Monthly Archives: April 2014

My babies 1st birthday cake.

Rosie is one tomorrow. One year old. This time last year she was still safely in my tummy, a baby I dreamed of and could not wait to meet. Now she’s one, and absolutely perfect.

We haven’t done much for her this birthday. A couple of gifts (literally, two, and one from Amelia!). A pool, which we have filled with balls, a Noah’s ark and a xylophone from Amelia. It’s all she needs, she doesn’t play with toys yet. Anything else seems like a waste at a time when we don’t have much extra.

So I wanted to do so,etching, because she’s so very loved. So I made her cake. It’s simple – it’s the first birthday cake I have ever made, and although I didn’t make the icing or flowers, I designed it in my head, and I baked the cake with Amelia, and it took time and effort. We did it because we love Rosie, and want to celebrate her being with us, safe, well and happy.

And she stood up tonight. Twice. The first time, she just held her hands out as if to show off. As if she could do it all along.

She’s amazing, both my girls are.

Happy birthday Rosie xxxt



Last week I bought a pack of beef mince for £4.99. Today I used it for 5 meals for us.

This is what I made:
– 2 savoury mince pies, one big, one smaller.
– a huge bowl of chilli con carne.

The mince pie I love – my mum always used to make them when we were kids, and I don’t make them often (they take a bit of time) but when I do I’m always glad I did, if that makes sense. The big one we had for tea tonight, and there was enough leftover to use for lunch tomorrow for me and the girls. The other will go in the freezer for a meal in the next couple of weeks.

The chilli con carne I’ve put into two tubs – one big tub for tea one night, one smaller one to make a packed lunch for work one day for me. I like at least once a week to take a cooked lunch, not just having sandwiches every day.

So, a fivers worth of mince will feed us 5 times. The other ingredients didn’t cost much – pastry for the mince is cheap, a few frozen peas, an onion and some mushrooms. And I served it with frozen veg and new potatoes.

And the chilli is just tinned tomatoes, kidney beans, a few spices and onions, mushrooms and a pepper. Easy peasy.

Katherine. Xxx


Our holiday – the Lake District 2014


Last week, we headed off to the Lake District. Every few years we seem to have a big family holiday – this year there were 9 of us, plus two dogs. My parents, nana, sisters and us.

I love the Lake District – something about it always seems magical to me. It’s so beautiful, and reminds me of just how precious our landscape is. This year we stayed in whinlatter forest, and it was a perfect location. The cottage was in the middle of nowhere, about 2.5 miles from the nearest town. And there were loads of walks on the doorstep, the views were fantastic, and the cottage itself was lovely.

I had a brilliant week – I’d have moved in and never come home if I had that option. It was great being with all of my family, great having quality time with the girls, where instead of worrying about housework etc I could just take time out and listen to them, play with them and laugh with them.

I also did Go Ape while I was there with my sisters, Craig and my sisters fiancee. It was so scary – I’d actually already done it about 6 years ago so thought I’d find it easier. I didn’t, I found it terrifying. I think age has made me realise how fragile life is! I made it through, and it was an amazing achievement, but so so scary – there were times when I could have cried, and was really shaking with adrenaline and fear. It was worth doing, but I was also very relieved when it was over.

The whinlatter visitor centre was a great place to visit too – the atmosphere reminded me of centreparcs. Really tranquil, making use of the landscape for the play areas – for example, they had slides built down natural slopes, and a water play area through a stream. And a stone pit (same as a sand pit, but with pulleys and buckets for stones found in the area). It was really clever – we were a bit unlucky as we had the pushchair so could only stay in the middle bit (it was too hilly to go further) and Rosie had a teething day so we were there about 3 hours then had to leave. But it was a lovely few hours, and I loved it.

I want to go back. There wasn’t once when i felt stressed or worried, everything was just lovely. And it reminded me that life does get in the way of being a good Mum – with the best will in the world, I am not the most patient mum, and I find that it’s easy to do jobs rather than play. But this week has reminded me of how great my kids are – Amelia is so funny, and cheeky, and loving. She’s a pleasure to spend time with, and it’s reminded me that she loves me too. And Rosie is so happy, content and curious about the world. It’s a privilege to see them grow and change.

If you are interested in the cottage, here is the link: darling how. The photos on the website show the actual cottage – I haven’t been asked in any way to do a review, but wanted to talk a bit about my holiday.





I don’t know what Easter is..

It’s Easter Sunday today. For the past week or two I’ve seen so many activities going on – easter craft, Easter bonnets, Easter baking, and other activities and days out all based on Easter.

I don’t do Easter craft. We have craft all year round – my daughters craft drawers are in her bedroom, and each day she gets something out to make from them. We don’t do many specific activities, just whatever she fancies.

I haven’t done Easter baking either. It seems a lot of hard work, and we do general baking regularly all year round.

In fact, I’ve done very little for Easter, as I just don’t get that excited about it. I make a bit of a fuss about the Easter bunny, but not too much. I buy my girls an Easter egg and a few small eggs and hide them around the room. My older daughter loved finding them today, and it’s been a nice, relaxed day. But we haven’t made a huge fuss.

For me, Easter is nothing more than a fun day. I won’t start buying toys (as lots of people have done this year) and I don’t buy new clothes, or an excessive amount of chocolate. Or give cards or gifts. Or give an Easter egg to every child I know. I only give to my two.

I know that Easter is to do with Jesus coming back to life. However, I don’t understand how chocolate eggs makes that relevant. Or bunnies. Or bonnets. I’m not religious, and I like Easter for the tradition (doing for my children what I used to do!) but not for any other reason.

Easter seems to have gone overboard this year. My feeds are full of gifts, baking and the hyping up of Easter. Am I the only one a little bit confused by it?!


Feelings of failure.


These are the things I love about my oldest daughter:
1. She’s loving. She tells me she loves me so many times every day. If she wakes in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, she says ‘I love you mama’ and loads through the day.
2. She’s funny. She’s quirky, and she’s telling jokes at the minute, and loves to do or say something funny.
3. She loves her baby sister. She’s loving, kind and considerate to Rosie – seeing how she is with Rosie makes me happy.
4. She helps me bake, or cook, or wash up. And enjoys it.
5. She loves family cuddles.
6. She’s confident. She will talk to anyone about anything.
7. She has lots of different friends at nursery, and is well liked.
8. Her logic. Everything has to make sense and be logically thought out.

These are the things that I don’t like about my oldest daughter:
1. She’s so naughty when we see anyone. One to one she’s fine, and I don’t have many problems. When anyone visits or we visit anyone she becomes an attention seeking, rebellious little monkey. She doesn’t listen, she is argumentative, bossy and over the top excited.
2. There are times when she is too confident. She will say what she thinks – she will shout if she thinks something is wrong. She will argue forever if she thinks she is right.
3. Her frowning face. And when she puts her hands on her hips to say something.

It feels almost wrong to say that there are things that I don’t like about my child. After all, I love / like so much more than I dislike. I think that she is just so different to me already – she’s an extrovert, very outgoing and loud. I’m more introvert, not outgoing at all, and quiet. So I don’t quite know how to react to her personality sometimes. And I always feel as though I’m getting it wrong – not being strict enough, or being too strict. Rewarding her too much, or not enough. I love her so much, she’s wonderful. But I don’t know how to manage her behaviour sometimes.

I feel like a bad mum, a failure, to even write these things. It feels as though I should know, always, what to do. But I don’t. I’ve never been a mum to a 4.5 year old, I’ve never been taught how to be a mum. I do my best, I middle through. And I hope and hope that eventually, Amelia will grow up to be a happy, healthy and nice adult, and that I will have a close relationship to her, and that she will know that I’ve always done my best.

Xxx >


Silent Sunday


Struggling to blog…

Since returning to work, blogging has got more difficult. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, but it’s that at work I spend a lot of time writing – assessments, reviews, referrals, care plans, minutes….it means that a lot of my time is spent writing. And because I only do 2.5 days, I’m not done by the time I finish. I’ve put aside 2 evenings per week (Wednesday and Sunday nights) to catch up and keep on top of my workload. During my working days I prefer to be out and about as much as I can, seeing the people I’m working with. So paperwork is done in between. It has to be done though or services can’t be requested, the system gets confused and if things come up when I’m not there, the duty worker doesn’t know what’s already been done.

That all means that im tired. And on the 5 nights when I won’t let myself work (I think I would if I didn’t put strict limits on it) I just can’t face the thought of more typing. Even though I love my blog, and I love recording my life, it feels like too much.

So I don’t quite know what to do. I’m on holiday next Friday for a week anywayso I won’t have a signal or chance to blog then. When I come back I guess that I will see how I feel. I don’t want to give my blog up, but maybe i will only blog occasionally, as and when I want to, rather than making myself write posts that I’m too tired to write.

Other than that, work this week has been stressful. It’s got really busy for me – its been playing on my mind a lot, and I’m struggling. I’ll get used to it again, like I did before – I still love it, but it does take a lot out of me. Next week is already completely booked up, and the week after I’m on holiday, so I have a lot to do during my work evenings!

But – the positive is that I’m mentoring a student at the minute – she’s going to be a good social worker when she’s done her training – and twice this week two different service users have told her that if she’s learning from me that she will do well. It’s something that they wouldn’t usually say, but was nice to hear. The student said how nice it was for them to say too. Those little positives make the hard work worth doing 🙂

And my children are wonderful, as always. Amelia is so funny – making loads of jokes now:
‘Mum, why did the chicken cross the road?’
‘I don’t know Amelia, why?’
‘To get to the wine shop for a drink.’
(Maybe I should stop drinking wine!)

And every variation you can think of on this joke.

Rosie has been fine with Tracey. She lights up my day – going to her In the morning, she gives me the biggest smile, and comes for snuggles with me. Only me, if Craig goes in to her she looks for me – she loves him too, but mornings are for me. And when we pick her up we get huge smiles, giggles, excited fake coughs and it’s wonderful. It makes being apart worth it when we pick her up to so much love.

And it’s my birthday (29th) on Saturday. We are going for an Indian in the evening without the girls, I’m really excited. AND it’s grand national day on my birthday – always feels like good luck when that happens. It’s the only race I bet on, and I get excited about it.

So everything’s pretty good generally – we have a good balance right now. I just need to figure out how to fit blogging in to a very busy life!