Family Life – Have a nose into the life of the Family behind www.babynotincluded.co.uk. Living in the South West with our two kids, Ryan and Isabelle and our Labradoodle Charlie we love to explore our surroundings. You will find us either at the beach or the forest dog walking. We love to be out and about exploring what the South West has to offer.
Happy Days – I've done it! My first day in my new job is done and dusted. I found it quite unnerving going from knowing my stuff to being the new girl not knowing who to pay the tea fund money to. It went fine. I was useless but it was fine!
Sharknado 5 – One of my guilty pleasures are cheesy films featuring monster sharks, huge crocs or such likes. Tonight is the premiere of Sharknado 5 so what better way to finish off my first day in the new job. If you haven't watched them then you have to. My favourite film of all time has to be Lake Placid. Don't judge me!
The funny things that Isabelle says – At six years old she comes out with some crackers in total innocence that have me snickering and face away laughing. On our dog walk, Charlie seems to like peeing in the river but he always cocks his leg towards long grass along the edges. Isabelle says "I think he does that because he likes the grass tickling his willy" whilst she eyerolls and sighs 'boys'!
Holiday – We can finally say that we're going on holiday 'this week'. There are clothes all over the house in bags and ready but not quite packed for the final pack on Friday morning.
We made it to Spain. The flight was absolutely fine. I set off the beeper so had to go in the machine and then be frisked. Here's to a week off.
Happy Days – Monday started off with a grey sad looking sky so I suggested a trip to the museum or the library. Isabelle fancied the museum with a Trip to the park on the way. We got ready in such a leisurely manner that it was almost lunch time before we left the house. I was going to make a little picnic but there’s a great chip shop near the park so I thought we would be naughty and get some chips and eat them in the park. This part went so well. We got the chips and found a picnic table at the park. Isabelle ran off to the play equipment whilst I went to the bin where I was mugged by a seagull who was determined to get the chip wrappers. The seagull won!
We had a play on the equipment for less than 10 minutes before the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Parents and kids all ran off in different directions looking for shelter. We started off under the slide but big blobs of water started to drop through the gaps so we had to run to a big tree to camp under until it stopped. Isabelle thought it was hilarious! When it finally got to drizzling we decided to make a dash to the museum – which of course doesn’t open on a Monday. We ended up at home wet but happy!
Tuesday was a work day for me and Isabelle was at Nanny and Papa’s. I did the final bag check for Ryan. It’s the last time I’m going to see him before he sets off on a plane to Spain tomorrow. I’m going to miss him but on the plus side there will be snacks in the cupboard for the rest of us!
Thursday I was a bag of nerves as it was my last day in my current job. I’m going to miss my job! I’m going to miss my colleagues and I’m going to miss my desk. They made my last day lovely and I walked out with a smile on my face.
Friday Isabelle and I spent the day together. We took Charlie out for a walk and played games. It was my leaving do in the evening so I ate, drank and laughed the night away.
Saturday Isabelle went to the cinema kids club to watch Sing and later on we went to a reptile birthday party where we met all kinds of animals including a baby skunk, a tenrec and a tagu. The tagu was enormous but it was so so beautiful. We even touched a snake!
My Happy List – last week I didn’t post anything as it really was a week of slog at work and not much else.
However, this week has been a bit less stressful.
Sleep – I’ve slept a lot better than usual this past week which is always something to feel happy about. This was a big deal especially since Chris has an awful cough and he’s been hacking away most of the night.
New working hours – i was a bit worried about changing my hours at work as three days seems like the best work/life balance and my new job is four days a week. However, given that this is going to be a different job completely I’m up for the challenge (and I have been working full-time for the past year). I have also wangled a Friday off which fits in better for childcare.
Holiday Shopping – we’ve done a bit more holiday shopping this week and I’ve actually bought some swimwear that doesn’t make me want to throw-up!
Park Day – we went to my brothers yesterday and took the kids to the park. It was lovely just sitting in the sun whilst the kids played. Now that they’re eight, six and six you don’t have to chase them round the park and help them on and off stuff. It also meant I could have some baby cuddles from my nephew. ?
Dog walking – I love walking Charlie, preferably on my own. I can walk and think, or not. He has no expectations or demands, just walking. I can see my old age in front of me where flashes of 100 stray dogs and no people spring to mind. Ha ha!
This week has been pretty much a working kind of week with not so much in terms of having fun. However, we have managed to sneak in a couple of bits during the week.
Subscription Box – Isabelle received a Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Subscription box. These boxes are amazing so we spent a bit of time doing an unboxing video which I will share with you once I’ve done all the prettying up. Isabelle loves You Tube kids so she’s loving doing the little videos, but we have to try and tone down her Americanised barbie voice that she keeps putting on.
Dog Walking – With the lighter evenings it’s been much easier to get in an after dinner/before bed dog walk with Charlie. I’ve had to do a bit of bribing with Isabelle, but once she is out she really enjoys it especially if she takes her scooter.
New job – With all the excitement of getting a new job, this week has been a bit of a comedown as since being offered the job I’ve heard nothing more. Every time I think about it my stomach does a little flip of excitement……
Holiday – 5 weeks and 6 days to go…..
Sleep – I’ve slept slightly better this week since the stress of last week with my interview prep. In the last week I’ve probably on average only woken about twice a night which is good for me, and I’ve managed to drop back off straight away. I need to do a bit of research on insomnia as it’s become my norm for over a year now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Blogger Night Out at Revolution Torquay– I met with some fellow bloggers in Revolution, Torquay for some scrummy cocktails and yummy food. The cocktail menu was awesome. It’s great getting together for a natter about all things bloggy, as I’m sure for most or us our regular non-blogger friends have no idea what I’m talking about. I had a burger with cheesy wotsits (actual wotsit crisps) in it which was very nice.
A new beach – We thought we’d try a new beach this weekend so today we went to Anstey’s cove in Torquay. It’s not a sandy beach its pebbly but it was a total treasure. We had Charlie with us so we had a bit of a paddle, but next time I’d love to take out a Kayak and go and explore the other coves which you can only access by swimming, sailing or climbing over the rocks to get to. We’re really looking forward to going back.
That’s it from me this week. Having said that I would still consider it to have been a good week.
I’ve been looking to for the Happy Days linky to try and break my pessimistic outlook which has taken over for the past year.
I hate that I look at all the negatives, but I think it’s fair to say that the last year or so has been quite tough for various reasons.
Life’s too short and all that, but more so when I look at my once chubby faced little boy turning eighteen in April. It speeds on by, and he’s now taking driving lessons and is starting an apprenticeship in September.
For that reason I’m going to take stock of the good things.
My Happy List
New Baby – Technically this happened over a week ago but my brother and his fiancé had a baby boy. He’s so squeezable. He was early so is the tiniest baby we’ve had in the family but he’s gorgeous!
The weather – it was scorching last week. I’m not a sun worshipper but it’s nice getting up and going to work in the sunshine. We finally managed to buy a cheapish paddling pool for Isabelle and Daddy had it all set up for when she came home from school on Tuesday. After sitting on a hot bus on the way home I took my shoes off and got in with her (in my work clothes) which she thought was great since she soaked me!
The paddling Pool – this should have its own title as it’s use after school everyday this week has been great. Isabelle is loving being able to get changed and straight in to cool off.
Last day of college – After two years, Ryan has officially finished college and about to embark on the world of work. ?
Holiday – it’s only six weeks and five days until we go on holiday. We cannot wait!
New Job – I spent the most part of last week swotting for a job interview. Trying to cover every possible question that they might ask. I heard that there was quite a lot of competition but……….I GOT IT!! I’m terrified but mostly excited.
Family day out – life is tiring at the moment but we are trying to make the most of our weekends. Yesterday we went to the circus (post to follow). It was really lovely and then we went for a wander around Darts Farm which is always nice. We love their food hall.
Holiday Shopping – Did I mention that it’s only six weeks and five days until our holiday. We’re off holiday clothes shopping today. Ha ha!
Isabelle loves to make a huge song and dance whenever she falls over. She starts off crying and we’re desperately trying to work out if she’s hurt herself and if so what damage has been done whilst she bats us off covering up the ‘baddie’.
Once we’ve had a look we have to assess the situation and work out if it’s just a bang and we might need to rub on a bit of arnica or whether it’s more than that.
We have, like most parents a whole kit of stuff for every eventuality.
We have arnica for bruises
Antiseptic spray and cream to get all the nastiness out of a cut or graze
Plasters of course in all shapes and sizes
Cotton wool pads – for holding over the baddies (better with a sprinkling of magic water)
A cold pack that we keep in the freezer
I think that the biggest part of a cut or graze is the initial shock of falling over that scares them more than the resulting injury.
If we have plain plasters, then part of making it ‘all better’ is drawing a design on the plaster whilst a cotton pad is held in place to clean it is all part and parcel of making sure that all is good and well in the world again.
I’m not playing down any falls that Isabelle may have, but thankfully she’s never had any serious ones that have needed proper medical attention.
We were sent a set of both Frozen and Star Wars Plasters which have all the characters of the films on them so Isabelle has already pointed out her top few from both sets for ‘future baddies’.
I love a challenge so it was no different when we were asked to take part in the Tears into Smiles Challenge – #TearsintoSmiles
So what do you do when your child has a fall?
We do all of the above and Isabelle plays a huge part in this by cleaning it herself and putting the on cream herself. She likes to put on the plaster but her aim isn’t that great so we try and do this ourselves if we can.
Following the clean up we have a bit of calm time when we sit and have a cuddle and either watch a bit of TV or read a book together.
Once this is all done, it’s definitely a game of distraction that helps get the day back on track.
We were sent a Hoopla Garden Game to try out as part of the challenge which we set up in the lounge to start with but have since played with it in the Garden, and it’s even been on a trip to Nanny and Papa’s house.
Isabelle really liked this game and became the chief score taker (good for helping her count in tens and fives).
All the pieces come apart so could easily be packed away for the day on the beach as well.
This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.
#whatwedidthisweek – I’ve missed doing this for a couple of week’s as I lost my whole entire blog for just over a week which was so unbelievably stressful, and then it took me about a week to catch up and get over the whole debacle (not sure why I added that word as I’ve never verbally used it before).
This week I’ve been off work with the little miss as it’s the Easter Holiday’s so we’ve had our fair share of much needed lazy mornings and yummy weekend style breakfasts.
Monday we didn’t have anything planned so we decided to take a road trip with Daddy as he’s a top sales dude. We ended up in Burnham-on-Sea where I don’t think I’ve visited before. It was so windy but that’s never stopped a trip to the beach for us. The sea was so far out that you couldn’t actually see it, but we had a nice walk along the seafront and Isabelle wrote our names in the sand. We found a cafe come chip-shop as I was really hungry and fancied some chips. How disappointed was I when we didn’t get ‘chip-shop chips’ but were served a plate of chunky home-fries style chips. However all was not lost as we had ice-cream on the beach and won a teddy in the arcade that came had a velcro stick-on tear that Isabelle named Max.
We were treated to Isabelle singing us all the way home which she video’d for prosperity. The videos gave us quite a chuckle as you can hear Chris and I almost screaming over the top of her to shut-up!
Isabelle had a sleepover at Nanny and Papa’s (of her choosing) which she has only done a couple of times since she was born, but she was really excited and looking forward to it. Sleep and Isabelle are not two words that fit together in a sentence so this was as exciting for us as it was her.
Off she went with no problems, and we should have made the most of being in a child-free situation, but instead we had takeaway and vegged in front of the TV.
Tuesday, again being child-free should have been used a bit better but Daddy set off for work, and after a lovely walk with the dog I sat and updated blog post SEO and other tedious jobs.
Wednesday was definitely a stay at home day, as we had a catch up with the washing and other housey stuff so none too exciting.
On the plus side, or scary side we have confirmed the booking for Ryan’s 18th Birthday meal. His impending 18th birthday is really scaring the Shizzazzle out of me and making me feel about as old as can be. I hate having a teenage son!
Ha ha I need to rephrase that. Having Ryan as a son is great, but ME being a mum to an 18 year old makes me feel old and decrepit!
Wednesday did give me a little, actually BIG ‘fist pump’ moment. We have been accepted to be a Rainbow Awards Toy Tester. I love that Isabelle plays a part in my blog and her being given the opportunity to review toys is so cool. My kid is cool!
Thursday we had a park day with one of Isabelle’s friends, so I had the chance to have some adult conversation whilst the littles played. Following this I met with a friend whilst Daddy took both kids for their dental check-up. The dentist trip for the kids has to be done by Chris as I’m such a baby when it comes to the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room sets my teeth on edge. It’s not great when you’re trying to coax a six year old into thinking that the dentists is a fun place to go ‘and you get a sticker’!
My friend and I sat and had a coffee and carrot cake in peace and quiet and had a much needed catch-up. She’s definitely one of those friends that I might not see for ages, but when we do it only feels like yesterday!
The kids came back from the dentist check-up with the good old thumbs up for the next six months. Isabelle had to have something removed from her teeth which got me worried, but it was just a piece of popcorn that I fed her before her check-up. Oops!
Friday we played on the trampoline and then Daddy took Isabelle out on her bike for a little de-rusting practice as she hasn’t been on it for a little while. We hadn’t realised how long her legs had got, but she definitely needs an upgrade.
Yesterday we started the day by making up chocolate truffle mixture for our Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles. We were sent some rather unusual ingredients by Yutaka along with some recipe ideas to make. Once this was in the fridge setting we went off out for a lovely dog walk along the river. Charlie went for a little paddle, only up to mid-leg though as we have a bit of a fradey-cat when it comes to water. We ended up at the Double Locks pub. It’s a great place to go when the weather is good, and it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last went with the addition of an outside bar and toilet block and it looks as if more work is being done as well.
Easter Sunday started off with CHOCOLATE. The Easter Bunny had left a great easter treasure hunt for Isabelle which she found and loaded into her easter bucket at lightening speed. We’ve been waiting for Easter Sunday for about three weeks now, or should I say Isabelle has been waiting for Easter Sunday and we’ve been suffering along the way.
You see my MIL had her for the day about three weeks ago and they popped into Sainsbury’s where Isabelle spotted a DC Superhero Batgirl Doll and Nanny bought it for her – For Easter. Realising that she wasn’t getting the doll on the spot she had the mother of all temper tantrums which lasted from Sainsbury’s to The Range and then carried on at home.
This Barbie Doll has been the topic of conversation since then with her even going as far as making a Barbie Day countdown calendar, a Lego Batgirl house, and an every day question of ‘How many day’s is it til I get my Barbie Doll?’
This morning we were on hourly countdown until we got to Nanny’s house, where at last she got the much wanted Barbie Doll and of course loads of chocolate!
Monday we went for a haircut and Isabelle was really annoyed that they wouldn’t wash her hair as she was too small for them to use the basin. It wasn’t particularly relaxing as Isabelle took off her shoes and gave us her best dance routine. Thankfully we were the only ones in the salon so she didn’t spoil anybody but my relaxing experience.
I’ll skip past Tuesday as there was nothing to report.
Wednesday Isabelle lost one of her bottom teeth so she neatly folded it inside a piece of tissue and put it under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy.
That evening I went to the Unmumsy Mum book launch at the Puerto Lounge in Exeter. On the way there I had to dash to the cashpoint so Chris pulled up outside Tesco’s and I jumped out to get some money. The cashpoint was broken so I quickly dashed back to the car, only to find that there was a tray of biscuits on my seat and a woman staring at me looking completely horrified. Chris honking the horn of our car, the car behind brought me back to reality. I apologised to the woman profusely who looked at me as though I was attempting to carjack her and sheepishly made my way back to OUR car. Oops.
The book launch – It was held at the Puerto Lounge which has only just recently opened and was packed with women all waiting to chat to Sarah, the Unmumsy Mum. Sarah sat and chatted about her book unphased by the many questions that were asked of her. She’s refreshingly down to earth and in her own words has no ‘filter’ when it comes to talking about the reality of being a parent. It was a fab night. I even got my book signed!
Unfortunately the naughty Tooth Fairy forgot to visit and so Thursday morning I found a tearful Isabelle clutching her tissue with her tooth still inside so I had to promise to help her make a Tooth Fairy sign when I got home from work so that she wouldn’t forget again.
Ryan and I went to a college open event to look at apprenticeship options. He wants to do a carpentry apprenticeship and the information and the feedback from the people that we spoke to was really positive, so it looks like I’m going to have a Carpenter for a son. At last there’ll be a man about the house that will be able to put up a shelf or other DIY type jobs.
I feel like a proper grown up when I do mothery things like college visits.
We put up this lovely glitter picture for the Tooth Fairy so that she would not forget to visit.
The Tooth Fairy came! Phew that was a close one.
It was my nephews birthday on the Friday so we went for the usual family gathering at their house. I won’t post a picture as he’s 17 so it would be totally not cool to do that.
Saturday Isabelle went to a birthday party in the afternoon. I usually have to stay for all of these kind of things including classes and play dates, but this time round she didn’t want me to stay and in fact told me to get off the dance floor as I was embarrassing her. Hmph!
Saturday night we went out to surprise my sister on her 40th birthday. It was a lovely night with family and friends. Here’s my mum and stepdad attempting a dab!
Sunday was spent at The Range buying housie stuff to sort and tidy Isabelle’s room. It’s amazing how much crap stuff you can fit in one room!
This week has been one of those weeks where I’ve regretted my decision to work full-time. It’s only a temporary measure and ends in the middle of July, but it at the moment I’m so tired that I wish I could fast-forward to July.
It’s also frustration as I’d much rather be here blogging my butt off but hey we all have bills to pay.
So Pancake Day we had normal pancakes with sugar and lemon (the kids had fruit as well).
We seem to be ending our days at the moment by putting on music and having a bit of a boogey before winding down with a game of some sort. We have a version of headbands, but the one we have has glasses that you attach the cards to and each person has to guess what animal or person they have. It’s my least favourite game of Isabelle’s as she cheats something chronic. We have coloured glass doors on one of our units so she either looks in glass on the unit or looks at her reflection in the TV and then pretends (badly) that she doesn’t know who her character is and strings it out for ages. I’ve hidden this game away for the time being as one day it will be quite fun.
The weather has been pretty pants this week with lots of rain and wind.
My biggest is going to turn eighteen next month.
Eighteen years old!
I thought looking after a baby was difficult, but sorry to say it but having a teenager is way harder. All those hormones and teenage mood swings.
It was World Book Day on Thursday and having just watched Alice through the Looking Glass we thought Isabelle would like to dress up as Alice. However, she opted for the Queen of Hearts so she could say ‘Awf with her head!!’.
Saturday was Rainbows morning which wasn’t as fun as she thought it was going to be as her friend wasn’t there so she was a bit reluctant to stay. We should have made the most of having daddy home with us this weekend, but as I’ve been so tired and achy I’ve been a bit of a a hermit this weekend.
We did get out with the dog today and Isabelle had a really good time jumping in all of the puddles. Charlie (the dog) didn’t look too thrilled as he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to water.
Isabelle was soaked inside her wellies and everything but she had a good time, and they will dry.
#whatwedidthisweek – Monday was my first day back at work having had the half-term holiday off with the kids. It was a bit of a shock when the alarm went off as I always sleep really badly the night before I go back to work. The day just went downhill from there as my computer didn’t work (a bit of swapsies went down in my absence) so a few cups of tea later and a bit of a catch up and it was time to leave. Phew!
See you on Wednesday (impromptu day off on the Tuesday).
Tuesday was my birthday and I was hoping to keep quiet but my not best mate, Facebook blabbed about it to everyone! Anyway I had the day off and did some work in the morning (my choice) and then Chris took me for a lovely lunch at Five Guys.
The burgers were enormous and the cajun fries were moreish. There was no attractive way to eat the burgers as they were so big that you could hardly get your chops around it to take a bite. I would definitely never recommend it for a first date situation. We even had a weekday daytime beer to wash it down.
The rest of the day was a flurry of people and lovely presents including The Unmumsy Mum Diary which I’ve just started reading and I’ve bought a ticket to a Night Out with the Unmumsy Mum at the Puerto Lounge, Exeter. We then might have popped into the local pub for a couple of drinks (on a school night).
It was a lovely day even though I would have loved to have stuck my head under the pillow with a giant bag of Monster Munch.
I took part in a Twitter chat and won some beauty goodies which came in the post. I love getting things in the post even when I’ve ordered them and I know what’s inside. I like to shake it and prod it to guess what’s inside!!
On Saturday Isabelle went to Rainbows and got a badge for World Thinking Day. Apparently this means that she’s good at thinking. Ha ha!
Isabelle’s friend came back with us afterwards so it was a great opportunity to try out Pancake Kebab Recipe. These were really easy to make and you can just give the pancakes and a selection of fruit to the kids to construct. They both really enjoyed them, and even better you can batch make them and freeze for future yummy breakfasts.
Saturday night was watched Bad Neighbours 2 which wasn’t as good as the first one, but still worth a watch.
Sunday we started off the day with American Pancakes with Crispy Bacon and Maple syrup. I’ve never tried it before and it was a bit strange with the sweet and salty mix, but I kinda liked it. The afternoon was a trip to the pitch to watch Ryan in all his glory. It’s been a while since I watched one of his games as now that he’s nearly eighteen, it’s just not the same. It’s way more aggressive and the language and there’s only so many times that I can put my hands over Isabelle’s ears to block out the F’s and C words being flung around.
We finished off the day with a roastie. It’s been a while since we had a roast and it was absolutely delish.