A few new ventures

Hello everybody.What a busy month September has been.I am now looking forward to October. Firstly,on the 6th October I will be attending my first Blog event- Blog Camp Bristol and I’m quite excited. I have my business cards ready,outfit ready,a new pair of boots and a beautiful necklace to wear. I have found it a lot more difficult shopping for an outfit than ever before. I have to admit I prefer shopping online these days. I have been lucky to have had 2 shopping trips into our local city centre without children-the most recent being with my mum (Our first shopping trip without kids in tow for almost 12 years.) I find shopping a lot more of a chore these days and love the convenience that shopping online offers. The only downside is if items don’t fit-I’m rubbish at returning things.
October also brings my Birthday,I’ll be 35 this year. All I really want for my Birthday is a meal out with hubby and the kids. Theres a lovely pub near us that has a great outdoor play area for the kids to run about in. A couple days after my birthday I have another event,this time its in Brighton and is a Business Mum event. My ideal scenario would be to run my own business from home. I am hoping this event will give me some inspiration as where to go next. I have recently started as an Avon Rep,which I am really enjoying. The village where I live is quite a close knit,friendly community and I know quite a lot of people. I’d stay here forever given the option. I’ve lived here for 8 and a half years now and it feels more like home than anywhere else ever has done.
My daughter will be starting full time at school after the October half term which she is looking forward to. (Me too,it has been tiring going backwards and forwards so much) Currently,she is going from 9am until 12pm,from the 10th October she will stay for lunch for 2 weeks then it will be half term.The Friday before half term is my eldest daughter’s 9th birthday,she wanted a trip to london but we are postponing that until after Christmas and having a day in Southampton instead.
Once October is over and done with the countdown to the dreaded C word begins.(Aswell as my eldest son’s birthday on 4th December and my youngest son’s first Birthday on th 24th December) CHRISTMAS!!!! I’m not quite ready to even think about that too much just yet.
Where on earth has this year gone?
Answers on a postcard please.


What a busy week

This week has been our busiest for a long time. It started with a Girl’s day out on Monday,just me and my 2 beautiful daughter’s. Our first stop was Clarks for shoes,I had staggered the uniform shop this year but still had 1 pair of shoes left to get. It seemed I was 1 out of a lot of people that left it to the last minute. We had a nice day shopping,lunch in MacDonalds followed by a trip to the cinema where we watched The Smurfs. To be honest I was dreading the film as I’d read a bad review,however I really enjoyed it.
Then,on Tuesday it was BACK TO SCHOOL- Yippee!!! My eldest began a new chapter in his education by going up to Secondary school,so far so good-the only mishap,which he has already learnt from was missing all of the buses to our village on Wednesday. My 4 year old started infants and was so excited. She is a very happy little girl that has such a thirst for knowledge and is really enjoying being at “Big school” so far,she keeps asking when she’ll be staying for lunch. She can’t wait to try out school dinners. It will be a few weeks yet,as she is one of the younger children,having a June birthday and I have decided to stagger her start to school. She will go part-time until after the October half-term which I think,for her is the best thing. This week she has been extremely tired and has even gone back to having a nap. She wakes up for tea and then goes back to sleep at her usual time. This makes me more convinced that a staggered start to her school life is best-I feel lucky to have been given the choice.
Today I took the 3 younger children to a local Toddler group,I haven’t been for a while and it did them all a lot of good. From next week onwards I’m going to aim to take the 2 youngest to 2 or 3 Toddler groups each week. My 2 year old definitely needs to socialise more. He needs to learn to share and mix with children that aren’t his brothers or sisters more. He’s due to start pre-school in January and I can’t quite believe how fast he is growing up. His vocabulary is growing on a daily basis.
As for the baby,he is now 8 months old and like my 2 year old son,he is the spitting image of his Daddy. He has such a lovely nature and is a pleasure to be around. The only time he’s not smiling is when he cuts a tooth. Why do they all have to grow up so darn fast. Don’t get me wrong,I love seeing my children develop into little people but I hate the fact that as they get older I can’t protect them from the world as I used to. I love my childrens similarities and their differences too.

The end is nigh

The Summer is almost over,that’s if it ever really started in the first place. I spent a couple hours at the park on Friday with my 5 children,my friend,2 boys she child-minds and her own daughter,it was great fun,the kids all played nicely together. After a couple hours letting the kids run about and use up some of their never-ending energy supply we went back to my friends’ house for lunch. I have to admit that to get 5 children out of the house and organised has become a military operation and I’m starting to wonder what it will be like next week. Last year was by far the easiest year I’ve had in regards to the school run. My eldest son was at the same school as his sister so they walked together,meaning I only had to do preschool runs. It was lovely but as they say all good thing come to an end and this year will be mayhem. My eldest will need to be at the bus stop for 7.45am,meaning he’ll need to be up earlier than ever before-that in itself will be fun. He’s enjoyed staying in bed late most mornings over the summer.
On Monday I have a last minute dash to our local city centre to get school shoes for my 8 year old daughter. This year,due to having more at school I have staggered the uniform and shoe shopping. I am just hoping we’ll find a nice pair that she likes that fit her. We are also going to the cinema to use our tickets we got from trading in our Clubcard points. As a larger sized family we had,until this year only tended to go to the cinema occasionally,now thanks to Clubcard rewards and Sky rewards we have already been a couple times this year. A couple weeks ago my husband took my son to watch Cowboys and Aliens.They had a great time and the money saved on tickets meant they could treat themselves to a Hot Dog and Coke each.
Our only decision now is what film to see,its going to be a girls day out,just me and my daughters aged 4 and 8. I’m really looking forward to it. The girls are keen on watching The Smurfs. I loved The Smurfs as a child but am not sure about a film version,that said, I love the 2 Alvin and the Chipmunk films and didn’t mind the Yogi Bear film which we watched over the Summer.

What happened to our summer?

Well,only 9 days and September will be here.I am doing pretty well with the back to school things that I need.I still need underwear for the kids and 2 pairs of school shoes,then I think we are done. This year,after an awful shopping trip last year with 4 kids and whilst being 6 months pregnant,I have decided to get everything in dribs and drabs rather than just 1 shopping trip and I have to say it has actually been a million times less stressful. At the best of times shopping anywhere for anything with 5 children can be a nightmare. Add that to a very busy city centre with lots of other harassed parents and there is my idea of hell. Last week I took my eldest son out to get new school shoes and trainers,only to find out he is now in between a size 9 and 9 and a half in mens shoes. I don’t think it will be long before he towers over me and I’m not tiny at a respectable 5 foot 7. My brothers’ are both tall-over 6 foot and Jacks dad is aprox 5 foot 10.
I recently bought the kids a 5 foot easy up paddling pool,but due to the bad weather we have yet to try it out.I was so excited,thought I’d found a real bargain-it was £13 including postage,it was originally £23 including postage,so I was feeling quite pleased with myself. That was until we went food shopping and I saw it on sale for a fiver. Oh well.I am hoping the kids will get the chance to use it before they go back to school. I really can’t believe how fast this so-called summer of ours’ has gone and really hope we have a couple nice days yet to come. Yesterday we went to a BBQ at my dads and luckily after a rather wet start to the day,the sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful day.
This week we have trips to the eye unit for 2 and 4-year-old,they wont be too impressed as 2-year-old is still refusing to wear his glasses for more than a few minutes at a time. I made a couple batches of cakes today,1 lot was a basic fairy cake with raisins added to it-the kids have loved these and the 2nd lot were double chocolate chip cakes. I love baking but am not a natural and it seems to be a case of trial and error. For example anything I make using Baking powder seems to have a strange aftertaste-no idea what I’m doing wrong.
I did have a brilliant recipe for Carrot cake with cream cheese icing which was so good but only 2 of us,mainly me ever ate. At the moment we are teaching my 11-year-old to cook decent meals. He can already cook Spaghetti Bolognese,Lasagne and Chicken Korma with minimal help. I feel it is important to teach my children how to cook a decent meal. I also aim to teach my son how to use a washing machine as I want him to be an independent,modern man in the future.
I hope you are all having a fantastic summer whatever you have been up to.

Mummy moment

Hello everyone.I hope you are all well and enjoying the so-called Summer we are apparently having. I’m not a sun-worshiper but enjoy it best when the weather is warm and dry. I have never been one to be able to sit and sunbathe,I’m more likely to be found sat in the shade or indoors during the hottest part of the day. I wanted to add some photo’s showing how quickly the children are growing up and changing; Especially my youngest son,who is soon to be 8 months old. It has flown by so quickly and he doesn’t seem to want to stay a baby. He was crawling by 6 months,not long after he started pulling himself into a standing position either using furniture or whilst in his Travel cot. He is now the proud owner of 5 teeth, definitely the quickest cutting teeth but has seemed to suffer the most with it unfortunately. Thank goodness for teething necklaces,teething granules and teething gels.
My 2 year old son is now well and truly in the terrible two’s stage and is into everything; He can climb over the stairgate now as we found out earlier today. He can do the splits-I have no idea how or where this came from. I have never been able to do this neither has my husband as far as I am aware. I do have a very active,sporty and Athletic 8 year old that he adores but I don’t think she can do the splits. Due to all the attention it is now his party trick and he does it constantly. His speech is coming on really well and he is learning new words every day,some I noticed today that I hadn’t heard him say before include Scooby-Doo,freezing,raining,monkeys,dancing. He is also becoming quite a good little dancer and really enjoys music. He has recently started giving me a really cheeky grin if I say no to him or tell him off,little rascal.
My 4 year old is very excited about starting ‘Big school’ in a couple weeks and we are off to get her first pair of school shoes next week. I got her another cardigan and a pair of trousers this week,she already has a couple skirts,polo-shirts,pinafore dress,Gingham dresses for warmer weather.I can’t wait to drop her off and take lots of photo’s on her first day at school. It really will be a busy and exciting day as the 3 bigger ones all go back on the same day and my eldest son starts Secondary school. She has become very confident and seems ready now,initially I did have concerns as she seemed so young still and only gave up her afternoon nap a couple months ago. She was only 4 in June and I have worried more about her starting school than I did with the other 2 as they were both nearly 5 by the time they started school.
My mini-me is 8,9 in October,she is very grown up for her age and I often have to remind myself she is only 8. She has a keen interest in fashion and has her own style,she wears what she likes not usually just because her friends have something. She is tall and slim but has more of an athletic build rather than being skinny,she loves sports and last year took part in clubs at school for Tag Rugby,Cross country and Tap dancing. I was never sporty and had awful co-ordination,I am so glad that this doesn’t seem to have been passed down to my children. Sometimes it is like having a teenager in the house,she can be stroppy and moody,on the other hand she can be great company and very kind and caring towards other people.
Last but by no means least is my 11 year old son,he makes me very proud. He has come along leaps and bounds the last couple years. He is a lot more confident than he used to be and I look forward to seeing him progress and develop new interests during his time at Secondary school. He has already developed interests in Chess,Warhammer,Archery and orienteering over the past 2 or 3 years and I hope he tries out new things whilst at Secondary school. He is helpful,has a great sense of humour and is a fantastic big brother. I just hope his feet stop growing soon as I have just bought his school shoes-he is now in a mens size 9-9 and a half. I think he’ll be towering over me before long.
My children make me incredibly proud and I love seeing their personalities develop and watching them find their own interest and things they are good at. They all seem to be artistic and often sit at the table drawing or making things together (Apart from the baby of course,he just watches in awe,waiting for the day when he can join in),which is lovely to see.

10 Things you didn’t know about me

Today I have been tagged by Wonnablogger to reveal 10 Things you didn’t know about me.

1.I studied Criminology for 18 months at University.
2.My favourite colour is Purple.
3.My ambition is to run my own business.
4.I am fascinated with the City of New York and vow to get there one day.
5.My middle name is Dawn.
6.6 years ago I was a single mum of 2-Now I’m a married mum of 5.
7.I first met my husband when I was 16. We were on and off for years and finally married in December 2006 when I was 10 weeks pregnant with our 2nd daughter. He is my soulmate and my best friend.
8.I love to cook for lots of people-especially Full English Breakfasts and Roast Dinners.
9.I love to learn but hated Secondary school due to Bullying.
10.I am a natural Blonde. (However,these days I give it a helping hand)

I am now going to Tag Oh My Daze and A New Addition

Activities for :

The Summer Holidays:Trips to the park-This is what my family always spend a lot of time doing-it’s a free activity that all of my children enjoy and the added bonus is that it uses up lots of energy-always a bonus in my busy house.
Den making-The 3 middle children tend to be the ones that do this together,they usually find a sheet or blanket and put it up over a chair in the lounge then spend ages sitting underneath plying role-play games-quite often it seems to be Mum’s and Dad’s or Schools.
Library visit-This is always a great activity for the Summer Holidays even though it’s great all year round,choosing their own books to read gives my children a sense of being independent.They enjoy making decisions for themselves.
Playing in the back garden-We are lucky to have a small Trampoline and a Sand and Water play table which the kids love playing with together.We only have a small garden and we have a raised bed where we grow our own vegetables.We haven’t grown quite so much this year as we did last year but we have had some strawberries,potatoes,onions and we are waiting for the tomatoes to grow at the moment.
Catching up with family and friends-As much as we try to do this as often as possible it is made easier during the Summer holiday’s due to the lack of time restraints.During term time,as you can imagine I am tied to the children’s school times and don’t often venture too far.
Preparation for the Autumn termNew uniforms and shoes,stationary-This year I’m feeling quite chuffed with myself as I’ve already got most of my 4 year old’s new school uniform,just need socks,pants and new shoes then she’s ready for the beginning of her school life.My 8 year old daughter just needs some socks,shoes, a couple new pairs of trousers,a new lunchbox,stationary and polo shirts.My eldest son is off to Secondary school,I need a couple more pairs of trousers for him,another jumper,polo shirts,shoes,stationary and a rugby top.I have been buying bits and pieces over the past few weeks so I won’t have to go and get everything in 1 final last minute rush.This year will be more expensive than usual as I’ve got 2 children starting new schools.I’m both anxious and excited for both of them.

Rainy Days:Art and craft activities – Craft activities such as junk modelling are always popular in our house-we always start a collection of bottles,boxes,toilet roll tubes and yoghurt pots,finger painting.

Younger childrenTrips to a soft play centre-We tend to do this more during term time when the older children are at school.Toy cars-My 2 year old son is mad on vehicles,Car’s in particular he loves nothing more than to sit on the floor with his cars making them move.For his Christmas present we bought him all sorts but I think we should have just bought him lots of cars to play with and a big box.Lots of snuggles-This is a given for all ages but little ones don’t get embarrassed or shrug you off. I’m lucky as all of my children are affectionate and vocal in expressing their thoughts and feelings.Sharing books-This has becomes more difficult as the children have got older as I used to read a lot more to the children,it is something I feel is very important and we really do need to make an effort to do it more.

Older children:Cinema trips-We recently saw Dispicable me at the cinema in 3D and Thanks to the lovely people at Skyrewards we only paid a small booking fee and a small charge for 3D glasses-all in all it cost less than a fiver for me and 3 children to get 4 cinema tickets-what a bargain.It would have been even more of a bargain if I hadn’t spent so much on snacks and drinks but hey the tickets were cheap.Out and about with their friends-tommorow my 11 year old is meeting up with his friend and they are going to the local park.I’m giving him some money for lunch and drinks. It’s the first time he’s done anything like this with his mates before and I hope it will become a regular thing as I feel he spends too much time indoors.
Camping-When kids are little they are happy with playing in the garden in a tent or playhouse during the day,as they get older it can be fun for them to sleep in the tent overnight.

Free Activities:Library visitFor us we are hoping this will be a fun,free, family activity that will encourage all of the children to have respect for and a lifelong love for books and reading.
Picnic in the Park-This is a great fun activity for kids of all ages,all I take is a blanket,sandwiches,plenty of drinks,crisps,fruit and biscuits.It can be fun at the local park,the beach,in the garden and we’ve even been known to have an indoor picnic on our lounge carpet if the weather’s bad.
Paddling poolThis is an activity that all ages can have fun doing in the garden,it encourages confidence in the water but requires constant supervision.
Baking cakes-We are constantly making cakes in my house-Mainly the basic fairy cakes or Victoria Sponge cakes,with Strawberry Jam and Buttercream in the middle.We occasionally make scones or Carrot Cake and we have a Breadmaker,which I use occasionally-I really should use it more.The kids all enjoy decorating the cakes once they have cooled down.
Film nights TV isn’t all bad,sometimes it gives me a chance to get on and do something and all of the children like watching films. My 2 year old is a huge fan of Toy Story and would watch it every day if I let him.My 4 year old loves Peppa Pig,Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob Square Pants.My 8 year old daughter is getting more grown up and current favourites include any music channel,The House of Anubis and ICarly. My eldest will watch pretty much anything from Action movies,comedies to cartoons. One of the great things about having a large family is seeing how different they all are and how much they look out for each other,they will never be lonely and always have someone to talk to and confide in.

10 Things I love about you

1.That you are so ticklish that you end up almost crying with laughter but don’t tell me to stop.(I only do it for the incredible sound of your giggles)

2.I know you so well that I can tell if you are upset,worried about something,lying or keeping something from me.

3.I always get plenty of hugs and kisses,even you – my big 11 year old boy.

4.How kind and caring you all are to each other.

5.How you don’t constantly ask or expect things and genuinely appreciate everything you do have

6.That you are all still so very innocent and naive.(I wish you could all stay that way forever)

7.You create havoc and then when I point this out,you all look at me as if you have no idea how it happened.

8.How each of you are very different in so many ways yet similar in others eg Sounding alike,different hobbies,looking similar yet having completely different temperaments.

9.How much I miss each of you when I’m not with you.(My eldest goes to his dad’s every other weekend and has done for over 9 years now and it will never stop feeling weird when he’s not here)

10.How each of you are growing and learning and achieving so much,you make me proud every day.I love you all very much.

To my 5 fantastic children Jack,Amy,Faith,Dylan and Ethan

I was tagged by bubbaloves and I am tagging the following people so they can write their ’10 things I love about you’ and link it up





Insomniac Mummy

Have linked up with  the original post at Mother On Mother Earth




Hello,Thank-you and my week so far

I have just noticed that there have been rather a lot of reviews on here recently so I thought I’d right a post to say a huge big Thank you to all my readers/subscribers for all the entries in my competitions I am currently holding.  The HotPants Giveaway finishes at midnight tonight so I’ll be adding all entries into random.org tonight and a winner will be anounced along with screenshots of the draw in the morning.  Initially I didn’t have many entries but as the closing date has got closer and people found more out about what the Hotpants are for,I received lots more entries.Thank you to everyone that has entered and also to those of you that read my ramblings.  This blog has become another of my babies and I feel very proud of what I have achieved to date.

I haven’t had as much time as usual for personal blog posts as I’ve had a manic week.  My eldest son had his last ever school trip at his Junior school,he visited a local ski centre and a country park for the day and had a great time.  My 2 eldest children had their sports day this week so I had 2 mornings watching them participate in various races.  My 4 year old had a great week at Pre-school,not long now before big school.I’m going to be a bit sad to be honest.My children are all growing up way too quickly for my liking and I have found girl’s especially don’t want to stay little girls for long.  They,like I was at their age are in such a hurry to grow up.

Last night my 8 year old had a sleepover at school,the aim being to prepare the kids to be away from home ready for school trips.  I packed her off at 5.30pm with a lovely new Pink sleeping bag,a Pillow,some snacks,clothes,toothbrush and toothpaste and away she went.  We now know who creates the chaos in our house.  It was so quiet and calm-too quiet for my liking.  She has been away from home on occasion stayiing at friends or my dad’s for the night and she is very grown up and sensible but I still find it difficult when any of my children aren’t at home.  I am a born worry wort and like knowing where my children are and what they are up to.  That said,she has come home today,quite tired but she had a lovely time with her teachers and friends.

This summer is the end of an era for 2 of m y children and that makes me both sad and excited.Sad for them to be leaving places they have learnt so much but excited that they are progressing up to the next stage of their educational journey’s.  I aim to make the most of this summer and do as much as I can with them.

Toilet training and growing up

At what age is it best to start toilet training?   Are boys or girls quicker to toilet train?  As a mum of 5 you’d think I’d be an expert by now.I have to admit I’m not.  This is one are which I have found difficult.I have tried all sorts of potties and toilet seats.  I’ve started attempted to start toilet training with all of my children when they reach 2 years old to no avail.  3,has so far been the age when I have successfully managed to toilet train my children.  I think our youngest will probably be earlier though as he wants to copy everything his older siblings do.At 6 months old he is already crawling,sitting up,albeit still wobbling a bit and has stood himself up using the travel cot.  He already has 2 teeth and is doing everything earlier than any of the other children.  My children are growing up so fast.

This September will bring lots of changes for us.My eldest starts Secondary school,he has his induction day tomorrow and I think I’m more nervous than he is.  My main concern is that he’ll have to catch a bus to school and back,will have more responsibilities for dinner money which he’ll be issued a special top up type card which will use his finger print to activate and use.  Clever stuff these days,however I’m a born worrier and my son has previously been a victim of bullies.  The school is a couple of miles away and I don’t drive  = even more of a worried mummy.  My 4-year-old is ready for infants now.She’s had her induction sessions,we have most of her uniform already,all we need now is for September to come.  I’m not in any hurry though as I want to make the most of this summer,who knows next year I could have a hormonal adolescent son.(Glad I’m going through everything with my chilled out son first)

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