A thankful working mummy

I have been in and out of work for a few years, only part time and never anything too serious, mainly temporary work whilst the children are little. However, as we decided our family is complete, I wanted to look for something a bit more permanent and somewhere I could make my mark.

I started my new job last October and it is a really good place to work. I am not even ashamed to admit that this post is going to be an open love letter to my employment. As a working mummy, we want  a lot from a job. It can be really hard to find a healthy work/family balance, made harder by the fact that most of us will always put family first, and this can be hard on a business. Especially if you don’t have understanding managers/peers, we all want to feel valued and appreciated, but we also need understanding and empathy, and often you won’t get this in a job. I have had some really terrible experiences with jobs in the past and they left me feeling like I would never find my place in the working world. But I am loving my new position, and I feel like I fit somewhere and can be appreciated and understood. It hasn’t exactly been an easy start though but everyone I work with has been amazing!

Not only am I a working mum with the juggling acts that comes with this role; I have health issues now too. At the end of last year, two months into my job (and with still a month of probationary period to go), I ended up in hospital and was really quite poorly. It didn’t get fixed either, so I have to contend with monthly (sometimes more frequent) flare ups. My employer but especially my manager has been incredible. I guess this blog post is just a shout out to employers who do understand, the ones that try to make working life easier for us mums, people with illnesses that can’t be helped, or for all the employers who just have a little understanding and human empathy. I am luckier than I have ever been, I have an amazing network of family and friends that are always there for me and now I have landed a great role for an amazing company and get to work with some wonderful people. I still have bad days, and it may not get any easier, but when I am at work, I try hard and I forge aheads sometimes even when I am in pain and I try to be a good employee and I hope that my manager can see this, and I hope she can see what a truly good boss she is too. She makes my life/work balance easier to handle and I look forward to going to work knowing that the company and people I work for are some of the most incredibly understanding people I may ever meet. Not only did I have the pain to deal with, when I suffer from a flare up; but the guilt of missing work or not being able to do things, can be just as hard. I am not sure what I would do if I didn’t have my understanding manager, my flare ups are not necessarily something you can see, so it can be really hard for some people to understand when you are in so much pain but look absolutely fine. She listens and offers help and support which is above and beyond her role as my boss and I don’t think we thank people enough for just their simple understanding and non-judgement. So this is my thank you to everyone who has helped me, supported me, tried to cheer me up, offered me advice or simply been there to listen to me moan. The simple act of showing a little empathy and understanding, even if you have never suffered anything similar yourself is a wondrous thing.

I know I have rambled on lovingly but its because we are always quick to complain about work and moan about our day, we sometimes forget to appreciate when we have something good. In the past, I have worked at some awful places with some not very understanding people, and I really feel for the people who still have to face this everyday, we spend a good portion of our life working, it shouldn’t be torturous, and we shouldn’t have to compromise on our family values. So I just want to point out, that if you are lucky enough to work for a good company, even if you have bad days (lets be honest, we all do – it happens!) just remember to be thankful and that you could work at much worser places. And if you are really lucky like me and work for a really family friendly, understanding company, share that – tell people – there is nothing wrong with being happy in your work, nothing wrong with that at all!

Kaleidoscope Adventures

Do you know what the collective name for a bunch of butterflies is?

Have you ever used one of these? Do you know what one is?

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When you look in it, it looks a bit like this:

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…and if you twist and turn the end, it shows lots of different colours and patterns and it constantly changes. It is both magical and beautiful!

I am getting to a point I promise. You are probably wondering what this has in common with a bunch of butterflies and how is it relevant to me and my blog.

Well, the cute little child toy that shows lots of colours and shapes is called a Kaleidoscope and a collective of butterflies: also a Kaleidoscope. I love this! I feel like my life is sometimes like looking into a kaleidoscope, you’re not sure what is going to happen, or how exciting the day might be. The beauty of a kaleidoscope is in its simplicity. Its pretty, colourful and with every twist and turn you can see something different in the colours. As a self confessed Butterfly Child, I try to live my life the same way, I always try to have a good time, see the beauty in everything and spread happiness everywhere I go! And as I am raising a couple of butterfly children too, that kind of makes us our own little Kaleidoscope too!

I am going to share with you now, something that has been on my mind for a while. Mr BC and I always talk about our life and our dreams. Generally we don’t have a plan, we are both kind of “lets just live in the moment and decide at 11am we should head out for the day!” kind of people. 😂 But we have had a rough couple of months, not rough compared to others, we appreciate we are quite lucky, but still we’ve had a sad, emotional and sometimes painful few months.

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Starting with our family plans, we had always planned on having a third child and with that in mind we hadn’t really thought of anything else. However, after a few years with nothing, we decided to try to be happy and enjoy the two beautiful children we already have.  As it turns out, with my health issues from the end of last year, this could have been contributing to why we had found it difficult, and although I am sad at the thought of not having another, I know how lucky I am to have the two I have, and I want to be healthy and be able to do things with them, and enjoy life now! So, I am awaiting hospital appointments for surgery and I am trying to find ways to make my pain easier to deal with.

Mr BC and I are always chatting about what we would like in life, what our dreams are or things we want to experience but we have never made it a thing! I guess we never officially said  “x,y and z is what we want from life.” We had some sad news recently too, Mr BC’s father passed away, and it has been a sad and hard time, made harder because he passed away abroad which came with its own challenges. But the one thing I cannot shake is that we are all really sad he is gone but he was living life right up until the end! He was away with his partner, travelling, trying new things and experiencing life to the full and that is incredible.

I started my blog, to give me some ‘me time’ and to share our adventures but it wasn’t until I started thinking more about butterflies, also seeing our very first sunset as a family and our recent sad news made me realise, I wanted to make a sort of list (not a bucket list as I hate that term ) but I wanted it (our adventures) to have a name, a purpose – a list we can all add our dreams and wishes on. I want to do more travelling, I want to take the children to lots of places and see more of the world, (this in itself is a huge challenge for me, as I am scared of flying but I will tell you all about that another time.) I also want to have more fun, try new things and just enjoy life with/without the children. I want to say YES, more than I do! I want to experience as if I am a big child (which basically I am) but with that feeling of excitement you get as a child!

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To help this dream and to give myself some me time, I decided I wanted to get a job, a real job where I can settle (which luckily I have found an incredible place to work, with some amazing people and a wonderful manager – I will talk more about this later) and to earn some well deserved pennies, so we can have all of these adventures. An adventure can just be at home, doing something, trying something you never have before or having fun at home! You have already witnessed some of our new adventures (sleepover with Dippy for one) but I hadn’t put a name to it before, but here you go, our plan for the future is to live life like the Butterfly Children we are, by having as many Kaleidoscope Adventures as we can. And I am hoping you will stick with me to follow our adventures and maybe join our little Kaleidoscope and have some adventures of your own.

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Ramblings and Aspirations of a Butterfly!

When I first started writing this blog, it was a bit of fun, somewhere to put my thoughts down and share with whoever might be interested or nobody depending how well it went. But it has become something more for me, its still a place for me to share my thoughts and adventures with, but its evolved into something to give me back a bit of myself. I know you all know this and it doesn’t need to be said but I love my children with my whole heart but since becoming a mummy, I’ve felt like that is all I am, mummy to two beautiful children and wife of Mr BC, and this is a great role don’t get me wrong and I love that I was picked for it, but I feel like mummy/wife takes a lot of my time, I don’t always have time to be just Tina. We are part of a very time poor society, I am trying to get better but its a true fact that we are time poor. I spend so much of my life running between school/work/after-school events/parties and other things that just need to be done, that we miss what is happening and we forget to be in the moment.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ice Lollies after a bike ride~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I always try to be in the moment with my children though, I spend a lot of time doing things with the children, as I want to have good memories to look back on and I want the children to have good memories and know that when I with them I am living the moment and hopefully they can feel this. But I spend so much time making sure they are happy, and they have my attention that sometimes I forget that I am allowed time for myself too. Everyone needs time to themselves, either to just spend it quietly, or to do something for yourself that is just for you, not for someone else. I have a lot of things I like to do, but my main things are reading, crafting and now my blog. I love that at the end of the week, I can write and reflect on what my week has been like, or share some of my wonderful memories from the week, or just have a good old moan about how my life is always so chaotic! This moan doesn’t last long though, as I actually enjoy the chaos!

So, returning to the point, in a society where we are time poor and each spare moment is important, it occurred to me that I actually love spending time with the children,creating things with them, playing with them, taking them to new and special places and generally just having fun with them, but all said and done I do want more, I know it sounds greedy but I still want to do things for me, grow as a person and share what makes me special. I want all of those things, and I want to give my children time and I want to be financially able to do of all these things and its important for me to show my children a good work ethic, so as well as wanting to spend time with the children and to have time for myself, I choose to work! I get to be Tina in a workplace, working hard and making friends, and I write my blog to share a part of myself with the world, and again make new connections. What started as a little bit of fun, has grown and is still growing, I recently created a facebook page, which was very new to me ☺️. As well as talking about my family adventures and working, a huge part of my personality is my passion for reading! Seriously, I am not sure what I would be doing if I had never discovered reading, so in an attempt to do something for myself, in hand with my blog, I have created a book club, to encourage communication between my friends, family and other book lovers, so I can share my passion, continuing to grow and maybe hopefully learn something new in the process and feel like I can be mummy/wife/Tina all rolled into one. An online blog and book club works well for me, as I don’t necessarily have the time to be organising groups and getting people to all be in the same place at the same time is often impossible, but this way people comment/join in when they have a spare moment and can check in whenever they would like. ***

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Books, Books and more books.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Its really hard to talk about something like this topic without getting slight mum guilt though. I can feel it building now whilst I write this, we all suffer from it, its always there and I always feel like I have to explain why I want to work, or why I want five minutes to myself, or why I want something more from life. Do I not think I am lucky enough? Should I not be thankful for everything I have? I ask myself these same questions everyday, and yes I am, so, so lucky and and I am thankful everyday for everything in my life. I often believe I still see the world from a child’s eye, I try to see the beauty in everything, so yes I know how very lucky I am and I hope that I teach my children to appreciate everything and relish in every small detail and never take for granted what they have, but and this is a big but, I also teach them to keep trying new things, learn as much as you can, meet new people and make new friends, don’t settle, keep pushing for something if its what you want. I teach my children to be brave and strive to be the best they can be.

This is an incredible lesson, I think we want all our children to learn, so why should it be different for me as an adult? Why should I stop trying all these things because I became a mum and wife? I still want to be the best I can possibly be, and for some it might be to be the best mum and stay at home  with the children, and that is beautiful, knowing you have given so much for your children, and everything they have learnt has been from your hard work – being at hime 24 hours a day/7 days a week is hard, hard work don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. For others it might be to return to work and work as hard as possible to provide for their family, that is epically impressive, being a mum and working full time – wow! when do you sleep, you rockstar!!! Maybe you don’t have kids yet, maybe you don’t want them, how incredible are you, following your dreams, knowing what you want from life and going for it. Or maybe, your still on your path not knowing what you want or perhaps you haven’t been able to walk the path you had planned, maybe life is tough at the minute and you are persevering and pushing forward the best you can in the situation you find yourself in, you are my hero!! Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to do it, just be the best you can be and follow your own heart.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Kids doing my makeup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You’re winning in this life, however you are tackling it! And for all the mothers out there, don’t let mum guilt stand in your way! I won’t be! Of course, I will always put my children first, but I want to keep doing things for myself too, because I want to be the best person for the job I am doing, which in the main part is to be the best mummy to my children that I can be, and as a person I know I love to learn and to try new things and go on adventures, write and read and share, and you know what, I am going to aim to do it as well as I can, because I want my children to see me always striving for what I want, because that is how children learn best – learned behaviour. If they see me trying new things, doing things with them and for them, but also for myself to make myself happy, they too will know they can do things for others but also for their own happiness and that is a lesson I will happily share.

 

***In case you are interested my facebook page book club group is called Butterfly Child Book Club – place to discuss everything bookish, including a monthly read along and discussion, suggestions for books, reviews will go on there, discussions, debates and all the love for all the books!!!***

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Butterfly Child Nailed It!

**** Edited!!!! Hopefully, the videos should now be working! I couldn’t put the final video reveal on as we had a few technical difficulties (Mainly I couldn’t stop using the children’s real names and ruining the video. But anyway hope you enjoy, Poppet and Monkeys “Nailed it’s!”****

Poppet and I have become a little obsessed with a Netflix programme called Nailed It, the host is a little exuberant and annoying but she’s supposed to be! And we love her and the show!

The basic premise is baking reality show where normal people, not necessarily bakers at home, try to recreate what I call Pinterest worthy cakes. From biscuits to look like their own faces to a shark eating a surfer cake and everything in between.

I love a good Pinterest browse, and I like to bake and share, so if you’ve been following me on instagram/twitter, you will know that we decided as Mr BC was due back today we would bake him a cake as a surprise homecoming cake, and because we can’t do anything simply, we decided to have our very own episode of Nailed It!

We each picked a cake we wanted to try to copy, but in our own fashion. I am working with a five and seven year old so we had to make it a bit easier.

Here are the cakes we picked to model our own after (we find them from a quick google search, obviously not our work and we thank who ever created them, we only used them as inspiration:

Friday after school we did a quick shop for all the bits we would need and headed off home to whip up some cakes! It was a very fun Friday evening!

Poppet and monkey had their very first experience of cracking an egg on their own, so there is a chance both cakes have got shell in them! 😂

The more we baked the more excited they got, which is always fun to be around! I try to keep the fun as much as possible but there is nothing better than seeing activities through a child’s eye! Everyone is fun, anything is possible and everything is shiny and new! I hope my children keep that for as long as possible! Everyday I try to keep that spirit alive not just for the kids, but for myself! We should try to see the beauty in everything!

Whilst we waited for the cakes to bake, we started making our fondant decorations. This was equal parts fun and messy but Poppet Nailed It, as seen above when she celebrated nearly finishing!

Saturday morning is always packed with dance runs (ballet and theatre school) so we couldn’t carry on until the afternoon but as soon as had lunch we got straight back to it! We couldn’t wait to finish and Sunday to come to show off to daddy.

We had buttercream to smother all over our cakes, icing to make and finding the perfect placement for our fondant decorations. The timer was on to get it all finished – so Poppet pressed her imaginary panic button (if you watch the show – this is where the contestants get to press a panic button and have three minutes of help form the judges) in our version it meant monkey helped Poppet finish her decorating which was beautiful seeing them work together so nicely!

But it was soon Sunday and Mr BC returned and we did our big reveal and then ate some yummy cake!

The children worked so hard, And both did amazing jobs! Poppet had a bit of help from me to create the shape of a unicorn, but she did so well, but monkey got a bit upset as he felt his wasn’t as good but I think it was incredible as he had no help at all! It was all his own work! I am incredibly proud of them both, and I am sure we will attempt another Nailed It again in the future. We all enjoyed a nice slice of cake and all the cakes were yummy!

I hope you enjoyed our version of Nailed It! We had lots of fun making the cakes and we are definitely going to enjoy eating them! It was supposed to be just a bit of fun to help time pass whilst waiting for daddy to return home! I hope you can all see how much fun we had, and it didn’t matter that the dining table was a mess afterwards because we had fun! Why don’t you all have ago and send me your pictures of your Nailed It’s!

*Book Review* The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2)

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2)

by Rick Riordan

Once again, we return to Percy Jackson’s world without Percy Jackson of course, because this is Apollo’s story – or Lester as he is now known in his mortal body. I really enjoyed the first Trial of Apollo book, and even though I am still a book behind, I could not wait to sink my teeth into this one.

I love Apollo! He is my current favourite anti-hero, he is everything a hero shouldn’t be and yet manages to keep you routing for him and hoping he is going to be ok anyway.

“Being productive. Ugh. It’s such a human concept. It implies you have limited time (LOL) and have to work hard to make something happen (double LOL). I mean, perhaps if you were labouring away for years writing an opera about the glories of Apollo, I could understand the appeal of being productive. But how can you get a sense of satisfaction and serenity from preparing food? That I did not understand.

I can already see he is going through a huge character arc, and is starting to see the way he has always lived his life might not have been the best way. With everything we know about his character, once he hopefully gets his immortality back, his new found ideas about friendship, Demi-Gods and the world probably won’t make him an entirely new better person, but I do think he has been through enough that he might have pause to think when he finally does return to Mount Olympus, which even though I am only on book two, I can’t imagine he isn’t going to succeed eventually. Not necessarily due to his own talents but the friendships he has made and the lessons he has learnt.

I think he is struggling at the minute to put aside his old beliefs with his new found knowledge of the mortal world. Which is why is internal monologue is so funny to read. He wants to be a selfish, narcissist as he always has been but he can’t help having these feelings for his travelling companions. And although I believe he is growing as a character, it isn’t going to change overnight, and to be honest he can grow to be a better person but probably keep some of his vainer tendencies, as I don’t think he would be Apollo without that quality. Plus he is just funny! Rick Riordan has a way fo always bringing the humour and he surpasses my expectations again, I love Apollo! There is no getting around it! I just do.

“Meg, what I’m about to do – never, ever try this on your own.” I felt a bit silly giving this advice to a girl who regularly fought monsters with golden swords, but I had promised Bill Nye the Science Guy I would always promote safe laboratory practices.”

So, book two starts off with Apollo, Leo and Calypso aboard Festus flying across America on the quest to find the second Oracle. We meet some odd new characters, bump into some old favourites and have a whole lot of adventuring going on too. Artemis and her Hunters seem like a cool bunch of girls, and I love the whole girl power, fighting the good fight kind of appeal, and it made me happy that Artemis is still thinking of her brother but I am a big believer in love and for Artemis to rule it out in any circumstance, just doesn’t appeal to me. So I loved the former Hunters who gave up Immortality for the chance to grow old with the person they loved the most, and as far as we could see they made a huge success of it, and I am sure their daughter will also live a fulfilled whole life full of love.

I wasn’t sure about Meg in the first book but she definitely grew on me in this one, I think it helped that we got so much information about her at the end of the last book. Before we had any information about her, she was just a little bit rude and brash and I codlin figure her out, obviously knowing her backstory and knowing what she has been through, does give her character a little more substance and I love how her friendship is growing with Apollo. She is obviously going to be a huge influence on his character building.

For me, even though this was called The Dark Prophecy and obviously all the Trials of Apollo are obviously meant to be to restore the Oracles to get back in Zeus’s favour, I think this was a novel about the Journey not the Destination. Even though, the journey ended where it was supposed to, it was kind of late in the game and seemed quite an easy task. I imagine Meg wouldn’t be saying the same thing, but for the reader, the conclusion came quite swiftly in preparation for the climatic ending and preparing us for the next book. So for me, the whole stay at the Waystation, getting to know the characters, meeting Griffins and Elelphants, and seeing Apollo having to do menial tasks like chopping carrots, was the meat of the story which, of course lead to the face off with the  second member of the Triumvirate and ultimately to getting his prophecy to send him on his next quest, but for someone who likes characters and development, this book was great for fleshing out all the things I love about Ricks books.

As a side note, I love the Classics, Ancient Rome and Greece are a big passion of mine, I love reading anything to do with history and myths of Gods/Goddesses, and I love the art, crafts and architecture too. So, a fictional book set in todays society with so many aspects of Greek/Roman history was going to be a hit for me and Rick Riordan has continued  this with his new series and I cannot wait to introduce it to my children.

Overall, I think this was a good solid second book, it perhaps wasn’t the most exciting, exhilarating novel but I don’t think it needed to be, at this point in the series, we should be getting to know the characters more, full in love with them, get to know them and feel like were friends, because then as we go into the next book, and the excitement, fear and adventure continues, we really feel invested in the characters future and this is how you get stories to live on forever. Being invested in a character and living their high and lows, is a sure fire way of making them live in the readers mind well beyond the ending of the story. I think Rick Riordan has always done this well, as I first read my first Percy Jackson book a long time ago, and yet I still keep coming back to them, and I didn’t need to know what this series was about, I knew I was going to read and probably love it. And I do!

Overall rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️★ (four out of five stars)

A really enjoyable, funny read, I will undoubtably read again! And I would recommend to anyone who loves a laugh out loud adventure.

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo Book 2)

***THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS I RECEIVE A SMALL COMPENSATION IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE USING THE LINKS ABOVE***

A Night at the museum

If you follow me on instagram/facebook/twitter you may have seen a few weeks ago, we got to experience something wonderful. We got the chance to have a sleepover at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester with Dippy the Dinosaur, YES, you read that right, THE DIPPY from the National History Museum. He is currently on tour and his first stop is in Dorchester. I have wanted to write about our experience since we very first got in but I wanted to take my time so it wasn’t just excited drivel.

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I don’t believe I have ever done anything quite like this, but I do hope to experience some wonderful things with my children in the future, this was our first stop on our quest for a fun filled and happy life. Dippy has been at the museum since February and as my son is a huge, huge fan of dinosaurs, and as a family we are all pretty dino crazy, we got tickets to go see Dippy. Firstly, we went with some family friends, and the children loved it! So much so, they wanted to do it again, so we booked more tickets to go see him in May with my mum (Mamma) and Mr BC’s dad (Grandad). However, before we reached that second date, I got an email with the exciting news that as the first two sleepovers were so successful, and had sold out so quick, they had added an extra date, and as I subscribe to the mailing list, I was given advance warning. I spoke to Mr BC as quick as I could and without much thought we booked tickets. This was almost a once in a lifetime experience, we could not pass it up.

We told the kids, who were obviously excited and it wasn’t far  in the future, so we had no moans or waiting which if you’re a parent you will appreciate is a amazing.

I took a few photos on the night but mostly I did live videos to my facebook feed, which was very cool as we got to share our experience with family and friends as it was happening. The whole experience was really well planned and was just amazing. My initial thoughts were that it may be quite scary staying in a museum and I thought it would be quite strict in what you could do and when. But the staff were amazing  and we got to wander round the museum, spend some time with Dippy, and they had organised games and activities. We had hot chocolate before bed and they had organised two films to watch (Dinosaur related obviously), and it was not scary at all. In fact, it was incredibly exciting.

Even before we got in they had some entertainment for us as we queued, this lady was amazing. She had a dino disco set which played lots of music from T-Rex to Everybody walk the Dinosaur, accompanied by her son she was very entertaining and we saw some more interesting things from her later too.

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She was just as excited about dinosaurs/fossils and the chance to sleep over as us, she was also really insightful and just fun to be around.

When we made it into the museum, the biggest decision came, did we pick somewhere quiet to put our sleeping bags to try to get some sleep or did we sleep under the towering skeleton of Dippy…..

Obviously the children picked Dippy, which we knew would be terribly exciting but also full of lots of other excitable children and lots of accompanying adults (with snoring/talking/laughing) but we may never get to do this again, so we went for it. One night of restless sleep would be worth it. So we made our way into the great hall and picked a spot to camp out. The kids had made  a friend in the queue so obviously they wanted to be near her. So we set up out gear and waited to find out what exciting activities awaited us.

We all had handy printed itineraries to follow and before the event we had all been spilt into teams and had been asked to wear a colour to define our group, and we could do fancy dress if we wanted to try to win a prize. As we didn’t book until last minute our dress wasn’t amazing, but we all had matching blue hoodies, as we were on the Jurassic Tropical Seas team with the Pliosaur as our prehistoric creature.

The activities ranged from a Pliosaur versus Megalosaurus Quiz to Parachute Games. I really can’t praise the whole evening enough, who would have thought a museum would let children run around playing a game of dinosaur tag or playing exciting parachute games within one of its collection halls. It was an amazing experience, that I do not think I will ever stop talking about. The children loved every single moment, even though the recommended age was 7, and Poppet is only 5, she still got to join in and experience everything.

During the Pliosaur/Megalosaurus quiz, the children had to answer questions by finding the answer in the room. My two worked beautifully together which doesn’t happen often, and they managed to find all the answers, and poppet did some beautiful handwriting. So educational as well as fun, so a thumbs up from mummy!

After this, we went through and some wonderfully, exhilarating fun playing dino themed parachute games. For me the idea of children running and playing within a museum panicked me slightly, what if things got broke. But the children were really well behaved and the staff again were incredible. I even got to join in with a game of dino tag, we had a slight incident, as poppet got a little crushed by some the bigger children and I was on the other side of the room so didn’t see it, but she was rescued and got to stay with the museum lady for a bit, so she was happy enough.

We then went into the main Dippy hall where we got to see the lovely Dinosaur Disco lady again and her son. She talked to us about how she was a huge fan of the jurassic coast and she had a special skirt made of sedimentary layers, and she sang us some Jurassic themed songs with her ukulele and son accompanying her. It was amazing! She sang about sedimentary layers, fossil formulations and about Mary Anning (famous for all the fossil hunting she did and so much more, look her up and if you want more exciting and interesting information have a look on the Jurassic Coast website); which if you are a big dino fan, or live around the Jurassic coast or are interested in fossils; will know she is a big deal and this lady was a huge fan. I think after this evening, I was also a big fan and my appreciation for dinosaurs, fossils and history of where we live, increased tenfold.

We got to walk around Dippy again and get our selfies if we wanted one! It was amazing seeing him from up high, as you can imagine we would be as high as tree level, which is where Dippy would have been eating from and until you see how big he is, you cannot truly appreciate what it must have been like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The video below is a link to my facebook, as I don’t have a downloaded version of it. Please let me know if you have any issues with the link.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155504355437411&id=543807410

As the night wore on, we were invited for a hot chocolate and to get our pyjamas on. Whilst we waited for the films to be prepared, we were allowed to have a wander around Dippy and into some of the other rooms, and we did a raffle and the fancy dress competition. Whilst Mr BC took the kids to the raffle I spent a few minute with Dippy all on my own. It was quiet and peaceful not eerie as I thought it might be. It was an incredible moment, that I won’t ever forget.

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This is me all alone with Dippy!

The choice of films was Jurassic World or Dino time for the little ones. Monkey wanted to go watch Jurassic world so we all went through to watch it. I had brought some snacks and we all had blankets which we snuggled under. I could tell, Poppet was not going to make it to the end. She was yawning away and had asked if she could do some colouring. We had already seen this movie, so I could understand her getting bored. So Mr BC stayed with Monkey, and Poppet and I went back to our camping area under Dippy.

Monkey enjoyed the film and returned a couple of hours later and was asleep by 11:05pm, 5 minutes after lights out. Poppet and I had been doing some colouring and telling dinosaur and princess stories, and we had settled down but waited for the boys before also drifting off to sleep.

Everyone (nearly everyone) slept soundly, there was a few snorers and a creaky door somewhere, but mainly it was peaceful. However, at just after midnight Poppet developed a funny doggy sounding barking cough, and it kept waking her as she also developed a wheeze. We had been locked in the museum so I couldn’t go anywhere, and it was only a bit of a cold but unfortunately it meant I spent most of the night holding her up slightly so she didn’t have to lie flat. Whilst I was  sitting awake cradling Poppet so she wouldn’t lie flat, the museum was generally quiet, I could however, hear some kind of exhibit in the background, still talking to itself, and for one moment I had the silliest thought that maybe things did come awake as we sleep, like in the movies, and it added to the excitement of the night. So even though, Poppet was a bit unwell and I didn’t get much sleep, me and Dippy really enjoyed each others company as everyone else slept on.  I think it must have been from sleeping so low to the floor, and she suffered with croup as a baby. It didn’t dampen the experience though as we all had a great time and we were sad to go. Poppet especially got sad as she didn’t want Dippy to leave but we reminded her we had one last visit to do, although sadly as you will know from my previous posts, Grandad didn’t make it with us to visit Dippy but we did still go in his memory and Monkey and Poppet hoped his spirit was with us to see us enjoying our final visit to Dippy on his tour.

The morning after, we all were given cereal or croissants for breakfast which was yummy, but we rushed through it as I wanted to get Poppet home to get some calpol in her and some fresh air. We had so much fun and I cannot thank the staff enough for such a wonderful and incredible experience. In itself, the whole evening was amazing and a real once in a lifetime thing to do, but the staff made it even more special, by how welcoming, knowledgable and just how excited they were by it all too. If it was possible to just pick and do any job in the world, a Library or a Museum would be my dream. Being surrounded by all the History and exciting artefacts, always learning new things and passing this knowledge onto children, and making learning exciting, would be perfect. If I can pass on a love for learning to my children, I will be happy. And I think surrounding ourselves with people who are equally as excited, and by going to events such as these, I am on the right path, but definitely if I could work somewhere with events like these and show just one child the excitement of learning, then I would be happy!

Here was our final picture of the kids in front of Dippy saying our good byes. They do both look a little hungover, which I thought was quite funny. Poppet obviously wasn’t feeling too good but Monkey looked excited and thrilled but exhausted all at the same time and I think thats what grown ups look like after a really good night out.

If we get chance to do it again, I would jump at it and if you ever get the opportunity, do it! It was incredible and I will remember it forever. Not only was it amazing but it helped to remind me that my life is pretty great, I have longed for a third baby, and I would love to not be in as much pain as I am sometimes but looking at my beautiful children and taking part in such a wonderful thing, and knowing, you know what I can do so much more with my children. I cannot wait for our next adventure and I say BRING IT ON!!!

I am not sitting back and letting pain or anxiety get the better of me, I want to enjoy my life, spend time with the kids and do things now! We have our first part of our Europe “tour” booked, we are off to Rome in the Summer Holidays and we have lots of exciting day trips or experiences we would like to do, on our ever expanding to do list, and I cannot wait, and I hope you can’t wait to hear all about it, too!

As a final video, here we are saying Goodnight when the room is almost empty! It really was incredible!!!!

If I was a power tool, where would I be?

Mr BC is still away in Canada sorting through some bits regarding his dad. I am at home with the children, and I have been babysitting my sister-in-laws little girl, whilst she was in Canada saying good bye to her father too. So, I have had a few days off work, and thought why not try getting some of the jobs done whilst I am off. Easier said than done when you have a two year old running around and you aren’t used to a two year old running around. So before I return to work I thought lets do this. I am perfectly capable of a few DIY jobs, I hope!

However, to partake in said DIY jobs, like putting up some shelving, I need a drill and a few other bits, which normally all Mr BC’s tool are in his man cave, also known as the garage.

Can I find said Power Tools? No!

Do I even know where to start looking? Again, no!

Also, Is Canada 8 hours behind us, so even if I text asking where to find power tools, by the time Mr BC gets the message, the children will be home from school and I won’t want to be drilling holes in my walls.

So, my questions for the day: What did we do before power tools? Am I ever going to get anything done? Should I jus wait until the weekend for Mr BC’s return? And finally, if I was a drill where would I hide? All valid questions that will get me nowhere on my DIY journey, but every now and then, we all just need a good moan!

Why not share your nightmare DIY / partner moments? Are you good at DIYing and can offer me some advice? Leave me a comment and we can catch up on what I am doing wrong when putting shelves up, because they are never, I mean never, straight.

I am returning to work tomorrow, so my short live fantasy of a being a domestic DIY Goddess will be over, and I will probably just wait for Mr BC, but if I can find the tools and get any handy tips, I will be trying to out some book shelves up myself. Don’t worry I’ll take some photos for your entertainment! 😀

I may just leave the DIY and do some baking, I know I cannot get anymore stereotypical right now, but baking, baking is my thing. The kids have missed their dad so much, I think we should welcome him home with a cake, rather than wonky book shelves. Plus, Monkey, Poppet and myself have really gotten into Nailed it at the minute, and as a bit of a Pinterest mum, I think it would be hilarious to hold our own in house, nailed in competition so keep your eyes peeled for that post too.

 

Easter Holidays Part Two

So Mr BC took the kids out in a convertible, let them get sand all over my carpet and taught poppet to ride her bike! Could I top that? Did I want to? Was this a competition? HAHA! It was actually really nice as Mr BC was still off work for the second week too, so we got to spend the whole week as a family and that rarely happens so it was amazing!

We kicked off the holidays with a trip to Maplins as they had a sale on and monkey loves science so I thought it’d be cool to get some bits to build circuits. We found this incredible 100 and something circuit board for building all sorts of circuits and it is incredible. It will be along time before they have mastered how to build complicated circuits on there own, but they managed to get a light to turn on. We then headed over to Weymouth for a Dinosaur activity day. It wasn’t great but it was nice to get out the house and the kids behaved beautifully, so who can ask for more.

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Mr BC treated us to some circuit experiment activities!
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We met a dinosaur at Weymouth!
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Poppet and Monkey actually sitting together nicely!
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working together in the same book, i love how similar but very different they are. Luna is writing a story and Louen is drawing a story.
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Fishing together too! we had a happy brother and sister day today

Next up for our week of Easter fun, I had planned ahead and got some Easter Crafts to do. Including some scratch art, mosaic making and jumping sheep. I think our work turned out beautifully. What do you think? Did you do any nice crafts over Easter?

Mr BC decided he would quite like a quieter day and we wanted to go out so off we went on an adventure with Mamma to a national trust spot we haven’t been to yet. As you probably all know I am an avid reader, I like stories, poems, pretty much anything.  But I love looking around houses, gardens and monuments, so out those two things together and I am going to love it. So Samuel Coleridges Cottage was right up my street, my children do also like to look around most houses/castles/garden, hence why we are national trust members, but could I sell a little cottage to them. Why yes, yes I could! Have you ever wanted to have a go at writing with a quill? My two have, and this is one of the activities at Coleridge Cottage.

We all loved it at this little cottage and spend the better part of 4 hours there! It was incredible, we did a spring tale, learned some poems, had a wander round the garden, Mamma and me got to enjoy a cream tea and both kids really enjoyed using a quill. I have a quill at home but I had to give it go, and Mamma couldn’t wait to give it a go! If you ever need a rainy day activity in Somerset I highly recommend it! It was incredible! We all had a wonderful afternoon and will definitely be returning.

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Dress up!
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My Quill Skills!
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Quill Skills

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Pull!
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Pretty Flowers
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Rainbow!

We also stopped off at Cerne Abbas to see the Giant Man! We did some gardening and spent lots of time playing as a family. It was wonderful, and I am really glad we got the chance to take the time off together. Its easy to get caught up in work, life and the stress of it all sometimes, and both Mr BC and myself work really hard, and we often have different times off to cover holidays etc, so when we get time all together it is extra special and this is my new promise to myself. With everything that has happened lately, and with life not always turning out as you hoped, I just have to remember to be thankful for what I’ve got and to work with what I’ve got. So we are going to have more holidays off and we are planning our first proper family holiday together as we speak! Exciting times ahead!

Whilst mummy is at work…

During the Easter holidays, I decided to take the second week off and leave Mr BC with the children for the first week. I won’t say babysitting, because that is not what that is. Mr BC is their dad, not a babysitter. He entertained them in his own little way, and he sent me photos whilst they spent the whole week together. AS Mr BC is military, he is away a lot, so for him to spend a whole week with just the children was incredible and they loved it.

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They all went out for the day in Mr BC’s convertible volvo! Mamma even went along as she loves a convertible. By all counts, they looked like they had lots of fun. Poppet is moving a bit as she gets a bit cold in the car with the roof down, which is funny because she is the warmest child I know. In the winter on a cold day, she will refuse to take her coat to school as she is hot! But a bit of wind in the car and she hates it!

Another activity they enjoyed was taking their new bikes out. Monkey learnt to ride his bike last summer and has never looked back. Poppet learnt last summer but had really outgrown her bike and needed a new one. We bought her one and it was a little bigger and it scared her, so she then wouldn’t get on her bike again for six months. So when Mr BC sent me this video I was thrilled. He had not only managed to get her back on her bike, he had re-learnt her how to ride.

I am very excited for the summer holidays, as I have a new bike too and I cannot wait for long bike rides and picnics in the park.

Whilst I was at work he would send me over lots of beautiful pictures of all the activities the children were doing. It was wonderful, almost like I was there. However, when he sent me this one, happiness was not my first response. Here is monkey and poppet painting eggs and doing Easter Sand Art, you might be asking yourself why might this annoy me.

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Well, we have a dining room with a dedicated craft corner that Mr BC lovingly built for me. In the dining room is also a wood flooring and I feel like my dining room is a relaxed family friendly area. I try to keep my living room as adult friendly as possible, the kids can and do play in there but I try to keep it tidy and relaxing, so when I come home from work I don’t have to do a massive tidy up before I can even sit down, and it has a tight knit carpet which is hard to pick anything up from. Why is this relevant? Well, here are my two beloved children doing sand art in the living room, spilling sand all over my living room carpet. Can you guess who didn’t hoover the sand up from the living room and left it for someone else to do? 😳

But in all honesty, I am just really glad they got to spend the week together, doing lots of fun things and enjoying each others company. I forgave the sand in the carpet, especially when it came to Easter weekend and Mr BC had excelled himself with the easter egg he got me from the kids! (Malteser and Giant Kinder Egg, just in case you were wondering.)

Stay tuned for what we did for the second week!

*** Oh and as an added bonus because I forgot to put this on, heres a slow mo video of our jumping sheep! We loved making these. ***

Take a deep breath…

Take a deep breath, it is a bad day not a bad life!

 

I saw this quote and it sort of sums up how I am currently feeling. After my apology post, I thought right get your head together and start writing some of the posts you’ve got stored up in your head. I’ve got some wonderful things to tell you all about what my children have been up to in the Easter Holidays with their dad, to an amazing once in lifetime experience we all had last weekend and lots of other small tidbits about us that I wanted to share. What do they say about the road paved with good intentions, and all that, because life sometimes gets in the way! I am going to follow this with some blog posts about what we have been up to because its important for me to continue sharing, and open up a little but for now, I have to share some sad news.

Sadly two weekends ago, we got the awful and sad news that my father-in-law had passed away whilst visiting his girlfriend abroad. So much have happened in these last few weeks, so much has made me feel sad, guilty, lonely and unlucky. So much so that I do have to take a deep breath and remind myself that this isn’t my life as a whole, I will always have bad days, this is life but it is how you move on from them that makes you, you! I have always survived those and I am sure I will continue to survive many more obstacles, and I hope I can always remind myself just how lucky and blessed I am, and even though we have to fight every day to face struggles, grief and sadness, there is so much beauty and love in the world too. Always something we can be thankful for and something to remind me why it is so important to carry on.

Currently, it is the love for my children and husband. Mr BC has so much going on and you can physically see the sadness in his eyes at the loss of his father, and he is currently living one day at a time, just trying to get through and organise getting his father home, organising memorials and services, and supporting his brother and sister. I am back at home, carrying on with life, making sure the children go to school, get fed and aren’t too sad with everything going on. I am sad and grieving but children don’t process things the way adults do, so for us its so important for them to have a bit of normalcy, continuation of the usual things we do, and I think this has made it a bit easier for me. As I don’t have much time during the day, as I am always on one task or another especially this week with an extra child*** I’ll get to that in a minute***, I don’t wallow in grief and feel sorry for myself, but I do still get to remember Grandad (father in law) for happier times. Every time I look at my children for a start, they loved Grandad and they will continue to live and explore and entertain us, and Grandad would have loved that. Mr BC is caught up in everything to do with his dad, and when he isn’t planning or travelling around the world he has time to think about things. He is grieving his loss, which is a good thing but he also has time to think about all the things his dad is missing out on, and guilt for things he didn’t get to do, and sadness for a life taken too soon. I am not sure if I am lucky that I have to carry on as normal as possible for the children and so I don’t have to think all these things right now, or if dealing with it all now and processing it all now is the better option. I don’t have an answer, and I don’t think anyone does, we are all just trying  our best to move forward, and do what we can, when we can.

My sister -in- law has traveled with Mr BC and I offered to babysit my niece, so along with grieving, missing my husband and keeping it together for my own children, I have a two year old again to contend with. I am happy to have her though, in fact we are having a good time, its really nice to spend some time with her, as we live quite far away and don’t get much time together, and its nice having  little one around again. The kids love having their little cousin around, and I have a few days off work to spend with her which is wonderful. It is tiring having to wake up in the night again, and changing nappies on a regular basis is not something I thought I would ever get to do again.

As much as I miss Mr BC, I know he needed to do this, and I am happy he has his brother and sister with him for support. It must be hard for Mr BC’s sister to leave her baby with us, because I know I couldn’t do it. But I am enjoying having her here with us, and I hope it is helping them all deal with everything  a little bit better. I haven’t been able to do much else to help, because, well no one could do anything but I hate not being able to do something or help out in some way. So, getting to watch my niece, so my sister-in-law can travel over there is the really helping me out too, and I hope she is ok and not missing her daughter too much, I can tell you can she is doing fine, she misses her mummy but she’s a trooper. I cannot wait to have them all them back, including Grandad. Me and the children need to be able to say our goodbyes too, and until we have them all home, I don’t think I am going to sleep too well.

 

It’s really hard to describe how I am feeling. When someone dies, everything rushes through your mind from your own mortality to everyone else you have ever lost and for me, it always brings me back to my own dad. My father passed away 10 years ago, and I miss him a lot but life does continue and it becomes just something in the back of your mind. Grieving for someone never goes away, you just learn to cope and deal with it everyday. Sometimes certain things will remind me of him and I might get sad but mostly I find things that remind me of the good times we had, I like to think of him and be happy rather than sad that he isn’t here with us. But losing my father- in-law has reminded me that our family is slowly getting smaller and this does make me sad for myself and my own children. Mr BC lost his mum when he was young, my father passed away 10 years ago, and now with the recent loss of my father-in-law I feel saddened that we have to lose people and often without warning, explanation or time. My children are also down to only one grandparent, my mum, and it makes me scared. I feel like I need to wrap her up in cotton wool and never leave my side, which is ridiculous and silly. We are an open family, we talk about life and death and we can all share without getting sad or angry, I always thought I had a healthy approach to death, we do all die, we cannot plan for it, it happens to us all and me and my mum discuss what she wants all the time. But talking about it three weeks ago compared to thinking about it now, is completely different as death is so fresh in our minds, and even though we aren’t shy to share and discuss such things, I am again now, facing  the fact that one day my children will have no grandparents, we aren’t that close to aunts and uncles and we aren’t a massive family and all of this together makes me feel quite emotional. It’s really hard trying to find  silver lining, or see the rainbow after the rain when you get caught in this thinking though, and on days where I do feel like this, I get a little more understanding for people going through tough times. I am able to snap myself out of it, I have a wonderful support network or family, friends and colleagues, which helps me realise and remember that there are so many people in the world going through so much all the time, and that I will be ok. However, just because there are other people going through worse in the world, it doesn’t take away that we are going through a tough time, but it does help to keep things in perspective and to remember I have lived through a lot in my life time and I will make it through this too.

That is it for my sad post, I hadn’t meant to make it so sad but once I started writing I couldn’t keep it it. I think I needed to get this off my chest. It feels good to share with people, I don’t think we talk about grief, bad times or sadness enough. I just wanted to share that its ok to be sad, to grieve, to have bad days and however you deal with it, is ok! There is not right or wrong way, but if you are reading this and feeling any or all of those things, please remember that tomorrow is a new day, the sun will set and it will be beautiful, more challenges will pop up, life will continue and you have survived lots in your life and this too will soon pass. We will continue on, I will never forget the people I have lost, I will always be a little sad about somethings but I will also remember all the good things about them, I will see the beauty in the world, I will live with love in my heart for those people and I will carry on living life as best as I can so when we meet again, I can be content that I tried to live enough for all of them.