My 2018 Aims

Quite possibly the last time I went out for New Years….6 years ago!

I HATE the word resolution, it just get thrown around to easily at New Year, there’s always the same ones (which I’ve also made) often “get fitter” “eat less crap” are on them. So I have decided to give myself aims for 2018. This year I had one aim which was to survive having two under two, and do you know what? Some days I’ve been blemmin amazing and I’ve surpassed my wildest expectation, other days, well other days I have done exactly what my aim was; SURVIVE. All in all, I did pretty well, so here are some of my plans/goals/aims whatever you want to call it for 2018:

  • Plan more play dates, especially with my best friend Egg and her gorgeous boy, maybe even involve our antisocial hubby’s.
  • More beach trips!
  • Keep making full use of our zoo pass.

    Happy days at the zoo!
  • Have at least two days/nights with friends without kids so I can actually focus fully on my friends and let my hair down a bit (plan a few to allow for John getting called into work/kids/me getting sick because they can smell plans)
  •  Try to have a date night/day at least once a month with John, even if it’s just us watching a film together at home, no phones, and no crafts for me, just spend time together and have a meal together where we really chat, AND have it at the table! (AKA the dumping ground).

    Our Minimoon, back in the child free days when everyday together was a date day 😉
  • Develop the blog, create new and exciting content for you lovely readers.
  • Be a little bit more realistic with setting craft targets for myself I’m terrible at deciding to do a big project and putting it off until the last minute so I’m up all hours stressed trying to finish it.
  • Get more sleep ( HA HA HA) Alright that one is dependent on the kids mainly but a girl can dream, except from in my sleep because that is broken by the sound of cries.
  • Make time for myself, go out for coffee on my own or have an evening off doing jobs to read or have a nice long soak in the bath, this one I say I will do so often and when I do it, it’s so lovely but I’m terrible at giving myself time out.

    Apparently “me time” doesn’t stretch to going back to the Maldives (I checked)
  • Finish decorating the house (see another upcoming post on the rental nightmare).
  • Run a race of sorts such as the race for life which will mean doing some sort of fitness (I’m not promising a transformation here but I need to do something for all the biscuits and cake I consume.
  • Start working on the bucket list, write it down (in my shiny new journal from the hubs) and get on with it.
  • Stop worrying about the past and focus on the present and the future
  • Take some time away from technology to be more present with my family and to process my own thoughts

So that last one does sound a bit hippy-ish I admit but I spend so much time online when I need to learn to put my phone down some more, especially in the evenings, I’m terrible for over thinking and not giving myself time to reflect on these thoughts which ruins my sleep and I’ll be honest I’m pretty sure I’m part sloth such is my love of sleep so I’ll do anything to improve the amount and quality I get.

Finally I shall keep my one of my hubby’s favourite sayings in my head “opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one and they’re normally full of shit”, if nothing else it will make me smile.

Cheers to a ruddy good 2018, may it be filled with sleep, agreeable toddlers and good times. Love The Mombie Diaries X

It’s a Christmas Post!

Luna with the big man himself

It may have escaped your attention but I LOVE Christmas, it’s just so magical. I love Christmas lights twinkling on a cold December night, I love having an excuse to eat crap and drink wine because it’s considered festive, and I love the fact that it pulls the family together.

As an adult I’ve always fully embraced Christmas but Christmas morning isn’t quite the same as an adult from when you were a kid. However now I’m a mum and it’s so exciting, last year Maisie didn’t really get Christmas, she was 11 months old and although she loved having presents it was all a bit confusing really and I was pregnant and a bit bleugh.

Admiring the Christmas train

This year however; Muj is loving the advent calendar, she’s loving all the talk of Santa, his Reindeer, Christmas morning and I am SOOOOO excited. I know she obviously still doesn’t quite get it, but she’s into it and I can’t wait for her to experience Christmas, not just the presents because honestly I could give her a carrier bag and she would be pleased, but all of it, getting together Christmas morning to see Santa has been, spending Christmas day together with family and having Christmas dinner together, pulling a cracker and playing games, I love it and she loves nothing more than being with her family.  I’ve kind of accepted Luna will probably be a bit overwhelmed by it all and mainly be interested in the wrapping paper than presents, but I’m excited for her to join us for some Christmas dinner now we’re weaning her, and I know she will get excited by seeing her sister excited too.

Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la

I won’t lie, having spent the last two Christmas’s pregnant I will be happy to be able to raise a toast this year too! I will also be raising an extra special toast to the fact that that bastard elf Sprinkles is gone. I will also be making the most of John being off too, as with his job having Christmas off is not guaranteed and we’ve been so lucky that he’s had annual leave this year to be with us.

One thing that has changed though, part of me is looking forward to the decorations coming down, not because I don’t like them, I love them but, our home is cosy with the four of us, a dog and all the kids paraphernalia. Throw in a big Christmas tree and other decs and it all becomes extremely cosy, we haven’t any room for the clothes horse so it’s in the playroom (conservatory) where clothes take forever to dry which means mount washmore never goes down in size. I also look forward to not having to shout “LOOK WITH YOUR EYES” everywhere we go because everywhere and everyone has Christmas decs out and Muj is like a moth to the flame with them, except she isn’t as light as a moth and is 10,000 times more clumsy and strong.
The final thing is all the toys! I’m not ungrateful at all, it’s lovely that so many people want to spoil our girls, it’s touching but finding space for them all gives me palpitations, Luna is still using all the baby stuff Maisie has outgrown so it’s not like I can chuck that out to make room either. I won’t lie, I get so excited about the day the play mat and the jumperoo go, the day we sold her swing was fantastic, we had nearly 1 metre of floor space back!

Probably the closest we’ll get to a Christmas family photo

So there it is, my post on Christmas. I’m going to try my best to stay away from the blog on Xmas eve/day/boxing day to focus on the family, though I’m sure there will be the odd post on social networks.

So I want to wish every single one of you a fantastic Christmas, however you celebrate, I’m embracing the chaos, and the wine! Merry Christmas Lovelies!

Mombie’s Cheese Straws

This is the recipe I know quite a few people have been waiting for. These cheese straws are always a huge hit when I make them, so much so I’m pretty sure it’s made some people who can’t stand me, tolerate me, which I’m not one for caring in my personal life if people don’t like me but in my professional life, a big part of my previous job was keeping people sweet and I find food is a massive winner in that respect (my sparkling personality aside).

Whenever we have family picnics (which we do at the zoo a lot), there has to be cheese straws, and its tradition in my family for these bad boys to make an appearance over the Christmas holidays too. You can even make the dough up, freeze it and bake it when needed which is great if you’re one of those organised sorts.

So here it is, Mombie’s Cheese Straws;

Ingredients

225g (8oz) Plain Flour

Pinch of Salt

1/2 teaspoon English Mustard Powder

100g (4oz) Butter (I use unsalted butter)

150g (6oz) Strong Cheddar Cheese (I often go a bit extra)

1 Egg Yolk

2 Tblsp Water

Milk for Glazing

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees

Sift the flour with salt and mustard powder into a bowl.

Add the butter and cheese and rub until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and water and draw together until the mixture reaches a dough like consistency.

Roll the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to roughly 2 mm thickness. cut into straws (or whatever shape you desire), pop on a tray and brush lightly with milk.

Bake in the oven for 15(ish) mins or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to set on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Try not to eat them all at once.

As I say this is the bake is most popular with everyone I know, I would love to see photo’s of your bakes and how quickly they go!

What Happen’s After You Die?

This is maybe a bit of a deep one from me, but I was trawling through the mum chatrooms as I love to do, and a popular thread came up on Mumsnet: “to ask what happens when you die” and reading the responses really got me thinking. I’ve always had different images on what happens after you die so I’ll go through my scenario’s but I would love to know what you think too?

Scenarios in order of my favourite:

  1. You die and go to a heaven like place where you can reunite with your lost loved ones and finally have that hug you’ve been waiting for, my old dogs are there waiting for me too. You can also take a spirit like form and go to the land of the living to occasionally watch over your loved ones, which is when they see feathers or robin’s (as the old wives tales go).
  2. Heaven is basically a tropical island (or whatever your favourite destination is) where you can SLEEEEEEP as much as you want, there are cocktails on demand which don’t get you past tipsy and you never have a hangover, the sea is pure and clear and you can swim all day. Oh and you can eat all the carbs ever and look like a supermodel. (OK this one is big time fantasy but why not?)
  3. There is a form of heaven and hell and it turns out you have to have been pretty saintly to get into heaven, St Peter presses the button for the trap door and I slide down (the slide is actually really long and fun) to hell where I pay my penance and after a time can join heaven unless I was a total monster (time served depends on how bad you were, there’s a lower level of hell you never escape for paedophiles/rapists/murderers/terrorists)
  4. You die and are re-incarnated, I quite like the idea of being a sea turtle in my next life.
  5. You die and that is it, there is no more, no beyond, no heaven, but also no hell, no purgatory, it is the end.

For me, some of that is drawn from my coping mechanisms of dealing with death, I love the idea that my grandparents check in on my from time to time, both my girls have middle names after my nan’s as part of me feels like they were a gift from them. It sounds a bit naive in some ways written down and deep down I’m sure there is a very depressing scientific answer for what happens after you die but that doesn’t bring me comfort, my scenarios do. Also how cool does that slide sound? I obviously have watched way too many cartoons, but still!

So hit me with your ideas? I have to say, some of the comments on the thread above are quite enlightening to me, and even the “well you’re dead” type one’s have been written quite poetically that actually some of them don’t sound too awful either. Although I’m not shifting on my fantasy beliefs anytime soon.

The Mental Health Post

So I did a Vlog late last night which is on the Youtube channel, (Which I’m still sorting). It’s the first one I’ve done and it’s so close to my heart.

The Christmas Photoshoot

Possibly the most decent photo, sigh.

 

Today I was feeling brave, John is away this week for training (a fairly regular occurrence) so it’s just me, the girls and the dog. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be lovely to get a proper Christmas photo of the girls together to mark Maisie’s first Xmas as a sister and Luna’s first Xmas full stop. Last year (Maisie’s first Xmas) was a bit rubbish due to me having HG so I wanted to do things properly this time.

The start of the day

Both girls woke up in great moods and I thought “great, I’m on to a winner, I’m going to get some bloody lovely photos taken at the photo place in Tesco” and John will be all “wow you’re the bestest, have some wine!” Okay maybe not quite like that but it would be nice anyway. I had sort of pre-planned this anyway when I bathed the girls last night I really washed their hair and dried it and brushed it all nice. I waited until we were almost ready to leave this morning before putting them in their Xmas clothes and again brushed Maisie’s hair, I even felt smug as I packed the hairband, brush and spare tights in the bag to ensure she would still look nice if she feel over or whatever, (I don’t know why I don’t ever learn about smugness and parenting).

Before we leave

Before we go I do a quick impromptu photoshoot on the sofa to test the water, the photos aren’t great but the girls were happy enough, great I think the photographer will capture a nice one for sure. Leaving the house is somewhat stressful with Maisie trying to roll in Pumba’s bed and Luna having a meltdown because I left her on the mat on the rug too long while sorting the pushchair and the dog thinks he’s coming so he’s going mental running around under my feet. After some tense words (ok maybe shouty words, I get the kids out the house, the dog in the house safely bribed with a dentastick and we head off to the shop. Now the photo shop is in Tesco which is a couple of minute’s walk from my home (both a blessing and dangerous), except with a toddler in tow who refuses to go in the pushchair it’s more like 15-20 minutes to the shop.

Arriving

We eventually arrive and it’s a bit busy, luckily they have a colouring station to I release Maisie to do her worst whilst I wait patiently to speak to the lady for these photo’s which takes a little while. Meanwhile Luna is getting that glazed tired look, but I remain optimistic, Maisie remains in her designated area and is not destroying anything. I tell the woman I want a nice Xmas photo of the girls on the special offer they’re doing, unfortunately because Luna can’t properly sit up unaided yet all the props have to be removed which is a bit rubbish but never-mind, the photo will be worth it. The woman sets up a little beanbag for Luna with a throw, I quickly brush Maisie’s hair and chuck her headband on and it’s time to do the photo’s.

The Shoot

I stick Luna down, who by now just see’s the bright lights as some trippy thing to stare at such is her tired glazed-ness, and set about trying to convince Maisie to sit nicely next to Luna with her arm around her. Have you ever tried to convince a not quite 2 year old to sit nicely in a certain pose and smile for a photo? Suddenly flashbacks of Luna’s newborn photoshoot come back to my mind, how Maisie did whatever the fuck she wanted and we had to heavily bribe her for most of it. In fact in the only decent photo’s with all of us in Maisie is holding a pot with blueberries. I tell myself that was 5 months ago now, she’s older she can do this.

Except she can’t, she barely stays still long enough to get a photo, she keeps pulling off her headband, she pokes Luna in the face or pulls her hood down then walks off. I’m bribing with all I’ve got, I even pull out the big guns that sprinkles the elf will tell Santa if she isn’t a good girl (desperation is a terrible thing). The photographer says to look at what she’s taken and Maisie can play and have a break and we can try again. I have a look, there’s maybe one that’s ok, she’s half smiling while going to take her headband off, Luna is just staring with a glazed expression with a double chin, the angle is not very flattering for her.

So I decide to try again but this time get Maisie to hold Luna because she loves doing that and being a big sister. So I carefully use my utmost fun mum voice and tell Muj we’re just going to do a couple more photos and would she like to hold Lulu? “No” fuck it. I tell Maisie to go sit on the beanbag Luna was on (the kid loves a beanbag) so off she trots and I dump Luna on her and try again. Maisie is out of fucks by now and we manage to get one or two photo’s before she’s pushing Luna away and Luna is trying to sit up to the camera. At this point I admit defeat, the woman shows me the photo’s I pick the best one out of them (no smiles obviously) for the photo prints then I have the job of picking 10, yes 10 photo’s for the photo CD.

After

Admittedly I could have left it but I felt so guilty that we had wasted so much of this woman’s time and she has gone out of her way to help me before I felt obliged to stick with what we were doing to I picked my photo’s for the CD, sorted the kids while the woman worked her magic, paid my money and left cursing myself, my optimism and my smugness.

Then of course Maisie hadn’t forgotten about her bribes, of course she bloody hadn’t so I had to go buy those, and walk home trying to find some positives, and do you know what, I’ll be wheeling these photo’s out when they’re teens to embarrass them so that’s a win, and hey I got to tell you guys about my experience, because who wants to read about some smug mum that got the perfect photo of her perfect kids for their perfect Christmas, right?

I’ve put some of my favourite photo’s below, I would love to see your photo fails too!

This one is my favourite, the way she just casually cover’s her sister’s face :’D