Sunday Tales and Snails Trails

Sunday is our typical walk day, and the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the toddler was tantruming… Etc etc so today we stayed at home.. Except we used the garden and our brand spanking new BBQ!  

 Hell! It was hard work… All that waiting, salad prepping, Pimms drinking, I’m a ball of tiredness this evening. But, it’s the most fun we have had in a long time.  


I know the family BBQ is meant to be a staple pastime, but until now we hadn’t made the most of our garden. We have a large deck which overlooks the fields and a smaller lawn area which is beautiful, but deadly…. Seriously there’s a shear drop onto the hedge below and, until this weekend, we were unsure what to do… We had this new shiny toy… Re hot death trap and a six foot drop
Out came the playpen, to bridge the gap. The children wouldn’t be able to use the garden but they could spend the day on the deck… Luckily that’s where the outside tap is. After eating, playing, snail taming (more on that later) we had a water fight…. Yes all of us! Playing catch with water balloons on a belly full of piri piri pork and burgers, we had a whale of a time. It’s days like this that make me all reflective. Who says we are not cool parents (eh H?)  

Here are some observations though

Garden furniture:

We have none, well, one plastic chair (that we had to wrestle Aragog in the shed for) and a rusty old table, which I covered in a table cloth. But jeez, how expensive is your basic table and chairs set??? Last year I ordered one on Amazon…. It arrived and we collapsed into giggles… It was a kids set… So, this year I’m attempting the pallet upcycle…. Oh yes I am…. I’ve pinned it!  


Garden toys

You see it on all the summer pictures, children prancing about in giant paddling pools with a Wendy house and supersoakers…. We (had) a tiny ring but Aragog saw to it that we will never touch it again… It’s at the back of the shed, with his babies…. But turns out, you don’t need all that stuff, the tent for our playroom served as shade, a skipping rope…. One cosy coupe… Strike that, we need two… Two cosy coupes for the love of god we need two….it turns out, playing petrol pump attendant, while your brother Flintstones around the decking is not a cool, fun job…. A job which leads to tears and screams… A job that ends in someone getting hurt. And, if you’re wondering…. It’s not a role that can be appeased with ice poles. 

Nature teaches life lessons

Today Harriet became a mother (of sorts) she took under her wing a snail, Barbara by name, slimy by nature. She protected Barbara from younger children, children who insisted she needed ‘more food’ while hurling dandelions at her and burying her under a mountain of leaves. She stroked her shell and talked in hushed tones. I was reminded of the Dick-King-Smith novel from my childhood….SOPHIE’S SNAIL? 


Now I know what you’re thinking, my sub heading does spell impending doom…. But hold on to your shells, Barbara lives… But H did learn something…  

 After playing with her newly acquired friend for a good thirty mins she announced 

‘I’m going to have to let her go….. I can’t protect her forever, it’s just too much responsibility’


Straight face, eyebrow raised emoji and a knowing nod.

Happy Sunday people!!


Yet Another Sunday Walk….. A few weeks Overdue

In general we make an effort to get out every Sunday, but with new jobs, lack of clean washing and tbh, a bit of laziness, we have neglected our tradition for nearly a month…. Last week we actually went scouting at the local boot sale instead…love April because they all start up again

But,  today, for May,  we decided it had been far too long, and we set off for Drogo (National Trust). We haven’t been yet this Spring and it was so lovely to see the flowers out and the building looking so much closer to completion…. 

We don’t normally use the cafes, because our day ends up costing too much, but today we decided to treat ourselves to some hot-chocolate and scones in the garden area also.


The day started a bit hectic and despite requesting H do her hair and put on her wellies, we rushed out the house without double checking, only to arrive and discover she had not done either…. It turns out, heading upstairs to get some socks was far too much effort and she opted instead for summer pumps…. Cue argument…. Sulking and tween attitude for the first hour….  Luckily she perked up, despite v cold feet and enjoyed the rest of the visit…. Juggling the needs of toddlers and a tween is difficult…. She is starting to resist our walks and this is somthing I’m finding tough… I think we need to think of new ways to engage her so she doesn’t feel left out, ideas on a post card please! 

Enjoy our foray into May



Setting The Scene For A Swashbuckling Pirate Party

A month ago I showed you our fabulous bottle of fun party invites for Roos Pirate themed BIrthday Party. Well, during the Easter break that swashbuckling foray took place. From the food to the decor, I worked my crafty socks to the bone and, with lots of help from my far more organised other half, we just about pulled it off….. Here is the first of a few posts…. 

From flags to masts, bunting to props here are some ideas for anyone wanting to host a themed event for their own little one.

A mast centrepiece 

We painted an old sheet with poster paint


and added a cross (because roo doesnt like skulls)


the scene is nearly set


an added touch from little mans pirate ship toy

we used a mix of different styles for this. Chalk board flags are brilliant and can be used time and time again. You can see our previous use for H’s Tween themed party on Instagram. I spent hours cutting out these anchors from silver card…. Not something I would recommend….  Especially if you use the next one to frame the following…. The final cut out was more smudge than ahoy there… But yo ho and all that 

   I ordered this beautiful name bunting from the extremely talented Viv at lovingly made gifts. With an Xmas day birthday we thought Roo could keep this from his party as a special out of season present. Do pop along to her Facebook page and give her a like…. Although be warned, your newsfeed will be filled with lots of tempting handmade goodies. 

     A few final touches and we just had to wait 



The unproductive truth about Easter break 

When Scott is off work for the holidays it’s always strange, our routines fly out the window and I find myself being, to put it bluntly, a bit lazy. Anyone who’s other half teaches will understand the scenario. You look forward to relaxing without the hassle of school run or toddler group rushing around and then you just kinda flop about… Even our Sunday walks fall by the wayside because there is always tomorrow. With Easter and two parties, plus job interviews and….er….netflicks, I find myself so much less productive. I have about seven unpublished posts and we didnt get out as much as we wanted. We did manage a date though….. This is unheard off. 

We did make it to the park yesterday, I even had a go on the zip wire (picture NOT INCLUDED) So here’s a couple of snaps. I expect once we settle back into routine I’ll finally get round to sharing more…. Some advice for other bloggers…. Don’t get it right, get it written. Enjoy! And I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. 



Ch ch ch changes 

Despite claiming this blog is about juggling motherhood and a career, I have to admit there’s not been a whole lot of juggling recently, it’s more a game of grab the balls when you can….. Yeh… I’ll just leave that one here for parents all around the globe to relate to also…..

But in seriousness everything blends into one…. We are back to talking responsibilities now…. I work to a loose schedule, fitting in 14 hours work around the children, washing, blog, housework etc. some days, when roos at preschool and Nerg having a nap, I find myself in bed, with the boob monster, going through emails, flagging to action and staring at how dirty the mirrors are.


A few weeks ago I wrote a post on this and it got me thinking more about what I want to do in life, oh the cliche.

Working from home just hasn’t been working for me since I returned from maternity leave. My responsibilities and priorities mesh together into one big ball of guilt. I’ve been considering dropping down some tasks at work so I can focus more on others. I flit about between roles and it has taken it toll on me. I was hoping I could hold on until the boys went to school but my head has been filled with a never ending to do list, which when your whole life is based at home, you just can’t switch off from it….. Every evening I’ve been playing a game of me vs house. I mean, we’ve just got Netflix and I kinda wanna enjoy it! So I took the plunge and applied for a job. Great reasoning hey?

Two interviews (six changes of clothes) and a chat with my current manager later, and here I am, ready to embark on a new journey, one which knocks my home working hours right down, but forces me out of my comfort zone, and the boys….Into childcare….and h into after school club.   Luckily, Scott’s teaching hours mean he can take on some childcare and we can keep our mothers help, which is so important as she’s been in our lives nearly three years. But we do need a further care and that’s scary! I have mothers guilt from Hs babyhood still hanging over me and at 18 months Nerg hasn’t been away from me for more than a couple of hours. I’m faced with one and a half days away from him now but the only thing I feel guilty about, is my lack of guilt.


We visited a nursery when Roo was 6 months old and I couldn’t bare it, I don’t know why, but I felt that I would be abandoning him…. But nerg is so sociable that I find myself saying ‘he’ll love it’ and I actually mean it. 

If I didn’t have to work, I guess I’d carry on at home… Use my crafts as a creative outlet…. But I don’t have the choice to be a SAHM and, if I have to work… I want to bloody well enjoy it and feel I’m giving my all. This new role is tremendously exciting and my perfectionist side is so relieved that I can finally do justice to my current job also. 


Working from home with little ones just isn’t doable on a large scale, not for me anyway. I can get out, earn the pennies, build a career and the house will be in the same state I left it in the morning…still piles of washing…..but nothing added, it will feel so strange to be me, not me as a mum….or sat I’m my laundry room office for hours trying to focus through the dirty pants….its still the same amount of balls…. but, more juggling space. 

Maybe I really can have it all? And, if I feel tired or overwhelmed, well, I can sit down with a glass of vino in the evening and watch Netflix!! 


Not a cool mum, just a regular mum

A week ago I wrote a poem to my not so little girl. Tonight she is having a sleepover, they have made a music video and I was invited to watch, it was hilarious and once again reminded me how grown up she is becoming. I popped my head around the door a few moments ago and excitedly announced ‘chubby bunnies?’ While holding aloft two bags of marshmallows. They put down their iPads (big girl h doesn’t have one) and eagerly accepted the challenge…. I was not invited to take part, I was, however, offered the second bag and, cheeks full of fluff, returned slowly, dejectedly,downstairs to Scott. 

He is making a pirate sail in the kitchen for Roos party…. Turning away from the poster paint he asks me ‘are you going to take up some rice crispy squares?’ with a grin…. I had to blog about this. Rice crispy squares of course symbolise that I’m in ‘Molly Weasley’ territory, which, for my younger two is pretty cool….. But I guess its decidedly uncool to a tween… I’m not saying I want to be Mrs George (see mean girls) but I did think I would be a ‘hip’ mum….. My sister pointed out to me earlier that that will never happen, no matter how many shapes I throw, no matter how many times I recite all the lyrics to Little Mix’s Black Magic, or learn all the ‘in phrases’ or make silly jokes…. I will always be a regular mum… Unimmune to the eye roll…. Forever an embarrassment. 

But I’m a young mum….. Or I was…. I’m not 30 yet, I’m down with the lingo…. In with the kids…. I have a crush on Harry styles too (it’s the hair). Woe is me!!!!
I want to offer some words of wisdom to mums everywhere at the start of their journey…. Don’t say no….. If your little girl asks to paint a picture with you! Do it! Washing can wait, that news article can be saved, that job, is just that, a job! …. Build that tower…. Read that second story…. Hold their hand a while longer…..One day, you’ll find your presence isn’t requested so much…. They will always need you, but those constant invitations to join their little world will be more selective. As they grow and mature….. They need space to find who they are….. Mum may not be the biggest influence in their life…. Friends take your place and it’s bloody scary. 

Big girl H has some lovely ‘BFF’s’ and I’m proud that she has a solid friendship group, unfickle, sensible and polite….. It makes letting go a bit easier. If you had told me when I held that little baby in my arms at 19, that the letting go process began at 10, I would have laughed. I would have thought…. Don’t make them grow up too quickly….pop songs, iPads, Harry frikkin styles! No way! I won’t let her! But how could I know then what I now realise…. She’s growing at her rate, the rate of all tween girls around the country…. 10 isn’t the new 13…. It’s just the start of the next chapter…. Where one day, she won’t turn to me first…. 

But for now, every-time she calls for me, every time she asks for my advice or shares her racing thoughts with me, I will listen…. I will savour….Unless she’s telling me again how much she loves emojis….. I won’t tell her I love them too, because then she’ll think I’m trying to ‘be cool’ and I’ll never be invited to play chubby bunnies. 


Our Easter Tree

Yes, Easter is early this year…. Too early… I’m hardly over Christmas and with big girl Hs birthday sleepover and a pirate party to plan…. Easter is just too much… There’s only so many crafts a girl (ahem woman) can cope with. But, I refuse to be defeated!!! We all know I love a special occasion and, in between paper plate port holes and sleepover goodie bags…. The Macdonald clan have (with the help of our mothers help) made a perfect Easter centre piece… I even cleared out some storage baskets (there are shampoo and soap containers all over the bathroom floor now) to make the children an obligatory nest each…. After all, the Easter bunny needs somewhere to stash their goodies for Easter Day….. Even if the chocolate has a slight Lush scent 

I may have got a bit carried away at the Range (I love that place so much)…. But when everything you need come in at under £25 how could I refuse a trip? ….. With two toddlers…. Yeh, I bribed with chocolate! But that’s what Easter’s about right? Chocolate… Oh and Jesus rising again… I wonder if Jesus liked chocolate? I’m sure he would LOVE Range…. If I died for everyone’s sins I’d def rise again to visit that place…. Maybe without two toddlers though… 




I might or might not have stopped off at the most amazing sweet shop on the way home to get some Easter fudge… 




First Time Mum: A Poem

I’ve made mistakes with you, my number one
My first time girlie,
My first experience of mummy guilt
A first time parent
So young
But you were younger.
I needed you…. But not as much as you needed me
I loved you first
I love you now
My girl with wit 
My girl with a temper and a smile
My girl who’s taught me more about motherhood
Than anyone else ever has
Or will

Was I too strict or not enough 
Did I appreciate everything?
Remember everything?
I’m scared I’ve forgotten too much…
But your intellect and empathy surpass my mistakes
In your eyes I see myself 
When I was young
But you’re not me
You’re confident
And funny
And intense
And creative 
You’re the best you I know
And you fill me with pride
But also regret… 
That I didn’t savour enough

You read all day 
Not to escape (I hope)
But to learn more
To travel to far off lands 
That I couldn’t provide

Now life is settled
Your journey and mine intertwined
Can you just be a child a bit longer
Because I’ve stopped trying to build your future without you
And I want to live those years again
Now that 
I’m here
Nowhere else
I want to photograph every moment
And keep it forever
Because I feel like the ‘mummy’ days are gone for good

I’m not sure I’m ready to be ‘mum’ yet
Can I be mummy a bit longer?
Can we talk about fairies and magic?
Not boys and selfies
Can you wear party dresses again?
Be excited by balloons?
Not make up 
And sleepovers
Because I’ve not been ‘mum’ before
And I don’t know what she does
And I want on get it right
And perfect
This time
Because you deserve it
And a decade has gone in hours

But if I get it wrong
If I make mistakes
When I make mistakes
Know this
At ten
You’re still my first baby
Always my first baby
And now….
I’m a first time mum!!