Blog every day in August: best bit of my day

This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

Day 13 is ‘best bit of your day’.

Well today was a rubbish day. My cat, who I’ve had for twelve years, sadly had to be put down. The cancer had spread too far, the vet said.

She went peacefully (apparently given methadone- chasing the dragon, as my partner put it).

I’m surprised (although I don’t know why) at how bad I feel about it. Totally drained and a bit useless to be honest, at the moment.

Meg was my cat. I was in my mid-twenties when I got her (she was a rescue cat) and she was present at all our girly parties, supported me through various bad dates during my Search For A Man, and was very tolerant when, having found a man, we decided to have not one but two babies.

RIP Meg – you were the best cat.

However, this is a post about the best bit of my day.

I have to say that, having come home from work early (think they were fed up of my wailing by lunchtime), I was heartened to be with my girls again. Especially as nine-going-on-ten-month-old had learned to lift her hands up over her head when you say “so big!” to her!

That was my best bit.

Read day 14 here.

Blog every day in August: Nature

This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

Day 12’s theme is ‘nature’.

20130812-144545.jpg

Today’s nature theme made me reflect on all the different ways in which we as a family interact with nature on a daily basis. I could think of the following:

  • Our frequent trips to nearby Dunham Massey, an amazing deer park with lots to see and do, and lots of space to run around in. We have our little ritual on our trips there – have a picnic near the play area, feed the ducks, go for a long walk or visit the flower garden, and finish with an ice cream (and coffee for me, of course). Oh – and spot some birds along the way. My partner’s mother is our family bird expert, so our two-going-on-three-year-old has got to know quite a few by now, for example coots, moorhens and nuthatches.
  • Visits to other local parks, involving many turns on the swings and slides, dog spotting, bird spotting, squirrel spotting and general flower spotting (“I can smell something, Mummy!”, “Yes, it’s those lovely pink flowers!”)
  • Playing in our own back garden, which usually involves chucking as many toys as possible onto the grass and watching the little ones and friends run round and round and disperse as much energy as possible.
  • Camping trips (ok- ONE camping trip. We’re not campers, but at least we can say we’ve done it once?).
  • There’s no doubting that a good, sunny day with time spent outdoors is uplifting.

    I like this quote from Margaret Atwood (Bluebeard’s Egg):

    “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

    Read day 13 here.

    Blog every day in August: Something beautiful

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 11’s theme is ‘something beautiful’.

    20130811-164839.jpg

    Recently, we had a Thanksgiving service for my youngest daughter (nearly ten months old now). We had a similar service for my now nearly three year old, when she was the same age.

    Our daughters are lucky enough to have lots of kind and generous friends and supporters who gave them many gifts. One of the most beautiful was from my best friend and their Godmother.

    She gave each of them their own tree! I believe they were purchased from a company called Growing Memories. It’s such a great idea- we’ve planted them in huge pots so that should we choose to move house in the future, we can take them with us.

    The trees- a Bird Cherry and a Cheery Plum – will grow as they grow, and they are currently thriving in their new pots.

    Check out the photos of two-going-on-three-year-old diligently watering each of them!

    They also came with a pewter plaque inscribed with a poem by my friend.

    A truly beautiful gift.

    Read day 12 here.

    Spend £20k challenge: my family’s health

    20130810-214150.jpg
    If I was to win £20k on the lottery for my family, what would I spend it on?

    I’ve spent days thinking about this. There are the obvious safe options – sticking it in ISAs for the children, for example – and some more decadent ideas, such as having our dream bathroom, getting our cold, dank basement all nicely tanked out and refurbished into a fab games room and ‘den’ for the children, have a big extension at the back of our house with massive glass doors looking onto the garden, have a dream safari holiday…

    Any of these would be fantastic. Yet, on a rare walk with the girls in the double buggy (awful, cumbersome things that make everyone stare at me in pity) this afternoon – rare in that they were both asleep at the same time – I was thinking about what is most important to the future of our family.

    Love, obviously – that we are kind and loving to each other and respect each others’ individuality. Very important, but I can’t spend money on that. It’s something we work on.

    Health. My family’s ongoing health and wellbeing is vital to our happiness as a family unit. And actually, we could invest some money in this.

    A quick calculation tells me that £20,000 could buy us as a family unit private medical insurance from for example Bupa or AXA for around 12-15 years.

    Now, I can hear many of you getting ready to flame me – what about the NHS, you say?

    I used to work for the NHS and still work in a health related field. I would be so privileged and lucky to win £20,000, surely I could use it on a system that would work alongside our national health service in promoting my precious family’s wellbeing?

    If I had the chance of private medical insurance for 12+ years, I’d do it and I would feel uplifted that I had something else in the bag, alongside the daily efforts around diet, exercise and a healthy frame of mind, to help ensure our family’s continued good health.

    Just an extra bit of piece of mind, for something so important (and a den in the basement would also be nice…).

    This post is an entry for BritMums #Spend20k challenge sponsored by The National Lottery, with more ways to win more money on the new Lotto game. Find out more about new Lotto, which starts in October, here – www.national-lottery.co.uk.

    20130810-205029.jpg

    Forget-me-not-Friday #12

    20130726-081017.jpg

    A cute one this week.

    Two-going-on-three-year-old, to Daddy: “Can I have a cuddle?”

    Daddy obliges with cuddle, then carries on getting ready to set off to work.

    Two-going-on-three-year-old: “Can I have a cuddle?”

    Daddy: “Sorry darling, I have to go to work now, I’m in a rush.”

    Two-going-on-three-year-old: “But you need a cuddle!”

    Daddy: “How can anyone resist that?…”

    An already judged George

    This week’s #bloggirls theme is the Royal Baby. Erm, this is a theme that was chosen by myself. After which, I then found that I had complete bloggers block about it.

    A positive event?
    You see, I was really excited about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy and the safe birth of baby George. It’s a positive, happy event – beats economic downturns and the continual bombardment of similar negative news stories.

    20130807-201742.jpg
    Am I a Royalist?
    I’m definitely not a ‘staunch Royalist’, for want of a better term. I don’t actually care whether the figurehead of our country has inherited the privilege or not. The real power is invested in politicians either way.

    Yet I do like the Royal family – I think they’re ok, they seem to do quite a bit for charities, travel around doing diplomat-type stuff, occasionally are VERY comical (for example, Prince Philip’s gaffes) and they embody a lifestyle that’s so far removed from my own that I can only read about it with interest.

    I’m interested in Prince George. How will his life unfold? What stories will he have to tell?

    Gossip, gossip, gossip
    Most importantly, they provide me with gossip-fodder, which I’m partial to. I enjoy talking about Harry’s latest antics in a Vegas hotel room or the dubious colour of his hair. I love to speculate on the body language of Charles, and why he keeps his hand in his pocket.

    We’re British – we love gossip.

    My Royal baby strategy
    My somewhat underdeveloped views on the monarchy didn’t make for a good blog post. So, in an effort to get some more interesting blogging matter, I decided to ask a bunch of friends to sum up their feelings about the birth of Prince George in no more than five words.

    Here are their responses:

  • Not to posh to push.
  • It’s an already lost childhood.
  • Hereditary drain on the country.
  • Not another royal bloody scrounger.
  • Good for tourism, I suppose?
  • Middle name suggests Entente Cordiale.
  • Publicly-funded future Vegas stripper.
  • Most photographed Royal baby ever.
  • Excited, thrilled at safe arrival.
  • Emerging themes
    Ok, so the above group of five-word thoughts are only from a small group of friends, but they do give me a few themes which indicate a general barometer ranging from utter happiness through to historical interest and sardonic disinterest.

    The most obvious emerging themes are birthing, childhood (joy of and loss of), scrounging at the country’s expense, tourism and the media.

    Yet there are a few clear but less obvious themes; a couple of quotes scream “I LOVE THE MONARCHY!”, others “I HATE THE SCROUNGING BASTARDS!” and most are just a bit “I find it all a bit dull- must I say something?”.

    An already judged George?
    A range of feelings evoked by tiny baby George, then! It’s both amazing and sad that he has already been the focus of some very strong opinions. He’s so innocent, yet already judged?

    I’ve judged him, too. I’m trying hard not to, but my mind is buzzing with imaginary scenarios on his babyhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, even his 70s. What will the world be like in 2083?! What will he be doing?

    Whatever he chooses to do, I’ll end by saying what I always write in a new baby greetings cards. I support him in all his future endeavours. It’ll be fun!

    20130807-214913.jpg

    #bloggirls
    <div align="center"><a href="http://expressionandconfession.com/bloggirls/" title="#bloggirls" target="_blank"><img src="http://expressionandconfession.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/20130726-191003.jpg" alt="#bloggirls" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

    This is a #bloggirls link up! Each Thursday, #bloggirls (@HodgePodgeDays, @A_ZMummy, @mumofz and @megster8) will be hosting a link up, based on themes which we simply feel everyone could write about, with potentially many different blogger interpretations!

    If you want to join in of a Thursday, simply follow these steps:

    1. Write your excellent post.
    2. Copy the badge code above (or on the Thursday link up post) and paste into your post.
    3. Click the ‘get the code’ link at the bottom of the Thursday post.
    4. Copy the appropriate code for your blog, and paste to the end of your post.
    5. Publish your post as usual.
    6. Click the ‘add link’ link on the Thursday #bloggirls post, add your unique url and you’re away!

    All we ask is that you spend some time reading and following the other blogs who post.

    Enjoy!

    get the InLinkz code

    Post Comment Love

    Forget-me-not Friday #6

    20130627-204819.jpg
    This exchange took place at the beach at Fleetwood, Lancashire, and is indicative of a newfound cheekiness and general wish to ‘get one over on me’ in two-going-on-three year old. Very funny, though.

    Two-going-on-three year old, carefully and delicately tipping small amounts of sand into her hand and fashioning it into a kind of sausage shape: “Look, Mummy, this is my Guinea Pig”.

    Me: “Oh, that’s lovely! Does he have a name?”

    Two-going-on-three year old: “It’s a girl”.

    Me: “Oh, I see. What’s her name?”

    Two-going-on-three year old: “Sophie”.

    Carries on moulding Sophie the sand-Guinea Pig for a while, while the rest of us eat our picnic.

    Me: “Does Guinea Pig have a tail?”

    Two-going-on-three year old: “It’s not a Guinea Pig”.

    Me: “Oh, what is it, then?”

    Two-going-on-three year old, looking at me as if I’ve just said that jelly doesn’t wobble: “Sand”.

    Me: “Oh…”

    Forget-me-not Friday #3

    “I want ALL the pages, Daddy!”

    Our two year old daughter, like many young children, has her stories before bed every evening. We tell her she can have three books and then it’s sleep-time.

    Of course we’re only human, and sometimes we try and sneak in a last book that doesn’t contain quite so many pages, in our eagerness to get some dinner/chill out time.

    So it struck me the other evening when I overheard daughter asking daddy for her “rhymes book” – a book of around ten nursery rhymes – that we most certainly can’t get away with such thinking with canny toddler around, who sniffs out the slightest hint of laziness in the story department and stamps on it without delay!

    Daddy: “Ok, good, rhymes book. We’ll do a few rhymes and then it’s bedtime”.

    Daughter: “But I want ALL the rhymes, Daddy!”

    Daddy (inwardly sighing): “Ok, all the rhymes”.

    Both cuddle up on bed together with the rhymes book.

    Daughter (obviously just checking): “But I want ALL the pages, Daddy!”.

    Good on daughter number 1 for enjoying her reading so much!