Shake It Off!

10919268_341657849365808_165253830_nI don’t know what it is that makes the start of the year so hard for me to be motivated… maybe it’s the fact that it is so cold and gloomy here or maybe the Christmas come-down just lingers too long in my head… but I don’t get to feeling real perky about the year ahead until Spring!  Maybe even Easter!  As soon as the weather starts to get better/ warmer and the days start to get longer, my motivation grows and I become super productive, full of new ideas and enthusiasm for the rest of the year.  Is that normal or is it just me?

The end of March is nearly upon us and I can feel myself shaking off the slump that is the first quarter after Christmas!

I’m currently compiling a list of things that make me happy, to help speed up the shake-off phase.  Little things.

So far I have the following:

Compliments when you are least expecting them.
Browsing Pinterest for decor ideas for the boys new rooms.
Sunny mornings.
Driving alone.
Spicy sausage rolls from Attridge and Cole.
Playing board games as a family.
Snuggling with the boys in a blanket while introducing them to movies from my childhood.
Daffodils.
Frozen yoghurt with mochi and sprinkles from Spoon Street.
Seeing my amazing friends.

:)

Nate’s Birthday Party!

DSC_1534 I’m so late in getting this posted but I had a lot of trouble with my blog and those loose ends needed tidied up before I posted anything new.  Nate’s birthday was indeed a couple of months ago now and this year we chose to stay at home and have a few people over.  My littlest man hasn’t yet been to nursery school or anything so he hasn’t the same amount of friends to invite to a big party like Ollie does, so a small celebration at home was perfect.

DSC_1523 He dressed up as Hulk to answer the door to our friends and family… the theme was Avengers, so we had avengers table decor and Ollie drew all the characters on the blackboard in the dining room.  I also made a Hulk cake.

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Instead of party bags that we normally do, I made up little bags of mixed sweeties and chocolate and tied them with a Hulk label that said “Thanks for coming to my party”.

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We got him one of the huge number balloons that are filled with helium and he loved it.  He dragged it about from room to room.

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Most of the friends that came are friends of Ollie’s who, since Nate was born, have taken to him also.  They are all very good with him and include him as much as they can.  We have the same group over for most birthdays and Halloween!

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The food we served consisted of sandwiches, pizza, chips, chicken nuggets, tortilla chips and salsa, grapes, cookies, sausages and potato salad and my mum made a huge pot of her amazing pumpkin soup.

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I also bought limeade, which Nate called “Hulk juice” because it was bright green and he took to calling the grapes “Hulk grapes” too.

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Nate loved the Hulk cake… the second Hulk cake in a week, but by far the easier one because I just iced the cake green and put a Pop Vinyl Hulk on top of it.

629A8469 DSC_1539He opened his presents when everyone went home and he got awesome gifts.  He was given some clothes, puzzles, stickle bricks, building blocks that are blackboard that you can draw on with chalk, a huge toy airplane, a transformer truck, TMNT boxers and a gorgeous Superman dressing gown!.  Both boys were run ragged after the party and so was I! HAHA!

Thank goodness there is a few months before the next one!

Nate’s Birthday

Nate turned 3 a few weeks ago and we had a wonderful time with both a birthday day, just family, and then a proper party a week later.

His birthday always comes so quickly after Christmas that it hits us like BAM and we are sat choosing presents again (even though he doesn’t need very much) and wrapping again.  Sick of the sight of wrapping paper haha.  It was all worth it though when he woke on his birthday morning.  I’m so glad it was a Sunday, so James didn’t have to take a day off work to be with us.

This year he unwrapped a Spiderman scooter, a Teenage Ninja Turtles dress up, Playdoh, a toolbox, a Nerf gun and some superheroes!  Each unwrapping was met with a grin and a gasp… so much fun watching him open presents.  

I served the boys Brioche for breakfast and then we got up and dressed to take the boys out on their scooter/ skateboard.  It was freeeeeezing so we didn’t stay out long, just long enough for Nate to get somewhat to grips with how his scooter worked.  We grabbed a KFC on the way home and waited for Uncle Ryan to drop by.  He had a family ticket for W5 and we thought it would make a great birthday outing!

After spending a few hours in W5, we went to Nando’s for dinner.  It’s always a fail safe for us, the boys love the food there and they get all you can eat frozen yoghurt afterwards!  When dinner was done it was straight home for cake and bed.  Hulk cake that is.

To my 3 year old

Little Nate, 

We say it every year, but we really can’t believe how fast the time goes.  You’re now THREE!  You turned three a couple of weeks ago and honestly, it feels like we have no more babies in our house.  Our baby days are done and we have two amazing boys who are growing up at rocket speed!

I think back to all the mischief you caused in the lead up to your birth.  You kept us guessing night after night for weeks, about when you might arrive… it was all on your terms.  To this day you are still as headstrong as you were before you were even born.  You are so confident and independent and you smile at everyone you meet.

I’m so glad I was blessed with boys… you LOVE having Ollie as your older brother even though at times you bother each other.  You are learning to stand up for yourself at the same time as he is learning to have patience and when you guys play together nicely, you have the BEST time.

You aren’t even slightly babyish anymore.  This last year we have tackled potty training and you have done remarkably well… you gave your soothers to Santa this year so he could give them to crying babies everywhere… and you don’t need a pram anymore, you love to walk and this September you start nursery school… you’ll be gone every morning until 11.45!  I’m going to miss you so much but I know you will love it.

Your speech has come on leaps and bounds and considering that last year they wanted a speech therapist to check on you, you’ve proved to everyone once again that you do things in your own time.  You talk in full sentences and actually, you don’t stop talking…. some of your words are very cute.

You currently love Paw Patrol and anything superhero… your favourites are Hulk and Batman. You love being read to and you love to do anything crafty and would play with playdoh or colour in for hours.  You enjoy rough-housing with Ollie and you emulate everything he does including karate and breakdancing and honestly, I’d like to get you into a class when you’re old enough because you are really rather good!  In terms of what you like to eat…. that changes day by day… but you love cereal and bananas and you call green grapes Hulk grapes!

We love the absolute bones of you and we are beyond lucky to have you.

Love, Mummy.

2015 Goals

Each year I make a list of goals for the year… and I call them goals because I think the word resolutions holds too much pressure.  Goals would suggest trying…. resolutions carries a lot more in the way of failure if you can’t rigidly stick to them.  Here are the five things I most want to work on this year!

1.  Establish my photography business!  I want to be a photographer.  I’m practicing and practicing and am still getting to grips with my camera and lenses and I want to work hard on my portfolio this year.  Nate starts nursery school in September so I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands!

2.  Take better care of myself!  This one is more because I turned 30 in the last year… I know I need to look after myself better.  I want to get into a habit of either running or doing yoga 4 times a week, lose a little weight and I need to drink more water and A LOT less Coke.

3.  Say yes more often.  This is a goal I set every year because it’s super important and there is always room for improvement.  I am guilty of saying “in a minute” or “we will do it later”, when really the most important thing is the boys, chores etc can wait.  I also need to consciously put my phone and computer away for a while and really absorb all the wonderful things that are happening in my day.

4.  Knuckle down and STUDY.  This year I started on a degree course part-time.  I love it and I am doing well, but to be honest, there is so much room for improvement where study is concerned.  I am getting good marks without putting all my effort in, so imagine what I could get if I REALLY TRY.

5.  Get serious about saving.

I’m late to the party in posting my goals for the year but it’s still January, so it still counts!

A Whole Year Of Sibling Photos

Last year I decided to join in with a bunch of other bloggers, in taking at least one really nice photo of our kids each month.  The boys are running crazy or doing their own thing so often that it’s hard to get a nice one of them together.  They are also at an age now where they hate to stand still for photos, so one a month is quite enough.  I love being able to see how they’ve both changed!

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

New Year, New Blog… Sort Of

Happy New Year!!

I’m not really starting a new blog, but rather giving this blog a new start.  I fell way behind towards the end of last year for a ton of reasons.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t have things that I wanted to share and post about, but rather, it just wasn’t a good time and I lacked the enthusiasm to sit down and document our goings-on.

But it’s a new year and with that comes a whole bout of inspiration and new energy, including that for the blog.

Also, there is super loads to catch up on so bare with me while I get my crap together!

That One Time The Police Visited!

During the summer, when Ollie started getting restless and bored, I took the initiative to write to the PSNI headquarters to see if there was any way that we could come and visit a police station. I explained in my email that Ollie had an avid interest in everything emergency services related and it was an interest that I wanted to encourage.  I didn’t think my email would go far but I figured that if I didn’t ask……

I was surprised a few days later when I got an email saying thank you for writing and that they were passing my mail to someone in my area.  I then got an email from the Constable Dunne who was the police man for our area and he said that we couldn’t visit the station for a number of different reasons but that he and a colleague could call out with the police car and visit with us. Excitement!!

When they were on their way, Ollie had no idea.  I didn’t tell either of the boys about my plan so when a police car showed up right outside the house, with two police men stepping out of it, Ollie looked excited and confused.

While they were here they answered Ollie’s questions and filled him in on this things he would need to do if he wanted to work for the PSNI one day.  They told him he needed to listen to his mummy more, always listen to his teacher and try hard at school and they told him a little about the young offenders unit just up the road from here and that the boys who were there hadn’t been very good.  They were so good with the boys, let them try their police hats on, showed them the items they kept in their duty belt (gun, cuffs, baton, cs spray, a radio and a torch).  They also brought some PSNI branded stationery for the boys (rulers, pencils and rubbers)!

When it was time for them to go, they let Ollie into the front of the car.  They switched the lights on, let the siren go and then we took a photo outside the car.  I can’t imagine what the neighbours thought!

How awesome is that for community engagement though.  I know the boys will remember the day forever.

How Thirty Feels

I realise that I haven’t been very consistent with posting on my blog lately.  Life has been quite the whirlwind since September started.  I find myself either insanely business or lacking even a particle of motivation.  Neither of which is conducive to keeping up a blog haha!

Anyway… I’ve been 30 for almost 3 months now and I think back to the start of July when I was apprehensive about turning the big 3-0.  Why was I so worried?

It sounds so clichéd but I literally waited until midnight, while James slept beside me, waiting for the hand to tick over to officially announce that it was my 30th birthday, and the moment it clicked, I felt different.  Yep, it sounds really silly and maybe it is all in my head… but I felt great.

I woke on the morning of the 16th July so ready to start being 30.

In the last 3 months I’ve passed my driving test, started at a yoga class, joined a running club, ran my first 5k, my second 5k and my first 10k, I started my degree course, I let go of grudges and broken friendships and I started paying more attention to my important and existing friendships in my life.  It’s been so good and I hope the rest of my year can go just as well.  I’ve more planned… more goals to reach for and things to keep me busy.  I’m happier and settled in myself, comfortable in my own skin and confident of the wisdom I’ve gained in my 30 years on earth.  30 is actually awesome.