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An Ode to Yorkshire – Nowt Like a Tea (Little Mermaid Style)

Yorkshire, a bloody wonderful place where people eat tea instead of dinner; say “Morning” “How do!”, and “Alright” to complete strangers; often use words like ‘fettle’, ‘mardy bum’ and ‘bugger lugs’; regularly say a rude four letter word beginning with c and ending with t when they’re actually saying ‘couldn’t (you know the one); a region so wonderful even France wanted a piece, which then laid the way to Tour de Yorkshire; a place called home to many a wonderful folk such as Dame Judi Dench, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams, Leigh Francis (proper bo I tell thee!), Brian Blessed, Dickie Bird, Mel B, David Hockney, Jarvis Cocker, Sir Ben Kingsley, Michael Palin, Jeremy Clarkson, Vic Reeves, Ernie Wise,  Corrine Bailey Rae, The Kaiser Chiefs, Def Leppard, the list is endless. Basically Yorkshire is the balls, or in Yorkshire terminology ‘the dogs danglies’.

So in true Colleyswobbles style another one of our favourite Disney classics has been re-adjusted for your entertainment. Imagine Ariel and Sebastian we’re from good old Yorkshire. Ariel is tempted to move down South, but proud Yorkshire lad Sebastian (let’s call him Bazza in that case) has some advice for her as follows;

(To be sang in the style of Under the Sea, YouTube it if you need a reminder)

Ariel down South, it’s a mess. Life in Yorkshire is better than owt they got down there.

Sean Bean is always keener
Suppin’ his tea with cake
You dream about going yonder
But that’s just a big mistake
Just look at the folk around you
Right here in God’s Country
Such wonderful things surround you
Nowt like it, it’s all for thee

Nowt like a tea
Or Wensleydale Cheese
Petal it’s better
Up where it’s wetter
Take it from me
Up on the Moor we stroll all day
Down South, they on tubes drinking latte
There’s no time for joking
We’re full time devoting
To suppin’ tea

The beer is always dearer
Pay thirty quid for steak
You dream about going down there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the deals around you
Right here on your front door
Aye wonderful things surround you
What more are you looking for?

Nowt like a tea
Or Wensleydale Cheese
What is ricotta?
Wensleydale it’s not(ta)
And don’t give me Brie
Up on the Moor we stroll all day
Down South, they on tubes drinking latte
There’s no time for joking
We’re full time devoting
To suppin’ tea

Up here all the folk are ‘appy
As ‘appy as pigs in muck
With places like Fountains Abbey
Us chaps are just blessed with luck
With food like the Yorkshire Pudding
Piled onto an empty plate
A portion of Rhubarb crumble
No finer food can be ate

Nowt like a tea
Nowt like a tea
Nobody beats us
Try us and meet us
In Whitby Quay
In Yorkshire born was Captain Cook
Them Brontes wrote a reet good book
Nowt ‘ere’s worth fretting
No point regretting

Just ‘ave some tea (Just ‘ave some tea)
Nowt like a tea (Nowt like a tea)

Since life is sweet here
We doin’ reet here
Naturally (Naturally)
Even the straight folk and the gay
Drink beer in the pub on Friday
Go watch the cricket
Run down a snicket
For chippy tea

We folk are happy come what may
We got the spirit
You got to hear it
We bloody love tea!

In Hull it’s never dull
They’re friendly in Emley
Spend yer brass in Cas
They’re smiley in Filey
Eat Stilton in Bilton
Get shakey in Wakey
Do Otley dressed as broccoli (Yeah)

Nowt like a tea
Or Wensleydale Cheese
Petal it’s better
Up where it’s wetter
Take it from me
Up on the Moor we stroll all day
Down South, they on tubes drinking latte
There’s no time for joking
We’re full time devoting
To suppin’ tea

Nowt like a tea (Nowt like a tea)
Nowt like a tea (Nowt like a tea)
We got good cuisine
Our curries are mean
I’m sure you’ll agree
We got the lot, a lot of land
Yorkshire it’s bloody grand

We like our beer here
We’re full of cheer here
We love our tea

We like a flat cap here
We eat our snap here
We love our tea

Walk through the Dales here
Sup lots of Ales here

That’s why it’s better
Up where it’s wetter

Aye we in luck here
Up in the muck here
Drinking our Tea

So there you have it, and ode to the best place on earth, Yorkshire.

Cheers

Gem x

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Beauty in to Beast

Like many little girls, Belle was always the Disney princess I aspired to be. Beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, and kind. Let’s not forget that amazing dress and the fact she got her Prince Charming in the end (Well after a miraculous shave and a crash diet).

So did I turn out to be the beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful and kind Belle? In a word… no, although I’d like to think I’ve mastered the thoughtful and kind element. The other two aspects are very much debatable.

I didn’t get the big swishy dress, but one thing I did manage to do was bag my very own Beast Prince Charming, and I’m happy to report he has much less fur and less bitey teeth. He’s pretty crap at timekeeping and I’m relatively sure he has a mild to medium form of narcolepsy, but all of that aside he’s definitely a keeper.

Life is good, but bloody hell it’s hard and certainly not the fairytale I dreamt of as a young girl. That said I can’t help but wonder what Belle would have been like after she had been married to the Beast for five years with two little mini Beasts in tow.

img_0538
Disposing of poopy nappies was not the fairytale Disney princess life Belle expected
So in true Disney style below is my interpretation (with a bit of a Yorkshire twang) of Belle’s song with a more realistic angle. Feel free to sing along.

Belle:

Little house, in a quiet village

Every day like the one before

Little house full of whingey people

Waking up to say…

Little Beasts:

Mummy

Daddy

Mummy

Daddy

Mummy

Belle:

There goes the toddler waking up, like always

The same old whines and moans to yell

Every morning just the same

At 6am mini beasts came

To see a poor tired parents frown

Beast:

Good morning Belle

Belle:

Good morning Daddy, er I mean Beast

Beast:

Where are you off to?

Belle:

Aldi, I need to pick up some strong coffee, nappies, wipes, milk and bread.

Beast:

That’s nice. Can you get me some sandwich meats for lunch? LITTLE BEAST!! Stop poking me in the head

Townsfolk:

Look, there she goes

The lass is strange, no question

Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?

Man:

Never part of any crowd

Woman:

Cause her head’s up on some cloud

No denying she’s a mummy now, that Belle

Man 1:

Ey up!

Woman 1:

Good day!

Man 1:

How is your family?

Woman 2:

Ey up!

Man 2:

Good day

Woman 2:

How is your wife?

Woman 3:

I need….a Greggs

Man 3:

That’s too expensive! *What Greggs?!

Belle:

There must be more than this abysmal* life!

*Ok so abysmal is a tad extreme but I was struggling to find something to rhyme

Man at the Library:

Ah, Belle

Belle:

Good morning. I’ve come to return the kids book I borrowed

Man at the Library:

Finished already?

Belle:

Yes I’ve read it to them at least a hundred times and they still aren’t bored yet. Please tell me you’ve got something else?

Man at the Library:

Not since yesterday

Belle:

That’s alright. Ok then we’ll borrow this one (After an argument with toddler over said book as it’s not the right colour or size)

Man at the Library:

That one? But you’ve read it twice!

Belle:

What Charlie Cooks Favourite Book? Yes it’s my favourite, I like doing all the voices; my pirate and knight are especially impressive.

Man at the Library:

Well if you like it all that much, it’s yours

Belle:

Really? What actually free? What’s the catch? I mean do you need my email address or something so you can constantly spam me?

Man at the Library:

No catch, I insist!

Belle:

Nice one, ta very muchly!

Townsfolk:

Look, there she goes, that lass is super human

I wonder if she’s feeling well

Men:

She seems a little snappy

Women:

Because her nose is in a nappy

Townsfolk:

She needs to be an octopus that Belle

Belle:

Ewwww…isn’t this disgusting?

It’s my least best part of being mummy

Here’s where I see the bogies

Crusting on my newly washed leggings

On both my knees!

Woman:

Now it’s a wonder why her name means “beauty”

Her looks are fuelled on Zinfandel

Shopkeeper:

But behind that zombie plod

I’m afraid she feels a fraud

Very distant from the rest of us

Group of mums:

She’s struggling like the rest of us

Yes, normal like the rest of us is Belle

The next part is traditionally sung by Gaston and Lefou, but for the purposes of this it shall be sang by the beast and Trevor (yes I totally made that up) his best friend. 

Trevor:

Wow you look knackered Beast. Are you tired?

Beast:

I know, yes I’m exhausted. I’m always working, the kids are non-stop and Belle does not stop nagging at me

Trevor:

Oh dear, it doesn’t sound like the fairytale it used to be

Beast:

I know I still really love her but she just seems to have lost her mojo

Trevor:

Does she not still have that flouncy gold dress?

Beast:

No she mostly lives in snot and food stained clothes and never wears matching bra and knickers.

Trevor:

But she was…

Beast:

The most beautiful girl in town? She was but now she has more hair on her legs than I ever did

Trevor:

That bad huh?

Beast:

Yes well since she had the kids I’ve been put to the bottom of the pile

Trevor:

Go on then tell me about it

Beast:

Right from the moment when the kids were born

The trouser kisses were just shelved

Although I must agree

She makes a nice hot tea

So I need to re-woo and de-hairy Belle

Group of mums:

Look Beast it’s hard to be a mummy

Hey Beast it’s hard to be a wife

Give her a chance, she feels like screaming

It’s not the perfect mummy kind of life!

Man 1:

Ey up

Beast:

My bad!

Man 2:

Good day

Man 3:

By heck!

Matron:

She’s shoving cake in

Woman 1:

You need some wipes!

Man 4:

Some nappies…

Woman 2:

…Two packs!

Man 4:

…Four pound..

Woman 1:

It’s real life

Beast:

There’s too much poo!!

Woman 2:

My head…

Man 5:

Those kids…..

Woman 2:

They’re cute

Man 5:

…They smell of hamsters

Belle:

There must be more than this abysmal* life!

*Once again, a bit harsh, and purely for rhyming slackness

Beast:

I’m so proud to call lovely Belle my wife! (Even if she does look a bit of a bugger and nags a lot)

Belle:

Life as a mum can be a little stressful

Often a challenge not to yell

I used to be quite slim

Pass the tonic and the gin

It’s super being a mummy

Bar the wobbly wibbly tummy

Yes I do love being a mummy…..it’s just swell! (Well most of the time)

And they all lived happishley ever after.

The End
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10 Things I Hate* About Two

*Hate’s a very strong word, I much prefer ‘dislike’ or ‘don’t really enjoy’, but let’s face it they wouldn’t have the same ring would they?

This is in no way related to Heath Ledger or Julia Stiles, no this is my honest take on why having two children can be, well shall we say – challenging. I often look back to when I had the one and there’s no doubt about it, it was hard, bloody hard, but if I really think about it I had so much more opportunity to nap and watch This Morning than I do now. Oh how I miss you Phil and Holly.

So here are the 10 things I ‘don’t really enjoy’ about having two little people.

1. It’s about as rare as an eclipse when both children have a nap at the same time. The only way it’s possible (or at least in my experience) is to drive around in the car playing Classic FM like a 95 year old lady called Doris on her way to the local garden centre. Believe me it works.

The difficulty then is managing to get them both successfully out of the car and transferred into their beds. It almost always ends with one of them waking up, so the feet up – cup of coffee in hand – Come Dine with Me afternoon session I had ambitiously planned is swiftly cancelled. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love playing and chasing around after my boys but just 30 mins peace without having to answer one hundred and one questions would be lovely. In reality what do I do when the ‘rare eclipse’ strikes? I clean and tidy.

2. Multi-tasking like you’ve never multi-tasked before. It’s a skill we have to adopt because we have no other choice. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been in a situation where one hand is wiping a poopy bum and the other’s preventing the toddler from doing his best impression of Eddie the Eagle. Parents have to have reflexes like a cat. I’ve never felt more like a ninja in my life. 3. My toddler hasn’t quite grasped the fact his younger brother isn’t a toy. There have been a few occasions where I’ve caught him riding his brother like a sad donkey on the beach. The words ‘gentle‘, ‘careful‘ or the phrase ‘get off your brother‘ have never been used as much.  4. Two lots of I nappies (granted not all of you will have this issue, some of you sensibly waited). I remember one particular morning changing six nappies after only been up for an hour. How is it possible for such small people to produce so much poo? Nowadays my toddler is toilet trained so this thankfully is no longer an issue. Just the one set of nappies to deal with, phew!

However, this has now brought around a new ‘challenge’. My son always chooses incredibly inconvenient times to do a ‘poo dance’ and announce loudly for all to hear “I need a poo!” mainly when I’ve either got his baby brother fast asleep in my arms (after a long time of him fighting sleep), or when we’re out and we’ve just conveniently sat down with lunch, only to have to awkwardly abandon it and single handedly juggle belongings, a baby, and a wincing toddler to a tiny loo. Let’s face it the poo was never going to be a good thing was it? 5. One of the hardest challenges for a parent is to get through the day without getting some form of food or bodily function smeared on their clothing. As the ‘owner’ of two boys, this tends to involve a lot snot, where the chuff does it all come from? If snot could be mined they could make a base at our house, and I would be one rich lady.

With two boys in tow I have double the smearage occurrence and quadruple the amount of household washing to deal with. I love spending my days filling the washer and drier (said no mum ever!). Although it has to be said I’ve become more accustomed (doesn’t have any other option so has just accepted) having that extra accessory of banana smear, or snot splatter. Who knows it could catch on. I’ll wait for your call Vivienne. 6. The noise, oh god the noise. The decibel level has certainly escalated since we first moved into our new house. At that time we had a relatively quite one and a half year old and I was seven months pregnant (yes I know we didn’t mess about, and yes moving when heavily pregnant was not the most exhilarating moment of my life, it was flaming stressful). So I imagine our neighbour thought we were a nice quiet little family to live next door to. Wrong!

The first noise worthy experience he had to endure was listening to me whining and mooing like a cow at 4am as the contractions were kicking in – one hospital trip later and BOOM! Welcome to Noisetown.

My youngest was a pretty chilled baby and sound sleeper, however the standard loud hungry baby cries he did at all hours of the night/morning weren’t the most enjoyable. If the mother and father of the child struggle to cope with the noise then I can’t imagine the neighbour was loving it much either.

Next on the noise counter was my fast growing toddler who mastered the fine (but not very likeable) art of winging. Again if even the mother of the child can’t appreciate their own flesh and bloods constant “I don’t wannnntttt thaaaaaattttt!“, “I wannnntttt thaaaaaattttt!“, “Noooooooooooooo“, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaa!“, then my poor bugger of a neighbour certainly isn’t going to either. To compliment the winging there’s also the occasional (OK then, daily) case of ‘parent losing their shit’ noise.

But those still aren’t the worst of the noises he has to endure. No, the worse noise can usually be heard around 7:20pm – 7:30pm, and comes from the mouth of the lesser spotted singing mum, also known as me attempting to sing Feed the Birds to the boys. (Less Mary Poppins more Makeit Stoppins). So I’m sorry neighbour, I’d love to tell you it’s going to quieten down, but the reality is soon there will be two wingers once my little one enters the twonager/threenager zone. I’ve heard Boots sell some pretty good earplugs, you may want to invest.

7. Both of my son’s have an obsession with hiding things. If I could compare them to an animal they would be squirrels. Squirrels hide nuts, well my children hide just about anything they can get their hands on. On occasion the selected object in question has rather inconveniently been my keys, and always on a day when I’m in a rush to get out of the house. When my eldest was about twenty months old I caught him looking rather sheepish whilst standing near my relatively expensive speakers. Having remembered music was starting to sound a bit tinny, I put two and two together and decided to get my Mrs Marple head on. After shining a torch in the back of the speaker I discovered a plethora of items, I’m talking pens, golf balls, small knick knacks, toys, cars, a stylus, you name it, it was in there. After a lot of vigorous shaking and probing with some BBQ tongs the little hoarders stash had been retrieved. The speakers have never fully recovered, but they’re now out of reach from the ‘little squirrels’.

My ‘little squirrels’ secret hiding place

 

The plethora of stashed items found in the speaker

 

8. I am a nag nag. A double nag. One of my most used words is “No”, along with the phrases, “Please don’t do that”, “Get off that”, “Can you stop doing that please?”. This is one of the parts of motherhood I really don’t enjoy, in fact I’d go as far to say I actually hate it. I really didn’t want to be a naggy mum but when one of your children is constantly pressing the sky record button (we have a lot of random Part Rec programmes in our planner), whilst the other decides it’s a good idea to smudge his bananarey hands all over the sofa, then Mrs Naggy McNaggyson from Nagthorpe has to make an appearance.  In the past I’ve read a few articles about alternative ways to say no, but when your kid’s about to jump off the top of the slide head first “Please could you refrain from jumping off the top of the slide darling” just doesn’t cut the mustard, because ultimately the kids probably already committed to it, then cue a mammoth wait in A&E and a potential mark on the social services risk register. However nagging does have it’s uses, let’s face it if there was no such thing as nagging then there would be a lot of unpaid bills, and half done jobs (not a dig to you hubby obviously😂).

9. You have to choose. I don’t mean as to which child is your favourite (that varies on behaviour obviously), I mean there are situations where you have to balance out their needs and make an on the spot decision. I’d liken it to a game of Top Trumps. For this example I shall rename it ‘Tot Trumps’. ‘Toddler doing poo dance’ vs ‘Baby touching TV remote’. Now let’s see the stats:

Toddler Doing Poo Dance

  • Risk Factor: 95
  • Danger Level: 95
  • Speed: 70
  • Whinge Volume: 85

Baby Touching TV Remote

  • Risk Factor: 60
  • Danger Level: 20
  • Speed: 80
  • Whinge Volume: 65

The toddlers needs win on this occasion. Deleting an unwanted programme on the Sky planner not a problem, having to scrape poo off the living room floor? I’ll pass thanks.  10. When we just had the one baby waking up in the night, the hubby and I were a little more inclined to leave him for a bit to ‘cry it out’, or at least do that thing most couples do and have a ‘stand off’ (or should that be ‘lay off’) and wait for the other to make the move. Nowadays as soon as a hint of a decent cry emerges we’re quicker than Mo Farah after eating a bowl full of Quorn to react and ensure their cries don’t wake the other. After all what’s worse than a child waking up at 2am the night before you’re up early for work? Two children awake at 2am the night before you’re up early for work. So there you have it, those are my 10 Things I ‘Hate’ About Two, but it’s not all Tot Trumps, squirrels and noise. The tight Yorkshire lass in me is incredibly happy that we saved a flipping fortune on clothes and toys etc. Even though I know the pain of a second child all too well (having to endure the bobbly unfashionable hand me downs, getting the second hand bike, etc.) I’m now the sensible(ish) parent trying to be careful with money, so I’m pleased the clothes we bought and gratefully received for my first born have been used again and they’ve both got their wear out of them.

Ultimately the best thing about having two children is that my son has now got a buddy to share his childhood with. He has a friend, a best mate, a Robin to his Batman, an Ant to his Dec, and vice versa. Watching them play together is a wonderful thing, it makes me go all mushy (when they’re not having the “I was playing with that”, “Mummy, he took it off me” sharing issues).

We’ve made two beautiful boys and we couldn’t be prouder, even though our house permanently smells like farts.

Love you boys X

There is no Buddy like a Brother
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You’re the Love of My Life

It’s Christmas Day, ready to burst from feasting on umpteen sprouts (pppparrrrppp), lashings of mash, spoonfuls of stuffing, and enough turkey to feed a baby T-Rex, we all plonk ourselves down on the sofa with a Prosseco in hand (apart from the kids of course, they had beer, just kidding!) The kids were happily playing with their new toys and gifts whilst we lovingly watched them. Without realising the time had slipped away my mum starts giving the indication they’re going to think about making a move, not a chance, tis the season to be jolly and all that. As a result my barmaid alter ego jumped to a start, and glasses were quickly filled (that should hold them a little longer), then cue my other alter ego, DJ Wobbles (Wobbles by name wobbles by nature, especially after a few bubbles).

With Spotify at my disposal I proceeded to put some tunes on to get them into the ‘Christmas spirit’. I started my musical journey with Sash! taking us back to 1997 playing classics such as Equador, Stay and Encore Une Fois, they may be 18 years old but they’d still get the young uns up dancing I have no doubt. My parents took a liking to Sash! during my teen years and have still been known to dance around their living room to it, so this had to be a surefire winner. DJ Wobbles 1 – 0 Parents.

Next let’s turn it up a notch and open up for requests. One sure fire way to win people over with music is to allow them to make requests and let the memories flow. If there’s one thing that can spark a memory off, it’s music. So there we were transported back to the days of my long haired rocker of a dad listening to the likes of Yes, Cream, and Derek and the Dominos. One thing I can confirm is that my dad has good choice in music. Who can deny it with the acoustic riffs from songs such as Layla, Roundabout, and Sunshine Of Your Love. So from such epic music what did DJ Wobbles put on next? Whip Nae Nae of course, yes I know terrible terrible music, and such a drastic change, but my son can’t half bust a move to it, and yes for a moment I was that pushy ‘look at what my son can do’ mum I always said I wouldn’t be. Next two more of his favourites, Sugarhill Gang – Rappers Delight and Apache, we had to let him have a bit of the limelight, and boy did he steal it. Ashley Banjo, watch your back 😉

Next a few numbers for my very glamorous mum, a bit of Donna Summer, Hot Stuff. A classic and it will never cease to remind me of the brilliant moment in The Full Monty when they’re all queueing up and thrusting. On the back of the 70’s vibe we moved onto the fantastic and very catchy Earth, Wind, and Fire – September, then up to the 80’s with a bit of Borderline by Madonna with the necessary sprinkling of the wonderful Michael Jackson all teamed with my questionable and probably incredibly crap looking dance moves. All dance moves were learnt courtesy of my favourite Wii game, The Michael Experience. (Hopefully my neighbours haven’t had to witness this too, although my son was once on the receiving end of the Wii controller due to my rather enthusiastic ‘Heeeheee!’ move. Sorry son). Anyway I digress.

So next we moved onto our wedding songs, meaning the tone softened especially when my dad whispered in my ear “Play Carly Simon – Love of My Life, your mum will like that“. If you haven’t heard this song then I can’t urge you enough to listen to it. It’s so beautiful. The song was inspired by her children.

From the moment I first saw you,

The second that you were born,

I knew that you were the love of my life,

Quite simply the love of my life

As I listened to the lyrics snuggled with my baby I looked over at my dad who was cuddling and singing the song to my toddler. I remembered my dad singing in the same way to me as a little girl, and do you know what it doesn’t really seem that long ago. Time simply goes too quickly. It’s only since I’ve had my boys that I’ve started to understand this. I remember when I was pregnant people always used to say “Treasure it, time goes so quickly“, it used to get right on my baps, but they were right, it’s so true.

So anyway, there I was listening to the beautiful lyrics and reminiscing, then my eyes leaked (yep I cried like a baby), now it’s very likely Prosecco had a certain influence as it does in many a moment, but I was so happy to be sharing Christmas with some of the most loved people in my life, my boys, husband and parents. I felt lucky we were all sharing that moment together as it could have been a different story a few years ago, thankfully it wasn’t. That’s all well and good for me I know, unfortunately some are not so fortunate and my heart truly goes out to them. This is why we really have to make the most of our lives, and not take our family and friends for granted, we just don’t know when it might all change.

That moment also made me realise my babies are growing up so quickly and before I know it I’ll be the grandparent singing to my grandchild (but yeah let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves).
Basically it was an episode of Back to the Future but without Doc, a Hoverboard, or clocktower in sight. I was Martina McFly blasted back to the past as a little girl seeing my mum and dad care and nurture for me like I’m doing now for my boys. The realisation that they’ve been there and done it all for me and my sister. All the times they’ve wiped my backside (as a baby of course), cleaned up my sick (again as a baby with the occasional later life mishap I’m sure), told me not to touch ornaments and had a cheeky response back, had to deal with a moody teenager that would have given Kevin (and Perry) a run for his money, and worried themselves sick about me one night as I hadn’t come home at curfew only to find I was at a ‘lock in’ at the local caravan site pub until 2.30am because I was trying to look ‘cool’ and be accepted. I didn’t end up looking ‘cool’ as I remember walking back to the caravan with my ‘friends’ and seeing a tall silhouette holding an umbrella walking towards us at a fast pace, it was my dad and I was in big trouble. Dad 1-0 Streetcred. Looking back I cringe because I now know how they must’ve felt. Their baby who they’d lovingly brought up could have been in the bottom of a ditch, luckily I wasn’t, I was completely oblivious, just a moody teenager who wanted acceptance. So now as a thirty something mum of two, I want to apologise to my mum and dad for all of the times I’ve hurt, scared, or worried you. I now fully understand why you wouldn’t occasionally let me go out, or nagged me about not smoking and doing drugs (which I have never done as a result), because you love me, and even now, I’m still your baby.

You moulded me into the person I am today (which I think is a good, bar the odd dozy remark or situation), so thank you and I hope we can raise our boys in the same way you did with my sister and I.

So as I sat there and listened to the lyrics I realised the love of my life isn’t just my husband*, or the two little men in my life**, it’s my parents, my sister, my extended family, and my friends. They are all the love of my life. All for different reasons, but I love them so much and I am very lucky they are part of my life.

One of the reasons I’ve wrote this is because I’m not really capable of saying something like this directly to them without crying, and I’m not talking one of those beautiful single tear cries like in the movies or like Sinead O’Connor on the Nothing Compares music video, I’m talking full blown sobbing where my face goes red and puffy like I’ve had 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson, not attractive.

So here it is (you know who you are), you are the love(s) of my life.

Gem x

*A man who puts up with me and my random brain farts on a daily basis, a man who could probably make Kanye West smile/laugh (no mean feat), a man who once fell asleep reading my blog (thanks for your support our lad), a man who still after all these years makes me weak at the knees, a man who is without a doubt my soulmate.
** My wonderful little poop machines, in the words of Jerry Maguire “You complete me“. I often look at them both in complete amazement. How did we create such smiley, funny, and handsome little people? They truly are a delight, then the baby voms and proceeds to create a masterpiece Tracy Emin would be proud of by wafting his hands in it, all done whilst the other farts and says “Might be a motorbike” (he’s mastered the art of denial already). Sick and trumps aside, one thing I’m sure of is I love the bones of those little men and will until the day I am no more.
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
ethannevelyn
Cuddle Fairy
Babies, kindness, Parenting, Smiling, Toddlers, Uncategorized

The Little Things

Little things, I am a big fan. I’m not talking about the One Direction song, Polly Pocket, or micro pigs (awww but look at his little red boots)I digress. No, I’m talking about the little things that can make someone smile, or simply turn a crap day into a great one. Little things that are quite frankly, magic.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite little things consists of two simple words – thank you. What I love about it, other than the obvious fact it’s good manners, is that there are so many different ways we can say it. A hug, a high five, a kiss (dependent on the receiver of course), a note, a gift, a letter, or a look.

Saying ‘Thank you’ is a very powerful thing, it can make a demotivated member of staff feel appreciated and valued, in turn motivating them to do a better job. A good example of this is how Sir Richard Branson looks after his employees. He’s a true believer in valuing his staff and saying thank you in various ways (be it bonuses, perks, awards, etc.).

I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business – Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard, if you ever require someone who’s trained in Beauty Therapy, has worked in Customer Service for a number of years, is happy to wear a mascot outfit and dance around like a complete knob, is creative, and babbles a lot. Then I’m your gal!

On another note, I’ve had a few parcels/purchases sent to me in the post, and I absolutely love it when there’s a little card/note to say ‘thank you’. Simple, yet effective. Those two little words again have the power to win my loyalty and purchase more. Fickle I know, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a little polite/friendly touch.

I like to think of myself as polite, so much so, I once thanked a cash machine when drawing some money out. Yup, it’s safe to say my mum and dad instilled the politeness trait in me from a young age. Myself and my husband have also encouraged our little boy to say his please and thank you’s, and now he is a fully fledged polite boy, well most of the time, if you ignore the occasional finger grovelling up the nostril. So remember, always say those two little words whether someone’s made you a cuppa, or saved your life. Thank you is magic.

One of my other favourite little things goes hand in hand with the first, smiling. Smiling and saying thank you, what a winning combination. Yes I know I’m starting to sound incredibly cheesy, but I genuinely really love smiling. When I was a little girl I remember being sat in the dentist reception waiting for my appointment and seeing the following poem;

Smiling is infectious,

You catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today,

I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner,

And someone saw my grin.

When he smiled I realized

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile

then I realized its worth,

A single smile, just like mine

could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,

don’t leave it undetected

Let’s start an epidemic quick,

and get the world infected!

How good is that? It’s safe to say it had an impact on me, and now I can be regularly found with a smile upon my face. Most people happily smile back, but to be fair this could be because they’re scared and think I look a bit bonkers. However on the odd occasion the smiling has backfired, and some men have taken it as a ‘Well hey there, I’m smiling at you because I want to rip your clothes off‘, and not in the ‘Hi there, I hope you’re having a great day. Here’s a nice innocent none coming on to you smile for you to pass on to someone else‘ kind of way. So yes it’s important how you smile, because let’s face it, there’s a fine line between looking like a friendly happy smiley person or a crazed lunatic.

As the poem describes ‘smiling is infectious’, and it truly is. Picture this, you’re having a bad day, the moment you wake up everything has gone wrong, you open the fridge to discover there’s no milk for your morning tea/coffee, both your sons have filled their nappies more than three times with a stink even a pig wouldn’t admit to, you sneeze just after applying mascara (hello there panda), and then you discover a large piece of your favourite wallpaper lying on the floor next to a newly naked piece of wall. Just before you’re about to drop to your hands and knees and say ‘Nooooooooooooooooooo!’ You see this;
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You smile back, how can you not? All is well with the world. Crap day? What crap day? So there you have it, smiling is magic.

Lastly my other little thing is random acts of kindness. Now this one is  a little bit different, as it can vary from a small thing to something huge. So what do I define as a random act of kindness? It’s a selfless way to make another person smile, be happy, or feel valued/appreciated. One thing I tend to do a lot, is let anyone with only a few items go ahead of me at the supermarket, not an earth shattering thing to do I know,  but thoughtful, plus it means they don’t have to stand analysing what we’ll be eating for the next week. I also make a point of leaving good feedback if I feel a service provided has been particularly good, there’s no better motivator than receiving positive feedback.

A larger example of a random act of kindness is one I recently came across on a post shared on Facebook. A waitress called Liz Woodward from New Jersey left a note on the receipt for two fire-fighters.2AD9319500000578-3174789-image-m-24_1437880550835How lovely is that? But it didn’t end there. To show how much they appreciated it, the two fire-fighters did their own bit of research and found out Woodwards father was a quadriplegic and is bed bound. As a result the fire-fighters set up a GoFundMe page for him which is still receiving donations.

Something that a put a smile on my face recently was when I was travelling to York on the train. When the ticket officer came to check tickets, instead of the usual boring squiggle or tear, he drew a little smiley face on my ticket. Yes I know I’m very easily pleased, what can I say. But it certainly worked, and I like to think it made a fair few other people on the train smile to themselves too. Well done Mr Train Ticketman.

So whether it’s to buy a homeless person something to eat, taking your neighbours bins out, or helping someone struggling with their bags,  remember you’re helping to put a smile on another persons face, and there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve brightened someone’s day. Who knows, your simple act of kindness may even change someone’s outlook or life.

My homework for you, is to be polite, smile and be kind, because after all kindness is (yep you’ve got it) magic.

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama
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Gem x