15

Not Another Grocery Haul

Today we went shopping! Grocery shopping! The monthly (ish) dash around Aldi to be precise. I love reading grocery haul posts on blogs, seeing the amazing and often colourful array of produce, along with the fab recipe ideas and meal plans, I also love watching grand designs….. And, in the same way there is no chance I will ever build a house from scratch and have Kevin Mcleod ’round for a cuppa in my reclaimed wood kitchen…. I’ll never quite manage those beautifully crafted grocery posts I so love reading. Here instead, is my version

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Before I go
Meal plans? Noo! I barely have time to plan my outfit… My leggings are really annoying me today, all twisted and loose at the crotch…. So I kinda just, you know look in the cupboards briefly to see what we need. Which if it’s grocery day is prob everything because I’ve worn down the contents over the last week (concoctions of beans and pasta cos I’ve been putting off the shop for days). Getting everyone out the house is like an episode of the Animals of Farthing Wood (remember that). In general we don’t tell the children where we are going, we just aim to leave within the hour…. And run back once they’re strapped in the car for the bags…. That way they can’t escape when they see the ‘bags for life’. Sometimes we forget these altogether and end up having to buy more. oooo you should see the array we have stashed around the house… Now that’s colourful grocery shopping!

Why Aldi?
We live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Devon countryside, we visit Tesco in the local town for a jolly regularly (too regularly) to pick up the fresh veg. (I mention Tesco a lot in my posts). Aldi is our Mecca (that and Ikea), every six weeks we visit to stock up on meat and fillers… It’s cheap! It’s also great quality and, because there is a smaller selection we get in and out in under half an hour…. It’s like supermarket sweep. A trolley each and go go go. Except today we forgot our pound tokens (we remembered the bags though) and felt asking the manager to unlock one trolley was embarrassing enough, let alone two… So I pushed, Scott carried, the children kinda put up with it and we dashed about in haste stopping only to readjust these bloody leggings.

Once home
Now I know this is where I’m meant to lay out all the items beautifully on the kitchen sides and photograph them in pretty wooden crates but well, I didn’t! I stuck on CBeebies and hastily scraped old crumbs out the cupboards and threw in the haul…. I gingerly walked over the decking in our garden to the shed to throw the meat into the chest freezer and bring back the washing from the tumble in the bags for life!

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What to cook?
With two jobs, a blog and three children I dont have time to cook from scratch; I can you know! Make sauces out of cornflour, herbs, sweat and tears etc… But I’d rather write about how I don’t  do it and shove pre-diced meat into the slow cooker with a jar of curry mix…. Then ding some rice… Because it’s so much easier and Thats how I roll! So here it is… Our grocery haul…. 8 hours later, already in the cupboards and some half eaten, but done! Done for another six weeks and only £150!

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Oh, a crème egg, how did that get there?

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Things that annoy me when I’m pregnant

Ok so hormones go a little bit crazy during pregnancy, and most of this stuff is my responsibility, but that doesn’t stop me breathing fire once in a while.

1. When people do a pee in the toilet I just cleaned……

2. Cooking disasters

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3. When my cup of tea goes cold

4.When people put anything other than books on the book shelf

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5.When I get up for the 3rd time that night to pee

6.and the toilet roll hasn’t been replaced correctly

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7. Having to adjust the seat in the car

8. When things are left on the stairs

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9. Forgetting why I have walked into a room

10. When the stair rail is used instead of the coat hooks

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11. Finding myself sobbing during the opening sequence to Fireman Sam

12. Tea bags left on the side

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13. Toothpaste in the sink

14. When the table isn’t cleared from breakfast before creativities begin…. mmmm toast crumb cards

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15. When my husband has hic-ups…. or sneezes, or snores, or burps…. or breaths too heavily

16. The vacuum cleaner lead….. enough said!!

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17. Discovering there’s no milk….. after brewing my cupa

18. Forgetting to remove the veg crate before using the microwave and praying for thanks that the house didn’t go up in flames

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2

The Thin Red line

So, we’re pregnant! I hope this goes a little way to explain my absence of late, I’ve either been with the kiddies, working, or sleeping. Bfeeding a toddler during the early stages of pregnancy is exhausting not to mention slightly painful but, we’re still pushing forward in an earth-mother-with-kids-hanging-of-her-boobs kinda way….

The day the red line appeared I had stocked up on the following at Tesco…. A bottle of Malibu, 3 ovulation kits, a pregnancy test and a big box of tampons…… I secretly snuck away to the loo when we returned home (thanks to ‘In The Night Garden’) and obviously was delighted when the line appeared! But my second thought, was ‘dam it!….. What a waste of a shopping trip’

I hadn’t really expected to be pregnant that month, I mean, my cycle had been all out and all attempts had failed for 3 months previously. Plus, with the pressures of Christmas and various house guests, hubby and I are certain we didn’t actually do the deed….we still don’t remember when said event took place….. gosh is that marriage for you? I mean I often forget when he asks to me wash certain jumpers… and in turn he has forgotten to sort the tv wires for 6 months now, but sex… erm that’s never happened before…

Yes Aunt Flow was late, but it wasn’t the first time since she reappeared following Baby Roo’s birth, I took the test out of habit really… and low and behold, there it was, the thin red line!DSCF4218edit

Our dates have been very hard to decipher as this line appeared a week after conception (even odder now that I don’t remember). Those hormones must have been strong… I spent the first 8 weeks thinking I was two weeks ahead of myself and couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel particularly sick…. An early scan revealed our ‘Macfly’ (After the BTTF character, not the band) was strong and healthy but wouldn’t be sharing my Virgo birth sign as suspected (no I don’t believe in that, but sounds cool right?….. ok, I couldn’t think of another way to wrap up that sentence).

Surprisingly the sickness is so much easier to manage than both my previous pregnancies, maybe its because there’s little time to dwell and wallow but I feel so much better than before. The problem with third time around is the good old pelvic floors are less forgiving…. I’m not trying to gross you out but, ever puked and peed?…. its humiliating!! I’ve taken to attempting to reinstate them every time I boil the kettle…. This is fairly often, as, when you have a toddler the kettle is re-boiled at least four times before you actually get round to making a brew!

As you can see I’m not going to be sharing the glamorous side of pregnancy (does it really exist). I’d love to do a bump update every week for you but erm at the moment I look about 6 months gone, the joys of close pregnancies! Ill simply relate as I always do, the reality of being a slummy mummy of two three!!DSCF4155edit

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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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Half-term song

Hello all, So after a few days off I thought I’d share with you all what we have been up to over the half term, some I may even make into blog posts….. Extra stress on the MAY as I’m sure you’re still awaiting the rest of my experiment… cough…. cough, never set goals, you’ll only feel like a failure when you don’t succeed.
Anywho, given that there’s less 8 weeks till Christmas I thought I’d break into song…

For the half-term holiday the Macdonald family (had)

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11 cups of coffee
10 dirty nappies
9 home-made cupcakes
8 loads of washing
7 hours Ikea-ing
5 days off work
4 calved pumpkins
3 lie ins
2 days in Bristol
And a fast trip to A and E

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Not as young as I used to be

Do you ever feel like you’re still 18? Oh I know I have a house, a family and a respected job, but every so often my little world is jolted by the reminder that I’m not as young as I think I am.

This weekend, in a rather belated family celebration, we went out for a meal. Now, going for a meal in our household is a rare treat, not because I like cooking so much (we have the obligatory fortnightly take-away), but because It’s too much hassle sometime to get, the children out the house, get ourselves out the house and be back in time for the bedtime routine. On this occasion my fears are confirmed, when, arriving at the family friendly restaurant (no swanky candlelit bars for us) we realise we have left the changing bag at home. The baby had done a poo and we don’t have his meal time paraphernalia, cue trip to local Tesco for husband while I wait for our order to arrive!

In walks a group of young people, I expect them to glance over (as young people do when either checking out the talent or the competition) they don’t see me, they order their Alco pops and instead, I’m greeted by a family of five and their screaming toddler… I send the mother a sympathetic look. Yep I’m not 18 anymore.

Our waitress is also in her teens, she looks affronted when I ask her to clean the highchair again (we had a terrible gastro incident involving a trip to hospital last time baby Roo ate from an unknown high chair) I feel like one of those clean freak mums, which if you saw my house, would def cause a raised eyebrow to these demands…. I waitressed once, I sneered at disinfectant wipe mothers but OMG I’m one of them now.

The waitress returns to bring our drinks, neither hubby nor I are drinking alco pops, or alcohol at all for that matter. Oh don’t get me wrong it’s not because we want to be responsible parents, I even offered to drive so he could have a West Country Cider but, we decide, neither of us want a sore head (or the other to have an excuse not to fetch baby from the cot at 3am). We have a coke each and I set about trying to calm the baby by whipping out my boob, the other mother throws back my  sympathetic look and the teens look a little disgusted. They are talking about music festivals, I on the other hand am reassuring the eldest that it’s fine to use a single crayon to colour in the menu: leave them out in the cold long enough and all veg turns blue….. Harriet is not convinced!

When did my life change? When did blue crayons become more important than blue vodka drinks and hairspray…. I still feel 18!

Just as the meal is brought out, hubby returns with plastic cups, nappies, wet wipes and, low and behold, disinfectant wipes!!

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The best laid plans / Often go awry

We overslept, a rarity in this household. Mums don’t need alarm clocks you see. At 6:45 each morning we are awoken by the children, either the eldest asking about what’s for dinner next week or the youngest cooing accusingly into the baby monitor. For 10 seconds this morning we congratulate the children on letting us sleep in…. then the realisation kicks in: its 7:18 and we are quite possibly going to be late.

I have plans for today: I was going to try for the yummy mummy status, get up at 6 have a shower, do make-up, lay each child’s clothes out ready, maybe make the pack lunches…. Find some co-coordinating jewellery, locate my chic scarf. I may bake some cupcakes when the youngest has his morning nap later, I could unload and load the dish washer while they cook…sort out the washing that I’ve refreshed twice in the machine. Maybe I’ll start a blog on craft projects…. We have recently moved house you see, I’m quite into the idea of blogging my interior design ideas. I have written a list!

Despite sleeping in, the baby is tired…. Maybe he’s having a growth spurt? We are nearly out of bread. “its ok mummy, I like the end crusts” (thank goodness). I feed the baby porridge and throw a cup of coffee down my neck…. And dressing gown…. (see that’s why it’s good not to get dressed until the last min).

We all troop upstairs, I have no clean clothes, I really should sort out the wash…. Maternity wear it is then….. the coordinating jewellery is in a box somewhere…. I’ll go for the naturel look today… nothing worse than turning up for the school run looking like you’re going out for the night.

The husband leaves to catch his train; he breaks into a jog as he passes the garage…..

Throw together a packed lunch and I sort out some money for a school trip. The baby cries, he doesn’t want to get dressed this morning, He doesn’t want a banana, he doesn’t want his sister to play peek-a-boo with him, he doesn’t need his nappy chan….. oh wait, yes he does.

We’re late, we had better drive to school (actually no quicker, but these maternity trousers are a bit big for me now, would hate to expose hideous m&S underwear while pushing pram down the road).Made it to school, just in time. forgot lunch box!! As baby sleeps for 2 hours at 9:30, we will have to break into school trip money….. Harriet likes school lunch better anyway.

HOME!!!! Ooooo postmans been

Baby doesn’t sleep at 9:30, baby fills nappy (again). I empty all my pockets placing remaining trip money with the post and lay down to feed him…..  10 mins later I awake with him fast asleep and still attached. We begin the cot lowering mission. Slowly_creep_into_babys_room_gently_lower_him_into_cot_back_away and trip on a oh so stylish vintage crate……BABY AWAKE

I abandon my baking plans and spend the next hour trying to get him to nod off again. He keeps smiling, we give up, I empty, reload the put the dishwasher on with him in my arms….

Side note: how do other mums get anything done with a baby? This is the extent of the housework while he is awake….. a bit of dirt is good for building up his immune system anyway, don’t want him to be one of those sickly children who sees a speck of dirt and comes down with stomach flu….. Incidentally, if you were a child like this please put me in touch with your mother so I can ask her how she managed to keep such a spotless home…… maybe you had your nap at 9:30?

We have no bread, I have to boil up some pasta and stream some veg for little mans lunch…. Dish washer is full of clean stuff, I leave saucepans on the side, fill one with water to ‘soak’ I’m good at doing that, did you know, some need to soak for 24 hours atleast??

Moving house equals lots of phone calls; I aimlessly open the post while on hold. Baby seems happy, he’s playing with some paper….. OMG it’s the trip money, He’s eaten Harriet’s £10 note…..

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So there we have it

Hours spend napping (baby) 0

Cupcakes made 0

Phone calls completed 0

Loss: £10

Gain: 2 dirty nappies

Washes done 0

Dishes on the side in the morning 9

Dishes on the side in the afternoon 9 (but different ones)

School trips paid for 0