Tuesday, 24 July 2012

En Vacance

I have escaped. The boys are in the pirates kids club and HAW has taken the Pixie swimming and I wanted to capture our first few days away. After a disastrous start (suspension went on our X5 as we were leaving and had to borrow mothers car)We set of for our first ever trip to France in the car. Firstly, I cannot recommend going by car highly enough, it was so stress free as everything stayed in the car which we just drove on to the Brittany Ferry for the 6 hour crossing to Caen. I thought we would be bored but the time flew by as there was so much to do on board, soft play, treasure hunt and as for the food, it was really nice and inexpensive. My rack of lamb was cooked to perfection. Having our own cabin was bliss and really worth the upgrade, to have your own personal space was great, we even managed a cheeky nap!! The drive to our Siblu resort, les pierres couchees took around 4 hours and arriving in the early hours, we crashed. We awoke to glorious blue skies and began to explore. Our mobile home is spotless. It is big with 3 bedrooms and an ensuite and very well equipped. The only negative is the outside space, which is lacking. Equally, there is no BBQ which is crazy seeing as most people on this sort of holiday cook at home each night. We have been grilling our lobster and skewers which is a shame but still doable. The pool is amazing. AS anyone with young children will tell you, going on holiday and trying to watch all the children in the pool at once is tricky, but with lifeguards on duty all day plus the fact the deep end is not too deep I am resting easier than any other holiday so far. The kids are having a ball and have made friends already. I'll be the first to admit that I am a holiday snob, I detest the whole "organised happy clappy" around the pool holiday malarky and so wondered if this would get on my nerves. it happens just once a day and the fact that most people are French it seems less annoying. I can't figure out how to upload pics using my iPad but I'll update this blog post on my return. We are here for another 5 days and then heading to Ile de Re for a week. When I asked the kids just now, what was the beat bot they said "all of it" so praise can't come higher than that!!! Peace and love S.A.M xoxo

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Happy Birthday BoBo - 6 today!!

Dear BoBo,

Six years ago, I was lying in a private room, in the local hospital gazing at your little face in awe.  You were just a few hours old, a perfectly, calm and planned c-section that I have to say, was a joy to birth.  You arrived quietly (as is still your way) no screaming the house down like Beansey and Pixie and were so content from the word "go". 

It was absolutely scorching, the hottest summer of record to date and during the late afternoon, your big brother came in to meet you for the first time.  You'd bought him a fireman sam engine and he was more thrilled with that than you!

2 year old cherub

We came home the very next day and you were such a good, calm and content baby.  You were sleeping through from 11pm-7pm from 7 weeks and you STILL love your sleep.  You are the one I have to wake up, the one who is so easy to go to bed.  You delight us in all you do, your quiet ways are becoming more vocal over the years, but your personality is definitely not as full on as your siblings.  You are my thinker, my ever so clever (reading age of a 9 year old no less!) , lover of school and you are so sensitive and loving.

You have thrived in school, despite being the youngest in the class, you are in all the top groups and you are such a popular boy, loved by peers and teachers alike.  I burst with pride when I read your school report, you have done us, but more importantly, yourself, very proud.  Your teacher thinks you are going to go and accomplish great things in life and I have to say, I agree!

You have given us so much pleasure these past six years, your exuberant, lust for life is infectious and I look forward to watching you blossom from a lovely young boy into the man.  I am privileged to watch you on your journey.

So proud to have finally lost a tooth!

Be proud, be strong, laugh, live, love and be happy and confident in all you do.

Love you to the moon and back again.

Peave and Love

Mummy xoxo

Monday, 16 July 2012

Disney Pixar Brave - A Brave new Heroine Review

Disney Pixar Brave Review

Last weekend, we descended on to Leicester Square for the press screening of the all new, Disney Pixar movie "Brave" which we had all been looking forward to for weeks.

We're huge disney fans in this house, none more so than our very own Pixie who is obsessed with all things "princessey".  Whilst I am all for expressing yourself, and don't believe in steering children to my preferences, I have always been uncomfortable with the fact that your "typical" disney princess has an evil/dead/step mother and all she hankers for in life is a nice Prince to sweep her of her feet, get married and live happily ever after.  My feminist side has always wanted a princess to come along and do things her way and I am thrilled (finally!) to declare that our heroine Merida in Brave does just that.

Brave is set in the highlands of Scotland, where the gorgeously, feisty, Merida with the most AMAZING red, flamed ringlets, goes against her parents wish to marry by defying an age old tradition.  She unleashes chaos and mayhem as her ill fated wish to change her mother (this story does for the mother/daughter relationship what finding Nemo did for the father/son one)  is granted.  It is then a race against time as Merida has to undo the spell and show her braveness against adversity.

Here's the official trailer:

We all absolutely LOVED this film, even HAW being Scottish spoke nothing of Clans and Kinsman all the way home and we can't wait to see this again once it goes on general release on the 13th August 2012.

Luckily, if you live in Scotland, you get to see this before us South of the Border, as release in Scotland is the 4th August 2012.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Waving goodbye to the Fertility Boat

I've just waved goodbye to the boat of fertility.  

I didn't know it existed until last week, when I realised that our window for another baby has well and truly closed.

We are blessed (truly!) with 3 adorable, smart, clever, opinionated, loud, gorgeous, naughty, crazy, happy and messy kids.  They drive me to the brink of insanity at times, but truly, I am totally in awe of these three little kids who are part me and part HAW, created out of love.

Having three kids in five years wasn't one of my smartest decisions.  How I look on with envy at friends who have huge age gaps, as the older child/ren are self sufficient and a help, rather than a hindrance at best.  I am sure that people all look at us in envy and think "oh how wonderful, three so close in age, they must be the best of buddies" and yes, at times, this is true, but the reality of a close age gap in this house is that they all compete.  For time, energy, attention, everything. 

BUT....I wouldn't change my crazy, hectic life.

Or would I??

Lots of people have asked me these past few years "are you going to have more kids?" to which I have always responded "NO WAY, are you NUTS?!" but just last week, as I realised that my little Pixie is soon to be four, that even if I did change my mind, that it would be too late anyway as it would end up being a four and half (best) or longer (worst) age gap.

So, having three close in age and then a solo child with a big age gap, well that's just not going to work.    Plus, I struggle as it is, with 3 kids, and absent HAW, a flourishing business and all the other "stuff" that being a working mum of three entails.

BUT....I am having a pang of regret.  Regret that the Pixie will NEVER be a big sister (she would be awesome) regret that I'll never use some of my other favourite names, regret that when we go away on holiday, someone will always be "on their own" (ha, bet that is me) when we need to partner up for flights, rides etc.  regret that I'll never breastfeed again, regret that I'll never be pregnant again, growing and nurturing another little being that is part me, part HAW.

So as I waved "bon voyage" last week to the boat, I felt sad.  Sad that we didn't go for it last year, sad that I didn't listen to my maternal instinct that was crying out for one more baby but listened instead to my rational side that was screaming "are you INSANE".

Yes, I know I am "done" but it will always be "done with regret".

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

The plugged in generation

Everywhere you look, you see children or to use a marketing term "tweenagers" plugged in.  Plugged in to mobiles, games consoles, televisions and hand held devices that are having in my humble opinion a huge, detrimental affect on society.

I've not felt entirely easy with this for about a year, as slowly, I was seeing children (some as young as 7) having facebook accounts with the consent of their parents who "monitor" their activity.  I really couldn't understand WHY they would be allowing this, encouraging screen time, when in my humble opinion, kids should be out experiencing the real world and NOT a virtual one.    I for one, don't want to be "friends" with my childrens friends, I mean why on earth would you want to, I mean seriously?  

This to me is again crossing the whole parent vs friend debate.  I strongly believe that a parent should be a parent and not "best friends" with their children.  I don't want my kids to "tell me everything", I am more than happy to NOT know the ins and outs of being a teenager.  I can remember my own youth for that, thank you very much!  What I am for though, is open communication, where talk about anything is respected and easy.  I want to nurture open relationships but still keep that parent/child divide.  

Increasingly, I am seeing households where children rule the roost, where parents let the kids do what they want in order for an easy life and where rules, boundaries and discipline are lacking.   Families are NOT being families anymore.  Parents are on the laptops in one room, the kids are on the ipad in their bedroom and nobody is talking or communicating to each other in the ways that we used to, it's all tweeting or texting or facebook messaging.  Whilst this is great in one respect (keeping in touch with long lost friends or family for example) it is bad in others as families are missing out on the chance of real, quality family time which is sacrificed for the virtual world.

Consequently, children are not learning social skills, they are suffering from sleep problems and they are un-monitored as a lot of their "virtual world" goes on in their rooms.   You can't have missed the story recently where a 12 year old boy was found guilty of ra**ing a 9 year old girl after watching online p**n which is absolutely shocking.  Where were his parents when he was watching this?  Why wasn't be being monitored?  Why is it so easily available?  For research, I googled "P**n" and was shocked at the results.   I mean, really, really shocked.  This makes playboy look like Bunty magazine. 

On our rugby tour a few months ago, we were debating this very issue.  Sixteen of us agreed that it is parents who need to take responsibility for their children, to not conform to peer pressure for the latest smart phone or games console and whilst we agreed that technology is a great invention, we are a long way from seeing what the implications of this "plugged in" generation will be on society.

So why are parents turning to technology?  The easy option?  A babysitter (because lets face the real hard fact, it is far easier to get on and do something if the kids are playing computer games/surfing) or something else.  Peer pressure perhaps?  Parents for whatever reason being unable to say No to their offspring?

I rarely allow my children on the laptop.  They do IT at school or if they want to research something at home, then I do it with them. I feel that as parents we need to buck the trend and take responsibility for our children before it is too late.

I'd love to know what you all think.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Monday, 9 July 2012

Beyonce via A and E

I apologise for the lack of radio contact of late, but work is CRAAAZZZY busy, and to be quite frank, I am exhausted.  We did 11 shoots in 13 days and all of them had a super quick turnaround.  We are on the other side now, and it is LOVELY to see the bank balance and the sense of achievement of working under such pressure.  I also think we have done some of our best work, so happy days all around!

Friday was a great day.  I was really looking forward to a long overdue girls night out and we were going to a charity dinner in aid of debra for people who have the devastating skin disease.  I picked the kids up from school, and quite literally was cooking their tea whilst applying fake tan and just as my lift arrived, Beansey tripped over and smashed his lip on his scooter that was lying at the bottom of the stairs.  I could see straight away that it was bad, his top lip had split and his nose was all bloody and horrible.  After a few minutes, the blood was still pouring so I took the younger two next door in their Pj's (thank you A and M as I know you'll be reading!) and dashed him up to A+E.  We must have looked a right sight, I was all glammed up in a pink silk dress, with big hair and make up and he was in dirty old "garden" clothes covered in blood!  We were seen very quickly and after about an hour we were discharged as thankfully the lip hadn't cut through the lip outline which would have involved plastic surgeons.  My dress had blood on it and after dropping him home to HAW, I set off, two hours late for our dinner.

It was a FAB night, I am so SO lucky in that I have an amazing, supportive network of friends, and we always have such a giggle.  I even won a Jo Malone gift box in the raffle which went a long way to calming me down after the events of the early evening! 

me and my gorgeous girlies plus a ridiculous amount of empties

We had a lovely dinner and then the highlight of the night was a beyonce singer, who was amazing.  She got us all shaking our booty and after a few tequila shots, the DJ got me on the microphone to sing along with him, only for him to then tell me to "f**k off love, you're out of tune".  It was so funny and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I really do think I can sing when I have had a few, we were literally wrestling over the microphone.

It was a great night with great friends and I can't wait for the next get together!!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Making Waves for Alex - A plea

Regular readers will know that my friend Tamsyn who blogs at manic mum is going through some tough times at the moment.  Yet, she faces every battle head on, with grace and dignity as her husband slowly but surely makes progress.   We are trying to get this message viral, if you can, please re-post on your blog, share on your social media networks and of course, donate!   Every penny will go to making waves for Alex which has been set up to help in his rehabilitation which will take years.

What the video doesn't show you is Alex as the husband and father.  He has an amazing wife in Tamsyn and four gorgeous children that are missing their Daddy very much.

Every penny helps.

Thank you so much for sharing the love/donating/spreading the message.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo