Thursday, 21 August 2014

Life is good

There's been a lot of positive vibing on Facebook lately. People listing the things they feel most grateful for. I really enjoy reading them. There's something lovely about people pointing out the things they feel happiest about. Makes a nice change from those who log on once a week just to complain about something. And that's it. Admit it; we all have one FB friend that could compile quite the compendium of moaning FB statuses. 

Pet peeve out the way, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and take a minute to think about the things I feel most lucky to have in my life.

An obvious one, but I thank my lucky stars every day that I walked into that tacky American cocktail / burger bar and handed in my CV. Yes, I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met my husband. Without him, I wouldn't have my three beautiful babies. No matter how much they test me, I remind myself every day how lucky I am to have them all. They are awesome. As are the rest of my family. Group hug!

I tend to look on the bright side of things. Some people tease me about it but, as you might expect, I fail to see how this can be a bad thing ;) I'm grateful that I can take a problem and find the good in it. Most of the time. 

Living by the sea makes me happy. Even in the winter. Nothing chills me out more than a walk on the sand. I've lived in cities and loved it, but the beach has my heart. 

Wine. There I said it. We're big wine fans in this house. Not the kids obvs. Especially as it gets colder, there's nothing cosier than snuggling up with a glass of red, a blanket and a box set. Ah roll on autumn.

What are you most grateful for?

Thursday, 31 July 2014


My littlest is a very lucky baby. He has a big brother and sister who adore him.

I've mentioned before how I love seeing Dylan's relationship with his little brother grow, but lately I've noticed Meryn's little mini-mum instinct and its so lovely to see.

Now Ayden is that little bit older I'm more comfortable about the beanies picking him up. Within reason. They still do it a little too much for my (and his) liking. 

Meryn will pick up, cuddle, carry, squish, stroke, kiss, tickle and smush her baby brother at every given opportunity. She runs to him if he falls over and needs a cuddle. She loves to show him off to anyone who'll stop long enough to take a look. 

She is completely and utterly proud of him. And I'm so proud of her because of it.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The perfect brunch?

I can't claim this is a recipe as such, but its a total taste sensation so I thought it would be rude of me not to share.

I'm a big fan of avocados. As is my littlest one. The older two, not so much. The obvious green mush = snot connection was their first observation. How childish ;)

I'd never thought to combine avocado with eggs but, after a few precious mama minutes spent browsing pinterest for recipe inspiration, I stumbled across this little gem.

Avocado… good. Houmous… good. Eggs… good. 

This has me written all over it.

I won't patronise anyone by actually writing out a recipe for this. It's easy as pie. In fact, much easier than pie. Who ever came up with that?

So, here it is. The prefect brunch (in my opinion):

Start your egg frying in some olive oil. Then toast a slice of your bread of choice - mine would ideally be irish soda bread, or perhaps sourdough. Spread with houmous - I used plain old houmous, but I think a slightly spicy or even roasted red pepper houmous would work beautifully. Top this with a perfectly ripe, sliced avocado (easier said than done!), mash lightly with a fork and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Pop your fried egg on top and scatter with some quartered cherry tomatoes (or, again, roasted red peppers would be ace). Finish with a little more black pepper and enjoy.

Now if I can just suss out how to beat avocados at their own game, I'll be winning.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

He's still my baby

My biggest boy is seven. And too cool for school. Or is it skool? See, that's how cool I am.

Every day he seems to be that little bit more grown up and is becoming so much more aware of what his friends think and how to fit in.

It's inevitable I guess, but he's still my baby. Isn't he?

This weekend we were scooting along the seafront on our way to get an ice cream. Dylan has loved his scooter since he was tiny and is very confident on it. He's never used knee and elbow pads before, a point I made to my husband as he zipped off ahead of us. 

Just as I said "he's going pretty fast these days; maybe we should get him some knee pads…", he took a tumble.

He's fine but gave himself a fright and two scuffed knees. And he ran, as fast as he could, for a cuddle. And he wouldn't let go.

It's easy to forget that he's still a baby really. He's always striving to be a bigger boy. Asking when he can have his own TV in his room (never!) and when he can start having sleepovers with friends (again, never! ��). 

Stop Dylan. Slow down. 

I love seeing him grow into such a lovely, confident and happy little man. But with every ounce of confidence and independence I lose a little bit more of his babyness (is that a word?). 

I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my handsome little man over the summer holidays. Long walks, days at the beach, ice cream, cuddles and scooting to the park. But first, kneepads!

Monday, 14 July 2014

♡ Little bits #4 - the holiday edition ♡

Prepare yourself for some holiday spam. 

If you follow me on instagram you'll have seen these already, so apologies for that. If you don't, firstly please pop over and follow me :) and secondly we've recently got back from our first holiday as a family of five. 

We had a lovely, fun-filled week in the sunshine. It flew by in a flash, and yes I've already started daydreaming about booking for next year. 

Its so lovely to have that time as a family, no interruptions, just lots of laughs and memory making. Bliss.

♡ ♡ ♡

Friday, 11 July 2014

Lone mama wolf

Some days I don't feel it at all. Perfectly happy to potter around in my own little busy world. Other days, not so much. 

Since leaving the world of work after maternity leave with baby number three, I can honestly say I haven't felt it very often at all. With three children there's very little time to feel anything other than busy. The house needs constant tidying; the washing mountain is never (and I mean NEVER) conquered, after school activities are at an all time high… drama, ballet, gymnastics, computer club, swimming…. karate. You get the idea. 

But today, driving home from a Friday morning class with my littlest one, I felt it. Lonely.

I feel daft even saying it. And I'm not sure why. I like my own company most of the time.

With my first baby though, I felt lonely most days. We lived in an area where I didn't know people, not very close to family, and I used to watch the minutes tick away until my husband came home from work at 5:30pm and I'd talk his ear off for a good half an hour.

Now my days are shorter. School pick up at 3:30pm comes around before I know it and I'm legging it down the road seconds before the bell rings.

Its very rare that I have the time to feel bored these days. But I do miss daily chats and laughs with my work friends. 

It was inevitable. I knew I'd feel like this sometimes. And I thought long and hard before handing in my resignation. Eeek. But I do miss grown-ups some days.

I have friends I meet for coffee and Ayden and I go to baby groups and classes a couple of times a week… but, deep down, I've learnt that I'm a bit of a loner. And I've never thought of myself as that before. I grew up surrounded by dozens of friends. Lived with a big group at university. Always loved spending time with lots of people.

When you have a baby you're so caught up in learning how to be a mum you almost forget how to be a person. At least I did. But that's ok. Being a mama is lonely sometimes. And that's ok too. 

It hits me hardest when Ayden wakes from his afternoon nap every day. He cries and as soon as I lift him from his cot, he buries his little face into my neck and just sighs. No more tears. 

I'm the most important person in my little ones' lives. They need me. This won't last forever.

For now, lone mama wolf is fine by me.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Everything is awesome

Image - Pinterest

Let's face it. Some days are just crap. No-one's exempt from this and everyone has their own way of coping when things don't go exactly to plan.

I sit here writing this having just dealt with the mother of all tantrums from my sweet little baby boy who, until today, had yet to unleash this level of pre-toddler hell. This comes after a 5:30am wake up call (thanks Meryn), a most unsatisfactory episode with the weighing scale (post holiday weigh-in… ouch) and a baby poop related incident that would horrify even the most seasoned of nappy changers.

Yes, its one of those days. And there are five things I know will make me feel better. I thought I'd share them with you. I'm not saying they'll do anything for you, and you won't find any ground-breaking developments here, but hey, its good to share :)

☞ Coffee
A day without coffee is... well, not going to be pretty frankly. My littlest is a fully paid up member of team no sleep and, as a result, my Nespresso machine and I have become fast friends. No matter how few hours of broken sleep I've managed to cobble together, a double-shot soy flat white makes me feel vaguely human in no time. Sort of. The alternative is unthinkable.

☞ Fresh air
Rain or shine, a stroll makes everything better. With three little ones, rainy days can seem claustrophobic to say the least; so we either wait for a break in the showers, or we suit up in our wellies and raincoats and off we go. A deep breath of fresh air and a stretch of the legs and all is good with the world again.

☞ Perspective
Easy to say. Not so easy to grab a hold of when you're not feeling your best. But I try. And it helps. When my day feels overwhelming because Ayden isn't sleeping or is extra grouchy, or my eldest two are trying to throttle each other…. it'll pass. As with many things (not all of course), it helps to remind myself that it probably won't be a problem tomorrow, next week or a month down the line. Time goes way too fast and I try not to wish the phases along so things will get easier. Life is pretty bloody brilliant and I try not to forget it.

It took me way to long to put two and two together on this one. If I don't eat well throughout the day, man are things way more difficult to deal with. Its so simple but so easy to ignore. I have a tendency to skip breakfast, opting for coffee instead. I'd get to lunch and feel ravenous, probably eat way more than I would otherwise. Or, worse still, I'd have something daft like coffee and a muffin for 'lunch' and then wonder why I have no patience with the kids when they come home from school. Since my epiphany (I mean, how daft am I?) I try to eat healthily throughout the day and the difference is huge. This is even more of an issue following the weighing scale horror I mentioned earlier! Hello Breville juicer… its been a while.

☞ Online shopping 
Ok so I may not be entirely serious on this one, but doing something just for me for five or 10 minutes (30 if I'm lucky) really helps me to put my head back on straight. While Ayden naps I'll spend some time writing blog posts, browsing through Instagram and making online shopping wish lists in my head. Sometimes I do the washing up and fold laundry. I like those days less!

I've managed to do all five of these things today. Check me out. I even went for an early morning run. Before the school run. This never happens. Everything really is awesome!