Childhood · Children · Family · Love · Uncategorized

That goodnight kiss

Every night since she was born I kiss T on the cheek before I go to bed. There is something about tucking her in and kissing those soft cheeks while she murmurs sleepy I love yous that just makes me melt. I’m not sure if it’s that smell of little girl and the softness of her face and how innocent she looks when asleep or all of the above but I always go into my room content.
Sometimes she stirs when I move her into covers and I say things like “Good night, love you” and the sleepy replies always bring the biggest smiles 😊 Scott says I’m mean but she is soon back in the land of nod so there is no harm done.
And so I will continue to kiss that perfect sleepy face until the day comes when she thinks she is too old for those kisses and my innocent little girl has grown up!

Childhood · Family · Uncategorized

Unwanted family vs wanted family

So my family structure is a little complicated. I have a brother and a sister who are my half siblings – although I have never and will never refer to them as this. My stepdad came into my life when I was a toddler. My parents had separated before I was 1 and my Mum had a lot of difficulties with my Dad at the time. I remember visits when I was young, he would turn up to pick me up and I would have to walk pretty far to the bus stop and then maybe on a train and some more the other end. Sometimes I was put on the bar of his push bike and we would cycle to his place. When I think of this I know I would never let T do this but I guess people weren’t so safety  conscious back then. I remember we would visit his Mum and Dad,my Grandad was called Danny and was Irish, his mum was called Eileen. They loved me and looked forwards to my visits a lot. The thing is I didn’t get to go very often so sometimes I would come away with my last 2 Christmas and birthday presents! My Grandad drank a lot, I never thought of it as a bad thing when I was little but he was always going to the tavern and would often get back late. When I would wake up in the morning he would be slumped at the kitchen table with a coffee and a cigarette. I just used to think he was always up early. I used to roll his cigarettes for him in a rolling machine too. Again looking back why did no one tell me this was not an appropriate thing for a child to be doing?!

Anyway the visits gradually got less and less and I would usually get let down at least once before he actually showed up. I would get a late birthday card with £5 in, if anything and it would usually be once a year he would show up. When it got to 2 years and he rang I was 18 and had been moved out over a year, he knew nothing about me and I wanted to keep it that way. We argued and I told him I wanted nothing more to do with him.

10 years passed and then one day a text. “I miss you I always think of you Dad” I don’t know what right he thought he had to call himself Dad after all that time but he had text to tell me my Grandad had died. I was sad as although I hadn’t seen them in a long time I was always fond of my Grandparents and even though my childhood memories of them weren’t always age appropriate I was always well looked after with them and I would have maybe liked the opportunity to have more of a relationship with then.

Nothing came of the texts and we never met up then last year a Facebook request from a woman I’ve never met telling me she is my Father’s partner and he misses me and would like to be part of my life again. The thing is now too much time has passed, I have a child and I couldn’t have her going through the let down and upset I did. I remember as a child sitting with my coat and shoes on ready to go and him calling to say he wouldn’t be coming. Then my mother taking the phone off of me and screaming down it at him. It wasn’t pleasant and I will never let my baby be treated like that.

So still I have no contact and still I block the messages and numbers and this is my choice. At my wedding the only real father figure I’ve ever had my Step dad Colin gave me away. He looked after me from the moment I got in that car as much as I knew he would by using his sense of humour. As I gripped onto his arm for dear life walking down that aisle I couldn’t have felt prouder to have him there.

When we registered to marry I was told unless he was married to my Mum he couldn’t go on my marriage certificate as my father. I was devastated. There was no way I was putting that pathetic excuse for a father on there when I hadnt even seen him since I was 16. Because of this I had to leave my father’s name blank. Surely I should have the choice to put who I want on there and not have to be told that someone who has been there through it all for me since I was tiny would not be allowed on my legal document. I found it unfair and still do.

So family is tricky, I would have maybe liked more of a relationship with my Grandparents but being a child I never had that option, when his contact stopped so did my visits to them. I’ve got a half sister out there somewhere I know nothing about apart from her first name and lots of cousins that I don’t have contact with either. The thing is my relationship with my Stepdad isn’t what I would say is close either now, he lives a few hours away and has his own life now with a new partner and we dont speak all that much. I try to keep in contact with him but everyone has their own lives these days. It’s the same with my brother and sister, she is living in New York and my brother is at Uni. Unless I initiate conversation with any of them I don’t have contact.

So I guess the purpose of this blog, people taking family for granted. People who have close knit families an don’t realise just how good they have it. Whether you are young or old family takes work, just as much as friendship does, you aren’t born with a bond that will never be broken it takes effort on both sides so love the family you do have because not everyone is so lucky.

Uncategorized

Oh to be 6 again!

This week has been a tiring one to be a grown up and it’s only Tuesday! Today was the 3rd day of constant rain, not only is this draining in general just walking to school and getting about its even harder with a puppy! It’s not just the wet feet and paw prints all over the kitchen but the walking in the rain and clearing up the garden while holding an umbrella! This morning I also just happened to step in said mess whilst looking for it amongst the leaves at 7.35 am, perfect. Cue raking leaves at 7.40 am to ensure my early morning brain does not get confused between a poop and fallen leaves again!

Today was also the 2nd day of decorating our living room, well the 2nd day in a row, we have been fitting a new fire place over a couple of months, not as easy as it sounds when you have never done anything like this before. Over the last week we have now stripped the wallpaper on one half of the room and painted the other half with its first coat.

Again this doesn’t sound like hard work but along with working 9-5 then feeding the family, listening to little one read, ordering costume for the Xmas play, reading letters from the book bag, making lunches and writing shopping lists I’m tired and wish I was 6 again!

Family · step parenting · Uncategorized

Step parenting – the minefield

So I am a step parent, my husband is a step parent, my daughter has a step mother and the whole thing can sometimes be a minefield. The relationship my daughter has with my husband is amazing, he loves her like his own and she loves him. They laugh, joke, hug, piggyback, make plans, play, and just enjoy each others company. They think of each other when apart and look forward to sharing good news with each other. In short i’m truly lucky things have worked out so well.

My relationship with my husbands son is also good, considering he is a 16 year old boy its not as easy as a 6 year old girl but we do alright. We can hold a conversation, when he feels like talking, he can be great company on days out and family holidays and I do try and make sure he is included in events where I can. But like I said its not as easy with a teenager, he works part time, has a girlfriend and if Facebook is anything to go by a lot of friends so we don’t see him as much as we would like. There is quite often, lets be honest, a better offer going on somewhere else. Who can blame him, when we were 16 did we want to stay in on a Saturday night with our family or were we out at a “friends house”?? Its not just the lack of time we spend together but also the quality time, sometimes sleeping takes precedent over playing board games, watching a movie or even playing Playstation!

Unfortunately having such a big age gap between the two does mean  we are sometimes stuck finding activities everyone will enjoy, on holidays abroad he has to suffer the kids discos before the adult entertainment starts and at home it often means we are confined to the house of a Saturday night as she is asleep upstairs. But on our camping trip this year we all enjoyed a trip to a castle and a game of mini golf on the beach so it can be done, and dont get me wrong Scott sometimes takes him out or goes over to his so he isnt just confined to Saturday nights in with just us,but again this is all less time I get to spend with him. I dont take it personally, right now he is more interested in being a teenager than building a relationship with me, I get that. But over the 3 years I have known him I feel like lately that gap has widened and we are more distant than ever. Even Scott struggles to get a sentence out of him at times and a visit to the Grandparents is like gold dust.

So back to my title line, I guess I never really thought one day I would be step parent and if I did I just imagined I would parent this child in the same way I did my own, love and care for them the same, and offer them the same relationship I do my own. My daughter’s father has a partner he has had for 3 years also and she does not have the relationship with T that Scott has. If i’m honest its the polar opposite. There are no hugs, no affection, no cards or presents on birthdays, she doesn’t ask how T has been if she has been poorly, doesn’t kiss her goodnight or shower her. There is no involvement in T’s school life or homework and she doesn’t show an interest in T’s hobbies. Yes they holiday together and T never has a bad time there but her children are very much separate to T and I just find that strange.

Here I am wanting a relationship with my “step son” and struggling to build one and here she is not trying to. Obviously i’m biased and thinking why would anyone not want a relationship with my sometimes grumpy little monkey perfect little girl,  but hey there isn’t much I can do about that. All I can do for now is keep plugging away the same as my husband and hopefully one day this relationship will build to be two way!

Any thoughts, comments, experiences on step parenting are very welcome, hats off to anyone doing it because it can be a roller coaster ride that you are only a passenger on!

Family · happy · Thankful · Uncategorized

Being Thankful

Ive seen a couple of these leading up to Thanksgiving but even though we don’t celebrate it I thought it was a nice idea so here goes, I’m thankful for:

My husband – he always know how to make me laugh, even when we are stripping wallpaper after a long day at work! He loves me without question and devotes his life to making us all happy.

My health – there is nothing more important than having healthy family and friends, literally nothing.

My beautiful daughter- some how I’ve been blessed with this little miracle of a daughter and she is my best friend. The love and respect we have for each other is unwavering and I cannot wait to live the rest of my life as her Mummy.

Our home- it took a while for us to get there but we have been in our home a year and a half now and are slowly making it our own! (We may even have a fireplace by Xmas if we are lucky!)

Days off- family days where we are all together are the best.

Chocolate – when I’m happy or sad, with friends or alone chocolate fits every occasion! 😂

Good friends! There really is nothing better than having people you know you can depend on in a crisis and are there whether you text them everyday or not and if don’t hold it against you if you are just really busy sometimes and you don’t speak for weeks! Just good friends who are good company!

Our jobs- even though we sometimes moan about them we are lucky to have good incomes and I’m even luckier to work part time too.

My Nan- she is my first contact when anything goes wrong and the first person I tell when anything goes right, I couldn’t be without her!

My puppy – the giggles and fun she has brought to our home is amazing, T’s bond with her is beautiful and I’m excited to see how she will continue to change and grow.

Date nights- a must, no matter how long you have been together you have to make time for each other.

Christmas spirit – this time of year it will soon be time to start getting in the Christmas spirit and I love making the most of every Christmas opportunity available from cookies to music to decorations our house just oozes Christmas from the minute you open the door and smell the cinnamon plug in! 😄

Braces – I’m thankful I’ve finally plucked up the courage/been supported enough/been financially able to do something about my teeth which I have always hated!

Thanks for reading my thankful list I would love to see anyone else’s!

Cockapoo · Family · happy · Love · Uncategorized

Our puppy, our new best friend

We have had our cockapoo puppy Poppy for 9 weeks now and she has filled a space in our home we didnt even know was there. Nothing can describe the feeling I get when I see my little T cuddle up to her telling her how much she loves her and Poppy just sits there on her lap just knowing. The bond between them is already unbreakable and it gets stronger every day.

Ever see a dog walk away to its bed and lay down when it’s had enough of being cuddled and carried about? Not Poppy, she will be carried from room to room by T, have her face snuggled right up to T’s as long as T wants to do it. This dog is as much in love with her family as we are with her it’s so clear to see.

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I’m not sure if it’s just the cockapoo breed as I did a lot of research before we got her and everything said they were people pleasing dogs but she is certainly that. In just this short time we have had her she has learnt to sit, give paw,  lie down,  stay and sit and look at a treat until I say she can have it. She loves to please us and make us happy, she loves to be with us.  She will often be in the room we are in happily chewing away on a chew and we will change rooms for a moment, turn round and she is sitting right behind you happily chewing her chew. Its like she is happiest wherever we are, whether she is getting attention or not it’s just better to be with us.

Now we are getting towards her being totally house trained we have started to let her on the sofa in the late evenings for a cuddle too.  This is yet another building block in our relationship with her and we all love it. What amazes me is Poppy knows she can only be on the sofa when we say and rarely tries to get up during the day, we are still working on this, and almost never gets up without us there. It’s like getting up is something she does to get close to us and why would she want to be up there if her family aren’t there?

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Last night we locked her in her cage for the night. This was the first time since that first night we brought her home, that night didn’t work out too well with howling every hour so since then she has had her cage door open and been able to sleep in there and walk around the kitchen. This may seem like a great idea but we found we werent really getting anywhere with night time toilet training with every morning still clearing up lots of presents. So we decided we would close the door and see if she would just sleep the night in there, Scott is up at 5.45 anyway so not like we lay in. Well it only went and worked! Poppy slept the night through with not a single accident and we couldn’t be more proud! This morning she will get an extra nice walk and a lovely brush as a reward 😊

Poppy love/puppy love really can be the same as having a bond with a child, from someone who is lucky enough to have both I now know that this is what I’ve been missing and what I really always wanted,to share a bond like this with all of my family, it just so happened it’s with a dog.Yes Poppy you really have made our family complete and we couldn’t love you any more if we tried.

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Birthday · Family · happy · Love · Photos · Surprises · Uncategorized

Feeling loved

Well what a difference a day makes, just a couple of days ago and I really wasn’t too interested in turning 32 but hey its happened so I have to embrace it! It actually  turned out to be a really great day, I was woken with kisses and singing from Scott and the munchkin, then presents and handmade cards and pictures in bed. I love getting cards, whether they are handmade or shop bought they are something I really appreciate and take the time to read more than once. This is one of my handmade cards from T this year.

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This year we have long hair and initials above out heads, maybe next year we will be wearing clothes! 😉 After we got ready we headed off for a trip to Krispy Kreme because believe it or not we had never been! It was definitely worth waiting for! those doughnuts were delicious and the gingerbread latte really was so good! T had a banoffee milkshake and spent most of her time strolling around the place wearing one of their paper hats!

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After we got back it had stopped raining so we took Poppy out for a birthday walk then the rain came back so we sat making bracelets and then watched Paddington which made me and T giggle out loud in several places. Love hearing my little girl giggle 😊

After a few birthday visitors Scott treated me to dinner out and we met up with friends for drinks after and ended up having a really fun evening.

All in all if 32 carries on like this, making happy memories with the ones I love then I’m up for that 😊

Here are a few more of  my favourite pictures from my special day.

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Adult braces · Birthday · happy · Surprises · Uncategorized

Turning 32

So tomorrow I turn 32! After a week at work and struggling to find some excitement for my birthday my little person and Scott have well and truly got me looking forward to waking up tomorrow ☺

They have been planning surprises and having secret talks all week and in a few hours I will know exactly what it’s all about!

So here’s to being another year older, although I wasn’t feeling it at first I now can’t wait to spend the day with my little munchkin, husband and Poppy the puppy! 🎂🎁🎈

Family · happy · Photos · Uncategorized

Photographs- memories in the making

People often comment that I’m always taking pictures, it’s true I’m usually the first one to get my phone out and say let’s have a photo,  or show me again! My reason behind this comes from my longing to preserve these special moments in time. You see when I was growing up we didn’t get the camera out unless it was a special occasion and got the film developed even less! Now in this digital age we are in our camera is at our fingertips daily and I for one think is this awesome! From capturing beautiful moments as a mother to reactions of gift giving or happy occasions, to just cute puppy pictures I must say I love storing this little moments on my phone and having them there at my fingertips to peruse whenever the moment takes me.

Without the ease of taking pictures how would I remember what the hotel room looked like that we stayed in when Scott suprised me with a trip to London for my 30th birthday and subsequently ended up proposing!

fb_img_1478682438691Or how would I remember what it felt like to stand next to the poppies at the Tower of London and just be in awe of the lifes lost.

fb_img_1478682445914Or how would I ever remember the ‘treasure chest’ that Tiana wanted to make at 7am from an egg box and some sticky feathers!

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It’s often said a picture tells the story of a thousand words and I think this can be so true so I will continue saving my pictures and smiling when they come back as memories because these are the moments I want to remember and it makes me happy.

Uncategorized

Beauty

This is a lovely post I came across today that I just really liked.

lizalizaskysaregrey

img_3389What is more beautiful, the sunset or sunrise or could it be for you the deepest forest or the highest mountain.  Each of these things calls to us individually, is beautiful in as much as it touches our souls.  Beauty cannot be measured, it is of personal choice and appreciation.  Each and every one of us witnesses the world in a different way, is inspired and fulfilled in different ways.  

~ Liza

lizalizaskysaregrey©2016

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