five. 

Do you know how much I love you? Probably not, with all the shouting I seem to be doing recently. 

You turned five two weeks ago, and declared to me and your Daddy that since you were now a “big girl” there was no need for us to worry about you anymore. 
I smiled inside as I told you that I believed you. That I knew that it was so true that big girls like you can look after themselves, that big girls like you are strong and brave and so very clever. And I smiled as I told you that you might just need to keep me around for a little while longer though, because whilst you might not need me anymore, now that you’re five and all…I still need you. 

And how true that is my darling girl. 

I need your smiles. 

I need your cuddles. 

I need your laughter. 

I need you. 

You see, I think I’ll always need you my love. To remind me how precious life is and to keep me going when times get tough. 

Five. 

Gosh, I can’t believe that you’re five already! 

I looked back through my old posts the other day and found four. My letter to you from one whole year ago. And whilst the shock that yet another year has gone by already is still the same (about as bad as finding that additional wrinkle on my face, or your Daddy pointing out a grey hair in the back of my head!), and the question “how did we get here already?!” remains…somehow five doesn’t seem too bad. 

You are reading. So brilliantly. 

You are writing. So neatly (massive brownie points from your neat freak mother there!). 

You sing at the top of your voice and you don’t care who hears you. 

You twirl and skip whenever you can. 

You love your brother so fiercely, and probably wish he didn’t exist so fiercely too! 

You are becoming you. 

And it’s a thrill. 

It’s bloomin hard work, because you’re stubborn as a mule and so very opinionated, but you make life better.  You make everything better. 

So, from one pain in the backside to another…welcome to being five. I hope it’s all you dreamed it would be. I hope you learn so much and dream so big. 

Happy Birthday Ruby Roo. 

I love you so much, forever and a day, xxx

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we stand together.

I feel lost. Lost at sea.
What is happening to this world?
Where will the next attack be?

Children. Sweet children. Alone and in pain.
Fire. Nails. Bolts. Ripping things apart.
For what? What is there to gain?

Sometimes I wonder. But do I want to understand?
What goes on in their heads.
Why they have done what they have meticulously planned.

My children. My life. My day to day.
Everyone lives life differently but we are basically the same.
So why were these people targeted?
Who am I to say?

No man is an island.
No one better than the rest.
Each of us is valuable. Memorable.
Let us not put that concept to the test.

It doesn’t bear thinking about.
What might happen next.
I just hope we see peace on the other side.
So that my children never have to hide
From whoever they become. Wherever they end up. Whomever they love.

Peace. Tolerance. Understanding.
Respect for one another.
How to live as best we can
Mother. Father. Sister. Brother.

I weep today for those that have died.
So many tears I have cried.
And have pulled my children in extra close.
Because they are the future.
And they need to understand love and tolerance the most.

So let us stand together. One and all.
We won’t be beaten. Not ever.
We remain proud. Fight harder. Stand tall.

Value all that is right and good.
Never stronger
Never better
Than what we are together.

Always.

To those that have died, are injured and are still missing.
#westandtogether

manchester1

the test.

We are definitely being tested right now.

Someone, somewhere thinks it’s time to give us a right good kick up the backside.

It’s like they’re saying, “Oh, so you think you’re having a good time!? Here’s ten tonnes of melodrama, stroppy almost five year old and a whole heap of guilt just to ice that cake of yours!”

Thanks for that. Whoever you are.

Ok, so I’m being dramatic.  

I guess the first thing to say is that I know my daughter is not naughty.

I know full well that she is a gem, and that she is so lovely.

So the next thing to say then is this…

How do you discipline someone who is, on the whole, really lovely, when all of a sudden they start constantly doing things to upset their little brother? When they just refuse to listen? When they backchat you all the time? 

Yesterday I tried some discipline. Yesterday I followed through on the threat to send Ruby to her room if she continued being naughty and didn’t eat her dinner properly as she had been asked to.

And my word. The tantrum that ensued was immense.

Immense.

I instantly felt absolutely awful. Like the worst Mummy in the world.

What had she actually done wrong? Was I overreacting? Had I made a mountain out of a molehill?

I am still questioning myself, even now, 24 hours after “the incident”.

Because this is what being a parent does to you.

The worst thing about it all was that when she had actually calmed down and I started to talk with her about what had happened and why I have to start following through on punishments with her, was what she said to me.

She wailed, “But all I ever want to do is make you happy. And all you do is yell at me.”

Is this true? Have I become the worst Mummy in the world? Are the thoughts I have at the back of my mind actually true?

I cried.

I cried in-front of my daughter.

And I hugged her and squeezed her and told her the following:

“I love you. I love you more than I have loved anything or anyone in the whole entire world. I love you so much that sometimes my heart feels like it will burst. You also make me more cross than I feel I have ever been. Not because you are naughty, but because I want to do the best job of being your Mummy that I possibly can. So that you can become the best grown-up that you possibly can.”

Her breathing became slower and we hugged even closer.

“It’s not your job to make me happy. It’s my job to make sure you are happy. To keep you safe and to show you how to be the best Ruby that you can possibly be. Do you think I would be doing a good job of being a Mummy to you if I just let you do all those things that are naughty, or dangerous or mean to Henry?

She said no, and that she understood.

And we hugged even closer and I told her I loved her some more.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. In fact it’s really rare that she is this “naughty”. Like I said, I know my daughter is a lovely little girl.

So when it does happen I find it difficult. Really difficult.

Parenting is no easy ride, and whilst it’s fair to say that we chose to put ourselves in this situation, it’s also fair to say that sometimes? Sometimes it is so hard work. And that’s alright. It’s fine to think like that. 

Her behaviour is testing us to our limits at the moment. But we crack on, and today has been a much better day.  

We are doing the best we possibly can, and hopefully in years to come when all this is a memory and I am wishing, wishing, wishing that we could have this time back again she will understand that she is the most precious thing to me.

I love you Ruby Roo.

Always.

 

now you are two.

It’s such a cliche to say that I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. But it’s the absolute truth.

I think, in all honesty, that time actually seems to have gone by faster with Henry than it ever did with Ruby.

And all I find myself wanting to shout is “SLOW DOWN!”.

True, there are some days that I wish time would go faster so I can get home from another day at work/get them to bed because they are behaving like beasts/have some time on my own for once…but the vast majority of the time I wish it would just slow down.

It’s already been a week since Henry’s second birthday, and I wanted to mark the occasion properly on my blog last week but, as usual, I just didn’t get the time.

So here it finally is, some thoughts on our son…now that he is two.

Monday’s child is fair of face…

You were born on a Monday. Monday 4th May 2015, at 2.15pm.

And whilst you looked more like a smushed up, puffed up frog when you were first born than a glorious beauty, you have always been incredibly fair of face my love.

There are so many different things that I could say to you, now that you are two. But the one thing that I want to say most of all is how proud I am of you.

You have been through so much in your short little life so far, yet you still manage to smile and laugh and charm your way through the days. Like nothing ever happened to you. I hope this zest for life and your fighting spirit follows you though the rest of your days – because you will go far, my son, if it does.

Whenever you’re being an absolute devil-child (throwing food around screaming that you “like it” which, for you, means that you don’t/hitting your sister/throwing yourself out of your cot/terrorising the cat etc. etc.) I sigh and think back to the time we nearly lost you. To when you were so tiny and so poorly. And I remember that we are lucky to still have you (and that I am a short-tempered, overreacting, strop-monster that needs to take a step back and remember that you’re just a two year old!).

I love how you chuckle. That whole body shake chuckle that shows you find something really funny. I love how your face paints a thousand words, and the cheeky expressions you pull – especially when you know you’re not meant to be doing something! I love the way you poke your belly button and giggle. I love your obsession with blueberries. I love how much you actually love your sister. I love how you snuggle into my neck. I love the nicky noo noo dance you do with Ruby. I love how you love to play!

Time is indeed flying by, but with each and every day that passes you become so much more to us.

And if time has to carry on whizzing by, then so be it. At least we have you here with us, and at least we’re trying everything we can to make the very best of each day with you and your sister.

So my little man…if nothing else, then please remember this. You have brought such joy into our lives. You have made our family complete, and we love you so so very much.

Keep on being cheeky. Keep on being so happy you could burst. Keep on babbling about nothing in particular yet making it sound like the most important words anyone has ever uttered. Keep on laughing at your sisters jokes. Keep on secretly stealing fruit from the fridge.

Keep on being you.

Our Henry.

We love you.

the waiting game.

Tomorrow our son, Henry, goes into hospital for an operation.

When he was just 3 months old Henry contracted Bacterial Meningitis (read about it and learn the signs & symptoms here…), which was horrific to put it mildly.

Thankfully, he came out of it the other side relatively unscathed.

However, at a routine post-Meningitis hearing check, the Audiology team discovered a hearing loss and, six tests later, that hearing loss isn’t getting any better.

So tomorrow, Henry heads into surgery to have grommets inserted.

Grommets are, for anyone that is wondering, very small tubes (like cotton reels) that help to drain away excess fluid building up in the middle ear.

Here’s a helpful handy diagram to show you exactly what I mean!*

grommet1

We’re hopeful that the grommets will drain away the fluid and that he will then pass his hearing tests – as the Audiology team believe that it’s the pressure of the fluid that is causing his hearing loss.

And, to be honest, that’s what I’m banking on – because otherwise, it’s likely that the Meningitis has damaged Henry’s hearing and so, if he doesn’t pass after the grommets have fallen out then we’ll need to consider hearing aids for him – and that, being completely honest, for some reason, makes me feel very uneasy.

Now, in my rational mind I know that this is a simple and straightforward procedure.

I know that he will be fine. That it’s routine and done hundreds of times a week. And that if, after it all he needs hearing aids then that is NOT a problem.

But yet I still feel like my world is spinning.

I feel sick. I’m worried. I’m nervous. I’m tired.

So, so tired.

Henry on the other hand, thankfully, is full of beans. He’s his usual belligerent self, shouting at his sister, raiding the fridge any chance he gets and stomping about the place wittering on to himself and anyone that will listen (and pretend to understand what he’s going on about!).

Tomorrow is unknown. I don’t have a clue what to expect. And I think that’s half of the problem.

I am, as you now know, a planner.

I’m strengthened by structure, and lists, and details.

Tomorrow makes me VERY nervous.

Once again, I’ll be on that ward.
The ward I had really hoped we’d never have to return to.

And once again, my baby will be handed off to someone else to take care of.

My control of the situation will be gone and, for a short time, so will my beautiful, smiley, happy son.

If you have any experience of this, or you can offer any pearls of wisdom to help me through then please feel free to comment.

Here’s to a quick and easy procedure, and to never having to go through this again!

But for now, we wait…

Speak soon,
K x

*Image supplied by afairgo.net

toilet trouble. 

I was supposed to be back to blogging. 

Remember? I wrote that whole post about why I’d been away and how I was back and it felt great…?? 

Yup. 

And then, one night last month, my phone fell rather unceremoniously from my back pocket into the TOILET! 

‘It’s fine!!’ I thought. It’s totally fine because I saw that advert that says it can last for 30 minutes underwater and nothing will be wrong with it. 

Except it’s not a Galaxy S7. 

So no, it is not alright. 

Typical. 
Within 2 minutes the phone ended up in, yep you’ve guessed it, a bag of rice. 

For days. 

And on the scorching hot radiator for days. 

And in the oven (someone at work did it and it helped their phone). 

But mine still didn’t work. 

So…there started my accidental digital detox. 

And whilst I wasn’t thrilled at first, I didn’t have cold sweats and I didn’t feel like it was the end of the world…so when the most ridiculous of sales assistants at the EE shop told me that I could “upgrade early for just £218 or wait for the free upgrade in March 2018!” I didn’t rage at him like I really felt I could be justified for doing (at point of sale I was told none of this information and therefore believed that, like with phone deals of old, I would be due an upgrade at the 1 year mark). 

Instead I just walked out of the shop and gave up on Instagram! 

Easy peasy! 

And I have to say that, while I didn’t have a phone at all I really didn’t miss it. 

I missed my WhatsApp messages from my friends. 

I missed the photos and videos of my children that I have lost because I was lazy and didn’t back up my phone often enough. 

I missed writing this blog. 

But I didn’t miss social media. 

I didn’t miss the nasty, horrible comments that I read on some lovely people’s feeds. People that are just having a laugh at life. People that are just being themselves and getting slated for it. Didn’t miss that at all. 

And now I have it back? I am using it less and loving it more. 

Appreciating the real world and the photos and videos that I take much more, because I’m taking less of them. If that makes sense!? 


So, whilst I don’t encourage dropping your phone in the loo…I would encourage you to have a digital detox. 

Go on. Put your phone down a bit more. I think you’ll love it! 

But whilst you’re still here, here’s a few more from whilst I was on radio silence and enjoying the good things in life…