family time · fun activities · Halloween · kids activities · making memories · Mums · October · Parenting · Pumpkin · Uncategorized

Our Halloween 2017

We have always loved Halloween in our house, right from when T was tiny we started by having a couple of baby friends over and they all dressed up as cute baby witches and vampires. From then on we have always carved pumpkins, decorated the house and looked forward to the trick or treaters. Over the last few years the pumpkins have got more elaborate but T is always the happiest with a medium sized one with a wonky and simplistic face, it’s the little things. 

These are our efforts this year 

We also have a tradition of taking a photograph of T with her pumpkin every year So we can look back and see how much she’s grown so here is a snapshot of T every Halloween from age 2 to to 7.

In the past we have had Halloween parties, Been to Halloween fireworks and bonfires but this year T went trick or treating for the first time with her Dad. She has never wanted to go before now but her Dad’s partner has two children of a similar age and so I think she was excited to go with them so she wouldn’t be alone. As much as I was sad she was experiencing a first without me I was also excited for her to go and have fun. No I wouldn’t be there to hold her hand but I had to take a step back this time and just know she would be alright.

Here she is ready to go tonight.

Besides someone had to stay at home for the 8 lots of trick or treaters we had calling!! It must have been the pumpkins that drew them in, or maybe the bats in the windows or Halloween stickers on the door! It was great to see them all dressed up and even the older ones were all so polite 😊

Even though I didn’t have my T today it has really felt like Halloween with chocolate and sweets at work and even a few Halloween Krispy Kremes! I hope you have all had a great Halloween! Here’s the scariest filter I could find and my final use of the 🎃 emoji for this year! 

Happy Halloween!

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Parenting · Uncategorized

More breast feeding guilt trips!

When will the media ever stop making us parents feel guilty about not breast feeding?! I feel like never at the minute! 

So todays headline is ‘Breastfeeding improves bond with your child until they turn 11’. What complete and utter $@#&@***!!! Apparently women who breast feed are more sensitive to their child’s needs, their children are less likely to take drugs and also have a better mental health! Well I’m sorry but I am extremely sensitive to my childs needs and we have a fantastic bond which I’m pretty sure will continue until she is long past 11! 

Apparently the longer the woman feeds for the more sensitive they are over the years concerning their child. So what about mothers that don’t want to feed or mothers that can’t? Isn’t this pointless study just another way to make parents feel guilty about the choices they make for their child? We are now all very aware of the benefits of feeding and I’m sure we can all make an informed decision when the time comes without a study like this one guilt tripping us into one!

What is to say a mother who can’t breast feed won’t read this and immediately feel like they need to keep in touch with their child more and over compensate for the fact they were unable to feed? Or what if you made a choice you didn’t want to, weren’t comfortable to and your child still turned out ok surely this just makes you feel like a bad parent? 

Well screw you stupid survey my child and I are doing just fine! 

Chester Bennington · Depression · Grief · Linkin Park · Loss · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Linkin Park remember Chester.

So I’ve spent today catching up on the Linkin Park tribute to Chester Bennington and I have to say it was amazing. 

At first I had mixed feelings about hearing other people sing his songs as Chester’s voice was so distinctive there is simply no replacing him. I felt other voices didn’t do the songs justice and like they were taking something away from him by giving the songs their own twist and style. It was like I was forgetting how Chester sounded because all I could hear were the guest artists. 

But the more I watched the more I realised that Mike and the rest of the band were just simply trying to remember their friend by playing the songs he loved to perform. Mike did a lot of the vocals and some songs he just let the crowd sing completely which as soon as I heard these songs start I actually said out loud ‘how are you going to sing this one?’ Turns out he knew he couldn’t and it had to be up to the fans which was the perfect thing to do.

The moments inbetween songs where they shared funny clips of Chester, My daughter and I will always love ‘Lollipops and Unicorns’ simply because it makes us smile and sing along, were all so personal and is something I’m sure the fans appreciated massively. To stand there and read from a script and pretend like it was any other show would have been wrong and that’s not what they did. They stood up there and celebrated a great artist, they had fun remembering their friend, the moments they shared and the great music they created and they shared that with the world, Not for profit, Not for a new DVD but for free online because they wanted it to be available to everyone!

They highlighted the charities they supported as a band and the One More Light foundation which has been set up in Chester’s name and his wife Talinda stood very bravely infront of the crowd for several minutes thanking the world for their support. This part was probably the most emotional for me hearing her voice break was tough but I willed her to carry on and she did finishing with a very poignant “fuck depression!” 

The artists and talent that came together to make this concert really did showcase Chester’s talent along with the rest of the band and did one hell of a job performing tracks that at times must have been very emotional for them. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions from happy to sad, from rocking out to rapping and feeling great about the legacy that has been left from the years this band were together. 

Another tagline from the show was ‘Make Chester Proud’ well guys I think he would have been damn proud of what you all achieved there. It was something that will be remembered by fans across the world for years to come and thanks to you and your incredible music Chester Bennington will not be forgotten. 

I only hope his music continues to reach out to those in need and people who need it the most. Depression and mental health is real, it is happening, You never know the battle that is being fought in someone’s head even when there is a smile on their face a silent war could be raging so be kind, be interested, show compassion and be genuine, you never know when it might just make someone’s day.

RIP Chester, you will not be forgotten.

Autumn · Cockapoo · dogs · horse riding · horses · motherhood · October · positive thinking · Stress · Uncategorized · walking

A tough start but a better ending!

So this week started off pretty rubbish mainly due to me missing T but for a few other things as well but Wednesday night was date night which cheered me up massively. We went for dinner and shared this beauty of a dessert which was as good as it looks! Warm cookie with melted ice cream and fudge pieces, delicious!

Thursday I got my T back so we had a playdate with some friends at ours first thing and the girls coloured in Halloween pictures which was really nice. After this T and Scott went and did some secret birthday shopping for me as it’s only a couple of weeks away. I also had my hair done for the first time in months which felt really nice and really gave me a boost.

Yesterday we went for a playdate and baking session at my friends house. The girls made cupcakes and iced them and we had a great time.

Then came T’s riding lesson, she had a different teacher but still went off pretty confident on a bigger pony but one she had ridden before. But Frosty had other ideas and cantered off around the arena right at the start of her lesson causing T to bump right out of the saddle and end up sitting on his neck! 

T on Frosty
The teacher straight away swapped Frosty for Spirit as she didn’t want T to lose her confidence for the whole lesson and apart from him needing a bit more leg to turn and he’s a much bigger horse she really enjoyed riding him! 

Last night I did something that doesn’t happen very often, went out with friends from work for dinner! It was a last minute thing just because it’s payday but it was actually really nice to all get together and talk about, Well mostly work but hey it was still nice to get out! 

This morning after some family stresses I’ve taken Poppy for a nice long walk and just let it all melt away! I’m fairly confident I’m going to get some help with stress calming techniques in the near future along with a couple of other things but for now Poppy, the woods and a bowl of butternut squash soup is the perfect solution! 

This weekend I’m looking forward to carving our pumpkins, catching up with friends and cooking a roast! 

I hope you all have a great weekend,

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Grief · Loss · Marriage · Parenting · Uncategorized

Silent loss

It’s like an ever present feeling that only you know about. Sometimes a knowing look between the two of you and maybe a hand squeeze if you aren’t alone. When you are alone it could mean a cuddle and a promise to always look forward and appreciate how amazing life is and how lucky you are to have what you have. This then turns into each one or both of you proclaiming that you don’t need anything else anyway. 
The thoughts appear in your mind every day, Sometimes more than once. It could be a conversation at work, a collection for someone, something you see online, as it’s not far from the surface it’s easily provoked.
One day maybe these thoughts won’t be there but for now they appear if you are on your own, with someone who does know or someone who doesn’t, watching a film or reading a book.
Particular films might evoke feelings more than others and you will be aware of these films yet will still watch them. It’s almost like a therapy, you want to watch them to feel the way you do because you don’t want to ignore it. How do you feel? Upset, lost, betrayed, like life has dealt a blow to good people, deserving yet not given the chance to deserve.

Years and months after the news you will still feel this way. When you fight you will start to question whether this was how it was meant to be. Have you been dealt these cards for a reason? Then you make up and the numbness becomes real again, you remember the love you have for each other and how complete you feel in this relationship but no matter how good things are something will always remind you of what isn’t there.

The lies you tell your friends and family as to why things haven’t changed will never get any easier to tell and will be said with a fake smile and expression of how happy you both are at with your current situation.

The times when your child is away from home will be be tough. Then you will feel like a childless parent, if even for a short time. You think this is what it must be like for those who have even worse luck than you. These times there will be a hole in your heart the size of a football pitch and you will be aware of every minute of every day and sometimes night, willing them to pass faster. You know when they return peace will be restored and happiness will flow through your veins again; until the next time someone asks why things aren’t different. There will always be a next time you see because people are always curious this won’t ever stop. Except when you get older and then I guess the questions will be phrased differently; why weren’t things different, why didn’t you?

Maybe one day society will realise that there is a reason behind your decisions and their questions do you no favours and only offer hurt. But for now you will be forced to explain your life  choices to each new person you meet  and those hand holds will continue in public and in private very occasionally the tears will come. Because this is something that won’t ever go away and you will learn to deal with and push away from the surface more each day until one day; you hope, you can look back and believe it happened for a reason and you can finally be honest with those closest to you.

A child's perspective · Blogger · Childhood · Children · Disney · family time · motherhood · Mums · October · Parenting · philosophy · Uncategorized

What my 7 year old still doesn’t understand about Lady and the Tramp

So the other night was movie night, we have a good sized collection of Disney classics, as any home should and Lady and the Tramp happens to be one of them. 

Now we have watched this film countless times but probably not for a few months and this time I came to realise how much my little persons mind is changing. There were a lot of questions she has never asked before and I guess I just assumed she knew the answers to or I didn’t want to explain because I thought she would get upset.

So I thought I would share with you her questions and my answers to give you some idea of how a 7 year olds mind works. 

T-  Why is there one puppy at the end which looks like tramp and the rest look like lady?

Me- Well because they had puppies together.

T-  but how did they get one looking like the dad because puppies go in the mummies tummy?

Me- well because he is the Dad and Lady is the Mummy so some look like each one, like Poppy looks like her Daddys colour but her Mummy’s size. (I bailed at this point and did not go any further into why the dogs look like the Mum and Dad! She’s only 7!)

T- what does lost your sense of smell mean?

Me- that dog is a hound so he uses his sense of smell to hunt things out so as he’s got a little older he can’t smell things as well any more which for him is pretty sad.

T- where is the dog in the pound going?

At this point the dog is being taken for the ‘long walk’ from which he never returns.

Me- well in the old days when they had a dog at the pound and no one came to claim him they would kill it after a few days because they didn’t have enough space to keep them all.

*watches T’s face for reaction*

T- and the dog just thought he was really going for a long walk, he was excited to go out the door.

Me- yes babe.

*realises this film is actually pretty sad in places*

T- Why does Lady get that put on her face?

Me- because the Aunt thinks she is going to bite the baby so they put those on dogs that aren’t very nice to keep them from hurting anyone.

T-why does the Beaver need that log in the river?

Me- because they like to build a dam to stop the water so they have a home to live in.

And that’s all folks!

The lesson for today- no matter how much you think your kids can follow these films and they have watched them since they were tiny there is still a lot they really don’t understand so one day be ready for the questions! 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Cockapoo · cockerpoo · dogs · Family · Love · October · perseverance · positive thinking · Puppy · Uncategorized

Poppy is back- her operation story 

So three weeks ago we had Poppy spade, something we did not decide on lightly and even left until she was over 1 to do as we couldn’t fully decide. What swung it for us was the risk of puppies was no longer there. We could have managed the season every 6 months but Poppy loves to run and if a male dog had got to her we just felt we couldn’t have looked after puppies while working so it wouldn’t have been fair to her.

So the operation itself was a success, We had a rough night the first night with lots of crying and whining from poor Pops but the very next day she was already starting to look a bit brighter. 

The below is day 1.

So we followed the rules and kept the cone on, we walked her for 10 days with that thing on and every other dog barking  at her while their humans ‘aahhh’d’. 

We went at 10 days at got her stitches out and everything looked great. The cone came off and we started walking and running again. She was so happy.

Then 5 days later a red lump appeared on her wound. The vet couldn’t tell if it was an infection/her body reacting to the stitches inside or what had happened so we were given antibiotics for a week and the cone had to go back on!

Poppy was sad again.

So every night and every day when we went to work we put it back on and looked at her sad little face. We had to get this wound sorted so there was nothing else we could do. My neighbour who let’s her out every day at lunch time had said Poppy wouldn’t even take a treat from her for 2 days which I think showed how sad she was! 

But I’ve given the tablets religiously twice a day for a week and we are now finally healed! The wound is looking great and the cone is finally banished forever 😁

Yesterday she had her first run in a long time and she loved it! 

Today Poppy is having a bath to get that stinky smell of the cone gone completely! 

We are so pleased to get out puppy back to strength, it’s been a long 3 weeks for her but it’s finally over 😊

Birthday · Charlie and the Chocolate Factory · Family · fun activities · homemade · motherhood · Parenting · Party Planning · Uncategorized · Willy Wonka

Party planning Willy Wonka style!

Every year T has a birthday party and every year I plan and plan, make things myself, think up activities, design decorations and manage to pull it off, with a little help from friends and family anyway!
This year T wants a Charlie and the Chocolate factory birthday party. This is one of her favourite films and she has watched it so many times each time finding it just as exciting. Its a pretty common theme if you look online there are a whole host of ideas for Willy Wonka parties and it’s at this time Pinterest becomes my best friend and most commonly used app!

Some people wonder why I plan parties at home designing the decorations and games myself, spending weeks planning the food, Party bags, games and invitations but when you have a little person who has a favourite film/book/person why wouldn’t you want to create a magical fun filled party for them to enjoy with their friends at home? After all they aren’t this small forever and give it a couple of years every year we will be spending parties elsewhere at a cost I’m sure!

Last year we had Princess Tiana as the theme, standard really as T stands for Tiana and before that we have had a Princess Belle party also. Don’t get me wrong we have had parties out, for her 6th birthday she had a pamper party at a beauty salon where all the little girls got their hair plaited and sprayed with glitter and had their nails painted pretty colours. It was so much fun for them and all I had to plan was the cake and party bags so I’m really not against parties that are entertained for you I just love creating a party myself!

So this year so far I’ve got planned the following games;

Treasure hunt
Balloon burst to find golden ticket in violet
Guess how many in jar
Eating doughnuts from string
Make your own sweetie necklace
Pass the parcel
Photos in the wonka tv
Musical statues & bumps
Wonka wordsearch
Balloon game

I’m sure more will be added along the way as it takes quite a few activities to entertain about 10 little girls for an 1hour/1 hour 30! I thought the Wonka wordsearch could be used while i’m preparing something else and maybe the top three quickest will receive a small prize. I’ve already printed these wordsearches for free online so that is one small job done!

screenshot_20171020-115722618182053.pngHere is some more of  my inspiration from online, there will two golden tickets inside two balloons on Violet and the lucky winners will receive a prize, along with the winner of who can eat their doughnut first without using their hands!

I’m planning to try and make a Willy Wonka hat from cardboard and tissue paper and obviously the plates and cups will need to be as bright as possible to fit in with the theme of the chocolate factory!

I’ve also found some golden ticket invitations that you can print from Pinterest for £1.20, this gives you a PDF editable download of a golden ticket along with the outside cover of a Wonka bar so you an actually make a Wonka bar with a golden ticket inside as the invitation! It also helpfully tells you that the cheapest place to go for the chocolate is Asda as it comes already in silver foil! I will post pictures of these once they are done.

I think the below will be fairly easy to make as we have an old swimming float that is no longer used and Scott is going to try and get me some long cardboard tubes from work, we can also decorate paper plates with stripes to look like lollipops too.

The paper sweets will take two minutes with some tissue paper and tape too.

This is the cake I am having made for the party and the cupcakes will be party favours along with a toothbrush! (An idea I saw online and thought was really cute, after all the kids will be eating a lot of sugar at the party!)

So this week I had a mini meltdown when I learnt that my usual helpers will not be around for this party! After a day of feeling completely and utterly alone, even asking family that live an hour away with no joy, I’ve decided the party will go ahead and even if I have to do the whole thing on my own I will manage and T will have a great time!

I have a couple of months before the big day which is perfect for me as I hate being rushed at anything and this way I can take my time doing bits and bobs each week and fitting it in around Christmas shopping also!

Any ideas, suggestions or tips anyone has on this I would love to hear!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

 

 

 

art · Autumn · Blogger · craft · fun activities · Halloween · homemade · kids activities · making memories · October · Outdoor activities · Uncategorized

Autumn crafts and dinner with friends!

So today started well as Scott had planned breakfast in bed for all three of us, well it was meant to be just me and Scott but when we realised T was coming back a night earlier the romantic morning for two turned into a family breakfast in bed! 

We both got looked after though and T ended up with her breakfast in our bed too which she loved. It was the perfect slow Sunday morning.

Next we all took Poppy on a walk to collect some leaves for our when our friends came later. T had great fun jumping in piles of leaves and throwing them around! 

We ended up with so many different colours and shapes we were were really inspired when we got home and started on leaf art right away! 

T made herself a peacock and Scott made a dragon and we saved the rest for later on. 

It was great fun having them sprawled all over the table!

Then our friends came for Sunday roast which was great. We carried on crafting and the kids decorated the mini pumpkins I had made out of conkers and they turned out great! They also made leaf pictures of butteflies and lions!

We all enjoyed our roast dinner and had a fab afternoon with friends, this is how Sunday’s should be! 

Hope you have all had a great weekend 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Cockapoo · dogs · friends · Friendship · Halloween · homemade · Looking back · philosophy · reflection · Uncategorized

Cups of tea and an unexpected visit!

So today I had plans for a quick trip to the shops, a catch up with a friend and a visit to the vets. All of those things happened, the trip to the shops was great because I managed to pick up a Christmas present for T simply because it had Princess Tiana on and it’s so rare to see her on anything so I had to buy it. (T loves that she is also a Disney Princess.) 

The vets appointment was ok, poor Poppy seems to have a little lump at the site of her operation which could be either an infection, where her body is reacting to the internal stitches or just hard tissue where it is healing so she is now on antibiotics for a week. Here’s hoping it sorts itself out! For now here is a cute picture I took the other day! 

This afternoon I have also been painting conkers orange to look like mini pumpkins! We are having friends round tomorrow and I’m going to let the kids draw pumpkin faces on them, It was an idea I found a couple of weeks ago which I wrote about here so I will post pictures their finished products when they are done!

Then I had a friend round for tea and an overdue catch up which was lovely. We both seemed to have a lot to tell each other and she shared some good news about moving house which was great. Her cousin came to pick her up who I haven’t seen in years and it was so nice to chat to! You know when it’s just easy to talk to someone, there was no awkwardness, No why haven’t you been in touch, what happened to us as friends we simply moved in different directions at the time and there was nothing more to it. We have always kept in touch online so have a fair idea of what each other has been upto along with my friend keeping us both in the loop but today we ended up chatting for over half an hour when she was meant to be not stopping. It was just easy and made me think this is how life should be, It got me thinking about some difficult decisions I made about friendships nearly a year ago now and just reaffirmed that I made the right ones. 

Surround yourself with the right people and life can be good, the wrong people can drag you down and really life is too short and has too many worries and stresses for friendships to be one of them!

Who knows if I will see this friend again anytime soon but I know if I do it will be just as easy and comfortable and that’s how it should be