School?

So today we nipped into a local pre school to have a look and see whether there are any places for J. J was very well behaved, it must be said, he looked round carefully, played with some play dough, pursed his lips and shook his head. We got outside and he said very calmly “I’m not going and I am NOT going to change my mind”.

We are currently in negotiations ūüėā

(Meanwhile littlest was yelling because he couldn’t go in with the little ones, he was raring to go)

This was yesterday in our little wooded area. I have to say I can see his point… I’ve never liked classrooms either. ( No detriment to the preschool, they were lovely and there was lots of activities and messy play).

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So I did this friends thing on facebook….

and I’m not sure how I feel about it! It was this status that you copy and paste that said …………………….write down how you met me……….. and most of the people seemed to be from church. I loved it and it reminded me of the friends I do have but….

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my church, deeply. But I do feel I’ve placed it and the area it is in on a bit of a pedestal when I should have been concentrating on where I am in Chesterfield.¬†Just to be clear, my church is about ten miles from where I live, so not a massive distance, but when it comes to having close friends and community, it seems to make a massive difference.

I won’t lie, since having children I’ve been frequently lonely. I feel like I’ve wasted time being lonely actually. When I could have just been out there having fun and being with my kids and not worrying. That makes me sad. I should have concentrated on my own community where I live and made friends. The post natal depression didn’t help! But I’m fine now.

I know I did make a few and you are out there, but life with small children and friendships is actually quite difficult. Most women work as well as bring their children up and also have partners as well. So life is busy and time limited.

Everyone says “go to groups!!!” but to be quite honest I find a lot of groups to be more dispiriting that not going. I find it a fake indoors environment where you sit around talking nonsense or worrying about your child’s behaviour and being unsure as to whether it is “appropriate” (another word I don’t like). and trying to make friends with people who, quite frankly, don’t appear to want to actually be friends. Maybe it’s just our English non embracing of others, our restraint, but I don’t like it.

If I was staying here, I think I would have made more of an effort, invited people out, gone to the park and spoken to people. It’s actually quite easy, I did it yesterday, we went to our local park and stayed quite a while, J made a friend (amazing how easy we find it when we are three) and ran around for ages. The little one shuffled round climbing on things and I chatted with J’s friend’s grandma. It was great.

I have actually loved being a full time mum. Loved it. And I will keep on loving it. But now, I am going to embrace this time and love my kids and teach them and enjoy them. (and learn from them hopefully). J goes to school in a year, and I have beaten myself up in some ways because everyone seems so obsessed with nurseries and I seem to have been continually asked since J was born if he was going or when he was going to nursery.  Particularly when he was going through a tough time like when he went through a hitting phase (like nursery would sort him out??!!)

J hasn’t gone to nursery and still isn’t at the moment is the answer. And you know what? he is an intelligent, well adjusted and knowledgeable three year old. With all the traits of a normal three year old, including some defiance, screaming heebie jeebies, and refusing to leave the park when asked saying he wanted to stay there forever. He makes friends easily when out, he is sociable and he seems very secure. Again, not going to nursery when very young is not a bad thing… (neither is going, may I add to my working friends, I know how hard it is).

Having said that we will try and find a pre-school when we get to Ireland. But only because he is getting to that age where I feel it would be helpful and I think he would enjoy it. I have often felt that by being at home, what on earth have I given him? But more and more as he gets older I feel I am seeing what we have given him, and that is good.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not slating working parents. I’ve been there, done that, and this parenting decision is entirely our decision. It is because I’ve been there, done that, that I made this decision. I did my nurse training whilst my daughter was little. We are also in the privileged position of (just) being able to do it financially.

So I suppose the point of this is, parenting is difficult, but I’m not sure we get it right in this country. There are so many lonely parents, being sold this image of parenthood that it just doesn’t live up to. Being told that nursery is the right place for their child, being made to feel that they have to work. Being told “you can have it all” when in fact it is incredibly difficult and something always has to give.

I also don’t get why we as parents don’t get this sorted, there seems to be a sort of paralysis of parents being perpetually lonely or unfulfilled. This doesn’t seem to have changed in the last 20 odd years (remember I have a 23 year old daughter too). I know I am generalising massively but I am speaking from my experience of trying loads of different kids groups over the past three years and meeting lots of different parents.

So, I’ve decided to try and do my bit from now on by simply welcoming other parents with a big smile and an ear to listen wherever I am. By being open and welcoming and take it from there. No agenda. No preconceived ideas.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
¬†¬†¬†¬†are the children¬†of one’s youth.
 Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

(Psalm 127:3-5)

(I’m really hoping this post is not offensive, massive apologies if it is…parenting and friendships are tricky subjects, I am working my own thoughts out really, I feel like God is doing stuff in me at the moment, working things through…)

Social Media is great…sometimes….but…

I’ve deleted facebook and messenger off the old phone and Ipad, I’ve been paying far, far too much attention to it during the day and I’ve decided to try just using the laptop for it and that is that.

It is all very useful and sometimes interesting, but I have decided to limit my time on them and try to get away from the got to deal with messages etc at once. When there actually is no need for it.

I want to be with my children during the day, to enjoy being with them, to be present, to be attentive, not distracted and so I am eliminating certain distractions. They are only this age once, and the time goes so, so fast. I know that because I already have one girl who is now grown up and in her early twenties. I still wonder where that time went and I sometimes regret working so much whilst she was young. However, regrets do nothing unless you learn from them, so I am attempting to learn from them.

I also don’t want my children having a mum who is constantly looking at her phone, I want them to have a good upbringing with good memories and not one where their parents were constantly ignoring them because social media was so much more important than that moment with them.

I’m still going to do this..I love doing this…I love writing and speaking to people on here, but my presence will just be a little more limited. Probably first thing and then maybe last thing. During the day I am going to attempt to stay off the social media platform. I’ve got into the rubbish habit of checking it and rechecking and it does not do me or my family any good.

I want to spend my time as well as I can and my family come first after God.

“…yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For¬†you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Yes, I want to spend it well. I will make mistakes, I make many, but you know what, I am made for God and by God and I intend to do what I am here to do. Whatever that may be, and at the moment, that is being a wife and a mother.

This is purely reflective writing and is not intended as a judgement piece on anyone.

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Also, I used to read books, I used to draw, I used to play music and my flute. Where has all that gone? Gone in favour of staring at a screen? I don’t think so. Time to reinstate what is good I think. Time to have fun too!

See you all later!

 

Things adults say..

Just for the laugh¬†I thought I would spend a day or so writing down the things we say (or mainly I say) to our children…so I did.¬† Although it has dawned on me that the things may just be negative as in “don’t do that”. (I do spend a lot of my day¬†telling them good things too).

It has also dawned on me that it would be far more entertaining to write down some of the stuff J (Mr Toddler) says. It’s brilliant. He was talking about Jesus having a cup of tea and a fruit shoot earlier and then that the four cotton buds he had planted at the allotment would grow and become a plum tree. Love him. He also said today that his favourite flowers are purple ones because they grow in the dark.

Chris spoke to our Shetland solicitors today, apparently they have just received a load of paperwork they have to go through and they are then going to send us some paperwork to peruse! So it is apparently all in motion!

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A day in the life

“stop hitting your brother” (classic)

Calm down! (statement guaranteed to never calm anyone down)

Put it down, don’t wave it around…

Sit closer to the table!

Elbow!

Knee!

Not against the telly! You’ll break it if you do that!

Don’t stand on my foot please

Come away from the television

Come awaaaay from the television

Do not put your feet in his face

Don’t push him

Stop sitting on him

Stop!

Stop doing that!

Why are you crying?

What’s wrong?

Do you want the toilet? (repeated 50 times daily, I must be really irritating)

Pancakes? (positive one)

Put it (sweets/batteries/food off floor that someone else has left/50th piece of fruit in a day/food in shop) down

she’s gone to fetch your bun (He was crying because he thought it had disappeared – aw)

Don’t let the dog out

Stay in the yard!

Try not to kick me

Stand still!

That is not a drum, put it down (the PS3), get off it please

No, you can’t have another tube of smarties

No, we don’t have lollies for breakfast

Don’t stamp on your brother, aww that’s nice, yes be nice…stop treading on his hand!!

He is not a naughty baby!

You have to sleep in your own bed

Stay in the garden

Noooo, stop, that is not edible

Do not hurt your brother – I know he is wrecking your tower – I’m sorry

pleeeeasse sit still so we can get your shoes and socks on, it’s already taken an hour to try to get out of the door

Don’t tread in the poo (at least it isn’t don’t eat the poo)

Don’t lick the table/wall/window/mirror

Stop pulling the flowers up – aw is that for me, thank you!

Don’t wave that around in here, go outside (dog ball throwing thing)

Hold on to the pushchair, this road’s busy…Hold on to the pushchair…HOLD ON TO THE PUSHCHAIR

Yes you can walk on the wall

Listen! look at me… Listen!

I love you. You are amazing.

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My brain is tired today…

No news on the move at the mo, I think it is in the middle stage of not much seeming to be happening, but it is. Waiting! again! It will be worth it though. I want to make the most of our time every day though. I don’t always, but I want to! This was part of the weekend:

 

My first ever quiche! had a bit of a soggy bottom haha but it was nice, I used to call it “christian food” years ago, because everything you turned up to had quiche, But I’ve since come to really like it ūüėÄ

Things feel stressful at the moment and quite serious quite a lot of the time so I just want to concentrate on good today. I took the boys and dog to a reservoir called Linacre on Saturday and we went back again on Sunday afternoon with Chris, it was lovely.  Even better to Mr Toddler (and me) because there is an ice cream van in the car park.  Chris took me to Linacre for our second ever date. I can remember it being a really bright, sunny day despite it being March. He was just the same then, I am one for standing and looking and inhaling and taking it all in, soaking it up. Staying in one place for a while, exploring, chatting or just looking. Chris is all action, lets be off then, lets be doing things. Both have good points and bad points, we both have to compromise sometimes.

The easiest way of taking the boys and the dog for a walk  is to carry the baby on my back. It gets a bit hot sometimes but I love it, he is so close. I think he loves it too, he sits there, looking around at everything, taking it all in.

It won’t be long until he is walking. I love this stage, where you can still sit with them, inhaling their baby goodness. They still sit with you and cuddle. It is still good when they get older, but not as easy. (to me, anyway).

Anyway, I’m really tired today, both boys ended up in bed with me, which is nice but not particularly comfortable, so we are going to wait until the baby wakes from his nap and then go out somewhere. Preferably in the country.

Hopefully have more news on the move soon!

See ya.

Cathy

 

 

 

 

Get fit Saturday…am I ready for this???…HIIT???! What is that anyway!?!

I went on a diet earlier in the year, I’d slowly put a lot of weight on over the past few years – ya know, marriage, babies, loving eating in general… In fact, my husband and I both dieted and both lost around two stone but I still needed to lose some more.

The weight has been slowly going back on because I’ve been eating a lot of rubbish again so I decided last night I was going to eat healthier but also do training in the comfort of our own home, so I searched on youTube and found this¬†absolute beginners HIIT workout¬†and did it this morning. Mr toddler ran around crawling under my legs and laughing a lot and the baby napped.¬† It’s quite difficult to do the exercises with a toddler clamped onto your leg, funny though.¬† Chris has gone out today otherwise I might have tried to recruit him but I think it is doubtful that he would have done it. He probably would have found it most amusing…

I really, really want to be fit and healthy, partly because it will probably make me live longer, and as an older mum I want to see my kids for as long as possible. But I also know that living healthily does give you better quality of life and more energy. I also think it honours God, far more than sitting at home eating crisps does (which is a favourite activity of mine).

It has also been on my mind that are bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made with abilities that I certainly don’t fulfil or push my body to do. Our bodies are a masterpiece of creativity!

I WANT TO HAVE ENERGY AGAIN!!

 

Therefore, I urge you,¬†brothers and sisters, in view of God‚Äôs mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,¬†holy and pleasing to God‚ÄĒthis is your true and proper worship.¬†

 

yay!!

I don’t want to do it to look ‘fit’ haha and attract loads of men (probably good seeing as I’m married). Although looking fit is always a nice bonus…

I don’t want to do it as a way of making myself ‘feel’ better as such or make things right, because only Jesus does that.

But I do want to do it to improve my health and be more energetic, I do want to lose weight! I do want to push my body to do what it is created to do!

This is different to ten years ago, I found a diary entry that read something like “if I can lose weight and get fit and stop drinking and smoking then everything will be right and sorted…” NEWS – No it won’t. But it is still good to do.

so yes, back to the point, this was us this morning:

 

Flattering!

It is debatable whether I will continue, I never have in the past, but I’d like to! I just find it a bit boring, I prefer things like walking and gardening and I think if I could actually skateboard I’d like that too, haha (it looks quite exciting) or I’d quite like a scooter, they look fun. I am going to try to keep going though, it was a good, simple workout, he also has very nice hair.

Signing out for now.

Au revoir!

The heaven’s declare…

Regarding our house sale, the builder fella came around yesterday to check what needs doing damp proofing wise, he was really friendly and seemed realistic and honest.¬† So we’re waiting to hear that all is well and our sale is going through.

Not heard anything on the croft since we heard our offer had been accepted in principle, I’ll feel a lot happier once the advert actually goes under offer though. I contacted them¬† again yesterday to find out what happens next. Whether it officially goes under offer at some point or whether it is because it has been accepted. It is the in principle bit I’m not sure about.

I’m really, really enjoying life on the allotment at the moment, there are turnips growing, sprouts, cabbages (only a few because they got eaten even though they are netted), runner beans flowering, summer and winter squash growing, courgettes, sweetcorn plants, onions, spinach, a few beetroot, lettuce and spring onions. One reason I’m really enjoying it is it seems it is the first year since we got the allotment that I’ve really been able to make a difference and do a lot of the work. It’s because I was pregnant with our toddler when we first got it and since then had the old post natal depression/anxiety /lack of get up and go and then another baby. Life has been busy! But busy is not necessarily bad and now the two boys generally play for a while whilst I do some work. I also LOVE going on with them, being outside is good, for them and for me and our relationship.

The little one has now started bum shuffling (he has got quite fast) and I leave him in one place and look up and he’s in a veg bed with something interesting like mud held between his finger and thumb, on it’s way to his mouth, like the finest delicacy.¬† Mr toddler is also starting to take an interest in the names of plants and of taking care of the beds and doing things like hoeing etc. I just have to watch he doesn’t dig my plants up. It’s brilliant this year because we never actually got round to planting any potatoes so he has basically got his own patch to play on/dig up/roll around in/learn to garden/whatever he likes.¬† He has been loving it.

 

We still have our four hens on the allotment too, they’re about 14 months old now, only three are laying at the moment, but one does look like it has been going through a moult, so maybe she will start again. We are going to need to rehome them very soon (it looks like we have found a home for them). I love having chickens, but I think it would be a bit much to take them 700 ish miles with us.

 

We can’t wait to get moved and start getting set up, I love the thought of getting our new chickens there, we will be able to have a rooster too! (we can’t where we are at the moment) and maybe ducks and sheep to start with. We are planning on putting chickens on the vegetable garden to clear it over autumn/winter (depending when we get there) and then sorting that out next year. It is walled but the wall has disappeared under grass, so hopefully we can get the wall uncovered and the house will have a walled garden again.

We have a dream/wish list in relation to the croft, one of which is a large polycrub in which we would be able to grow just about any veg/fruit/flowers we want. The problem in Shetland as far as I am aware is the wind and so a polycrub would be ideal. The only thing is the cost of the polycrub, we are praying that we will be able to get one.

We are also planning/wanting to plant some trees which should be suitable for the area, we have been researching a little on what would be the best options for the area – some of the suitable trees are downy birch and hazel and we should hopefully be able to use these somewhere on the croft as a wind break/shelter as well as having the joy of actually having trees there. There aren’t many on Shetland from what I have heard.¬† I have seen this week that the woodland trust sell landowner packs of trees and there is a pack called¬†wild wood tree pack¬†which looks ideal, even more so because the ones that are out of stock are not ones we wanted and the ones they are offering are the ones we wanted. So getting and planting these would be so good to do. It’s good that Chris and I are so on the same page with this really, we love planning this sort of thing, the gardens, the land, the trees.

When Jesus was first making himself obvious to me, I had been asking him whether he was real because I was desperate and did not know where to go with my life, I felt like I had no hope. I suppose everything had been made clear to me that “things” and even people just don’t cut it and hiding yourself in things like drinking don’t really work. I can remember driving into the countryside, specifically from Chesterfield into Ashover and praying the Lord’s prayer because it was all I knew regarding prayer really and begging Him that if he really was there to help me and I looked around and the fields and trees and skies had suddenly become brighter and just spectacular, it was in technicolour. So one of the ways he showed me himself was via the outdoors. It was just awesome.

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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Ps 19:1).

I’ve seen some interesting news in the last few weeks as well, Shetland is going to be homing some Syrian refugees, I feel really excited about this, we are still involved with the world! we are not cut off! I have to admit I have been wondering what sort of stuff we will be doing there and dreaming of what God may have for us to do. Dreaming is good, dreams can become reality, especially when you pray them, especially if it is actually God giving you those dreams…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

I love this prayer. When you actually look at the words and what they mean, it is just brilliant.

(I don’t generally do the whole olde speak thy/thou thing, but I do with this prayer, because it is how I learnt it when I was young, and I like it. But you don’t have to, you can talk to God however you are comfortable, he loves you to talk to him).

See ya!