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Friday, 20 September 2013

Make a List

Since having kids I have noticed that I have to write everything down or risk forgetting.

I often walk in to a room and forget what I went in there for. I have even found myself in the loo and questioned why. Duh! If I go shopping for a specific item, unless its written down, there's not a chance it will be bought. I rely on the kids to remind me too. But that doesn't always work as they forget to remind me, unless I ask them what it was that I wanted them to remind me!

It got quite serious a few years back when I nearly forgot my child! I was at Od's school to collect her from an after school club and whilst I waited in the reception area, 9 year old Ed played in the grounds with a friend. Having to be somewhere else straight after, I rushed Od out of the school towards the car and started plugging in her seatbelt. I had completely forgotten that Ed was with me and if she hadn't seen me by the car and ran over I would probably have driven off none the wiser. Rubbish mother or what!!

This experience actually scared me a lot and made me realise that I needed to slow down and get myself better organised. So, I know it sounds really anal, I started writing lists. 

I love lists. I have a shopping list, a dinner list and a menu list! I have a Things To Do list. I have lists on my phone! I have lists on paper! The only thing missing is a List of Lists List.




Last weeks To Do list:
I do have a separate list for what food to buy and who needs birthday cards

Do lists help me? Yes, definitely. 

Have I ever forgotten my child since starting writing lists? No, not yet!!

If I didn't write a list my children would probably not eat and they would not have clean clothes or bedding. They would miss swimming lessons. We'd have fines from the library for late return books. Without lists the tax man would put The Husband in jail for missing paperwork and payments. Then we'd lose the house and I'd end up a bag lady and have to live in a shop doorway. I wouldn't need lists then!

As the years have gone by I have become more and more 'the one that wears the trousers' and therefore taken over more and more of the household duties.  Some say its because I'm a 'control freak'. My brain is always buzzing with something to remember. The Husband is much more laid back and his attitude is if a deadline is missed, its missed. If there's no food in for dinner, get a takeaway (maybe the takeaway issue is more about my poor cooking abilities).

I'm sure I'm not alone in this most annoying trait but what I would love to understand is if it is an age thing, a parent thing or just the busy lives we lead these days.

If you haven't got bored and have reached the end of this post, thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment. Even if you think I am completely anally retentive.

As always........Sent wiv Love.

xxxxx

P.S. I cannot believe I am sat here writing a blogpost about lists!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

He Moved Out

As an update to my post in July 2013 about teenagers Moving Out and starting their journey to independence, I am now writing about my encounters as Rambo goes it alone.

About a month after I wrote that post, Rambo (see Who's Who) came to me and said that some friends from work had a room in a house share available and he asked how I felt about him moving in with them. My first thought was how much I would miss him. My second thought was how I would no longer have to holler to get him up in the mornings. Hey this could work. 

After offering my advice (I couldn't believe he actually took it instead of the usual teenagers way of knowing better) we arranged for him to move in the following week for a months trial. After the month, if it suited him and the other housemates, Rambo would sign the contract.

During that month I have popped round with shopping and been to collect washing and popped back with ironing and not because he wanted me to but because I wanted to still look after him. (The Husband doesn't understand why!!)

At the end of the month, Rambo came on holiday with us to Spain. It was so nice to have our little family of five, (2 parents and 3 kids again) under one roof and I cannot believe how much he has grown up in just that month. He has always been a considerate and lovely son who has never been any trouble. Don't get me wrong, I had my moments of nagging and hollering at him to get out of bed or tidy his room.

But what I noticed the most was how caring he was. The Mother-in-Law had limited walking abilities and Rambo was always the one who stayed back to make sure she was ok and walked at her pace.  He was the one who said he would wait in the villa with her while we went shopping. He took The Mummy to the local Spanish shop when she wanted sweets (I did too but couldn't be bothered to go!) He played volleyball to entertain Od and Ed (he wouldn't tolerate his siblings in his pre-independence days). He stood back to let others get on the bus before him. 

As kind as he was before there was also that selfish teenage streak which has completely gone. He often pops in or calls for a chat (in fact he phoned last night at the end of his work shift, 11.00pm, to see if I wanted him to pop in for a cuppa.........errrr no, sorry son), to make sure we're all ok.

His room, though, is another story. He phoned the other day asking me to pop over to show him how to make a lasagne for the other housemates. Me! Help cook! A miracle has happened.

Anyway, I  went over and gave my much loved, one dish wonder, lasagne instructions and then took a look at his room. All I can say is that this is one department that needs working on. Clothes taken out the washing machine and hung on the airer as they came out - in a screwed up mess. Towels, still damp on the floor - drying. Dirty socks and underwear on the floor - next to the laundry basket. Curtains still shut. Bedsheets half hanging off the mattress - no comment on the stench. (My next visit is definitely to take fresh bedding round!) There were playstation games strewn all around the floor and the TV playing a game of Fifa to itself!!

Even in all that mess he is thoroughly enjoying his journey into independence and living with his mates. (2 girls, 1 lad and himself). It is still early days and I'm sure we've got lots of highs and lows to come but so far so good.

I do worry about him though and my first thought every morning is a mental check as to where all my babies are. Thank God I still have Ed and Od at home. A mummy needs all her babies in the nest and I think as a parent you never stop worrying about them. 

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear what you think or any teenager experiences you may have.

As Always...........Sent wiv Love

xxxxx

Monday, 9 September 2013

Espagne, Here We Come...

We had a long night ahead. We had to leave home at 1.00am to get to the airport in time for parking the cars, checking in the baggage, security, passport control and........ breakfast. The flight wasn't until 6.45am and the airport was only 1 hour and 15 minutes away. But a girl doesn't like to rush her Full English.

There were 8 of us heading to a Villa in Spain for a week of sunshine and relaxation - Me, The Husband, Ed, Od, Rambo, The Mummy, The StepDad and The Mother-in-Law. We had all agreed to try and get a couple of hours sleep before we set off. Rambo, being a teenager, didn't start his day until teatime anyway so really didn't need a doze, I was too hyped up about making sure everything was packed and clean and tidy and the beauty regime completed, Od was sent to bed at 7.00pm but was still heard rummaging around at 10pm, so we eventually said she might as well come down and watch TV with The Husband, who said he couldn't sleep at this time of day (funny how he doesn't normally have a problem each and every evening)!! Ed stayed at The Mummys for the evening because she was the only one who would really try to doze off and The Mummys was the calmest place for sleep.

So at 1.00am off we set in convey. As we got nearer to the airport the heavens opened and the storm of all storms took place. There was no way I was getting out the car at the drop-off point and getting drenched to the point of looking like a drowned rat and dragging a suitcase across a slip road after glamming myself up for the flight. Well, as it happened, drop-off was undercover. So panic over.

After dumping the cases at check-in, we went in search of the eagerly awaited Full English. But all we found were baps with bacon or panini's. We all sat in a line in an airside eatery, stuffing our faces like we wouldn't eat again for a year. Rambo and The Husband then decided they fancied a beer. (At 3.30 in the morning, honestly!) Me and the girls went wandering in search of sweets for the flight. When we met up with Rambo and The Husband a short while later, they were sat in a bar watching the table next to them being served up a Full English. Gutted!! 

The flight was quite non-eventful except The Husband and Od arguing over who's turn it was to sit by the window. 

On landing we all tried to fit in with the local tongue and used a lot of "Olla" and "Grazias" (seems that was all the Spanish we knew between us).

As we walked from Spanish airside to landside I felt like a VIP as I saw a board with my name on it (I was group leader) being held by the Geordie taxi driver, who advised us that where we were staying was a place he would never live. Oh dear, not a good start. 

Well as we pulled up to the villa, its not a place I'd turn down living in!! It was stunning and even had a leather 3 piece suite and 47" TV on the patio.  How the other half live.






We knew this holiday was all about relaxing and recharging our batteries after quite a busy year so far. 

We spent the majority of the time in the pool playing water volleyball
and other such games, lots of sunbathing and reading and just good old family time. As the beach was a 20 minute drive away we only ventured there once. This was the only day that the red flag was up advising that the sea was dangerous to swim in. Shopping it was, then!
Our week here was absolute heaven, lots of lazing around the pool, eating and drinking. There were very few shops and restaurants here but we did take a bus and taxi to busier areas. 



For the last few months we have been talking about the possibility of living abroad but in all honesty and as daft as it sounds, we all agreed that we would miss the British weather!!! Summer is a godsend but by the end of a decent few months of sun I have to admit I do look forward to cosy winter nights in front of the fire.

Thanks for reading.

As Always..........Sent wiv Love.

xxxxx











Monday, 2 September 2013

Summer Bucket List.........Grand Finale

Firstly, I'm hoping that no-one noticed that I have missed week seven and eight. Ashamed I am!

Although I didn't complete all the items on my Summer Bucket List, I am still fairly pleased that I headed in the right direction. But I think I am in definite need of a Winter Bucket List!

Bikini Body: Having looked at one photo from the Spain holiday of me in a bikini I have to admit that I've got a bit of work to do. But then again, are we ever happy with how our bodies look!  

 
This was home for the last week.


And this is the nearest this blog will ever get to a bikini shot!


Forest Garden: My challenge for the garden was completed but the front now needs concentrating on throughout the winter. Its a never ending job, it seems to me!

Painting: The bannisters were indeed glossed and look so much better. I had previously used an eggshell paint and within a couple of months, filthy hand prints were showing. That problem is totally solved by using gloss. Lesson learnt - never use eggshell where kids walk! (And by the way, I still have to gloss the skirting board)

Dishwasher OCD: This obsession is no where near as bad as it was, in fact I have just loaded it and put a couple of knives in the fork section! Go me.

Writing: Well I really think I need that pretty little cottage overlooking the sea that I mentioned in Week Six. I seem to struggle after chapter one. Maybe when the kids go back to school, I will be able to concentrate more. We'll see!

The #GetGoodSummer challenge definitely jivvied me along to get things done that I probably would have put off until the kids went back to school. It also helped me to keep up the blogposts. Without it I may not have blogged a single thing for the whole month.

All I can say is what a lovely summer and I am quite sad its over for another year.

As Always.........Sent wiv Love

xxxxx




Monday, 12 August 2013

Summer Bucket List.........Week Six

Week six and so far I have completed my garden goal, the dishwasher is an ongoing concern, the diet has a week and a half left until the body squeezes into the bikini, gulp, and the bannisters have been completely forgotten because of...........my book goal:

I am so pleased to say that I have started. This week my bff from down south received an email advertising an online Childrens Story Writing Course, with an amazing special offer. It felt meant to be.  For the last few months I have been researching lots of courses and had come to the conclusion that in September I would sign up for one but still wasn't sure which. They were all so expensive.

So on signing up for the course and beginning Module One I can now say that I have penned the planning stages including the pitch and synopsis and have started listing the draft chapter details. I have also decided to blog my progress so I am currently setting up another blog as well.

I am absolutely loving learning and in all honesty it has taken my mind (and the pressure) off my issue with having a bikini body! And I have come to realise that the only person with an issue with how much I weigh, is myself. Phew, every writer needs a biscuit during tea breaks!

#GetGoodSummer has really helped me and I would definitely recommend joining in next summer, all thanks to ClarinasContemplations, go take a look.  Thank you for following my progress and helping to keep me motivated. And please look out for my upcoming new blog which will follow my journey in to writing.

I really would love to hear from you so please leave me a note or two in the comments box or send me an email using the link above. I would also love you to subscribe above to my blog so that you may receive new posts by email.

As Always........Sent wiv Love

xxxxx

Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer Bucket List.......Week Five

There is only four weeks to go to complete my #GetGoodSummer Bucket List. One of those weeks we are away in Spain, that leaves only three weeks. In all honesty it is not looking good for me.

Last week, I didn't hold out much hope but as the week went on I became more encouraged. Heres what happened:

The bikini body had reached its goal. Not the goal I had set my heart on, but the goal that my mind keeps telling me! The temptation of biscuits got too much and I indulged. And then I indulged some more. Nevertheless, I stood on the scales at the end of the week in trepidation, and amazingly, I had lost another 1lb. This gave me the massive boost needed to finish the week without biscuits. I couldn't resist the pull of a fully loaded chicken kebab on Saturday night though.

My excuse for the garden looking an absolute state is the weather. Its been either too hot or raining. But on Sunday morning, after looking at it in total shame for the last few weeks, we got up and decided to get it knocked off the bucket list (to be honest I was dreading writing my blog on monday morning and having to say that I had failed this week - so the #GetGoodSummer does work)


















At last and surprisingly, I can cross off the Garden Resembling a Forest from my summer bucket list.

My excuse reason for the hallway not been fully glossed is due to the fact that we acquired two new cats the previous week. Painting with kids, cats and dogs is just a disaster waiting to happen!

I am trying so hard with the dishwasher OCD. I think the only way forward is to leave any loading or unloading to the kids. That way I do not have to see any plate mis-arrangement or cutlery in the wrong section! (Suits me just fine)

Writing my book is slowly moving forward. I just never seem to have time to sit down and concentrate. I'm hoping when I do get the time the words will just fly on to the page  and that writers block doesn't set in after the first chapter! If that happens a pretty cottage overlooking the sea with no neighbours and no interruptions will have to be looked in to (a definite pause for thought - hee hee)

As always...........Sent wiv Love

xxxxx

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Life On The Open Road

Last week we booked our next caravan holiday for the October half term. Me, The Mummy, Ed and Od book a break each year. Its a lovely 'no frills' time that Ed and Od absolutely love and that we have been doing for the last 6 years. Its our 'girls' holiday. Rambo and The Niece came with us the first couple of years but with them both being 18 now it is so uncool to be seen with family, let alone to be seen with family in a caravan! The Husband and the Stepdad have been a couple of times but soon realised they could have their own 'boys' time by staying at home.

When booking we generally upgrade to 'luxury plus' to ensure a better standard of caravan. Some of them can be a little grotty. But so far we have been lucky and had fairly decent ones. One year there was a mix up with our booking and we ended up on the site car park for a week. Needless to say, we were not happy and complained which resulted in a free holiday the next year.


The girls love these girlie breaks. Its 'us' time which we don't get a lot of at home and I love having the week living with The Mummy looking after us. I cannot help going in to child mode. We go swimming, play at the park, get mucky and eat every meal together. And not a man in sight to scupper the plans!



We go to the clubhouse each evening and watch the entertainment. Ed and Od meet up with their newly made friends and dance and wander around the two penny machines whilst The Mummy and me keep our eyes peeled and people watch. We have late nights drinking hot chocolate and reading our books and chatting into the early hours. 




video

Its lovely that the girls get to see a little bit of the English seaside at the places we stay. As we live 2 hours away from the nearest beach, I love that these breaks give them time by the sea to do crab hunting, building sandcastles and burying each other!! The best beaches we have found are definitely Devon, Lincolnshire and Wales. 



There is something about living in a caravan. Whether its the compact living which means less cleaning and more time for fun or whether its the freedom of the road, knowing you can take off to wherever your fancy takes you. Could I live this way long term. Personally, I couldn't but the time we do spend living this way is a small piece of heaven away from the stresses of everyday life.

I have to say, I do feel a little guilty that The Husband has to stay home and earn the pennies and misses out on these girlie jaunts. But a little birdie tells me he quite enjoys his time home alone where he can please himself, eat what he wants (that is a blessing in itself for him after living with my cooking for 13 years) and he 'pops' to the pub as often as he can! So all in all, everyones a winner.

As always.........Sent wiv Love

xxxxx

Monday, 29 July 2013

Summer Bucket List.......Week Four

Its not good. I have to say, I've hit the wall.

Last week, my brother and my nephew visited from Hampshire which meant picnics, bbq's and lovely family lunches at The Mummys. And I couldn't resist all the lovely food on offer. So I didn't! And I think, all in all, the amount of weight I had lost the previous week has probably all piled back on.

The husband has still not joined me in eating healthily, he is currently tucking in to burger and chips as I type this. Why can't I just accept that this is my body and middle aged spread is inevitable.

I did do a little exercise this week though. Golf and Swimming! We had a lovely day at Markeaton Park in Derbyshire. There is so much to do there and it is quite a cheap day out. We set up camp on the banks overlooking the outdoor paddling pool and laid out a lovely picnic.

The kids splashed around for hours then we went for a game of crazy golf, which did get a little competitive with The Nephew. They had a play in the park and scared the life out of me when they climbed to the top of the spiders net. They didn't get to ride the donkeys this time as it was their rest time (the donkeys that is). There is so much to do at Markeaton Park, including canoes, pirate boat and a bouncy castle, as well as lots of green areas and forest walks.


It was a lovely day out but all ended a bit sour when I returned to the car park to find one of them nasty yellow stickers on my windscreen. My bought valid ticket had fallen on to the drivers seat due to the heat and the inspector had not seen it. I am disputing the fine and waiting to hear if my challenge is successful.


As for the rest of my #GetGoodSummer Bucket List, its all just fallen by the wayside. 

The garden has been ignored, except for The Husband mowing the lawn weekly. 

Just as I was getting better with the OCD dishwasher thing, I chatted to a fellow tweeter on Twitter, who also 'rearranges' her dishwasher. Sometimes the dishwasher needs 'reloading' to fit more stuff in to it. So, right back on it!

On a positive note, I have written another paragraph of my planned book. And Ed has just started writing a short story about Harry Styles, which she is hoping to publish on a short story website.

There is just no hope for me, though, for the rest of the summer!

Please comment below, I need encouragement, fast!

As always........Sent wiv Love
xxxxx




Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer Bucket List.......Week Three

Three weeks into #GetGoodSummer and so far so good. I think. But now is the testing time. The kids have broken up from school and I can feel myself waning.
So last week:

Bikini Body  - I forced myself on to the scales on Friday and to say I was quite pleased is an understatement. I lost 5lbs.  This gave me a massive encouragement boost to carry on and helped me to stay off the biscuits over the weekend. I didn't make it to running club on Tuesday and I haven't carried out any exercise, not even walking to the school to collect the kids. But I am determined to carry on eating healthily and I am trying to encourage The Husband to join me. 


 
I guess, I just need to carry on eating this 

to be able to get into this  




Garden Forest - The only time I have been in the garden this week is to sunbathe. I thought about the 'growing forest' on the back border a lot, but that is as far as I got!!
Bannisters - I am so pleased I managed to gloss without spilling the paint everywhere. I am a messy painter! I still have the skirting board on the side nearest the wall to do. I have a feeling that is going to be left until September. But you never know.  A miracle may happen.
OCD - I think I am nearly cured of this daft obsession of reloading it in a neater way. (All forks together, all knives together, all plates in height order, etc) A couple of times I have left it in the messy state it was loaded in. I just hope the queen doesn't pay a visit!

Book Writing - I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but I am a little unsure how to proceed. Do I need the whole story mapped out before I start writing or will a story line begin to flow as it gets written down?  I have bought a book on 'how to write a novel and get published', but have not managed to open it. 

So thats my week three of #GetGoodSummer. I will just mention that I really love the coasters that Claire has made over on ClarinasContemplations as part of her summer bucket list. I think I may give them a try as well as her homemade lemonade. The Mojito's that Louise at A Strong Coffee has made look very tempting as well. Especially if made into ice lollies. Click on the links to go take a peek.

Please feel free to comment in the boxes below or if you would prefer, send an email using the link at the top of this page.  I love to hear your thoughts and ideas, trust me they help. 

As always.......Sent wiv Love.
xxxxx





    Saturday, 20 July 2013

    Just Shut Up

    With everyone waiting in anticipation for the birth of our next royal, I began thinking about Kate Middleton and how she would cope with the labour. Will she let herself go and scream and holler. Will Prince William get a good old gob full. In fact, will he even be in there. Surely.

    I wonder if she ever just 'lets herself go'. Or is she so well groomed to hold it together at all times. Even if His Highness leaves the loo seat up after stinking the royal lavatory out! Is she taught to ignore, stench and all.

    If William gets on her wick does she ever tell him to "just shut up".

    Would she give him a quick boot if he was snoring too loud on the sofa. Does she sulk and hold a grudge.

    I wonder if she ever pops to her mums and just lays in the sun in the conservatory, while her mum makes her a cuppa and brings it to her on a platter ladened with custard creams. Does she ever kick off her shoes and walk barefoot in the garden to relax.

    It must be so hard to have to hold yourself in check 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Surely everyone needs to explode at some time.

    I explode often!

    Thursday, 18 July 2013

    Liebster Award

    I have been blogging for just under 2 months and I love it. (Not sure The Husband feels the same way). My brain is overloaded with so much new stuff and I'm sure there is so much more to learn.

    I would like to say thank you to fellow newbie blogger, ktbtw. She has nominated SentwivLove for the Liebster Blog Award which is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers, in order to give a little boost to gain followers and confidence.

    To accept the award, I must complete the following
    •   Link back to the blog that nominated me
    •   Nominate 5-11 blogs that have less than 200 followers
    •   Answer all questions posted by the nominator
    •   Share 11 random facts about myself
    •   Create 11 questions for my nominees
    •   Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them
    Here goes:

    The blogs I would like to nominate are:

    More than a Momma  
    My Toddler Rules
    Super Busy Mum
    Happy Single Mum 
    One Busy WAHM
    Mum Wife Girl

    11 questions to be answered by me, posted by ktbtw:

    • When did you start blogging? May 2013

    • Why did you start your blog?  That can be blamed on The 40 Year Old Domestic Goddess who said it was the best way to start working towards my ambitions of writing a book. And then I got hooked.

    • What surprised you the most about blogging? I was so surprised at how many blogs are out there. Its like a whole new world that I had no clue about.

    • If you could have 3 “special guests” at a dinner party, who would you invite? Peter Andre for the eye candy, Jeremy Clarkson for his controversial opinions and Best Bud Fiona as I don't see her very much and its never a dull moment when she's around.

    • Where is your favourite place to go? The Mummy's because there I can relax with no chores!

    • If you could learn one new skill, what would it be? How to be a good cook. Ahem. In fact, how to cook full stop.

    • What were you doing this time last year? Haven't a clue, I don't even remember what I was doing this time last week.

    • If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would you pick? Curry. I love curry and would eat it every night if I could.

    • What’s your favourite film? Mamma Mia. I am a massive Abba fan and that film always puts me in a happy mood.

    • Do you believe in love at first sight? No, just lust at first sight.

    • Finish this sentence: If I had my way…… I would take the hefty unnecessary wage that footballers receive and feed the starving children in a third world country. 
    The 11 random facts I will say about myself are:
    1. I hate my height
    2. I often feel crap as a mum
    3. I love putting my makeup on every day
    4. I want to write a fiction book
    5. I am not very good at cooking!
    6. I wish I was good at cooking!
    7. I am good at making venetian blinds
    8. I love England but would love to have a holiday home abroad
    9. I nag a lot
    10. I am bossy
    11. I love social media sites
    The 11 questions to answer by my Liebster Award Nominees:
    1. What is your Twitter ID (might as well get more followers for your twitter account as well)
    2. How long have you been blogging
    3. How often do you blog
    4. What inspired you to start a blog
    5. If you could go anywhere, where would you go
    6. If you could change anything, what would you change
    7. What is your desert island necessity
    8. What is your favourite childhood memory
    9. Where do you want to be in 5 years time
    10. What is your pet hate
    11. What is your favourite season
    Thank you, once again, Katie, I really appreciate you thinking of me. And I hope the Liebster Award achieves us all some new followers on our blogs.

    As always.........Sent wiv Love
    xxxxx




    Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    She's Better Than Me

    The very first day Ed (I still find it hard to call her by this blog name) went to nursery, I realised that you can't pick their friends for them. Sometimes their judgement is OK.

    She was 3 and we'd just moved to a new town so we knew no-one. Rambo aged 9 at this stage so practically a man, hence no tears (please don't sue if you read this son - see Who's Who post) had already started his new school and settled in fine. Unlike a few years earlier when he started nursery. For 3 months it took 2 nursery staff most mornings to peel him from me. Most of that 3 months I spent crying and tying myself to the chair to stop from going back to rescue him. If I didn't do something surely he would end up hating me and take the wrong path in life and end up on drugs and homeless and sick. (I'm a worrier and always have been)!!

    Then the day arrived to take Ed to nursery. Preparing for the worst we went in and off she went.  My Ed was growing up and had gone off with strangers (nursery teachers) without a question.  Did she not love me. Had I not supplied enough toys at home and now she had all these wonderful new things to play with. Would the teachers think I had neglected her. (More worry)

    I strolled home in the gorgeous sunshine wondering why I wasn't crying. (Did I not love her as much, had I not bonded, was she going to grow up, move abroad and never want to see me)

    I struggled through the morning and was first in the queue at the nursery door at pick up time. Out came all the children, all smiling and so happy to see their mummys.  Ed included.  She did love me. I asked her if she loved nursery and if she'd made lots of new friends.

    "Yes, mummy. Theres my best friend, she's better than me"

    "No ones better than you love, everyones the same" I replied.

    All evening Ed chatted about her new best friend, getting cross when I wouldn't accept that her friend thought herself better.

    So the next morning we went to nursery, me determined that I would guide her to play with another child.

    "There Mummy, there.  She's better than me." She hollered, and over came 'better than me' with her mummy.

    "Hi" said better than me's mummy, "Our girls played together all morning, yesterday, didn't you Bethany"

    Oh!! Well Ed did have a slight lisp back then, so easy mistake, yeah? And Ed and Better Than Me / Bethany had lots of lovely play dates.

    And in answer to the above self asking questions, in case you were wondering, Rambo has just turned 18. A hardworker, conscientious, kind and thoughtful.  His bedrooms a tip but if thats the worst problem he's brought to our door, I can deal with it.

    Ed is a people person, has lots of close friends and is very caring.  She's a mummy's girl (and a nanny's girl) and says she is staying home with me forever, until she moves out!




    Monday, 15 July 2013

    Summer Bucket List.......Week Two

    So week two of #GetGoodSummer completed.  And not too bad a week for my goals:
    • Bikini Body - I have managed to get through the weekend, for the first time in months, and not pig out.  My normal diet routine consists of being extremely good Monday to Friday morning. By Friday afternoon I usually make up for the lack of eating anything nice and manage to eat as much I can until Sunday night.  But this weekend, knowing that I would have to blog my progress, I have only been naughty on Saturday night.  I started running club on Tuesday evening with the Eldest Daughter (Ed). They are breaking us in very gently. 2 minutes running, 1 minute walk. In the current heat it was hell. It hasn't broken me though and at the moment, I am determined to run again this week.  Not sure if any weight has shifted as yet because I don't want to weigh in until Friday this week.  So next week I will report back to lbs lost.
    • Garden Forest - This week, I did, with the help of The Mummy, spend a bit of time in the garden but not to tame the ever-growing forest resemblance.  We emptied the shed of all the junk that The Husband has over the last few months just piled in there. It took a couple of hours and a couple of dump runs (in secret, as it is not wise to let The Husband know what is being thrown out, as he seems to think everything is needed....just in case).  I feel so much better knowing its clear but now waiting to see if it stays that way (got my doubts).



    • Bannisters - The painting task is definitely one I keep putting off.  This week would be ideal to get it done before the kids break up for summer but its one of those jobs I'm dreading. Maybe, just maybe, with the right encouragement I could report back next Monday to say I did it (don't hold your breath though).
    • OCD - This week, I have tried to keep my control freak attitude with the dishwasher in check. Only a handful of times have I re-loaded.  I think if I give everyone a lesson in how to load it it would ease my obsession.
    • Book Writing - Nope, nada, Nil. 


    By next Monday I am hoping to have lost a few lbs and after writing this blog post, I feel quite inspired to get the gloss out and get those bannisters ticked off my Summer Bucket List.

    As always.........Sent wiv Love

    xxxxx

    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    Summer Bucket List...... Week One

    So, clarinascontemplations is hosting a linky party for a Summer Bucket List to help us all achieve those things we need a little encouragement with throughout the summer months. Then each Monday we all link up and see how we are doing, good or lazy!

    So between now and September 1st 2013 I have set myself just 5 goals to achieve.

    1. We are going to Spain, Las Filipenas (said in a Spanish accent due to the fact that in an English accent it sounds quite dodgy) towards the end of the holidays. I most definitely need to lose a couple of lbs.  Ok, a stone to be precise.  Can I lose this amount before we go, most certainly not, but I'm going to have a damn good try with the help of Claire's Monday link up meetings.
    2. OK, so here's the thing.  Since signing up on Twitter and starting my blog, my garden has begun to resemble a forest.  The weeds are taking over and all the hard work The Mummy and I put in is gradually going to pot. So by the end of the summer I would love to rid the back border of overgrowth and lay the next section of grass to the side area of the garden.
    3. In March I top coated the woodwork in the hall but, it shames me say, I got fed up and never finished the bannisters.  This is a task that will be difficult to achieve due to the kids being home over summer. And as we all know, kids and gloss top coat don't mix.
    4. I would love to write a fiction book. Therefore during the lazy summer months in the garden, when the kids are amusing themselves, I would love to start putting pen to paper, or fingers to laptop and start the first stirrings of a story.
    5. My next task is a little different. I seem to have a 'thing' about reloading the dishwasher when the kids or The Husband has loaded it. By the end of the summer I would like to be rid of this OCD issue I have.
    As I am a week behind everyone linking, I will update week one quickly now.  

    Week One Achievement.

    I started eating healthily yesterday (it was two of my childrens birthdays so lots of cake had to be finished over the weekend), and tonight the Eldest Daughter and I are starting running with a local club for the next 10 weeks.

    As always........Sent wiv Love

    xxxxx

    Saturday, 6 July 2013

    Running For My Life

    Bare foot, I've lost my shoes somewhere along the way. My breath is short sharp spasms and if I get through this alive, I swear, I will admire anyone that survives this horror after me.  I'm not the first and I won't be the last.

    On I run with only one thought - beating this yearly endurance without scars, mentally or physically. If I fall now I will have to carry the humiliation around for ever and the children will always be known as the 'kids of the mummy that fell'.

    I can see in the distance, miles in the distance, the place I am aiming for. Please let me keep going. I am on the verge of giving up. My legs can go no faster and my feet are heavy with the burden of 'the others' rapidly approaching.

    "Run Mummy, run, don't let them catch you."  I can hear the children and it spurs me to carry on. I can feel 'them' catching me, drawing closer.

    My eyes are watering and little droplets are starting to trickle down my cheeks. My hair is flying backwards in the wind. Moisture is forming on my brow and top lip. I gain a rhythm, arms setting a pace. My chest feels like its on fire. Burning inside.

    I need to go faster. To escape 'the pack'. I feel 'them' nearing. Too near but I mustn't look round.

    I am only metres from refuge. The final push, the moment when I succeed or fail. The reason for running all forgotten, until this point of finish.

    I lose! Its all over.

    It is so stressful entering the Mummys Race at School Sports Day!

    Monday, 1 July 2013

    Moving Out.....!!

    Be warned, this is a generalised piece of writing that mainly highlights the different priorities held by teenagers versus 'grown-ups'.

    Over the last few months, in fact its probably more like a year, the eldest teenager aged 17 (18 this week), has been making lots of noises about wanting to move out and have 'independence'. Full blown independence. After initial thoughts of 'he won't cope without me', I decided it would be beneficial if a couple of basic pointers in 'living without mummy' were raised for teenagers heading out in to the big wide world. 

    I do understand that 'independence' to a lot of teenagers means answering to no-one, drinking and partying and playing on the playstation / xbox all night long and.............sex! (Definitely much more sensible to find their 'independence' under their own roof!). But independence, to us parents, obviously means and includes a lot more:

    Please note: Practical lessons will probably be needed after reading.

    Clothing

    The general consensus amongst teenagers seems to be that clothes are hung on the floor, directly where standing at the time of removal from the body. They disappear, usually during sleep in the daytime hours, and miraculously re-appear smelling clean and fresh, crease free (we'll cover ironing later) and placed in a nice order on a hanging rail in the wardrobe.  Shock and horror, its not a miracle, its your mother.

    Clothes should be cleaned regularly using a washing machine.  (Separate lessons will need to be given on each individual model)  When clothes have been worn once, sometimes twice, they should be placed in a washing basket. This leaves the floor clear to walk freely without tripping or standing on something and breaking it. Underwear is a different case and should be placed in the dirty washing basket daily or as soon as it is removed from the body.

    This applies to bedding too. It needs washing, drying and ironing, ideally weekly (I don't want to put too much pressure on too soon, so try for every 2 weeks to start). Be warned, if you have an overnight guest, bedding with a stench of unwashed feet and BO won't go down well and you probably won't get a return visit.

    Ironing clean laundry is essential for looking smart. (Although, I understand that smart is not a priority at this age - independence is) You will need an ironing board and an iron - please note, the carpet will burn if you use the floor as the ironing board. 

    Cooking

    I cannot possibly comment on cooking.  In fact, the eldest teenager has indeed tried to teach me a dish or two. So you're on your own with this one.  

    Shopping though, is a weekly must. If only for essential foods like bread, butter and milk - staple foods do not include beer, vodka, cider or crisps. It costs money and you do have to go to the shop to pick your items and bring them home.  Again, as with the clothes, food does not put itself away. If a hangover prevents a weekly shop there are on-line resources via most supermarkets. See Money below about budgeting.

    Sometimes, food goes mouldy.  You will need to do a regular check on items in the fridge that may well be past their best.  If there is any sign of green mould, it is time to remove it and put in the outside rubbish bin. (Eating food in this condition could cause a serious illness) You will have to ask neighbours about collection days for dustbins. 

    Cleaning

    If you don't clean, you get dust.  If you get dust you won't be able to see the TV screen well, which could result in a lost match on fifa. Hoovering the floors should be achieved at least twice a week (for the record, I hoover daily). This is when it is useful if the dirty clothes have been placed in the washing basket instead of hung on the floor. It gives a clear run and lessens the likelihood of items being sucked up by mistake.

    Bathrooms need bleach as they are not self cleaning. The strange contraption sitting in its own holder behind the toilet is a toilet brush. This brush will remove any signs of use!! You will, I'm afraid, have to use a cloth and spray to clean the seating area, especially if used by any male friends. 

    Hygiene

    Parents: By the time sounds of moving out arise, hygiene should have kicked in. This usually comes at the same time as the aftershave / perfume appears.  It is generally a sure sign that love is in the air.  If love hasn't reared its ugly head by this time there is not a lot to do besides constant reminding that a body needs regular soap and water to get clean.

    Money

    Budget, Budget, Budget.  Independence means you paying your way.  Your money is now needed for rent / mortgage and bills. Remember, no electricity means no fifa.  You will also need money for food, phone and petrol.

    These things don't magically appear, they have to be paid for and if you don't pay for them a nasty man may come and take your things away. You will then have to go back home to your parents with your tail between your legs and state how much you miss and need them. (Parents: If this happens, hopefully by this stage, the teenagers will be a little less idle around the home and appreciation will be shown more readily than pre-independence)

    Your dependence has now shifted......... to your job. 

    If there is anything I have missed, let me know by using the comments box below or contact me boxes above.  When alls said and done, teenagers about to embark on this most exciting adventure, have so much to learn and although sometimes stressful and monotonous and depressing, it is also the best time of their lives. Enjoy every minute of it and grab every opportunity - this applies to both teenagers and 'grown-ups'.

    And parents..........although its very tempting to rip the now empty bedroom out and make it your very own haven, smelling of fresh linen..................you would probably be wise to wait. Sometimes they come back.  (I know I did but I came home as 3 - with a partner and a baby in tow)

    As always............sent wiv love

    xxxxx













    Thursday, 27 June 2013

    Who's Who

    Sent wiv Love blog has been 'live' for a month now, so I thought it was time to introduce the main post 'characters'.



    Me, sent wiv love. Inwardly shy, outwardly confident. Self critical and opinionated, depending who I'm with. Worst feature - my height. I love high heels but I hate being tall.








    The Husband, cool, calm and collected (practically a living corpse, he's so laid back). Sometimes stays quiet while I rant and rave and waits for it to be   over. Worst feature - wind.






    Son, now known as Rambo (He came to me when he was little and asked if he could change his name to John Rambo - whilst wearing girls high heels and a medal round his neck carrying a brief case - he was only 4) He said he'll sue if I put a picture on here of him!! He's 17, so I'd best not risk it......today. (He also told me to take him off this blog........but I'm not scared!!) Best feature - considerate. Worst feature: Threatening to sue.




    Eldest Daughter, now known as ED, is caring, conscientious and cares about people. She is confident, although she thinks she is shy. She is extremely beautiful inside and out. Best feature - friendship.




    Other Daughter, now known as OD, is shy but shows this as bolshy. She is not a worrier she is a 'do it anyway and face the consequences later' kind of girl. She teases and laughs at her own jokes. She is loving and cuddly. Best feature - smile.


    I find it quite intriguing how 2 siblings with the same parents can be so different.



    The Mummy, the matriarch (or Eastenders' Lou Beale as we call her at home). Loves sorting junk and cleaning. I love her cleaning too! Is the best at  keeping secrets. Worst feature - singing.  

      



    The Sister, not the boss.   Loves visiting the Doctors.  Loves the sound of her own voice especially when harmonising with another!!! Always there in times of need or a giggle. Best feature - hiding not seeking.