosting one of your own: -

Preparation
Every party needs a good theme. Our choice ‘poundland.’

Hostessing
Providing alcoholic beverages for your adult guests is a good rouse to make you wandering around with a drink in hand look acceptable thoughtful and appreciated touch. Remember that every party needs at least one responsible adult host – don’t debate this, just don’t be that person. Instead, faff about drinking fake Aldi pimms and delegating tasks, it makes you appear important and in control.

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To my biggest boy on your 4th…

We have been so excited for you turning four. This year you have more of an understanding about time and have been quizzing us on ‘how many sleeps’ for a little while now. It hasn’t been at all irritating though i promise ;)

I jest of course because I know we have been more excited than you, looking forward to seeing your face when you got your shiny red pedal bike. We considered taking you up to London or to do something out of the ordinary but when it came down to it we knew you’d prefer taking your new wheels out for a spin along the prom. You know what you like and you like what you know and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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Child free weddings yay or nay?

I have had the pleasure of attending two weddings without my kids over the last couple of weeks. One where we choose not to take them, leaving them in the care of their grandparents and one where the wedding was a no children affair.

Sipping a lovely glass of white wine in the grounds of a beautiful country house last weekend, begged me to post the following question on Instagram. Child free weddings – bit rude or a bloody genius?

I’m sure many couples planning child free affairs might be worried about offending their people but by the looks of it a lot of mums could not be keener…

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I heart DisneyCollectorBR

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She’s a mystery woman, no one really knows anything about her other than she has one of the most popular YouTube channels in existence. Last month she ranked no.3 worldwide amassing over 225 million views in June alone.

She’s like the pied piper of YouTube. No one really knows how their kids even found her. But they did, and they were sucked in by the strangely enticing videos of her unwrapping kinder eggs, unboxing Disney toys and giving play-doh demos.

She has lovely manicured nails, but like Dr. Claw you never see her face.

She’s your best friend at 5.30am in the morning or when you have brought the kids to the pub in a desperate attempt to demonstrate that you still have some sort of semblance of a thing called a life.

She is your hero on a bad day.

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A Family Portrait For July

Oh well this is a crap iPhone job to be honest. I just got a passerby to take a quick photo, the littlest is asleep and the older one isn’t looking at the camera. I considered going out to take an alternative but it depicts such a lovely day that i wanted to use it anyway.

We are so lucky to live where we live but sometimes we whinge about the house prices, tiny garden and the bloody seagulls waking us up at 4am (even when i am asleep i dream of conducting a mass seagull massacre with machine guns); still when we can draw ourselves out of our own misery we remember that life is good, very good at that. We also remember how good it is to spend a bit of time being tourists again…

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Hell hath no fury like a kid who prefers someone else’s spade

It’s summer and it’s a good one. Well I say good although its starting to feel a bit bad, because it’s getting rather relentless, It’s too HOT all the time. I’m sorry. How terribly British, to get a wonderful burst of weather and complain about it.

But you see It’s like being on holiday except all the best bits have been removed -  no pool, no cocktail of the day and no kids club conga to come and take the small ones off your hands for a couple of hours.

Just lots of hot and lots of kids. And kids + hot = hot kid rage.

You try to do something nice like take them down to the beach but everywhere you look there is rage – sun cream application rage, someone else has a better bucket rage, hat rage, inflatable envy rage, sand in mouth rage, stone in Croc rage, someone holding your head under water for 20 seconds rage and flying ant landing on your arm rage (ok that one was me but!!!! get off my arm).

It always amazes me how many parents persist in negotiating with the rage, ain’t no body got no time for talking in this heat. Best to just stand well back and repeatedly hurl ice-cream until everything goes silent.

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My top 10 irritatingly useless baby purchases

Before giving birth i did what most expectant mums do – scour the internet in a frenzy finding lists of ‘what to buy a new baby’. It was a stressful time, there were so many lists and each was slightly different to the last. How were you meant to know which one to trust?

So I did what any normal person would do in such a situation and compiled my own all singing, all dancing super spreadsheet, amalgamating every item on every list. I then colour coded the cells for what i has already bought, ordered or still needed to get. Yes i did do that. I really, really did.

When i emerged from the hysterical, hormone induced fog and realised that retail outlets do not all immediately shut down following the birth of your child, i came to see that it is possible and even recommendable to buy things as and when you need them. There is very little that you do actually need and quite a lot that you really rather don’t. In particular: -

1, A teeny tiny pair of flip flops for a 6 month old – I did buy these. I am very, very ashamed of myself. Guess what – 6 month olds do not walk and even if they did cute flip flops are certainly not the ideal choice of footwear to learn in.

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