Thursday, 30 January 2014

Counting our Blessings

January's pay day seem to take a long time to come around; we have had Christmas and my birthday all within the last month or so. I don't know why I get excited when Phil gets paid, as most months the money is all but gone on bills alone; some months I am surprised we manage to keep a roof over our head and have enough food, but we do and I'm so grateful for what we have. We don't have a lot but we have enough. 

This year will be the first year we have a proper family holiday, a week away at Coombe Mill. I am so excited; we have been saving and cutting back for a while now, which is the only way we've been able to afford it. I've been trying to work out how much spending money were going to need, we will be self catering so we will do our normal food shop whilst we are there. We also plan to visit some nice places whilst we are down there.

I recently asked some friends on twitter and facebook how much spending money they would take, and was shocked when people said as high as £1000... no way could we afford that! So far we have saved around £250, which I hope should cover most things.

Today's got me reflecting on the things that I am grateful for; although we need money to buy things, there are some things in life that are free and we do really need to count our blessings for what we do have, rather than we don't.

For instance, I have a husband, two wonderful daughters and a great family, and were are all in reasonable health (mine at the minute is a bit hit and miss, but I will get sorted).

We take it for granted, but social media and blogging have made such a huge impact on my life, they have allowed me to make many amazing friends who have made me feel a lot less isolated whilst I am a stay at home mum.

And of course it is the small things that mean so much to us, such as:
  • Cuddles
  • Smiles
  • Manners
  • Compliments 
  • Happiness

But for me, one of the things that I am most grateful for is my faith, something that money just cant buy.I plan to write about my faith sometime in the near future, but I am trying to decide on the best medium to do this.

So what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My Baby is Growing Up!

Just over 18 months ago I gave birth to Lottie; it's hard to believe where the time has gone and I am left wondering where has my little baby gone? I seem to have blinked or time has been on fast forward; I don't recall Ruby growing up so quickly but maybe that's because my pace of life was slower and I only had her to look after. Since I've had Lottie, I've had to split my time between the two girls and have the daily weekday chore of the school run; am I the only parent that really doesn't like the hustle and bustle of weekday mornings and afternoons?

Little Miss Cool!

Well back to Lottie, after months and months of waiting she's now smiling with lots of teeth, her hair is growing a lot slower than Ruby's and at times she's mistaken for a boy! 

Her favourite words are hiya, yes and no and she's recently learnt to say thank you - that came out of the blue. Out of habit when I've given Ruby and Lottie something I've said "what do you say..." and much to my surprise and delight Lottie actually replied "thank you", it was one of those moments that really melted my heart. 

We moved Lottie into her bedroom, which she shares with Ruby, after her 1st birthday; we could have kept her in with us for longer as we have the room, but we felt it was important that both she and Ruby get used to sharing as we only have a two bedroom house. Ruby has always been asking when Lottie could move in, I was a bit anxious at first in case they kept one another up and then we would all have a poor nights sleep, but so far it's worked really well. They both share the same bedtime and listen to either nursery rhythms or a story before they fall asleep.

Lottie is now gaining in confidence with her walking and wants to be independent which isn't always easy when I need her to stay near me, during the school run she is particularly challenging in this respect. Her independence doesn't stop there as she tells me when she wants to go outside by bringing me her coat and shoes. I think she's going to cost her daddy a lot of money as she adores shoes and loves trying Ruby's on.

Stubborn and strong willed also come to mind when thinking about Lottie, she knows what she wants and when she wants it, she has very little patience. My husband would say she's like me, but of course I can't pay comment on that! :) She's very selective over what she eats, she has to feed herself and if you try and hide peas or sweet corn in sauces, she will put them into her mouth and pull them straight back out.

Proud to be Sisters

I'm incredibly proud of both my girls and how they are growing up to be such a huge credit to my hubbie and I; I never in a million years thought I would have two wonderful girls who mean the absolute world to me. My only one ask of them is to please slow down and don't grow so quickly as I'm left wondering where have my babies gone to - they are so grown up? 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Just a little bit of sunshine!

I can't believe how cold the weather has been recently, and it could be a lot worse; we still might have the joy of snow to come! I have been looking at holiday brochures and dreaming of going away somewhere warm; the reality is that we can't afford it even if we were able to take Ruby out of school; because the guidelines have changed, we are told we can't take a family holiday. I'm digressing now as I didn't want to write a post about how annoyed I feel about the new laws; instead I've chosen to write a blog post about something that I feel more people should be aware of.... Vitamin D deficiency. 

I was shocked when my latest blood tests results came back saying I was severely lacking in Vitamin D; for a couple of months I've been really struggling with my joints hurting and always feeling tired, I initially thought it was just my ongoing knee condition and being a busy stay at home mum, but no it wasn't. 

There are many other symptoms of having a Vitamin D deficiency, these include:
  • Aches and pains
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling out of sorts and generally not very well
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sore bones when put under moderate pressure

From the information that I was given by my doctor, it appears that up to two thirds of the population could be deficient and most are untreated because people assume it's normal tiredness etc. If this is left untreated you will likely see a significant impact on your general health and well being.

However the good news is that it can be rectified; people who are only slightly deficient can add Vitamin D to their diet by eating food like oily fish, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals, or alternatively having some more time in the sunshine; for me there little chance of that happening due to the cost of a holiday and our lovely British weather. Thankfully I should be able to sort this deficiency with some simple Vitamin D supplements.

I hope this blog post helps to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency, as it was something I had never considered before and never knew what the effects in the body it can have. I am hopeful that the supplements will start to take effect over the next few weeks and I will regain my energy and begin to feel better. I will keep you posted.

Click here to find out more information about Vitamin D deficiency.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Date Night

Before having children, Phil and I used to enjoy going out together to the cinema, ten pin bowling or out for meals etc, but since Ruby was born we have really struggled to do anything together without the girls.

I think there are a number of reasons as to why we don't go out that much; with Phil travelling around the country for work, and my busy schedule as a full time mum, there really isn't that much time for just the two of us. In addition, we spend every spare penny on the girls, so cant really afford many treats. I am also apprehensive about leaving the girls with other people.

Last week, for the first time in five years, Hubbie and I went out for the evening. We had decided to go and see Chicago at our local theatre.

Chicago is a brilliant musical set in 1920's America and follows the lives of two women who find themselves gaining fame and notoriety after being convicted of murdering their husbands. It is jam packed with superb songs, energetic dancing and loads of interesting costumes. Basically... its about Adultery, Corruption and Murder!

My sister came over to babysit the girls and by all accounts had fun playing and chatting with Ruby (when she should have been in bed); the girls were well behaved and I had nothing to worry about.

We had a fab time at the theatre and it was lovely to spend an evening together with out the children for a change, we will definitely be doing it again.

We have decided to try and make more of an effort to go out together and enjoy each other's company, we're hoping to go to the theatre again in a couple of months time. Do you struggle to find the time to spend time as a couple when you become a parent? What do you enjoy doing as a couple?

Monday, 6 January 2014

Back to School - Does it get any Easier?

Ruby goes back to school tomorrow, and whilst I know that she is looking forward to it and will have lots of fun, I can't get my head around it.

I have had the most amazing and enjoyable couple of weeks having her at home all day, we have had lots of fun and I really don't want her to go back to school; I miss her so very much. Parents of older children tell me that it gets easier and there becomes a point where you are willing the holidays to be over, but I don't feel like that at the moment. I feel at a loss and as if I am missing something, Ruby has such a personality that lights up a room.

I am fortunate that I have Lottie at home, but she does not replace Ruby. Lottie although very lovely in her own right, still isn't at the age where we can do girly things; in fact every time I go out to do some shopping Lottie makes it known, by screaming and crying, that she doesn't want to be at the local shopping centre; whereas Ruby always asks when can we next go to the princess shop (Disney Store) or have a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows.

Don't get me wrong I treasure the time I have with Lottie and I love how she is starting to interact more and more, but she's very different to Ruby. I don't really know why I am writing this blog post, I just felt the need to write down how I feel on the eve of Ruby returning to school and for her to know how much I miss her; maybe I'm looking for some reassure from other mummy's that it does really really get easier.

Anyway, we made the most of our last day together before Ruby goes back to school by doing some drawing and painting. We both had a wonderful time.