Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Mid-life Mum Crisis

"Life begins at 40", they said.  "Your forties will be fabulous".

I was optimistic at first.  After all, my children are not babies anymore, they are all in school.  It's time I did something new with my life.

But lately I feel as if I'm stuck swinging between 'old before my time' and 'mildly ridiculous for a woman of my age'.

I've come to a conclusion.  The people who tell you how great life is when you reach your fortieth birthday are liers and they probably don't have children.  Smug bastards.

I was really looking forward to my new fabulous life as well.

Instead I think I might be having a mid-life mum crisis of some sort.  I don't know, but these are my reasons...

1.  Earlier this year I took up running.  Anyone that knows me well, knows that I have never liked to exercise. But now I run, three times a week (dressed head to toe in black, like some sort of middle aged ninja).  I run because its good for you isn't it?  I run because I worry about getting older and fatter.  I run because everyone else my age is doing it and I run because I enjoy it, I think?

If I was still in my twenties I would have bought all the gear, run for about two weeks and then given it up as a bad idea.  In my thirties I would have just scoffed at the thought of even doing exercise - I didn't need to do that, I was invincible (plus who has the time when you have children?).  But now I must do it.  Because I have a family and I don't want to die early of being fat.  So sensible and yet so not me.

2.  When I run I listen to music.  I even mouth the lyrics and sometimes do jazz hands at passing motorists.  This is definitely not normal for any woman (let alone one in her forties).  One of the songs currently on my running playlist is Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.  (I'm so down with the kids.)  They sing:

Bang bang there goes your heart (I know ya want it)
Back, back seat of my car (I'll let ya have it)
Wait a minute lemme take you there (ah)
Wait a minute till ya (ah)

This is the back seat of my car:

The back seat of my car, which is nothing like Jessie J's.

The only things that anybody takes to the back seat of my car are tantrums.  Nothing else is happening there.  Nor is it ever likely to.  I am not in my twenties anymore FGS.  I have children now.  Why am I listening to this?  Ridiculous.

3.  I have recently given up gin and wine (and all booze, FML).  This may be a major revelation to some, especially as I have mentioned my love of gin hundreds of times on this blog since I started writing it.  Why have I done this?  I worry.  I worry about how much I drink and how it is affecting me.  I worry that if I drink, I won't be able to do things like walk in a straight line go running the next day.  Which I obviously enjoy... and I worry that if I can't run I'll get fatter.  If I get fatter what will my children think of me?  What sort of message does this give them?  Worry, worry, worry.  No gin for me.

4.  I get inordinately excitable about daytime TV.  Then I send tweets to that effect and sometimes I write blog posts too.  Just the other day I sent this tweet:

The Judge Rinder people favourited this.  I was so happy...


Why on earth am I so excited about this?

I'll tell you why.  15 years of children's television.  That's why.

Now I finally have the television to myself in the daytime I don't even know what to watch.  So I watch lighthearted programmes that make me laugh and fit in with the times of the school run.  I like it.  It's kind of like the grown up version of watching CBeebies.  Ultimately having children has ruined my ability to concentrate on anything more complex than daytime TV.

And I also like to wear slippers and use the ad breaks to make myself a nice cup of tea to drink while watching.  Like an old person.

5.  Conversely I have also become inexplicably drawn to watching 'Tattoo Fixers' on E4.  I am 41 years old and have never had or wanted to have a tattoo.  I don't even like the majority of the ones I see on other people all that much.  But?  I love this programme such a lot.  I love it because, well I'm not really sure why. There's just something about watching it that sets this middle aged mum's heart a flutter.  Maybe its the part of my own youth that I never had or possibly the pretty male tattooists (ahem)?  It just seems to suck me in every time it's on.  And, it's on after my bedtime.  See, I don't even know myself any more...

6.  I had what can only be described as a hot flush when One Direction were on TV the other night.  I said to my husband "Is it hot in here, or is it me?".  It was me.

7.  My wardrobe.  I have started shopping in White Stuff which I thought was a bit more edgy for the average mum than M&S.  This is not edgy.  It is old.  I know this because Mumsnet told me so.  And they know everything.

8.  I like looking at crafty things on Pinterest with a view to buying/attempting them myself.  This is lovely but I cannot do craft.  I also have children who still break things a lot.

9.  I still get misty eyed at the sight of a branch of Mothercare.  Even though I am done with babies.  But something always pulls me back, momentarily.  Like I suddenly think that it would be a really good idea to do it all over again.  As if I could.  In my forties.  Loon.

10.  I harbour a small fantasy of saving up for a soft top car one day, just to have "for fun".  Let's just be clear that whenever I drive anywhere there are usually at least three or four other people with me (also see the picture of the back seat above).  We never go anywhere that could be described as "fun".  This is unlikely to change until they all leave home.

Fabulous forties?  Or, just the realisation that the time warp of looking after small children that I've been in for the past 15 years has suddenly spat me out, feeling old before my time but still young at heart, with not a clue what is supposed to happen next?

The thing is I'm kind of enjoying it really.

Perhaps everyone who told me my forties would be great were right?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to go and tweet the Tattoo Fixers and tell them how much I love them...

I may have another hot flush too ;)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

New Teen Delivery - a guide

Thank you for your recent order for your new teen, girl model (early years).

As an existing customer of ours we understand that you are already familiar with some of our other teen models, however the following guide will address the additional features specific to your new teen, girl model.

Packaging and optional extras

Your new teen (girl model) has been packaged with the optional pierced ear attachments.  Moving on from the pre-teen years, this model is now proficient in the removal and replacing of ear adornments, however owners may notice that when the updated model has been lying down for some time that small parts may become detached temporarily.  Your new teen may become distressed at this, however missing parts can usually be found tangled in your teen's hair.  Alternatively replacement earring backs can be purchased from any branch of Claire's Accessories.

Temperament

Your teen, girl model (early years) has been issued with a varying temperament.  The fluctuations of which can be anybody's guess.  Users may note that removal of internet based devices can be a trigger for extreme anger in this model.  Because of this, we advise that the mobile phone interface should be plugged in at all times and credit topped up just in case.

Hand-me-down Moan Chip

This feature allows the teen to communicate with users in a unique manner regarding their disapproval of being given a P.E top previously owned by an existing teen model.  This also works with barely worn Converse trainers and other outgrown items of perfectly acceptable clothing.  Users should be aware that the usual command, "I'm not made of money, you know!" has little effect on this model.  This is especially so when they are schooled alongside 'deluxe' teen girl models.

Should you wish, you may upgrade to our 'deluxe' model at any time, but it will cost you.

Interaction with existing teen units and users

Very little spontaneous interaction can be expected between this model and any other models that you may own.  We have added a handy feature that allows any teen units from the same household to track each other on the way home from High School, so as to avoid crossing each other's paths and jeopardising this.  There is a standard 10 second delay between the arrival home of one unit and another.  This setting cannot be altered.

Users should also be aware that following your teen, girl model (early years) on any form of social media is strictly forbidden.  Doing this will result in a 'blank screen of death' on your new teen.  You can try rebooting and unfollowing but this usually has no effect.

Never do this...

Foreign Language Chip

Your new teen has been fitted with the foreign language chip (street version) to enable them to interact with similar models while at school/using social media.  Users cannot however, enjoy interacting with their new teen using similar language (see 'blank screen of death' in the interaction section above).

In particular, use of the following words are ill advised:

Swag
YOLO
Banter
Bae
Bruh

No, we have no idea what these mean either.  It may be some sort of binary code anomaly and our programmers are currently working on a fix for this (estimated to be available to download during the start of the adult years).

We hope that you continue to enjoy your new teen, girl model (early years) and once again thank you for choosing this model.

We look forward to your continued custom.

Teenagers Inc. (est.  2013)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tidy your room!

Regular readers may remember the war of attrition ongoing struggle that I have with my two older boys and their bedroom, which for the most part resembles a post apocalyptic Legoland crossed with some sort of teenage grunge den (it isn't pleasant).

Over the weekend, I tried to reason with the pre-teen in that I told him that I would be vacuuming up the Lego myself if he couldn't be bothered to put it away properly.  The carpet in there hasn't been vacuumed for about a month owing to the lake of small multicoloured bricks and assorted models strewn across it, never mind the teenager's floordrobe.  It could really do with a proper clean, but baby steps I say.

Anyway, he assured me that he had tidied at least half of it on Saturday, which was a start I suppose.

Armed with my Dyson, on Monday morning I proceeded to attempt the vacuuming of the now free floor space.

When I said tidy the room, what I actually meant was put things away, not push it all underneath the furniture...

Oh, for the love of God...

*gives up*


brummymummyof2

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Five reasons why I'd like to be Mummy Pig

I reached a defining moment in my parenting career earlier this week.

It wasn't the usual sort of defining moment, like witnessing first steps or applying for a place at school (although as it goes, I've done that one this week too).

No.  This week I finally unfollowed Peppa Pig on Facebook.

It's been a while since the twins watched Milkshake in the mornings and to be honest, having the porcine one appearing in my news feed every day had become a bit annoying.  It was time.

But, as I clicked the unlike button it made me a little sad.  Sad, because despite how irritating I've found Peppa and friends there is also a character who I've admired and come to envy.

She puts up with Peppa's whining without going totally insane, and George's tantrums and despite being married to Daddy Pig she always seems so cheerful.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be just like Mummy Pig?



Here are five reasons why her life is quite a bit nicer than mine:

1.  There is NO MINECRAFT in the world of Mummy Pig.  For anyone that does not have to deal with this computer gaming phenomenon on a daily basis (and my god you are lucky) Minecraft is like crack cocaine for school aged children.  It is also 99% of the reasons why my children argue.  But Mummy Pig is lucky.  Her life does not contain Minecraft.  Instead Peppa and George play something called Happy Mrs Chicken, where a chicken lays eggs on the computer screen.  This is good, because nobody can kill each other or get blown up by a creeper or whatever.  AND, they all laugh while playing it.



2.  I wash at least one load of clothes a day.  Mummy Pig hardly ever seems to do any laundry (maybe its something to do with the fact that she once dyed Daddy Pig's football shirt pink).  Everyone wears the same outfit day after day and so no huge washing pile ever gets generated.  I'd really like to know how she managed to persuade everyone that this was a good idea.  I also wonder how she's going to cope once Peppa hits the teenage years (and maybe gets a piggy boyfriend) - teenage girls change their outfits every five minutes, never mind when they are trying to impress a boy!  But for now I'm just really envious of her lack of washing pile.



3.  My twins share a bedroom.  Peppa and George share a bedroom.  At no point in the time I've had to watch Peppa Pig have I seen the two siblings fight over sharing.  I have also never heard Mummy Pig yell at them tell them to be quiet or stop hitting/biting/kicking each other or hiding each other's things. *sigh*



4.  Mummy Pig has no Facebook to distract her (which begs the question, why is her daughter taking over mine?).  She never has to put up with Mrs Rabbit telling the world how Rebecca has "Star of the Week" at school again, or Mrs Sheep adding 872 photos of the school picnic to the duck pond when she went as a parent helper.  This is probably a good thing, bearing in mind that whiny annoying Peppa is never likely to get "Star of the Week" anyway.  Mummy Pig at least doesn't have to be reminded of how perfect everyone else's kids are and what a terrible parent she is for never volunteering on school trips.  I would quite like this myself.

5.  Mummy Pig has amazingly thin legs.  It is probably because of all the hills where she lives.  Walking up and down them must be such good exercise.  I live in Cheshire (which has a plain, nice and flat you see).  *looks down at wobbly thighs*

I won't miss Peppa, but Mummy Pig I will always have a soft spot for.

On the whole I think I'd quite like to swap places with her for a bit.

Apart from one reason.

I couldn't ever give up bacon sandwiches.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Special Delivery

I changed my mind this morning for this week's Wicked Wednesdays picture.  It was going to be something on a completely different topic but then we were running a bit late for school and DD2 needed her hair doing.  When I/she had finished I couldn't help take this picture of the ridiculously huge bow on her head.

Everyone knows I am crap at doing the girls' hair.  Over the past few months I have got no better and so I decided a week or two ago that I'd nip into Home Bargains (which, get this, is only 5 minutes walk from my house - are you envious of all the cheap tat I have at my doorstep?  You should be...) and get some accessories to match the uniforms.

I was a bit dismayed to find they'd changed their school hair accessories range since last year and so we were faced with this:

Parcel Head.

It looks OK if she wears is the right way round of course, but she wanted it on the other side of her head, so it sticks up and makes her head look like a ruddy birthday present.

No reasoning with her.

Ah well, it was only 69p...

brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Decorating Tips for Busy Parents

Last Friday we were overtaken by an urge unlike any other (keep it clean people, not that kind of urge, this is a family blog, remember?).

No, buoyed by the promise of a house empty of children for the following six hours, DH suddenly announced that he thought we should crack on with the decorating in our hallway.

Words cannot express how much this surprised me, bearing in mind that it has been nearly 18 months since we started decorating the hallway.  I know this because with DIY being such a rare event around here, I took a picture of my husband painting the walls at the time to mark the event.

So, over a year later we had finally decided on a whim to get on with finishing the painting - namely 9 doors, several metres of skirting board and the b*stard dado rails that some idiot had decided were a good idea to put up 14 years ago*.

It was kind of like the start of an episode of Sixty Minute Makeover, in that the urgency to complete this task before the small people descended on us again at 3.30 pm and put their fingers, faces and any other available bodily parts in the freshly painted surfaces, was fairly great.  Only we didn't have Peter Andre or that annoying Linda Barker woman who used to be on Changing Rooms in the 90's helping us. Although Peter Andre and I do have a few things in common (shops at Iceland - check, love my kids - check), that is pretty much where the similarities end.

So with the six hour makeover now complete (who am I kidding?  Its been a whole weekend) I feel that it is up to me to impart a few words of wisdom onto other parents who may be tempted to start the process of re-decorating their homes, sans offspring.

That skirting board there?  Looks identical to how it did before it was painted...


Firstly, it had been 10 years since we last embarked on decorating our hallway, which to some may seem quite slatternly but we had a very good reason.  The skirting boards had seen better days, it was true, but when you consider that 90% of the paint on them was made up from the die cast coatings of Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, from toddler after toddler smashing them into the doors and walls, it really is no wonder that we had chosen not to bother until now.

Decorating is not a skill that I am naturally proficient in (I cannot even remember how the hallway originally became a different colour to the one it was when we moved here) and so it fell to DH to direct me in the ways of wielding a paintbrush.

My first mistake, as apprentice decorator, was to pour some of the gloss paint into another container, so that we could each start decorating in different parts of the hall.  This was wrong.  I discovered this just a minute later when DH dropped the tin of paint onto the living room floor, spilling it under the door and sticking the newspaper, which was thankfully protecting the floor, to the bottom of the newly painted door.  It was my fault because I had dribbled paint down the side of the tin you see, making it too slippery to hold properly.  *sigh*

My next mistake, was to not get the memo about taking the masking tape off the walls before the paint was fully dry, in the words of the master, "so that you get a nice crisp edge".  Whatever.

After this I was relegated to "masking off" duties only, where I could apparently do less damage discovered my next revelation...

It turns out that when you can't be bothered to vacuum right up to the edge of the carpet (which is all the time, right?) and it then goes a bit grey and manky looking, rather than using the special tools on your Dyson to dislodge the fluff, a far quicker way of dealing with this problem is to wait until you decorate.  When you mask off your carpet edge you can effectively remove all of the fluff (plus the odd dead spider and other assorted insects) when you later come to rip the tape back up.  Clean carpet edges guaranteed.  You're welcome (always thinking of tips for my readers, me).

Lastly, do not whatever you do, spill your gloss paint on your very expensive carpet as you carry the tin around the house.  I was very careful not to do this.  DH was not.  But, it was my fault for dribbling paint down the tin earlier.  Obviously.

And so, several hours later, we had a newly decorated hall which looked a lot like it did before we started, a ruined carpet, and vague thoughts of divorce in the back of our minds**.

We had at least achieved the seemingly unachievable - completing the decorating in a house full of kids.

And the best bit isn't even the sense of satisfaction, the beautiful paintwork or the really clean carpet edges.

The best bit of all of this is that we won't even think about attempting this feat again for another 18 months at least.


* Don't look at me, it wasn't my idea...

** Joking, in case my mother in law reads this.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Giving uniforms a new lease of life with Dr Beckmann

If the back to school rush wasn't stressful enough, after a week and a half of school the kids' uniforms are already starting to look a little worse for wear (or is it just my kids that come home with marker pen all over their polo shirts - grrr!).

In addition to that, I have lots of hand-me-down uniform that has seen better days, although it seems a shame to bin it, so its just sitting in a cupboard getting in my way every time I open it looking rather forlorn at the minute.

So, when the team at Dr Beckmann got in touch and asked if we'd like to review a couple of their back to school products which are specifically for uniforms, I was more than a little intrigued.

After all, uniforms are expensive enough these days (I'm looking at you, High School blazers!) without the thought of committing them to the bin before they are even outgrown.

We were sent two products.  Dr Beckmann Glowhite Ultra which claims to give school shirts their mojo back and Dry-Clean Only which refreshes dry clean only items such as really expensive High School Blazers.

It was almost as if these products had been made just for me!



We first set to work with the Glowwhite (who am I kidding, I set to work as I'm the only person who seems to know how the washing machine works around here *sigh*).

I found the product really easy to use - just popping the sachet in the drum of my machine and then loading the laundry and detergent as usual.  It was so easy to use that a child could do it in fact (which is an idea *looks at teenagers*).

Did it work?

Well I was pleasantly surprised when much brighter, fresher shirts appeared from my machine once the wash had finished.  For something so easy it seems a bit of a no-brainer to me. I can now smarten up and keep all those not yet outgrown polo shirts from last year which would be fine if I hadn't already bought new ones.

"Before" on the left and "after" Glowhite Ultra on the right.

Glowhite Ultra comes with two sachets per box at a cost of £2.00 for the box.  I reckon for £2.00 its worth buying a box every year as coincidentally I usually have exactly two loads of school shirts to wash.  Way cheaper than buying new polo shirts too!

Next I tackled teen boy's old blazer from last year.  He's had to have a new one this year because the school insist upon a nearly identical but different logo for the Year 10s, but I was quite keen to try and give the old one a freshen up before I pack it away for my pre-teen boy's start at High School next year.

Again the Dry-Clean Only couldn't be simpler to use.  Open the sachet up and use the enclosed sheet to remove any stains and then bung the whole lot in the tumble dryer for 20 minutes to freshen up.

There are three sheets in the box and each one can clean up to four garments so at £3.49 a box I think they are excellent value for money.

I've been so impressed by both of these products that I'm going to buy another box of each and give our uniforms a spruce up mid way through the school year in future.

For stockist information please visit www.dr-beckmann.co.uk


We were sent the products by Dr Beckmann for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Back to School with the Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack

Back to school means only one thing for my teen girl - time for a new backpack (I think she gets her love of all things bag shaped from me - it is no secret that I love a new handbag!).

Over the past few years since she started High School she has been through a few bags, none of which have really lived up to her expectations - too small, uncomfortable to wear or the worst, falling apart after only a few weeks (thanks Amazon cheapy satchel!).

We were therefore delighted when Kipling offered us the chance to review some bags from their Back to School range, and beyond thrilled when not one but two of their Clas Seoul Backpacks turned up in a very large box on my doorstep last week (as I say, me and bags...).

We wasted no time in putting them to the test with both my teen girl and my now pre-teen boy.



Apart from the absolutely stunning metallic emerald colourway that we were sent, the first thing I noticed about the bags is how incredibly well made they seemed compared to some of the bags the children have previously owned.  There are loads of little details from the grab handle on the top of the bag, which is embossed with the Kipling logo, to the key holder and even little clips that hold the excess strap webbing out of the way on the straps at the back.  Instantly I could tell that this was a quality product.


Grab handle at the top of the bag

The inside of the Clas Seoul Backpack does not disappoint either.  The main compartment is divided into two sections, in addition to which there is a padded laptop holder with a velcro strap for protection.  Although my children rarely take any tech items to school I tried my 14 inch hp chromebook inside to see how well it fitted.  It fitted easily although the strap only just met up with the velcro on the pocket - it would still be enough for me if I were to take it out like that, and a smaller laptop or tablet in a case would definitely fit in with no problems at all. This is good to know, bearing in mind that a bag like this once purchased could easily last all the way through Junior School and into the High School years and maybe onto 6th Form and Uni too.


Inside the Clas Seoul Backpack main compartment

The front pocket of the bag has a key clip and smaller slip pockets for pens, wallets and phones.  There is also a fairly deep zipped pocket on the inside and if that wasn't enough there is one on the outside too!


Inside the front pocket

In fact, there are pockets galore on this bag.  One on the side - again big enough for a smartphone and a similar one on the top which could be used for tissues and a lip balm.  There are certainly enough to keep even the most forgetful teen (not that mine are - ahem!) organised.


Outer side pocket as modeled by teen girl's smartphone 

One area that is always of concern to me is the straps of the kids' school bags - just how comfortable are they?  Given how much stuff they have to cart around with them at High School I always try to make sure that the bags we buy are both supportive and strong enough for all the books they need to contain.

I was really surprised that the Clas Seoul Backpack is not only stylish, but that the straps are nicely padded and have an anti slip type fabric on the underside so that they stay put on young shoulders.  Size-wise there is also a good deal of adjustability ensuring the bag will last my two a while.


Padded non slip straps

So, how did the bag pack up?

Well, to give you an illustration, we put all of teen girl's school bits for a typical day inside.  Notebooks, pencil case, lunch box, water bottle and an umbrella in the main compartment and A5 planner and colouring pencils in the front pocket.  As you can see below, there was still a massive amount of room for any other bits and pieces she might need to carry.  My pre-teen boy's needs are slightly different in that he still has a book bag for Primary School.  He is a fairly sporty sort and carries all manner of kit for football, running club and regular P.E. lessons too.  The Clas Seoul Backpack fits all of this in with ease and is much easier for him to carry than a normal drawstring P.E. bag to boot.

All packed up with teen girl's things

This pocket is so huge that her A5 planner barely fills it!

All in all we are massively impressed with the Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack, both inside and out.  My girl has since taken hers off to school where it has received many an admiring look from her fellow teens (this is most important apparently).

While she has been through many bags, in terms of both looks and functionality this meets all of her needs perfectly and so I think this one might finally be a keeper.

My only gripe - I now desperately need a Kipling bag for myself!


This bag gets her seal of approval (finally)

The Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack in Metal Emerald is priced at £94.00 and can be bought from the Kipling website here.


We were sent two Kipling Clas Seoul Backpacks from their Back to School range for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Tried and Tested

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Baking Bad

During the last few weeks of the summer holidays we ended up getting in to YouTube a bit (by which I mean that we watched a few YouTube videos in bed one morning when it was really really raining).

Now, if you follow Mumsnet on YouTube you can't fail to have noticed the very easy looking little video they've got on their channel, you know, the one with the GIANT biscuit.

This understandably caught the eye of my youngest girl who proclaimed instantly "we must make it, Mummy!".

All going well so far, I mean, what's not to like about a giant perfectly gooey choc chip biscuit.  As I watched the body-less hands and arms making it on my screen I even thought to myself, that looks like a piece of piss easy, hell, I even have a Breton top just like that disembodied baker woman.  It could practically be me in my kitchen!

So we set to work...



Initially, it went OK.  The dough wasn't quite as soft looking and easy to mix as the video but we did not let that dampen our enthusiasm.

Then, it came to putting the mixture in the tin.  This is where things started to go a bit wrong really.  Our tin might have been was completely the wrong size and too small.

But, there had been no clue on the helpful video as to the diameter of the tin and I naively thought that this would not matter.  Fat or thin, a biscuit is a biscuit, right??

Erm, no.  It is not.

And so I present to you dear readers, our almost completely raw in the middle and weird tin side climbing, gravity defying, biscuit thingy that looks a bit like a flan case (thank you teen son for that).



Cheers Mumsnet.  This is just like that revolting Lotus Spread all over again.

This is the very last time you tempt me with your biscuit-y ways*.

And is absolutely why I also hate baking with kids in the holidays.

End of.


* As a side note I'd like to point out that while inexpertly piped (being generous there I know, my piping skills suck), my chocolate icing was in fact homemade and very bloody delicious.  There's none of your icing from a can nonsense in this house.  So there.  A triumph... of sorts.


brummymummyof2

Friday, 4 September 2015

School - the inevitabilities of the first week back

I know, it's a catchy title, but it's the end of the first week back at school and my brain is a bit frazzled so what do you expect?  After all the preparations during the final few weeks of the holidays, followed by the relief as the doors to the classrooms opened once more I hoped I'd be feeling more relaxed by now.

But there are things that I've come to realise always happen at the end of this week every year, no matter how much you think they won't, or how much you try to avoid them.

These are the inevitabilities of the first week of term.

School jumpers labelled or otherwise will be sucked into the vortex of lost property never to be seen again.  

You've hemorrhaged squillions of pounds on buying gold embroidered, diamond encrusted Cash's name tapes (complete with a picture of a train/fairy on).  They should be safe from the lost property box, shouldn't they?  I mean, what idiot can't see the lovingly hand stitched name on the inside of the collar of every piece of clothing your child owns?  The answer here is nobody because nobody ever checks these things.  Everything ends up in that box.  There is simply no point in sewing until your fingers bleed to ensure uniform never goes astray because it always does.  But then, next year you think, well maybe?  Maybe I'll just label the important stuff?  I mean, those name tapes cost a fortune and they'll only go to waste otherwise.  You'll never learn.

£120 worth of school shoes will be scuffed to ribbons courtesy of the school playground.  

Listen, I'm on top of the whole school shoe thing. Just two weeks ago I was victorious in my quest to exit Clarks with my sanity/dignity (but not my bank balance) intact.  Nothing could go wrong.  The shoes were polished and photos taken of the kids as they proudly wore them on their first day back.  And then, as they came running out of the classroom at the end of the day, there they were.  Marks, scuffs where there should have been black leather.  Scars on their beautiful new shoes.  Why can't they just stop climbing things and falling over?  Even for just one day? I shouldn't be so bothered, but I am.

Just stop falling over, will you? *sob*


There will be a nit warning letter from at least one class.

Of course.  Just to ruin your Friday night.

The teenagers will bring home letters detailing three overpriced foreign holidays amazing once in a life time opportunities, totalling over £1000.

Erm, they don't even have passports and are not studying French/Art/Geography for GCSE, so why are the school even asking?  Oh, if you haven't fainted or died laughing at the preposterousness of that then you'll also discover that £40 worth of primary school trips will need paying for by next week as well.  Oh well, it's only money...

If your child's school jumpers make it home then they will be covered in whiteboard marker pen.

It probably won't come off either.  You can attempt stain removal once you've finished the nit check.  Good luck with that.

One of the teenagers will have forgotten to write their homework into their planner.

It's a new planner FFS!  You've had it for less than a week.  What do you mean you didn't have a pen?  I bought a box of fifty from Amazon last week!  Well, if you can't do the homework you'll just have to do the detention and no I won't come and pick you up afterwards.  *head explodes*

One day he'll get it, you think, one day...

You still haven't started redecorating the hallway.

I promised myself I'd do it before the summer holidays.  Then I promised that I'd start it the minute the kids all went back.  I do this every year.  But then, maybe I'll just leave it.  One day distressed paintwork may actually be a thing.  Plus, I'm sure there must be a new series of Judge Rinder on soon.  I just won't have the time.

Every year these things happen.  Every year it is just the same.

*Adds stain devil, a nit comb and a lottery ticket to shopping list*

*and Gin*

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Old School

Ever since the first book was published, my kids have all at some point been massive Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.  It's become a bit of a tradition over the last few years for DS2 to receive the latest book in his stocking at Christmas time and so when we were asked to review a preview excerpt from the new book Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Old School, we of course said YES!!

In the new book Greg wonders whether life really was better in the old days, especially as his whole town has voluntarily unplugged and gone electronics free!  Can he survive or will it be too tough?

In the extract we read, Greg and Rowly set up a lemonade stand and try to make some money.  In typical Diary of a Wimpy Kid style there are disastrous consequences.  Firstly they don't know how to make lemonade, then after Greg's dad shows them how, their lemonade is not quite what the customers are expecting.  This is not helped by the kid across the street who has a much better stand than them.  They eventually cut their losses and decide to market "Fitness Water" (as it seems a lot less effort) but that too ends in disaster.

My children all had a read of it too and I could hear plenty of giggling.  As ever, the pictures in the Wimpy Kid books really do add something extra to the story.  We all thought they were very funny indeed.

Puffin books had not only sent us the book preview but included a recipe for Homemade Lemonade which DD1 decided she would make as a surprise for her siblings (who went back to school the day before she did!).  Here's how she made it:







The lemonade was a great success and DS2 has already added a copy of Old School to his Christmas list.  He says he just has to read the rest of it!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Old School by Jeff Kinney will be released on 3rd November 2015, and is available for preorder here.


We were sent a digital extract from Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Old School for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Postman Pat

This week's Wicked Wednesdays is brought to you by random sibling name calling.

DS2 and DS3 were playing upstairs quite nicely at first, then suddenly, DS3 ran downstairs sobbing.

Try as I might it took several minutes until he was calm enough to tell me what was wrong.


What could possibly elicit this kind of tantrum I hear you ask?

Well, it appears DS2 had told DS3 that he was... Postman Pat.

Nope, I'm not sure I understand it either.

Crazy children.

So glad they've gone back to school today... ;)

brummymummyof2
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