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Secret Santas/Easter Bunnies/Birthday Fairies.

In case you are unaware of these odd phenomenons that often happen on on-line groups (and occasionally in real life), they are where people sign up to send a gift to another member in secret. Then often have a low budget like under £10. You then have a separate group where people discuss what they like/don’t like/are allergic to/wants and needs.

Why do we do it too ourselves?

I have been involved in many SS/SEB/SBF over the years and they seem to be the most stressful things going.

The people who organise them must be mad unless you use a third party to make the pairings. They also then need to keep kicking people to make sure they have purchased and sent the gifts. They also need to make sure people post with things they like or dislike.

Once you have your partner the mega stress begins. If you have a close friends then you are quids in but when your partner is someone who you barely speak to it is a nightmare to choose a suitable gift.

People usually pick some boring chocolates, sweets, mug or socks. I feel if you are only going to buy this type of crap then don’t bother joining in. It just shows you have no imagination or thought into the person you are buying for.

I like to choose rude gifts if I can (speaks more to my personality that the giftee to be honest). Obviously if I get someone nun like then I won’t get that type of gift. I also try and get thoughtful gifts ( to go alongside the rude bits).

With one of my SS this year I got the perfect person. We have been friends for 9 year as her youngest and my eldest were both due in the same month. She has had a tough time recently so I knew exactly what to get her. Granted if she hadn’t have been my SS I would have bought her the gift anyway.

Once the gift has been wrapped and parcelled up then you have to get to the post office. I was so late posting my SS this year as the kids got sick and I couldn’t get out and couldn’t convince anyone to come over and care for them.

Once your gift is sent you are then waiting on tenter hooks for the person to comment that it has arrived and then you are constantly checking the post waiting for your gift.

Many people wait for their gift to arrive before sending their gift out. This defies the point of it. If everyone involved did that then no one would receive a gift. I get it is a pain when people take a gift but don’t send one but that it part of the ‘excitement’ of being part of it.

Once the time has come to open the gift you then need to make sure that you take photos of the gift and do a overly enthusiastic post thanking your SS/SEB/SBF. If these posts are not done then people get pissed off. It doesn’t take much to post a thank you. I think if you don’t do it then you shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the next one.

Oh well, by the time it comes back around I will have forgotten how stressful it was and be one of the first in the queue to sign up.


Half Term

Cannot believe how quickly this half term in school has gone. My eldest son started a new school in September and it feels like he has only just started but it has been 7 weeks. He finally settled into the routine and then the half term holiday started.

Husband is on annual leave this week which will make my life 100 times easier. It is a nightmare trying to do anything with both kids when you don’t drive.

The first weekend we dedicated it to homework, sleeping and clearing the living room.

Today we have taken a car full of unwanted book, home ware and toys to the local charity shops. Luckily we have quite a few in our area so we were able to help quite a few different charities. The kids weren’t overly happy in getting rid of their toys but the thought of new ones in a few months pacified them slightly and taking them for a hot chocolate and cake in the bakery helped too.

Tomorrow Aiden is going to be visiting Cadbury World for the first time. Unfortunately I won’t be there to witness the wonder on his face as he is going with his cousin and grandparents. He has an uncomfortable early start but hopefully he will nap on the way there (who am I kidding?) While he is there his little sister will be visiting the local trampoline park for a tots session and then getting a new haircut. I want to jump myself but I don’t think they allow adults too. Shame as could do with the workout.

Wednesday while her biggest brother is chilling playing Minecraft Lilith will be watching her first ever film at the cinema. We are going to watch the My Little Pony movie. The original is the first ever film I saw and so history is repeating itself. She chose which seats we are going to be sitting in. I just hope she will stay sitting for the whole film. I’m planning on purchasing her body weight in popcorn to help in that endeavour.

I hope to do some rock painting and hiding in the latter part of the week. It seems that the kids have been caught up in the craze since Lilith found her first rock a few weeks back. I must remember to leave clue on the social media group, though not sure if that is cheating a little.

I will get the kids to design and paint a rock for their missing brother and rather than hiding it we will take it to his grave for him. I also plan on doing some rocks that will be angel related but they will be hidden in the local area.

On Friday the kids will be going to a local charity Halloween party. I booked the tickets ages ago and wasn’t planning on telling the kids but an email notification came up on the tablet while A was using it and the surprise was scuppered. Mum fail or what? We are going with the cousins to the party so hopefully it will be a great afternoon all round.

The weekend will probably be much like the first, making sure homework is completed, reading record is filled in and uniform is ready.

This is the busiest half term we have had for a long time. We normally just watch a lot of TV, play on the computer/tablets and visit the local parks. Having a daddy home really helps.


Mother’s Day when one of your children are gone.

Today mothers, all over the country will be waking up to cards handmade by their offspring, wrapped gifts, lukewarm tea and if they are especially lucky, breakfast in bed. They’ll be surrounded by grinning faces and have one of their own. Mother’s Day should be all happiness and light but unfortunately not every mother has that.

Angel mummies with living children may also be doing the above but they will always have a tinge of sadness in their eyes and in their heart. While they try and show happiness they are hurting. They are happy that they have some smiling children surrounding them but there is one missing and that is all the more obvious on this Sunday. 

The pain of having a missing child on Mother’s Day is only matched by the pain of your mum being missing. Both ways are difficult. It is a day to celebrate being/having a mum. 

Angel mummies may spend some of their special day visiting their angel’s resting place. I know I will be. It will be nice to spend some quiet time tidying and sorting my Milo’s grave. I have bought him some new solar lights so he isn’t in the dark. I also have a new train for him too. 


World Book Day 

Today is #worldbookday, well in some places anyways. 

My living children dressed as the red crayon from “the day the crayons quit” and a bumblebee. The Bee costume was last year’s Halloween costume but the crayon costume took me a few hours to make.

Making the costume felt like I should have taken my home economics gcse rather than design and realisation. Trying to draw and cut straight lines on a t-shirt was a nightmare. It kept moving and curling or the chalk wouldn’t write properly. Getting the zig zags correct took both my husband and I.

I had to pin the previously mentioned zig zags to a polo shirt. The first ones of the pattern was easy to attach but trying to make sure the second halves were the correct distance from the first one all the way along was awful. I had to pin and re-pin them multiple times before it was happy. 

I tried a couple of different ways of stitching them on. The first zig zag was put on using big running stitch but the rest were small stitches and surprisingly the small stitches took less time. 

Once the zig zags were on I had to add the lettering. I was going to cut them from the same material but by this time it was getting close to 1am and I didn’t have the oomph anymore. I just used some precut foam sticky backed letters. The hat part was just a curled card cone. 

I think my eldest looked great and it didn’t cost a lot to create what he wanted to be, even though he didn’t decide until 2 days ago. 

Once we got to school there was an awful lot of superheroes and princesses. I get that these are costumes that most kids have and it means that parents haven’t got to out and spend more hard earned money on something the child might only wear once but, it just doesn’t sit right with me. A lot of these costumes aren’t derived from books and the point of World Book Day is to garner and love of reading not movies/TV shows. I also spotted a lot of the parents looking down their noses at the homemade costumes. One mum I wanted to smack the look right off her face. A child was wearing a decorated box (not sure what it was as only saw the back) and he was so proud of it that he was saying “look” to any parent he passed and she just looked at him like it was a pile of poop. 

Day to meet the girls aftermath

The meet when fantastically well.

I can honestly say I liked everyone who came and I think they liked me.

We ate, drank and were merry.

In the end I think there was about 20 of us over the course of the daytime/evening as not everyone could stay all day or make it until late. We took over a small area in the pub and kept adding more chairs and tables as more people arrived.

Those of us who stayed late did some serious drinking. I myself had 3 giant pitchers of woo woo. I felt very fuzzy as time went on but it was lovely. I was also drinking it straight from the pitcher with a straw. I decided that I wasn’t sharing so it didn’t matter. One of the other ladies was also drinking pitchers and seeing me drink them the way I did gave her the confidence to do it too (she wanted to but wasn’t sure if it was considered uncouth, I didn’t give a monkeys).

We spoke about many wild and wonderful things. I managed to speak about my Milo without getting upset. One of my birth group was also there and she said she could see and feel a difference in me while I was talking about him. There were no moments of having to take a moment and no tears. She has been with me since I was pregnant with him and so I guess time does make a difference to this journey.

Once some people decided it was time to go to bed the rest of us headed out for karaoke. If was a long walk in the wrong direction but hey ho. I hoped it would have been lots of fun but I found the place a bit overfilled with people and no where to sit down. You could barely reach the bar for a drink. That type of place is my least favourite. I managed to escape to a quieter area and I found a seat too. I didn’t stay out too much longer as some of the others were leaving then too so we all caught a cab back to the hotel.

There have been some ‘lovely’ photographs taken but unfortunately I am unable to share them as I haven’t been given permission. You can tell as we lot more and more drunk. The poses became more confident and weirder. The hairstyles also started to go awry. Luckily I didn’t make a huge effort with my hair and make up so I could faff as much as I liked.

I am really looking forward to the next time that we get together. For a bunch of women from multiple backgrounds and countries we got on fabulously. Meeting them has also made me feel closer to them and more involved in the group.

Day to meet the girls.

Today is the day.

This is the first time I will be meeting a bunch of ladies who have supported me through both the loss of my Milo and raising my living children.

These ladies are not a loss group. They are just normal people who didn’t see me as weird for thinking about my son and were lovely when I wanted to share his photos.

We didn’t start out as friends. The group was created to debate different subjects and to express our opinions on anything and everything. We slowly got to know each other and friendships developed. Some are stronger than others but the whole group rallies if something goes wrong in someone’s life. We have helped people through child loss, house fires, illness (both physical and mental), divorce and death of relatives/friends. There is always someone online if you need a chat, no matter what time of day or night.

The group tries to meet about every 6 months but I have yet to go. I either have been unavailable to go due to prior plans, money or distance or not felt strong enough to go.

The plan for today is to eat, drink and be merry. We have booked many rooms in the same hotel. We have asked for the same floor but I doubt that will happen.

I am very nervous to meet these ladies. They have been my rock for a long time and I don’t want to ruin that by making a fool of myself. Luckily I have some members from another group who I have met are coming so there will be some friendly faces.


Half term finished 

Here half term has been and gone. Today was the first day back and it was just as stressful as ever. Things were sorted the night before but still it was a giant rush to get out the door and we were nearly late due to a slow walking school kid and a fall from a kerb  (school kid not me). Anyway I digress, how was your half term? Ours was pretty family orientated. Daddy was on annual leave so I had an extra pair of hands.

The week started with a birthday. Little miss turned 3. The following two days were put aside to celebrating her birthday and seeing family.

One of the days the big kid and I went to hell on earth, the local soft play centre. It was loud and rammed. Luckily my friends got there first so we didn’t have to wait for a table like so many other patrons did. We mums could barely speak because of the noise. We were yelling over both the kids and the crappy music (what is the point on busy days? It just ramps up the volume). The last hour there was the best as other people started leaving so it got quiet and cooler. The kids also seemed to have more fun. 

We planned to visit the roald dahl museum later in the week but looking on line about it we decided that it would be great for little kid so we didn’t go. 

Big kid had his first ever trip to the cinema to watch Lego Batman. He loved it. Apparently the best part was the popcorn and when the lights went down. I was concerned that he might struggle with the volume but apart from a couple of hands over the ears moments he was good. Little kid didn’t like the fact that I was leaving her with her daddy again but I had to.

I also experienced the cinema by myself for the first time. I really wanted to watch a certain film but none of my friends were interested in watching it or had the available funds. It felt a bit weird initially but I really enjoyed it. Not having to share my popcorn or have someone whispering in my ear was great. 

Other days were spent chilling in the house or visiting the local park (local as in directly next to the house). Both kids played/watched someone play minecraft a lot but it’s half term and it meant we got some peace. We also had some family board game time. Big kid loves monopoly but little kid needed to be sleeping to play as she just doesn’t get it.