And just like that, another Month has passed me by in a bit of a blur. It is such a busy time of year that you blink and the real Christmas countdown begins.
Girls day out
It is not often that the girls and I get out and about together, but with some much needed Christmas shopping to be done. A trip to Birmingham with the 8 and 5 year old seemed like a slightly foolish idea, but I like to live life on the edge at times so why not??
Well in reality, we had a lovely day. Leaving the car at the lovely Auntie M’s we took a very exciting double decker bus journey in to Birmingham city centre. What is it about buses that Kids adore? It kept us out of the rain so it was a welcome break.
Our first stop was breakfast which again is a rare treat. It felt like the perfect way to start the day.
Rob kind of foolishly laid out a challenge for me… He said there was no way I’d be able to buy gifts for the children with them in tow. Well a little distraction and a very helpful member of staff and mission was accomplished in the first shop. But always one to go above and beyond, I then took them to the World’s biggest Primark (Wow by the way!) I made them hold the basket between them while I filled it full of goodies for them and not once did they pay the slightest bit of attention! I am not one to boast (too often!) but GO ME!
I did forget though that I’d have to carry all of this shopping alone, turns out 8 and 5 year old’s are great shopping companions but they are not so hot on the carrying of heavy bags, something to do with short arms apparently!
We then met Auntie M for lunch before heading home for the day, exhausted and probably a tad grumpy… me and them!
But it was lovely, my shopping with children experience is based on a boy who hates to shop so this was a much nicer experience and kind of what I guess i’d hoped it would be like if I’d had a daughter.
Now I am told that my rapping skills need some improvement but my wrapping skills are pretty spot on! So when I settled down on the 3rd November to start wrapping most people thought I was crackers! Well I am not here to dispute that but I am here to say that I feel slightly smug at how prepared I am for the upcoming festivities.
The real reason for my eagerness is that I need all the presents wrapped and stored at my Dad’s house before work on our bedroom begins. I couldn’t send them unwrapped or they’d stay unwrapped. We all know that kids see the unwrapping as one of the best bits of Christmas so I am not prepared to disappoint.
The other reason is with all 4 other members of this house having birthdays from the 14th January to 24th February, it would be nice to have a little wrapping break in December.
F’s cooking journey continues
F is a really good eater, but he is fairly picky and won’t eat anything in a sauce. Spaghetti bol, lasagne, cottage pie etc are all out, as is anything spicy.
Imagine my surprise when he decided he wanted to try curry for the first time. Not only did he want to try it, he wanted to make it for Sunday dinner. You’ll know from my I Don’t post that I Don’t make roast dinners (Rob is the roast king) I was only too happy to allow F to make a curry for us all.
In a bid to get him to be a little more adventurous we went for full on curry buffet. Rice, Naans, poppadoms, samosa’s, the works. And he loved it, the girls loved it and it was a really lovely lunch, chatting, eating and experimenting. Perfect!
He has since made Spaghetti bol in the slow cooker and again loved it. I feel that by getting in the kitchen, he is becoming more willing to try new things and step out of his comfort zone.
It is not often we get to see Auntie M but this month I got to see her twice. We had a lovely day with her in Birmingham, chatting and eating her famous Macaroni Cheese.
I love spending time with extended family, catching up, sharing news, its really special time and I want to make the most of it.
A bit of honesty
I try to be honest when I write my blogs and I am quite open. But when it comes to how I am REALLY doing, I tend to gloss over the facts a little.
I’m fine is my go to.
Mid-November was a real struggle for me, I just from no where became completely overwhelmed by life. I couldn’t shake this feeling, I could feel it in my chest, I could feel it in my bones, my muscles and my god my brain just wouldn’t stop.
I was working which was fairly intense on days, I was racing home to the gym, trying to spend time with F and balance his homework and the need for a list of things for school one day, another list for another day, keep the house going, spend time with Rob and keep my blog floating.
I knew I had a lot on one weekend and it was stressing me out. Everything just felt like it was constantly going wrong and life was kicking me in the ass each day. Breaking point was dropping a whole bag of shopping in to a huge puddle. I just couldn’t wait for the week to be over. As if that would make it all better.
I rang Rob in a bit of a state about it all and had a cry. But you know what, letting go of all that pressure I was putting on myself was exactly what I needed.
Although the sink pipes breaking and then the cold tap deciding that NOW would be a good time to NOT switch off was almost the straw that broke the camels back.
I ran up to Rob for help, told him he’d have to deal with it and walked away. For me to ask for help is a pretty big deal, and just like that I suddenly felt like I’d gained control back.
Attic Update #3608
OK so it’s not really but it feels like it. I do think some of what I talked about above stems from the current chaos levels.
Now I appreciate that it could be a LOT worse than it is, generally day to day it doesn’t have much effect. We still have access to all the rooms we need but as more and more shoe shaped holes appeared in the girls bedroom, I could feel my stress levels increase.
That sounds pretty terrible really, especially as we are paying for this work to be completed. But given that the ceilings are being replaced anyway, its no biggy, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is however slightly irritating that the only progress we saw was from the holes appearing. Nothing actually appeared to be going on in the attic and with just 4 weeks to the completion date given, it was becoming a little frustrating.
I decided to just chill. It is a big job and it is bound to be far from straight forward on a house of this age. I can’t control it and there lies the real issue! I’d say I wasn’t a control freak but it is becoming more and more clear that I actually am!
Today (22nd) I have come home and for the first time I have been able to walk around what will soon be our new bedroom. I can finally see how it is going to look, what space we are going to have and I am genuinely excited. All those fears and the terror that overwhelmed me before melted away.
I can’t wait to share it with you all but for now this is all you’re getting.
October was a great month for my blog, I smashed my previous highest months views and I really felt like I had finally found my place.
I knew I had to be on it again in November as I didn’t want to risk seeing that number decrease.
I started the month with a rack of scheduled posts, it was a great feeling to know that I could concentrate on my engagement and promotion. With a few days left of the month, I am well on target to again smash my views.
As this blog only started in March and I was using blogger before that, I am now well over 25k views this year. I know it is small fry but for me it means the absolute world.
I am scheduling better, being more productive with my time and I have even prepared ideas and some content for the whole of 2020. I have been able to do this by looking at my popular posts from the year, seeing what works, what brings in traffic and what people seem to genuinely enjoy.
I have been approached several times in the last week for guest posts and even a paid opportunity. I am not quite there yet as I know I need to go self hosted, own my domain, basically not be using a free wordpress account, but I am scared! I don’t want to lose all I have worked towards in terms of views etc and there is so much conflicting information out there.
I will be using my Christmas break to really get my head around it all and hopefully see in the new year with a clearer idea and maybe a new site behind me.
Watch this space!
PS. Smashed Octobers views, visits, comments and likes by a mile!
It has been a funny season so far and we seem to be getting much more rain than we would normally, or at least it feels that way. I do feel that we have failed a little on Our Autumn Bucket List. Instead we have found this perfect Sunday pattern which I honestly think is so good for all of us.
We all spend the day sat around the dining table. The children have a ridiculous amount of homework each week and can often take a few hours to get all the assignments done and I can blog and help at the same time.
We are all sitting down and eating together, something that F has made more often than not, and rather than it being a quick feed and racing off to the next item on the to-do list, we are taking our time, enjoying each others company and generally slowing down.
The afternoon will consist of a bit of housework, a movie, some quiet time and then the girls go home. I really hit Monday now much more rested and calm.
I can’t recommend it enough.
Christmas arrived early
I’d like to think that you were not at all surprised by this. I needed a pick me up. I keep reading about how happy it makes you to have the Christmas decorations up, call it an experiment if you like! I want to test the theory…
I am completely in love with the new tree we bought a few weeks ago and on the 24th, I put the tree up.
I could not be happier (see!?) with how it looks, I am so happy (See a pattern!) every time I look at it and it has even bought a dumb-christmas grin to my lovely Fiance’s face so EVERYONE is happy!
Experiment is complete and the result says
Go on, put it up already you lovely bunch.
And that’s a wrap!
Here begins my favourite month of the whole year! See you on the other side, which means I can justify saying….
How was November for you? Did you get up to anything exciting or did you find yourself staying in a little more thanks to the weather?