Food, General, Parenting, Parenting, Personal, Uncategorized

What’s Been Going On?

It’s been a while Again since I have written a blog post, it’s been Christmas and New Year, and then the struggle of getting back into the swing of work/housework/parenting after having a little time off at Xmas is always draining. When is it you should stop eating crackers and cheese and pate and chocolate for every meal..? Asking for a friend that’s all.

So, as usual, Christmas was hectic and stressful, but honestly this year has been the first year that I have ACTUALLY enjoyed Christmas Day from the beginning to the end. We had Norms’ family over in the morning, and then Will had a sleep after playing with his new toys, I prepped Xmas Dinner, then we ate, opened more presents and just played for the rest of the day. It was very relaxed, none of this to-ing and fro-ing which I HATE doing, as awful as it sounds, we always say to people that if they want to see us on Xmas Day, then  they can come to us, as our parents live at complete OPPOSITE ends of the city. We did it for a couple of years Pre-Will, and we weren’t getting in until late afternoon and we were having to please everyone else instead of pleasing ourselves. So we knocked that on the head, and Norms’ family just come and see us because that’s what they like to do.

As some of you may know, I found myself worrying and getting myself so stressed and anxious about Christmas. Would William enjoy it? Would he have enough presents from me and Norms? Will I get good pictures that I should share on social media? Will I need to buy him more presents? Should I of bought Norms more presents? Will the dinner be nice? Will Norms Grandma be out of hospital? “AM I GOING TO PLEASE EVERYBODY ON EARTH AND THERE WILL BE WORLD PEACE??”

I was driving myself crazy, not sleeping, seeing the Instagram stories of people buying their kids all these bloody gifts, several stockings full of presents, their partners expensive watches or designer clothes. And there was me, with a book shelf from eBay  and a stuffed toy duck for William, and a Body Shop gift set and a top from Sports Direct for Norms. I felt so inadequate, and I know, I know, it’s not about the money, but sometimes, let’s be honest, it is. You work all year, and want to spoil the people you love the most. And unfortunately (because 1. I don’t earn a great deal of money and 2. I am shit with money and don’t save up and buy kebabs with it instead. #real) But, the gifts that William received were fine, lets be honest, the kid is 2 years old and hasn’t got a clue about what day it is, I mean he didn’t give a toss about his Xmas dinner. Do you know what he had for his Xmas dinner? Tomato Soup. So festive. And Norms fully understands the circumstance I am in with the whole money situation, but he liked his gifts he received, and to be honest it was just nice to be able to spend some proper quality time together, as his hours are erratic with his job, so we rarely spend proper time together as a family, so just to be able to do that was lovely.

As usual, Christmas comes with a stereotypical family crisis. Norms’ Grandma has been unwell and was in hospital over the festive period so the family was a bit upset about that, and also there are some other things happening with his family at the moment, which I wont go into as it’s not for social media, but things were a bit fraught sometimes. Plus my mum was poorly over the festive period with that horrendous flu bug thing that makes you feel like you’ve got the Bubonic plague and are on death’s door, so we didn’t get chance to see as much family as we usually would over the festive period. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes. We just chilled out, spent time together as a 3, and that was lovely in itself.

I also spent a little less time on my phone over the Christmas season. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision, I just have realised that a lot of the time I have spare at home is often spent with my face in my phone on instagram, and not concentrating on the here and now, and I was missing out on family time, things that were perhaps happening and would maybe not happen again, all for the sake of what? A double tap and a funny 15 second video? Plus, because me and norms don’t see each other a great deal, when we are together I am aware that (as the majority of other couples probably do as well), most of our time is spent with our faces in our mobile devices, when we should be talking and interacting with each other. And to be honest, it was good to get back to basics.

Another thing which has happened recently is William’s speech. He is coming along SO MUCH at the moment. He can say a few little words, and I feel like now I can actually COMMUNICATE with him and he can communicate back to me, don’t get me wrong, there are still PLENTY of times when I just look at him in disbelief and think to myself “what the actual hell is he trying to tell me??”, but the difference just in the last few weeks has been amazing. And because he is speaking a little and can communicate with me, the temper tantrums are becoming gradually less, and I believe it’s because we I can understand him and what he wants and needs. His personality is now starting to come out too, and his nursery have even told me that he is coming out of his shell more and more, and is willing to get involved and play more, which for me as a mum makes me SO happy, knowing that he is going to be there for the day and not be feeling sad or upset or scared, he’s getting stuck in and making friends and it just makes my heart hurt with pride and love.  We also had a health visitor appointment just after the new year, I am going to write a blog post about how it went and how the whole lead up to it made me feel, it didn’t go as badly as I was expecting it to, and afterwards I felt relieved, one because it was over but two because she didn’t say she was concerned about him, so that was also a massive weight off my shoulders.

I have also been receiving a lot of positive feedback from my instagram account, which makes me really happy. I’m not going to lie, when I gain new followers it DOES make me nervous, because I feel like sometimes you are expected to keep up this massive “insta-prescence” , but in reality I am just a normal working mum who just does silly stupid shit on a social media app, and people seem to like it. I will be writing about how it makes me feel personally too, as I feel that it’s probably how many people who use social media probably feel too.

And that’s about it! Nothing exciting really, however I just thought I would check in with you guys and let you know I am still here,  I’m going to try and blog more, but do let me know what sort of stuff you would like to see, I am always open to suggestions and ready for a ramble (understatement on my part).

General, Personal

It’s fine. I’m fine.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post, and I really have no idea why. Sometimes I guess you get like….a block? And also, stuff happens, life gets in the way too I think.

Recently I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps, stressed and worried, not sleeping great and just generally a bit MEH. Which is hilarious, because it’s coming up to “the most wonderful time of the year” (who can say that sentence without singing it to the tune – I can’t). And it’s been my birthday too, which of COURSE is always supposed to be such a joyous and all singing-all dancing time.

The truth is, I’ve been feeling a bit low about a number of things, and I thought, instead of stewing on it, just come here and blabber it all out to you unfortunate lot who happen to read the stuff I put out there. So here I am.

I don’t know why, but whenever it’s like, birthday season, for me, you always expect something AMAZING and MASSIVE to happen, like when you see all these people on social media posting photos of themselves, in a candid pose lying in their bed’s on their birthdays with the room filled with balloons and home-made cards from the kids and a lovely breakfast and flowers on the bed, for some reason we now feel like that’s how birthdays SHOULD be, so when you wake up to just another day, getting ready one handed and trying not to have a mascara wand stuck into your eye while a 2 year old is hanging off you, and your husband hasn’t got you a card to open and you have no home-made card from your little ray of sunshine, you can’t help but feel a little, well, disappointed I suppose.

Which I Know sounds HORRENDOUSLY selfish and so so ungrateful of me. In reality, I don’t actually give a shit that I’m not surrounded by balloons (bloody hate balloons me). And I’m not all about the fuss and the big grand gestures really. I’m happy with a bunch of flowers, a couple of beers and a burger. (honestly, love me a burger.) But for some reason, I build up this big thing in my head based on what EVERYONE ELSE is doing. It’s one of my biggest flaws, I am a very jealous person. I’m jealous of everyone else’s lives as they all seem to be so perfect, and free of problems and the usual day-to-day boring rubbish, it’s all parties, events, well-behaved children and family days out with no limit on expenditure. I’m jealous of other people’s relationships – they seem to be so in love, never argue and always make time for each other. I’m jealous of other people’s children, how they behave as opposed to mine, how “much further on” they seem in their development, basically, I’m always just thinking that I’m either doing something wrong, or that I’m missing out on something.

I know that everyone’s relationships aren’t all peachy keen and like a fairy-tale. I KNOW this. But yet I still compare mine to others. I KNOW that every child is different, and that William will get to where he needs to be whenever he gets there. Yet I still compare him to other children. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because on social media, at the moment, people seem to want to only show the good bits. If you follow me on my Instagram account, you will know that I really do try and keep it as real as possible, and share when I’m having a good time and also when I’m having a not-so good time.

I think Christmas also brings a lot of pressures to us. I know I go on about it all the time, but Norms works away a lot, but he does that in order for us to have nice things and to get the money in. The more he works away = the more dollar he earns. This obviously puts a strain on our relationship, as we don’t get to DO the normal things, like he doesn’t come home at 5pm every day and I get to toddle off for a bath or go paint my nails, he can sometimes be away Monday right through to Saturday lunch time. And yes, I know that others have it worse, for example military families, but it does take it’s toll on us as a family. But, at Christmas what do you need lots of? MONEY. Hence why he does it, and why I try and do whatever overtime is available at work, to earn some extra money. CHRISTMAS is another time that always makes me feel like utter shit, because everyone is posting there homemade fucking chutney’s, and homemade footprint cards, and the halls are decked and the presents are all wrapped in biodegradable brown paper made with unicorn tail hair and costs £6 a roll. “ALL FOR THE GRAM.” Which is great, if you can afford to buy your wrapping paper from Harvey Nick’s then crack on, but sometimes I can’t help but get sucked into the whole thing, thinking I should do it this way, or that way, or buy a certain gift or whatever because it’s what EVERYONE is doing. The reality is, I work 2 and a half days which, lets be honest, doesn’t pay that great and after my wages have gone in, within a week I have around 80 quid left to last me the rest of the month, after all the bills and nursery fees etc have come out. So I really do have to be careful with the pennies. And that’s just the circumstance we are in, but we are happy and healthy, and in reality that’s what is really important. But even though I know this, it’s still hard for me to not compare myself to others. I would love NOTHING MORE than to be able to go out into any shop, even just Sainsbury’s or Asda, and pick up clothes and gifts for myself, William, or anyone and think “yeah, I want to buy that, I am going to buy it.” Because in reality, I can’t do that. I have to SERIOUSLY consider whether I should buy a five pound concealer because if I do, I might not be able to afford to put fuel in the car, or get some Pampers for Will. Like, that’s the reality, I have to be so SO careful. And it hurts a bit when people complain they are skint, right after buying a new car, or spending £200 on their partner for Christmas, or buying a new kitchen appliance just like that, no worries. Like, honey, you literally have no idea.

I’m making a real conscious effort to try not to put so much pressure on myself this year, because it really doesn’t do me any good, I get told off by my friends ALL THE TIME for putting myself down, worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet, or comparing my life and my family to others. I’m often the one in my groups of friends who is there for everyone else, always lending an ear, or letting them peck my head, but quite often I don’t return the favour, and peck their heads back. I moan about it to Norms all the time – how he never talks to me and keeps his feelings to himself and never opens up to me, yet I do the same thing to my bloody friends. Such a hypocrite.

I guess what this post was, was just a way for me to ramble, have a rant, and let off some steam. We’ve got a few things going on within the family at the moment, and sometimes having a RIGHT GOOD MOAN can do you the world of good. So, if you have made it this far, I owe you a favour, because it’s probably made NO sense, but thanks for sticking with it, and I promise I’ll make the next post a bit more upbeat! (*hopes nothing goes wrong from now until then)

Beauty, General, Personal

Love The Skin You’re In

Following on from my previous post (you can read it here if you so desire), I thought I would just write up a little post on how I felt personally in MYSELF and in my own skin whilst on holiday.

I don’t know about anyone else, but before you go on holiday, it would usually be filled with going on crash diets, I’ve previously done diet shakes in the past (don’t ever try it – they are absolutely rancid and DONT WORK) to try and shift a few pounds before going away and to “feel  better in a bikini” or be “bikini body ready”.

This is the first year where I honestly couldn’t of given two shits what I looked like. Of course, I still wanted to look half decent, didn’t want to be scaring any of the locals or other holiday-makers in my 7 year old bikinis, but honestly, before going away I didn’t even give my weight a second thought. I would usually be panicking, thinking “oh god I have to be half naked in front of all those people, what am I going to do about my cellulite, my bingo wings, etc”. And I would be SO BOTHERED about going on the beach or by the pool, making sure I had every sort of cover up that there was ever designed with me in case I wanted to go to the bar or the loo, and HAD to cover myself up because NO ONE would want to see me in a bikini or swimsuit, asking Norms if I looked ok, and asking him not to take photos of me on holiday for fear of being “too fat”.

I think, now I am a mother, I have got this new confidence that I never had before. I’ve HAD to go out of my comfort zone, for the sake of my child, and I’ve HAD to be confident when usually I would shy away from confrontation or situations that would make me cringe into myself. And I think since then, I have just learnt to accept and have this new confidence in myself as a person, both inside and out. Yes, I could be slimmer, yes I could probably work out, yes I could probably eat less cheese and bread, but YES I could also be a lot more unhealthy and have really bad habits and be some sort of, I dunno, criminal or complete arsehole. But I’m NOT. I’m just a normal mum, on holiday, wearing a bikini or cozzie chasing my toddler around and eating Cheetos.

So, before we went, I had a little look online and in the shops, and bought a couple of bits to try. I ended up taking a cozzie and a bikini from Next, a bikini from Boohoo, a cozzie from Sports Direct and another bikini from Asda. I went for high waisted bikini bottoms, and ones that supported the melons. My favourite bikini was the one from Boohoo,  I just felt like it was flattering and a good support on the old boobs, and the bottoms were a good fit. I wore it nearly every day.

I’m not going to lie, of course I looked at other people who were more toned and looked like models in their swimwear and I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt a little self confident. But, with a toddler, you have no time to think about yourself, you are constant from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. So I had no choice but to just – go with it. And do you know what, after I while I didn’t even give it a second thought, taking my shorts and t shirt off and just being in my bikini or cozzie, because I was just wanting to go spend time with my family. And really, thinking about it, who is ACTUALLY looking at you and is ACTUALLY that bothered about what you look like in a bikini? Because the reality is, its probably less than 1%. Everyone is too bothered about themselves and how THEY look, or looking after their children, or applying suncream, reading a book…the list goes on. We build ourselves up to think that as soon as we take one leg out of our shorts that a klaxon is going to go off and people are going to stop dead in their tracks and look and gawp at you in your swimwear. This holiday I finally realised – people really, really, couldn’t care less. The world isn’t going to stop because I am in a SWIMSUIT. Theresa May isn’t going to call a phase 2 crisis meeting with the Home Secretary. It’s FINE.

With this new confidence I can honestly say that I felt so much happier this holiday, and wasn’t worrying constantly or watching what I was eating or drinking, I relaxed and enjoyed myself and my first family holiday. And honestly, it was a revelation. Sure, I’m not a size 8 (or whatever the “perfect” size is supposed to be these days) and im sure some people probably looked at me and thought – oh, she could do to lose weight – or – oh she shouldn’t be wearing a bikini because of her size – but honestly, truly, I really couldn’t care what people thought. And it was so so refreshing. Here are a few pics of me on holiday, outfits I wore and of course, my fave swimsuit from Boohoo.

I have cellulite. I have wobbly thighs. I have bingo wings. When I lie down and look at my phone I have double (*treble) chins. I have a tummy. I have stretch marks. But do you know? Who cares? So does the next person. We can pick ourselves apart until the sun comes up, but what good does that honestly, really do to anyone? It just takes us to dark and unhappy places. I once read something which went along the lines of “Beauty is in the eye if the beholder, however the most liberating thing is that in fact, YOU are the beholder.” The things that you pick apart on yourself, the fact your teeth aren’t straight, the freckles you have, the curly hair, the things you dislike about yourselves, are the things which make you unique and, more often than not, someone else finds endearing and beautiful. We should start to remember that the person staring back at ourselves in the mirror is actually the one who is the biggest critique, and no one else. That needs to stop. How can we teach our children to love themselves and be happy and confident when we can’t follow on the same advice we are serving?

Food, General, Parenting, Uncategorized

St Stephen’s Hull – A Family Day Out

*This post is in collaboration with St Stephen’s Hull. All views and opinions expressed are my own*

As the Summer Holidays come to a close, and the days are drawing in a little earlier and the weather is getting a little more, brisk, shall we say, you can sometimes be left wondering what to do with the kids on a weekend or during the holidays. Even though William isn’t at school yet, I still often have to rack my brains for ideas of things we can do that are fun and that will stimulate him but also not leave me wanting to pull my hair out (or cost the absolute earth).

So when St Stephen‘s got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to go and see what their leisure attraction, Rock Up, was about, I of course jumped at the chance – especially as it has a special section for small children and purpose-run toddler sessions, as well as a soft play area (which of course, William would be ALL OVER).

Rock Up is a purpose built indoor climbing and adventure centre, situated in the popular shopping centre within Hull city centre. It has several rock climbing walls that adults and children alike have access to, as well as a soft play area for the under 8’s, and a lovely little café for you to refuel (before, during or after!). The centre also offers parties for kids and team-building experiences for workplaces or friends/families (if that’s your sort of thing!).

When we arrived we were taken through to the main climbing area and William had a harness put on him. He was intrigued by what was happening, and the instructor was so helpful and was showing Norms and I how to attach him to the walls and how to unstrap him etc.

Now William, bless him, didn’t actually manage to do any climbing, I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by being strapped up, he LOVED watching the other children though, some of them were fearless! On a Sunday morning there is a toddler session and a children’s session, where no adults can climb and it’s just kids, and I can honestly say that it is something we will be taking William to again. He was so intrigued and interested in watching the other children, but he IS quite shy so daren’t have a go himself, but I’m sure the more we take him the more his confidence will grow and I think it would be a different and fun hobby for him to get into (if he wanted to of course – I’m not about that pushy mum life).

One thing that, of course, appealed to William was the soft play, he played in there for (no exaggeration) hours! There was a separate area for toddlers and then the main area was for children up to the age of 8. There was a brilliant slide in there which William absolutely LOVED! While he and Norms played I sat down with a drink and snack from the cafe and sat down and chilled (something which doesn’t happen that often these days – TRUST ME!)

We left Rock Up around mid-morning, the time flew by so quickly and we decided to go to Krispy Kreme for a coffee and a little weekend treat! I mean – who doesn’t like Krispy Kreme? I always walk past and try not to look as I know that I will be lured in – I just can’t resist! We sat down and watched the world go by for a while – FYI the Reeses peanut butter donuts are THE ONE. And I got to drink a hot latte. Winning. At. Life.

We then had a wander around the shops – I never really venture into town, what with one thing or another, but we spent a good few hours having a look, there are loads of shops there to cater for everyone in the family. I was particularly eyeing up some new trainers in Foot Asylum (*hint hint Norms*). Plus William had a sleep after all the excitement from the morning, so we were able to actually LOOK around, rather than pick up clothes/shoes/other miscellaneous items that William has pulled off the rails and frantically try and put them back in the right place before his little hands appear out of the buggy to strike again. (#mumlife #blessed)

All in all a great day was had, and we are definitely going to be going back to Rock Up again! I wonder if I can persuade Norms that we should go to look at trainers again. Or donuts….

General

What I Use On My Face

I don’t want to sound like an idiot, but I do regularly get asked what I wear on my face, it sounds so annoying saying “oh I get so many messages” blah blah blah but I do get asked a few times what products I use daily, what I would recommend, because let’s be honest, as a woman MOST of us love make up and testing new products out and seeing what other people are using and getting excited about trying it out, watching video tutorials on YouTube and rushing to go buy the next “new big thing” that is about to crash the make up world.

But in all seriousness, I thought I would share what I use on the daily and also what I use for a night out/special occasion, as I (as much as the next person) love reading about  what is in other people’s make up bags, and also what I have used and maybe don’t rate that much.

Now, before we start I will just say that the products and the way I use them MIGHT NOT be the correct way to do so, however I do not claim to be a make up artist or professional and I do just work with what I’ve a) got and b) works for me. I also have quite oily skin and perspire (sweat) a lot in the summer (HAWT) so I probably use a lot more on my face than most people for my every day look, but it’s what lasts and works for me personally.

Okay, now we’ve got all that boring stuff out the way let’s go!

I always do my eyes first, some people do their foundation/base first but I personally do my eyes. I always use liquid eyeliner in a black colour, and I use one by Collection at the moment. I must have a waterproof one as I have watery eyes. I like this one as it’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot at all. I switch it up between mascaras, I often use whatever is on offer, but always seem to go back to Maybelline Colossal Lash – the yellow one. However recently I’ve not been feeling it, so I purchased this MaxFactor one from (of all places) B&M and so far I love it. However I have read (and seen) amazing things from the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara so I am going to buy a small tube of that to try I think next. I often find it hard with eye make up as I wear glasses, a lot of the time the eye make up gets lost behind the frames. Which is why sometimes I put on a bit more make up than what I usually would like, as sometimes behind the glasses and the frames it can get a bit lost. To line the bottom of my eyes I use a palette from Collection (again – I love this brand) and I just use whichever dark brown shade I fancy that day.

I then move onto face. I don’t usually use a primer, however when I do I usually use an Estee Lauder Matte Primer which I bought with my birthday money last year and I must say I really do love it – it is on the pricey side BUT I only use it for special occasions or when I am going out (when, let’s be honest is quite rare these days since becoming a parent), so I believe its been good value for money considering I bought it in November last year and it’s now August the following year and I still have lots left.

Foundation-wise – this is where I struggle. I like a full coverage but matte finish foundation, and I do struggle with the coverage and matte finish with my oily and shiny skin. I have used loads in the past, like LOADS but here are a list of my favourites:

Collection Lasting Perfection – this is a bargain at 6 quid and honestly it is a brilliant dupe for Estee Lauder Double Wear – however for ME personally it wasn’t as much coverage as I would usually like. But for every day it’s definitely worth a look.

Revolution Make Up Foundation Stick – honestly this stuff is BLOODY AMAZING. I love it – however it is quite a waxy consistency and for me it didn’t last massively but the coverage ladies (and gents) was honestly absolutely amazing and it was only a fiver! I really, really rate this brand of make up it’s so affordable and the quality is brilliant.

Revolution Pro Full Coverage Camouflage Foundation –  THIS. THIS. THIS. Honestly – I have also used Estee Lauder Double Wear but this is so so SO GOOD. I can’t rave about it enough honestly – for the price the coverage is bloody amazing and it’s not slimy or anything.

I then just use whichever concealer I have in – at the moment it’s a seventeen one and a W7 one – still on the lookout for “the one”. I then always use a pressed powder to set all that stuff – again at the moment I use a collection one.

Then onto bronzer etc. I use a Barry M contour palette to put a little on my cheekbones then I use the darker shade from that same one to do my double chins – girls got to do what a girls got to do! I then blend all that in and go over with really cheap bronzing pearls from B&M which I just love and have used for ages (so classy me). I also then use a bourjois powder blusher – just a little! To even out the bronze-ness. (Is that even a word?)

To highlight I use two things – a blush block from collection which I have used for years and years and just keep on going back and buying, and a Primark highlight palette which is just the dream.

I then always finish with my brows. Most people I know do their eyes and brows first – I do 50/50. I use (again – I’m sick of saying it but when you find a brand that works for you, you just have to stick to it don’t you?) Revolution brow pomade – but I do use 2. I use the taupe shade to do the front part of my brows nearest my nose as that’s the most sparse area and then I use the dark brown shade to fill the rest in. I then (once they are done and nice and full) like to set them with a brow mascara- I love the Maybelline Brow Mascara in dark brown. I then use a setting spray which is by Revolution and I use the sport fix spray which really does keep your slap on all day!

For an evening/special occasion I use the exact same products but I do use eyeshadow palettes – again not expensive I use a Revolution one which I will link here and also a W7 one which I will link here.

Please note this post isn’t sponsored or an affiliate it’s just stuff which I love! Sorry it’s been long and I hope you enjoyed having a nosy in my make up bag! Let me know if there are any other posts you would like to see!

Tara x

General

A House is Made of Walls and Beams

…And a home is made from hopes and dreams – so the saying goes.

And recently we moved house! And what a bloody lark!

It was the first time I had ever moved house before – before living with Norms I was living at home, a carefree, rich 21 year old who just ate sandwiches and got up whenever they wanted and had clean uniform for work and lovely ironed clothes every day – not a clue about the real day to day stuff.

I’ll give you a bit of background of me and my husband – I moved in with him after being together for just a year. Some people may think this is quite quick but we had actually known each other for around 4 years previous, as I actually was dating his (then) best friend’s brother. AWKS. Nothing happened (obviously) with us while I was with this other person, but after we broke up me and Norms stayed in touch and met up for a few drinks here and there and the rest they say is history. Haven’t been able to get rid of him since! (lol I joke – or do I).

So yes, I moved in with Norms when I was 21 and I had to learn how to do everything – washing machine, tumble, iron, the lot. But since then we had built a lovely little home together – he already had the property and I just basically moved aaaaallllll my shit in and took over! I think he was surprised by how much stuff I had! So yes, we then stayed there for 9 years, until this year (2018) when we had the chance to move into a bigger and more suitable property for our needs. This is where it gets interesting.

Well, not interesting really. Basically, what happened was we were going to put our house on the market before, however I found out I was pregnant with William, and so we put it on hold but did the decorating while we were doing the nursery, and decided we would put the house up for sale when we were settled into our new lives as parents. So that’s what we did.

When we put our house up for sale we were really excited! The estate agents promised us it would be sold really quick, you know how it is, they give you the usual spiel of how there are “loads of people interested in this type of house AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT” and how “easy” it would be to sell blah blah blah. Well, in fact it took us around 7 months for the house to sell. We had several fruitless viewings, and some ridiculous offers as I’m sure everyone does, and we started to get really disheartened. We just wanted to sell our house!

The main reason we wanted to sell it quickly was because we actually already had a house ready to move into, and we were eager to get in. The house we had to move into was actually my grandparents old house. Sadly, they are no longer here – my Granddad (whom I was very very close to and he was very much a father figure in my life as I don’t have a relationship with my own dad) died 4 years ago suddenly, and my Gran bless her heart developed Dementia and Alzheimer’s and passed away last year while I was on Maternity leave, but she had been living out of the house for around a year due to needing 24/7 care in a sheltered accommodation setting. My uncle lived in the house for a while, however as he isn’t with a partner at the moment, he had no need for the house and my mum didn’t want ANOTHER house as she already has one (obvs – lol) so were going to put it on the market when they approached me and Norms about whether we would like to buy Granny and Granddad’s house. Of course, we said we would love to but it was a little out of our price range. We came to an agreement in the end, and we happily agreed that it would be best for all parties if we kept the house in the family, and they would rather sell it to us, and Granny and Granddad would have been happy that it was being kept by someone who would look after it.

We were also in a fortunate position where we could actually go and decorate the house before we moved into it – which has saved our bacon. We were DREADING the thought of moving into a house then having to decorate with William and try work it between Norms working away and me working part-time and relying on people for childcare when they already had plans. So we spent most weekends at the house decorating, painting, knocking walls down, ripping fireplaces out, ripping airing cupboards out, getting new boiler and heating systems etc etc, and we were absolutely knackered by the end of it. But we were really lucky (considering it had come out of bad circumstances of my grandparents no longer being here anymore) so we just sucked it up and got on with it. Let me just say this – I DONT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER PAINT BRUSH FOR A LONG ASS TIME.

We decided to go for a grey theme for the living and dining room – we got some lovely paper from Home Bargains (of ALL places!) which I think was around £10 for a roll. It was sparkly and stripey and I loved it. We also got the same design for the bedroom upstairs but in a very pale blue colour instead of grey. We had a right mare trying to find a grey paint though – jesus Christ who knew picking a grey would be so hard to pick – there are about 7 million different shades of grey! We eventually went for a Valspar one which was a little bit more expensive than I would usually of paid BUT it was the only one we could both agree on so we just went with that.

For the kitchen we (I) decided on a lovely sage green colour by B&Q called “cut grass”. I didn’t want a bright colour for the kitchen, our old kitchen was red and white and I was just sick to death of it first thing in a morning, I wanted a softer colour and to be able to tie in grey accessories to flow from the living/dining room and also use neutral colours for tea towels etc. (I sound like a bloody interior designer HAHAHA NEXT JOKE) I really am so useless when it comes to decorating and colour schemes but I must say, I have impressed myself really, as I do think that the colour scheme is lovely and I love coming home to it.

However I would recommend – PLEASE DO NOT use SCS for your carpets. Well, especially the one in Hull at St. Andrews Quay. I had SUCH a bad experience with them and the customer service I received from them was absolutely atrocious – barring the lovely gentleman Jamie at the end who eventually ended up sorting it all out for us. We ended up having to live with concrete floors for a month or so and with a toddler which was really unsafe because if he had fallen he could of really hurt himself yet they did not seem to care one jot. Honestly I wouldn’t step foot in there if it was the last place on earth.

SO yes, that’s my little moving house story. I’m not into all interiors and decorating, I don’t want my house to look like a show home, I prefer the “lived in” look, as long as my home is tidy and clean then I am happy – because lets face it, William just leaves peanut butter finger marks everywhere so to me, spending excessive amounts of some paint or wallpaper is just throwing money away because its going to get ruined. We’ve only been  in the house since June and we already have a little area which has little finger marks on it. Fabulous.

Sorry this was so long winded, but let me know if you would like to see any more general house/lifestyle posts like this,  or if you are just a nosy bitch and like me, like looking at other people’s houses.

Tara x

General

Aggression.

So, I thought I would write a little post about how William has been recently and the word above basically sums up the new “phase” or “thing” that we are going through these past few weeks.

Aggression.

Now, i’ve spoken to other mums/parents about this and I totally know that it is PROBABLY just a phase and he is “testing the boundaries” (that age old saying which to be honest is it really a thing – testing the boundaries? Surely he just doesn’t like it when he doesn’t get his own way?)

Basically, he only ever acts up to me. He’s fine with his Dad, and of course absolutely fine with both sets of grandparents (apart from that time he hit my in-laws’ dog – not the greatest moment ever there Wills) and when he is at nursery.

I get him up in a morning and sit him on his matt to change his nappy and it starts straight away. So I am half asleep, not even brushed my hair, probably one tit hanging out of my PJ’s (poor kid must be confused – but I will go to bed in a vest top – ONE WILL NEVER LEARN that you’re always going to wake up half naked!) and he either doesn’t want his pissy nappy changing/doesn’t want to be on his matt/doesn’t like the colour of my hair that day/wishes I was his Dad etc. etc. and he starts.

SLAP! Right in the face. And it isn’t a playful slap, he makes this bloody weird noise like a growl and perhaps a groan, and he’s pushing me away from him, pulling my Pj’s (trust me I wouldn’t if I were you sonny Jim) and when I’m telling him “No” he just ignores me, then goes in for the all important slap.

I’m not going to lie, I have tapped him hand back and shouted at him that he shouldn’t slap. That seems to make him more angry/frustrated, so he then tries to pull my glasses off my face. Now, anyone who wears glasses and has had this done to them before will know – YOU NEVER TOUCH THE GOGGLES HONEY. It’s a no-go area. The line has then well and truly been crossed.

All this while trying to hold a half naked child and making sure a) that piss doesn’t fly everywhere and b) he doesn’t fall off the changing table and c) he doesn’t break my bloody glasses (why are glasses so expensive though – come on guys give us a break it’s not OUR fault we are blind). A few times I have just sacked the nappy off and stuck him back in his bed for him to have his tantrum, walk out the room and come back in when he has calmed down (hopefully). Sometimes that works and sometimes me just entering the room can set him off again and make him start throwing himself around again and doing his weird growling noise.

This happens quite a few times throughout the day. It is generally when he doesn’t get his own way – when I turn Little Baby Bum (Jesus WHY did I  introduce that into our lives – I have no-one to blame but myself and that makes it all the more sour – it’s LEGIT like crack for babies and kids) off the telly, when I tell him no, he can’t have 3 fruit ouches in a row 4 minutes before his lunch, when I offer him his lunch and he doesn’t eat anything apart from the crisps, when it’s bedtime, when I put his shoes on his feet because we have ants in the back garden and I don’t want him getting bitten by them, etc. etc.

Now, I’m not thick, and I do understand that of course everyone has off days, even babies/children. But it’s the fact he only ever does it to ME. And I’m not exaggerating. Once my mother in law had popped round and he was all sweetness and light to her, then I went to change his nappy as he had done a shit, and he kicked off. She LITERALLY stood there with her mouth wide open in disbelief. She couldn’t believe it – she told me afterwards that it was like watching a different child. THANKS CAROLE FOR THE SUPPORT THERE BABES.

I’m not going to lie, it did make me feel like absolute dog shit. ABSOLITE SHIT. I was putting him down to bed at night and just crying, going and locking myself in the bathroom while he was having a tantrum, head in hands, counting to ten, deep breaths the lot. It’s especially hard as my husband works away a lot Monday through to Friday so when it is every. day. all. day. it get’s really tiresome and you start to think that your chuld hates you. He would be so so happy to see other people and not have tantrums with them, yet as soon as he saw me and I went to give him a cuddle he would go to hit me or push me away, it was very hurtful and rejecting, and I felt like a failure as a mother. I started to dread the mornings wondering if he was going to hate me that day or love me. It made me FEEL like he hated me and didn’t love me, or want me near him/to love him. It was really hard, especially as I am quite a needy person and affectionate person (I know I come across as a sour-faced old witch but really I’m a soft shit – especially when it comes to William. Or dogs, I love dogs too.) After a few days this becomes draining and exhausting.

I had a little cry to my husband and to my fellow mum friends (in real life and who I met on the “gram”  – big up to you ladies because I honestly appreciate the advice and the messages at like mid night when I’m up being a snotty mess eating cookies in bed – LOVE YOU HOES) and they reassured me that it probably WAS just a phase and OF COURSE HE LOVES ME. They gave me some advice and told me their stories of their woes and their experiences of this type of behaviour and other people who they knew who had maybe experienced this – and this made me feel better. And also to the lovely followers I have on Instagram who have messaged me and taken the time to explain their situations and given me advice – I really appreciate it, honestly you guys are just the best and I really do thank you for helping a gal out.

It seems it must be some sort of phase they go through just before they get to 2 years old – or whether it’s his frustration at not being able to communicate with me properly and me not being able to understand what he wants/needs/tries to tell me, or perhaps that he is just finding his own personality and learning what is right and wrong and (here we go guys)..testing those boundaries. I kind of get that saying but still not fully. Maybe its just me.

But – it seems to have calmed down. Don’t get me wrong – some days are a shower of shit and I cry in the bathroom before going out to him and offering him his lasagne for the 5678th time and him throwing it back at me, other days are wonderful and he climbs on my knee and wants to kiss my face and cuddle me and hold my hand wherever he goes and wants to have “a love” as we call it when we sit in the chair in his room with his blankie and toy elephant and just have a cuddle before bed. Swings and roundabouts I guess, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy.

I guess I just always have this feeling that I am failing and that everyone else is doing a better job than me. When in fact – I am the one he wants to cuddle at night before he goes to sleep, those sleepy” loves” are what makes me restore my faith that he doesn’t hate me at all, but in equal measures they also make me feel awful for shouting, losing my rag and having to walk away, and thinking “oh god – when will this day ever end?!” There is a saying I have read which says “the days are long but the years are short” and it really is true. I mean – I started this blog when he was new-born – here we are 2 years later.

I guess what I am trying to say, and to reiterate it to MYSELF, is that you are doing a great job, Mummy, Daddy, Granny, Auntie, Granddad, Foster mum, whoever you are looking after these small people. And also just to say that even though it sometimes feels like you are, you actually aren’t on your own.

Tara x