Thursday, 15 September 2016

Starting school and the social media guilt

Caleb started school yesterday. After him having almost 9 weeks off for the summer holidays, it seemed so surreal that his first day was finally here. There have been times over the holidays when I just wish that they would last longer and that I wouldn't have to send him to school and other times when he was being a beast that I thought that his time at school couldn't come soon enough!

Yesterday morning we were all up in good time for him to get ready. He seemed a little subdued which is quite unlike him and asked if I would be there with him at school, to which I responded that I wouldn't, but he seemed okay with that. Seth came with us to drop him off at school, which I was glad for! I always appreciate that bit of moral support, ha! We walked around the building to Caleb's classroom and he held my hand the entire time but as soon as we got there, he dropped my hand, allowed me to kiss him goodbye and went in quite happily! I was so pleased that he was okay and it definitely made it easier for me. Seth looked at me to see if I was okay and I actually was, I didn't cry which I was surprised about as I thought that I would.

Would it have been wrong if I did cry? No, of course it wouldn't, I'm sending my baby to school for the first time and it's a big deal. Is it wrong that I didn't cry? No. It's still a big deal that it's his first day at school, but it just didn't happen and that's fine too.

In the last couple of weeks leading up to Caleb starting school, even though I have tried to avoid it, there have been so many poems, etc. all over social media about children starting school, sending our babies away (as if they were going away forever!) and how we would lose them. One of them I found particularly lovely and horrible at the same time and I bawled my eyes out. It was one of those where the parent is apprehensive about letting her child go and then there is a teacher's response about how she will look after the child. Anyway, it's lovely but it made me sob. I was feeling completely fine about Caleb starting school until I read that. It took me a couple of days and then I was feeling fine again but it did make me think about how much things like that and social media can influence the way we think and wonder if we're doing it right! By "it", I mean motherhood, life, sending kids off to school, all that stuff. Caleb was going to be going to school and that's just what happens when they turn four. I felt a little sentimental and emotional about it but nothing major. Then when I read all of the sentimental stuff, or some friends' statuses saying how sad they are to send their children off to school and I wonder, do I not care enough? Should I be more bothered about this than I actually am? AM I EMOTIONALLY DEAD??!

The conclusion I came to is that it's fine to feel as I am and have been feeling. It doesn't make me a rubbish Mum because I didn't cry as I dropped Caleb off and it doesn't make you a weak Mum if you cried when you dropped your child off. We all just deal with things in different ways and that's okay. Now despite how it may seem, I actually like social media, I use it all the time! I'm on facebook, instagram and twitter (although I still haven't got to grips with how twitter works!), I have a blog, etc. But I think that so often people, including myself can almost use it as a measuring stick to rate their performance. I will look at people's photos of an amazing day out with their children and they all have big smiles on their faces and on that day, I will have had a particularly rubbish day where I have been in a bad mood, the kids have been in a bad mood and everything has gone wrong. And sometimes I look at those pictures and feel like I'm not a great Mum.

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine posted a collage of pictures on facebook of her, her husband and her daughter and what looks like it was a wonderful day out. She had commented that it was a great day, but that she was exhausted as her daughter was teething and running away a lot of the time and at one point in the day, she had been surrounded by loads of wasps. You would never guess that from the picture and her commentary just made me smile because it was so honest! As Seth has said to me before, "the only reason people take pictures of bad things is for insurance purposes" (car accidents, etc. And it's SO TRUE! We don't often see the rough times in those photos that we see. Perhaps I'm as guilty of that as anyone. There's nothing wrong with posting pictures of all the fun times, indeed they should be documented! But what I'm trying to learn is not to judge how I am as a mother by what I see on facebook and instagram. I have good Mum days and bad Mum days. I sometimes shout at my children and they have had cereal for dinner on more than one occasion because on that day I just can't be bothered to cook.  I think that it can be so easy to compare other people's best with our worst and feel inferior and inadequate because of that.

At the end of the day, I've decided that we are all just people, Mums, husbands, wives, whatever, just going about, living our lives and trying to do the best that we can.There's no right or wrong way to do it (unless it's illegal of course, then there is definitely a wrong way to do it!) and no right or wrong way to act in particular circumstances. And again back to the whole starting school thing - it's easy to think that there is a certain way that you should be feeling because that is how some other people might feel but what we do and how we feel is and should be down to us, without anything else influencing us. This post has ended up being a bit of a rant hasn't it?! I guess that what I'm trying to say is just be yourself in how you think and feel and do what is right for you. THE END!
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Monday, 12 September 2016

Caleb turns 4!

Caleb turned 4 on the 20th July. He has been looking forward to being 4 for ages, as he is the youngest of most of his friends. He also has been wanting the game Hungry Hippos since January and I have managed to keep stalling by saying that he needs to be 4 before he can have it because that's what it says on the box!

The morning of his Birthday came and we went into his room, singing Happy Birthday to him. His response was, "thank you for my Birthday, I was waiting to be 4!". Bless him! He opened his present from Levi, which was a Cars bike helmet. He didn't pick up on the hint though and he had to go into the lounge and unveil his present to realise that it went with the Cars bike that we had bought him. He was pretty underwhelmed at first but once Seth had gone to work and Levi had gone down for a nap, he got a lot more excited about it and had a great time riding it around the lounge!

Mum came at lunch time and Caleb was so excited to see her, as always!  Her Birthday present for him was Hungry Hippos so needless to say, his little life was made! It was so fun watching him and Mum playing with it.

Once Levi was awake, we went to a new dessert place in town for some Birthday gelato, then we went to the park so that Caleb could ride his bike. I wasn't sure how well he would do considering he has never ridden a bike before. He had stabilisers which obviously makes life easier but I was amazed at how well he did. he was just off, no problems at all!

He absolutely loved being on his bike and had so much fun riding it. I had to keep running after him so it was a great workout for me too, ha ha! He must have cycled about two miles in total, I'm amazed that his little legs would allow him to do that much in one day!

It was such a fun day and Caleb was so excited the whole time, I'm so glad that he enjoyed his fourth Birthday.
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Baby Olivia's blessing

At the beginning of June, my great niece, Olivia was blessed. Yes, that's right, my niece's daughter! That makes me feel old, ha! Olivia is an absolutely gorgeous little baby and the blessing day was the first time I saw her. She has a perfect little face and lovely dark hair, she really is a little beauty. It was a lovely day as it meant that a lot of the family were all there together in one place and I always love a good family get together!

I got to have some cuddles with Olivia which was so nice! She seemed so tiny as I compare everyone to Levi, who is MY baby! My boys just loved her and Caleb kept going up to her to stroke her cheeks and hands.

Well, Caleb seemed to love her the most, Levi was just loving being able to run around wherever he wanted, ha!

Obviously as it was a family occasion, lots of photos needed to be taken so here are a few! Note the little line of sick running down Mum's arm ;)


About two seconds after that photo was taken of me and Olivia, she threw up all over my top, ha ha! I didn't even care, it's funny how now that I have my own children, babies throwing up on me just doesn't bother me like it would have done pre-motherhood!

It was a beautiful day so after church we had cake and drinks outside on the grass and just enjoyed being with each other. It was a lovely day.
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Our holiday in Turkey

You know when you procrastinate doing something because you have so much to do on it that it is easier to just put it off?? That's kind of how I feel about blogging at the moment! It feels like we have been so busy and so much has happened that not only have I not really had the chance to blog but I just kind of want it to magically do itself! However, one great thing about playing catch up is getting to remember all the fun things again so it's not so bad!

In June, we went on our first family holiday to Turkey! The last time Seth and I went away was on a short weekend break to Paris for my 30th Birthday and that was before either of the boys were born so needless to say, this holiday was much needed! We went with our friends, Ben and Emma and their children, Blake and Sienna who are similar ages to Caleb and Levi.

Caleb was so excited about going on a plane, when we woke him up at 4am on the morning we left, he was practically bouncing up and down with excitement! I couldn't get a picture that wasn't blurry but he looked so excited so I'm posting it anyway!

He had the window seat on the plane and was so excited to see it take off and land. The flight was about 4 hours and the boys were brilliant, no problems at all! It helped that Levi slept for some of it and Caleb had things to watch and games to play on the tablet!

Our hotel was lovely, we stayed at the Eftalia Splash Resort in Antalya, about 2 hours from the airport. It is definitely a family hotel, there were quite a lot of children there even though we went during term time (oh the joys of having children who aren't school age!). Our room was great as we and the boys had our own bedroom, which meant that we didn't have to go to bed when they did!

It was such a chilled out holiday. We spent a lot of time out at the hotel pool. Seth found it too hot and was often cowering in the shadows, ha ha! I love the heat so I was fine :). Aside from getting sunburnt! I couldn't believe it, I rarely get burnt but I guess my skin just isn't used to it so for the first few days I had to wear a t-shirt out by the pool until it healed up.

We also went to Eftalia Island, which is 10 minutes walk from the hotel. There are loads of restaurants, swimming pools and water slides there and it was just another fun area to go to. I always thought I was quite a wimp when it came to water slides but I was loving going down them! Emma and I I may have ditched the boys and left them with the kids for a couple of hours so that we could try out all of the slides, it was so much fun! Caleb loved going down the water slides at the hotel and it was so nice to see his confidence grow. He went down one huge one which freaked him out a bit but he really wanted to try it! The worst thing was, I went down first so that I could catch him at the bottom and once I was at the bottom, I realised that it would be way too fast and steep for him, but at that point, there was nothing I could do, as I couldn't tell him to not come down! He did look pretty scared as he was coming down but the boy handled it like a champ and came up grinning! He didn't want to go on that slide again though, ha!

On one of the days, we went on a pirate ship to Alanya. The pirate ship was pretty cool, they were playing Pirates of the Caribbean music as we boarded which was pretty cheesy but fun. There were "pirates" climbing up and down the ropes and swinging around, they are so brave! One of them could have only been around 12 or 13! It was incredible to watch. At one point, the ship stopped so that people could jump off and have a swim in the water. I didn't go in but Seth only went and jumped in from the very top of the pirate ship! MAD! He told me afterwards that when he got up there, he thought about not going through with it but a little crowd had gathered to watch him so he had to do it!

On another of the days, we hired a car and headed further afield to do a bit more exploring and went to Side to see some ancient Roman ruins. It was so beautiful there and the little town is lovely. The area we walked around seemed a bit less touristy than where we were staying and the views were just incredible.

From there we went to Manavgat waterfalls. They were doing a lot of construction near the falls so we couldn't get close enough to really see them. We really wanted to swim in them too! We found a nice area a bit further up stream that fed into the waterfall and went into the water there. Despite it being such a boiling hot day (I think it was around 45c that day...) the water was freezing and if you stood in it for more than a few seconds at a time, you would begin to lose the feeling in your feet! Still it was very refreshing!

Did I mention that we went jetskiing??! We went jetskiing! It was one of the things on my bucket list and I really wanted to do it! I screamed for most of the time, Seth was the one driving and I am convinced that he was trying to throw me off the back but somehow I managed to stay on. It could have been that I had an iron grip on him so that I wouldn't go anywhere, ha! It was such a rush though, I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat! Maybe I would even be brave enough to drive the next time!

All in all, it was a lovely holiday and just so nice to get away and be with family and friends. You would have thought that the holiday would have satisfied my wanderlust but somehow it has made me more greedy and made me want to go away again, ha! I'm really glad we got to go away and spend some quality time together.
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

eighteen months

A couple of weeks ago,  the littlest love of my life turned 18 months old. I look at him and I can't believe that he is the tiny baby I held in my arms yesterday. Or, clearly not yesterday but seriously, I know it's been said time and time again but where does the time go? And why can't I pause it?!

I feel like I don't talk about Levi enough on here, so if you don't know him, let me fill you in on a few things!

My boy loved to cuddle. As long as he has his muslin and his dummy, he is all yours! He will lay his head on your shoulder and it is just the most amazing feeling.

He has a temper. If he doesn't get his own way, you know about it. He likes to scream and headbutt the floor so he pretty much always has a bruise on his head :(.

He is a charmer. He says hi to everyone and will wave to them. He just loves people and loves it even more when he can see how well they respond to him.

He has a love / hate relationship with Caleb. They are brothers, so they fight over toys, etc. and he gets pushed around a lot, being the little brother. However, he will also randomly go up to Caleb and give him cuddles and kisses.

He is the instigator. Do not even think about being the one to offer the cuddle or the hand to hold. He likes things to be on his terms and if you are going to get a cuddle from him, then he has to want to give it to you.

He loves music, singing and dancing. We always listen to music in the car and he sings along to the songs. He only has to hear music before he is dancing away!

He knows he is cute and I think that already he tries to use it to his advantage. I'm hoping that he grows out of that! Not the cuteness, but playing on it.

Levi is a Daddy's boy. If Seth is there, I do not even get a look in. He will choose Seth, all the way.

He gives my Mum more cuddles than he gives to anyone else. Just like Caleb, he absolutely adores his Grandma and isn't afraid to show it.

He likes to make people laugh. He knows when he does funny things and he will keep doing it to get the laughs.

He blesses the food. He folds his arms, mumbles something and then says amen. It is adorable!

There are so many more things about him which are adorable, loveable, infuriating, exhausting and so, so cute but I thought I would save you from a 10,000 word essay on it. Let's just say that I am pretty much in love with him and I am so glad that this little man is a part of our little tribe.

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