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7 November 2013

Last post.

Sadly, I won't be posting here anymore. Personal circumstances mean it is no longer appropriate to continue with this blog. Writing this blog has been a great creative outlet for me and I am glad that so many people have enjoyed reading it.

This last post is something I want you to remember Harry. Always.


I teach you different things everyday. Why the sky is blue, why you absolutely need to brush your teeth, how to read and write. But the thing I really want to teach you, the thing I never want you to lose sight of, is how to treat other people.

Be kind. Treat people the way you would expect them to treat you. Simple.

 If you never do anything else with your life but be kind to people, I will be the proudest mother alive.

I love you to the sky, the moon and the stars.


24 August 2013

Sunflowers

Before the summer holidays, you planted some sunflower seeds in some soil in a small polystyrene cup at preschool. You brought them home and asked to look at them everyday as they were growing on our kitchen windowsill. Once they were planted outside, they grew very quickly. Unfortunately, slugs and other creepy crawlies are quite fond of sunflowers so only one of our four sunflowers survived. It's beautiful. Like having a little piece of the sun in our back garden. You said it looks happy. It attracts bees which makes you panic but on the whole, you love it.


xxx

2 August 2013

Spooky things kids say

Illness sucks. It especially sucks for children. At least adults are kind of used to feeling unwell and they know what will make them feel better. Children, especially young ones, can't always be specific about what's wrong or where it hurts and that can be terrifying as a parent.

You were the most unwell that I've ever seen you last month. I had to call an ambulance because you were in so much pain and you couldn't breathe properly. That was quite possibly the scariest moment of my life. Throughout it all, you were so brave and I am so proud of you. It turned out to be a particularly nasty virus and you are on your way back to your normal self now. We are lucky. Parents of children with long term or life limiting illnesses or conditions live every day with the worry I had for just a few days last month. I have no words for how much admiration I have for them.

I had to write about your illness to give some context to the following conversation. We didn't prompt you and everything you said was said with absolute sincerity. You didn't make any of it up.

About a week after you'd been poorly, you asked Grandma, 'Are you married?' Normally not a difficult question but tricky to explain that yes, Grandma is married but that Grandad isn't here anymore.
When I sat down with you both, you turned to me and asked 'Is Grandad dead?' I replied 'Yes darling, he is.'
You looked puzzled and you were very quiet for a minute or two. Then you asked again. 'Is Grandad dead?' I replied again, 'Yes, he...' at which point, you cut me off and said 'No, he's not. I seen him. He's not dead.'

Me and Grandma looked at each other, chills down our spines. I probed a little. 'Where did you see him Harry?'

'When I was hurting. When I was poorly. I seen him'

There were tears in my eyes, once I'd scooped my jaw off the floor.

Now, I'm not saying that I believe in ghosts or the afterlife, (ok, I totally do believe in ghosts, but only at night, obviously), but this is a pretty odd and random thing for a three year old to say. You were so adamant that you were right. You told us like it was a fact and that we were wrong.

Just something to think about...



Oh, Dad, if you are around, leave us the winning lottery numbers or something when you next visit. Love you x

26 July 2013

Disneyland Paris

There's something so magical about Disney. It can transport you back to your childhood immediately, bringing back happy memories. The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast do it for me and I still proudly know all the words to the songs. It's amazing how children can enjoy Disney films just as much as their parents did years earlier, without needing any explanations or encouragement.

There's something even more magical about visiting Disneyland. You can just feel the excitement in the air.

We went to Disneyland Paris for four days last week. During a heatwave. 36C to be precise. You could feel more than excitement in the air. A mix of the humidity, sweat and the tension from families about to snap. We snapped, a few times actually, but it was quickly dispelled by the magic that is Disney.

We had a BRILLIANT time.

They say that pictures speak louder than words so I'll let the photos tell the story:
(Click on the photos to make them larger)
Harrys first flight
Mummy and Harry

A kiss from Mickey Mouse


Great view of the parade from Emilys shoulders
Favourite characters

Meeting Gaston from Beaty and the Beast.
Star Wars!
Hispster toddler with your shades and Starbucks
Hotel Cheyenne - felt just like the wild west with the heat
Dinner at Planet Hollywood
Mummys well earned reward after walking miles in the heat
We stayed in Hotel Cheyenne which is a Disney hotel. It was stunning. It felt just like the wild west, especially because it was so hot. We had passes to both parks, Disneyland and Disney Studios. We clocked up a lot miles in the two parks and the Disney Village and my feet paid a hefty price. All totally worth it to see the look on your face when you met your favourite characters. You were so pleased to get a kiss from Mickey Mouse.

And the light show... Oh, it was just breathtaking. I honestly couldn't begin to describe how amazing it was. I wouldn't do it justice. Let's just say it was worth waiting around until 11pm for it (and getting there early to get a good spot - thanks for the tip Vic!).

The only reason we could go is because of your Grandma and we love her so much. Thank you Grandma!

You have more adventures to come in August with a trip to Centre Parcs with me and a camping trip with Daddy. You are one lucky, lucky boy Harry. Enjoy every minute!

xxx



30 June 2013

Busy summer fun

I'm surprised I can remember how to log in here, never mind blog. It's been far too long since I last wrote anything. I always try to write and publish something here at least once a month. My problem is that I'm the kind of person who takes up a new hobby or activity, does it a couple of times and then kind of just drifts away. I went for a run two weekends ago, promising myself I'd run at least a couple of times a week. How many runs have I been on since?

Zero.

I think I've made my point.

But this hobby? This is one hobby I don't want to give up. This is something I get a lot of enjoyment from and I know it brings happiness to others who read it. I will be better at blogging regularly, I promise.

Aside from my obvious blogging laziness, the past two months or so have been very busy.

Uncle Kyle and Auntie Nicola visited from Dubai for two weeks and it was just amazing to have them here. We crammed in as much as possible in between their visits to friends and family and every second was so precious.




We had lovely family meals, parties, days out and Kyle even got a trip to the hospital with Hannah. She fractured her elbow whilst Kyle was here which was handy so he could take her to the hospital. He slotted right back into his 'I'm the man in this family' role like he'd never been away.




Hannah had a bright pink cast and you've been very concerned for her, kissing her arm and asking if it's all better now. She's still got a bit recovery to do but she's handled it so well. I don't know how I'd cope with a cast from my wrist up to my shoulder!




It was horrible saying goodbye to them again but they are having the most amazing time out there. We are definitely going to visit next year. Definitely.

I also had the honour of being a bridesmaid for one of my best friends, Kathleen and her husband Phil. They got married on 1st June and it was a wonderful day. Kathleen looked stunning, (Phil scrubbed up well too!).




You joined us for the evening reception and busted out some moves. Then you made your move on the flowergirl, Imogen...

Real smooth Harry, that other guy didn't stand a chance!


This is just the tip of the iceberg though, what with preschool, days out, weekends with Daddy, PlayMobile in the garden and randonly meeting a Stormtrooper in town. He gave you his gun in exchange for your droid, C3PO. Turns out it wasn't the droid he was looking for.



And there's a lot more to come in July. Excited doesn't even describe how I feel!

 It involves and an airplane, France, a big pink castle and a pair of big black ears...

xxx

7 May 2013

You are what you eat

Sponsored post

We've had an opportunity to review a product from Walkers crisps this week. Anyone who knows me well knows of my absolute addiction to crisps. Hands down, my favourite snack or evening nibble. Of course I jumped at the chance to review these new bad boys.

But actually, it got me thinking about what you eat and your favourite foods. I thought it was high time I blogged it so I can see how your tastes change over time.

Your current favourite foods are (in no particular order...)

- Pasta. In any shape or form. You'll literally consume anything that has pasta in it. You even tried to eat uncooked spaghetti last week. I don't think you'll try that again in a hurry.

- Chicken nuggets/goujons/dippers. No explanation needed, you are three years old after all.

- Cheese and bean toasties or 'Brevilles' as we call them in our family. (Don't even ask why, it's ridiculous)

- Soup. A recent addition, only with a bread roll though.

- Any fruit. You'd eat fruit all day long if you could. Vegetables are not so welcome on your plate. Again, no explanation needed, you are three years old.

I wonder how much this will change over the years. Daddy is always trying new foods with you so I'm sure there will be a few additions to this list as the years go on.

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And so, our review:


Our lovely package arrived with a cheeky little surprise. Monty the monkey has been a big hit. I even had to 'feed' him a banana before bed tonight. (The things we do to get our kids to go to sleep!)
As well as monty, we received a nice little book which was informative for Mummy and had nice pictures for you.

Now, the main part of the package was Walkers new Hoops and Crosses crisps, roast beef flavour, yum! I'll admit I was dubious about how they would taste with them being 'healthy' crisps. They are made from wholegrains with no artificial colours or presevatives which is great for tummies but not usually great for taste.

I'll put my hands up - I was wrong.

You loved these crisps. You said they were 'nice and tasty' which is the best review you will get out of a three year old. The fact that you ate most of them shows that you enjoyed them. The hoops and crosses shapes were a nice change as well, although you called the hoops 'circles' and the crosses 'x's. If you had a packed lunch at preschool, I'd definitely pack them for you.

Mummy tried them too. I was very surprised by how much they reminded me of Monster Munch! They are slightly drier than Monster Munch but with only 84 calories, they are much more compatible with my never ending diet. In fact, they make a nice change to my usual low fat crisps so I am keen to try the other flavours, Prawn cocktail and Salt and Vinegar. And Auntie Emily can eat them because they are suitable for vegetarians.

All in all, lots of flavour + lots of crisps in the packet = happy Harry and happy Mummy!
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We've had fun reviewing this and I hope we get the opportunity to do more things like this through the blog. Maybe next time we could review a new toy or a theme park or a beach in Australia.... I'll keep on dreaming... x





6 May 2013

H&M, haircuts and sunshine

The weather has been amazing this past week. The first four months of the year were a huge dissapointment in terms of weather. It was cold, wet and we had an unusually large amount of snow. I was beginning to get sick of hoodies, jeans, coats and woolly hats. And that was a big problem in this house. You see, Mummy has a bit of an issue with your clothes. I am very very fussy about how I dress you which is actually a great big pain in the bum. I'd love to just pull anything out of the drawers and dress you in it. I can't. I need help.

I like stripes. No, I LOVE stripes. And I like you in slim fitting jeans. And your socks have to match your outfit. It's a nightmare.

I blame H&M really. They make too many nice clothes for not a lot of money. Here's a snapshot of your wardrobe.



We had to get your haircut last week. It was really warm and you were all sweaty. You looked like you'd been dunked in a swimming pool! You looked so grown up when it was done and so much like your Daddy. You've even got freckles like him too. Those freckles on you cheeks and nose are so damn cute, I want to kiss each and every one of them! (I won't, don't worry).

Your new haircut and another H&M puchase, this one you chose for yourself.

You've also been on the Kindle again. This was the result:


So lets just hope this sunshine continues so we can get some wear out of all those shorts I insist that you need. You'll look even more stylish with your new haircut as well. Such a little cutie.

xxx

P.s. We got sent a little something in the post this week to review for the blog. Exciting times! Watch this space to see what it is and what we think of it.

16 April 2013

Thoughts on faith

After the absolutely awful events that happened in Boston just over 24 hours ago, I feel a great urge to write. Not about the evil in the world or asking who would do such a thing. That would be like giving into the people that commited this atrocity by giving them the satisfaction of knowing how much they have shocked and saddened us.

Of course we are upset and saddened and rightly so, but it is awful situations like this when mankind has an enormous ability to show us what good there is in the world. And it is when something like this happens that people start to question the world, religion and how we are living our lives.

I read a blog post from my favourite blogger yesterday, about an hour after I'd watched the news about the Boston bombings. (Click here if you're curious). It was about faith, religion and what it means to her family. Add to this the negativity surrounding Islam which is, unfortunately, a common conclusion that people jump to after an incident like this and it got me thinking about my own beliefs and what I want you to have faith in as you grow up.

I was brought up attending church, having a strong family link to it and going to a Christian school. However, I am not what you would traditionally class as 'religious' now. I do not attend church to worship. I don't pray. The extent of my connection with 'God' is saying 'Bless you' when somebody sneezes. Seriously, that's it.

But.... I do have faith. I have faith in people. I have faith that the goodness in people will overcome the bad.

  There is so much good in the world Harry. A lot of people focus on the negatives because it's easy to see when we turn on the news or read the newspaper. When was the last time you saw a headline that read 'Everything's fine! Have a great day!'? You have to look for the good but it's really not hard to see.

 Children can see the good in people almost exclusively. They trust strangers, get along with children of all nationalities and backgrounds and don't discriminate by gender or sexuality. Adults tell us we don't understand the world when we are children. Wrong. Children know what life is about. They get it.
 I am including a photo of the 8 year old boy who was killed in the bombings, Martin Richard, to illustrate this. The innocence, kindness and purity of this boy is overwhelming.

R.I.P Beautiful boy


The good in this world far outweighs the bad. It is the small acts of kindness, showing loved ones or strangers that we care, this is what I believe in. The power of a good deed is immense. It makes the other person feel like somebody cares and it makes you feel amazing. Try it. Just something small. Like giving someone 10p when they are short of change for the bus or helping an elderly person carry their shopping. It can only take a minute, maybe ten but that person will probably remember forever.

I'm not about to launch into acts of kindness that I've done. This is not about boasting. But what I do want to do is highlight the kindness, bravery and self sacrifice of those people first on the scene in Boston.

The people who gave no regard for their own safety to help the injured

The people who ran into the chaos rather than away from it.

The runners who ran past the finish line and carried on running to the hospital to give blood.

The residents of Boston who offered up their  cars, homes, spare beds, food and water to those in need.

And the emergency services who put their lives at risk every single day.

Yes, these are huge acts of self sacrifice and bravery and that's not something we can do in everyday life. We can, however, start off small.


 This is my church. This is my God - the goodness in peoples hearts. It's not what we say or believe. It's what we do that matters. Serving others, helping, giving what we can. Not just money but time, a smile or going out of your way to show someone you care. It's enjoying the little things in life and appreciating what you have.


Two photos that made me smile and appreciate my small but significant place in the world:

Your faith that this stick really is a broomstick and it CAN fly
Little things that bring a smile and a giggle

I have a beautiful, healthy little boy and I want you to grow up having faith that the world IS a good place.

xxx

12 April 2013

It's been a hard week

It's been a hard week. There have been tears - mostly mine.

I've been poorly and it seems as though you have been testing me, pushing me to see how far you can go. I snapped on Wednesday morning.

You tipped almost an entire cartoon of milk over the coffee table and carpet in the front room. You wanted a drink of milk and wouldn't wait for me to finish what I was doing. I didn't get to you in time to stop you and there was milk everywhere. I burst into tears and so did you when you saw how upset I was. I'm not too proud to admit that I had a little meltdown. Illness and naughty toddlers do not mix!
Thankfully Grandma was on hand to rescue us and I was laughing as I told the story to your Aunties a little while later.

That night, as I put you to bed, you grabbed my face and kissed it all over (including my glasses). I thought my heart would burst with love for you in that moment. Now I was crying happy tears.
These moments are what parenting is all about. The naughty Harry/cross Mummy moments, although frequent, are almost always immediately forgotten. But these moments of pure love, where you make me feel like the most important person in the world - these moments will be forever remembered.


I love you all the numbers Harry x

7 April 2013

Silly faces with Hannah

Auntie Hannah can pull some great faces. I have some cracking photos of her that I could use to blackmail her with one day. She's starting to teach you too. Fortunately you still look adorable even when pulling a silly face.

(Click to enlarge)

Hannah - please don't kill me for uploading this. You look adorable too! And actually these photos are pretty tame considering the other ones I have which are far worse...

xxx

2 April 2013

Just a rant from me

Grandmas shed was broken into last night. No big deal really. No sirens blaring, no forensics teams and no police dogs on the scene.

It's really bothered me though. I've only just found out about it and I'm feeling the need to vent my anger so I'm hijacking the blog to have a moan.

What makes people think they have the right to just take someone elses belongings? Things that people have worked damn hard for, things that people cherish, things that mean a lot. The people that break into houses or steal cars - what went wrong in their childhood or adult life to make them turn to this? How would they feel if their house was burgled? Or their mothers house?

They took a lot of Grandads decorating tools along with a few other things. Now, it may seem silly to get sentimental over these things but I feel a great attachment to them. Grandad touched these tools. He worked hard with them and was proud of what he created with them. They still had bits of grout, paint and dust on them from old jobs he did. Going into that shed was almost like being able to touch him or smell him.

I feel like this memory has been tainted in some way now. 

All so that some low lifes could make a few quid. How proud their parents must be!

Harry - it is never ok to steal. Taking something that isn't yours can hurt someone in a lot of ways. Whether it's dusty tools in a shed, a rubber in someone elses pencil case or a family heirloom in a fancy mansion.

Ok, rant over. I feel better already. Better prepare ourselves for a trip to Toys 'R' us to get Jess a new bike...


8 February 2013

Happy Birthday Harry!



                 Today is your third birthday!

Some photos and a video of your third birthday:




4D movie

Holding hands with lots of Harrys.

With your light saber from Jess. Best picture I could get as you wouldn't stay still.
We went to the Sealife centre in Birmingham for your birthday. Your favourite thing about it was the hall of mirrors. Nothing to do with fish at all. You spent about an hour in there. I had great fun watching people walk into their own reflections. Here's a video of what you did in there, for a whole hour...



video


This time three years ago, we'd only just met you. Hard to believe that as I can't imagine life without you now. You're becoming such a lovely little boy and you're definitely not my baby anymore. No nappies, no dummies, nothing left of your baby days. It makes me a little sad but also really excited about how much you're growing and learning. We've got lots of adventures to come and I can't wait!

Happy birthday Harry! xxx

28 January 2013

It's such a perfect day

There is only one video you want to watch and sing along to at the moment. You want to watch it on the computer, on my phone and on my Kindle. You want to me to sing it with you when you're in the bath, going to bed and even walking down the street. Our neighbours must think we're mad. I think I am going mad. I even dream about this song because I've heard it so much

Your Uncle Tom and Auntie Claire got married in 2008, before you were even born. It was a wonderful day. Daddy was Toms best man, Mummy was Claires bridesmaid and Ellie was their beautiful flower girl. As a present and as a wonderful reminder of their special day, a video was made. It includes family and friends and a lot of love and laughter. You always say that Claire looks beautiful when we watch it. Tom however just looks nice. (Sorry Tom!) You like when James winks and when Grandma Gail really goes for it at the end. I like that bit too!

You insist on watching it at least three times a day. (Stephen - this is why the views on Youtube are steadily increasing. You have a very big fan!) I can't describe what it is or why it's so good so here it is:


And here is the embarrassing part of my post.... Your version! Enjoy!

video


xxx