Word of the Week: After (and Before…)

If I was writing this post on Monday I might have been tempted to use the word ‘anti-climax’. After a few weeks of frenetic planning and organisation for EJ’s circus themed birthday party (don’t ask me why, he’s unlikely to remember any of it!), and then the party itself on Sunday, it feels like every moment of my spare time has been taken up with thoughts of timings and food choices and entertainment options. Come Monday I was left feeling a little deflated (along with about 20 shrivelled balloons!). Monday afternoon I was alone with both boys with nothing planned and the weather was a bit iffy. I felt a bit bored and fidgety. I allowed JJ to help his brother open up all the presents he’d received at his party which were a great success but left me feeling slightly worried about the knock-on toy clutter effect. I had already neglected any proper cleaning and tidying for at least a week, prioritising party stuff, and something needed to be done.

Come Tuesday I had the opportunity I needed to get to grips with the situation. With no appointments or get-togethers arranged and the children both out at our childminder’s I had the perfect opportunity to do some sorting.

It’s been a long time since I really looked through the toy boxes to sort the wheat from the chaff and as a consequence new things were building up on the floor and other surfaces as there was no room to store them. I set to work sorting it all into three piles: chuckers, keepers and charity/ebay, getting rid of a huge amount of stuff and a big bag of rubbish. Now we have room to store most of the toys that normally just lie around the house and more, because I bought these cute storage boxes from Argos to create some additional space.

animal toy storage boxes
Now I just need to block out a day to deal with the gathering pile of bags filled with toys and clothes that, whilst out of our living space, are still in our house.


Looking forward, I have begun to obsess over JJ’s upcoming pirate party (well it’s only a short five weeks away!). I have booked a hall and a bouncy castle and already know that I’ll use lunch boxes instead of doing a full spread. I know what I want to go in the boxes, what will go in the party bags, how I’m going to decorate the food table (with extras like a jar of gold coins and a cake stand full of pirate cupcakes) and what games will be best (I think I’m going to have to make time to sort a pass the parcel this time – it seems like the done thing!). I really enjoyed making the clown cake pops for EJ’s party but to be honest it is quite a lot of faff, so I’ve decided that JJ’s party will have marshmallow pops instead – that means there’ll be no cake baking, cooling, moulding and freezing involved! I’ve also discovered some handy baker’s tools to make the decoration so much easier so I’m looking forward to that!

Tomorrow we are off to Devon for a week with my family which I’m also really looking forward to! We will be staying in Torquay and hopefully have some nice days out and a few trips to the beach! It will probably be a blog-free week for me this time round as I haven’t had the chance to line up any scheduled posts and I won’t have the laptop with me. I’m going to be more chilled about it though – I think it will be great to get away from everything – even the constant stream of writing and responding, which, whilst lovely, is not a recipe for relaxing and switching off and everyone needs to power down and switch off for a bit every once in a while.

This time next week it will be my own birthday! Unfortunately no one has any great celebrations planned for me and as usual I haven’t got round to planning anything for myself. Sometimes you just lose yourself in this parenting thing don’t you?

Have a great weekend WOTWers!


11 thoughts on “Word of the Week: After (and Before…)

  1. Devon sounds like it’ll be a lovely welcome break from all the chaos of party planning Sam! It was my birthday yesterday, and hubby & I were saying the same – it’s all about the kids. That said my 5yo was on her best behaviour so the best gift ever 🙂 xx #wotw

    • Ah so glad your 5 year old behaved – it’s bad enough feeling like you don’t really have a ‘special’ day any more without the day being given over to tears and tantrums too. I’m really looking forward to Devon but still feeling a bit weird about not blogging for a week! Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze a short one or two (with no pics!) in using my Kindle but the thought of lots of typing on a touchscreen isn’t great…

      • Just do it hon, the break will probably be liberating! Create memories and take lots of lovely snaps to blog about over the weeks to come 🙂

  2. Sounds like a busy week – clearing out the clutter always makes me feel better soon – need to do some toy sorting myself before J’s 3rd birthday next month. Hope you have a lovely holiday and happy birthday for next week 🙂

  3. Phew, you’ve been busy! Life always feels better after a clear out – I hope it doesn’t all pile back at the next birthday party! Hopefully someone’s planning a nice surprise for your birthday x

  4. You’re so much better than me at this birthday party thing! My kids tend to have little birthday teas with family and then we whisk them off for weekends away/theme parks that type of thing, so I’ve yet to arrange a ‘proper’ party! I suspect it’s only a matter of time before I do, but I’m hoping to squeeze out one more easy year! Have a fabulous time in Devon and a lovely rest, too, if possible. And I do hope you’re spoiled on your birthday, travelling aside! x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  5. well done for the decluttering, gotta be done every once in a while so the toys don’t take over the house! or at least, so they take over less of the house 🙂 Hope you have a lovely week off hon, I think see how you feel, blog if you feel like you want to but maybe take the opportunity for some time off, and then tell us all about what a lovely time you’ve had when you get back 🙂 xx #wotw oh and have a wonderful birthday, even if there is nothing special planned, I am sure your boys will look after you 🙂 xx

  6. It sounds like a busy week for you! Sorting my girls toys out needs to be done soon….Their birthdays are coming up so I need a de-clutter! x

  7. I hope you have a wonderful vacation! Maybe you can fit in a birthday dinner with your family while you’re all away? Moms definitely tend to get lost in the shuffle!

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