I Cried At School

Parents often cry during their child’s musical performance, specially Christmas time or end of year. I cried watching my son sing in church back in July as the finished nursery. But this time the tears I was having we’re not of joy or happiness.

[the post-it note style of ticketing]

Skipping over how this performance was so last minute no one knew about it until the Monday and the performance was on the Friday, my son still doesn’t tell us much about what he does in school apart from “played outside”. But we asked him about the singing his class is doing and he told us the songs and even sang one of them to us. It was amazing as he hated singing and he was growing out of his shell. I couldn’t wait to see hi, with his school friends taking part.

[the no explanation poster with a spelling mistake]

Now I was told I could take my pushchair in with me due to my back pains I can not hold my youngest for very long and she is the worst lap child ever. You have heard of lap cats and cats who don’t sit on laps? My daughter doesn’t do the lap sitting thing at all. So when I got there and was told no pushchairs in the hall I felt like my jaw fell off. I grabbed the bag of snacks and drinks, pushchair was placed somewhere in the library and I had to carry a 17 month old, a bag, two winter coats and her favourite sock monkey.

The kids came out and began to sang. I looked for ages for my son but couldn’t see him, my daughter had decided the milk and toy monkey were no longer needed and started screaming so I spent the rest of the time walking around with baby, bag, coats and toys whilst still hunting for my son in the sea of children.

I spotted him. He looked up for a moment whilst every other child sang Do You Want to Build a Snowman, picked his nose then hide behind some children again. Every so often he looked back up looking to see if he could find me and I waves like mad but some reason he didn’t notice me (I’m the only person with pink hair and my son still can’t see me!) until at the very end when my back gave in and I let my daughter walk. She ran to the stage and so he saw me at the front looking rather awkward and sweaty. He waved but looked scared and unhappy.

I felt my eyes water up. Where has he gone? What’s going on? That is not my outgoing and chatty little man in front of me, more a child that looked similar to him. But no it really was him and I had to hold back any tears as the head teacher said a few words and invited the parents to make Christmas themed crafts with their children.

Again this was awful as I couldn’t be with my son. He cried and begged me to come with him but I couldn’t. I was in pain, my daughter was screaming like a demon had taken over her. I hated this whole event. And so I cried. I grabbed the pushchair, got to the door and then realised I cannot get out without a teacher who was no where to be found. Finally I was let out and I walked home, biting my lip to hold back any more tears.

[how I felt afterwards]

I got home, settled Petit Girl down for a nap, made a cup of tea and just… Cried. I cried and cried and then wiped my tears off my face and got on with the day.

I needed that cry so badly but even now thinking of that boy looking so scared and shy brings me to tears. I cannot believe that was my son and yet he clearly was him.

 

Favourite Christmas Memory

It’s funny that I’m writing this for a competition to win a toy kitchen for my kids when my favourite Christmas memory is about my very own toy kitchen. Okay so mine wasn’t made of wood, it was plastic and made by Fisher Price. I loved that kitchen so much that is has more than just Christmas memories connected to it.

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This toy kitchen had everything you’d ever want. An oven, a clock, a black board (which was actually blue but lets pretend it was black), hobs, toaster with bread/toast (depends what you imagine it to be!), an assortment of pots and pans and a fold away table. I’m pretty sure there was a tea pot and cups too but can’t remember if they came with the kitchen. Any way it was a gift Santa got me when I was very little and wanted it so badly, Santa totally kicked butt that year in surprising me with the best and most played with gift ever.

Now I’m an adult I know the real story behind this much loved kitchen. My parents were looking for a toy kitchen and this one was sold out everywhere. Now please bare in mind the internet wasn’t publicly used and we didn’t even own a computer so the way to find stuff was to go in to stores or ring them up. They were ringing, driving, hunting down this bloody kitchen for days on end and they even rang up Toys R Us. So far no luck but my parents just tried the next nearest store, then the next, then the next. Finally they rung up Peterborough’s store.

Now we use to live near Peterborough and like any parent they had spent many an hour (or five) in this exact store so they knew where it was, how to get there and what the place was like. They told my parents they had one left and would hold it for them. My dad got in his car and drove all the way down to Peterborough which was now about 80 miles south from our home. I can only imagine what that journey was like for him but sure enough it must have ended well because I woke up on Christmas Day to find the very toy kitchen they had hunted for in our living room all set up and ready to be played with.

That kitchen was amazing. It had wheels so you could move it from room to room or as I liked to do in the summer, outside! Infact I probably dragged it everywhere possible! I had pretend food that was stored in the cupboard and the little basket shelf under the fold away table. I even had real food on that table, because hey why the heck not!

Merry Christmas! This post is my entry into the Tots100/Little Tikes 12 Days of Christmas competition.

Tattoos on Tuesday

I don’t consider myself one but I guess I am an artist. I love to doodle pictures, I studied Art at school and my love for drawing went on through my teenage years and early adulthood but after having kids I’ve not drawn as often as I use to. This hasn’t stopped me from enjoying artwork by others and over the years one of my favourite forms of art are tattoos.

I never thought I would get a tattoo but over time I grew and realised people with tattoos aren’t drug addicts, thugs or scumbags like we seem to paint them all out to be. I’ve met some great people with some amazing tattoos, in fact one of my friends that I have known for 14 years has some kickass and beautiful ink on his skin. I realised there’s nothing wrong with ink on your body as long as you follow simple steps on getting a tattoo.

- you get what you pay for. If it seems too cheap to be true it’s going to be bad.

- check the tattooists portfolio. Many have an Instagram these days which is great!

- ask people you know where they got theirs done and if they recommend that studio

- think it over for a while what exactly you want and where, you don’t need to rush to get it done.

So do you have any ink and if so what was your first tattoo? And if not would you like to get one? Going to make this a weekly thing with some cool tattoos by some kickass artists so see you next Tuesday! Also if you would like to share your tattoos with me for my blog tweet me a picture with the hashtag #tattoosontues

 

My New Love of My Life… Filofax

I'm disorganised to the max. So disorganised I can't keep a basic diary organised. I put things in a proper place then lose them. I think “that's a good place for this to stay” then when I need it I can't remember where that so-called good place is. My whole life is disorganised. If there was an award for the worst organised person in the world I would be crowned Queen and I'd lose my crown because I'm that disorganised. You see how bad I am?

For years I've tried all sorts to get my life into something normal people considered… Normal. Have a shopping list with me, remember special dates, have a simple to do list on hand and whatnot. I knew of Filofax from years ago. My dad had one and it was used for his work. My mom still remembers buying the inserts for the next year and even forgetting there's different sizes and ending up with ones too small or too big. But Filofax has changed. I even uttered the price of the size my dad had to my mom who sounded on the phone like she may have had a heart attack when saying the words “I think I binned it”. Oh my.

So I asked around some Filofax users and decided on a size suitable for what I wanted. Personal seemed good. I hunted Amazon and a few other sites until I spotted WHSmiths popped up as having a sale on Filofaxes right now. Whilst pink seems to be sold out all over the joint I didn't much care as I found the colour I wanted for an amazing price and grabbed it.

In modern day Filofax world you don't have to stick to the system, you don't have to buy Filofaxes set pages and designs anymore. So many designers have created free and paid refills and even dividers to customise your Filofax. Heck there's even tutorials to make your own dividers! People make charms, make a place for sticky notes, use Washi tape (for decoration or for other reasons), stickers, multi-coloured pens, it's nothing like how I remember Filofax. Not just business folks with authentic leather binders with their finances and business meetings all neatly together. There's people with Filofaxes for their blogs, housekeeping, health & fitness, studies, family stuff, you name!

I'm already finding my Filofax to be of great use. No longer do I rush to my freezer to find out when inset days are at school or if he should bring money in for a charitable cause. I'm still trying to put my Filofax together to be a more “me” Filofax. The address pages have gone because we don't do the whole letters or cards thing so never need addresses, but I'm hoping to get some dividers soon just to make finding areas easier. I also want a spot for me to write up blog ideas whilst I'm out and about.

Do you have a planner? What do you use and how does it work for you?

 

I am PetitMew

Mew has been a nickname of mine for a very long time and I still get called Mew even today. I love it, it sounds fitting to my personality and even have it in most of my social media accounts. It’s who I am, have been and always will be.

For about a year now I’ve felt boxed in by my blog name. I felt I was just a mother and nothing more. I wanted to talk about my other hobbies that aren’t just about being a mummy but they felt out of place in a mummy blog. It also felt odd that my blog was called one thing but my social media accounts were called something else. So I took the plunge, got a lovely new design by Helen Braid of Ellie Illustrates and here we are!

I’ll be sorting out domain names and other bits and bobs over time now but this feels so much better. I feel like I have a place again. I love that she got me in a simple blog banner with my pink hair (I was born with it, honest), my love for tea (well I am British), my thing for make up (I will be writing lots about make-up from here on!), my addiction to cloth nappies (love my bum fluff!), my gamer side (even Petit Girl is trying to get the hang of games) and my other love of my life… my iPad.

It’s perfect. It’s my online home. It’s exactly what I wanted and I love it. So stay tuned for loads of cool stuffs and even some videos too!

Trying Not To Worry… But…

I know I have said my concerns before and have done a few times recently on social media but I felt I needed more than 140 characters to let it out and get my feelings and concerns out and maybe even get some opinions or even a few “it's normal to feel this way” anything just to help me out a little.

School has been one heck of a ride. We are in November and already feel conflicted that I did the right thing putting him in to school. With the poor Ofsted report we figured things will get better but so far feels like we are enduring so many problems. It's really not making us feel good.

The plus side is going to our boy's first Parents Evening at school was great. Not only did he sit with us and was excellent during that time but we found out he has mastered far beyond what has been taught in classes already, enjoys going outside and has been getting creative. The creative part is important as he use to cry if he got a tiny bit of paint on him, but he will simply get on with it then wash his hands afterwards now. He even adores reading even though he's still at the early stages of reading books he will demand at least one book at bed time every night.

But 5 weeks ago we handed his book in and expected another book. We waited. We kept waiting. Half term came, it went. Still no book. It turned out school was adamant he had a book but as he doesn't have a bag (he hands his homework book, lunch and reading book to me to put into the pushchair bag) I knew for sure he had not handed one to me at any point. Of course I searched and found nothing and he told me it was in school. I reported this comment and again they said he must still have it. Every Friday kids left school with a new reading book and I was greeted with a boy with tears saying “I didn't get a book”.

Suddenly the parents of reception got a guide. Useful to have when we started school rather than in November but whatever. Turned out there was lots of stuff they hadn't told anyone about (including the “today's special snack” poster actually should have said “this Friday's special snack” so we have paid way in advance now) but also we were now expected to pay a fee for a missing book. A book we never even got. Oh hell no.

I fought harder and demanded something. At the same time I bought a bunch of books to read at home with him in case my pushy words did nothing. Another week of no book but then finally last week he got a book!

Downside now is he's 5 weeks behind everyone else. The other kids are way further with their reading homework then he is now. What do I do now? I have considered asking if we could perhaps work on getting him up to same level as his class mates but don't know how we would do that.

But along with this, the parents fighting on school property with each other, the Year 2 kids teaching Y1 kids swear words, the parents telling their kids to “fucking kick him back” and the constant lack of information from the school… I'm wondering why we are doing this to him.

World Prematurity Day with gNappies

In the UK we have had a lot of stuff going on these past few days. On the 5th of November it was Bonfire Night, the 11th of November was Remembrance Day and then on the 14th November we had BBC’s Children in Need. For the 11th of November Petit Girl wore her red gPant whilst we all wore our poppies, on the 14th November she wore her yellow gPant whilst my son went to school in spots and stripes. Yesterday I realised what day was coming up so put a message up on one of the gNappies Facebook groups asking if people could help by wearing purple to raise awareness of premature births, charities who help families with a premature baby and remember those who sadly aren’t with us after being born too soon. Today is World Prematurity Day.

I didn’t expect much. Maybe a handful of pictures posted in the morning. Instead I found this. I also found a message on my original post from staff of gNappies saying what a lovely idea it was so for them to take my idea and help raise awareness was fantastic to see. I was so proud of all the purple gPants on show, the stories being shared, the candles being lit and of course the awareness being made.

1 in 13 babies in the UK are born premature. The medical science over the years has greatly advanced from when I was a baby and now babies that wouldn’t have had even a chance 20 years ago have far better care, units dedicated to premature babies and trained staff that work specifically with the tiniest of lives. But many still don’t survive.

You can help charities like Bliss and Tommy’s by donating so we can further advance our knowledge and understanding. The more we understand the more we can help reduce the amount of early births but also help those who are born early get a better chance of survival.

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And remember to tweet using the hashtag #WorldPrematurityDay to help bring awareness whether you’ve had a child born early, are an early baby all grown up or just know someone who has… please help in whatever way you can. Thank you.

 

My Trip with Frugi

I love Frugi clothing but the prices always scare me a little as we have a single income that isn’t a huge amount and with me being unfit to do much I’m not really doing any work on my blog to bring any money in either. But Frugi had a flash sale on over the weekend that I could not say no to. I grabbed some tights for Petit Girl and PJs for Petit Boy and that was that.

Now I know their PR, lovely ladies and nothing was stopping me from battering my eyelids at them but I didn’t because firstly they have some amazing Frugi Family Bloggers already and second of all some times we miss out on the customer experience when we turn to the PRs.

My parcel arrived on Friday and I was excited, ripping the packaging open to find… Two 3-6 months baby leggings? I checked my receipt and yes I did order it right but the items weren’t what I ordered. I tweeted as usual and then saw the telephone number on the receipt so gave that a go.

After the call to a very lovely lady I checked my mobile to see how long we spoke for. 3 minutes. She had checked my ordered, dispatched the correct items, given me a reference code to send the incorrect items back and apologised for the error. And guess what? The items she got dispatched for me whilst on the phone arrived right now. I made the phone call yesterday at 11am and they arrived at my doorstep at 10:40am today.

Now that’s is customer care right there. I’ve had so many companies take ages to sort issues out and still waiting for £60 to be refunded to me by H&M after a month of waiting. Frugi got me sorted in less than a day!

Another note I will bring up about Frugi is they are known for cutting clothes to fit cloth nappies so if you have a fluffy bum like we do I recommend their clothes. Also their products are made with organic cotton which is kind to the skin and good for anyone who suffers with skin problems such as eczema.

So do I recommend Frugi after all this? Hell yeah I do! Never have I had such good service to the point I want to tell the whole world how lovely their staff are and how they care about their customers. Go check them out at www.welovefrugi.com

Disclosure: I bought these items with our own money. This is simply a post of my own journey with online shopping with the company.

Gift Ideas for a Fox Fanatic

Foxes are a big thing and there’s a fair few people out there who love foxes and all things fox related so here’s a few gift ideas to get a lady who just can’t get enough of the furry friend.

foxyladygiftideas

 

1. iPhone Case
2. Jumper
3. Bathroom accessories
4. Purse
5. Cushion

Disclosure: These are all hand picked by me, I’m not being paid to advertise these items and I’ve not been gifted any of these items. This is 100% pure unbiased list of gift ideas. Thanks for reading!

Remembering…

Remembrance Day is today and the silence has been done with no issues from the baby but I wanted to write about this day and why every year I turn into a big blubbering mess who requires a box of tissues.

As far as I know I don't have any family who I lost in the war, nor do I have family in the army. But what I do know is were it not for those brave people who went out there into a war zone not knowing if they would return home they made it possible for me to exist, for me to have the children I have, for our country to be the way it is.

We can complain about our government and whine about taxes but I think back to the war and it could be a lot worse. Where would our country be if those service men and women didn't do what they did? Where would you and I be if we had lost the war?

Of course this isn't just about the past but also the present. We have had men and women die in recent war zones who risked their lives to save others from a terrible future. And it isn't just about our country either. Other countries were affected by war. Other countries have lost lives and other countries have been able to live the way they want to because people went out there and made that happen for us.

For me I think of every person who took part in giving us a safe place to live. The men who went out to war, the women who took over the work and running of our country and those who exist today because of what those people did for their country back then. I think of those alive and those long gone. I think of our home, my family, my friends and basic things we take for granted that we probably wouldn't have if we had not won.

On the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour… The Great War ended and our lives were able to exist.