#MumaWin No.1

Welcome to my new weekly series (actually it’s not just new, it’s my FIRST ever series..! I’m feeling a little bit commitment phobe about the whole thing to be honest). I felt it was about time we showed parenting who’s boss: and started to shout about how we nailed the hardest job on earth each week. This is entirely new territory for me, finding faults is much easier and far more plentiful in my day to day life!

It’s a dog eat dog world out there, it’s Mum V Kids, and for the most part they are scoring all of the points. Well, the tables are going to turn: I shall be seeking out a #MumaWin each week. A glorious moment where I reign supreme over my kids who seem to be sponsored by Duracell.

I am constantly chasing my tail and seem to always arrive in the wake of disaster just seconds short of foiling the shitstorm, despite the girls being surgically attached to my hip. How does that work?!

Muttering “{BIG SWEAR}, another parenting fail” under my breath is a constant. It does seem to be my daily chant actually. How did  Vicks become smeared all over the carpet? And in which millisecond that my back was turned did ToddlerMonster manage to go nuclear, thanks to a slight glow stick mayday… in her mouth?

I don’t want the corner stone of my week to be blighted by organic-less food guilt, and loosing my shit in the playground in front of ‘Sorted Muma’ because I am decidedly Unsorted.

So here we have it: #MumaWins is born.

Every week I’ll share mine if you share yours… leave your Mum Boss #MumaWins in the comments or on the facebook Instagram or Twitter thread. I need your inspiration, let’s show these tinkers that Mumas got it all goin’ on.

To the end of Parenting Fails!!

***

I’ll keep this as brief as I can:

I’ll be honest, I want to tell you about how I managed to clean out ALL of my kitchen cupboards at a rate of 1 a night last week. Now this might not sound that exciting, but to me this is proper Muma Porn. My cupboards are now neat little pintrest worthy joys.

But I felt that if I named this as my #MumaWin then I would have to also confess that this resulted in 10 bin bags full of out of date food (FYI flour has a use by date?! Who knew!), some by 2 years, which leads to further embarrassment as our new kitchen is only a year old. Yes: I moved and stored out of date food, and then put it back into my brand new shiny kitchen!! There was also the little issue of unearthing the sweet potato which had taken on a more hummus like consistency at the bottom of my ‘anything goes’ cupboard.

Some of those bin bags were full of plastic sippy cups with no lids, and lids with no sippy cups. Tuppleware bottoms and Tuppleware tops, but not pairs. Rusty baking trays, which are health hazards. Which leads me on nicely to confess that I’m pretty sure the food standards bods would shut me down. Never again will I turn my nose up at those eateries with just 1* on their hygiene certificates. For that is 1* more than I would have been awarded…

So my first #MumaWin goes to my beautifully clean – even bleached kitchen cupboards. No more out of date roulette for us, no more ducking out of the way each time the cupboard of plastic doom is opened. Oh no. This is a #MumaWin and a half, not least because I did it with the assistance of my 2 & 5 year olds! (Please don’t report me for child labour- they thought it was fun! Honest…)

So it’s over to you – what’s your #MumaWin of the week?

Mummuddlingthrough
Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Christmas unwrapped

I’m currently drowning in this week of Sundays. I have no idea what day of the week it is, what time of day it is (although it’s dark again – did today even happen?!) I’m assuming the kids don’t have to be back to school yet as my husband is still hanging about.

I feel all out of sync and disconnected from the rest of the world, so thought I’d tell you a little bit about how Christmas went down. All hopes are pinned on feeling all Guns a Blazing for 2017 by the time I finish writing this post…

Sunday 25th December 2016

We were up at 5.30am on Christmas dawning. I mean, you wouldn’t want to waste a single minute of this glorious day would? Not if you are 2 & 5. This is the day you live for. This is it, The Big One.

“PRESENTS!” they screamed. and screamed as we desperately tried to sshhhhh them as we crept downstairs, one eye open, to save the whole household waking up at this ungodly hour.

(We tried to remind our greedy little treasures of the true meaning of Christmas, it wasn’t washing. So we stuck the entire 2 & a half ft long Nativity scene that nanny had knocked up the evening before, right in front of the Turkey; Nazareth vibes.)

This was our 6th Christmas as parents, but each time I become more gobsmacked at the months of planning, spending and wrapping which are literally ripped apart within seconds. Toys and trinkets that I’d trawled the likes of highbrow Tiger and Claire’s for, were disregarded in favour of the next shiny package.

I felt like I was directing traffic (and yes hand signals were used):

“STOP!”

“What was that gift?”

“Who gave that to you?”

“STOP!”

“Unwrap!”

“Not you, you. Lila, YOU unwrap”

“WAIT!”

I wanted to tape my mouth up and shove myself in a cupboard by the end of our 3rd Christmas. These were not the dulcet tones of the hip cool Muma I’d like to think I was…!

Once they had finished their gift massacre, came the cries for help with mission impossible packaging. Actual screwdrivers were needed to free Percy the Train from his cardboard prison. Why do toy companies hate parents so much?

If it needs batteries, please Mattel n friends, just provide them. Where’s your festive spirit? I’ve just spent hundreds of pounds on half a ton of plastic, the least you could do is help me over the finish line here.

In other news, the whole giving thing was a bit hit and miss this year.

We had one very unimpressed nearly-teen exclaim:

“This wasn’t what I wanted. This wasn’t on my list!”

Okey dokey then. I cringed.

and one,

“It doesn’t suit us, do you have the receipt?”

{insert pissed off emoji}

It doesnt seem to make a difference how much effort you put into the gift selection process.

***

The wrapping paper had been cleared narrowly avoiding the need for an excavator. The bird had stuffed us, and yuletide arguments could be heard between the girls as they fought  over the ride-on fire truckthat  ToddlerMonster had been given.

Everything was on point. Christmas Day was as it should be. 

We were all weary from being all jazz hands ‘Christmas And On It’ for the past 14 hours: At last it was time for The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special. We are massive GBBO fans in our house and this was set to be a little personal highlight. 

It turned out to be a bit tragic though didn’t it. I thought past winners would be queuing up to go back for the last ever, ever show and have a bit of a festive knees up chez Hollywood & Berry. It seems they weren’t. We got Norman and his shortbread instead, it was more like the GBBO rejects. Damn you BBC. Damn you.

And then in the blink of an eye it’s all over – unless you are like us and have 3 Christmas with each side of your family. In which case it’s several blinks and many many glasses of bubbles.

I know a lot of people will be glad to see the back of 2016, but I am thankful for it. I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I am no longer pondering what I am going to do with my life. I have a direction, I have a passion and I have ambition. I am going to write.

2017 will see me having a 3 and 6 year old. That’s like, proper Motherhood ages isn’t it? I’m in the midst of it then. I can no longer be the newbie Muma seeking Rookie as my excuse, ‘Opps I forgot the wipes’. It will just be me, being disorganised…or worse – lazy.

Happy New Year Mumas – have a goodie, let’s go kick 2017’s butt.

 

 

 

 

ASBO Toddler does Christmas

Welcome to The Lila Show. Starring Lila: Diva extraordinaire, ASBO deserved. 

I’ll be honest here, when people have allured to the wrath of a threenager in the past I may have raised my need-to-be-did eyebrows and wallowed in self pity for the gruesome twos I was being forced to endure. Thinking that surely Toddlerhood couldn’t possibly exceed the floor licking tantrums of age 2 (which peaked at Lego land incidentally- I’m sure it was a very clean floor).

We are staring Lila’s 3rd birthday in the face and I do not feel the end is neigh with this ASBO behaviour. In fact, I fear it could just be the beginning…

It is no secret that sub-4 kids don’t do sharing. (To be honest I’m not a massive fan of sharing even now, but that’s another story.)

Lila is very blunt about this hate of sharing. It’s more than a little off putting to her friends who look blankly at me as Lila snatches whatever plastic tat they might have dared to touch, upon a rare play date.

Lila has fast worked out that she cannot snatch n grab every toy at once, evolution is still one step behind with that 3rd hand that she requires. One of her favourite solutions when facing this predicament is to select one of the 456,000 buggys we have and simply pile it all in.

She will happily wheel about shopping tills, random candles, a naked sylvanian, the odd shoe, her beloved inflatable mic, the cat… you name it. Lila will stack it high to ensure that no one else can touch this sacred stash. I like to call it her tramp trolley, I mean no disrespect, but it is bares an uncanny resemblance.

Theft is becoming a real problem in our house. Crucial items tend to go missing, often for days on end. I have now found a Grinch like cupboard in her toy kitchen which has basically got trophies from her bin raids. I discovered old milk bottles, yogurt tops, coffee pods, the crucial sellotape wheel thing, a fitbit, even the garage keys. I offered to clean this revolting collection up, and retrieve our stuff.  That didn’t go down well. Who knew it was possible to have such an attachment to junk? One girl’s trash is another girl’s stash…

The latest victim of Lila’s venomous tongue is ELFred. This has at least given Darcie the week off from hearing her sister shouting,

“Darcie is a poo and a worm, I hate you Daadaa”

It’s fair to say that ASBO-toddler has not taken kindly to this invasion of her privacy. This morning when ELFred was found straddling Lila’s train, she could take no more.

“ELFred need to go home now Mummy.”

“Bye bye ELFred, don’t forget your Hat”

– Oh yes, don’t let him forget that, it cost more than mine!

My annoyance has reached boiling point. There are a whole bunch of parents out there that hate the elf, who don’t have the time or inclination to deal with elf-shit. But their little treasures love Chippy, dingbat and Zaton so much that they begrudgingly move him between Christmas tree branches for 24 nights.

The thing is, try as I might to loath this additional ball ache at the busiest time of the year, I don’t. I was loving this damned tradition. I love moving him about – albeit not very imaginatively, but I’m just warming up! I was just getting started! I loved those first 4 days of them discovering what Elfred had been up too. But I’ve been halted by my child, the only child that seems to hate him.

Oh the irony is not lost.

I had imagined that ELFred would have been a pretty useful bribery tool,

“Don’t spit on the carpet, Elf is always watching”…

“But he’s in the Woooooooooownge Muma!” Followed by deafening cries.

Well that went down like a shit sandwich. I did not see those screams of protest coming: Rookie, rookie, Mistake.

“No, no he’s not watching you all of the time, he just watches you in a nice way… ”

I don’t think I was helping. And to be fair it did all sound a bit pervy.

So Elfred is in the fireplace, with a farewell card – at least she remembered her manners.

Here is the conundrum: If I send ELFred away, Darcie shall be devastated. If he stays, Lila will be terrified.

You know what, sod you elf. You have just succeeded in turning your No.1 (and quite possible ONLY) adult fan against you.

***

Lila has just given me the perfect ending for this post. She has just returned from  bossing the nursery room. Actually she looked quite sweet as she snuggled up to her bunny on the sofa just now. I began to feel bad that I was mid sentence on a post that brands her a total A-hole. Then she took something from her pocket…

She looked at me with her devilish eyes but at least had the good grace to add a nervous giggle. She’s only gone and stolen baby Jesus from the nursery nativity scene.

I rest my case.

Is anyone else living under the duress of a crazed ASBO-deserving nearly threenager?!

 

Mummuddlingthrough

 

 

Drusillas Winter Wonderland Review

Drusillas has kicked off our festive celebrations in spectacular fashion!

This award-winning zoo has always been a fixture on our December calender since our little girls were babies. Drusillas seems to up the ante on its renowned Winter Wonderland year on year. Adding to its huge collection of impressive illuminations is a whole host of Christmas goodness. Drusillas is bound to leave the you feeling so festive that even your pile of Christmas cards waiting to be written shall no longer seem like such a chore (although a substantial glass of mulled wine is still  advisable!)


Meeting Father Christmas

The girls and I took our friends Amy, who writes at Bean Musing , and her daughter along on Saturday to join in the fun. We  headed straight for Father Christmas’ cosy cottage, why wait?! We were met by Mrs Christmas and her elves before being taken into meet the man of the moment. I think at this point I was probably more excited than the girls. Each time we have taken them to meet Father Christmas I always get embarrassingly emotional! I probably need to get a grip, but I can’t help but wonder at their little faces. They are totally in awe of this movie star figure, sitting right in front of them. Despite of course, my toddler repeating that she didn’t want to go anywhere near Father Christmas and that in fact, she would be perfectly fine standing right next to the door thank you very much. The elf and FC made a great team and looked like the real deal. There were no fake beards and cheap suits here: right before our eyes was a miracle on 34th Street Santa. I just managed to stop myself muttering “I believe”.

“Is he real?” whispered Darcie.

“Oh yes, he is most definitely real”

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Did I mention that the gift is gorgeous?! The girls were thrilled to reveal a cuddly Husky dog, just like the ones they were about to meet in the real. They didn’t let go of them for the rest of the day. It makes a nice change to have a decent, good quality Santa gift. I don’t mean that in an ungrateful way, but we have paid through the roof for some SuperTat in the past.

Fabulous festivities

The Husky dogs and reindeer had taken up residence  right next to the huge sleigh scene in the beautifully decorated festive square. We were able to go straight in and cuddle up with these gorgeous Husky dogs before looking in on Donner and Dasher who seemed right at home being the center of attention.

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You won’t believe what happened next…

We had some time before the illuminations show began, so headed over to the Zoo. The girls love the stamper book activity and ran around searching for animals. The meer cats are usually my high point, however today that high was handed to the penguins…

We had coincidentally just arrived as the penguins were being fed. Despite my frozen toes we decided to stay and watch, and I’m glad we did. Not only because the Penguin keeper was lovely and very knowledgable about her water babies, but because of what came next. A silence came over the enclosure as the keeper invited one of us 8 in the audience to, “Ask the question”. before we had a chance to exchange confused glances, the man standing next to us proposed to his girlfriend! Thankfully she said yes, their 2 children clapped, so we all clapped, with open mouths, min you, the penguins couldn’t have given a monkeys!

What a moment to share, huge congratulations to them. Could there be a Drusillas wedding on the cards?!

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Back to the order of the day, and laden down with chips and hot chocolate we really got into the festive swing of things as the square came to life. Some of the best known christmas classics, filled the square, whilst the lights dazzled. Polar bears shone, ice caps sparkled and reindeer twinkled brightly. We couldn’t help but smile, sing and bop along with our little girls. It really did look beautiful, and yes, I may have welled up a little bit more – I can’t help it!

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Hurrah for Drusillas

Drusillas is a truly great day out at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas. They have pulled out all of the stops this year to get you in the festive spirit.

Don’t forget the Zoo, Hello kitty rides, the vast adventure playgrounds, indoor play, Thomas train ride, and the Maze are open for you to explore as usual!

Drusillas doesn’t do bored

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Visit the Drusillas website

Book tickets 

Drusillas Park, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5QS

 

 

 

 

Child-free zones at 36,000 ft.

We are living in an age where we can run our entire lives from our phone, listen to music via headphones sans wires, and enjoy processco literally on tap in some of our favourite bars.

But until last week we were still living in a world where grown ups doing adulting, grown ups doing parenting and kids doing the kid thing were all mixed up like a badly organised wash pile every time you dare to board a plane.

Well not anymore, not if you travel in India! IndiGo has adopted a ‘quiet zone’ policy which basically means if you are 12 or under you aint getting in.

HURRAH! It’s 2016, but we got there in the end! We have been enjoying air travel for over 80 years, but finally, FINALLY an airline has engaged brain and realised that Little Tarquinn, age 3, doesn’t like to fly. It makes his ears pop and there isn’t room for him to stand on his head while he sings the theme tune to Paw Patrol at levels that only dogs should be able to hear. This makes Tarquinn cry, he dissolved into full blownn Sh*tbag mode. This makes Tarquinn stamp his feet and kick the seat in front. It makes Tarquinn throw his crisps into the lap of the tight lipped passenger next to him -not Muma… she’s swigging Gin on his other side. Tight lipped passenger begins to tut, gradually the tutting turns to the intake of breath followed by loud breathaliser sounding sighs.

Sorry Easy Jet
Mumas no longer need to mutter “I hate my life” or “I’m so sorry” and “send me the dry clean bill” on a flight anymore! Because guess what – the passengers that really minded being sat next to the little Tarquinns of this world have paid a few quid extra to escape this particular endurance test. So long, huffers and puffers. So long, Muma-guilt. IndiGo, I salute you.

It seems it’s not just me that feels this way either. The concept of the Quiet Zones has been praised by both Adulating Adults and Parenting Adults. I asked a few of my fellow bloggers their thoughts on the subject (I was concerned I might be having a very unmumsey moment rejoicing at this idea!). Surprisingly it was almost unanimously positive feedback. There were some suggestions for other zones which I thought might have legs too. Kate Tunstall of Refined Prose suggested an area reserved for inconsiderate adults, after all, it’s not only children that can be irritating! I see where she’s coming from! While Alana Perrin of Baby Holiday did make a good point, and one that will probably have the air stewardesses drawing straws to man bucket class over at IndiGo; Imagine how noisy it will be when all the babies and toddlers kick off, because of their proximity it will be like a chain reaction… Ear defenders for the long suffering parents?! Frankly, the mind boggles. But that still wouldn’t put me off casting a vote for this genius division.

I wonder if IndiGo might be interested in a little ‘idea development’? Children’s entertainment packs? Disney channel on a big screen? Hell, how about a kids entertainer (Mark Warner are you listening?!) And while we are at it, a loo facility which actually allows the task of nappy changing to take place. One last life changer please airlines, could the Mumas have reserved seating in said Quiet Zone for the duration of the flight, along with several large bottles of Processco. Pretty please.

I am sending a plea to UK airlines to adopt this genius and absolutely nessesery Quiet Zone initiative. Please don’t let tourist space travel happen faster than this, the most basic of travel needs. Come on Branson – lead the way!

What are your thoughts? Would you be offended if an airline offered the option of a ‘Quiet Zone’ for 13+? Or would you breathe a sigh of relief?

Cuddle Fairy
Run Jump Scrap!
Two Tiny Hands

10 times a new Muma & a Fresher were the exact same.

I was reminded today by Grimmy off of Radio 1 DJ ledgeness, that it is Fresher time.  So, there I am driving toddlermonster to her swim lesson, my arm contorted in eye watering angles whilst I pass her various lunch offerings,  I cast my mind back to 13 whole Septembers ago and vaguely recollected a ‘Month of Blur’ (not the band). My mind then jumped to the only other time that I have endured a Month of Blur: The newborn days.

I thought I might demonstrate how actually, being a Fresher is the exact same as being a new Muma… Just you wait, Girls, you’ll be amazed:

1.Being awake in the early hours, to the thud of the base, or the squeal of a non-latching      newborn. Exact same thing.

2. Surviving on nothing but a packet of biscuits and a Twix ALL.DAY.

3.The suggestion that you left the house before lunchtime is met with hysterical laughter.

4. Jeremy Kyle is beginning to feel like an old friend, his gambling past, tragic ‘my  brother used to…’ stories, and lie detector suspense has kept you faithful at 9.25am.

5. You make frequent trips to the Dr’s for complaints you never knew existed, in areas you really rather wish had been left alone.

6. Cheesy pasta is a treat; Hot food, cooked in a saucepan.

7. Awkward ‘making new friends’ moments. Eye contact, going in for the kill: the SU or baby massage class. Exact same thing.

8. Surviving on minimal casheesh, student loan v’s mat leave allowance. Its a close call. Toppers should definitely offer a maternity leave 10% discount, students are spoilt.

9. Learning a whole load of new stuff. Text books / baby manuals coming out of your ears.

10. New timetable. Except the one major difference here is that ‘FREE PERIOD’ does not feature in the Newborn version. Almost, the-exact-same-thing.

So there we have it, those Freshers aren’t going to feel so darn rocking cocking now are they…

Mumas, as always, nailing life.

Life Love and Dirty Dishes
You Baby Me Mummy
My Petit Canard

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3 Little Buttons
Cuddle Fairy
Tammymum

10 reasons why being a Muma rocks

Welcome to my nifty fifty blog post!

To celebrate such a grand total of waffle I decided to turn the world on its head, and tell you why I think being a Muma totally ROCKS. (I’ve delved deep, and I’m ignoring the fact that I gave in and  fed my 2.5 year old daughter a bottle of milk at 2am last night – yep, I’m a sucker.)

So without further ado, I give you: 10 reasons why being a Muma rocks

  • Love: yes, I’m starting with a belter. That little voice that first says “I love you” has the power to move mountains: or at least make me immediately forget that my Chanel lipgloss has now become an abstract motif on my new wallpaper. LOVE ROCKS!
  • Endless supply of great big fat cuddles – even when you are on the loo! No boundaries here, just hug away, literally ANYWHERE.
  • You get to eat fish fingers beans and chips on the regular, and sometimes I treat us to  those alpha-bites (ohhhh I hear you gasp, you badass) occasionally I turn uber Bad-Mom and leave hubster a naughty word on his plate: scandalous! oh the endless laughter to be had…
  • The buggy / Trolley. No gorilla arms for me, I just load up: not sure if you need a coat, iffy weather? No need to ponder that big question – Just pop it on the buggy! The fact that my children no longer ride the buggy is irrelevant. I’m not letting go of my trolley. I’ll never let go…
  • Christmas. I thought Christmas was good as a kid, but having kids at Christmas is a whole other ball game. I love scouring the shops – and internet, mostly internet for little things I know they will love. Different little surprises and other ways to make it all magical. There is no such thing as OTT at Christmas time in our gaff.
  •  The excuse. Our little charges are actually little sources of some of the most watertight excuses you can find. Don’t want to go to that party? NO PROBLEM, flip the no babysitter card. Running late? NO PROBLEM, last minute nappy changed held me up… I mean 9 times out of 10 these are legitimate reasons, but for all of those times the lack of babysitter or lateness has seriously got my goat, I pay back with the occasional white lie… don’t hate me.

 

  • Friends. I’ve made some of my very best friends through my children. That immediate understanding between Mumas is a bit like a secret club. We nod and smirk at each other as our kids run around playgroup with their skirts above heads, only stopping to steal a scooter from a minor. Having kids has opened up so many opportunities to make some incredible new friends, and for that I shall be forever grateful.

 

  • Pride. More and more I am feeling a sense of pride. Especially as Darcie, our 5 yr old, is growing up. When I see her being kind, or cuddling her friends I literally burst. She has never been a huggy sort amongst her girl-click, preferring to stand back and observe. When I see her being affectionate now to her friends it makes my heart leap!

 

  • Kids days out: Who doesn’t enjoy a fun fair?! Days out, kid style, are pretty awesome. Zoos, farms, theme parks, fun fairs – fire engine open days…. y’know. Day trips rock – even with the tantrums and copious amounts of crud we lug around with us all day.

 

  • I am their Muma. The person I hope they will always be able to rely on. The person who will always be there for them. Their constants. Us Muma’s are someone’s rock, and that in itself is the No.1 reason why being a Muma is the greatest privilege I’ll ever have.

 

There we have it, 10 whole reasons why being a Muma rocks – I admit I struggled after the first 4!

Let’s have a few more… leave your “Being a Muma rocks because…” answer below.

I’ll be referring back to this when I am playing the go to sleep Toddler game later. Muma rocks, Muma rocks…

Mummascribbles

Cuddle Fairy
Tammymum
Mummuddlingthrough