Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I missed joining up last week after all my declarations of being positive and posting each week, d’oh!

My reasons are a mixed bag this week and one or two may seem to be a forced cheerfulness but I’m including them anyway!!

I had a birthday!
It was my birthday just under 2 weeks ago and I had a brilliant Eurovision themed birthday party.  I am a massive fan and it’s brilliant that it always coincides with my birthday weekend!  My Other Half even went all out and made me a cake which he iced from scratch so I was very impressed…it tasted delicious too!!


Eli’s passport came through.
After setting off at 6am for Peterborough armed with two photos we weren’t sure the Passport Office would accept, we managed to get Eli a passport.  It arrived two days after our appointment as well which we were surprised about.  We are just waiting for my Other Half’s to come through now and we will be well and truly set for our holiday next week.

I’m not sure whether they will question the picture as he’s holding a piece of toast and pointing at himself…plus he’s got to have this passport until he’s 7!!


Not a new job.
My Other Half didn’t get the job although he came ‘a close second’ apparently.  It might seem a bit strange to include this in as a reason to be happy but we are choosing to look on the bright side and trust that it wouldn’t have been the right job for him in the end despite the disappointment of it.

I went dancing…and enjoyed myself!
I was invited out with a friend to join a small group and go for a night out.  It is a long long time since I went out and I was hesitant about whether I would enjoy myself as it’s really not my scene.  I would much rather curl up with a good book under a blanket and drink a lovely cup of Lady Grey…that’s just how I’m wired!  But I went anyway and whilst I got to meet the more interesting characters of the town I live in, I did really enjoy myself!  So, yay for new and different experiences!

I got a new haircut.
I have been putting this off for about two months due to it being an expense I didn’t want to have but I finally went and got my hair cut and took the plunge and went for something completely different.  I was really enthusiastic in the hairdressers about it and had a bit of a wobbly moment when I got home and looked in the mirror and realised that it was totally changed and made me look different but I think I’ve made my peace with it for now!

Probably need to work on my face for self portraits though!!!


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BOOKLOVEBADGE

As parents, we have the grand job of reading a multitude of bedtime stories throughout the lives of our children.  Let’s face it, after you’ve read the same story for the fiftieth time, it can be hard to keep the excitement and enthusiasm in your voice.

We picked up a book from the library yesterday that, judging by it’s front cover, looked a bit beyond Meg and Eli but I went with it as Meg’s choice.  She chose it for Daddy to read at bedtime in the evening and I could hear giggles coming from children and adult alike so I was quite curious about it.

When she chose it again tonight, I was intrigued!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers


The story is about Floyd, a young lad whose trouble begins when his kite gets stuck in a tree.  He throws his favourite shoe up to try and knock the kite from the tree and would you believe, that gets stuck too…then follows a variety of random items he throws in an attempt to retrieve his kite, including a cat, a kitchen sink, a milkman and an orang-utan!

I loved the style of the writing in the book and that there are bits crossed out where it looks like the writer isn’t sure of the spelling, as though the story is being told by Floyd after the event.

The thing we liked most about this story though is it’s originality.  Both myself and my Other Half were actually laughing out loud at Floyd’s predicament and the things he picks to throw into the tree.  As a children’s bedtime story we found it a breath of fresh air.

Meg and Eli loved the silliness of it and were exclaiming with glee every time we turned the page and revealed the next thing Floyd decided to deposit in the tree.

Of course, like every good story, it has a happy ending and Floyd is eventually reunited with his kite.  I will leave it a mystery as to what happens to everything (and everyone) else who end up in the tree!

If you’re looking for a new and inventive bedtime story then I would really recommend Stuck.  I will definitely be purchasing this once we’ve returned the library copy we have as I can see it featuring on our stories list for some time.

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Back in February, I wrote a post about the IF campaign…a coalition of 150 UK charities and churches who have joined forces to call on the Government to put steps into motion to end world hunger at the G8 summit this June.  I will be writing some more in the near future about the G8 summit itself and how you can get involved.

For those who don’t know, the IF campaign highlights the shocking fact that 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry, and yet there is enough food in the world to feed everyone.

The following video has been produced as part of the campaign and is called ‘The Hunger Museum’

Set in the year 2050, the Hunger Museum animation takes viewers through an exhibition of how the world ended hunger from the G8 meeting in June 2013 onwards.

Please do get involved by watching the video and sharing it on your social networks.

You can also still sign the petition and follow the cause on Twitter @enoughfoodIF and share content using #if or #tellamillion

We could give every child a world free from hunger…I cannot stress how much this is a real possibility in our lifetimes!!

Please do get involved in any way you can, even if it’s to share this post or something from +Tearfund – the more people who make noise about this issue, the more chance we have of seeing change at the summit this June.

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We had a great time this Bank Holiday.  I tweeted on Friday that as I looked out of the window at the gale force winds and torrential rain, I simply didn’t see how the weather would turn nice enough to spend time outside over the extended weekend.  But I was definitely wrong!

On Saturday we got up bright and early in the sunshine(!) and hit our local charity shops to do some bargain hunting.  I managed to get my favourite ever game ‘Boggle’ for 79p and it’s all intact so I was very pleased.  That will be coming with us to France next week for sure!

Meg was very pleased with her straw hat find too although it was a tad squashed at the bottom of a basket so now has some random creases in it; any tips for de-squishing a straw hat gratefully received!

On Sunday we went to Church as usual and then spent the afternoon playing in the garden at a friend’s house.  The kids had great fun splashing in the paddling pool and being “wet monsters” according to Meg!  Eli wasn’t so keen but I think it was perhaps a little bit colder than he was expecting.


Monday, my OH gave me a lovely long lie-in and then we went round to my parents house where the kids spent the majority of the time running round the back garden playing hide and seek.  Their garden is brilliant with lots of different pathways and as it’s quite overgrown in places, it is full of ideal hiding spots.

Eli still hasn’t quite managed to grasp the ins and outs of hide and seek and, much to Meg’s dismay, will still just hide in the same spot he last found Meg in.  Meg isn’t much better as she can’t stay quiet for more than 5 minutes and is prone to shouting out “I’m here” if you take too long in trying to ‘find’ her.



Typical though isn’t it, that this morning it is chucking it down with rain.

It was nice whilst it lasted!
  

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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It’s become a running joke in my family that since I became a blogger, everything is a photo opportunity.  I take literally hundreds of photos a week of our family life just to capture the ‘right’ one.  I tweet, facebook and blog about important family moments (and the more mundane ones too.)  In some people’s opinions, I overshare and thus fall into the category of ‘Sharent’


You can almost imagine the way people say it, with that slight touch of disdain, the eyes judging you, the mouth turned down in disapproval.  “Oh, you’re one of those parents”  I get it from people I know, who think that blogging is a waste of time and I have read lots of different opinions on the level of sharing that parents are willing to do.

I have weighed up the pros and cons of posting about Meg and Eli’s lives online and I have reached a point that I am comfortable with.

The thing is, I was never any good at filling in those baby books you get given when your children are small.  There was simply too much other stuff going on to justify sitting and writing about the time that Eli got his first tooth, or when Meg took her first step.  But one day, I realised that I was starting to forget when these things had happened.  I ended up scrolling back through my facebook statuses to see when I had let my family and friends know about these milestone moments just so that I could make a note of them.

Had I not shared these important moments, the truth is, I probably wouldn’t be able to say exactly when they happened.

Blogging is just one step further than that.  I have to confess that initially I didn’t think too much about the repercussions of sharing some of Meg’s weirder moments online, for example, but in hindsight, I will be telling her those same stories when she gets older anyway.  Probably in the company of her friends and so I don’t see much difference in telling my family and friends about them now.

When I made the decision to write an open letter to Meg, I pondered long and hard about how it would make me look and whether I really wanted to put it ‘out there’.  But once I had clicked publish, I received nothing but support.  

To some people, I was way way too honest about my self-image, but these are the things I want Meg to know.  So it’s online?  So, what?  Posting it for the world to see allowed me to be forthright in a way that I would have struggled to do in real life.  It also allowed me to capture the emotions of a time when I felt something very strongly, rather than passing it on years down the line when I’ve forgotten most of how I was feeling.  It also gave space for other people to share their thoughts on the topic too, thus bringing a sense of not being alone in my situation, which strengthened my resolve about sharing.

I write about Meg and Eli because I think they are amazing little people, and that they have stories that are worth telling and sharing.  I don’t do it to embarrass them, I do it to encourage other parents that we’re all (more or less) in the same boat and that we can share together how fantastic our children’s achievements are.

A lady in my church once told me of how isolated she had felt after she had her children, as in ‘those’ days, there weren’t many ways she could connect with other parents.  I am not isolated; I am able to share the highs and lows with thousands of other mums and dads all around the world.  I hope that sometimes I am able to reassure other parents as I take reassurance from reading about experiences similar to my own.

Perhaps, when the kids start to get older, I will think again about how much I share about their personal lives but right now, whilst they are just doing the funny and quirky things that toddlers do, I don’t think anything of sharing their stories.  Neither do I mind about sharing their photos.  To me, they are just like any other preschool child and I am happy for people to see their faces.


Will they resent me for being so open?  I honestly don’t know.  If I’m still blogging in 5 or 10 years time then I will sit them down and explain about what I do, why I do it and hope that they understand.  If they choose to resent me, then so be it.  I know I got angry at my parents about more ridiculous things than story sharing online; not being able to own a pair of high heeled £80 kicker shoes at the age of 9 for one thing!

I regularly google their names and so far, perhaps because I’m not batting in the big leagues, they are untraceable.  What will I do if one day my blog goes *boom* and suddenly their names are everywhere?

Well, firstly, I will let them think they are mini-celebrities for appearing so high in the God of search engines results.  

And secondly, I will try, and am trying, my very best to ensure that they grow up to be confident, secure and well-rounded children who are able to laugh at themselves.  I was bullied all through school and I know how awful that can be.  I don’t believe that anything I write about Meg and Eli here will give cause for others to attack them but I do know that I will be standing right behind my children if that should happen in the future, letting them know how precious they are, and how idiotic some people can be.  

Because let’s face it, if children are out to bully someone, it doesn’t matter whether it’s something they’ve seen online or some ‘clever’ remark they pull out of thin air, they are going to do it.

Starting Catch A Single Thought was one of the best decisions I ever made and I am really proud that I am making this record of family life for years to come.  If that makes me a sharent then so be it!

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