Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011, the end.

2011 has been a difficult year from the off. I am glad it is nearly over. It's not quite ending on the high I would like but a new year brings with it new hope. We have said farewell to some important people and welcomed newcomers into our lives, we have stayed strong for those that have needed us and leaned on those strong people around us when we have been weakened. "For better, for worse, in sickness or in health, for richer, for poorer" are all vows that have been tested personally or watched 3rd hand throughout. We have all come through the other end and new beginnings are upon us. So, new friends or old, distant or departed, a toast;

Happy New Year x

Thursday, 22 December 2011

An hour in the park

We've just spent an hour in the park. Partly due to my needing to burn my beautiful darlings' energy off and partly to take advantage of a lovely crisp, sunny day in December.

The children ran around, swung their socks off and slid front ways, backwards and upside down the slide. The result of winter frolics? Dirty knees!

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I feel I have been a good girl this year. I have kept to some of my new years resolutions and I have committed many selfless acts and I feel that the great cosmos has repaid me greatly for my generosity already.

As a family I think we have accomplished a lot and reaped the rewards of working very hard. I'm quite fortunate that I dont need anything this year. I will not freeze if I don't get a new coat, nor will I have no footwear if I do not get new boots.

Obviously there are always things that we think we need in our lives however, this year I am feeling very lucky to have what I already have. It's always nice to receive a gift of jewellery or perfume but this year I will not be asking for material objects.

This year, Santa, I feel I need a bit of Christmas magic. Not directly for me, but for my family. I know I will benefit from their happiness by default but I am asking that this year you put their needs before mine.

The things I would like some help with are:

*some help for T with his toileting. I feel any improvement in this will greatly improve his self esteem.
*please continue to assist him also with his literacy. He has had a slow and un-motivated start but he will get there.
*please help big J to stay 'dry'. He has done tremendously well since May. I know this is a daily struggle for him so please, please continue to guide him away from this evil.
*help J to stay calm and enjoy this family of ours. It's bloody hard work but the rewards are fantastic, even if he rarely sees them as he is working.
*please continue to let V blossom. She is already a remarkable little lady who I am in awe of everyday.
*as ever with little J, I am a little stumped in what to ask for, he is a wonderfully bright little boy and an amazing little person to be around. Perhaps guide him safely through the transition to school in September and help him settle in well.

And if you really must give me a gift; please remind me to count my blessings, every, single day. Give me patience, and allow me to show my children how much I love them and that they are my entire world. More time is something I will never have so please help me to make the best of the time I already have.

I think that's it. I'm not good at stuff like this, so I hope you won't mind the abrupt signing off. You see, I'm trying very hard to get out of this year as quickly as possible, as this is definitely the year that nearly broke me but I am still trying very hard.

I look forward to your visit on Christmas eve and I promise we will leave a clear route for the reindeer to guide them down. (it's edible this year too so they can refuel whilst you make your stop.) We will leave mince pies and a glass of milk as ever and we will toast you with lemonade at our Christmas meal.

Thank you for reading my letter and I shall sign off so you can start getting ready to check your nice list again. I hope I'm on it.


Danielle x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Washing, washing, washing! Argh!!!

I don't know if there are many of you out there who would agree, but I seem to have a never ending pile of laundry. I know I have 3 small children and that as they get older the number of clothes required to get through a day/week ratio will eventually decrease, as it has since we have moved away from sicky babydom.

In light of the fact that my home is my workplace and that I work long hours every day Monday to Friday (minimum 11 hour days) and during this time it is unprofessional to have clothes drying on every available radiator, chair back etc. I have come to the conclusion that my wash pile may never end.

My washing machine is always on and of a weekend, I have 2 clothes horses air-drying and my tumble goes on at least once per day for towels/bedding etc. but it still is not enough. Especially during winter months when the option of drying outside is completely out of the question as everything comes in wetter than it went out (gotta love British weather!).


Today whilst mooching around my local shop, picking up work bits and stocking up on stuff I know I'll use over Christmas I came across a really good deal on a portable, collapsable clothes drier. So I bought it.

A JML DriBUDDY is currently drying away in my kitchen and I have to say so far, I am impressed. It was really easy to put together (it did not require any 'man' help) and following the simple instructions has had me plugged in and off within 20 minutes. (Well, I did have to wait for the washing machine to finish.)

Merry Christmas to me!

I'm pleasantly surprised at the lack of noise. It is quieter than my tumble dryer, hoover and hair dryer! It also lacks in the pungent damp aroma that is normally generated from air-drying clothes indoors and the damp heavy feeling that the tumble dryer emits. I just think this is a fabulous laundry accessory to anyone than that needs to meet the never ending washing requirements of running a family or someone who has limited space or no room for a tumble dryer.

It drys really quickly too! I hung the maximum number of 18 garments inside and was quite surprised that after only 30 minutes of dry time they were very nearly completely dry.

At a retail price of £59.99 it is quite an investment but it IS cheaper than a cheap priced tumble dryer and it is far healthier than having damp clothes hanging around. It is also cheaper than the Lakeland option which comes in at £79.

I'm really glad I made the leap. No more will I be sitting there with my
hair drier on a Monday morning drying a shirt collar that hasn't quite dried on the airier or ramping the heating up to dry a pair of lined school shorts on the radiator that I forgot to dry in the tumble the night before. Instead I will pop my DriBUDDY up and stick the bits I need inside while I get on with making the children's breakfasts and pack lunches or maybe apply a spot of make up ready for my working day to begin.

What's more it is completely collapsible for easy storage. Bonus!

This post was completely unsponsored.

Monday, 12 December 2011

It is starting to feel a bit like Christmas

This post is about nothing but documenting my little family getting ready for the festivities and giving you all the chance to be a bit nosy!

I don't profess to be ├╝ber mum and have everything purchased, wrapped, written and premade and frozen by the 1st week of advent. I am more of a dribs and drabs kind of mum.

Years gone by have taught me that the mad dash to buy everything following the last payday before Christmas day (usually Christmas eve) is not good for my health or my marriage!

So this year, I once again vow to be a little more organised and get everything ready early, ish.

I have to say I am rather proud of my efforts so far. I have purchased most if not all the gifts for the children, spent ages reorganising hidey-holes to put them so as not to ruin the illusion of the big red man, I have also bought some gifts for Mr Bean and there may even still be a surprise or two! The food, well apart from grabbing the odd BOGOF, I have ordered the turkey and I've made a cake.

However, there are (finally) some decorations up. We have even spent time making some!

And so the house is starting to feel a teensy bit Christmassy and the children's excitement can at last begin to build.

Oh and I have started to write the Christmas cards too.