Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Life | The Mental Load


A few months ago someone shared a post on Facebook entitled "The Mental Load" and when I read it I couldn't believe how relatable it was, in fact, I shared it and when Pete saw it he laughed. I don't know why he laughed because it's actually scarily accurate. You see, I think men think they do more than they actually do.

The mental load describes how women are expected to run the household, work a job and look after the kids, while the men don't do these things unless asked. But who's asking women to do these things? Why don't the men in our lives know what needs to be done around the house unless they've been nagged at by their missus?

Another week has come around when I've come home from work to dirty dishes sprawled across every kitchen surface, the dishwasher still full of clean dishes to be put away and last night's pots and pans have been left on the draining board. I'm pissed off. All weekend whilst Pete is away, I manage to keep on top of the housework, take both boys out and cook for myself and the kids. Yet I go to work for a day and Pete "doesn't have time" to empty the dishwasher and keep things clean and tidy meaning I have to come home from a full day at work, clean the kitchen, cook dinner and share bed time with the boys. 

I have whinged, complained, moaned, shouted more times than I can count but all to no avail. Nothing ever changes. It stays the same. It's got to a point now where I just think I'm going to have to put up or shut up but at the same time I'm thinking why the hell should I? We both live here. We both work. We both should share the responsibilities. Reliving the same argument over and over is incredibly frustrating but I'm exhausted. And yes maybe I should ask him to do things because he doesn't think to do them himself, but I'm stubborn and I don't think I should have to. It's a bit like having a third child sometimes. 

I'm going on strike.

Rachael xo

Monday, 30 July 2018

Life | Breaking Up With a Friend

Today is International Day of Friendship, is it just me or do they have a day for everything lately? Friendship is something I value very highly and you can read about my coven here. International Day of Friendship was created by the UN General Assembly to inspire friendships between people and countries which is brilliant as we can all use a bit of positivity in our lives. In light of today I thought I'd touch on something I've wanted to share for a while. Four years ago I broke up with my best mate. And you know what, it was fucking liberating! Now I know you're probably thinking, this doesn't sound inspiring and peaceful but trust me, I've got my reasons for writing this.

I grew up with this girl, lets call her Sophie, because that's her name. My mum and Sophie's mum were best mates for years so we spent a lot of time together as kids, eventually, my mum and Sophie's mum fell out (I swear this should have been a sign) and we lost touch until years later and we were reunited through Twitter. We grew closer than ever and she quickly became my best mate, we'd talk every day and do so much together.  When she broke up with her fella, she was heartbroken and I was on the very first train to see her. Then things changed. Very quickly.

She was quite jealous of my friendships with the coven. In fact, I remember buying tickets for a gig for me and another friend and told Sophie I couldn't spend much money that month because of it and she was really funny about it. The conversation went like this:

S: Where was my invitation?

R: Well, Grace invited me. 

S: If Grace invited you, why did you buy the tickets?! 

Then she became needy, if I didn't text her back, she'd WhatsApp me, if I didn't reply to her, she would get me on Facebook. It felt like I was in another relationship and it was just so intense. I was pregnant with George at this point, not far along, and I was doing some agency work when I'd been called into a job really last minute. She'd been texting me all day and I wasn't allowed my phone in work, so I replied when I got home, then she was snotty with me because I hadn't told her I was working. It was unbelievable. I thought maybe I was hormonal but she had become so entitled and everything was about her. Pete and I were in the process of buying a house which she had no interest in. I went for a scan after I'd had a bleed and she didn't ask me how I was or how it went. Everything was me, me, me. There were times when I'd just switch my phone off so I could catch a break and I thought to myself, this isn't how a friendship should be. 

One day when I was on maternity leave, I saw a status by her complaining about her pregnancy and I snapped. I was tired of her negativity, I was fed up of her selfish behaviour so I told her. She didn't like it one little bit and maybe I overreacted but it was one thing after the other and things got nasty really quickly. She told me I was jealous she of her and I was annoyed she had "stole my thunder" because we were both pregnant, which was ridiculous because we didn't even have the same circle of friends. She made it very public and posted our conversation on Facebook, her sister wrote a status about me, her mother joined in. It escalated so quickly and I just thought "wow!" She also did some pretty other disgusting things which I'm unable to talk about which just proved how malicious she could be.

It took me a few years to realise just how toxic of a person she was and I am so glad I broke up with her. I didn't want her to be around me and my family. There was a time when I'd think of the friendship we had prior to it all going sour and I did miss that person but then I would remember the nastiness and how much better off I am. Breaking up with a mate is so much different to breaking up with your fella, you no longer have that person to do all those best friendshippy things with but I am very lucky in the sense I have three other best friends who don't have a nasty bone in their body and I'm very lucky to have them in my life, but don't tell them that, they'll call me cheesy.

Remember, it's okay to cut toxic people out of your life and surround yourself with lovely people instead, just like I did. Just because she's been your BFF for years, you don't owe her anything if she turns into bitch!

Rachael xo

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Health | Why I Chose The Coil

Contraception after giving birth is so important but you know sex is the last thing on your mind. The midwives mention it, the health visitors quiz you on it. I think we can all safely say after pushing out what feels like a football out of our fannies, we're swearing by abstinence for the rest of our lives! In reality though, we all have needs so eventually we're gonna jump back on that horse and ride! With my mum being a midwife she offered some advice and after some deliberation, here's why I chose the coil.

When I got my first real boyfriend at 17 I decided to have the contraceptive injection, I knew I didn't want to go on the pill because I'm proper scatty and would forget to take it. At first it was great, I just used to go to the doctors every three months for a needle in my bum and Bob's your uncle. A few months down the line and I was suffering from chronic abdo pain, it felt like I was being stabbed and I would literally be doubled over with pain. I went to the doctors, I had scans, internal examinations and blood tests but to no avail. I was undiagnosed. Nobody knew what was wrong with me. Eventually the lovely doctor I'd been under recommended coming off the injection which I was quite reluctant about because I liked not having to be responsible. I enquired about the implant but she advised against that as well, something about it working the same way as the injection or something. I can't remember, it was 11 years ago! I told her my concerns about going on the pill and she said to me "stick a reminder on your phone" so that's what I did and it was great, I took it regularly every day and my pains disappeared. I don't know why I ever shrugged it off, I guess I just thought it was an inconvenience. 

I did start taking the pill again after George was born but then I got (stupidly) lazy with it (enter Henry). Not so much lazy but I hated taking tablets you see. I never used to have that problem, it actually started when I was pregnant with George, my antenatal vitamins turned my stomach, it was like swallowing a horse pill and on top of morning sickness. Not good. To this day I still struggle taking painkillers, I know it's all in my head but I can't help it okay? Anyway, after an unplanned pregnancy I knew my method of birth control needed to change. That's when my mum recommended the coil which I was 100% against at first. Is is just me that associated the coil with older women? Although at 28, I'm no spring chicken but I just think of my mum having it so it was a mumsy thing to me, again which is stupid because I am a mum at the end of the day.I ended up spending a lot of time thinking about it and doing my own research when I decided on the Mirena coil. I knew I didn't want the copper coil because the idea of metal irritating my body to stop me becoming pregnant just didn't appeal to me at all. So I just went for it and you know what? I haven't looked back. 

I'd booked my smear (seriously, I had my first at 28 so don't delay it for as long as I did - check your bits ladies) and had my coil fitted at the same time. Two birds, one stone. The insertion was slightly uncomfortable but nothing compared to child birth! At first I bled quite heavily for about 6 weeks and I thought to myself "what the fuck have I done?" but eventually the bleeding settled down and it has been a dream ever since. 

Having PCOS I used to really suffer with heavy, painful periods, I mean they were awful. I would be bent over in pain, unable to walk and having to change my clothes more than once a day. Since I've had the coil fitted I no longer get a monthly but in the beginning my periods were regular, light and virtually pain free. It's an actual life saver! 

Rachael xo

Monday, 23 April 2018

Family | Henry Hates Sleep

Henry hates sleep. Or me. Or both. Funny thing is during his first few days on earth he was an excellent sleeper, in fact he was that good of a sleeper I had to set an alarm on my phone to make sure he fed every three hours because he just would not wake for it. Fast forward a few weeks when we established feeding shit hit the fan. He just wouldn't sleep of a night, he hated being put in his cot (which come to think of it is fair enough really) but I tried white noise apps, rocking him, lying next to him and nothing would work. I was shattered and that's why Pete started sleeping downstairs with him because I'm a horrible bitch when I'm tired. 

Don't get me wrong there are nights when he does sleep all the way through (I think, there must be) but there are many a night (usually when Pete is away) that he's awake all hours. The other night he woke up at 1am and didn't go back to sleep until 4.30am and this has happened on more than one occasion. It kills me because that's me awake then for the rest of the night, I'm normally disturbed by Pete coming home from work not long after Henry has gone back to sleep, the cats jumping about and then its 7am and both boys are awake again. 

George was an excellent sleeper. God he was such an easy baby. I remember clearly the first time he slept through the night, he was eight weeks and I woke up at 2am shouting "shit the baby hasn't had a bottle!" making Pete get out of bed and we stupidly woke him to feed him. You panic with your first don't you? Thank god I'm over all that now! Anyway, from then we never woke him for a bottle after that night and I felt like a new woman getting chunks of sleep. We did co-sleep with him for months but he would sleep through the night and the progression to the cot wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. He would go to bed at 7pm and wake at 7am. 

I was one of those parents that everyone hated. The one who was made to feel guilty that my child slept through the night. The one who didn't feel like they were allowed to mention that they had a good sleeper without being accused of being smug. The one who was old they were "lucky" despite establishing a routine. 

Now I'm the parent jealous of the good sleepers. I am very lucky that Pete does do bed time and he does sleep downstairs with the kids for the time being so unless he's working it doesn't fall on me but on those nights that it does, I struggle massively. No amount of coffee can save me. I end up being ready for bed around tea time because I just don't cope with no sleep. 

My goal for this week is to start decorating the bedrooms now they are 90% clear and as soon as that is done we can start sleep training again. I just can't wait to normalise our bed time routine and then hopefully Henry will start sleeping properly. 

Wish us luck!

Rachael xo

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Family | Double The Tantrums

I thought as your kids got older the tantrums got better? I thought wrong, they just seem to get bigger. George is three and a half and although the tantrums are less frequent they just seem to be absolutely mega as of late. To make matters worse, we've got double the tantrums now Henry has started to assert himself! Send. Help!

George has started this god damn awful cry when he's having a paddy. I wish you could hear it - no actually, scrap that, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. You'll have to imagine it, it goes a bit like this "waaaahhhh!" Imagine a pterodactyl on steroids because that is the only way I can possibly describe it. He's unrecognisable when he does it. You know as a parent you can recognise your own child crying? I couldn't tell you it was him if I heard him. In fact, we were walking back to the caravan last week, Pete and Henry were inside and Pete didn't know it was him even though he'd heard him. I want to rip my own ears off whenever he does it. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, Henry (15 months) has started the tantrums already. Of course he's at the age now where he wants to do things for himself, especially things his big brother does but naturally he still needs that extra bit of help. God forbid you help him or stop him doing something. We get smacked, kicked and he just throws himself about. Honestly it's like he's possessed. His body contorts into positions I never knew possible. Regan MacNeil eat your heart out!

It's just so easy to forget how early the tantrums can start, you hear about the terrible twos all the time but nobody mentions that it starts nine months before their second birthday. Nobody tells you how difficult it is to calm down a tantrum of a one year old who can't really understand a word you're saying. I can't ever remember George starting the tantrums this early but I guess my memory is pretty shit because he must have done. Both my boys are very strong willed and they definitely get that from me. When I had a second child I knew it would be challenging juggling both kids but it never even dawned on me that there would be double tantrums. You're probably reading this thinking "you silly cow " but it isn't something that ever crossed my mind. You worry about splitting yourself in two and getting out the house on time. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll see I uploaded a video of George's strop and loads of other people said they were in the same boat and said it doesn't stop. Even when they're five. Least I'll get many years out of my blog name ay? 

Send wine!

Rachael xo

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Family | Hello, I'm Called George

My three year old is the most sociable person I know, he says hello to almost everyone he sees, and he'll strike up a conversation with anyone who'll listen. He certainly doesn't get this from me, I hate making small talk and kids just seem to invite that don't they? Henry on the other hand is definitely mine and hates talking to other people as well. George could actually talk the hind leg off a donkey given the opportunity, he's happy, confident, outgoing and friendly. While all of these are great traits to have, it worries me.

It worries me because he will talk to ANYONE, and I mean anyone. Man with dog, he'll say hello. Woman with baby, he'll say hello. Look at him, he'll say hello. He's even started walking up to people and saying "hello, I'm called George!" Earlier this week we were at a park, it was quiet, it was early and we had the place to ourselves for a while so we were in our element. At most there were about three families there, including us, throughout the whole time we were there. We met one of these families whilst they were in the maze, Henry and I were sat on a bench stuffing our faces and George told the family "I can hear my baby brother Henry!" As they all came out of the maze, George walked off with them asking "are you looking after me?" George really took a shine to their six year old son so we did end up having a little chat with the parents for a bit while the kids played which was nice despite my earlier claims of hating people.

While I'm glad he feels confident to talk to people and has excellent social skills, I'm worried he'll befriend the wrong person. It only takes a couple of seconds and he could be gone in a blink. He only has to approach the wrong person and that could be it. I know this seems irrational, but I watched a social experiment where a man showed parents how easy it was for him to coax their children to go off with them. George probably wouldn't even need coaxing. And it's scary. 

I'm not a helicopter parent and I never have been, I like giving the boys some independence, I like encouraging them to explore and I believe it has definitely helped them to develop physically as they're both excellent climbers and will happily tackle a climbing frame, but these days I am scared to take my eye off George even for a second.

He's never been a shy child even as a baby but all of a sudden his confidence has rocketed and he has become so much more independent. Just recently in the ice cream shop he asked the woman who was scooping his ice cream if he could have the marshmallows from the top, and happily paid for a toy in a shop which is fantastic. I am proud of what an amazing little character he's growing into and it it's my job to guide him. I won't teach him not to speak to strangers because he has witnessed me say "good morning" to people when we've been out and I enjoy seeing him talking to others. He can bring a smile to anyone's face and I love that about him. 

I just wish I could fit him with a tracking device! 

Rachael xo

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Days Out | The Ice Cream Farm

The sun has finally made an appearance in the UK and I am quite excited which is so unlike me but here we have it, I'm a changed woman, what can I say? I had some holidays to take in work so managed to squeeze them in this week before I lost them and I think I picked the right week for it. With the sun shining today we picked George up from school and headed to the Ice Cream Farm. It's pretty much our (and a hundred others) go to day out when the weather takes a turn for the better. 

Situated just outside Chester the Ice Cream farm is off the beaten track but definitely worth the long, windy journey. They advertise as being perfect for both toddlers and older children and I couldn't agree more, there's so much to do even for Henry! As soon as you enter, you're hit with Daisy's Garden, the cutest outdoor play area which closely resembles something straight out of the Teletubbies, with hills and tunnels covered in astro turf for the kids to climb and crawl through. In the centre there is a massive ice cream tree which blasts out snow every 30 minutes, cute right? It gets pretty busy though so keep your eyes peeled for your little one running through the snow with what feels like a million other kids. 

Speaking of your little one running off you can get a wristband from reception to write your name and number on just in case your unpredictable toddler decides he no longer wants to play in the tunnels and disappears to a roundabout without your knowledge causing unbeknown panic to set in for his parents who then split up and run round looking for him... Thanks George! 

As well as Daisy's Garden there's the Strawberry Field's (forever) mini golf which George begged me to go in to today despite me protesting that he would get really bored really quickly, but to my surprise he lasted a bit longer than I expected. Albeit, he did have a massive tantrum because he told me he needed the toilet then refused to go because he did not want to leave the golf course. We did only have one tantrum though so I consider that to be a successful day out. 

There's also the Fun Factory soft play and Honeycomb Canyon for when the heat gets too much. George and Henry both spent more time in the soft play today than anywhere else today which is typical when the weather is cracking the pavements but it kept them entertained for a good hour or so and it was quiet in there which was nice because it meant Pete and I could relax a bit. We didn't go in Honeycomb Canyon this time round but we have been in the past, it's water and sand play so if you do fancy it, I'd suggest taking a spare set of clothes and a towel for your little one. It is free to get into the Ice Cream Farm but there is a small charge for the additional activities. If you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the play area and soft play, you can go for a walk through Fudge Farm where you'll see some cute little animals because of course no farm is complete without animals. Pete took Henry here today while George and I played mini golf so we missed out. 

No trip to the Ice Cream Farm would be complete without an ice cream! There are over 50 flavours of ice creams and sorbets which have won some awards apparently. It's pretty good ice cream to be fair. I try to get something new each time we visit but I normally end up queuing on my own while Pete looks after the boys outside and I get really overwhelmed (lol). I think my favourite has to be the white chocolate, raspberry and Oreo though but the Ferrero is pretty good too. 

The Ice Cream Farm is definitely one of our favourite places to visit, I think we have been three times this year already, but George loves it there and we get to indulge in ice cream so it's a win win.

What's your favourite ice cream?

Rachael xo

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Life | Taking a Break

So if you follow me on social media you'll notice that just short of a week ago I made the decision to take a break from it all. I haven't deleted my accounts, I've just removed the apps from my phone. I make it no secret that I suffer really badly with my mental health but I guess I have what you call high functioning depression. If you met me you probably wouldn't think I was depressed, the majority of the time I am quite well put together, I'm sociable, I take the boys out, visit family, go shopping. None of the stereotypical things you'd expect of a person with depression.I have good days and bad days. On a bad day, I will just sit on the couch and binge watch trashy TV, I won't do any house work and I'll possibly go to bed at 7pm. 

I mentioned a while back how Pete had become self-employed and how it has affected me which you can read here and five months later things are no different really. I am still struggling with lone parenting of a weekend. I feel like I can't make plans of a weekend due to him being away and last week he was working three nights in a row. It hit me that I didn't have a free weekend until mid June. The girls were trying to make plans for a London meet up and I just couldn't fit it in. I broke down. Completely. I ugly cried for about two hours on the couch after the boys went to sleep. I was texting Pete which I realise is completely unfair but it's my way of coping. Give him his due he tried everything he could to try and make me feel better including inviting me to his club night in Liverpool on the Saturday. He even invited us all to Glasgow with him earlier that day before I started Cry Fest 2018. That's when I  made the decision to delete social media from my phone. 

You see, I'm a self confessed social media addict. I spend hours scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I was finding myself jealous of everyone that seemed to be doing something I wasn't. Holidays. New cars. New clothes. Nights out. Why wasn't I doing any of that? I for one, know full well that people put the best part of the lives online and I have been guilty of doing it myself but when you're in a bad place it can just make you feel like you're at rock bottom. Why was I torturing myself like this?  I didn't need it. I needed to concentrate on myself. I deleted Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I took my Sertaline and an ibuprofen and I went to sleep. 

I woke up on Friday, took George to school then Henry and I hopped the train over to Liverpool to get out of the house and blow off the cobwebs.  I figured it would do me some good to get out of the house so I did a bit of shopping and took Henry to visit my colleagues before heading home for some lunch. I had a good heart to heart with the girls and already started to feel better. George and I then had a movie night with pizza and chocolate then I had an early night. It was just what I needed.

Saturday morning rolled around, we went to Gym Bobs, went to visit my mum and then spent the afternoon watching TV. When Pete got home from Glasgow, I went for a bath and he persuaded me to go out with him and I had such a good night. I drank loads of prosecco and danced to pop punk and I was so glad I went out. 

Fast forward a few more days and I had booked a holiday to Barcelona with the girls for May. I mentioned it to Pete and he pulled a few strings and arranged that he would stay at home that weekend rather than go to Milton Keynes. Result. 

Self care isn't always bath bombs and face masks, it's removing yourself from something that is making you miserable and also gaining a bit of perspective. I think last week I was just overdue a good cry and it got the better of me. I've checked in on social media a few times and am overwhelmed with the amount of love I got from everyone <3

Thanks for listening to me ramble! 

Rachael xo

Mum Steez | Spring Dreamin'

I am an Autumn/ Winter girl through and through, give me boots, hats and pumpkin spice lattes every day. I love candles, I love being cosy, I love eating a massive bowl of Scouse and being huddled up in loads of blankets. However, recently I am dreaming of warmer months, maybe I've had enough of the snow, maybe I'm sick of being cooped up inside with two boisterous boys who just want to be active all the time but I've said it, I am spring dreamin' 

I  bought a pair of these frayed hem jeans from Primark recently albeit in black (of course - it's pretty much uniform) and I love them. They're not for everyone though because my mum and brother hate them and call me shipwrecked whenever I wear them, but what do they know ay? I don't often wear colour so on the rare occasion I do, it's normally a muted tone and although I hate yellow, I love mustard, probably because it's the only shade of yellow I can wear with my pasty ass skin, so adding it as a little pop of colour with a cute crop, some DMs and I am inspired. I actually wore a mustard blouse recently for work and George told me he didn't like me in it. Cheeky.

There's nothing I love more than rocking a good grungey look and I'm off out out on Easter Sunday to do a bit of day drinking so naturally I've been planning outfits ahead of the big day (something my mates always take the piss out of me before). I only wish the weather was a bit warmer so I could  rep the denim skirt and Vagabonds but I might just throw on a pair of fishnets and get my beer coat on and I'll be sound.

Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking! I am a bit partial to the floral trend as long as it's not too bright and girly and I think this outfit is mega cute. Converse are my go to shoes these days especially as I'm normally running round after George who cannot be trusted to walk sensibly. See, I plan all these cute outfits and say I'm excited for Spring so I can wear them but the reality of it is, I'm gonna be sporting a mum bun and leggings the majority of the time! A girl can dream right?

Rachael xo

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

School | My Three Year Old Got Sent Home From Pre-School

George started pre-school in September and I touched on how worried Pete was about it here and how our little man surprised us. His first parents' evening went really well and I felt pretty smug. Fast forward a few months and I might as well be eating my own hat. After Christmas, things took a turn for the worse, his behaviour spiralled downwards and in fact things have gotten so bad my three year old got sent home from pre-school.

It all started when he went back to school after the Christmas break. George's teacher would pull us up at home time to tell us what a bad day he'd had. At first, it was not listening and smacking other kids so his teacher mentioned introducing a reward chart which took a while to be put in place. I asked if we could have the same one as it was something I wanted to introduce at home too and it would be good to have some consistency between school and home life. Eventually, we were given the said reward chart and after a week his teacher reported "it didn't seem to be working" which hardly seemed fair considering they hadn't really given it much of a chance. I mean, a week, seriously? A sticker chart was then introduced and since then we haven't bothered with the reward chart we were given because what's the point?

It had previously been mentioned George had been put down in the incident book for spitting and it was explained to us that if it happened again he'd be sent home as the head teacher doesn't tolerate it (fair enough) but at the end of the day he is only three. He doesn't understand that spitting is disgusting and a bad enough offence that he'll be sent home from school for it. Not that I condone his behaviour in any way, if he is caught spitting at home he does get punished for it but I just thought it was a little bit harsh. Again, I picked the demon up from school one day and got called in by the deputy head for a "quick word". George had spat at a member of staff. I swear the way she spoke to me made me feel like the smallest person in the world and I knew for a fact she was judging me "oh what kind of a mother is she? Her child spits at people, what must his home life be like?" Naturally I was mortified, spitting on the floor of the playground is one thing but spitting at another person, especially an adult is just on another level! Meanwhile, George was sat in the office completely oblivious to how much trouble he was in due to the fact nobody had spoken to him about it properly. I questioned the DH as to whether she had spoken to him, to which she replied "I've had a brief chat with him just now." Personally, I didn't think it was good enough that she'd waited until after the incident to speak to him and only did so because she wanted to speak to me. It literally took all my strength not to roll my eyes at her. Not that I'm one of those mums who thinks the sun shines out of her kid's arse because I will always chastise George for bad behaviour and it was me that requested to follow the same reward chart they'd so easily discarded. 

I digress, last Friday we got a phone call from the school asking if we could pick George up early because he'd spat. Pete was the one who took the phone call and as far as we were aware, the head teacher was sending George home from spitting. George came home looking rather sheepish so I called him over and asked why he had been sent home and what his HT had said to him. He didn't know. Pete then told me he didn't think George knew why he'd been sent home and that the HT hadn't spoken to him because one of the TAs explained the situation when she brought him out. Once again, there has been a lack of communication from the school! George broke into silent tears and it was awful, I've never seen him cry like that before. He was so sad. I told him he should never spit and it was unacceptable but he had been sent home from school as punishment and that was the end of it. We cuddled, he cried and I cried too (hormones!) That was that.

Fast forward another week and we get another phone call to pick him up as he had spat at a child. Fuck. Sake. It's so embarrassing! I went to collect him and he came out smirking which obviously just made matters worse, he just does not fear any consequences at all. We left school and started walking home. I didn't get cross with him, or angry or shout, instead I asked him who he had spat at and why he did it. Three year olds are pretty honest so he told me who he spat at and that this kid had pulled his hair so he'd just retaliated. I calmly explained that if someone hurts him he should tell the teacher rather than spit or hurt anyone back. He said okay and we went home. So at the ripe old age of three my toddler has been sent home from pre-school twice.

There has been talk of getting the SENCO involved and they have finally asked for a meeting with us which is to take place next Tuesday. His teacher told Pete he hadn't been listening again yesterday, so of course they had a discussion about his behaviour but once again, George was none the wiser. I cannot express how frustrated I am with the school right now. It may seem like  I'm completely against the school which is far from the truth, I really want to help and get to the bottom of the issues he's having. At the moment I am pretty annoyed with the school because George is under the impression he has had a good day if he hasn't been put on the "thinking chair" but his teacher will then tell us that he hasn't had a good day. We talk to him about it and he is confused because he doesn't understand. The reward chart was dismissed far too quickly and he needs to be told off for what he has done there and then, there is no point leaving it until hours later because he'll definitely have forgotten about it by then. 

I struggle to see what could be causing him to behave this way because I personally don't think his behaviour is that bad at home, yes he struggles with attention and does have huge strops sometimes but he is only three. I'm hoping the SENCO can provide some answers and suggestions to help him settle back down again and in a way it is a relief in case there is an underlying issue there. It is still early days and I am glad the ball is rolling now!

Wish us luck! 

Rachael xo

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Life | The Week That Was

It's 19.26 on a Saturday night and I'm in bed drinking prosecco. I'm in bed drinking prosecco because I have had the week from hell. You know one of those weeks were loads of bad stuff happens and anything that could possibly goes wrong, just goes wrong? Well that's the week I've had. This is the week that was. 

Last Sunday I started clearing the boys' bedrooms and spent all day slogging my guts off, making piles for the loft and hanging up all of their clothes that had just been lashed on George's bed. After I'd had enough, I showered because I was minty, we ate tea and when the boys were in bed I headed upstairs to catch up on All  Stars 3 in bed (seriously, if you don't like RuPaul's Drag Race, we can't be mates). Towards the end, my eye felt really gritty and sore, I just figured some dust had got into it, I finished watching the episode and went to sleep only to wake up Monday morning with what looked like conjunctivitis. Not to mention, I got my period so needless to say, I was pretty pissed off. Nice one Monday! Anyway, Pete took Henry to Rhythm Time, went to do a food shop and got me some ointment for my eye, perks of being self employed and all that. 

Tuesday my eye was still red and sore. It was all closed up and I looked horrendous so I didn't leave the house again all day but Wednesday I was due in work. I don't know about you but since I only work two days a week I didn't really think I should phone in sick, especially when I'd agreed to do overtime. I put on bare minimum makeup because I won't leave the house without a bit of mascara due to my blonde eyelashes and headed into the office. We were busy, hence the over time and I literally didn't stop all day. Come home time, I learnt that a train had broken down and all my trains were severely delayed so I made the decision to get the bus home and popped into Lush on my way to the bus stop only to drop my phone and smash it into a million pieces! Great! 

On Thursday I planned to leave early and go to the walk in over my eye because it hadn't cleared and clearly wasn't conjunctivitis because the ointment was doing absolutely fuck all. I went downstairs after rushing to get ready only to discover it was snowing. Heavily. I didn't have time to change, was wearing a dress and slippy boots AND I'd left my gloves in work. Anyway, I slowly made my way to the station in the hope my trains had been cancelled but no such luck. I got to town only to find the walk in was closed. Fuck. My Life. I went to Tesco, bought myself some food, fluffy socks and an umbrella then headed to work. I then fell on my arse and hurt my wrist. So I cried like a baby for ten minutes in the toilet before giving my head a wobble, wiping my face and going to get a coffee like a grown up. 

Friday I did some more over time, then I got a phone call from the school asking if I could pick George up early because he had spat at another child (more on that in another post). Great. I left work to pick him up, then had to go into town to get Mother's Day presents, visited both my nans to deliver said gifts and then went to my mum's for a bit. We ate pizza and watched Disney films and Henry fell asleep during his bottle. Fabulous I hear you say? Well it was until Henry woke up at 1am and didn't go back to sleep again until 3am. I swear I never regretted having kids so much as I did in that moment. Of course the boys then woke up at 6am and I was ready to start my day. By ready to start my day I mean, I made them bottles, stuck the telly on and snoozed for an hour until George crept over and shouted "wake up!" at me. Then I lost an earring. Great! 

After my coffee, I felt better, we watched Trolls, we all got ready with no qualms, the sun was shining and I thought "I got this!" Anyway, we were all ready in good time to leave for Gym Bobs so I took the double pram outside, set everything up, put Henry in the pram and then the worst thing happened. George shut the front door. With my changing bag inside. The changing bag that had my house keys in, my purse, snacks and lunch for the boys, nappies and baby wipes. And Pete was in Southampton. I hit the roof. I shouted at George. I rang Pete and shouted down the phone at him even though it was far from his fault and I made the walk to Gym Bobs. I felt so guilty for shouting at George, obviously he didn't lock us out on purpose and I had told him not to let the cats out so it was my own fault really. Anyway I got him out of his pram, apologised for shouting and gave him the tightest hug and biggest kiss. All was well again, we were going to Gym Bobs and then heading to my parents' until Pete got home and that was fine. Until Henry started screaming at Gym Bob's and wouldn't settle so we had to make an early dart. Queue more mum guilt because poor George didn't want to go home but Henry was hungry and tired. What could I do with NO food?? So we spent the afternoon with my dad, who fed us all burgers, let me drink his nice coffee and we watched Disney movies so it could have been worse.

As soon as Pete text to let me know he was home, I practically shoved the boys in the pram and ran home, palmed them off on him and headed upstairs with a prosecco and ran myself a bath, And you know what, it was pure bliss. 

Thank god the week is almost over ay! 

Rachael xo

Monday, 5 March 2018

Home | Toddler Room Makeover

Just a quick one today but I really wanted to share this with you. Following from my post that the boys don't sleep in their own room which you can read here I have been inspired to finally redecroate the bedrooms! We moved into our house almost four years ago come June and we have used the middle bedroom as a dumping ground for all sorts of shit. Seriously, I can't even bring myself to show you a photograph of it because it's that bad. Since the boys have been sleeping downstairs, we had just been dumping boxes in George's bedroom too rather than putting them straight into the loft. I can't even remember the last time I hung any clothes in their wardrobe, it has literally been in the worst state ever. I've just gotten so lazy as of late and have no excuse for it to be honest, I just keep making excuses but I'm suddenly motivated to get it all sorted.

Today I spent the entire afternoon hanging up clothes, putting boxes in the loft and now we finally have one clear bedroom, it's a shame nobody is sleeping in it! After I'd cleared the box bedroom, I sat on the floor, listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack and buying some little bits for Henry's new room. It has made me so excited to finally sort the upstairs of our house out. Is there anything better than the feeling of a Spring clean?

What do you think of my picks?

Rachael xo

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Family | I Never Bought My One Year Old Any Birthday Presents

Henry turned one at the end of January. One. I honestly cannot believe how quickly his birthday came round. One minute he was a squishy newborn the next he was toddling round and just oozing character. Due to his birthday being so close to Christmas we struggled to come up with anything to buy him. So we didn't. This is why I never bought my one year old any birthday presents. 

When you're one you don't really have a clue what is going on. You're just happy to play, eat and sleep. You have no concept of time or age or well... anything. You see, my house constantly looks like Toys R Us has thrown up on it despite having regular clear outs and we didn't want to add to the chaos for the sake of it. 

Henry had just received loads of new clothes, books and toys for Christmas therefore there was nothing he actually needed. Instead, we threw him a mini tea party (which typically he slept through of course) and brought in George's old slide from the garden. He was none the wiser and got gifts off friends and family members and we didn't add to the clutter! Win. Win.

Part of me felt really guilty which is ridiculous because he's hardly deprived! I think if he was my first I wouldn't have but when George turned one we went to the zoo, bought him toys, books and even a swing for the garden. We went a bit overboard if I'm completely honest but I think the majority of us do with our first don't we?

In my opinion there's far too much bragging for social media sake and parenthood seems so competitive. My boys will never want for nothing and my motto is "if I've got it, you can have it" within reason of course, there are definitely more important things in life than materialistic possessions. 

We made memories for Henry's birthday which is far more important than some toy that would be cast aside and forgotten about until the next time we have a mass toy sort out! 

What do you think to buying presents for a one year old?

Rachael xo

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Days Out | Nearly There Yet Launch Party at Mattel Play

Last weekend George and I were invited to the launch party of a brand new website, Nearly There Yet. Nearly There Yet is a new tool for parents in Merseyside and surrounding areas and it's a what's on guide full of things to do! So last Sunday, George and I headed down to the Albert Dock to Mattel Play where we were welcomed with pastries, tea/ coffee and juice for the little ones. Unfortunately I never got to enjoy any of that as George started kicking off because naturally he wanted to go and play.

If you've never heard of Mattel Play it's a big indoor play area separated into three areas, Thomas the Tank, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam. No Barbie however, which is slighly disappointing as I would love to see a life size Barbie and play dress up! We literally spent about three hours there with me chasing George as he ran around and I kept banging my head because everything is so tiny!Not ideal. He didn't get bored though and it was so nice to spend time together just the two of us. It's not something we get to do very often anymore.
I finally coaxed him out by bribing him with the idea of going out for a lunch, the boy loves a 'cafe' as he calls them. We headed to Brasco Lounge on The Strand and although it's a chain it's one of our favourite places to eat. The food is always so good and it's both child and dog friendly. Any restaurant where you can pat doggos is okay by me! There were toys, books and things to colour with so George was occupied whilst we waited for lunch which is ideal. As you may have learnt the hard way keeping a young child entertained in a restaurant can be tricky to say the least. 

We had the loveliest day just the two of us and it's something I want to do more. 
Thanks Nearly There Yet! 

Rachael xo

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Family | My Kids Don't Sleep in Their Own Room

You know before you have kids and you have all these preconceptions on how you're going to raise them and all of the things you totally, absolutely, 100% will not do when you become a parent, then the kids arrive and all of those things go out of the window? Well my kids don't sleep in their own room. They don't even sleep in my room. In fact, they sleep downstairs with Pete. Yes, me and my fella don't sleep in the same bed, we don't even sleep in the same room! 

When George was younger we co-slept with him which isn't something a lot of people do or agree on and it was another one of those things we said we wouldn't do but it worked for us. When he was about nine months old it got to the point where I needed him to go in his own room so we started sleep training and my god it was excruciating! Our once good sleeper would scream and cry because he was in his own bed, Pete and I would have to sit in his room until he fell asleep but once he was asleep he'd be in there all night. It was only by chance one day that I left his room to get something and he wasn't bothered that we had finally cracked it! Result! From that day on he was always really good at going to bed and even when we switched from cot to bed we had no problems with him. People would tell us we were lucky that he was a good sleeper, which he was  to be fair and had been from a young age, but for us to get him to sleep without us being there was hard graft.

Henry was a different kettle of fish completely! He hated being asleep in his cot from day one and the lack of sleep really affected my mental health so Pete would sleep downstairs on the couch with Henry. A year later, this is still ongoing, but now we have a three year old who has stopped sleeping in his room as well. It started a few months ago when George started saying he was scared of ghosts and being really upset when we put him to bed. He was hysterical so I brought him downstairs and let him fall asleep there but it seems to have become the norm.

If somebody told me this was their current situation I would probably judge them so hard, albeit secretly of course. Our friends and family keep telling us how ridiculous it is, which it is, I completely agree with them but at the moment it works for us. The boys go down to sleep really well after a bottle and a story and they sleep all night. I actually enjoy the fact I get the king sized bed to myself sssshhh. The situation isn't the most ideal but we all get some sleep and I think all sleep deprived parents can relate they will do anything to get a decent kip.

We are going to start sleep training soon but at the moment both bedrooms are being used for storage so as part of my 2018 goals, I am going to smash the bedrooms this week and get them both tidied, ready to be decorated and then we can get a move on!

Any tips for gentle sleep training would be much appreciated! 

Rachael xo

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Life | The Year of the Threenager

I always knew the terrible twos were going to be difficult, you hear about it all the time. From relatives and friends to strangers in the street. It is completely normal when your toddler starts to assert their independence but what about the year of the threenager? Nobody ever warns you about that. By definition, a threenager is a three year old with the attitude of a teenager. So how do we deal with this?

George turned three in September and since then I've noticed a huge change in his behaviour and he is pushing boundaries like never before. Nobody prepared me for this. His attitude stinks worse than one of Henry's leaky. teething shits and I am just about ready to rip out my own hair. My once happy boy can now be extremely solemn at times, not to mention the foot stamping and the growling.

The "Thinking Step" doesn't work because he thinks it's funny. Telling him off sternly won't work because he either lashes out or hisses. Seriously, what's with the hissing? I am at my wits end with him already and still have another nine months of this shit! He refuses to listen properly making up words in response to anything I say. He has also started dropping the letter 'T' from words and that in itself is enough to make me want to strangle him. I'm sure he does it all the more because he knows how much it annoys me.

If you though two year old tantrums were bad just wait until your three year old screams and cries for fifteen minutes because he can't have a packet of sweets at 6am. Just this morning he sat on the step sulking because I wouldn't let him have a snack bar before breakfast. I served him the porridge he eats almost daily only to be met with "this porridge tastes disgusting. Bleurgh!"

Not that I am wishing his life away but this is a stage I cannot wait for him to grow out of . Even his teacher in pre-school has pulled me up on his behaviour, she wants to speak to the SENCO about maybe introducing a reward chart for him because he doesn't fear any consequences.

Here's to all you parents surviving the year of the threenager!

Rachael xo

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Family | Why I Could Never Be a Stay At Home Mum

When George was eight months old my maternity leave had finally come to an end and the time had come for me to return to work. I remember vividly the night before, I was emotional and cuddled him to sleep. I didn't want to leave him every day, I was racked with guilt even though I knew I was leaving him in good hands. My request for flexible hours was denied and I was miserable. Fast forward a year, I left that company, unknowingly fell pregnant with Henry and started a new job of which I thought there were part time hours available. Alas, I was informed the job would be full time but I ended up enjoying it there and didn't mind too much.

I found out I was pregnant with Henry a month after I had started my new job and panicked. I had gotten so used to being a working mum, my first thought was childcare. I know, pretty selfish right? See, we were incredibly lucky in the fact both my sets of grandparents and my dad provided childcare for George but with my grandparents getting older it would have been so unfair to expect them to look after two babies.

Eventually, albeit reluctantly, I came to terms with the fact I might have to find a part time job to work around the kids. Ideally, I wanted something early morning that would fit in with Pete's working hours and I could spend my afternoons with my boys. I was adamant this was what I wanted. The perfect balance between work and family.

That was until Henry arrived of course. Balancing a newborn and a toddler was far more difficult than I expected. I longed for a break, time on my own. If you thought getting out the house with one kid in tow, try it with two! I was soon back on antidepressants because my mood quickly deteriorated.

I was upset, angry and resentful. I had practically given up a job I was finally happy in after two years of misery and many more of temporary positions. I yearned for the routine of getting up, dressed, going to work with nothing but a handbag.

See the thing is, I am just far too selfish to be a stay at home mum and I appreciate my boys far more when I have had that little bit of time away from them. I also like earning my own money, drinking a cup of tea while it's still hot and having actual grown up conversations. I like the fact I am not constantly relied on and can actually sit on my arse without getting up every ten minutes.

I admire those parents who do stay at home with their children and those who want to. I actually got to return to work in September for two full days a week as Pete went self employed and I find that to be the perfect balance for us. The boys get to spend time with both their parents and also Pete and I get to be someone other than mum or dad.

How about you? Could you be a stay at home parent?

Rachael xo

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Life | Goals for 2018

Although it may be a cliché, each year I try to set myself goals then reflect on them at the end of the year. It's not something I did last year due to being absolutely exhausted from being so heavily pregnant. This year in an attempt to become more organised, I am starting again. My plan is to actually write down my goals on paper this time to remind myself of them and therefore mark them off as I complete them. The motivation is real.


I started lesson in the summer so I am absolutely desperate to pass my test now, especially so I can take the boys places when we're off in the Spring/ Summer and Pete is working. I just can't wait to have that freedom of being able to take them places.


I really want to improve my writing skills because it's something I love doing and in order to do that I need to create more content for my blog. My blog is a year old now and I definitely should have bashed out more than 50 posts by now.


There's nothing I love more than seeing gorgeous Insta photos and beautiful blog photos and it makes me want to brush up on my own skills so I can capture pretty images of the boys.


It wouldn't be a complete list of goals without this one right? Last year I joined Slimming World but left right before Christmas. I have slowly gained the pounds since then so I am determined to shift them.


We have lived in our house for three and a half years and it is still unfinished and untidy but we're getting there slowly. By this time next year, I want the entire house to be immaculate and finished. Well as immaculate as can be with two toddlers running about!

My list of goals is short but sweet and I living in the hope that by keeping it this way they will be more achievable. Cannot wait to review them at the end of the year! Wish me luck!

Do you have any goals this year?

Rachael xo

Monday, 1 January 2018

Life | 2017 Roundup

2017 was the year we welcomed our second baby into the world. The baby I was so unprepared for, our little surprise. Adjusting to life as a mum of two was something I found incredibly difficult mentally, therefore 2017 was the year my mental health took a dramatic dip.

No sooner was Henry born I was back on my antidepressants. There was a certain time in particular when Pete and I had a really bad argument, I snapped and walked out of the house. I've screamed, I've shouted, I've cried and I have threatened to leave my fella more times than I can count.

Despite all of the above, I've actually had an amazing year minus the blips. I gave birth to another gorgeous baby boy and watched my toddler grow and develop into the most incredible and loving big brother ever. Watching them bond and play together every day melts my heart. George can make Henry belly laugh like nobody else and I cannot wait to watch them become best friends as they grow.

My best friends and I got together for the first time in forever and we drank all of the wine and ate all of the pizza, even if it did end up with me becoming absolutely smashed and falling asleep in a club and crying in the toilets. Yes, I was a mess.

One of my closest friends and I went to Cardiff, ate all the sushi, shopped and drank all of the cocktails to celebrate an eight year long friendship and reminisce about our gig days in one of our favourite cities. We sat in the park and chilled on the Sunday and it was so nice just to gossip and catch up.

I had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, not once but twice and never have I fallen in love with a city so much. The place is so beautiful and completely different to what I expected, every building is so pretty and I basically laughed the entire time I was there on both occasions.

We had our first holiday as a family of four. We stayed in a caravan near the beach, had BBQs, visited the beach which was literally right behind some dunes next to our caravan and drank cider until our hearts content. Those four days were proper lovely and it was nice to spend some together the four of us.

My best friend got married and I was so proud to be called her Maid of Honour. It was the most perfect day, every last detail was so perfect and of course she looked stunning.

In September, I took my twelve year old brother to meet his all time favourite drag queen which is easily one of my highlights of the year. Watching the two of them interact was so heart-warming and it's something that I will remember forever.

Pete and I watched two of our friends get married in November which was just another stunning day and it was so good for the two of us to do something together without having to worry about being parents for a whole day. I was really drunk (a recurring theme of the year) and danced the entire night away.

December was a bit of a whirlwind but we celebrated Henry's first Christmas and as George is now three, he got to appreciate everything that little bit more so Christmas extra special for us this year. Now I just need to find homes for the hundreds of toys the boys received from the big man.

To conclude, although parts of 2017 were a huge struggle, I still had an awesome year. Here's to 2018, lets make it a goodun.

Rachael xo