Word of the week: Unplanned


After recent weeks of hyper planning for birthday parties and JJ’s first week at school, uniform and wrapping and baking, this last week I have let it go a bit. On my day off I did my cleaning but I didn’t push myself to cook something new or tick anything off any particular list. When I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands yesterday I didn’t try and cram in a hundred and one jobs or finish my book or start a new project. I did a little bit of catch up blogging (the wireless connection had been down the night before), read some of my book and had a cup of tea.

It was really quite liberating – I recommend taking the pressure off yourself once in a while. Although I admit that I did feel a bit anxious about time wasted or lost for a while, but I was also feeling bone tired. I think it was a culmination of my few busy weeks and a couple of sleepless nights. Now JJ is settling into his new routine I just feel like we all need to take stock and let the dust settle.

Hopefully I will return to planning and organisation for the coming months with renewed vigour!

Word of the week: Filth!


This week we have been having our bathroom ripped out (floor to ceiling tiles, plaster, everything) and a new one installed. This work is still ongoing. Needless to say its been a bit of an upheaval. We have one man doing all the work on his own – he’s a lovely Polish guy called Slav (although JJ insists that he’s actually named Scarf). There is so much work for him to do on his own though, including demolition and removal of the waste, tiling, plumbing, electrics and installation of the actual fittings. He will still be working this Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. This is all arranged and organised through the bathroom fitting service at B&Q so I guess they’re saving money by using one man per job.

On Monday he began removing the tiles and unexpectedly the plaster work began ripping away too. Now we need a plasterer. In the meantime the plaster dust has pervaded the house and we are currently without a bath, bathroom sink, or shower so needless to say everything feels a bit grimy – including us!

The hubster has had the luxury of a hot shower at the gym he goes to. I’ve had the opportunity to shower over at my in-laws house a couple of times but the kids have just been getting a bit of a sponge down in the kitchen sink – great larks…

Bedtimes have been chaotic to say the least with the routine all gone mad.

On my day of cleaning I sat fidgeting wondering just what to do instead – essentially the to do list for the week was abandoned!
Now I am just longing for the work to be over so that we can get back to normal and of course thrill, ooh and aah over the wonderful luxury of a shower, a shower head in the bath (I’m a bit nervous about this one as JJ has a tendency to go a bit mad with the one at my parents’ house!), mixer taps so I don’t have to worry about the toddler burning himself, a mirrored cabinet fixed at a sensible height and an enclosed cupboard so all our bathroom related junk will be out of sight!

I think the bathroom is one of the important rooms of the house to be proud of because this is one place guests are most likely to visit (and examine in minute detail?) when they come round and I most certainly was not proud of what we had before.
Roll on Tuesday…


The Reading Residence

Word of the week: Outside!


Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of sunshine can turn your life around in 24 hours? Last weekend we had two outings – one to Fisher’s Farm Park and one to Hampton Court (post to follow!) and on Monday we were very kindly invited over to a friend’s house to take part in a little impromptu Easter Egg Hunt in their garden, which will be the first of three for the munchkins! (God help us when the chocolate *really* kicks in!!).

My mum also took the pair of them to Alice Holt Forest on Wednesday morning for a picnic and apparently the place was heaving! She was relieved that they had arrived relatively early because cars were literally being turned away by the time they left.

I took an early finish from work the same day and we went into town to buy JJ some new sandals. At the weekend we had taken them both to have their feet measured and buy new shoes at Clarks for the first time in ages (bad Mummy!). JJ had been wearing shoes a size too small for goodness knows how long and EJ had been running around in an old pair of JJ’s which were practically falling apart. EJ got some very lovely Doodles and cute sandal/shoes:

whilst JJ insisted he must have this pair with a plane on the side and flashing lights when you stamp. They look a bit like bowling shoes but he’s not bothered!

flashing aeroplane shoesUnfortunately they didn’t have any in his size so they had to order them in. We will pick them up this weekend and then the outside world is his oyster again!!

Late afternoons have been spent playing in our back garden instead of cooped up inside together.

Today we are heading off to Clandon Park (a National Trust property) with friends for the NT Easter Egg trail. We’ve been to one of these before when The Girl was about four and there are lots of kids activities laid on as well as the trail so we are looking forward to that a lot.

There is definitely that strange feeling that everything has changed almost overnight, from cold, wet, cloudy days spent touring the soft plays of North East Hampshire to a blue-skied holiday vibe – we are finally coming out of hibernation!


The Reading Residence

Word of the Week: Indecision

IndecisionOK, so it hasn’t been a completely indecisive week – I finally got around to making provisional bookings for both children’s birthday parties (July & September) and I was really quite decisive about how I wanted my hair cut (a bit of long layering) (and besides, after an 8 month wait anything was going to be an improvement!).

But then, I went to book an appointment for a (well overdue – slapped wrist!) cervical smear only to find that the only day I’m really free is the one day of the week that there is no Well Woman clinic running at my surgery. So now I have to decide whether to take annual leave from work, or try and find a babysitter to get this unpleasant, but ultimately essential task done…

Of more interest (but obviously less importance!) to me is the question of BritMums Live. This one has been running through my mind lately.

There are so many reasons why I would love to go. I want to grow my blog and I’m very keen to learn what I could be doing to improve my process. Maybe I’m even toying with the idea of offering my *amazing* promotional skillz to a few brands and maybe a great way of getting the ball rolling would be to actually meet some…

Maybe I just feel the need to actually meet other people who know exactly what I mean when I say that not a day goes by when I’m not thinking about my blog, potential blog posts and looking forward to the magic moment I get to shut my kids’ bedroom doors and escape into the Narnia of the Blogosphere…Reading posts like this from Wry Mummy make me think “Hell yeah, count me in, lets get that Prosecco flowing!” and then feel a small stab of exclusion at the thought of missing out on this opportunity which will undoubtedly be reviewed and discussed endlessly by many names that have become famous to me over the last 10 months.

The problems are these: the expense and the time. Its not particularly cheap and, although I think it would be worth it to me for the experience, I fear that I haven’t actually managed to impart to the hubster just how huge a part of my existence blogging has become since last June. I don’t even know if they’re still selling tickets…

Help – advice please!!!

The Reading Residence

Word of the week – Flump: grappling with happiness

depressed polar bear

This week has been a bit of a weird one for me, after being very upbeat for the last few weeks, following all the tenets of the Happiness Project, and generally feeling very resilient a few negative things happened in quick succession and I’ve found it very difficult to clear my mind of the debris left behind. Sleep took a turn for the worse and I feel the blog has suffered somewhat as every time I have sat down to write its like the ink has dried up in my brain. This culminated, last night, in me sitting down to a bit of web surfing and finding myself unable to read the words of any given paragraph in order (or even in the right words!) I could feel a headache coming on and it was a very weird and disconcerting experience. I realised that I was very tired, having woken at an ungodly hour the night before, fretting over a piece of nonsense in my life that I don’t seem to have been able to let go of. And then I threw in the towel and went to bed at 8.30pm.

The fact that there has been a lot of talk of the MAD Blog Award nominations this last week has also re-ignited this self-comparison demon that I’m trying to banish. I think I may have suffered with this one my entire life and its time to hop onto my little magic carpet and sail above the trees to view the woods in their entirety for once.

I enjoy writing; its nice to know that I have any kind of audience. I’m very lucky to have two healthy, funny little bunnies in my life and next week is April, one of my favourite months!! I also have a hair consultation, treatment, cut and blowdry lined up (for the first time in about 6 or 7 months!) plus lots of little projects to tackle, so there’s no time for flumping! Onwards and upwards!!

(Oh and by the way I think I just created a new verb –  ‘to flump’ – well, it just seems right somehow, eh? Some sort of bizarre crossbreed of slump and funk… No offence Pootle…)


The Reading Residence

Word of the Week: Lacklustre


Both children have succumbed to a little virus in the past week, and the knock-on effect for me has been increasing tiredness and now, finally, the first signs of a cough rearing its ugly, phlegmy head. Just as Spring is attempting to stamp down the last of Winter and allow us all to move on, it feels like we’ve fallen at the last hurdle.

As we speak I am desperately squirting Vicks First Defence up my nose and swigging down a pint of effervescent Vitamin C with Zinc, but I fear it is all for nought as the sleep deprivation is determined to drag my immune system down with it.

JJ was always a bit of a night-time cougher which was annoying for me but he generally sleep-coughed so there was no actual role for me to play other than Model for EarFit earplugs (which I still ram in last thing each night). EJ on the other hand, (who has never really suffered with a cough and cold of this nature before), is bursting into inconsolable tears with every little hack and tickle. As you can imagine, the frequency is enough to induce hallucinatory recollections of life with a newborn – those zombie-eyed small hours of hushing and shushing.

So yes, I’ve been feeling a little lacklustre and I can only hope that by next week this dull, spaced out feeling will be replaced by resplendent radiance and verve! (What are the odds?…)

Linking up with Word of the Week over at The Reading Residence


The Reading Residence

Word of the Week:

deja vu

Sorry if this is really two words and a bit of a cheat! This week as EJ turned 19 months, his behaviour has suddenly transformed somewhat – he has begun throwing things, hitting his brother over the head with his tippy cup/anything else to hand, dragging me about by the fingers and literally lobbing bits of chewed up food around the kitchen once he’s decided he doesn’t want any more.

I mentioned the fact that the Terrible Twos appear to have started early and my sister pointed out that this is why she always says the cutest age is 9-18 months. Almost immediately after those precious months the tantrums kick in and all the memories of early challenging behaviour in JJ have come flooding back (although, to be honest, JJ’s behaviour was challenging to me from birth onwards!).

On the other hand, he can still get away with most of it because who’s going to argue with this:


Still kinda cute after all…

The Reading Residence

Word of the Week…

And this week’s #WotW is:


As I was contemplating how my week had gone I realised that, despite only working part time (I head to the office four days a week – one of them is a half day) – I really only see my children for a couple of hours a night Monday through Thursday. For this reason I generally always reach Friday and my week cannot really be summed up by anything central to my role as a parent or to my time with the kids without looking back to the previous weekend. Then I realised that I spent all last Sunday morning at work doing overtime.

On Fridays I take the children to our local toddler group in the mornings (although JJ has pretty much grown out of this experience and is only interested in the biscuits) and then sometimes we go out for lunch with Daddy if he’s got the day off (he works shifts so this is relatively frequent) before EJ’s nap and then an afternoon of Softplay with our lovely NCT friends. By Saturday we are pretty much all completely zonked!

This week I had it confirmed that I will be reducing my hours a little come April giving me an extra day away from the office. This is great for me but doesn’t necessarily mean I will see more of the children as JJ will still be at pre-school and EJ with our childminder for part of the day. However I am hoping that the extra time I have to get organised will free me up to be much more ‘present’ with them when we are together and to have more energy at the weekends. Less work, more play – hurrah!

The Reading Residence

Word of the Week…

Last week I missed entering this new linky set up by Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence but I’ve had a chance to dip in to most of the posts that went in and I note that the general theme for the start of the year was ‘organised’, ‘optimistic’, ‘patient’, ‘prepared’ – so it looks like I’m not the only one who has big plans for getting life sorted in 2014.  The idea behind the link-up is to pick your word of the week and provide a brief explanation.  So, in an effort not to repeat the world at large, this week I’m choosing “Date”.

There are a couple of reasons for this. It has come to my notice recently that I now use expressions that my mum and nana used to use when I’m talking to JJ including referring to someone as a “Soppy Date”. I love the fact that he also uses the term to describe,  for example, aggressive drivers in other cars. In fact there is rarely a day goes by when someone or other doesn’t get referred to as a Soppy Date which is fine by me as its one of those expressions that speaks of love and affection and taking some small pleasure in the little silly, funny things that your children do.
 Another reason for choosing this word is the fact that hubster and I finally have a date planned for the coming weekend and, to be fair this is long overdue and a much needed time-out for us to re-invest in our relationship which has suffered (as I’m sure many do) with non-stop nappies to change, children to entertain, feed and discipline (as well as enjoy of course!). We are being cautiously unadventurous and opting for a meal out as the main point is to be able to talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company without the interruptions of children, work or social media! Wish us luck!
The Reading Residence