Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Little Miss Bossy Boots

Last week we made our way to Princess's first ever Parents Evening. I booked the day off work to ensure I could go no matter what and spent the whole day in anticipation. It's crazy how excited I actually was by the prospect of finding out how Princess had settled in. At the end of her school day, she's very reluctant to talk about how she's spent her afternoon so we only ever get snippets of information. I was looking forward to hearing from her teachers how she was finding nursery.

Princess's teacher is lovely. She has a kind smile and a positive outlook on everything. She said she was very happy with Princess's progress and she had settled in lovely. She has quite a few friends - which was a relief to hear, every time we ask who she has played with today, the response is always "no one". There is a little boy who she once classed as her boyfriend. According to the teacher they both seem drawn to each other and are always together. How sweet!

The teacher said she is also very much of a leader. I can totally see this in Princess, she is very, very bossy. She is quite happy to take charge of a situation and see it through to the end. She likes things done her way and in a timely manner - I wonder who she gets that from! Apparently there had been an incident at nursery where some of the children had blocked up the toilets with tissue so the teacher had assigned one of the older children to take charge and make sure everyone was using the bathroom appropriately. Princess stepped up immediately, taking charge of the clipboard and making sure everyone was flushing the chain and washing their hands. Despite her being one of the younger children in her class, the teachers were quite happy with the way she was running the gaff!



I left Parents Evening feeling incredibly proud and like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I have often worried that she wouldn't settle in and spend her hours there sat by herself. The thought made me want to cry, thinking of my little girl all lonely. It was such a relief to hear that she was a confident, bright and friendly little girl in nursery, the same way she is at home.

A couple of days later, I rushed in to nursery at home time to pick Princess up. She came running out of the classroom beaming and brandishing a colourful bracelet in her hands. The teacher came out to tell me that Princess had won a prize for having a positive attitude. When asked if she could help tidy up, she proudly yelled "come on guys, let's go!" and rounded up the other children to help out.  Everyone got together and got the classroom tidied up quick as a flash.



In the long run, it looks like her bossiness is paying off. She doesn't order the children about, but her natural ability to lead in any situation gets the other children involved in helping her, without them feeling like they're being forced.

She is friendly, confident and knows what she wants.

My Princess is awesome.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Threenager

I'm sure you've heard this term before, right?



Well I hadn't. Not until Princess hit the grand old age of 3 anyway. 

I'd always heard of the Terrible Two's and had been dreading them. Fortunately, they hadn't been as bad as I was expecting, which was a nice surprise. However, it left me completely unprepared to face a three year old. 

I thought I had this parenting malarkey down to a T. Move over Gina Ford, Misty knows what she's doing. But alas.. Once again, life decide to throw me another challenge, one I had no fucking idea how to face. 

Let me tell you.. If you think your 2 year old is challenging, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Terrible Two's do not exist, they are a simple a taster of what is yet to come.. And it ain't pretty. 

For one.. They can talk. Fluently. Gone are the days of feeling a rush of pride when your child learns a new word. No. Now they know them all. And their favourites tend to be swear words. It doesn't matter how careful you are, they have a sixth sense for the F word. As soon as it's left your mouth, they pounce on the opportunity, shouting it with pride to anyone who will listen. And they know you can't tell them off.. After all, you said it first. 

It also means they can answer back. Sometimes Princess just doesn't understand why I have told her no and will argue with me to the point I end up telling her to do what she wants. Model parenting right there, I know. But you just cannot win an argument with a threenager. They also like to tell you off too.. God forbid you should eat the last chocolate biscuit, you'll soon know about it. 

Which leads me to questions. Oh, the questions. What was once a very cute trait in which I would relish answering all of her questions and teaching her about the world.. Soon turns in to "why?" "Where are we?" Every 10 seconds. A few more "why's?" And a couple of "BUT WHAT FOR!?" and the questions aren't so cute any more. Sometimes I genuinely think she's just looking for an argument.. She's feisty so it wouldn't surprise me. 

The only part that counteracts this.. Is the way she can become absolutely adorable. My current favourites are: 

"Mummy, I'm so proud of you!" 
"You're my best friend!" 
"I've missed you SO much" and the all time favourite
"I love you lots and lots like jelly beans!" 

All it takes is one of those little phrases to make me forgive her. 

I forgive the tantrums, the bad behaviour, the constant and incessant whinging. 

She may be the Queen of all Threenagers, but she may just be the cutest of them all! 


Monday, 10 March 2014

Bad Things Happen In Threes.. And Four's & Fives

Guess who wins the award for longest blog post title in the history of the world? 

This week has started with an almighty fail. My weeks start on a Sunday as that's what my shift pattern works as.. So Monday is day 2.

Anyway, yesterday was an almighty fail as I found myself back at work after a lovely week off. It was back down to earth with a bump as I started my first shift back and I wasn't really feeling into it at all. I couldn't concentrate, I was feeling anxious and irritable and because of that I made an almighty cock up when doing a payment. It's an easy task that requires minimal concentration.. But I buggered it up. I finally rectified the situation, much to the annoyance of the customer, but all was well in the end. 

Today however, I was an inch away from giving up. If I could have gone back to bed and stayed there until tomorrow I honestly would have. 

The morning saw us being woken up by Princess telling us she had poo'd on her bedroom floor. I asked her why and she told me she was afraid of the toilet roll. Best. Excuse. Ever. 

But everything just went downhill from there. I opened a cupboard to get my straighteners.. And the door fell off. There appears to be a leak under my kitchen sink which has flooded my kitchen and ruined a whole box of washing powder. 

I was starting to get pissed off. We'd already had the landlord out a few weeks ago due to a broken toilet. I had to
Call him last week because we found damp under the stairs. The house is falling apart! 

Then to make my day all that more enjoyable.. Princess decided to wee all in her clothes for nursery and all over her bed. The fresh clean bed I had made the night before. 

If I could have screamed without alerting the neighbours.. I would have. I was so beyond tipping point this morning. I can't even wash the clothes she wet herself in because our washing machine broke on Saturday. 

So bad things do not come in 3's.. that's just if you're lucky! 

Please pray for me that the rest of this week does not continue in the same way.. I can't take much more! 


Friday, 7 March 2014

Quickmax Eyelash Enhancer - *Review*

After working with StyleLUX before, I was thrilled when they asked me to review their Quickmax Eyelash Growth Enhancer. Unfortunately, I have not been graced with long lustrous lashes like Ross and Princess (who has her Dads eyes). They're quite long, but the colour actually seems to run out, leaving me with very light tips. This makes my lashes look very short and stumpy - something that I have to rectify daily with mascara. If a product could help that, then I was dying to give it a try.

The product aims to help you grow longer and visibly thicker lashes in as little as 7 days. A week! Surely not!?

Well I am here to tell you it IS possible.

I am always sceptical when I receive products to review, especially ones that claim to show such dramatic changes in a short period of time. Do these things ever really work? I've bought enough beauty products over the years to know that usually, it's all a lie. It's probably worked on a handful of women and they will then use it as their strongest selling point. Self tan with no streaks? I've yet to find one. Nail polish that doesn't chip? That's just a myth.

The Quickmax DOES work though, and I can prove it.

First off though, let's talk about the product itself. It comes in a dainty little tube, much like a miniature mascara would, but the tip is shaped like an eyeliner. It is slim and not too soft which means you are able to apply it very easily.

 

The aim is to apply the liquid to the roots of your lashes and then wash it off after 2 minutes. If I'm honest I thought it would be a formula you kept on your lashes all day, but I am glad that it's not. This makes it very handy to use in a morning, or even at a night before you wash your face.

The liquid itself is neither sticky or runny which is a massive plus when applying it so close to your eyes. There was only one ocassion when I actually managed to poke myself in the eye (my fault!) but it doesn't sting like a lot of products usually would. I am useless at applying eyeliner to my top lid usually, but this was so easy to apply - I even used it for my bottom lashes too.

Quickmax is developed in an FDA approved laboratory using nothing but natural ingredients that help and stimulate the hair follicles in our eyelashes. Because all of the ingredients are natural, the product is kind to skin and absolutely safe to use on the sensitive area that is our eyes. 

So after using this product for 7 days straight, let's look at the results shall we!?

I feel like I need a drum roll..


TA-DA!!!

As you can see from the first photo, my eyelashes are very short - especially on the top. By the 3rd day, there was a significant change.

The change appeared to slow down after that which I was disappointed with. But it wasn't until I created this collage to show the changes that I really was blown away by the effects.

Day 7 is just mind blowing. This picture was taken yesterday morning and I am delighted to say that even though I haven't used the product today, after taking a brief picture this morning, the effect is still the same.

I am no beauty expert, but you can't really argue with that evidence can you? My eyes are completely bare of any mascara in each and every picture. The pictures were taken each morning before I applied the Quickmax.

You can read other reviews of Quickmax here including information on how the product is developed and how it works.

You can also purchase your own Quickmax from the link above. Priced at £24.95 it is a bit out of my usual price range - but for effects so noticeable, you can't grumble at that! If you want longer, fuller lashes then this product is for you.


I was sent this product as purpose for this review. Of course all opinions and comments are my own.

Quality Time

As a working Mum, I get to spend a significantly less amount of time with my daughter. Making the jump from being a Stay At Home Mum to a working Mum was a choice I didn't make lightly, and still a choice I'm not sure if I'm thoroughly happy with. I think most working parents face this dilemma, but unfortunately the recent economic climate doesn't allow for many families to have one full time parent.

This week I have been off work on annual leave. It is the first time I've had off in over 8 months where I've just been allowed to do what I want, when I want and not have anything else at all to worry about.

I didn't have anything significant planned. It was nice to have a whole stretch in front of me without having to set alarms, iron my uniform or go to bed early.

We haven't done much as a family together, most of the time you need money for family days out, tickets or anything else. It's not been warm enough for picnics or park trips - although we've fitted a couple in.

 

But most of all, it's been amazing to spend some quality time with my Princess. I haven't spent any real time alone with her since I started my job, and although I know she is in perfectly capable hands with her Daddy, I can't help feeling left out a lot of the time. Gone are the days of shouting for Mummy in the middle of the night, or rushing to me when she needs comfort. I've been feeling a lot like a part time parent who is only good for bath and bed time.

As I said, even though I didn't have anything in particular planned, it's been lovely to get up with her in the morning, help her pick out what she would like to wear and make the ever so important school runs. I think a lot of parents take these privileges for granted, I see no end of people complaining about the daily tasks they have to take part in with their children, but for me it's a rarity and I've absolutely loved doing it.

Walking her to nursery is a particular favourite. She is happy and chatty and it's wonderful to see the sheer excitement on her face as she races towards the school gates. I get to find out about all of the things she's been doing in class, who her friends are and who she played with that day. Information she's usually forgotten or too tired to tell me when I get home from work.

 

Finding things to do together has been easy. Even if it is something as simple as sitting and watching cartoons or reading a book together, I'm just happy I get to do it with her. Yesterday we made cupcakes and I allowed her to wash up afterwards. It really does become apparent that it's the little things that are the most important. She couldn't have been happier helping to mix the ingredients and then dive her hands in to soapy water.

  

 

Like any toddler though, Princess can be extremely hard work. We've had our share of tantrums, bad behavior and shouting matches, but just having her come to me afterwards and say sorry, and for a sneaky little bit of comfort, fills me with so much happiness.

I miss out on so much by working. This week has really made me realise just how much.

Sometimes I need to stop and appreciate the little things more with my little girl. Like how she will always stop to pick me a daisy on the way back from the shop. Or how she wants to sit on my knee to play on my phone. Even though I now have a pile of dead daisies on my TV cabinet, those daisies were for me.

From now on I plan on spending more much needed quality time with my Princess. This week couldn't have been more amazing, I'm just sad it's almost over.





Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Beauty is Skin Deep

As the parent of a girl, I often find myself worrying about a lot of things that I worry about for myself. For example, when she's old enough, what will she make of how the media portray women? Will she hate the look of her body like many other women do, myself included. Or will she rise above it and love herself for who she is?

I try and reinforce to Princess every day that she is beautiful, inside and out. Sometimes probably a little too much, I do worry that she may become a little arrogant with it, but I feel it's important that she doesn't worry about how she looks. I know she's only 3, but she has already taken a massive interest in clothes, make up and 'looking pretty'.

She enjoys watching me put my make up on so much that I've had to buy her a pretend make up set just so she can pretend to do her own. The one thing that I have tried to portray to her though, is that make up isn't needed just to make you pretty. She doesn't understand that I wear foundation to cover my blotchy skin, or eyeliner and mascara so my eyes look that little bit nicer. She thinks I wear make up because I like to do it, to her it's all just a game.

But I know that the older she gets, the more she may rely on the material things such as make-up and hair straighteners, the same way I do. How can I expect her to believe me when I tell her she is beautiful without all these things, when I don't believe them in myself?

Just the other day I was straightening my hair - I don't actually do this for vain reasons, my hair is so wild and thick that it actually needs straightening just to control it - when she asked me to straighten hers. Now as I have posted before, Princess has gorgeous curly hair. As she's got older, the curls have dropped a bit, but it is still beautiful and wavy. I said no at first.. I didn't think it was particularly right to straighten a toddlers hair. But when she said she wanted long hair like Rapunzel, I relented. I think most young girls idolize Disney Princesses, and I didn't see much harm in her hair being a little different. She didn't do it to look pretty, she just wanted her hair long.


 



She also likes dressing up as a Princess, which I'm pretty sure most girls her age do. Will she be disappointed when she grows up to learn that these Princesses are only real in fairytales and she will never actually get to live in a castle wearing beautiful gowns? I know I was. Will she think she is less beautiful than they are? I did.



It is so important to us as parents that we portray the right image to our children. We don't want them growing up with body issues or having a belief that they aren't beautiful. I think we can tell our children over and over again how stunning they are, but it's more important to show them. We need to show our children that we love ourselves so that they in turn can learn to love themselves too. Self worth isn't something that comes naturally to a lot of people, it can take years to feel happy in your own skin, but I think we can teach our children that what is on the inside that matters.

I hope Princess grows up with a healthy respect for herself. In my eyes she is the most beautiful creature that ever existed, but I know she won't think of herself in the same way. The media puts so much pressure on women to look and act a certain way, but if I show her that it's okay to be a little different yet still be happy, surely that's the most important thing?

As parents,we can't change the way the media works and we can't change the way in which they choose how to portray women. But what we can do is invest in our children. Of course they are beautiful, they are our future. We need to show them that beauty is more than just what we see in the media and that the people to look up to aren't the people on magazine covers or on TV, but it is the people that are truly happy to be themselves. In real life, it doesn't matter if you wear make up or not, if your hair is long or short or if you're thin or fat, what matters is how you carry yourself. How you interact with the people around you.

And it doesn't just stop at women. There is a lot of pressure on men to not be too skinny, too fat, too muscly, too bald. Does it all really matter? 

It sounds corny, but I want Princess to learn that beauty comes from within and not from the way you look.

I hope I can teach her that.  

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Curse of Spring

Yes, that's right, I said it.

Spring is a curse.

Don't get me wrong, I love it. I love that when I finish work, it's actually still light. I love that it's now warm enough to have the windows open in the day time to give the house that much needed airing. I enjoy seeing the flowers coming in to bloom, especially the daffodils because they were my Grandmas favourite.

What I don't love however, is my incessant need to clean every single thing that I come in to contact with.. just because it's a little bit warmer.

Today I have spent SEVEN hours cleaning my house from top to bottom, and it's still not finished. There are still things to go up in to the loft, a freezer that needs to be put in the cupboard under the stairs and a garden that is still an absolute mess following the recent crazy weather. It makes me anxious when things aren't in order, so when there are things that I can't clean.. I don't feel right.

At this very moment in time, my feet ache, my back is killing me and I smell like an absolute beast. And why? Because when I woke up this morning and I saw the clear blue skies and felt the sun warm on my very pale skin, the beast within was unleashed.

Now it's no secret to anybody, least of all me, that I have OCD tendencies. My mood usually reflects on how clean something is. If my house is a mess, so am I. If my house is nice, clean and organised, then so is my head. I didn't realise until today, that I have been feeling quite down recently. I think working all of the time and dealing with a three-nager every other moment has really taken the life out of me, without me even noticing.

But now, now that my house is clean, it is tidy and there is order.. I feel brighter. I feel like buying flowers just to spruce the place up a bit (as if I just used 'spruce' in a sentence..) and most of all, I feel happier in myself. More at peace I suppose. I won't be totally content until the boxes are up in the loft and my cupboard has been sorted out, but it's a good place to start.

Since my house is now clean to my standards, I can finally relax and enjoy my week off work.

It won't stay like this forever.. but I can enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Parental Advisory: Toddler Rules of Life

1 - If I see it.. it is mine. If I smell it.. it is mine. If you have it.. it is mine.. you get the gist.

2 - Routine? What is THAT shit all about? I'll eat my damn dinner when I want to, thank you very much.

3 - If I say it happened.. it happened. I don't want any third degree. Stop asking me who, why, when or where. If I say a yellow dinosaur stole my blanket, it damn well happened, okay!?

4 - Swearing is for toddlers.. not for adults. Don't you dare look at me in mortification when I call you a bitch. You just are.

5 - Danger? What is THAT? Danger is my middle name Mum.. You see that road right over there? I will run into it whether you want me to or not..

6 - How DARE you tell me that I can't have ice cream at 10pm at night. Just WHO do you think YOU are?

7 - If I don't want to do a wee/poo on my potty, I just won't, OKAY? The floor/garden/mop bucket will do, ta.

8 -  Just so you are aware.. dreams are real life. So when I tell you that a tiger crept up on me in the night, you do not laugh or pat my head, you hunt that motherfucker down.

9 - It doesn't matter how many times you think you have cracked the bedtime routine. I am here to remind you that you will never sleep again.. ever.

10 - Just remember Mum, I run things around here. What I say goes. So get me some ice-cream, sit down and pipe down, BITCH.