Little Miss at 20 months

So our little lady is 20 months old. How do I describe her? She is feisty, demanding, bossy, caring, fun, loving, cheeky, and seriously cute as well as infuriating haha. She is also learning so so much all of the time and it is wonderful to watch her growing from a baby into a little girl.20160619_105035

She really has made a sudden leap in the last couple of months, and though we still don’t have many words, her communication has really stepped up. She pays so much attention when we talk to her and understands so much of what we say, often following directions. Her babbling is almost constant and she makes some seriously lovely noises.

She also does have more noises approximating words, sentences and phrases. “i wan dat” is one, though it often comes out as i-on-da with arms thrust at whatever it is she wants haha. I’m also sure that one day when I asked where her ball was she said something resembling “oer dare” and then “igetit” but it is difficult to be sure. We aren’t worried by the lack of actual words. Her brother didn’t speak at all beyond babbling until he was 2, and now he never shuts up haha. And like I say she understands so much and communicates her needs very well. In fact she is so so bossy. And because she is pretty darn adorable she gets her own way from people a lot… Hmm.

The downside to the lack of words is the frustration that we don’t understand her. And frustration when we don’t do what she wants. Ooh she does get frustrated and very much makes her feelings known. Screaming her head off and holding her breath til she is blue in the face. Lying on the floor screaming, sitting on the floor screaming. Oh the tantrums are really really starting, especially when I don’t give in to her bossyness, and we never had it as bad with Monkey. It is so embarrassing at times but I also try not to worry too much.

She can also be the loveliest loveliest girl. She always wants to be helpful and always brings us all our shoes when we want to go out (and when we don’t want to…), she loves washing her big brother in the bath and is so proud of herself when we ask her to give someone something and she does it. She loves feeding her dolls and toys and us haha and is always trying to give people food and drink! She strokes pictures of animals and says aaah and adores her teddies and cuddly things. She loved seeing our friends’ Guinea pig recently and gave them some carrot to eat! She also hates when people are upset and if we can hear a child crying she will get really concerned and say “oh no!” she really hates when her brother is upset too. She loves a good cuddle too and there’s nothing I like more than having her snuggle on my lap.PhotoGrid_1467045986712

She runs just about everywhere and has the cutest bouncy run. As much energy must go into bouncing up and down as moving forward but she looks so adorable when she runs off. She is seriously fast when she wants to be though!

She is intrigued by everything in the world and routinely stops to explore a blade of grass, leaves and was so excited to watch and follow a bumble bee a few days ago, giggling away everytime it flew from one flower to another. In general she just loves being outdoors and if you follow my instagram feed you will know how much she loves puddles and bubbles and climbing. PhotoGrid_1467050215991

She adores being in the bath and is such a water baby. She loves playing and splashing about with her brother but also adores lying down and having a swim. Sometimes in a bubbly bath we can only see her head which is a bit bizarre but she seriously adores it and it’s just lovely seeing her happy in there.PhotoGrid_1467046353251

She is learning so much all the time and getting more dextrous. We have been working on fine motor controls and generally having a lot more involved play she loves sorting things and just exploring in general. Her latest loves are painting, and play doh! She would play playdoh all day long if she had her way. Thank goodness she also enjoys watching peppa pig and paw patrol as that usually distracts her when I am at the end of my play doh tether haha.PhotoGrid_1467053235157

She is desperate to be a big girl and loves drinking from an open cup and using her fork and spoon which is lovely to see. Though she still uses her hands most of the time!PhotoGrid_1467045614881

She still loves her food and though she can be fussy at times with new things on the whole she is great. Favourites include curries, especially with chickpeas in, baked beans, tortelloni in tomato sauce, my homemade soups and strawberries!

She loves books and stories and is constantly bringing books for me to read her, or sitting flicking through pages and lifting flaps on her own. She is getting interested in some more grown up books too and currently loves “What the ladybird heard” and enjoyed her brother’s current favourite “the pirate who lived next door. ”

She is a complete and utter loon at times. She loves spinning around and throwing herself on the floor. It baffles me but is another sign of how full of fun she is. She so loves to laugh and to make others laugh too. We adore our girl so much and it is a privilege to be her mummy, even if she does drive me crazy at times. She is cute as a button and I love, love, love watching her grow and learn.PhotoGrid_1467056019675

 

MummascribblesEthans Escapades

Focussing on Happy #3 “Support”

My word of the week this week was nearly solo, as Hubs has been in Canada since Monday (lucky devil) and I have been solo parenting for my longest stretch ever. But I haven’t really been solo – because I have so many wonderful friends and family around who have supported me and helped me out that I really haven’t had to do it alone. So my word this week is support.

So here is what made me happy over the last week.

Having a lovely Afternoon Tea with my hubs as a treat at a posh hotel. It was my birthday present from my parents and we thought it was a good plan to use it before he went away. With all that has been going on lately we have been really snappy with each other so it was nice to reconnect and have some fun together people watching and eating yummy food :)PhotoGrid_1466665407944

Enjoying Father’s Day morning at a local country park with Hubs’ parents, enjoying a rare bit of sunshine and warmth and having a lovely time together before saying goodbye to Hubs the next morning.PhotoGrid_1466665635723

Seeing how much LM loved the huge puddles when the rain returned on Monday, though I was less impressed at how many times I had to change both our clothes that day!PhotoGrid_1466666154171

Having a lovely sunny playdate with some friends round on Tuesday – chilling with friends in the sunshine is how a summer playdate should be, right?PhotoGrid_1466668778451

Having an impromptu walk round our local country park with some good friends and heading back to their house for tea. All the kids get on so so well so it was lovely.

Having Uncle Mark and Aunty Fran round to help with bath and bedtime Tuesday night. The kids are so close to them and have so much fun with them it is wonderful.PhotoGrid_1466668472615

Strawberry picking with my Mum on Wednesday, more to come on that tomorrow!

Popping round to see the Grandparents Wednesday afternoon then both my Mum and Uncle Paul popping in to help with the kiddies while I sorted tea and got some jobs done.20160622_173741

Having loads of bathy time fun with my gorgeous kiddies. Bathtime is often Hubs domain as I have been with them all day and he then gets to have fun with them…but it was lovely to enjoy that time (even though I will willingly give it back next week as that is normally a bit of a rest time for me!!)

Visiting our local country park with friends on Thursday as Monkey’s pre-school was closed to be used as a polling station. It was yet another wet and miserable day but we had a lot of fun nonethless.PhotoGrid_1466687901684

Skyping with Daddy in our afternoons, which is his morning.

It has been a really really busy week, which has been great as it has flown by and we are looking forward to Daddy being home. I am shattered but as I am sure you can tell from the list above there has been a LOT of happy times here.

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence
What Katy Said

Saturday

Is PND losing it’s hold on me?

I can’t believe it has been a year since I was diagnosed with Postnatal Depression. In so many ways it feels like 5 minutes ago and I really didn’t think I would still be taking my anti-depressants a year on. But after trying and failing to come off them earlier in the year I have been in absolutely no rush to try again until I was more sure that I was ready to. I have worried at times that I wouldn’t know when that time was and would I ever feel ready to try with absolute certainty? I’m still not 100% sure but things are different at the moment. I feel different.

I am starting to wonder whether PND is losing its hold on me and feel there is the possibility that I am coming out the other side. It is a little difficult to quantify other than saying that feel different. I wouldn’t say life is particulalrly less challenging than it was a year ago. With the kids being a year older things are different now and probably challenging in different ways. If anything though things have been really tough lately. With hubs’ operation meaning I have had to pick up all of the slack and try and get everything done I was worried how I would cope with it. Worried that it would knock me down. But it hasn’t. I have just got on with it and though yes, I have felt overwhelmed and stressed at times, but where in the past those feelings would have consumed me, they just haven’t this time. I have found it relatively easy to focus on the positives.

WP_20160507_17_59_05_ProThe worst thing about the PND for me was the way it changed me as a parent. I wasn’t able to be the mother I wanted to be while I was in the worst moments of it. I was tetchy, irritable, tearful and so snappy with the children. Doing anything fun with them was too much effort and the TV was on far more than I wanted it to be because it was the easy option. That was when I realised and accepted that there was a problem and that I needed help. That was why I went on the anti-depressants, and they have helped, so so much. They have helped me to be more like the mother I want to be (I’m still not as perfect as I would like haha but are any of us?).

So why do I feel this time like it may be more than just the anti-depressants helping me. Again it is so hard to quantify but where the anti-depressants have always helped there has still been times when things have been too much for me. When the kids getting messy with paint has tipped me over the edge and brought back the shouty snappy mum. When a day with little sleep or my husband not helping me as much as I wanted has resulted in me being foul and grumpy and unable to lift myself out of that.

Lately though I am more able to make the choice between being grumpy or looking past the problem to see the positives. That is the key and that is the difference between just feeling a bit down, and having a mental illness, in my opinion. A difference that isn’t easy to see or explain, a difference that perhaps you have to feel to understand. I have tried so many times in the last year (and beforehand before I accepted there was a problem) to be mindful, to choose to be happy, and I just haven’t managed it. No matter how I hard I tried I was constantly dragged back to the darkness by the simplest and smallest of things. Even whilst on the anti-depressants, though a thousand times better than without them, the darkness is often not that far away. Now though, the darkness feels smaller, more manageable.

Let’s face it, parenting can be a battlefield. You can wake feeling positive in the morning but after your preschooler having a major meltdown about which pants to wear, a baby throwing breakfast on the floor, pulling off their nappy and weeing everywhere it is easy for that positivity to be eroded. When those things happen on a day when you haven’t slept well or have woken with a cloud over you it is very hard to see the positive side to anything. Everyone has bad days, but depression can mean most days are bad days, or that on a good day, even something minor can turn that day into a bad day.

Maybe hubs’ operation has helped because I have had to get on with things. There has been noone there to pick up the pieces for me. Hubs and I both know that sometimes we make each other lazier… with the “oh they can do that” or blaming them for not getting jobs done. Not in a nasty or even a particulalrly concsious way… but we know we do it. With him out of action I have definitely noticed it as I have known that there is noone else to clear the dishes, do the washing up, empty the bins, mow the lawn etc. etc. There was no point griping about it I just got on with it. Maybe that has helped shift my attitude in every area? Or maybe it has happened at a time when the PND is subsiding. When I am able to choose to see thehappy rather than focus on being stressed.

Will this feeling last? I have no idea, but I hope so. I’m not going to suddenly stop taking my anti-depressants yet. Hubs has to go to Canada for 5 days for work in a couple of weeks so I will see how that goes first. If all goes well and the positivity remains, I will try and cut the dosage again. See what happens then. This time though it will be my choice, because I feel I am ready. Not because a Dr thinks it is time that I come off them, or because I feel like I should be able to come off them. But because I just might be ready to. I will keep you posted!

And then the fun began...Mummascribbles

Our little cyclist

We have had a huge wonderful event in our house and one I am so excited about. Monkey can ride his bicycle!monkey cycle 1

We bought his bike last year as a 3rd birthday present, but he just couldn’t get it. We knew it would come when he was ready so didn’t force the issue too much… Even though I was looking forward to the day when we could go on a family bike ride.

I persuaded him to try a couple of times earlier this year but “its too hard work” was always the response. Then in March his good friend Felix got a bike for his 4th birthday and basically hasn’t stopped riding it since then and was even off stabilisers after a few weeks. Monkey was suitably impressed and showed a lot of interest in his bike after that. We got him out on his again a few times and he definitely improved though he still said it was hard and tiring. His uncle even helped out but laughed and said he was lazy as he wanted to be pushed all the time haha.Monkey cycling 2

Then I realised his tyres needed pumping up. In fact, *bad parent alert* his back tyre was flat as a pancake! No wonder it was hard work. We pumped his tyres up and he improved almost immediately.After a few more practice runs it clicked and he just suddenly got it. He even figured out how to move his pedals to the right position to start himself off. He is loving getting out on his bike so much and we are so so proud of him.Monkey cycle 3

We have been out on his bike loads this week and Daddy even got his bike out too. LM adores running in front or behind too and finds the whole thing hilarious at the moment. He’s still pretty slow so a little while until no stabilisers I think but he does keep talking about Felix riding without his so who knows. We have sorted helmets now (his head his so big he fits in Daddy’s haha) and pumped up the tyres on my bike and I was quite excited to take both kiddies on a short bike ride on my own. LM wasn’t sure at first but then started enjoying it I think. Difficult to see when she is sat behind me haha.PhotoGrid_1464584563975

Right now I am just looking forward to hubs recovering from his knee op so we can all work towards a nice family bike ride, even if just a short one to start with!

Ethans EscapadesBest of WorstLife Unexpected
Not My Year OffCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A wildflower meadow in the suburbs

We live in the suburbs. A very leafy open suburb built in the early 80s mind you which is a lot less crammed in than some modern developments, but is a suburb nonetheless. I’ve always liked the idea of living somewhere more rural but I am a pretty practical person, and well I like my conveniences close by. Also as a teenager my best friends lived on a village with limited bus services and it was a complete pain for them to ever get anywhere without lifts from parents and I don’t want that for our kids. May seem like a daft reason to some I know! I do love the peace of the countryside but like to think we have the best of both worlds where we live as there is lots of open space to run and play but we are also close enough to everywhere we want to be able to ‘pop’ to.

Why am I banging on about this? Well, randomly amongst our little suburban area is a touch of the countryside. A little meadow filled with wild flowers that changes with the seasons. I have no idea why it is there and hasn’t ever been built on but I love it. It is actually surrounded on all sides by housing estates and a dual carriageway… But through so many layers of trees that while you are there you can almost forget that you aren’t in the countryside.WP_20160524_16_16_10_Pro

I took the kids there the other day and enjoyed watching them run free, chase bubbles in the wind, hide in the grass and generally just enjoy themselves. With the blue skies and sea yellow buttercups it was a beautiful summery afternoon.field 1

As you can see, the kids absolutely loved it, monkey especially loved exploring and letting his imagination run free as he did so. And I loved watching, and taking hundreds of photos of course!field 2

There is no greater purpose to this post than that really. Just a lovely afternoon in the sun with my kiddies.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallLife UnexpectedMummascribbles

Hello Spring

On a beautiful crisp day recently hubs said he thought it felt like autumn because of the clear blue skies, cool air and bare trees all around. But I disagreed. To me it feels like spring is really here, and when you look closely there is life all around. There are buds on the trees and blossom starting to bloom. There is colour coming back into the world.PhotoGrid_1459412901470

I have so enjoyed seeing the sun this week and feeling the slightly warmer air, and that is why my word of the week this week is spring.

We have been out and about a lot enjoying the spring and the start of the easter holidays. In truth I was concerned about the holidays. Because of chicken pox and tummy bugs Monkey has been off pre-school for weeks already and after a difficult half term in February I was apprehensive about another couple of weeks at home together. But the change in the weather really makes it easier.

Plus because lots of friends are off school too it means we get to catch up with lovely people that we don’t get to see so often. On Tuesday we met up with my best mummy friends and their kiddoes. We all worked together pre-children and have gotten even closer since they all came into our lives. The kids all get on so well together too which is wonderful. We all got together at our favourite local farm and really enjoyed all the signs of spring. One minute it was sunny, then pouring with rain then warm, then chilly as the sun went behind a cloud. In essence a classic spring day! We saw lambs and piglets and peacocks and played pooh sticks and in general just had the loveliest day together.PhotoGrid_1459412528962

Monkey, LM and I have also been out on lots of little walks this week enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. LM’s little legs are getting stronger all the time and she loves a good run and play with her brother,and on her own of course being as independent as she is!PhotoGrid_1459412758774

We’ve been out in the garden a lot too doing some gardening and tidying and for Monkey ‘digging for treasure’ hehe. They’ve even played outside with no coat on, imagine that eh? I also got the sandpit out earlier for the first time and both kids adored it. This week is the first time LM has enjoyed playing with sand, she’s always hated the feel of it previously but not anymore! I can see us having lots of fun with sand over the next few months/years! Such a lovely simple activity for them so I love it.PhotoGrid_1459426217779

We’ve had a bit of a bonus too this week in that the spring clock change has changed LM’s sleep patterns a bit and she is sleeping until 7am now. Hooray! Not sure if it is just because it is darker till a little later and so she will wake earlier again soon but for now we are loving the 7am lie ins haha.

We have lots more lovely days with friends planned over the rest of the holidays and I am looking forward to what next week brings before we get back to a normal routine.

How has your week been? Are you feeling like spring has sprung?

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Life Unexpected

The Stick Man trail at Fineshade Woods

Last weekend we finally visited somewhere I have wanted to visit for ages, Fineshade Woods, to do the Stick Man trail. Fineshade is about 20 mins from where we live and yet we had never been, bonkers!  So with the sun shining we donned our wellies and headed off for a walk through the woods to rectify that. PhotoGrid_1456145605528

Stick Man is one of Monkey’s favourite books so he was dead excited to follow the trail. He excitedly ran to each of the signs and was excited by every picture from the book. Hubs also used the opportunity to help with Monkey’s reading by helping him read the signs, which Monkey found great fun. PhotoGrid_1456146479242

He also loved doing the activities at each point. I thought they were great too, building nests and towers and dens out of sticks! It was nice seeing those left over by others too and the kids had a fab time playing in a den left behind by previous explorers! PhotoGrid_1456146353976

For her part LM adored exploring the woods and yep the mud. She was straight in to any muddy puddle she could find and was so happy! (She got covered though as you can imagine!) PhotoGrid_1456146566144

On the whole we had a lovely time and lots of fun as a family. Then when LM’s welly got stuck in the mud and she stepped out of it covering her leg in mud we took as it a good time to end our visit and head to the lovely top lodge cafe for a hot drink and yummy food. PhotoGrid_1456147571918

There are some fantastic play areas at Fineshade too and though we had to cut short our visit because of a very muddy LM we look back to returning soon!

What you should know about visiting Fineshade Woods. 

Fineshade is easily accessible and well signposted from the A47 between Peterborough and Uppingham.

Pay & Display parking is in operation, £1 for an hour or £3 for the day,  coins only at the moment so don’t get caught out!

You don’t need an activity pack to complete the Stick Man trail but it does add to the fun. The pack cost £3 and is available from the cafe where the staff are so friendly and helpful.

We're going on an adventure#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
Life UnexpectedCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Siblings February 2016

Wow how are we in the middle of February already? This year is already whizzing by and I have a feeling that won’t change.

My gorgeous pair are growing and developing all the time and their relationship is growing and changing with them. I just love to see them together, it makes all the tricky times that come with having 2 children so worth it.PhotoGrid_1455284539747

I love watching them play together, sometimes just side by side but other times helping each other, or copying each other. They just love to be around each other.PhotoGrid_1455284833865

And Monkey has some seriously tender moments with his baby sister where he just announces how much he loves her and bowls her over with a giant cuddle!PhotoGrid_1455285088321

For her part she just loves messing with her big brother. Difficult to catch on camera but she just comes up to him and starts messing with his hair. Or she lies with her feet on him kicking him. Or she runs up to give him something then snatches it back and runs away laughing. Such a cheeky madam and for the most part Monkey is so good and so accommodating of her cheekiness towards her.20160205_083628

Hubs managed to catch a video of this last weekend while I was away. It isn’t amazing quality as it was very early morning so quite dark, and post breakfast so they are still in their pjs. Proof that they did manage to have some nice times together while I was away though ;) and a very good example of LM messing with her big brother, and him being amazingly tolerant of it. The toy she has is his doggy bear, his one special toy, and as a sign of how much he loves her he often says she can share him. Bless.

Of course there are plenty of squabbles and snatching of toys at times too. Monkey takes something from her and refuses to give it back no matter how much she screams and she does the same to him. He barges past her and knocks her over without realising she is there and doesn’t know his own strength and leaps on her when we are messing around. Sometimes, because he is the big brother and because he is so tall for his age, it is too easy to expect him not to do these things. But we have to remind ourselves that he isn’t even 4 yet. To not expect too much of him.

So instead we focus on the lovely moments, as they are far more frequent.

dear beautifulBest of WorstMummascribbles

8 Films that make me smile

Christmas is over, the decorations are down and it is back to work and the day to day routine. I’m actually really enjoying it at the moment but it’s not uncommon for the January blues to strike so I thought I would share a few films that make me smile whenever I see them. So if you get hit with the January blues (or February in fact… my hubs gave me a very cheerful statistic about February being the month when most suicides occur, lovely!) and its cold and grey outside, curl up, get cosy and watch something to make you smile.

20160106_140029The Day After Tomorrow

Ha, bet you thought this would be a list of chick flicks and rom coms right? There are some of those but come on, who doesn’t love a good disaster movie? I’m not sure why but this has got to be one of my favourites.

Storyline: Thanks to global warming Earth is hit by a series of super storms which change the face of the planet and start another ice age. Dennis Quaid is the only scientist who spots this coming but, uh-oh, his son is stuck miles away in New York with a few friends. Cue the best line of the film “I will come for you.” He he full of fab effects and awesome scenes. Just good fun and totally cheesy but makes me smile.

20160106_135819The Sound of Music

An oldie but such a goodie. Happy music and a goody two shoes Julie Andrews frolicking about in the hillside but it’s just so much fun and the kids are cute. Love it.

Storyline: Julie Andrews is a terrible novice nun so they send her to be governess for the 7 (?!) children of a very strict ex sea Captain (Christopher Plummer) whose wife has died. She is obviously the best governess ever and a perfect new mum for the children. She and the Captain fall in love and all looks rosy except for the arrival of the Nazis who threaten to throw a spanner in the works.

p26085_p_v7_abWhat Women Want

This one always gets terrible reviews and okay it’s a bit cheesy and predictable but it is such good fun. I got Hubs to watch it with me over Christmas and he said he had a smile on his face the whole way through. Just good daft fun from start to finish.

Storyline: Mel Gibson is a chauvenist pig advertising exec who missed a promotion when it was given to a woman – Helen Hunt. A freak accident leads to him being able to hear what women are thinking. Cue much fun and him using this new found talent to steal his new boss’s ideas and get her fired. But of course, he ends up turning into a much better person as a result and falls in love along the way. Cheesy? Oh yes! Full of fun? Double Yes.

20160106_140047Julie vs Julia

A must for everyone but especially bloggers and foodie lovers. Maybe not good if you are trying to diet as there is tonnes of delicious food but it is brilliant. Meryl Streep is awesome and so funny and I love Amy Adams.

Storyline: Julie (Amy Adams) hates her job in New York and loves cooking. She challenges to cook all of the recipes from a Julia Childs recipe book and writes a blog about her journey. On the flipside we go back in time to meet Julia Childs, played by Meryl Streep, at the time she is learning to cook and writing said recipe book. Both parts of the story are hilarious and wonderful and it’s just a really feel-good film.

20160106_140139The Help

Bit of a political one this one but such a lovely story makes this tale set in a time of racism and segregation heart warming and so so funny. The way “the help” were treated is horrific but they get their own back, and come on, who doesn’t like a good bit of comeuppance?

Storyline: 1960s Mississippi and a society girl (Emma Stone) who doesn’t quite fit in has dreams of becoming a writer. She has the great idea of persuading the black women who work for the upper class white families to share their stories of life as “the help” raising their children and cleaning their houses, much to the horror of their employers. Great fun and you have to watch it.

20160106_140122Somethings Gotta Give

A rom com with a bit of a difference as it isn’t all about the young and the beuatiful. So so funny watching Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson navigate the world of sex and romance for the over 60’s. Brilliant acting obviously and it is so so funny and heart warming.

Storyline: Jack Nicholson is a rich and successful batchelor who only dates young women, much to the disgust of Diane Keaton when he is dating her daughter (Amanda Peet). They hate each other on sight but when he has a heart attack they are forced to spend time together, and even though she is dating his doctor (Keanu Reeves) the pair end up falling in love.

20160106_140235What to expect when you’re expecting

A must see for parents and parents to be. Unlike the usual glossy view of pregnancy being all about happiness and glowing women, this film very amusingly shows the realities of pregnancy. There is also a fantastic group of dads who take the kids to the park every week, headed by Chris Rock so I am sure you can guess how funny that is.

Storyline: The film basically follows a number of couples as they discover they are pregnant right through until birth. Dealing with everything from flatulence and wetting yourself to relationship troubles and miscarriage. A fantastic cast including Cameron Diaz, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks and as mentioned, Chris Rock. Just great fun and like I say, parents will love it.

20160106_135753Matilda

I love Roald Dahl and this has got to be one of my favourites. What kid wouldn’t love to have magical powers meaning you can get your own back on the people who treat you badly? It’s full of so much wonderful language such as “festering pustule” and “carbunkle” it is great fun from start to finish.

Storyline: Matilda is born into a family who doesn’t appreciate her and she is generally left to her own devices. Sent to a school presided over by the awesome Principal Trunchbull who hates children, things aren’t looking much better for Matilda, until she meets her lovely teacher, Miss Honey. Oh and did I mention? Matilda learns she has magical powers meaning she can move this things with her mind. This enables her to get her own back on Ms Trunchbull and her family. Great fun.

Ooh I could probably go on forever as the more I think about it, the more films I can think of that make me smile! Rom-coms such as Wimbledon and my new favourite About Time are just lovely and cheerful. Both the Sex and the City films make me smile, and the second one especially with the honesty for how hard being a mother is! More good fun action romps include White House Down and Olympus has fallen… the latter including the wonderful line “Let’s play a game of f**k off, you go first.” haha But I won’t go on.

The point is, don’t get hit by the January blues, watch something that will make you smile instead. What films are guaranteed to make you smile?

Goals for me in 2016

Most of my posts on here are about our family life and the kiddies especially. Inevitable really as they are the most important things in my life but for now I thought I would write a little post about me. I’m not particularly setting new years resolutions as I don’t think you have to start something new just because it is the new year. The being said there are changes that need to be made and things about me that I want to focus on and now is as good a time as any to start.

Diet and exercise
Yep, starting with the obvious one. I have been eating way too much for quite a while, even before Christmas and have definitely not worried about indulging over the Christmas period. I am not beating myself up over this, life is too short and I have enjoyed myself. But, and there is a but, I am not happy with the added weight I am carrying at the moment.

Our scales broke a while ago and we haven’t replaced them so I don’t know how much I actually weigh (I find it better to judge based on how my clothes fit anyway) but I am carrying it a bit differently at the moment. I’m pear shaped and have always carried extra weight around my hips and bottom. Now though, I guess as a result of being stretched from having 2 children I am very much expanding around my middle and ooh do I hate it! I have been wearing legs and tunics and dresses loads as it is more comfy than squeezing into jeans and it is time to tackle it. I’m a big believer that if you are unhappy about something then you are the one who needs to change it. So that is what I am going to do. No matter how much I enjoy eating, I don’t enjoy carrying around the extra weight so need to change.

Of course the main thing is going to be watching what I eat again. I have done weight watchers before and find the points really help me be aware of how much I am eating etc. so I will be doing that again. No fad diets here, just sensibe eating. Exercise is going to play a big part too though. My friends and I have been swimming once or twice a week for a while (thank goodness or I don’t know how huge I would be) so that will continue and I want to make it a definite twice a week thing. I also want to do more yoga or pilates as I really need to strengthen my back.

I’ve always had a few problems with my back, especially my lower back but since having kids my upper back can get terrible too. (All the carrying and stooping over etc.) It gives me horrific headaches from the referred pain and I know I need to work on strengthening my core and my whole body. There is a great pilates class nearby I was supposed to start a couple of months ago but, well, it hasn’t happened. The first week I didn’t go as LM had croup, the next week hubs Grandpa died that day, then I was ill, then I was preparing to host hub’s grandpa’s wake, then Monkey had croup, then I did actually go but the woman running it had the flu and cancelled the class! Then I was out for a meal and then it was Xmas week and they closed. So it has been a catalogue of disasters but I really want to try and go in January.

I’ve also been wondering how I can squeeze some yoga in to my day as I have a couple of good dvds and even 10 mins of good stretching here and there would be better than nothing. Every evening at the mo hubs does bath time with the kids and because I am shattered, unless I am sorting laundry I am generally lying on my bed playing candy crush until LM gets annoyed and I play with her while hubs carries on bathing Monkey. I am trying to make this a bit of yoga time instead and I have managed 2 days so far! Hopefully I can improve on that and hopefully it will contribute to me feeling better, fitter and stronger.

Postnatal Depression
I haven’t talked about it much for a while because I have being doing so much better on antidepressants but the time has come where my doctor has suggested trying to see how I feel about coming off them. There’s no rush obviously but it has been over 6 mths and I guess you don’t know if you don’t try, right? So she has suggested taking them on alternate days to see how I feel. I started this right before Christmas and sadly it didn’t go well. I would skip a tablet and feel fine all that day, but the following morning I was feeling very stressed again. I wondered if it was psychosomatic but I would have thought that if that was the case then I would have felt anxious on the day I skipped a tablet, rather than 24hrs later?

Anyway I got quite anxious and stressed and after a chat with my husband, who was concerned about the way I was reacting to things, we decided I wouldn’t try this until after Christmas. Christmas can be stressful enough as it is and he didn’t like seeing me reacting the way I was when things were at their worst. I am trying again now though and so we shall see how things go this time. If I react the same way again then I will tell my doctor that I don’t feel ready yet, as I don’t want to pressure myself into coming off them until I am ready.

I also hope to make a bit more time for me and my friends this year as it is all too easy to be consumed with family life, though I know it does me the world of good to just be me from time to time. It’s a difficult one as my kids are the most important thing in the world to me but I know it is good for them to have time with their Daddy and with their grandparents and good for them if I feel fresh from having a break. The doesn’t always make it easy to leave them though or take away the guilt when Monkey gets sad about me going. Which happens.. even some time afterwards and even if he had a lovely time at the time, he just comes out with the fact that mummy going somewhere made him sad. Talk about pulling my heart strings! But I know he has so much of me that it isn’t a bad thing for me to do things for myself sometimes too.

As for the blogging…. I um and ah about it a lot and think about stopping but the truth is enjoy it. I am always thinking about what else I can blog about. I am never going to be a huge blogger, I just don’t have the time or energy. I don’t contact pr companies or fight to get what I can… If someone would like me to review something and it is something I would genuinely use then I will review it. Otherwise again I just don’t have the time or energy. But that’s OK because it is a hobby I enjoy and the rest doesn’t really matter. I am going to make more of an effort to engage with the blogging community though and my favourite bloggers in particular. I can be very insular by nature and tend to hide away rather than joining in with things but this can mean I miss out so I want to try a bit harder with that.

I am also going to try and be a bit more organised. While Hubs has been off we have done a lot of sroting round the house, the loft and garage are much more organised as are many of our cupboards and the conservatory is possibly the cleanest it has ever been. So this should help. I have aso been rubbish at doing things like sending thank you cards over the past year which I hate so I am going to try and be more organised in that respect too.

So I say I am not setting new years resolutions… but I guess I am. I just hope that they are realistic and achieveable though rather than pie in the sky objectives that will fall by the wayside after a few months!! Over all I think I just want to be happy this year and I hope that by making a decision to change the things I dislike that I can achieve that and feel better overall.

Are you setting yourselves any resolutions this January? What would you like to achieve over the next year?