The reality of being a single mum of 5

Gareth and I have been split now for quite a while but as most of you know we have remained living in the same house and co-parenting. It has become increasingly obvious how this can only be a temporary thing and we have recently been discussing the reality that we will shortly be moving forward with our lives. This includes the Fact that Gareth will be finding his own place and moving out and I will become a full-time single Mum.  Continue reading “The reality of being a single mum of 5”

100 questions, 100 answers

Occasionally us bloggers like to tag each other in posts just for a bit of fun and to find out a little more about each other and to share information about ourselves with our readers. This morning the lovely Karen from Our Irish Family tagged me in 100 Questions and answers. Here they are and my answers.I hope you find some of them interesting, I think some may shock a few of you! ENJOY!

1. What’s your name?

Cheryl Ann Dodd

2. Any nicknames or aliases?

Chez, Chezzie , Pumpkin , and a few that I’m sure I’m called but not to my face 😉

3. Your gender?

Female

4. Your star sign?

Aquarius

5. How old are you?

35 ( just about)

6. Your relationship status?

Single ( boo! )

7. Any children?

5 ( yes I have a TV, no my hands aren’t full and we aren’t like something from shameless)

8. Any pets?

I don’t but my son has a one-eyed hamster #truestory

9. Any tattoos or piercings?

I have a tattoo of Tweety on my right arm, stars on my shoulder ( which I always forget about) my ears and tongue are pierced but I never wear anything in them.

10. What do you like about yourself?

My eyes

11. What do you dislike about yourself?

Pretty much everything else, but I’m working on it!

12. Righty or lefty?

Lefty

LASTS

13. The last thing you drank?

Coffee

14. The last thing you ate?

Pancakes made with just a banana and 2 eggs, was strangely very nice!

15. Your last phone call?

To my friend Sammie trying to convince her to come away!

16. Your last text message?

Please pay a bill

17. Your last email?

Do you want to extend your penis by 12 inches

18. The last song you listened to?

21 seconds to go ( in the dentist, how awesome is my dentist!)

19. The last book you read? 

50 shades -The new one, although I still haven’t finished it

20. The last time you cried? 

Last night, I was thinking about how much I miss my mum and how sometimes only your mums advice will do

21. The last blog you read? 

Daddy Giraffes weird and wonderful questions. I was with him for almost 6 years and I didn’t know he wanted to pose nude!! Take a read it’s ermm different.

22. The last person you spoke to?

Bethie

23. The last place you visited? 

The dentist – for a filling , boo hoo!!

24. Your last holiday abroad? 

I’ve never been abroad and have no desire to go either.

HAVE I EVER?

25. Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

Yes, but only after a short break as in a week or 2, I would never get back with an ex after a long period of time.

26. Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes by several people and it is one of the most hurtful and painful things that anyone can do to you, especially when you love them. It takes away any trust and faith and makes you wonder if anything has ever been real.

27. Have you ever cheated on someone?

No and I never would. I don’t understand why if you feel the need to sleep with somebody else you wouldn’t just end it first. If you can do that to somebody you clearly don’t care.

28. Have you ever lost someone special to you?

Yes my mum died a few months ago and it was awful.

29. Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

Many times! I worked in holiday parks which was an experience, but I think the worst time was when I went to my friend Emma’s halloween party, I was only around 16 and was drinking jamaiican punch. I was sick everywhere, in my hair the lot. How my parents didn’t throttle me I don’t know.

30. Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

Yes

31. Have you ever met someone who changed you?

Yes, I used to be very confident and now I am not due to a couple of hard relationships

32. Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

Yes, my circle is now incredibly small and if I’m honest I no longer trust a soul.

33. Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

I don’t think so

34. Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

All the time, let them talk. Whilst they’re talking about me they are leaving some other poor soul alone.

35. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

I don’t think so

36. Have you ever kissed a stranger?

Yes, I was young once ya know!

37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?

Many times and now it’s made of a mixture of stone and ice!

38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?

I would be lying is I said no

39 Have you ever been arrested?

Yes I have and it’s not something I’m proud of but I stand by what I did. I was only around 14 and I had a fight with someone after they said something disgusting about a family member who was in hospital having major surgery.

40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

Not in a sexual way no but I can clearly tell when someone of the same sex as me is beautiful.

41. Have you ever done something you regret?

I have done a whole list of things that I regret

42. Have you ever had a threesome?

No

43. Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

All the time

44. Have you ever misjudged someone?

Yes, again something I have done many times

MY BELIEFS AND OPINIONS

45. Do you believe in God?

Not at all, I believe if there was such a thing as god then why do good people die from horrible things yet bad people survive? why are there wars, murders, rapes and so on? surely if there was such a magnificent thing the world would be good instead of a scary horrible place to be?

46. Do you believe in yourself?

I believe that with the right frame of mind I can do anything I want to. I just need to persuade myself that I really can

47. Do you believe in Santa Claus?

OF COURSE!!!!

48. Do you believe in ghosts?

I believe there is something out there but I’m not sure what it is. I don’t believe you are born, live, go through all the emotions of life, happiness, sadness, anger etc for nothing at all and for it all just to stop.

49. Do you believe in aliens?

What if we are the aliens? so many planets in the solar system what’s to say that to another planet that we aren’t the aliens?

50. Do you believe in miracles?

I have 5 children after being told I wouldn’t have any…. I’d say that’s a miracle.

51. Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

I genuinely do. I let people and things get on top of me, since I’ve cut negativity I’m much happier.

52. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight.

53. Can money make you happy?

I believe it could make you less stressed , not neccesarily happy

54. Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

Not at all

55. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

I believe you are in charge of your own decisions

56. Do you have strong political beliefs?

Not really

57. Do you have strong religious beliefs?

I believe that everyone has the right to their own beliefs, mine is as above.

58. What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Strength, Love, Knowledge

RIGHT NOW

59. Are you eating anything right now?

No

60. Are you drinking anything right now?

Nothing

61. What are you listening to right now?

Freddie telling his daddy that he is a stinky poo pants

62. What are you thinking about right now?

How I need to go start the school run very soon

63. What are you waiting for right now?

Something magical to happen and make my life amazing, I could be waiting for a while

64. What are you most excited about right now? 

Going away with my friends and letting my hair down. Being myself.

65. What’s your pet hate right now?

People who don’t use their manners

66. What’s your favourite thing right now?

My children

67. If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Probably looking on Facebook or tickling children

FIRSTS

68. Your first best friend? 

Kelly James

69. Your first kiss? 

My first kiss was actually like something out of a film or a book. It was snowing and we were walking up the road, he stopped in front of me and kissed me. It was pretty magical. I will refrain from naming him though!

70. Your first celebrity crush? 

Gary Lucy, He is still very much my celebrity crush!

71. Your first holiday? 

I’m not sure probably Butlins Skegness when I was about 6ish

72. Your first pet? 

A cat called scampi

73. Your first regret? 

Not concentrating properly at school

74. Your first job? 

I was a waitress in a restaurant in Ironbridge. I was about 14 I think.

75. Your first childhood memory? 

It was my 5th birthday, my dad collected me from school and took me to get my ears pierced. When I got home everybody from my class was sat in my house waiting for me for a surprise party!

WHICH WOULD I CHOOSE?

76. Love or money?

Love

77. Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook

78. Hook up or relationship?

Relationship

79. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

80. Coffee or tea?

Coffee

81. Beer or wine?

Beer

82. Sweet or savoury?

Savoury

83. Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert

84. Vampires or werewolves?

Werewolves

85. Seaside or countryside?

Countryside

86. Summer or winter?

Winter

87. Books or movies? 

Either as long as its Christmas related

88. Horror or comedy?

Comedy

A FEW RANDOM QUESTIONS TO FINISH

89. Do you wish you could change your past?

Yes

90. What’s your dream job?

My dream job was to sing aboard a cruise ship

91. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Watching Geordie Shore and Ex on the beach

92. What are you afraid of?

Failure and a lifetime alone

93. What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

An entertainer, and I was!

94. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Invisibility , so I could be a fly on the wall

95. If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

That I let so many people crawl inside my skin

96. Would you want immortality?

No

97. If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

Henry the 8th, I just think he would be interesting

98. Would you say you are happy?

Truthfully? Not at all but I’m working on it

99. What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

Follow your head not your heart. If it’s meant to be then it will wait for you.

100. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

A nice house, a nice car, healthy and happy.

So that’s the lot, I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me through these 100 questions, 100 answers. I really enjoyed answering these questions.

If you would like to join just follow the rules as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their site.
  2. Answer the questions honestly (skip any you don’t feel comfortable answering)
  3. Tag bloggers to take part (let them know on social media).
  4. Post the questions without your answers at the bottom of your post so that they are easy to copy and paste for the people you tag.

 

I tag the following to complete this tag

  1.  Daddy Giraffe
  2.  Me Becoming Mum
  3. Sparkles and Stretchmarks
  4. OMG it’s a girl

Finally, copy and paste the questions below so others can take part!

THE BASICS

1. What’s your name?

2. Any nicknames or aliases?

3. Your gender?

4. Your star sign?

5. How old are you?

6. Your relationship status?

7. Any children?

8. Any pets?

9. Any tattoos or piercings?

10. What do you like about yourself?

11. What do you dislike about yourself?

12. Righty or lefty?

LASTS

13. The last thing you drank?

14. The last thing you ate?

15. Your last phone call?

16. Your last text message?

17. Your last email?

18. The last song you listened to?

19. The last book you read? 

20. The last time you cried? 

21. The last blog you read? 

22. The last person you spoke to?

23. The last place you visited? 

24. Your last holiday abroad? 

HAVE I EVER?

25. Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

26. Have you ever been cheated on?

27. Have you ever cheated on someone?

28. Have you ever lost someone special to you?

29. Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

30. Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

31. Have you ever met someone who changed you?

32. Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

33. Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

34. Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

35. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

36. Have you ever kissed a stranger?

37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?

38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?

39 Have you ever been arrested?

40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

41. Have you ever done something you regret?

42. Have you ever had a threesome?

43. Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

44. Have you ever misjudged someone?

MY BELIEFS AND OPINIONS

45. Do you believe in God?

46. Do you believe in yourself?

47. Do you believe in Santa Claus?

48. Do you believe in ghosts?

49. Do you believe in aliens?

50. Do you believe in miracles?

51. Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

52. Do you believe in love at first sight?

53. Can money make you happy?

54. Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

55. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

56. Do you have strong political beliefs?

57. Do you have strong religious beliefs?

58. What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

RIGHT NOW

59. Are you eating anything right now?

60. Are you drinking anything right now?

61. What are you listening to right now?

62. What are you thinking about right now?

63. What are you waiting for right now?

64. What are you most excited about right now? 

65. What’s your pet hate right now?

66. What’s your favourite thing right now?

67. If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

FIRSTS

68. Your first best friend? 

69. Your first kiss? 

70. Your first celebrity crush? 

71. Your first holiday? 

72. Your first pet? 

73. Your first regret? 

74. Your first job? 

75. Your first childhood memory? 

WHICH WOULD I CHOOSE?

76. Love or money?

77. Twitter or Facebook?

78. Hook up or relationship?

79. Dogs or cats?

80. Coffee or tea?

81. Beer or wine?

82. Sweet or savoury?

83. Introvert or extrovert?

84. Vampires or werewolves?

85. Seaside or countryside?

86. Summer or winter?

87. Books or movies? 

88. Horror or comedy?

A FEW RANDOM QUESTIONS TO FINISH

89. Do you wish you could change your past?

90. What’s your dream job?

91. What’s your guilty pleasure?

92. What are you afraid of?

93. What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

94. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

95. If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

96. Would you want immortality?

97. If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

98. Would you say you are happy?

99. What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

100. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

 

 

Am I a secret baby whisperer?

Have you ever had a moment where you feel proud of something you’ve achieved? But not something where you have helped yourself, or something where one of your babies have done something. Last night I helped a mummy who was really struggling with her baby. Continue reading “Am I a secret baby whisperer?”

When do you stop checking on them before you go to bed?

Last night before I climbed into bed I did my usual check of the house, first the doors were all locked. Then the windows were all closed. The heating was on as it was cold and it was off to check everyone’s bedrooms. First stop was the boy’s room where Harry and Freddie were sleeping soundly. Continue reading “When do you stop checking on them before you go to bed?”

Parents evening – Proud Mummy Moment

Tonight was one of those love to hate Mummy moments, It was Ellie’s parents evening. Now the reason I say love to hate is because I love the fact that I get to go and speak to all of the teachers, find out how my children are progressing and get feedback on anything that I can do to help them. Continue reading “Parents evening – Proud Mummy Moment”

Make up – Should they wear it or not?

As part of our Topical Mums panel, this week the other part of the panel were discussing whether or not we should allow our children to wear make up. I wasn’t in this video but I found the discussion really interesting.

Mainly because this is an argument discussion, I have found myself and Gareth having many times particularly when it comes to Ellie my 12 year old.

As I was growing up my mum was never a massive make up wearer meaning that I was never really shown exactly how to put make up on properly. Don’t get me wrong she did show me the basics and gave me some idea of what to wear and where it should go but I see other people with amazing and perfect make up and watch in awe and honestly? I couldn’t tell you the difference between a contour and a foundation or why people would wear a tinted lip gloss instead of just wearing a lipstick.

For me I felt it was important to let my girls experiment with make up and learn the basics so that when they reach an age where they want to actually wear make up they were confident in what they are doing and don’t end up going out looking like coco the clown.

However Gareth was very much against her wearing any make up at all stating that she already looks older than she is and he didn’t want her to create any kind of negative attention from boys in particular. He is incredibly over protective of the girls despite being their step-dad. God help anyone whoever tries to get within 100 feet of them.

I stood my ground

And for Christmas and birthdays we would buy little gifts sets for her to use in the house or for very special occasions. She would spend hours and hours watching YouTube tutorials and now is in fact extremely good at applying make up. I sometimes even let her do my make up if I am going out somewhere and want to look nice. She knows far more about applying make up than I ever would.

Annabelle who is 8 has now got to the stage where she has started to ask for make up and after seeing how good Ellie learnt and how in fact that phase has now gone, she has learnt , is confident in applying it and knows what she is doing Gareth is far more relaxed when it comes to allowing Annabelle to experiment with it.

The other side of the argument

On the video Lauren brought up the fact that children are beautiful naturally and shouldn’t feel the need to cover themselves up with make up. They should be able to express themselves in other ways. Not only that but it could damage their skin and cause them further problems later in life.

So what do you think? Should they be allowed to experiment with make up or should it be an absolute no go?

For me I think it is harmless fun, they have to learn at some point, why not let them learn now, have pamper parties with their friends and just enjoy it?

Thanks for reading

 

Trying to get back a sense of routine

I think that I am not alone when I say trying to get back into some sort of routine after the Christmas holidays can be a little bit of a task. Especially when you are not the most organised of people in the first place and I am not exaggerating when I say I really wish I was. Continue reading “Trying to get back a sense of routine”

Loving the new positive me!

It’s the new year and as most of you know if you follow my Facebook page , This year is all about a new and more positive me. I think I’m doing a pretty awesome job so far at staying positive and not letting things pile on top of me! Continue reading “Loving the new positive me!”

Easy ways to cut your fuel bills

Easy Ways to Cut Your Fuel Bills

For many families, keeping the bills paid is a bit of a headache. In the winter, the fact that you need to have the heating on makes things even harder. With this in mind, I thought I would save a few ways you can potentially use to keep your heating bill down. After a bit of research, here are the best ideas I have found.

Shop around for the best deal

Without a doubt, shopping around for the best deal is the most important step you can take. For those of you who heat your home using gas or electric, there are plenty of comparison websites you can use to find the best tariff for you. If your boiler uses heating oil the ´save even more´ section of the Super Saver Oil website contains guidance on getting the best deal.

Insulation is key

Insulating your home properly is the key to keeping your heating bills down. The latest studies show that the owners of an average three bedroom family home can save around £310 just by insulating their loft and walls. You can find out about the various kinds that are available, by reading this article. It also covers the subject of floor insulation.

Stop heating space you do not use much

If you have rooms you only use for storage, turn the radiators off. There is no point in heating spaces that you do not use. However, it is wise to periodically open the door and check that turning that turning the heat off completely is not leading to mould problems. If the room starts to smell musty, turn the heat on low for a few hours, once or twice a month.

For some families, a smart thermometer that can be controlled remotely may be a good investment. You can still set your heating to come on and turn off at certain times of the day. But, if you have to stay late at work you can remotely change the time your heating comes on to accommodate this fact. Being able to do this ensures that you do not waste money heating an empty house.

Sort out your draughts

Even if your home has been insulated you can still lose a significant amount of heat from the gaps between your windows, doors and walls. Therefore, every winter, it makes sense to go around your home sorting out any draughty spots. The materials you need to sort out most issues need not cost you a lot of money and you only need minimal DIY skills to do the work yourself. So, you will not have to worry about labor costs.

Once you have filled any gaps between your exterior doors, windows and walls you can move on to sorting out the draughts inside your home. This is particularly important if you do not heat certain rooms or your hallway. You do not want heat leaking from your living room into the corridor or hall.

Ensure the heat can move freely around the room

If you have large items of furniture located in front of your radiators, move them back a bit. This will ensure that you make the most of the heat that is available by ensuring it circulates rather than getting absorbed by a large sofa.

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Surviving the perils of the festive season

Surviving the perils of the festive season

The Christmas and New Year period is a time of highs and lows. We go into it with such high expectations, and although most of us succeed in bringing some of that Christmas magic that the TV tells us about into our homes, when things go wrong, they do so in big style.

Speaking of the TV, everyone’s favourite soaps, EastEnders and Coronation Street are seen as something of an exaggerated or intensified reflection on real life. And there you see it all distilled – families united in love, laughter, happiness, tears, divorce, murder and train crashes. And it all happens on Christmas day.

Of course, in your home or mine, the divorce and murders are muttered threats, and the train crash is of the metaphorical variety, but there is little doubt that many of us come out the other end of the holiday period needing a holiday. Here are some survival tips to keep you going.

1) A little space

Some disclosure, here, the phrase “me time,” is one that makes me cringe, but you definitely need a little space to yourself from time to time. I had a friend who went to a construction sign company and bought one of those free-standing DO NOT ENTER signs that she was able to carry around with her to block doors to the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and so on. It was done in fun, but I think it’s the best £20 or so she ever spent!

2) Share the joy

A phrase that I’m much more fond of is many hands make light work. When you are trying to get things done with the kids under your feet, you get grouchy, they get needy and it all ends in tears. Even the smallest ones can put those tiny hands to good use if you find them something interesting to do – and if it helps you to get the job done, that makes it a win / win! Mixing ingredients in the kitchen, looking up a “useful” recipe tutorial for you on YouTube or creating that perfect dance routine to show the grandparents when they turn up are all highly valuable tasks that they can take from your shoulders!

3) Prioritise

There’s lots going on, we all know that, but if you try to do everything, you will be exhausted, the kids will be over-stimulated and nobody will end up having a good time. Take a step back and think about what is really important. Saying “Sorry, we really won’t have time,” is not going to make you sound like a miserable person or a bad parent – after all, at this time of year, you’d quite understand if someone said that to you, right?

Rest, sleep and downtime are even more important over the Christmas and New Year period than at other times, so make a point of including them in the schedule – for the adults as well as the kids. Have a wonderful, and peaceful, holiday season.

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