How are we meant to feel?

My eldest cub is sixteen years old. I left home at this age.

So why do we find it so hard to let go?

He is a good kid, albeit a typical teen at times. We have had our fair share of clashes, and there have been days where he has stormed out slamming the door behind him, equally I have done the same. Its part of them growing up, its part of the plan.

Someone once told me that they are not ours to keep, they are simply lent to us, and its our job to help them to grow then watch them fly. I love this, in theory I love this, but in reality I miss his presence.

He is the one who made me a mum, he taught me how to feed, how to teach, how to put someone else before me, and he taught me how to love. Unknowingly of course, but that is part of the responsibility of being the first born.

Today on my time hop a picture came up of him aged 2, with a toilet seat stuck on his head. We had to call the fire brigade to come and cut it off him. It was one of those moments that you carry with you your whole life, and when he is stood in the kitchen arguing with me about having a tattoo, buying a motorbike, and buying beer that blinds me from seeing the young man in front of me. All I see is that young child, the one who needed to be soothed if the hand drier came on in the toilets, the one who was terrified of sleeping in the dark, the one who couldn’t eat broccoli because his favourite colour was green. Maybe its a mum thing, maybe we never see them as an adult.

I find it harder on days out. Today we went out, (obviously he was out with his friends, on the motorbike I swore he would never have) but we took the younger boys to the zoo. It was a lovely day and as a keen photographer I took some pictures. Of course he isn’t in any of them. I scroll through my shots and its been a while since his face was in them, but I can’t force him to be. I guess that is part of it. They grow up, they make choices, they become their own spirit.

So, in a way I guess we have done our job.

He has the confidence to fly, he may fall, and we will catch him and help him back on his way.

That is what it is, isn’t it? Making sure they can get through life safely, but realising that indeed it is their story to write. Help them turn the pages and start the chapters, but let them dictate the paragraphs.

So please don’t think that because he isn’t in my photographs right now, that he has disappeared, he has indeed just grown up, like I said, they aren’t ours to keep forever…………

(I would have loved to have put a lovely big picture up of his gorgeous face but he will kill me, so I wont)

Lots of Love as always x x

So, that was Christmas 2017

25660197_10155974910431667_3942632162665405580_nHow was it for you??

This year I began the shopping alot earlier than normal, September. Seemed like a good idea at the time, until I realised that since our house move we really do not have any storage. For my older children this wasnt a problem, as it soon became clear that the trainers that cost £345,342,000 were actually just the size of a shoe box (part of me expected them to arrive with a free aeroplane or something) so they fit nicely in the wardrobe. The watch too, and the silver chain, the designer coats and tracksuits, barely took up any space at all – which did not reflect the dent it left in the bank account (why do teens have such expensive taste)?

Fast forward to the first delivery for the youngest cub………show stopping………..was in fact a half price amazon deal, as I looked out the window and saw the delivery guy load the box onto a trolley, yes a trolley, I almost fainted! I held the door open as he wheeled it in, it took up the whole hallway! I signed and off he went, and I was left unable to get out the front door. It took me an hour to get it up the stairs, I had to put it in the bathroom and lock the door from the outside, that bugger was not going to fit in the closet!  Once hubby arrived home he shoved it in the loft. Fast Forward to Christmas eve when the wrapping began, I opened the box………the contents was the size of a quarter of the box! Enough paper to wrap Santa in, could have easily fit in the cereal cupboard without being noticed……..nil points Amazon!

Christmas eve the middle child came down with a fever, this follows 12 days of sickness from the youngest, things were not looking good…………

Lots of paracetamol and an early night meant the usual fun and games had to be delayed and hubby and I finished off the final bits whilst watching Birds of a Feather for the 765th time.

As usual I was awake from 4am, waiting for the boys to wake up, of course eventually they did and the unwrapping commenced. They were ecstatic, maybe the best year so far. The morning was taken up by looking for batteries, building models, fashion shows and stacking and unstacking boxes. The guilt I felt escaping the lounge to make breakfast was pacified by drinking a bottle of Bucks Fizz whilst scrambling a dozen eggs. I quite like being in the kitchen, I like feeding them, seeing their round bellies full on homemade food………apart from on Christmas day when they are all full up on selection boxes and the eggs were left untouched.

Christmas dinner, to me is just a fat roast dinner. I don’t stress about it, cooking a roast is well within my remit……another bottle of bucks fizz and as we sat down for dinner i realised I had forgotten to do the starter……..shit.

Ah well, on with the crackers and dinner, which was actually pretty yum despite the parsnips being hard enough to use as a weapon after dinner.

After lunch we played a few games, Alias is fab, lots of fun, Penguin smash is also easy family entertainment, don’t fall for the gymnast game, consists of a plastic person that you stick on a bar and no matter how hard to hit the damn button the bloody person won’t flip. More stress than it’s worth and one that will be returned as soon as I find a day that I want to get dressed – which I don’t think will be anytime soon.

We didn’t bother with snacks for tea, we just ate chocolate and savouries, kinda acceptable?

Once the kids all went to bed we sat and reflected on the day……..it wasn’t perfect, but it was ours. The pressure we feel from the adverts on tv, where all the family wear matching clothes and smiles, the food is all amazing and served all at the same time, (no forgotten starter there). The christmas table looks better than most wedding buffets do, everyone gets on, mum stands in the kitchen and clears it all away whilst dad and child play scalextric in the huge perfect lounge, but thats not real life. But its ok, you see no one died, no one died because it wasn’t perfect. No one starved, all the toys worked eventually, even if we now cant change the tv channel because the remote has no batteries in it, its ok.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. They don’t remember it, In fact, amongst all the beautifully wrapped gifts and extravagant food (by this I mean a cheese selection as we only usually have cheddar) the youngest cub has played with a pot of slime from the pound store the most, oh and the ridiculously oversized cardboard box from Amazon.

 

We’ve only gone and done it!!!!

Some of you know me, some of you don’t, for those who don’t, I’m not a keep fit person. The idea of exercise is enough to make me sweat without actually having to slip into lycra. I consider taking the laundry up to the top level of our 3 storey town house more than adequate, and if I cant park within arms reach of the supermarket door I will drive around the carpark again until I find a closer space.

A day at the beach consists of the hubby running about on the sand, in a David Walliams (not Hasslehoff) type way with the boys whilst I sit on the blanket guarding the ham baguettes. Don’t get me wrong, I am the first to volunteer to walk to get the ice creams, but in all honesty that is as far as it goes.

If you are not a follower on my Instagram (raisingcubs) you also will have missed the hourly updates yesterday as my youngest cub learnt how to ride a bike without his support wheels! It was momentus, it made me cry, his little body, long gangly legs and helmet head whizzing up and down was just fabulous.

I am now going to link the above two events.

1. I do not do exercise

2. L cub can ride a bike unaided

 

We found ourselves in Halfords, getting his tyre fixed, whilst we were in there, I was drawn to the shiny bikes, the clean, shiny wheels, the chrome brakes, the cutest shopping basket, you can even get a TomTom for your bike!?

Within 10 minutes I was cruising around the shop on a bike, roughly 4 inches to tall for me, but wow, it was fun! Dodging all the small people dragged in there by their parents, a huge amount of scrotum was on show, as it seems, cycling sportswear leaves nothing to the imagination.

‘Wouldn’t it be fun if you and Dad got a bike too Mum’ I heard him say………..

So that’s what we did!

Fuck it, we don’t smoke, we don’t go out much, we aren’t going on holiday this year, lets do it!

I only spent about 10 minutes gliding around the top floor of Halfords, but approx 4 hours later the pain began…….I wasn’t aware I had a bone in my undercarriage……….until now. Jesus, I am the most non boney person on the planet but even I had cyclist saddle!

We collect our bikes on Thursday, I may need to ask for an improvement on the sadde……..can you do that?? Can you openly chat to the orange t-shirt wearers about fanny pain???

Now, as we are new to this biking thing, we don’t have a bike rack, so on Thursday evening, Mr RaisingCubs and my good self will be cycling home from Halfords, I will upload some footage of this on my Instagram stories, so if you want a laugh, or want to send a taxi please follow!

If you have any tips please share, any tips at all on how to continue with a sex life whilst riding a bike???? (by this I don’t mean can we have sex whilst riding a bike…….although that could be interesting)

Of course, my three year old, who mastered bike riding yesterday, has been giving me lots of advice, if I eat an apple I will cycle quicker, If I look straight ahead my nose wont itch, and if I fart at the bottom of a hill it will help me get up it………………hill??? wtf??? I am not doing hills!!!!

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I do get lots of messages asking about Ls clothes……………I am going to add a few outfits to the end of each blog, that should help those of you who are interested, but, of course, anything I miss please feel free to message me x x

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Top and Trousers both from http://www.growing-needs.co.uk

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Top and Trousers from http://www.growing-needs.co.uk

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Top from @marmaladesky – jeans from http://www.growing-needs.co.uk

Not sure you want to read this???

My youngest cub is a dream. From birth he has been an ‘easy’ child. He slept, he fed, he played happily for hours……he was a typical third child who just had to fit in. I often joked that one day he would change, that he would give payback for being such a joy. I think this payback occurred yesterday.

Yesterday, we had lunch out……..I have irritable bowel syndrome, meaning, once I’ve eaten I have, at the most, an hour before (I physically shit myself) I need a bowel movement.

Once we arrived home, following a 30 minute ass clenched drive, I could barely get the key in the door………’mummy really needs the toilet darling’ I hurriedly explained……..’ok mama you go first’

He didn’t appreciate this wasn’t an option, I flew in the front door, charged into the loo, Oh. My. God that was a close call…….was over in a matter of seconds (sorry)

It was at this point I realised there was just an empty toilet roll sitting on the side of the sink……..damn……….I looked around and there really was no tissue 😱😱😱😱

‘darling, can you get mummy some tissue please?’

‘I can’t mama, I’m lying on the lounge floor’

‘please sweetheart, mummy is stuck on the toilet and I need tissue’

long pause

‘mama I asked Lightning McQueen and he said we can’t help you’

ffs

‘If you don’t get me some tissue I can’t play with you………..

(that’s bound to work)

‘Its ok mama………….I’m going to play with the dog, you can stay in the toilet all day if you want to??????

Thats pretty much how the next 40 minutes of my life continued……..

For the first time in my life I contemplated wiping my arse on a can of hairspray………..

Eventually, after 3 hours (45 minutes) he appeared at the door, he had Nemo under his arm, (I seriously would) ‘Mama, I have got you some tissue, Mater said I should’ he beamed from ear to ear, I was so relieved, my ass was stinging, my knees aching, I’ve never loved anyone more in my life than at this moment……..then he handed me the tissue…….on the back of a fucking Paw Patrol car…….approx 1cm square……IMG_5218

Our adventure at Little Street!

Soft play centres are my idea of Hell, literally, I would rather set fire to my hair than spend an hour of my time rolling around in other kids snot…….defending my jug of juice on the table against rogue small people, dodging those blasted balls from the hair bobble infested ball pit as they repeatedly skim my face…….errrr no thank you!

So when we were invited to visit Little Street in Maidstone, I did actually think twice.

However, we packed our rucksack and off we ventured……IMG_3779

 

IMG_3756.JPGIronically we were the first there, it is situated on the 1st floor in the Royal Star Arcade in Maidstone. Lots of nearby parking and access via lift or stairs. I have to say I was blown away by the welcome  received from Hannah and the team. It was so bright, so clean, we couldn’t wait to venture inside!

There is a buggy park inside and an intimate coffee shop, serving hot and cold drinks, cakes, treats and healthy nibbles for the small people. We ditched our bags and went off to explore.

We were met with a huge wooden ‘climb aboard’ fire engine 🚒 parked right in the middle of a road……a choice of vehicles that the small people enjoyed whizzing around on. Little Street is exactly that…….it’s a miniature row of role play activities. From the stage to the dressing room, the prison cell to the learning zone, to the hospital, the post office, the coffee shop and the stables, the builders yard and back to the centre piece.

I felt excited, forget the kids for a minute, this place was beyond cool!!! Everywhere I looked mums were smiling, actually interacting with their smalls…… I’m not convinced the lady on the stage rocking out on an electric guitar was doing it for her son, but either way they were both so happy!!

The shop was my personal favourite, mini shopping trolleys 🛒 and baskets, a superb selection of fruit and veg, real packing that can be found in the kitchen at home…….I have to say it was beyond all expectations!

Little Street had a serene feel, compared to ‘soft play’ it was calm……children were actually playing, methodical, engaging play.

The coffee shop (the real one) was situated very close so even when sitting and enjoying that moment of peace you could see them, I even got handed a wig and a waffle through a window!!!!

sessions are 90 minutes long, just long enough, long enough to leave them wanting more. He wasn’t ready to go, and I hadn’t groomed the horses yet but next time 😜

Im a firm believer in learning through play, and the resources apply to a wide age group. He loved posting the letters in the relevant numbered post boxes, as much as the babies enjoyed emptying them!

All in all we had a fab day! I’d highly recommend it, its educational yet fun, free play yet engaging, a safe enabling environment……..it’s opens Monday 27th…….get yourselves down there!!!

 

@growingneeds @beauhudson @jujube @mini_rodini

 

 

It’s all about cost per wear……

Today a lady said to me that she loved the boys clothes, she said they looked amazing…..she then said that I must spend a fortune on dressing them.

Its not the first time this has been said to me, so I thought I’d write a bit about it.

When I was pregnant with my first child I spent weeks cruising the shops looking at beautiful, clothes, tiny pink dresses, miniature denim dungarees, I loved Next, Zara gave me goosebumps, Mothercare became my best friend.

My son was born, people came to visit and gave wonderful gifts, there’s nothing nicer than buying cute baby clothes. It dawned on me at week 8, that his whole wardrobe looked the same……first world problems I hear you cry, but it was, and still is important to me that they look presentable.

Ive always believed that how you look on the outside reflects how you feel on the inside…..

Fast forward 12 years and my final baby arrives, another boy…….you would think in over a decade there would be more choice, but the high street looked the same as it did last time I dressed a baby. I was bored, it was boring. It came to a head when I went to a mother and baby group and 2 other babies were wearing the same as mine. They all looked gorgeous, but they weren’t unique, there was no personality.

So I began my search, the internet was there, which is a good job because during the immense night feeds I learnt to balance my phone between boob and baby and surf.  It was incredible! 3am shopping is epic, some days parcels would arrive and I wouldn’t even remember ordering them 🤣🤣🤣

Thats how it began……I signed up to newsletters, which always gives a ‘first shop’ discount code, clothes arrived with sweets and cute notes, and I became friendly with a few stores. I realised it was more than just shopping. These indies depend on our business.

Yes, I can buy a cheaper coat for them, of course, but who makes it? Where is it made? What is it made from? How long will it last? What will the resale value be?

So I sat down and worked out the cost per wear………

jeans, super cute and worn daily……..works out at pence per wear……good ones wear well, wash well, so we don’t need as many pairs…..

A good quality coat……worn daily, covered in mud, dragged under bushes, washes so well, dries over night, made ethically, by adults who are paid good money, organic material……sells on for 50% of what I paid……..less than pennies per wear

So, in response, cost per wear, no I don’t spend a fortune.

Dirty knees are just adorable, grubby faces mean a great day out, clothes hanging on the washing line that still look like new after multiple washes…….priceless.

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Where do you put enormous boobs??

I can’t lie, it’s been a manic, stressful period in the cubs lair, not sure my ass has touched the sofa, (although the moon shaped imprint says different) but it all started when some knobjockey drove into my car!!!! I’ve never been in a car accident but I wasn’t prepared for the physical and emotional effects, that said, and as shit as it’s been, I like to look for the silver lining……this silver lining came in the form of my new Physio. I’ve never been asked to take my top off and lay down without being bought a drink first, but I’m game for most things 😜

For those of you who have never met me, I have giant boobs…….almost airbags, bigger than my own head, bigger than my husbands head infact (and he’s a lion)……they are so big that my bras cost a mortgage repayment and last time I pegged one to the washing line, a small family of badgers moved into the left cup. So when my physio told me to lay on my front, I really wasn’t sure what to say!!!!! I tried to tuck them out the sides, one under each armpit but then I couldn’t let my arms hang, they wouldn’t fit through the head hold in the beauty couch, so Fuck it, under the chin they went. This meant that I was face down, tits under my chin, and dribble falling from my squashed face every time I tried to talk. Not good I thought. What was worse though was when he told me to flip over onto my back. FLIP OVER??? as if that’s easy……..because turning over on a beauty couch on collapsible legs in front of a man you only just met, covered in dribble (me, not the man) was never gonna be pretty…..and it wasnt.

I managed it….but as I looked down, my boobs were balancing on the lace edge of my hammock…..I mean bra 😜

All in all…….I’m not sure physio is for me, but I’m not a quitter…….

In the world of the cubs it’s as eventful as ever, my biggest is going through a trying time, 15 is a tough age, I hated it, he’s not loving it, but we will get through it…….my middle man is off to America next month to represent Kent in football. He’s super excited and I’m super shitting myself. I like to have them all home…….it’s a Mum thing I think. The smallest cub is busy asserting himself, he’s so ready for school, ready to fly, I’m not sure what I’ll do without my little sidekick……….but having a shit in peace will be nice.

I went away for the weekend and took my youngest with me, it was a meeting with a group of rainbow families……by this I refer to my Angel sons, a rainbow is the term given to a child born following a loss. We are united through heartache and again, they are the silver lining.

Going away brings its own stress, packing!! God it’s something I hate!! However, I found a new brand of bag that has changed my life!!! Jujube!! If you have never owned one, they are definitely worth looking into……..my rucksack is self balancing!!! It even has a lining in that won’t rot alongside the apple that will get left in it and tossed under the stairs!!! Two drinks holders, so I won’t have to share with ‘babygotbackwash’ …….. and it’s super padded back panel meant I couldn’t even feel the transformers inside…..that for me is win win!! If you want to find out more pop over to http://www.growing-needs.co.ukIMG_2759