School – what’s the crack?

We’re 6 weeks down the school starters line, 3 part time, 3 full time and we are already hurtling towards half-term. For every parent out there looking forward to spending a week with their little cherub there is another one thinking IS THAT IT?!?

I’m not saying that’s me. But it might be me.

So what are our thoughts about school so far? Well I had a few concerns, perhaps slightly amplified by the fact F only turned 4 in August. I worried that he wouldn’t be able to sit still, that he would miss me and that it might all be too much for him, I had a lot of confidence in him you see.

The reality is that I was wrong. He skips through the door happily each day, he condemns people who end up on the cloud for bad behaviour and tells me (YES ME!!) off because ‘You’re not doing good listening Mummy!’

I don’t know whether to feel proud or insulted. I don’t know whether to feel like a success as a parent or a total failure as one.

I was right about one thing however and that was that he might not be able to wipe his own bum properly – the skid marks are there to prove it. Hurrah go me! Oh hang on a minute though, that’s a sh*t one to be right about. Literally.

Another thing i’ve noticed is that he is ever so slightly more tired than usual.

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To my littlest at 1 and 1/2 years old…

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Dear lovely thing,

Firstly you are not even 18 months, more like 20 but such is the plight of the second child that I find it pretty hard to keep tabs. But it’s your fault really, you seem to do all of your growing pretty fast. Please stop that.

I sometimes feel you don’t get much of a look in on here, as compared to your brother who mouths off and argues back and provides much of the fuel for this here fire. You’re the one who bumbles around like a happy little drunk and the one that can be strapped into a pushchair and carted around. As such we don’t really have much to complain about, although there is obviously still so much to say.

These are some of the things that we love about you, right here and right now.

You bypassed every baby toy we own, chucked the stacking cups aside, glared at the shape sorter and gave the musical, brightly coloured battery thingy majigs all of 30 seconds attention. You play with cars and figures, not the baby ones but the ones your brother only recently discarded and now rather conveniently wants back.

The first song you sang? Postman frickin Pat. #FML (*remember to delete this bit when reading happens).

You can say Ka-chow just like McQueen which is the one skill you big bro admires.

You adore your cat, she hates you.

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The bad mums to-do list

At the minute I have precisely 13 items on my ‘needs doing now’ to-do list, which is on top of the 22 items on my ‘to do as soon as you can’ to-do list which doesn’t include the many, many things on the ‘will probably never happen so I don’t really know why you even exist’ to-do list.

A lot of these items are related to the kids and things they need, what with all their growing and general destruction of stuff. Their feet are always too big, toothbrush bristles too flat, socks too holey, pants too un-findable etc etc.

On Saturday I went into town with a list of stuff to buy them, leaving them at home with their dad (regular readers will understand why I don’t take my kids near retail outlets). Anyway the list was pretty dull…

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Life with bolters

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I tried my best to be a chilled out mother, to be honest it’s still the perception I like to give off.

In a lot of respects I am, they can eat Maccie D’s and watch inappropriate stuff on the i-Pad. I am fairly confident i’m not a complete tw*t.

But there is one big obsticle in my way – I have spawned children that like to bolt. It was ok with one because I could run after him.  I could scoop him up laughing and then slag him off, all the while secretly loving his crazy little ways.

When I was pregnant with the second I never gave a toss about the gender, just that my belly contained one that was a bit more, um, static.

It didn’t. F*cksticks.

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What random searchy things bring people to my blog?

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Blogging and stats go hand in hand. I tend to try and not pay too much attention to them because in reality they don’t mean much and although it’s nice to see the number of readers increase, it’s really not the be all and end all (well that Is my public stance on it anyway).

One of the things I will never grow tired of however is looking at the search terms that generated visits to Hurrah For Gin; or for the less technically minded, what people typed into Google before clicking through to my blog. Funnily, a lot of the queries seem to be in the form of questions or problems. I guess people were hoping to find authoritative parenting advice and I guess they were sadly disappointed.

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Aldi ‘n’ Proud

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***Let me just start by saying that this is not a sponsored post and that I have not been remunerated in any way for waxing Aldi lyrical. I really am writing about our favourite supermarket of my own free will. Talking about supermarkets has become one of my favourite topics. This is my life now and I’m fine with that (mostly)***

We have been Aldi ‘n’ Proud in our house for about a year now. I’ll admit I was a hesitant adopter but my husband pushed for a change after growing tired of my habit of ‘browsing’ – apparently it’s expensive and results in the acquisition of random and unnecessary products. I feel it’s always worth looking into alternative ways to mash potato, but lets not start that debate here.

With Aldi there are things you need to get used to, it’s not all pretty and full of olives, stuff doesn’t look quite so appealing on pallet based displays and the checkout process can feel a bit violent at times. Maybe we’ve become somewhat institutionalised though because now, I sort of love all of those things.

Anyway in the hope that there might be other people out there to convert, or ones that are already converted and want to share some product tips – here are a few of my own recommendations, sound of music style…

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On your first day of school…

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To my biggest boy,

When you were born a little over four years ago you were bang on the 50th centile in both height and weight. I used to joke you were Mr. Average which would raise a few glances because no one wants to be average do they? Well I don’t know, it’s always suited me rather well.

And now here we are, about 10 seconds later, and you are starting school. Being just a few weeks past your 4th birthday you will perhaps become Mr. Below Average in many ways. A little smaller, a little sillier, a little less able to get your wee in the toilet bowl. It might take you a little longer to do things, you might not always understand.

Please remember that none of that stuff matters. Don’t ever let it. We have no aspirations for you other than to make friends and be happy. Everything else that is good in life is just a by-product of those things.

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Feeling proud

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The weekend before last we all went to the park, It’s a pretty typical weekend activity for us if we have nothing planned. F particularly wanted to ride his birthday bike as has been the case pretty much continuously since we got it; fair enough.

As we were leaving J quickly grabbed a spanner on the off chance that he might fancy taking the stabilisers off. I was dubious, thinking it best he spend a bit more time getting used to pedalling first, being a balance bike fan pedals were still a very new concept to him.

I took the littlest to the play park and five minutes later I looked up to see F riding sans stabilisers as if he barely had to put any effort in. His little face beaming with excitement, like his whole world had suddenly expanded.

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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 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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