Mother's Day Wishlist

I find that I can't decide whether I 'buy-in' to Mother's Day. I don't need to be given some expensive flowers or taken for a meal in a very busy restaurant surrounded by other Mums to know that my children love me. I resent the idea of our precious family funds being spent on random gifts for me just because retailers tell my husband he should.


As a Mum, appreciation can be pretty thin on the ground and now I'm no longer working the days can feel pretty relentless.

So selling me a day where I can relax, put my feet up and open a lovingly-picked gift could actually go down quite well. A special day, a special gift or flowers to say 'thank you'.

And when it comes to gifts, there are some on my Pinterest boards that I've had my eye on for some time... If money was no object!

So, if you're looking for some ideas (or you're my husband, have secretly come into some cash and would like to push the boat out this Mother's Day) here is what is on my wish list.

Things I've learnt as a Mum of Two

Ollie turned 2 at the beginning of the month and if I'm honest, I still find it quite surprising that I'm a Mum of two. I'm not a super mum by any means but we get by with the help of plenty of cake.

Here are some lessons I have learnt over the last two years.

It's like starting over...
Because each child is so different you have no baseline for comparison. It doesn't matter when your first child crawled/walked/talked - the second will do it in their own time. They won't like the same foods when weaning. They won't fall into the same sleep routine. They won't like the same TV programmes.

You need to get to know this little person and what makes them tick, from the start.

Compassion works better than ginger

If, after six months of vomiting, endless nausea, dehydration and fatigue your health care professional laughs outright and tells you to 'try eating ginger', how would you feel?

Because that is what me, and hundreds of other woman have to face when they suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, or, if you've never had it then you may know it as 'the-morning-sickness-that-Kate-Middleton-had'.

Is it not surprising in 2017 so many people have never heard of a significant sickness that affects so many pregnant women? You'd think that at least our doctors and midwives would be better informed, more knowledgeable about treatments and most importantly, more understanding.

The sickness in my second pregnancy kicked in about eight weeks. It started slowly, throwing up a little food once or twice a day but by 16 weeks I struggled to keep down food or liquids. It was obviously worse than my first pregnancy (which was bad enough) and there were days when even swallowing my own saliva would trigger the vomiting. I couldn't work, I couldn't parent my child, most days I could do nothing except lie in bed.

Review - London Eye with Toddlers

It is nearly a year since we purchased our Merlin Annual Passes. They were a gift from a family member and although it was a lot to pay up front (we bought Premium Passes in the sale) I am so pleased we did - they have been worth the money and more!

Our passes run out in the summer and we're not sure yet whether we'll be able to afford to renew them so we're definitely making the most of them whilst we can. Last month we visited the lovely Warwick Castle and have trips planned later this month to Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures.

Of all the attractions offered with the pass, I had already been to the London Eye a few times and so wasn't desperate to do it again. However, Matt had never been and we thought it'd be a good excuse to visit London for the first time in a while.

Sunshine Blogger Quiz

I love these sorts of quizzes. Essentially, I'm just incredibly nosey and so like to read about other people, I doubt anyone is that interested in my answers but here they are anyway.

I was tagged in the Sunshine Blogger Quiz by The Mum from Brum whose blog I love and so here are my answers to her ten (sometimes tricky) questions.

1. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one box set to watch, what would it be?
I can't believe I'm already stuck on the first question! At the moment I'm actually getting into Criminal Minds thanks to a colleague who recommended it - I know it's old but there are loads of seasons which should keep me going for a while at least.

2. Who was your favourite teacher at school?
Another hard question as I was blessed by some amazing teachers. It's really difficult to pick just one!

In primary school it was Miss Webb who taught me in Year 6 but in secondary school I was over-run by inspiring teachers. Of all these I would ultimately choose Mrs Quirk, my PE teacher and boarding house mistress because her heart was huge but I also loved my French teacher and tutor Mrs Barnes, history teacher Mr Colpus and my favourite subject (English) teacher, Mrs Farrell. 

I could go on, I went to a great school!

3. How did you pick your blog name?
My surname is German for 'cherry' so it's like saying 'Our Family Tree' but just for us.

4. If someone gave you unlimited funds to decorate one room in your house, which room would you choose and why?
The kitchen/diner because that's where we spend most of our time and I really want to buy a Kitchen Aid! I have expensive tastes and would love to have a vintage inspired kitchen filled with Cath Kidston prints and pastel shades.

5. What is your most treasured possession?
I have a wooden box by my bed filled with 'treasures' and memories - anything from my old school tie to photographs and jewellery. Of these, my most precious is a gold heart shaped necklace with my name on it and 'love daddy' inscribed on the back. My Dad gave both me and my sister one for Christmas just after my parents divorced and I've treasured it since.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Probably Devon. I like the idea of travelling but am comfortably British when it comes to where I live. I'm actually quite happy where I am in Bucks for now but Devon is my happy place.

7. What was the last film you saw in the cinema?
I really can't remember! It was certainly ages ago - I think it may have been The Good Dinosaur...

8. Which Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?
As a true geek, I can confirm that I have been sorted into Hufflepuff and I'm proud!

9. Can you speak any other languages?
Unfortunately not, although I do have a basic understanding of 'toddler' if that counts?

10. Would you rather visit a beach or tour a city?
My perfect holiday would include a bit of both but if pushed I prefer the city - especially somewhere filled with history like Rome.

Spring Cleaning, when you have toddlers

Nothing can seem as futile as attempting to clean your house when you have small children. No sooner have you finished then the kids have come in and your once-pristine (for all of 10 minutes) home now looks like a tornado has hit.

It's even worse every spring when everyone suddenly starts talking about cleaning as if it's the first thing you really think of as soon as days start to look brighter.

Who really wants to spend hours, days, cleaning your home from top to bottom and then sit and weep whilst the kids destroy your efforts in seconds?

Not me.

But with the cleaning crying out to be done and spring as good a time as any to attempt organisation, here are my top tips for spring cleaning when you have little ones.
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