Tag Archives: children

The year so far…

In January I did Veganuary, which I summarised in a previous post.  I decided to restart eating meat and dairy in February, but have kept up having soya milk rather than cows milk – unless in a sauce that we’ll all be eating, or a splash of milk in mashed potato etc.  I found that Phoebe was slightly intolerant to soya milk so thought it much fairer for me to have cows milk occasionally rather than inflict a reaction to soya on her.

At the beginning of January we were just finishing the Christmas school holidays, one of the best days was spent with a mass walk down the Coach Road in Tadcaster, with loads of the girls friends, finishing at the local park.  It was incredibly muddy but very enjoyable all of us being together.

During January we attended a lantern making workshop to make lanterns for the parade celebrating the reopening of Tadcaster Bridge.  Both girls really enjoyed the session, I’ve recently found out that the arts company that facilitated the event are disbanding, due to loss of funding, which is a real shame.

The girls also did quite a lot of crafting using some of the great Christmas presents they were given.  Daisy really enjoyed making some pottery with Daddy and painting it together.


In early February Tadcaster Bridge finally reopened after the essential repairs were completed.  I kept Daisy off school for the afternoon to go to the opening and we went down with friends, there was a very jubilant atmosphere in the crowd, it felt quite emotional to be part of such a special day.

I’ve been wanting to do more extensive home learning on a few topics with the girls, last year we focused a lot on the different seasons, and a bit on weather.  We started the first topic of the year in mid February, learning about Space.  Over the last couple of months we’ve made space rockets, watched videos on youtube, watched the Stargazing programmes on CBeebies, painted space pictures and read the new books we got on space together.  We also picked a couple of space themed stories from the library to accompany the topic.  The next topic I’d like to start after Easter is the Human Body, I’ve a few things printed from Twinkl to get started on it, but looking forward to setting up a pintrest board with some ideas.

We were also given a wonderful wooden playhouse in February which has really given the outdoor play a new lease of life.  The girls love being in it.

Just as we broke up for February half term Tadcaster hosted the official Bridge opening celebrations, and we got to use the lanterns we’d made earlier in an evening lantern parade.  It was a fantastic day and a real privilege to be involved with the parade.

During half term we had friends round to play in the new playhouse, went swimming and had lunch out, went to Leeds for lunch with one big brother (the other was on his skiing trip), had a day crafting and painting new canvases to go in the girls bedrooms and then on the Friday we went through to Huddersfield to spend time with cousins.

My personal challenge for February was to go sugar free.  This was much harder than I thought it would be, I managed not to eat sweets, chocolate, cakes and whatnot, but didn’t always spot the hidden sugars in things.


In March I started my library volunteer training, every Thursday afternoon for four weeks. Thankfully Phil was able to take the time off work so I could go. On 1st April Tadcaster library became a Community Library, staffed by volunteers rather than paid staff.  I think it’s a wonderful thing to keep the library open, but such a shame funding for staff has been withdrawn.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and having the opportunity to learn something and use my brain again,  I often feel like I’m no longer useful because I’m not working, so volunteering has been great to help feel like a useful member of society again,

In early March I took Daisy for her first eye test and we found out she needs glasses, she’s had them for just over three weeks now and really suits them.  I feel quite anxious that she’ll be picked on because of them, but I suppose we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

We had a few nice days out in March, over to Nefferton to see my Grandparents, then on to the seaside, and we had a lovely day out in York together, with a walk along the wall and a play in museum gardens.  The girls also really enjoyed the weekend we spent dogsitting, they’re going to be wonderful when we finally get our own dog.


So far in April I’ve done my first shift as a library volunteer – I was very nervous, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and we’ve started the Easter holidays.  This week we’ve had a lazy Monday, went to Leeds on Tuesday, had friends over on Wednesday and on Thursday we went to paint pottery at Clayfever, then for a snack in a local cafe, bought magazines and then had a trip to the park late afternoon.  I’m looking forward to the Easter weekend, and to another lovely week of activities next week.



Rounding up 2016

At the end of 2015 I set myself some goals for this year.

  • Continue losing weight
  • Take a class at the gym
  • Work towards being fit enough for spinning
  • Be outside more with the girls
  • Not shout as much
  • Be more fun
  • Have a regular date night with Phil
  • Have an evening a week of no technology
  • Reintroduce our Sunday afternoon walks
  • Be more mindful
  • Learn something
  • Do more with my food blog
  • Improve the house
  • Make more of our outdoor space

I failed miserably on the taking a class at the gym/doing spinning etc – I did manage to lose a stone doing the 8 week blood sugar diet (no carbs, no refined sugar, only eat 800 cals a day) but I’ve regained that, and some extra.

I’ve tried to be outside more with the girls, but I haven’t done an exceptional amount – I didn’t do enough over the summer.

I’ve tried very hard with the shouting – but I still shout a lot, I need to try a lot harder on this next year.  I do think I’ve been more fun, I feel much closer with both girls at the end of this year.

We have had a couple of date nights, but nothing regular.  It’s so hard without having available babysitters – I feel like everyone is so busy and would be inconvenienced greatly by having to look after our girls on an evening.  This might improve as they get older and need less help going to bed?  We haven’t introduced an evening a week of no technology, we have done it a couple of times, but we should try harder next year.

I do feel that I’ve been more mindful – I know when I need to switch off from the world and colour or lose myself in a book.  I’m not quite at the meditation level – but I don’t expect that I ever would be, it’s not very me.

I completed an online nutrition course, and started a couple of other ones, which I’ve really enjoyed – it feels great to be learning.

I made the hard decision to retire my food blog.  I found that I was becoming anxious about not having time to post, or work on recipes, or try to compete in the new blogging world.  My heart just wasn’t in it, and the relief of making the decision to wind it up was immense.

We’ve made some improvements in the house, decorated bedrooms, bought a couple of bits of furniture when we could afford it, and worked at making it nice for us all.  There’s a lot of work still to do, and I don’t know when we’ll ever be able to afford everything that needs doing.  One day we’ll get to it though.

Our outdoor space is sadly neglected, that is definitely something to work on next year – if we can find the money.

On becoming a SAHM

A long, long time ago, prior to having Daisy, I naively wrote about how being a Stay at home Mum (SAHM) wasn’t for me.  Not sure why I thought at that time I could have an opinion on it, given I wasn’t a Mum at all.

I wrote: “Personally I don’t think I would feel comfortable in a 50’s style household, where I stayed at home and was given handouts from my other half”

After I had Daisy and did six months of £135 per week SMP I had to revise my opinions on “handouts”.  Gradually as the months went on they stopped feeling like handouts.  I went back to work and over 50% of my wages went on childcare – and then there was the cost of petrol to get to and from work, I hadn’t budgeted that in when I did my sums.  It took a while, but it started to sink in that the money we both earned was ‘our’ money.  Phil giving me some money when I’d run out wasn’t him giving me his money, he was handing over some of our money.  When I paid for repairs on the car, I wasn’t using my money, I was using the money I’d earnt for our family.

Moving aside from finances, I found being back at work with a baby very difficult – nevertheless I went for, and was successful in getting, a promotion.  So I was proving myself in a new role, with lots more responsibility, on barely any sleep, with a quite demanding baby.  Things were manageable until Daisy became poorly.  I dreaded her being ill and me having to cancel meetings and miss deadlines.  Then I’d feel guilty for worrying about work when I should be solely focused on my child.  Phil and I took turns in being off with Daisy, but she was poorly a hell of a lot in those first six months of me being back at work.

We knew we wanted another baby, so decided to start trying at the end of 2013.  Together we made the decision that once that baby arrived I would give up work, it was hard enough with one, without adding another in 4 days of childcare and all the illnesses they would get.  Amazingly I became pregnant pretty much straight away, I’m not sure why I thought it would take a while.  In sods law fashion Daisy started to build an immune system strong enough to cope with nursery germs and I was having to take less time off work with her being ill.

During my pregnancy it occurred to me a few times, was leaving work the right decision?  It wasn’t as hard as it was in the beginning, I was doing well, Daisy loved nursery.  Financially we could stand two in childcare, plus the petrol, but it wouldn’t have left much from my wages.  I know, of course, you have to think long term, and yes my pay banding would go up another £10k over the years, but with the pay increase comes the stress increase.  I worked a lot during the second and third trimester, I drove a lot, I did lots of early starts and late finishes.  I ran myself ragged. I was very, very stressed.  It didn’t seem like it at the time, I was so used to a stressful existence, that it was just normal.

I finished work in August and I haven’t looked back.

I love being at home, I love the simplicity of my life, I love not having to run the day over in my head before I go to sleep – what did I do wrong, what could I have done better, how can I improve.  I still run my day over in my head, but now I think what activities did we do, would it be remembered as a nice day, did we have fun.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all glitter and rainbows, some days I have awful days.  Days where I cry and wish I could go back to working, and being appreciated for the job I do, to be ‘me’ not just ‘mum’.  But those days are few and far between.

In that post I wrote those years ago I also put that I hadn’t gone to uni and completed a degree to waste that by sitting at home.  My university education wasn’t a waste, yes I needed it for my job – a degree being essential criteria, but not working hasn’t meant I don’t use any of the skills I learnt there.  I just use them in a different way.  I research new things for us to do, I think about how I can educate Daisy on different topics, I plan our days, I ‘project manage’ in the house.  Even though I’m not in an office, I can still put together a mean spreadsheet.  I defy anyone to have a better wedding spreadsheet than me…

I didn’t think that being at home would leave me fulfilled, I’ve always got that feeling of achievement from working.  But I am fulfilled, our beautiful girls are the achievements.

I’m going to miss the money though….

2014 plan

I decided this year I wasn’t going to make any resolutions, I’m simply aiming to Be Healthy.

Two weeks into the year I’m not doing too badly.

I’ve re-joined Slimming World.  I’m quite enjoying being back at Fat Club – I’d expected my cooking mojo to return once I’d quit last year, but it didn’t.  We just ate the same things week in and week out.   I’ve accepted this time that I’ll eat different meals to everyone else – I don’t have the energy to cook food and it be wasted, so if I cook the food I like for me then it will always be eaten.  I lost 5ib in my first week and am aiming for that half a stone award this week.

I’ve been trying to walk more, I ran around soft play, like a lunatic, this weekend with Daisy, and today we’ve been swimming – it was Daisy’s first swimming lesson.

I’m not drinking at the moment (not this January dryathalon business – just to ensure I’m not blowing syns on wine) and I’m trying my best to make time for everyone.  A lot of the time I feel torn trying to keep everyone happy, having a child I just don’t have the time to socialise (or the money) that I used to.  But I’m trying to keep up with everyone’s news, be supportive of what they’ve got on and be interested in what they’re upto – I hope that goes some way to making up for when I can’t go out.  

We’ve also had a lovely family afternoon out to York Railway Museum, making sure we use our weekend’s on more than being chauffeurs and cleaning!