Back to School – Uniforms – So expensive yet you get no choice!!!

School uniforms these days are so expensive especially now there are no longer bog standard schools around and everything seems to have been turned into an academy. Long gone are the days where you could buy cheap uniforms from supermarkets. Asda, Tesco and Aldi all do great uniforms and I mean yes they are still available the only problem is once your child hits secondary school they are no long allowed to wear it!

Is it unfair to expect parents to pay so much?

I understand that uniforms are there for a reason, they are designed so that everyone looks smart and they help prevent bullying for students whose parents maybe can’t afford the latest designer wear, but this doesn’t quite work when they become so expensive that parents are now trying to get as much use out of them as possible meaning that children are wearing clothes that are too small or tatty looking.

My children’s school have gone even further in the fact that they have managed to prevent you from being able to pass down the uniform to siblings. How you may ask? Because their P.E Kits have to be embroidered with their initials on meaning that they can’t be passed on unless your child has the same initials as their sibling.

Ellies P.E kit got stolen just before they broke up for the holiday. I was and still am more than a little peeved about this as they were quite new to the school and the uniform was only a few months old not only that but now I have to fork out again for a new P.E kit. As I mentioned above at their school the uniform has to be embroidered so I can’t even get away with getting her a replacement from somewhere cheaper.

Here is an example just of her P.E Kit, not forgetting her blazer, jumper, shirt, trousers, bag, stationary, shoes, coat , trainers.

P.E T-shirt – £17.50

P.E Shorts – £15.95

P.E Skort – £22.95 ( A SKORT!!! I CAN BUY A WHOLE NEW OUTFIT FOR THAT!)

That is the very basic of a P.E Kit they also have fleeces, joggers, socks.

Why do I feel its unfair?

I don’t think that its unfair children have to wear uniforms. I think they look smart and I can see why there is a school uniform however I don’t agree with the fact that it is so expensive. If I was in a position where I couldn’t afford to buy my daughter or son a blazer for example, My child would then be punished with a detention even though it was no fault of their own. For some children the meal they get at school is the only hot meal they get because people are becoming too poor.

Imagine how much those same parents struggle to get the uniform money together. Now I know there will be some of you out there with the whole “Shouldn’t have kids if you can’t afford them” attitude but situations change and as hard as you try to plan for the future you can’t guarantee whats ahead and everything can suddenly change. When Harry was born I was working in a high paid job, married to his dad who also had a very good job and we were comfortable. I couldn’t foresee the health issues and marriage breakdown that would follow. Not everyone who is at home and not in work is lazy some have very valid reasons for it.

Schools keep your uniforms but for everyone’s sake lower the cost or be a bit more lenient on what you accept.

 

Christmas Traditions – What are yours?

Christmas is fast approaching and if you are a keen follower of my blog or know me personally you will know that I am completely and utterly Christmas obsessed, some people would even say I live and breathe Christmas ( though I haven’t quite got to the point of leaving my decorations up all year round just yet!)  I was thinking about our little traditions and was wondering what do YOU do for your christmas tradition?

Our Traditions

Every single year without fail our Christmas Eve has a series of events that we follow. If we have a car then we take a journey to Haughton Village to see their Christmas lights. Haughton is around half an hour from our home and the whole little village decorate their houses with incredible lights and things to see all whilst collecting for charity. The kids absolutely love watching all the lights and animations and ever single year it just gets better and better.

We then come home where there is always 1 present each and ever single year it is brand new pj’s. Everyone has a bath and gets into their new pj’s then we sprinkle reindeer food outside to show the reindeer where to go before hanging up Santa’s key and heading back inside. We sit and watch a Christmas film ( usually whichever one is highlighted that year) with hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows.

Tracking Santa on Norad Santa tracker is an absolute must and we do this from it starts until he hits the UK ( yes even when the kids have gone to bed , what can I say I’m a child)

For us Xmas Eve is more exciting than Christmas day as it’s all about the magic and excitement and build up. We LOVE IT!!!!

Christmas morning the children wake up to a parcel at the end of their beds and every year is colouring book and felt tips. This is something I intend on carrying on until I’m no longer around so they could be 30 and married and I will make sure that they somehow still get their colouring books and pens!

We also get visitors in the form of elves who get up to mischief every year and its very exciting waking up during the days of December to see what they’ve been up to.

My Blogging Friends Shared Their Traditions

Rebecca from I Always Believe in Futures – “We always let Jack choose and buy a new decoration for the tree. We will be doing the same with Olivia now too”

Katy from Katy Kicker –  “We always put the star on the Christmas tree together – the three of us!”

Kerry from Kerry Louise Norris – “We always take a night-time drive with hot chocolate in flasks and look at everyone’s outdoor lights ”

Erica from The Incidental Parent – “I insist on watching A Muppets Christmas Carol while we decorate the tree”

Emma from Our FairyTale Adventure –  “We always have a Christmas Eve buffet / picnic on a blanket, while watching a Christmas movie. We normally eat incredibly well, so the boys have a field day with lots of pizza, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, chips and chocolate. We do at least attempt to balance it though and add a bowl of fruit in as well. We also make a point of doing a charitable act in the lead up to Christmas, last year we did Christmas shoeboxes”

Nadine from Then I Became Mum – “We always buy a new bauble for the tree and we put snacks out for Santa and his reindeer, even as a childless adult (luckily I have my little one now so I don’t look so crazy!)”

Eileen from 2 Nerds & A Baby – “We do the same opening pyjamas on Christmas Eve, there’s always small presents in a stocking and a mandarin to make sure we ate something before the madness. My dad used to tape the door shut so we couldn’t sneak in to open presents”

Tracey from Pack the PJs –   “Every year, on the evening of the day the children break off from school, we pile in to the car (dogs as well) and head off on an ‘adventure’. One year it was a road trip to Germany in the quest to find a genuine Black Forest Gateaux. One year it was to visit as many Christmas Markets as we could. Last year it was to make a snowman in Chamonix, France and this year – well, we tend to decide last-minute. We head back to the UK on Christmas Eve, ready for the festivities to kick in. I hate the build up to Christmas – so many adverts trying to convince you to buy items you don’t need – so we go away and chill out/have fun instead!”

Lianne from Anklebiters Adventures – “Go on a boxing day walk up the mountain and come back and have turkey curry and watch Xmas movies ”

Collette from Truly Madly Cuckoo – “We walk around the town where we live to look at the Christmas lights, have a hot chocolate and come home to open a Christmas Eve hamper. We then order takeaway of choice and watch a Christmas movie.”

Sarah from Whimsical Mumblings – “We get our whole family together on Christmas Eve. Aunties, Uncles, Cousins and have a big party and exchange presents. Then on Christmas Day it’s just our little family at home.”

Lisa from Mummy Gummie – “Going to pick a Christmas tree together, stockings at the end of the bed/outside bedroom door in the morning of course with obligatory clementine in the bottom too! We always have ‘Santa’ presents for first thing in the morning and then the rest of the presents after lunch to space it out. Buck’s Fizz first drink of the day! Christmas breakfast of smoked salmon, scrambled egg and croissants”

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs – “We always go to my friends moms house and she makes roast pork sandwiches with stuffing and gravy”

Jade from Mummies Waiting – “We read the same Christmas story on Christmas Eve. My mum read it to me and my sister every year since we were born and now me and my sister read it to our kids every year. It’s Judith and Jed, 2 mice who are hungry.”

Kerry from Kerry Shaw Mummy of Four – “We always go on a steam train on Christmas Eve, the kids get a gift from santa and the adults have sherry. We come home to open the Christmas Eve boxes that the elves have left under our tree, put on our new pyjama’s and watch a Christmas film before the big day”

Lucy from Momma Mack -” We aren’t allowed to go downstairs to see our present until everyone is awake and then we have to go downstairs in age order, youngest first. There are now 16 of us that do this in one house ”

Suzanne from Meandering Wild – “We go to our local beach whatever the weather, put glow sticks on the kids and dogs and walk along the dark beach to town for a chip supper, then back to a warm fire, hot chocolate and marshmallows.”

Emma from Emma Reed – “My son was born on Christmas Day 2013 so our day is now very different! We spend the morning celebrating his birthday and doing his presents and then the afternoon is about Christmas. I think if anyone has a birthday on this day you need to get the balance just right.”

Emma from Ready Freddie Go –  “My husband and his family always have pork pie and mustard for breakfast and so that’s what we do now too!”

Jo from Mummy Needs Wine –  “We always have Buck’s Fizz on Christmas morning and whatever festive film is on the tv at the time”

Vikki from Family Travel with Ellie – “We have Christmas Eve boxes that our Elf on the Shelf leaves for them on Christmas Eve – inside they have Christmassy PJ’s, a Christmas film and popcorn/candy. That’s Christmas Eve evening sorted . ”

I have absolutely loved diving into other peoples traditions, some of them are so cute!! Thank you for sharing them with me… What’s your tradition? Tell me in the comments below!

 

 

Potty training has started AGAIN!!!

Freddie turned 3 in July and STILL isn’t potty trained this is because of us moving home at the beginning of the year. Before we moved he was almost fully trained.  This time I’ve been a sneaky mummy and made him think it is completely his own idea.  We were talking about nappies and how nappies are for babies and big boys wear pants. He then had his nappy changed and I asked him if he wanted a new nappy or pants and he chose pants because he is a big boy!

Reward charts aren’t for us

We have previously tried reward charts for different situations including his behaviour and they work fantastic for a few days and then he gets fed up, bored with them and they no longer keep him engaged so this time I am going with the treat approach.

If he has a wee/poo then he can have a treat, thankfully he is a fruit bat and absolutely loves every fruit in the world so the idea of getting strawberries for a wee is very appealing to him.

Today is the first day and touch wood so far no accidents but I am sure that we will have it nailed before he goes back to nursery in September.

Have you potty trained? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share… below you will find my list of tips that I found useful when potty training my brood.

  1.  Don’t put on too much pressure, if they don’t want to do it then don’t force them they will all do it eventually, I’ve never met an 18-year-old in a nappy.
  2. You are not a bad parent if your child is almost 4 and not trained. All children are different and develop at different rates. Annabelle was trained VERY young as was Ellie but my boys took a little long, In fact Ellie was trained young then had a kind of relapse and wasn’t interested again until she was 3 and a half!
  3. Reward charts DO work for some children. I know some parents that have used a very successful chart where they get so many stars for a wee and so many for a poo and once they’ve collected 10 or 20 they get a toy from the shop and this has worked absolutely brilliantly for them.
  4.  Distract them. Some children hate the potty with a passion. Try reading them a book or singing nursery rhymes whilst they’re on the toilet to take their mind off it. Failing that go straight to the toilet ( 2 of mine went straight to the toilet and weren’t interested in the potty)
  5. Try not to emphasise so much when they have accidents, yes it can be frustrating but toddlers respond very well to praise, attention and excitement so if you make more of a big deal over the fact they’ve used the potty/toilet than you do when they have an accident they will learn the attention is there more when they do good.
  6.  Don’t waste your money on big expensive potty’s they use them for such a short time there really is no need, Not sure about you but my toilet doesn’t sing or dance or play me a tune when I wee 😉

Thank you for reading and good luck Freddie!!!

Relationships : If it’s meant to be then it will be

Some things are meant to be and some things just aren’t meant to be. When myself and Gareth decided to split recently we thought that it would make everyone happier. We were constantly falling out and it was causing tensions. We decided it would be best if we just called it a day to take the pressure off everyone. Despite knowing how much we cared for each other it just seemed like no matter how hard we tried it just wasn’t working out. 

When Gareth went back to his mums it gave us both space to think and decide what it is that we truly want. We began to open up to each other and learnt things that neither of us really knew before. We began to support each other better and communicate more.

Where are we at now?

We figured despite thinking we were miserable together we were a lot more miserable without each other and we really do love each other a great deal so we’ve agreed to try this one last time and to get it right this time! Gareth is back home exactly where he belongs and everyone is a great deal happier.

We both realise that we need to spend more time communicating with each other. One massive thing that has changed is we are spending time together, not only with each other but also with the kids. We have been swimming , on adventures, played family games and generally just had fun instead of just arguing and being miserable.

I hope one day we will be at the point where we are dancing in each others arms to our song ” I won’t give up ” and becoming husband and wife but until then we will just enjoy being an US instead of separated.

 

My Dream House

When we are little, we sit there and dream up how our future will be. How many children we will have, who we will marry. What our wedding dress will be like and who will be bridesmaids. We also think about what kind of house we will be living in.

I was sat the other day thinking about if I was to ever win the lottery ( this is never going to happen I don’t play!) but if I did what kind of house would I want? Would it be in a big city surrounded by shops? A big country manor on a posh estate? A giant house on a busy street full of children and with my own pool? Maybe even one of those posh flats at the top of a high-rise building where everything is electrical and you only have to clap your hands to shut the blinds?

My Dream House

After quite a while thinking about it I came to the conclusion that as nice as all of those things would be my perfect and ideal house would be a little cottage. Set in a village with only a few neighbours. Like the kind of place you read about in a book. The shop would be quite a drive a way. In the front room would be beamed ceilings and an open fire with a big thick fluffy rug. The walls would be brick rather than modern , wallpapered or painted. My kitchen would have a big old Aga stove in it and pans hanging from hooks on the ceiling or wall. The back garden would have a swing set in for the kids and I would have a big tree house built for the children to play in and make memories. Maybe one of those old tyre swings where they can sit and day-dream.

I wouldn’t need anything majorly modern and I would spend my nights all cosy in the front room with the fire on under a blanket reading a book or watching TV. I might even treat myself to a little glass of wine as well.

It’s never going to happen

But just think how perfect that would be! Instead I will sit here, drink my coffee at my kitchen table in one of the most run down areas of my town but be very grateful. After all some people won’t be sitting in a house tonight. Some people aren’t that lucky.

Thank you for reading

If you enjoyed this why don’t you check out my post about songs and what they mean to me   and also my thoughts on the scary world we live in

 

The Kids Take Over – Annabelle – Week 4

Each week I am handing over my blog to the kids to have their say and let you know whats going on with them. I have told them they can be completely honest and if I have annoyed them or if something has upset them then to just go for it and type how they feel. I figured this way you guys can get to know their personalities and more about who they are as each one of them is completely different.

Annabelle takes over week 4

So we’ve done a lot this week like go to our Uncle and Auntie’s house and been swimming I loved this week so much.

As I said we went to our Uncle and Auntie’s house and did lots of cool things there. We went to sir Isaac newton’s birthplace. We did experiments that Isaac newton did and one was really cool ,you had to look at a dot and close your left eye and the X by it would disappear when you moved the paper towards you. We also went to a park with a splash zone and got drenched by a big splash on one of the pieces of equipment.😅 The next day we went out to buy my birthday presents, I got £30 to buy them. I got lots of gifts and they’re all in the picture below.🤗

I got a lot of presents as I said, and I bet you guessed that the recorder made mom love me😉

Then me and Ellie made our own lip balms while the boys were doing their own kit. We made lip balms, smelly jellies and homemade perfumes. My lip balm smelt like blueberries and cherries and Ellie’s smelt like lavender and cherries. We made shower jellies (which is weird because Ellie’s nickname is jelly) and a room fragrance out of expanding crystals which was scented as lavender. The last night of it we watched minions, it was Ellie’s first time but i’d already watched it before. We had lots of sweets and cake while we were watching it. We left on the Tuesday. The day after we went swimming and had fun in the pool. This is the end of my weekly takeover this week

Feeling positive

This morning I have woken up feeling very positive. If you follow me and my blog then you will know the other day I was called fat twice and it really affected me, I just felt frustrated that I have been trying so hard to exercise and lose weight yet people don’t see that and just see fit to make others feel bad.

My babies are coming home today!!!

On Saturday evening my oldest 3 children went to stay at their Aunties and Uncles house. This is a huge thing because nobody ever has my children other than the very rare odd night here and there so for them to leave me for a whole 5 days is something that never usually happens. I am one of those mums that genuinely loves having my kids around. I love school holidays and don’t like it when they’re away from me.

They’ve coped really well with it and had a fantastic time exploring and doing different things, Harry has written about some of the things they’ve been up to in this weeks The Kids Take Over.

I’ve launched my second blog

Last night saw the launch of my new blog MOFM Health Kick, If you follow my Instagram you will know that I’ve really taken to trying to eat healthy and exercising and I thought that it would be more suitable to create a blog especially for my weight loss journey rather than clutter this one up with it, I mean let’s face it you’re probably here because you’re interesting in the kids and what they’re up to and general parenting babble than what I had for breakfast.

Gareth and I are getting on great

We are a long way off being the couple we wanted to be but we are making positive steps to building a better partnership. It is looking positive that we may actually have a future together after all and that this break is what we both needed to see how much we meant to each other. We aren’t completely back together but we are making positive steps in the right direction.

Our morning

Has been spent singing and playing instruments with the babies and generally enjoying the last couple of hours peace before our attention is again divided by 5. I have to go have a filling at 11:30 and then I’m off to the gym with my sister-in-law this afternoon.

The future is looking brighter, healthier and I can’t wait to see what it holds!

Thanks for reading.

 

You’re FAT!!!! and no I don’t mean with a PH we mean actual FAT!

Today has been what can only be described as f*cking horrible, awful, soul-destroying, hard, down heartening.   Tough. I have been called fat not once but twice!

Now don’t get me wrong I am fat, In fact I am over 15 stone of fat and more than aware of it but I am also working bloomin hard to become fitter and healthier.

I have done nothing but try to improve my health and weight recently by joining the gym, going to clubbercise, swimming and eating healthily and to be called fat is just like a big kick in the teeth.  Ironically until I actually started working out and losing weight I was NEVER called fat by anyone but I guess that will be because before I used to smoke so that was the go to thing to give me abuse for and now I don’t smoke they have to go to the next thing.

Fat Shame number 1

The first fat shaming I got was walking into the hospital. As I was walking along and checking my paperwork to make sure I was in the right place someone shouted out of their car window “F*cking Fat B*tch” now as much as I would like to think they weren’t talking to me I was the only person around at the time.

I have a couple of things to say to that person. Firstly yes I am fat but I can diet and I would rather that than have the disgraceful personality or attitude that you have. Secondly you have no idea what so ever why I was entering that hospital. I could have been going to see a very sick family member, one of my children, had an extremely important appointment and it could have been something serious. As it happens it was just a check up from my Essure Procedure but never the less you had no idea what was going on in my life or with me today whilst you were shouting abuse out of your window.

Fat Shame number 2

I went to the doctors as recently I have been really struggling to move after sitting or lying down for a long period of time. I assume that it is from all of the lumbar punctures I have received and I am genuinely a little concerned that it may have caused some serious damage. Anyway I went to the doctors who told me it was absolutely nothing to do with my lumbar punctures as it was in the wrong place ( I disagree, I know exactly where I had my lumbar punctures and where the pain is) anyway he said that my back was going into muscle spasm and that was causing the pain. He then decided to weigh me and turned all the attention off my bad back and onto the fact that I was overweight.

He told me everything I do is wrong, right down to the amount of exercise I do in the gym and recommended that I take up pilates.  I eat wrong, exercise wrong , you name it I do it wrong I actually left there got in the car and just broke down in tears. I was vlogging my day so you can see some of how my day went by watching that, I promise there aren’t loads of snot bubbles!

Anyway I dealt with the whole thing the way I do best…. I got home thought about it all and despite every ounce of me saying f*ck it eat loads of cake I got ready and went to the gym and took all of my frustrations out there, then I had a bath …

From me to everyone who is doubting me or is putting me down WATCH THIS SPACE!!!! I love nothing more than proving people wrong!

Thanks for reading,

 

Relationships sometimes need space too

You will notice that I have been very quiet over the last week. This is because last Friday after 5 years, 2 babies and many memories Gareth and I decided to no longer be together as a couple and to end out relationship. A while ago I wrote about how we had lost our way and unfortunately we still couldn’t find it.

We are the most amazing partnership when it comes to all of the children and they are all thriving and that isn’t just thanks to me but it’s also due to Gareth being part of their lives. When it comes to the kids we are great parents. In fact I would go as far as saying Gareth is one of the most dedicated, incredible amazing parents that I know. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do for every single one of those children.

Unfortunately we aren’t the best at being a couple and this means a lot of bickering and disagreements, spending some nights barely even speaking to each other. We know most couples go through this but when you spend more time not happy than you do happy then something has to give and for us it was getting too much.  We have decided to make this split. Nobody knows what the future holds and nobody knows if this split is permanent or if it is temporary. Who knows we may even be back together quickly.

What I do know is that strangely since we took away the pressure of being a couple we are laughing more, talking more and we have found a new respect for each other and I find that exciting for the future. I am confident that we will be back together one day when we are both in a better place and until then we are working together to be the best parents we can possibly be with the children. They all know the situation and we will be still living and going out etc as a family. It’s actually really exciting to re-discover each other and maybe notice the bits of each other than we had lost. Despite the fact we have split. I believe that everything we go through is for a reason and this split will only strengthen our happily ever after and make for a stronger partnership.

 

To the new me, from the old me

Hey new Chez or should I say Cheryl?

I wanted to write to you to give you a talking to!…. what on earth are you playing at? What happened to you and when did you become soft and a bit of a pushover? The Chez I know wouldn’t sit back and take the crap handed to them. The Chez I know wouldn’t let people get to them or drag them down. She also wouldn’t sit there and take anything without putting up a fight.

The new Chez? Well she appears to just take It, time and time again. The new Chez spends hours lay awake thinking about people and conversations that have happened. Trying to figure out what’s wrong with her.

What happened to your motto? “I didn’t know you before I don’t need to know you Now?” Stop letting people grind you down. Be the person you are. Say it how it is and stop letting people walk all over you. This isn’t you, you’re a million times better than this.

Put on your big girl pants, shoulders back, tits out and enjoy life. Love those who love you and those who can’t be bothered because it’s too much effort. Or have nothing but negativity, those who can’t be there when your child is seriously ill or your single-handedly  trying to look after 5 kids with your partner sick in hospital don’t deserve to be there now just because they want to know what’s going on. I mean let’s face it most of them didn’t even wish your son a happy birthday.

Be you , people with either love you or hate you for it but stop wasting your time on those who don’t care. If people can’t value your self-worth balls to them

Yours hopefully

Old Chez

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