Category Archives: The Red Head Diaries

Working Mum And Stay At Home Mum

Early Jobs

I have always loved working. I’d had Saturday and weekend jobs as a teen; the thrill of your first wage packet, then each one afterwards.
I’ve moaned about different days at work, had tears of sadness and of course the laughter.
My weekend jobs consisted of hairdressing salons, a residential home or photography, the last one I loved!! (I wish I had pursued it).
I left school wanting to be a hairdresser, but quickly realised my mistake and went for a job in the care industry.
There I stayed for many, many years. I switched from different employers but always within the same industry.
From a small residential home to a cottage hospital; to care at home, to a much bigger hospital. I had always loved working.

 

Having Babies and Maternity

When I went onto Maternity and had babies there were moments where I thought about not returning to work, how I’d miss them, the dread of missing out on all their important moments. But once I had returned I’d always liked it and there was never any question I’d be a stay at home mum. At the time we were lucky to fit child care in with family and friends; it worked well. It felt important to me to keep some kind of social aspect outside of being a Mum. The balance felt right.

 

Changes

I ended up losing my job at the bigger hospital; I was devastated – but I came to other opportunities and was able to experience other things as an agency; and found it even easier to balance home and work life. Things at home then changed; I fell pregnant again, then I wrote my car off (not my fault), I became ill with the pregnancy condition Hyperemesis which saw me having to give up work, or at least take maternity a lot earlier than planned. Luckily for me, these employers were really accommodating to this. When our much-loved baby didn’t make it home; it left me feeling incredibly confused about everything I had ever done since beginning my working life – literally everything changed.

It didn’t take me long to decide that I could not return to doing care work; I told my employers and they told me I could go back anytime. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to.

 

Staying At Home

With the aftermath and a new pregnancy I didn’t return to any work; I became a stay at home Mum; not only did I have the hyperemesis again; but of course there was no way I could face it; particularly when I knew I would be starting something brand new –  I had no clue what.

I remained a stay at home Mum for three years; we had two babies in that time; I did do the occasional freelance work here and there; but nothing on the scale of making “real” money.

Being a Mummy after an Infant Loss.

It has been wonderful being able to stay at home with them, make memories, do more things with them; not rushing through life. I was able to do more baby groups with baby number 4 and for a short while with baby number 5.

Being a parent after loss certainly changes you; your perspective on life and what is important – but the ugly side was being too scared to leave them with anyone else; too scared to miss out on a moment, even a second of their life; it can be incredibly suffocating and very isolating; which in turn led me to make a new decision.

 

Working

In 2015, when our youngest turned 4 months old (the same age my eldest was when I returned to work with her); an opening came at the school my children attend; it was to only be an hour and a half a week; but I felt it was an hour and a half of being me again. It wasn’t about escaping the baby or not wanting to be around her; but I really and maybe even selfishly wanted some time to myself, and that was to go to work, even if it was only a very short period per week.

I love it. Working with children is not something I ever imagined doing as a job, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. Well apart from writing full time!! I have increased my hours; it hasn’t been easy to arrange child care; family members aren’t always available and childcare comes at a price. But we have sussed it and it is working well. I love this little part-time job.

It gives me that little break away from the house; a chance for me to miss them, a chance for them (her) to miss me. It works out really well.

 

Stigmas

Having been both sides of the coin, a stay at home mum and a working mum; the opinions of others really do show through. How society thinks parents – more so mothers should be with work life, how the government also sees parents too.

Stay at Home Mums in particular get a lot of stick for being home; often the case is like ours where the husband goes out while Mum stays at home –  we were okay with that; but I felt embarrassed (not for anyone else, but me personally), because I wasn’t working, leaving the children for someone else to look after. I felt like I would be judged for not going to work. My mother in law was incredibly supportive of it, and felt that all Mums should have the option to stay at home should they wish, with no repercussions financially or from society. Some families simply can’t afford the childcare – like us.

Working Mums don’t escape the judgement either, through forums or hearing people talk about how these Mums spend no time with the children they choose to have. Some Mums don’t have the financial choice to stay at home; the need to live and support using both parents is greater at times than those wanting to stay home and look after their child; this too is us.

Sometimes it feels like a lose-lose battle.

 

Parenting

As parents we really are doing the best we can, whether that means a parent staying at home either through love or because finances need or allow them to; or going to work because staying at home would cost families a home and food.

I have really enjoyed being back to work; I found myself lost and at times incredibly lonely being at home. Not working meant there wouldn’t be many outings or Mums coffee mornings, because of having little or no money. As much as I love my children; I love being able to do nicer things with them, take them places and above all.

Keep my sanity!

Working and home balance

Because parenting is bloody hard work; judgement or not. There’s nothing easy about it – but it is incredibly rewarding.

kiss a ginger day

National Kiss A Ginger Day

ginger
Apparently, it would seem this is a thing, it is a day in January to “celebrate gingers”.
I was horribly teased throughout my whole school life, repeatedly called carrot top, or ginger (pronounced with a hard G). People didn’t have a nice thing to say about it.
Even my Mum “joked” that she asked the nurses if I was hers because I am ginger.
It was bloody horrible. I spent so long growing up wondering what the hell I had done wrong, why I was so hated, why my hair colour was so disgusting – or at least that was how I felt because of how much I was teased.

It does set you up, forever, even friends had a go, of course looking back, they weren’t really friends to be doing that.
People had a fascination with wanting to know if we had ginger pubes (or ginger bollocks if you were a lad). But children, adults find it acceptable to ask because we’re ginger, in all fairness, it’s harassment, why people feel the need to know such personal things is beyond me.
I have never understood the ginger discrimination,

neither has anyone else ever had a valid reason to do so either.

“It’s different.”
“It’s ugly.”
“You’re disgusting.”
None of which are valid points to make another human being feel disgusting and unloved.

I don’t think society has changed, as far as I know, my children haven’t been bullied for their hair, which I’m glad about, but that could be because there are more in schools (we’re pretty damn hot).
But I do still hear adults make snide remarks about ginger hair, it only rubs off into the next generation. As someone who deals with baby loss families, I’ve even heard baby loss mums say about their own child “at least they weren’t ginger”. Very unpleasant.
It’s sad and bloody hurtful.

I may be oversensitive, overreacting, but when you have had a lifetime of teasing because of your hair colour, it gives you every right to be sensitive; but at the same time, it gives me the right to stand up for myself.

I’m a redhead, and now I love it, I love it more because all of my children have red hair, although the daughter we lost had strawberry blonde.
National Kiss a Ginger Day? Remember that there could be a redhead out there being teased, being forced to be kissed by some bully because to them it’s funny.

There is nothing wrong with having ginger hair-nothing. The only people who are wrong are those who ridicule others. That’s ugly.

Hot Red Heads

Kevin McKidd
Florence Welch
Ed Sheeran
Prince Harry
Tim Minchin
Kate Walsh
Sarah Drew

So many more!

Facebook Couple

He is my Soul Mate.

 

I am not “A ginger”. I am a person.

We are bloody awesome!!

ten things to do before I'm 40

My Wish List Ten Things To Do Before I Reach 40

I hit 35 this year; I have finished having babies, now I get the pleasure of watching them grow. My 30th birthday I was newly grieving, suffering with Hyperemesis, anxiety in pregnancy; hoping hard that the baby I was carrying would get to live. Here’s my before 40 wish list.

We don’t have a high income, so I can’t see much of the list being ticked off, but I like lists and well; you just never know.

 

Wish One

See someone in concert. I would really love to see P!nk, I think she really is awesome her music has gotten me through some tough times, and also been the soundtrack to some fun times too. I know how desperate my daughter is currently wanting to see Little Mix at the moment, so it would well be them before P!nk. At least one would be nice.

 

Wish Two

Be free from anxiety and depression. It has really hit me hard this year. It is currently knocking me on my arse. Where really I would like to kick the two in the arse; maybe even rid it altogether. They are hideous things to fight. I want to be happy.

 

Wish Three

Publish another book; either traditionally (doubtful) or Indie Publish. I’ve so many planned, two that I have started out of a series I am putting together, and half way through a thriller, which is kind of out of my comfort zone – this one in particular I would like to finish, as I started it in 2010; it isn’t even a long story. Fear is maybe holding me back. I love writing so much, but I also procrastinate a lot. There is also a book planned out in my head within my niche.

I have to complete this one.

 

Wish Four

See more of the United Kingdom. I am not one for actively wanting to travel abroad; there is so much heritage here I would like to see first, many of which really fascinates me. I’d love to visit Scotland, take a trip Harry Potter World. I would love to see many more National Trust properties, I think they’re wonderful. Visiting Liverpool and Peterborough to see some special friends, after the times they have visited me. I would love to complete at least one thing from this section.

 

Wish Five

To arrange (and do) meeting some of my online friends. I have made some amazing friends through Babycentre over the years; some since 2011…I think it is about time we met face to face.

 

Wish Six

Renew our wedding vows at a place we originally wanted to take our marriage vows at. But we’re a solid unit, we have been through hell; we are incredibly close. I think I’d worry that by renewing we would jinx and spoil what we already have.

 

Wish Seven

Confidence building; learn to care less about what others think of me. I think this has had a huge impact on my attempt at healing from section two; particularly at the moment. I need to like myself, maybe love myself. Learn that sometimes when shit happens it isn’t because I deserve it, or because it is my fault. Bad things happen, relationships, friendships fade, it isn’t always on me. I have a terrible habit of blaming myself for everything, for lost friendships. It hurts me, no one else. Just me. I am ruining my own life, my own self esteem by continuing this train of thought. I deserve to be happy; my islands (Inside Out) need to remain lit. I know a friend who will be pleased with this number.

 

Wish Eight

Decorate our house, so it is Instagram friendly LOL! I love our house; the area in which we live but we have had babies, financial issues (always boils down to this), health crap. It is time to give our house some love; make it our home.

 

Wish Nine

Finish the bloody garden! Each year we start off really well, then we either get really nice weather where we want to go out make memories, our weekends are tied up with the children’s hobbies or the weather is really crap, making it difficult to get out there. Again no money and time plays a factor, man power too. I’ve only got to see a spider run across my foot and I am gone; poor husband has to fight with the garden. That and a very clingy toddler; we find ourselves back to square one. Always an excuse.

 

Wish Ten

Get down and stay at a healthy weight. I am fed up with being a size 18-20/22; round and plump. But I guess it comes back to the vicious circle that dislikes myself, then comfort eating, poor confidence. CRAP excuses I know, but it needs to change and I am already making a start, if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll see. I want to be the Grandparent that takes their grandchildren out for the day, see my children get married. Then I need to get healthy, and happy.

 

Then I can think long and hard about what to do before I hit 50!

 

What is your wish list before a milestone age?

 

The Red Head Diaries

August Favourites 2017

I really am not sure where August 2017 went. It flew by so quickly, or at least it felt like it did. I don’t think we did a great deal, we spent a lot of time at home. But it isn’t always a bad thing; they’re thrown back into daily routine so it can be nice to just spend the time not rushing around. L-Red had her hair ‘dip dyed’

Baton Fun

My older two completed their first baton twirling seminar, they were very pleased with what they learned in just one day.

 

Two children holding a certificate each and a majorette baton, after completing a seminar.

A quiet week led to my children’s majorette troupe hosting a Charity Competition in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice and Towards Tomorrow Together. Was a fantastic day, hard work to put together, but the day went brilliantly, raising not only money but awareness of these two Somerset Charities.

 

Trophy in memory of Melody. Majorette Trophy

 

Annual visit to the local farm shop Maize Maze at Barleymow’s. The children always love it there; many things for them to do including losing ourselves in the maze.

 

Children on a drum train

 

Annual camping trip.

Every year for the past few years my husband’s family have all got together to have what we call “The Westival”. We have the most wonderful of times. The children always look forward to it. This year we spent it in Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds. Very beautiful part of the country.

 

We managed a visit to a National Trust property, Oxford and a children’s Play area. Would love to have spent longer in Oxford, although very expensive the city is very beautiful with its buildings.

Oxford Oxford street with bikes.

Our camping Trip only lasted for such a short time, we’re already planning the next one.

The other end of August

Not a lot of adventures happened, a trip to Vivary Park in Taunton, Exeter for a spot of shopping.

 

August round up

This August flew by, and I have fought with Mummy guilt of not doing a lot; but there are times, moments in our lives where we simply cannot do everything. There are times where taking days slowly, not rushing around with things to do every single day.

I am the first to admit that I like busy, I like plans, most years we have had plenty to do. This year hasn’t been one of them.

August Bank Holiday was a lovely hot one, we had a BBQ with friends, and a visit to the beach for Ice Cream.  A Great way to end August 2017.

 

Water fountain

 

Loads coming up over the next few weeks. So a quiet August was allowed.

Thank you for reading and being patient whilst I changed websites over.

What a headache, but it is done and I am slowly learning all over again.

 

The Red Head Diaries.

The Red Head Diaries – Making The Switch

Making the Switch

After lots of to-ing and fro-ing, I have made the decision to switch my blog to self hosted. In all fairness I probably should have made the switch sooner; I should really take my love for writing and do something properly with it. Embrace it more, hopefully grasp some opportunities which may arise. Even if they don’t; well I’ll still love writing.

I am really looking forward to this next chapter, I’ve some subjects I have in mind for the blog as well as book planning in the mix too, I say planning I am already a percentage through book one and three on a series I am working on, plus a stand alone fiction too.

Approach with caution

The switch has been a complete headache, most certainly not for the faint hearted and definitely should NOT be attempted whilst suffering with PMT or dieting (chocolate is a must for switching – or maybe even alcohol). I am pretty sure the company I have chosen to self host with also need a touch of alcohol after speaking to me at least five times in the space of 24 hours. They probably even took bets on how long it would take me to contact them again, or screw up; There were moments of long pause between chats, I could picture them laughing at the screen.

But still it is hopefully done, I am relieved they were patient with me.

I am sure there are still adjustments to be made…please point me in the right direction; I have learned so much within the switching process, that I can’t say how I ever managed before – it has certainly been an eye opener. There were many, many times I asked my husband, why the hell am I doing this? Is it really worth it?

I guess only time will tell.

Thank you so much for your patience with all the swapping around..writing service will resume soon.

 

The Red Head Diaries

The Red Head Diaries

Cricket St Thomas. A Trip Down Memory Lane

Cricket St Thomas

It is strange, the older we get the more sentimental we get about things we never realised were that important. You can go about your everyday life, when something, someplace, someone triggers so many memories; you find yourself walking down memory lane.

Childhood

On an outing to have afternoon tea with a friend at a location I had grown up visiting – many, many times; we chose to take a walk around the gardens, of course, it was a little wet.

The grounds are truly beautiful, but there is also this hidden world within.

(Google images)

Cricket St Thomas was home to many childhood memories, where we would spend a lot of our weekends; our family like a lot of the families in our area had family passes due to having milk deliveries, so it was mostly a reasonably cheap local place to have a family day out.

Remember pulling up in the car park, keen to run around, keen to see what things we could do, my Dad (may he rest in peace), absolutely loved going, insisted we went most weekends, I can remember having a little moan about repeatedly going, but looking back now as an adult I can see the attraction, especially with the family passes.

There was so much to see and do; so many animals – Lemurs, Otters Big Cats as well as the famous Sea lions, I remember there were regular shows involving them. There is the stunning Manor; it was once the setting for BBC show To The Manor Born. As well as the beautiful little church set within the grounds.

Memories

If we were lucky enough we’d get a ride on the railway, with two stations, it took us past the flamingos, through some woodland, I remember seeing a wooden play area, within the woods, the children who would be playing would wave as the train journeyed by. As we reached the stations and left the train behind us, we could hear the noises of the jungle cat jeep, and below was a steep d hill down towards the mill which looked out over the lake, there was a machine half way down on the railings, where you could buy duck feed; it would either not work at all, or give you lots of the feed. That is still there.

There were buildings looking out on to the lake, where at one point you could do crafts, but eventually became a little café, behind were stables, deer and horses (I think) lived there.

Beautiful picnic areas, the iron figures which were dotted around the park and the wooden play fort made this wildlife park a wonderful place to make memories.   At the end of the day we’d follow the road, which felt like it was never ending out through fields, occasionally you’d see the animals as you drove by. It was almost like leading you to a sense of calm for on the way home from such a busy day.

Closure

Some years later, the park would become home to “Blobby land”…You know the Pink and Yellow weird looking character, which starred in television show Noel’s House Party. Crinkly Bottom came to stay.

(Google Images)

A lot of the wildlife park became a village for Mr Blobby and even Noddy land had a special place too. There were still lots of things to do, and I remember the park remained busy each time we visited.

Sadly it didn’t last very long, and the new attractions began to close, things began to change.

The park slowed down, animals were moved out, and some of the rides were transferred to different parks. Before long the park closed as a Wildlife Park, turning into Lakes and Gardens, seeing the Manor turned into an exclusive adult-only hotel.

For a while after the main park closure, you were still able to visit with children, I was able to take two of mine for a short while, but it was never like how it was when I was growing up. 2009 was probably the final time we visited.

Memory Lane

Until recently, when a friend and I went for afternoon tea in the hotel, once we’d finished we took a walk around the gardens, it felt as though we really were walking down memory lane. Only nothing was the same. Of course, the animals, the rides, the happiness were all missing.

My friend and I went on a Saturday afternoon; as a child it would have been busy with families, walking or sitting with their picnics. But it wasn’t.

There was an eerie feel to the park, as we walked we remembered the places which we spent many an hour at, there were parts we could no longer reach or see –  the train was long gone, the water fountain redundant, discoloured from the lack of use.

Cricket St Thomas

The lake is still there and is still very beautiful, but it is without the flamingos or the sound of the train chugging by.

The train station abandoned, weeds overgrew what was once the track bed, bushes in front of us replaced what would have been the line which went from station to station.

Cricket St Thomas

The stables in which the horses once were, the area where it got busy with wondering children wanting to peer in at the animals, a bricked well stood in the middle, often parents would briefly rest there whilst the children explored the area. They were empty stables; a silence replaced what there used to be.  The further we explored the sadder the place felt, it was almost emotional I guess, seeing the places that made such wonderful memories, is now nothing but empty rusty shells.

Cricket St Thomas

Walking further, what once was the food court, a place for ice cream, or a cuppa, is now ghostly, redundant chair and table stood alone and unloved.

Walking some more, more overgrown area, stinging nettles framed a footpath, a bridge over a miniature lake, stood unused and forgotten.

Cricket St Thomas

The iron statues which were a fun feature of the original park still live within the grounds; only now there are no children playing beside them, or copying their postures. No hugs from children pretending to include them in their play.

 

Beautiful buildings, and a forgotten land.

The Church remains a stunning building, both inside and out, tiny. My friend and I entered and lit candles for our babies, (for a donation), it was peaceful.

Cricket St Thomas

The Manor remains its beautiful self too, only rather than children playing on the lawns in front, there’s space for croquet and boules. This is lovely too. But it just isn’t the same.

It is wonderful the manor is still there for tourists, or for local adults; and that the greenery to some degree also stays, no houses have been built, other ugly buildings added.

It is just such a great shame, what was once such a wonderful place to be; which is now a place where time has forgotten. Most likely never to return, that is the sad part. It could be so much more; the estate has much more to offer. Maybe one day if the hotel chain is unable to continue;  if the lakes and gardens were freely open for all, maybe someone could love the place (and financially able of course), to return it to its former glory. Our children could make the memories we once had.

 

Did you ever visit Cricket St Thomas when it was open as a wildlife park? It was well advertised on the television; and there were signs on the M5 too – they didn’t change until fairly recently.

I wish I had photos of what it was like before today.

Thank you for Reading.

The Red Head Diaries

 

The Red Head Diaries

She DID get in.

This time last year, I had written a post about our little Melody not getting a letter or a school place; she’d never had the chance.

That long-awaited email arrived this week for Mini Red, offering us our first (and only) choice of school. I hadn’t expected it to feel so emotional; it hasn’t been what I had imagined it would be, I thought I would be more excited.

But instead a heart-stopping feeling; when we can’t decide whether the first choice on paper is really a choice at all. Throughout the morning of receiving the email, I had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, almost terror about the whole thing; selfishly for me for social and anxiety reasons, for her too, of course, the worry of her being left behind for play dates and parties. But I guess that is my job to worry, I’m her Mum.

As the days have moved by since this email, thinking more about her even beginning school as a bigger picture, rather than just the things that are weighing heavy on me.

It has made me incredibly emotional; I cannot believe we are here, at this point.

This tiny baby who we had been terrified to even love and hold is now not just this rainbow baby, but she has grown into this young girl starting school this year.

I’m not one of those Mums who want them to stop growing, I’ve already a child who did, but it certainly does go really quickly. Too quick. Blink and you almost miss their infancy.

I never imagined after Melody’s death, we would ever get to this point; many people believe we had Mini as a replacement, or that we only had her because Melody died, they have even gone as far as saying “If Melody hadn’t died, you wouldn’t have Mini.” When in reality, we had actually made the decision to give Melody a younger sibling not long after Melody had been born – in fact, my crazy hormones thought two weeks were long enough to make the “next” baby decision. The only thing that wasn’t in the plan of family planning was having a daughter die.

I know I have already had two children begin their school life, their beginnings were also emotional, so this really isn’t new. But it is different, I share them with their Dad (and quite rightly so), I’ve never had to do daily school runs, the get-ups. The school time has been shared.

I’ve never really felt like a school run Mum, no fault of anyone, I am presuming that is how co-families can feel in shared activities such as these. It is normal to us.

Now Mr Red and I have a daughter who is beginning school. She has never really spent a great deal of time away from us; not many days out away from us. A friend took her out a few times for the day when I was down with HG, I have probably spent 3-4 nights away from her, her whole life, now she will be entering into the school system, every day (albeit half days to begin with). I just cannot imagine her being anywhere other than home or pre-school, even then we cut her hours back, if I had the intelligence, I would have looked into homeschooling.

Her new adventures are just around the corner, huge steps will be taken and new things she will come to learn, she is like a sponge, she takes so much in, her imagination is amazing particularly when role-playing, the different voices, the different scenarios she comes up with, we’ve always been told she is emotionally intelligent.. Bloody headstrong.

It is amazing how one email, with basically one sentence, one important sentence can cause so many emotions.

I just hope the choice we make is the right one.

Our baby girl IS growing up.

I like it.

 

The Red Head Diaries

Easter Break 2017

Anniversary and Car Boot Sales

We have been lucky enough to have my husband home for the whole of the Easter break. Boy Red had an inset day for his last day of term, where we paid a visit to soft play, which wasn’t the best of experiences, with Mini Red falling over and face planting the floor, cutting her lip, bruising her gum making one tooth wobble and the other moved back, not the best start to the half term break.

We of course dealt with the 5th anniversary of Melly Red’s death; it is always a lot harder than her birthday. We paid her a visit, and then went to McDonald’s for lunch and a trip to the shops, with an epic tantrum from the baby, with family board games in the evening.

Biggest Red and Boy Red went to their Dad’s, whilst we took ourselves off to a Car Boot Sale. I love a good Car Boot, we don’t really go very often, more so because we have enough of our own shit to get rid of, without buying other people’s too, (and because we forget about them most of the time).

Mini Red got a cuddly Pig – any more cuddlies and I think we could have our own Zoo for cuddly toys. Baby Red a baby doll, loves her dolls does this one, she even got it for free, she had spied it, we said no, she then looked all puppy-eyed at the stall holder and the stall holder let her have it, cuteness does pay off sometimes. I brought myself a wicker style basket, I still would like the traditional kind, but I’ve since really fallen in love with it, and so has Baby Red, at 50pence too!

Walking It Out

April 3rd saw us go for a large walk, spreading awareness for the baby loss group, handing out leaflets to various health care professionals, some were more helpful than others, but I must learn to big my Bridget Jones’ on and deal with them, baby loss isn’t about Cupcakes and Rainbows, nor is it a subject to be forgotten, I could hand out the big girl panties to them – maybe. Walking over 10,000 steps including to the furthest surgery from us, as my poor husband has been suffering with a leg ulcer, not a big one, but there all the same. He’d been trying to get an appointment for a few weeks but failed due to his hours, the surgery has been fully booked. At time of writing this (16th April), it really has cleared up, and is hopeful for only one more final clinic session.

Primark and Beauty

Bristol was our next adventure, we’d originally planned a “date day”, we rarely get time to ourselves as a couple, my thoughts on this does make me feel a little on the Mummy guilt, but I do think we need time to adult, and remember who we are as a couple. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control our child free day wasn’t meant to be, instead the littlest girls joined us, we decided to visit Bristol; where I managed to top up the Biggest Red’s birthday gifts by visiting the huge Primark..Blimey, I could have spent a fortune in there, if I had a fortune of course, it was lovely, even managed to get the Boy a Bon Jovi t-shirt. For lunch we decided on Zaa Zaa Bazaar. Huge food hall, where it is an all you can eat, with foods from many areas around the world. It is great if you haven’t tried different foods, but don’t want to waste your money on going to say a Chinese restaurant and discover you hate the food.

We had a day at home, where we said goodbye to our push chair, well one of them. The push chair we’d had from Mini Red to Baby Red went to the skip a while ago. But this one had been in our downstairs toilet for ages, and was unloved and unused. It is kind of like an end of an era. No more pushchairs here. We still have carriers, which are also getting used less and less. Strange, these things will never be part of our lives again (unless of course there are grandbabies).

In the evening I took Biggest to the Cinema, with friends to watch the new Beauty and The Beast film, it was amazing, and really want to see it again, the downside of course was the cost sadly, so we may have to wait until the DVD release, but it was lovely to go, I hadn’t been since 2011, during which we were celebrating our marriage and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean.

Is the summer coming?

We had a couple days of glorious weather, although we still haven’t reached the heat status, but it has been nice to be minus the grey, miserable clouds, we took a walk to our local Nature Reserve, it is free and incredibly peaceful. My husband proposed to me there, I am so pleased he did. I have taken the children there right form babies, and have taken the first of their tiny steps here too, so sweet watching them chase the ducks, although the ducks don’t tend to venture on land as much these days.

Mr Red and I did eventually manage a couple of hours downtime, with our friends met via the Majorettes, we had food without chasing one around the eatery or making sure they’re not throwing peas around the room, we ate, I drank alcohol, 2.5 drinks was enough for me (double Archers and Lemonade).

 

Birthday Treat

Biggest hit 12 during our Easter break, which was lovely, final year before she hits her teens, which will be interesting. I have no idea where the time has gone when I look at the smallest girls, then look at her; I cannot believe the time has gone so quickly. She is almost taller than me, and will be very soon I think, we headed out to a National Trust place, only to Barrington Court not far from here, but the sun was out, and it was warm, also her choice.

Majorette Competitions are now in full swing, we entered our second one, whilst the Mr enjoyed the beautiful weather at home, we were all freezing with our coats on. The Bus got us lost, and stuck. In that order. But we arrived there and we arrived home. The children had fun.

Walking took us out on the Monday, one of the Mums who we’d seen Beauty and the Beast with had brought Melly Red a new Windmill, so we took it to her, Baby Red wanted to carry it, but was as big as her.

A quiet few days waiting for the bigger twos arrival home, where we once again went to Zaa Zaa Bazaar for her birthday treat, she took a friend, had a sleepover that evening, we also placed a Padlock for babies taken too soon onto Padlock bridge in Bristol.

Easter Weekend

We did our Easter Activities on Good Friday, due to busy weekend that was ahead of us, I had made them a miniature hamper, which included their Easter Eggs, an item of clothing and a treat each, followed by an Easter egg hunt around the house.

Although chilly, we again took a visit to Barrington, then decided we’d head to Yeovil to their Nine Springs Park, made a nice change, and again all free.

Easter Saturday we had a Majorette Fundraiser which involved a Disco, Minion Hunt and a Bonnet Competition. Was busy, we had the A-Team to set up, made for a successful fundraiser.

Today, Easter Sunday the bigger two went to their Dad’s to have fun, while we took a trip to Exmoor Zoo, with my Mum in Law, Brother in Law and his Girlfriend. It was bloody freezing, but was a lovely trip out, great range of animals, from Pumas and Cheetahs to Lemurs and Meerkats, which Baby Red fell in love with; she now has her own cuddly one. They were able to pet Wallabies; a couple of them had Joeys in their pouches. The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves, were both in awe of the animals, so I guess, we’ll be on the hunt now to explore more Zoos.

A perfect way to spend Easter Sunday.

If you’d read the previous post I have been struggling with a bloody dark cloud hanging over my head at the moment, I’ve taken my surroundings in more, taken a step back from my once favourite social media outlet, it has helped. I can’t see myself ever leaving it, but a break and less time has certainly helped. Although I find I am spending more time on Instagram, there’s just something about it I like. I’m still not feeling great, I wish I could see when I will feel myself again because I hate being up and down, I don’t know where I am, having Mr Red home has helped immensely, of course having the children home rather than at school has helped too.

Mr Red goes back to work tomorrow; it’ll be me and the girls. Lovely.

Thank you for reading.

The Red Head Diaries.

The Red Head Diaries

Cardboard Sandwiches

Was the discussion I had with my now husband when we first met. We’d been chatting online,on the phone,spoke in passing but had never met.
But in August 2009 we finally came face to face as he set off to North Devon on the bus,and I was making my way to work.
I was nervous. I knew he was a chef,I at the time worked for the NHS,so the first thing that appeared in my head was to ramble (as I do), about how the canteen sandwiches tasted like cardboard. I wasted the precious first 10 minutes, the first impressions wasted on cardboard sandwiches.
Under the guildhall we had our first brief kiss.
As I drove away,I assumed that would be our final meeting,our final kiss.
By the time I’d reached work 30 minutes away,I’d already received messages to tell me he couldn’t wait to meet again.
I’d not completely messed it up then!

Here we are today, five years of marriage.
We’ve been through the unimaginable.
We’ve been through the happiest too.
This past 18 months also being particularly trying.
Aside from my two older children, I cannot remember life without him. Moulded together into a perfect shape since 2009.
I didn’t think anyone would want me before I met him.
I’m so glad I did.
Three beautiful girls together,of course my biggies,makes us complete even if we are minus one.
Five years today we spoke our vows.
Today it still feels like only yesterday since we said them.
I struggle to look at our wedding and blessing photos.

But then when I wake up to these little touches every single morning, our memories are yet to be made.

He really is the perfect gentleman.
I am so unbelievably lucky that this man is my husband,father of my girls,stepdad to my gorgeous biggies.
Thank you for these 5 years of marriage.
Here’s to the rest of our lives.
Happy Anniversary
XxxxX
The Red Head Diaries

My Friday.

I love this day of the week.
Breakfast, getting dressed and lots of baby and boob time.
She’s nosey,so breakfast feed takes three times as long,when her siblings are busy getting ready.
But if I dare put her down to watch them, all hell breaks loose, how dare you,bad mummy!
Velcro baby is back on,the cycle begins again. Thankfully Fridays are a day daddy is home,to assist all the other meltdowns.
“I forgot to charge my mobile”
“Why are you walking? You can’t walk with me” Charming.
11 year old meltdowns, they’re not going to get easier…

“Where’s your jumper?”
“At school”
“Go and get another”
“I can’t, they’re all at school”. Big sigh and a reminder to the 8 year old,it is still cold out.

The three year old, the three year old where you have to tread very carefully; she could blow at any given moment.

Four or maybe five dress changes later, we may be ready to leave.

A little reminder to her,that it is indeed wet and chilly out..

(Yes,that is a sun hat,sun dress-which IS far too small,and yes that is rain in the background).

Rediscovers I have tattoos, has to repeatedly kiss them,as if they’ve just appeared over night. (My last tattoo was installed 6 years ago..)
Wait…the baby wants one more boob. She changes her mind – again.

Morning school run complete, check on the biggest that she reached school safely.
“Mum,you’re so embarrassing sometimes ”
Good!! I must be doing my job well.

Tots group, only today without the toddler. Baby and me.
I never really did baby groups with my older two, so this little church group has been a keeper since 2013.

Stopping off for a charity shop visit.
I do love a good charity shop session…our town certainly has a fair few.

Vintage dresses. Adore them. The littlest girls have two each now.

Growing up shopping in a charity shop,was some kind of strange taboo,that should never be admitted to.
I’m proud to say my children love a good rummage. Reuse and recycle..

I love my children dearly,and I love being a mum. But having gone from doing 12 hour shifts 3 or 4 times a week, to being a stay at home mum,has been a massive change.
HG,grief and mega anxieties pulled me back,of course there was no way I could return to the care industry I had worked since school.
I did some work from home…(I still do).
A little job,came available six months ago,I went for it certain I wouldn’t get it. Interview experience was what I’d planned.
I was offered it,I accepted.
Lunchtime Midday Supervisor.. Dinner Lady.
I must say although it is very,very part time….I love it.
I mentally struggled with our youngest girlie,it took some time for the bonding to appear and stay. It hasn’t been the nicest.
But for me my little job has really helped me with her. A break for a couple of hours to be me.

Baby and I are inseparable, my bond with her is so much better,but it has broken me. But we..I am getting there.

Today usually means Majorette night too for which I am committee, and now have three children in the troupe.
But not tonight. My lovely boy was sent home after my shift had ended feeling under the weather.
Whilst the 11 year old is involved in an Opera!! Love Potion,through her primary school, involving other local ones too.

I did return home from work to these too…

I am one lucky woman.
My Friday, thanks for listening.