So last week was my birthday and I wasn’t particularly excited about it as I didn’t have anything exciting planned (and I wasn’t keen on hitting 35!).

However, I woke up to discover it was snowing and it looked beautiful as the snowflakes were falling and I couldn’t help thinking that it was my Grandads way of saying Happy Birthday as he knew how much I love snow. It’s been years since its snowed on my birthday, so it felt rather special. Before it was time to do the school run there was just about enough snow to have a snowball fight with my girls which was a giggle although despite it being Mummy’s birthday, they both still got me!!!

Then I had 2 clients to see but I knew that we can’t always have our birthday off, I guess I have been spoilt in recent years having not worked since I was pregnant with my eldest daughter. I couldn’t help recalling 2 years ago when I woke up in a lovely hotel in Prague where I was served prosecco with my breakfast and last year despite being in ‘tiers’ we still made the most of it by going to the beach and paddling!

However, as I drove back from seeing my clients, I couldn’t help but feel honoured to be training to be a counsellor. One of my clients had shared something with me that they had never felt able to share with anyone before and I was incredibly touched and honoured. Some of my peers from my course said that they would have been honest with their clients and told them it was their birthday but I’m not one for drawing attention to myself and I wouldn’t have wanted it to affect their session e.g., if they then felt unable to share anything less than pleasant.

My day was broken up by having a birthday lunch with my Mum which was lovely as I don’t often get chance to spent quality time with her without my girls.

I then had to go to college which I wasn’t thrilled by purely as this meant that I wouldn’t see my girls as they would be asleep by the time, I got home but being the big kid that I am I decided to have a birthday tea the following day…mainly so that my girls could blow out candles! A few of us managed to sneak away early from college and went into a tipi bar for a couple of drinks which was a lovely way to end the day.

My eldest daughter kept asking how old I was, and she rolled her eyes every time I tried to convince her I was 8 or 21 as she didn’t believe me!! So, once she knew I was 35 she was determined to put 35 candles in the cake!! Fortunately, my Mum convinced her not to put that many candles in the cake but there must have been more than 20!!

If it wasn’t enough that my daughter kept asking how old I was my wonderful best friend (are you sensing the sarcasm?!) kept rubbing it in that I was now a year older than her (for the next 6 months) and that I was now in my MID thirties meanwhile she is still in her early thirties!!! Fortunately, we have known each other that long that we can take the mickey out of each other and know that we love each other really.

So, all in all it was a lovely birthday and I felt very lucky to have some special people in my life!

Birthday fairy!

This week has been a busy one, full of adventures, running around like a headless chicken and trying to keep my Mary Poppins persona always going! (As I write this I am smiling and wondering if I maybe expect too much from myself?!)

My youngest daughter turned 3 last week, I do not know how that happened! She will always be my baby (mind you, both my girls are) but she is quickly turning into a little girl with a personality full of love, life, cheekiness, feistiness, and giggles! As you may know from reading an earlier post, at times I have struggled with my youngest daughter but not anymore. Of course, there are times when she can be challenging (as with all children) but now I find it easier as I recognise that she takes after her Mummy! I certainly do not want her to lose that feistiness, stubbornness, or zest for life! She is certainly far braver than I am, but I love that about her – although having said that, when we went to Sundown Adventureland as part of her birthday, I was surprised that she was not too keen on the rides especially the water ride that sprayed water on you – whereas Mummy loved it and would have happily gone on it again! Saying that, my eldest (and myself) loved the Christmas ride and after much persuasion we managed to convince my youngest to let us have a second ride!

Both my daughters believe in the birthday fairy (which I am aware, may be hard to keep up for the entirety of their childhood!) which is lovely although not always easy as surprise surprise…. I am the birthday fairy! Shhhh…don’t tell anyone!! So, the birthday fairy buys presents and wraps them up, this year she also made both girls a princess dress (because I do not have enough to do!!), organise and prepare party games including pass the parcels which includes a small sweet/chocolate in every layer, and source party food in secret and a cake. Then the night before when the girls are in bed, she has to secretly bring down the presents and decorate the house with banners and balloons. This year she had a bit of a cold so instead of blowing up 58,000 balloons she used a hand pump, by the time she had pumped them all up she felt as though her arm was going to fall off or that she would wake up with one arm looking like Popeye!!

It is wonderful to see children’s imagination and seeing the world through their eyes is amazing.

It made me smile when we woke up on her birthday and I said happy birthday and she said, ‘Happy birthday Mummy’. She knew it was her birthday though and she was very excited but the thing she likes most to begin with was playing with all the balloons – never mind the presents! It was her sister that wanted her to open the presents rather than play with balloons. However, she soon got into it and unlike last year when she soon tired of unwrapping presents this year, she happily ripped the paper off them and enjoyed playing with her presents. It was far too hot to play musical statues, but she still managed to convince my mum to do the leg dance to How Will You Know by Whitney Houston!

Then we spent an amazing day with my best friend and her little girls at the seaside and they all happily played in the sea for hours. I loved seeing them all so happy and my little one was more than happy to get covered in sand and found it funny when the sea decided to invade our picnic which meant we all got wet!! It was safe to say that we probably brought more sand home with us than at the beach and we were finding sand everywhere! We made so many happy memories and it was much needed to be able to relax, giggle and feel myself without judgement. We sat and put the world to rights and gave each other a much-needed boost as we both can be a little harsh on ourselves. (One example is that I aim to post 2 blogs every week but having spent the week running around and not having a minute to myself as well as feeling a little run down I decided I should not beat myself up because I hadn’t managed to do that this week).

I felt a little emotional on her birthday, partly because it was so hot, and we could not do an awful lot as we were all struggling and also reminiscing about how many people appeared to care when she was born and in the first few months of her life but that most of them have disappeared. Of course, I blamed myself for that as I do not have a big family or a lot of friends and my girls are so amazing, they deserve all the love in the world. However, on reflection I know that it is not quantity that matters its quality and that those people who have disappeared must be false and therefore not worthy of being in their lives. There are too many false people in the world as it is, and I would much rather my girls be surrounded with genuine people who love and care about them no matter what.

As I write this, I am still surrounded by balloons which of course I will not get rid of until the weekend as I grew up with birthdays being celebrated for a week (meaning that we kept cards, banners, balloons up etc).

Sometimes I wish I could press a pause button so that they stopped growing up for a bit as it goes so fast, having said that, everyday is a new adventure with them.

Lockdown part 3….Week 4

This week has gone very quickly for me and has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I’m loving spending all this time with my girls and we are always doing something fun, but I really miss adult conversations, having a cuppa with my friends (or something stronger!) and being able to go anywhere. On Monday there was quite a lot of ice in our garden which the girls were fascinated by and they particularly enjoyed trying to break it (safely of course). I also joined in and I have to say I got rather enthusiastic at smashing the ice!! I think it relieved some tension!!

I’m no longer interested in the government announcements and don’t trust anything they say. I mean does anyone seriously pay attention when Chris Whitty has anything to say?! He has the dullest voice I’ve ever heard…who wants to hear him go through his various slides?! And as for him being the face of a TV campaign surely everyone just mutes him or changes the channel?? If they want people to listen (who aren’t already) they could at least make it a fun and interesting advert!

As for Boris’s letter to parents well that just pissed me off….he doesn’t have a clue what it’s like and how hard people are finding it. Where’s the actual help and support? Meanwhile thousands of families are struggling financially and emotionally. He is full of false promises.

I certainly wasn’t surprised when it was announced that schools wouldn’t be opening before 8th March and feel it would have been better if he’s said from the off that he didn’t know when schools could reopen or if he’d said we’ll aim for all children to be back in September and any sooner is a bonus. At least that way people could try and be prepared in whatever way that could be rather than having this continual upheaval.

I find it frustrating that I am one of the people following the rules yet so many people aren’t and they no doubt wonder why cases aren’t going down. If everyone has the attitude that it doesn’t matter if they break the rules it’s only going to snowball, and things will get dragged out for longer. I couldn’t believe (although I really shouldn’t be surprised) that 15,000 people a DAY have been coming into the UK during lockdown…why? What for? They can’t go anywhere or do anything. I’m lost for words that this has been happening and the government have the nerve to say they truly did everything they could! What a load of bollocks! The average person could have done a better job. Why aren’t they following on from example such as New Zealand? Why weren’t borders closed as soon as the pandemic started? I know loads of people that have come into the UK fully expecting to be tracked or tested or checked up on and none where even asked for any of their details so although they were told to self-isolate no one knew if they did or not.

I’ve maybe been in a supermarket once since March last year and know that my local supermarket has advertised that they will not allow more than one person per household into their store therefore I fear going as I would have to take my children with me. Yes, they would let me in, but I would fear judgement and I’d really rather not go whilst things are this bad anyway. Yet despite their rules not all people have been following them and they’ve got away with it. I know we are bored and there’s not much to do but is a shopping trip to the supermarket really a family trip out??

I have seen people judging others all too quickly on social media regarding lockdown rules and I think it’s worth remembering that at times like these in a world where you can be anything be kind. And also, a smile costs nothing yet it mean a lot – plus it’s contagious – but the good kind of contagious!!!

I follow Sam Avery – The Learner Parent on social media and he made me laugh when he posted…‘someone from New Zealand just told me that they were jealous of UK snow. Cos I know if I was hugging mates in the pub on the way to meet my wife in a restaurant to plan some time AWAY from the kids, I’d be SO JEALOUS of a couple of hours of poxy white shite over on Plague Island!!!!’

I spent the week getting ready for my eldest daughters’ 4th birthday…after seeing them on social media I decided to hire a couple of tepees for the girls (seen as we can’t go anywhere or see anyone) as a surprise. Normally they set them up for you but because of Covid they’re not allowed to, so after palming the girls off with my Mum (who’s in our bubble) I set to work gutting the living room and setting them up! I have to say I was very impressed with how they looked and how much came with the tepees from fairy lights to matching cushions, quilt covers, accessories, a stand-up tray and picnic accessories. Well, the girls loved them!! It was definitely worth it! For the 3 days we had them they spent most of the time in them, they ate in them, played in them and of course me and my mum also had to go in them including to play pass the parcel!!!

My daughter wanted to bake her own birthday cake and why not, I really can’t take any credit for how it turned out as I only helped with measuring and the oven and it was absolutely delicious and dairy free!! It honestly tasted better than the average dairy free cake you can buy.

The night before her birthday after completing an emotional 4 hours of my counselling course I decorated the cake, blew up what felt like 58,000 balloons (without a pump), put up banners and laid out her presents.

It’s lovely watching the world through children’s eyes. She had a lovely birthday, and it was the simple things she liked the best…playing with balloons, pass the parcel, dancing to music, having a buffet party tea, seeing her best friend on a video call, and watching her sing happy birthday to her!

She was very lucky to get so many gifts from friends and family and it’s safe to say we have enough art and craft projects to last us for months!! I still can’t believe that my baby girl is 4, where did the time go? I can still remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. I know it wasn’t that long ago, but it really has flown by. I am very proud of both my daughters and love them more each day (even when they do drive me cuckoo and I don’t get any ‘me’ time).

This week I haven’t achieved everything I needed to or wanted to, but I realised I was running on empty and needed some self-care. I find it hard to relax and always feel I have to be doing something, from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed. I have an assignment deadline looming and seem to be putting off doing it despite finding out this week that I passed the first one, which should give me a bit more confidence and self-belief.

It’s worth remembering though particularly at the minute that if you’ve done any of the following things today, then you’re winning: got dressed, had a shower, survived a major tantrum (yours or others!!), snuggled on the sofa, had a laugh, fed yourself.

I want to thank everyone who has read any of my blog posts. It really means a lot to me. I felt very touched when I read on someone else’s blog that they had been inspired by me to write more. I can’t believe that I have some followers including from America (and I don’t know anyone in America).

To say that I haven’t a clue how to share my blog other than on my Facebook page or how to add hashtags people seem to have found it and read it so thank you again!

This week I will leave you with the following ….