Best of the Rest featuring This Mums Life

Being Scouted

It’s not every day you are outside your house, gathering the power of Superman to try and negotiate your toddler duo plus buggy, up the steps to your house, only to have a slightly crazed looking woman come running towards you brandishing a leaflet, shouting something about you ‘being perfect’ for what she’s looking for. I was a little confused, because I was busy mustering the energy to get everything up the steps, which really does require a Buddhist style meditation, and prayer to the Gods of Get Us Up There In One Piece. I was concentrating on visualising the safe Nirvana of the porch. Being yanked from this meditation was flustering, and did nothing to ease the paranoia that she was actually a crazy woman trying to distract me with something I was Perfect For, before trying to steal my children.

Once given the once over, I decided the immediate threat was low, and my interest piqued. What could it possibly be? Was she scouting for adorable children to pay shed loads of money to star in television commercials for useless items, thus securing them abundant future financial security? Did she want me to be the poster girl for Tena Lady? No, wait for it, drum roll please…. She was scouting me for the local fat fighting group…. (please insert shocked/laughing/chin scratching emoji here as necessary.) Oh yes, the thing she rushed at me for, was to tell me I was the perfect fatty. I was being fatty head hunted. Now, my eldest child tells me on a regular basis, things like ‘mummy, your bum is massive and squidgy,’ and ‘mummy, can I wobble your tummy like a jelly?’ I let him off because he’s 3, but having the dubious accolade of being fat hunted by an actual adult floored my remaining confidence.

Seeing my friendly smile dissipate, and backing slightly away from me when I said ‘so, you meant to give this to me? Personally? I look like I need to attend??’ Which was met with slightly stilted reply of ‘oh, well, you, or you could give it to any friends you know…. I’m just generally leafleting in this area…’ The last bit was said in the smallest voice ever, probably because my resting bitch face had become my actual bitch face, and she now realised her marketing strategy was worse than the U2/Apple collaboration, where millions were forced to endure an unwanted album and Bono’s smugness on their iPhone. I snatched the leaflet, turned on my heel, and hoped she’d sod off while I began mission-almost-impossible, getting to porch nirvana. I did what any other person would do, and went straight to the window to see where she went next. I noted that she seemed to run at me from the top of the road, she didn’t seem to come from any of the neighbour’s houses. She didn’t go on to drop one of her leaflets to our immediate neighbour either. There was only thing for it-she wasn’t going to put leaflets where they could potentially be wasted on unknown skinny occupants on the other side-she was hunting down and rounding up fatties.

My wild imagination decided it was some sort of cult. I imagined turning up to a ‘meeting’ only to be tortured into confessing that I ate my children’s leftovers, then being forced to watch videos of people eating leftovers, and being given electric shocks of varying intensity, until I had been conditioned never to eat children’s leftovers ever again. She was going to go Pavlov’s Dog on my cellulitic ass.

I might be forced into exercising until I dropped, until I could successfully grapevine across a room without leaving my stomach trailing at the other end of it, or at the very least only produce a shock measuring 2-2.9 on the richter scale during said grapevine.

They could be building an army. An army of mummy shaming, confidence destroying babyweight Nazis, marching the streets, scouting for tired, hungry, slightly (well, admittedly ‘slightly’ is questionable in my case,) overweight mummies to join them in their mission to rid the world of people who obviously didn’t realise they needed to fight the fat, and to brainwash them into joining their schemes.

They could have a Dr Strange in the basement, building robomummies, who have been surgically altered with blunt instruments, fitted with false stomachs which rejected cake and chocolate.

Worst of all, they might tell me I can never eat cheese again, at which point, life as I knew it would be over. It was decided, I was in no way going to one of these meetings, I was having no part in this revolution. I need all the carbs, and all of  most of the wine, to get me through my child rearing years. I will wear my cellulitic bum and saggy tummy, covered in the best spanx money can buy, with as much pride as I can muster. One day I might actually get scouted for something exciting, but that day was not it… You can take your leaflet and your cult, lady, and scout your people elsewhere! At this moment in toddler rearing time, I don’t need desperately poor training and recruitment skills on the part of the fatty fighters management and staff training cult intervention.

***

Can you even Imagine!! Thanks Lucy for letting us have all the lols over this outrageous situation. God help miss Fatty Fighter if your paths should ever cross again!

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Best of the Rest No.1

#BestoftheRest

Well hello and welcome to yet another new weekly feature for 2017 on the blog!

As most of you are probably well aware by now I lurrrrve blogging; As time has gone on I have found that one of the best things about writing my blog is something I least expected: meeting incredible bloggers writing hilarious, poignant and frankly kick arse content for the world to read.

So I thought it was about time I shared my favourite nuggets of blog gold with you!

We are kicking off the totally fabulous and actual genius, Dawn from Rhyming with Wine . Somehow Dawn has surpassed the Rosies are Red, Violets are Blue style of rhyme and turned it into addictive hilarity! – Most of which have been known to make me snort out loud. Dawn’s unique dry wit is basically right up my street!

This particular post sees Dawn as a total Muma on the Edge, it had my husband and I howling with laughter. I’m so glad that Dawn has let me feature this classic in the debut #BestoftheRest series.

Mumas, I give you, CODE BROWN! 

rhyming-with-wine

Code Brown!

…What are you up to? I cautiously shout.
Whilst wrestling my battered old make up bag out.

The boy hears this rustle and comes bounding in,
Climbs onto the duvet to rummage within.

But hang on a moment… I pause, squint and frown.

What the hell is that?

… and why is it brown?

A few possibilities swim round my head,
The last of them being: He’s shat on my bed!

I freeze for a minute and blink once or twice,
Wracking my brain for some form of advice.

Then hoist the young poop machine into the air,
Whilst trying to avoid getting turd everywhere.

He’s plonked in the bath. Right.
Okay then.
What now?
I use my right elbow to sweep hair from brow.

The boy is disgruntled,  his patience worn thin.
With no one to help me.
I just get stuck in.

Down come the trousers and up goes his top.
The tot disapproves with a huge screeching strop.

Despite being careful it’s now in his hair,
And all down his legs with great artistic flair.

“OK to the shower!” I hysterically laugh,
Whilst leaving both PJs and poo in the bath.

I shout for some wipes to help tame all the sh1t.
… Miss Tot wanders in with a nail grooming kit?

Lord Poo Pants protests as I shower him down,
Hosing away any traces of brown.

Then he’s wrapped in a towel as my blood pressure calms.
Despite all the screaming and flailing of arms.

“I’ll just get a wipe!” I can hear Miss Tot cry.
“DON’T TOUCH IT! I’ll sort it as soon as he’s dry!”

“But Mummy he’s done some on Mummy’s bed too!”

*pause while this sinks in*

“I know it’s on my bed.
…Why did you say TOO!?”

I regain composure and put the boy down.
Then nervously seek out Miss Tot with a frown.

“WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THIS CRAP-SCENE FROM HELL?”
There’s poo on her bed and 3 teddies as well.

So just to be sure and prevent any doubt,
I check The Boy’s bedroom.
Then try not to shout.

“THERE’S POO ON THE CARPET!” I frantically howl.
We have sh1t on 3 duvets, the bath and a towel.

The shower’s a grizzly chaotic scene,
3 teddies have seen things they shouldn’t have seen!

I’m somewhat perturbed and I find it quite strange,
That an infant of 2 has such impressive range!?

He grins with great pride. He was really on form,
To rustle up such a fantastic sh1t storm!

And just if this wasn’t enough of a state.
It’s nursery day – and we’re now running late.

I still have two offspring that need to be fed,
So down to the kitchen they’re hustled and led.

Two cereal bowls are haphazardly served,
While I dash back to clean… leaving both unobserved.

*face palm*

My hand hasn’t quite reached the shower room door,
When the big one shouts up “All his food’s on the floor!”

I race back downstairs – What the bugger is this?
You have got to be kidding or taking the p1ss!?

Not quite yet fulfilled, bless his cute sh1tty pants.
He’s krispied my kitchen.
You know – just for bants’.

…I do not have favourites, as none of us do.
But today little sunshine – today – it’s not you!

I’ve written today off as traumatic farce ,
The incredible antics of Lord sh1tty arse.

But we each shall have days where the sh1t hits the fan,
So we just have to wipe it the best that we can!

Go and visit Dawn’s blog for more brilliantly funny rhymes!

Mummuddlingthrough

If Fireman Sam did Tinder…

PROFILE


Samuel Jones aka ‘Fireman Sam’

Forever 25

Pontypandy, Wales

About Sam..

Action stations girls:

I am single and ready to mingle

I have extensive experience of using a double harness, and ensure I have my giant hose ready at all times to put out the hottest of flames.

Most of my time is taken up looking after a town full of arsonists and deranged inbred kids. It’s time to show bunny boiler Penny that I, Samuel Jones, is ready for some non-PontypandyPoon.

My spare time is spent waiting for the next shitstorm, I do this whilst keeping a close eye on that fuckwit Elvis.
So, swipe right, and let me show you a good time- in a village more dangerous than Midsomer.

Over and out.

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

The way of the world: according to my ToddlerMonster

  1. The louder you scream the more you shall achieve.
  2. The word Me should be included at the beginning and end of each sentence reinforcing ones importance.
  3. Eat with your hands: it’s quicker and you can lick them later for a little dinner reminder.
  4. Only Paw Patrol should be on the television. Anything else is simply an oversight by management.
  5. Pasta & grated cheese IS the ultimate dinner. Don’t be cute and mix it up: you cannot improve on perfection. I will only feed it to the dog. And smear it up the wall.
  6. Washing hair is an unnessesery torture occurring right in the middle of the most fun part of the day. Scream & then scream some more: Chase is surely on the case.
  7. The Park is the single most important destination goal of each day. Do not rest until you have been on the Weeeeeeeeengs.
  8. Closely followed by soft play: Nothing beats seeing management spat out by the foam rollers.
  9. Run, don’t ride. Why would you want to sit in a buggy when you could be running everywhere so much faster. Efficiency is key.
  10. Teeth are the most successful persuasion tool we have. especially on siblings.

Thank me later- I’m off to update the memo board on the back of my bedroom door – with management’s eyeliner.
DomesticatedMomster

DomesticatedMomster

10 hacks to nail your CenterParcs Longleat break…

*Not a sponsored post*

cover pic

We have just come back from our debut family weekend trip to CentreParcs. Here are my top hacks I’ll be referring back to for next time – and yes, there will be a next time: Toddlers are not aliens here.

    1. Arrive for 10am & head to the pool – Although you won’t have access to your lodge until 3pm (2pm if you pay the supplement) you can use the facilities on site from 10am. We were told at the CenterParcs check in point that we couldn’t use the pool until 2pm, we obeyed and instead dragged 2 kids around in the rain until it was time for us to check in. However, others in our party did use the pool from 10am with no problem at all, and this is what we would do next time for sure! (There wasn’t a Rottweiler guarding the entrance!)longleat pool map
    2. Hire Bikes: from 11am on day of arrival. It’s by far the quickest and easiest way to get around CenterParcs. There are brilliant cycle routes, and the fact that cars have to be in the main car park by 10pm on the day of your arrival means you are safe from traffic, apart from the odd service vehicle. Our girls are 2 & 5 so we hired a carriage for the back of Dan’s bike (lucky him!) The girls LOVED it. Even better is the serious amount of storage behind the seats for carting around all of the usual ‘under the buggy’ crap. You can hire balance bikes, bikes with stabilisers, traditional chick cycles and mountain bikes. They were all really good condition and came with locks.
    3. Pay to be central. Yes, it is extra – again. But the site is huge, and if like us you have 2 small children in tow the last thing we wanted was long hikes between the pool and our lodge. We figured this is where our girls would be most keen to hang out and so choose a lodge as close as possible. It minimised tantrums and cycling effort (I had no idea how unfit I am, CenterParcs is massive!) so worth the extra £ at the point of booking.
    4. Afternoons at the pool. The difference between the mornings and afternoons in the pool was unbelievable. The famous CenterParcs pool opens at 10am – Think Black Friday, with the amount of people waiting to get into the changing rooms on the dot of 10. The queues for the 4 big slides were seriously long, 20 minutes was the longest we waited for. The outside pool was so packed it was like watching pasta come to the boil! The afternoon was the opposite, especially on the day we arrived. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.Longleat_subtropical_swimming_paradise_header_1920x500
    5. Bring inflatables & Bucket n spades with you- and don’t get ripped off! We bought a beach ball in Morrisons for 99p. The exact same beach ball was being sold at CenterParcs for £5.99! We also took a bucket and spade each to the pool. There are sandpits in the toddler area. Yes, I was crouched over in my bikini making a Dinosaur nest: Because of course,  we were at Jurrassic Park, not Center Parcs. Mild confusion for entire trip as Toddler Monster roared her way around the place in search of a T Rex. There is also a sandy beach around the lake for keen diggers… beach6. BOOK BOOK BOOK! If you want to do it, Book it. The activities at CenterParcs get really booked up, especially things like the horse riding, children’s jet skis and the tree tops high wires. Although with the massive pool, the adventure playgrounds, & lake-beach you could get away without doing extras if you have under 5’s. Click here for the list of included activities. The Pancake house was seriously popular, we couldn’t get in without a booking on our first attempt to stuff ourselves stupid. We had more success when we arrived for when it opened at 11am. It has a lovely sunny terrace out the back, the pancakes were delicious – and almost guilt free thanks to the cycling! Next time I’d love to book into the Spa…pancake pic

 

  • 7. Take a BBQ & kitchen essentials. They do sell pretty much everything you need in the little shop at CenterParcs, but you’ll pay a premium for it, and you won’t have your car boot handy to pop it all in to take home… So it’s a good idea to plan out if you will be eating in or out and take your supplies with you. (Even down to the nitty gritty of washing up liquid, loo roll and bin bags! Oh the glamour!) The lodges all have outdoor tables and chairs with a BBQ area, we made use of it one evening and it was lovely amongst the trees!
  • 8. Restaurants at Center Parcs: The sports bar is on the lake, in the big sports complex. It serves Weatherspoons style grub. Not particularly special BUT it serves wine, AND has a soft play area which our girls loved. Tick, tick. Café Rouge is in the Plaza and is one of only 2 places that serve breakfast. Again, it has a little soft play area. The only thing about Café Rouge is that it has a stream with no fences running in between the tables with fish in. If you have a wobbly toddler then you’ll be on your guard… But it is pretty! Hucks is the American restaurant and serves your burger / steak / chip classics. It does a children’s buffet which was basic kids food, but good value. It has a soft play for toddlers, an adventure play Castle for the older ones and an i-station for older kids. VERY child friendly and serve a mean Daiquiri. There are a couple of Starbucks (plaza & Sports complex) No soft play… but essential caffeine fix to get around all of the activities and pander to whinging kids.Cafe rouge9. Take your joggers, some decent swimwear & get a Tan! There is absolutely no point taking anything nice to wear. Embrace the opportunity to leave your skinnys at home, cycling in them would be impossible and so uncomfortable! Pack wellies, trainers and hair bands: no heels needed! Same for the kids. I did however have a spray tan. Knowing I’d be spending more time standing out of the pool than submerged I decided it would be a good investment. Well, tanned cellulite always looks better doesn’t it… Same applies for the bikini. Get a tight one – those slides are fast. You know what I’m saying. 
  • 10. LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK is literally 3 minutes up the road from the main CenterParcs entrance. We did this on the Monday, our check out day. You can stay in the park and use all of the facilities as long as you are out of your lodge by 10am. But if you haven’t been to Longleat zoo then you just have to do it! There always seem to be a few deals online for booking tickets in advance. We arrived before 10am and had the safari in our car almost to ourselves. Lions, roamed around our car, we fed Deers out of the passenger window, saw Tigers a few meters away… It was incredible. RECOMMEND RECOMMEND RECOMMEND!
  • longleat

 

 

Renovating with pint sized helpers

I’ve  put off writing this post about our 2, or maybe it was 3 months we spent camping in a dusty waste land, whilst we undertook some much needed renovation work to our more shabby that chic little home. This was for 2 reasons:

Firstly during this dark period of time I didn’t know my arse from my elbow let alone locate my laptop or half a brain cell. And secondly because I really didn’t want to write a sympathy seeking ‘we had no water last night, woo is me post’ when my new range cooker was sitting, no sorry, sparkling, it was definitely sparkling, in the middle of the deserted kitchen space. It is what all of my domestic dreams are made of. That’s really the only way to describe it; You can murder a dessert in one half while a stuffed bird roasts away in the other. Winning. (I should divulge that I spent the first couple of weeks after the kitchen was up and running still cooking ready meals, because I didn’t want to dirty the new oven!!)

However the reality of tearing apart every room as well as digging up the garden, all at once whilst hubster was still going to work, our biggest baby had just started school and toddlermonster was at her most epic, wa really something of a challenge. And I feel I need to share…

The beginning part was great fun, I can’t deny it: think colour charts and a major overuse of Pintrest. While the end has by far surpassed my expectations: I can’t believe I get to live HERE! But it was the dusty, grey, dirty, messy bit in the middle that was not so jazz hands. Especially when trying to convince a toddlermonster and a 4 year old that although mummy is washing up outside in the drain and we had to uncover and pull out the sofa to watch Paw Patrol this evening, life is totally normal.

I promise that your parents have not completely lost their minds.

We began with packing up the kitchen. Thank god I wasn’t being over looked by environmental health, or worse, Kim & Aggie, as I salvaged tins, packets and unidentified BITS from the bottom of drawer runs, and cupboards. Who knew black holes existed in the back of the carousel cupboard?!

We took over the girls little toy room at the back of the house and managed to shoe horn the contents of the kitchen as well as the rest of the downstairs crud into it. The toys got the raw deal and took a holiday in the loft. (Some of which are still enjoying their trip.) The funny thing is the girls didn’t really notice that their stock pile of stuffed, plastic, boxed tat had vanished. Result.

mess
Spot the Lila…??!

At its peak we were making rounds of tea for around 12 workman. That really tested my memory. White with one. Black with none. It appears that ‘trades’ (lingo – see!) only function with about 2 litres of tea inside them. I needed a bloody urn.

We muddled along with our new extended family for around 7 weeks with Darcie uttering the occasional ‘I hate my house’ with big sad looking eyes. To be fair she had a point, I wasn’t exactly feeling very fond of it myself. Living in a building site isn’t for the faint hearted. I tried my very best but did have a couple of embarrassing moments when the tears just spilled down my face to a room full of shocked builders. I think that might have been the day that the electrician drilled a hole through our new glass roof and water just poured in, power shower style, all over our freshly plastered/ painted walls. Serious cry face. Nothing a mobile Aluminium welder couldn’t fix a few days before Christmas!

Hiccups aside the deadline was breached by only a couple of hours in the end. That’s not bad, and although we are still snagging now, and continuing the never ending decorating, the house is really getting there.

Maybe builders make you live through dusty hell so that once they have finished you are so happy just to have a functioning space that you care little for those imperfections they might have left for you! Various trades are still coming and going to tweak this and that… So I’m still on tea duty.

The result is that our house looks fresh, and in my eyes, perfect. It doesn’t really look like it belongs to our messy slightly bonkers family! Woe-betide the first perpetrator to smear Nutella hands along the hallway. The girls were on a blue smartie style high when they saw their new bedrooms and toy room. So I guess the dust was worth it then.

Hats off to those who take on much bigger projects with children in tow – or even carry out the work by themselves. Huge, huge respect.

Here are a few piccys: happy to divulge the where-we-got-it-from secrets, just ask!

New kitchen

4 picsdoouble back