Word of the week… Family

We are family!

I am lucky enough to have seen a lot of my family during the course of the past week which is slightly out of the ordinay in a couple of ways. For a start the hubster has been doing a lot of overtime at the weekends since the beginning of the year. The flooding ensured that our organisation had an extended budget for helping with both rescue and long-term recovery, and the hubster has taken advantage of this where possible. It hasn’t left much time for us to interact as a family together though and it has meant that many limited opportunities to see the Girl have been overlooked.

Last Saturday though, we finally had a chance to spend some time together and she came with us as we all attended the birthday party of a friend’s three year old daughter. The kids had fun playing in the garden despite slightly cold windy weather! Then on Bank Holiday Monday we picked the girl up again on our way over to my parents house for a big family lunch with my sister’s family too. There were eleven of us around the dinner table and I love the buzz when everyone is talking and laughing and  passing the various bowls of goodies that my wonderful mum has cooked for us all to enjoy.

On Tuesday I got to see my lovely cousin who I haven’t seen since her wedding last June, despite only living about ten miles away. She is 35 weeks pregnant and we had planned to have a nice girly lunch or coffee on my day off but unfortunately she picked one of only a handful of days during the year that I have the kids with me on a Tuesday (our childminder was on her hols!). My cousin gamely agreed to meet us at a local leisure centre with a cafe and softplay. I really hope I didn’t fill her with dread at the impending chaos that will inevitably be motherhood!

My Mum came over on Wednesday as she always does, to take over child care while I went back to work. She had rung me the day before to tell me that she had decided that, no matter the weather (and the forecast wasn’t good!) she would take them to Alice Holt Forest where they could play, lunch in the cafe and explore the woodland trails. I left out the all in one waterproof suits she had bought them from Boots a few weeks ago and their wellies. By all accounts they had a whale of a time and I am totally inspired to get them out every day I’m with them over the summer now as the fresh air and exercise noticeably improved moods, appetites and behaviour!

This weekend we lose the hubster again as he takes off to the Lake District to hike through the night and light a beacon at dawn on one of the many peaks (as you do!). In the meantime I look forward to the day when we can all take off for a hike together as a family…


The Reading Residence

Woolly Head…

woolly head

Lately I have had a lot of thoughts going through my mind to the point that I decided to write myself a To Do list. Here is the list:

  1. Fill out passport applications for me and EJ (mine being a ten year renewal). (This with the thought in mind that we might actually be able to book a holiday in October, finances allowing).
  2. Buy a new, up to date smartphone which will actually allow me to take Instagram and good quality photographs. (Do this through Vodafone to qualify for 20% staff discount on monthly charges).
  3. Find out whether I’m locked into mobile contract with Virgin and what I would have to do/pay to get out.
  4. After buying new phone apply for staff discount within allocated time period.
  5. Book a party venue for JJ’s birthday (which is only five weeks away :-/)
  6. Book a bouncy castle/entertainer for party.
  7. Buy party necessities
  8. Buy JJ’s birthday presents.
  9. Book an appointment for EJ to have his 12/13 month innoculations.
  10. Ignore entire list and proceed to become increasingly stressed about everything…

These are all the things I should be doing (minus that last one!) whilst I am actually: reading other people’s blog posts; searching for blogging inspiration; attempting to boost my readership by signing up for as many linkies and networks and communities as I can possibly think of; wondering how the hell someone with six children can post consistently funny entries on a regular basis.

Something’s got to give…

Birthday Party etiquette…

So today at the preschool drop off JJ was given an invitation to a friend’s birthday party. Unfortunately the party is scheduled for the day of his own birthday which falls on a Saturday this year. This is a new one on me. My initial thought was, well he can’t go. He doesn’t share a huge amount of friends with the inviter and if I book a party for him on the same day then it won’t really matter. Then I took note of the fact that his best friend in the world had also been invited to the other party. I also hate to turn down parties because they can be fun and are a great way to keep JJ happy! Plus I really like this friend’s mum and want to keep connected. So perhaps I should book our party for the Sunday instead. This seems like the best option but also means that JJ will be at someone else’s party on his own birthday and singing Happy Birthday to You to someone else, watching them blow out the candles on a cake when he is the real Birthday Boy on that particular day… I’m finding this weird…