Colouring

I am very, very, very late to the party with the whole adult colouring thing.  When it first became big I pooh-poohed it as being nonsence, I had far better things to be doing with my time.  But then I bought Phil a colouring book and some nice pens, and saw him colouring, and thought hey, why not, I’ll give it a go.  I was going to ask for a page from his book but then found my own at the pound shop.

One a separate note – you know you go to the pound shop too much when going to the pound shop becomes a regular game of your three year old’s.

For Christmas I was lucky enough to get two new colouring books, and some gorgeous Sharpie felt pens – I can now return the pack of pens I stole from the 3 year old, and wouldn’t let her use…

When the girls are finally in bed, and I’m sat down with that oh so delicious and satisfying HOT cup of tea in peace, then it’s time for the colouring book to come out.  Or, some afternoons I’ll risk a colouring session with the three year old, while the one year old sleeps.  She seems to have moved on from wanting to colour on my page – I hope…

 

Rounding up 2015

I’m writing this from bed, having had an operation yesterday I’m still feeling a bit woozy and in pain. Whilst I was waiting to go for my op yesterday I was thinking about the year we’ve had, and what my ambitions for 2016 are.

The biggest thing to happen to us this year was getting married. I will share the story of our day at some point, but that’s a post for another day. I don’t feel any different as a married woman, but I know it made Phil feel more secure. I do prefer having the same surname as my children, although it’s taking some getting used to.  I have lots of wedding pictures round the house, and love looking at them.

Our girls have come on leaps and bounds, Daisy is so much taller, has a vocabulary that surprises me each day and becomes more hilarious by the minute; and Phoebe is walking and running, getting into as much mischief as her big sister.  Daisy has had a year at preschool, going two mornings a week – she starts her proper school nursery in January, where she’ll go five afternoons a week. I’ve mixed feelings on that, but I hope she’ll enjoy it, and I look forward to becoming involved with school.  Phoebe loves singing and dancing, playing with dollies and Lego. I hope to do more crafts with her while Daisy is at school, she loves playing out as much as her big sister so we’ll be doing that and I’ve plans to make both girls their own gardens in planters.  Being a SAHM is harder than I ever thought it would be, some days I feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown, but then other days I have a lovely time and I feel like I could burst with happiness.

We had a lovely holiday in August, going on holiday with young children is NOT a holiday, but we loved spending time together, and Phil took them to the play area every day and left me to read in peace.

When pregnant with Phoebe in 2014 I read loads, but lost my reading mojo till the middle of this year. I’m now back reading again, and hope to continue devouring books in 2016.

I looked back at my goals for 2015:

Lose weight – I lost 1.5st over the year (we won’t talk about the bit that’s crept back on over Christmas). I do wish I’d lost another stone on top of that

Be more organised – I was super organised for the wedding, I defy anyone to have a better wedding spreadsheet. But that seemed to sap all my organisation out of me, and now we’re in a bit of a mess with paperwork etc.

Be more active – I didn’t end up doing the GYBR, and being active was a big fat fail until September. I started on the Move it to lose it scheme which gave 12 weeks of free gym membership and free slimming world sessions. I only lost 6ib in those weeks, but I lost a lot in inches, and I found that I really enjoyed going to the gym. My favourite sessions are Saturday and Sunday mornings, I feel fantastic all day after going. It’s also a great release to go after a long day with the kids, giving me some much needed head space.

Do more crafting – we made loads for the wedding; seating plan, place cards, all invitations, table numbers etc. I really enjoyed it, and loved working with Phil on them too. I’ve done bits and pieces with the kids, I’m trying to do something for each season, so we have a display in the dining room and projects to work on. I hold my hat to childminders and nursery workers – supervising more than one child doing crafting is ridiculously hard. Phoebe has eaten more paint than I care to think…

So what for 2016?

Continue losing weight
Take a class at the gym
Work towards being fit enough for spinning
When I joined the gym they made it clear I wasn’t fit enough for spinning, which I accepted with good grace. I hope that by continuing to exercise at the gym, increasing my running on the treadmill etc, that by March I’ll be fit enough. I’d also like to do the pilates class. I should continue to lose weight doing that, but I won’t be going back to Slimming World.

Be outside more with the girls
Not shout as much
Be more fun
I regularly feel like ‘bad cop’ being the parent at home all day, doing the mundane with them, working on manners, keeping them safe when outside, trying to get them to eat fruit and veg. I want to do more fun things in 2016, I need to work out a list of activities and ask the girls what they want to do.

I find that when we’re in the house too much we all become very irritable, I shout too much, the girls bicker. I want to be outdoors more in 2016, and that should help with not shouting so much. I’m a very shouty person, so it’s quite difficult to change that. It’s about time I reread Toddler Calm and start putting what I’m reading into practice.

Have a regular date night with Phil
Have an evening a week of no technology
Reintroduce our Sunday afternoon walks
Phil and I always come last, we need to spend time together on our own, and we need to spend time as a family.  When Daisy was small we’d often go for a walk on a Sunday, it gives us much needed outdoor time away from tv and phones, and works up an appetite for Sunday dinner.  I’d really like us to have an evening each week of no technology, no telly on and no phones on. We could read together, do our colouring together, do some decorating together, do a board game or listen to music. Obviously we’ll start this when I’ve finished watching Game of Thrones…

Be more mindful
Learn something
Do more with my food blog
When adult colouring books became quite fashionable I pooh-poohed them as nonsense, I had better things to do. But then I got Phil one and saw it looked quite fun, so when I found one at the pound shop I thought I’d have a go too – it really does clear your mind. When Phoebe is napping I’ll often sit with Daisy and we’ll colour together.
I love to learn, we’re going to a wedding in France next year so brushing up on my French will be a project, and I do want to pick up sign language again – maybe something for September if we can afford it.
My food blog http://www.comedinewithrach.blogspot.com has been sadly neglected. Being on slimming world has narrowed the foods I felt I could eat, the recipes I could try and impacted on the baking we did, hardly any in comparison with other years. I need to re ignite my love of cooking and baking, and put more effort into my food blog. (And this one too!).

Improve the house
Make more of our outdoor space
We’re currently in the middle of moving all the bedrooms around. Our new bedroom just needs another coat of paint, and a new carpet, then we’re good to go. We’ll finally have our own room again – well as soon as Daisy and Phoebe are in their rooms.  We also need to paint the downstairs loo, freshen up the living room and dining room, and the stairs and landing. We won’t do full redecorating because we need to rewire the whole house, and then replaster every where.

I quite enjoyed gardening this year – ok yes, Phil did all the donkey work, I tend to just have the vision. But I really want to make our gardens look nice. I’m aiming to grow more fruit, a bit of veg, and lots of flowers.

So that’s it. Quite a lot of things to work at.

Catch up…

It’s been a long time since I updated.  I had meant to do a round up of each week of the school holidays, what activities we’d done and the places we’d been – but we went on holiday to Norfolk and my blogging resolve appeared to have stayed there.

Our holiday was lovely; a week away in a static caravan, but oh my – the journey was arduous.  Five hours driving there, and eight hours to get home.  Traffic was horrendous.  It was lovely to have our first holiday as a four though.  It was nice to be away for Phil’s birthday, but he did miss his boys.

At the end of the school holidays I took all the kids to Leeds on the bus, and then hopped on another bus up to Roundhay.  We had lunch at the park, then went over to Tropical World, then back to the playground and for an icecream before the two buses home.  It was mammoth effort, dealing with four children and a pushchair, on buses – but a great day out.IMAG1867IMAG1880In September the kids went back to school, Daisy started her half term at Tumble Tots – we enjoyed it but found her to be a bit advanced at climbing and would probably be more suited to the age 3 class, but you have to leave her at that one, which I’m not comfortable with just yet, so we haven’t gone back after half term.  We also had a lovely trip to York Railway Museum with friends.  At the end of September we had Phoebe’s first birthday and then my birthday the day after.  I was very emotional at Phoebe turning one, reminiscing about her birth and those hard early weeks.  First birthdays seem such a huge milestone.  We went to Swithens Farm for Phoebe’s birthday, we do love it there.

12048950_10100116747746148_1258779829_n 12047656_10100116511779028_2043637463_n 12053230_10100116448685468_326508079_nIn October Phil and I had our honeymoon, four days in Rome.  What an amazing city; so much to see and do, all the wonderful things to eat and drink, and the people watching was superb.  Ancient Rome really blew us away, but I felt a bit disappointed by the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – I’d almost expected a kind of religious epiphany being there – but I felt nothing.  We had a tough month with both girls not sleeping very well, colds, half term disrupting our routines and both Phil and I feeling very low.  Halloween seemed to turn things round, Daisy was enthralled with getting dressed up and going trick or treating and has talked of it nonstop since.

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The beginning of this month has been Daisy’s third birthday.  Time is just flying by.  She’s due to start school nursery in September, we’ll be getting the uniform list shortly.  I’m not sure I’m ready for her to be away from me every afternoon – but she’s looking forward to it and we often discuss her going to ‘big school’.  If we didn’t live on the same street as the school then I’m sure I would home school them both very happily.

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We’re now starting to look towards Christmas, we’ve bought the girls main present, a new cooker, and I’ve picked them up a book each.  I’ll be doing the bulk of their shopping in the first week of December though.   We’ll be crafting up a storm of course, and have already started our Christmas Trees – more to follow on those…

It’s been a bumpy few months, lots of highs and lows, I’ve had some terrible days but then also some fantastic days.  Above anything else I’m sure that staying at home has been the right decision for our family.  We may be quite poor, but we’re rich on time and love.

Summer holidays fun

I love the school holidays because I usually get to have Phil’s niece and nephew for a couple of days each week. It’s been lovely watching Daisy grow up with them, and now seeing them play with Phoebe. Each of my girls have a clear favourite, Daisy has always loved Rhys, and Phoebe makes a beeline for Neve. Both are so patient and gentle with my girls.

So far our summer holidays have been a wash out. I’m fast running out of rainy day activities. Today we made our own board game, which kept them entertained all afternoon, and last week we made a hoopla game and designed comic strips.

I will be bereft when they’re too old to want to come to me in the holidays!

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Swithens Farm

I’ve known about Swithens Farm for years, but had never been – despite it being practically on my parents doorstep.

My nephew has been up staying with my parents for a week, we’ve had a few days out together over the last week, but as they are taking him home today we wanted to stay close to home, so I suggested Swithens Farm.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, I remember riding my bike near the farm years ago but haven’t been near it since to see what it had turned into.

There’s an open farm section, which had cows, pigs, goats, sheep, a little Shetland pony, some donkeys, ducks, some meerkats and what I think were alpacas. Or maybe llamas.   There’s also a great outdoor play area, with swings and slides, hay bales, ride on toys, a bouncy castle and trampolines.  Inside is a farm shop, cafe and soft play.

Just about everything you could need!

I loved that we also got the opportunity to feed some lambs.

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My happy list

I saw this on Clare’s blog, so thought I’d give it a go. My 10 things that make me happy.

1. Phil. I can’t wait to become Mrs Hughes, Phil and my girls are my world. We bicker like mad, but love each other so much. He makes me so happy.

2. My girls.

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I love my little ladies so much, they’re both little characters. Daisy can be a handful, but she’s very loving. Pheebs is laid back, until she wants her food, then she lets you know she’s cross. I can’t believe I have such lovely girls.

3. Being a SAHM. Not something I ever planned to be, I always wanted to be a ‘career woman’, and I did that for a while. My last job had a lot of responsibility, with that came a huge feeling of satisfaction of how far I’d come, but it also came with a lot of stress.  My life now is totally different, I love being at home with my girls, going out for walks, to the park, on trips, baking, crafting…. Every day is the weekend for me, I have no more lying awake at night worrying about the next days meetings and deadlines.

4. Driving. I passed my test in April 2013, I didn’t think i’d ever get to the point where I liked driving, but now I really do. I love being able to easily get wherever I need to go.

5. Crafting. Be it making things with Daisy, or making things on my own, I love crafting and always have projects on the go.

6. Our home. Our house is by no means perfect, it needs A LOT of work. But I love our new bathroom, and every new thing we put in the rest of the house. Making changes to make the house representative of both of us. I love it most when we’ve got the kids to bed, tidied up, steam cleaned the floors and then sat down with a cuppa. I look forward to decorating together and transforming the rest of the house.

7. Friends and family. Both are very important to me.

8. Flowers. There’s nothing nicer than a bunch of flowers. This time of year is great for Daffodils, so affordable and really brighten things up.

9. Cooking and baking. I’m not as creative in the kitchen as I used to be, I don’t have the same amount of money available to spend on food, but I still enjoy cooking. I’ve loved baking since I was little, I’m not great at it, but I try – I’m rubbish at decorating, so I get Phil to do all my icing 🙂

10. Cycling. I love being out on my bike, especially really early in the morning when there’s hardly any traffic, its so peaceful and relaxing. Apart from hills, they can buzz off!