Wednesday 25 October 2017

Freddie at 23 months

Oh Freddie how can we be only four weeks away from you turning two!

In the last month your speech has come on so much! You can string a few simple words together like where daddy and out there or up there! Your favourite thing to shout is where j after we drop James off at school.

Speaking of your brother you and him have got even closer. You absolutely adore each other! Now he is back to school you miss him during the day and when I tell you it's time to go and get him you get so excited!

We will be introducing you to the potty soon as you are starting to tell us when you need a new nappy by either shouting bum or getting your changing mat and shouting bum!

You are wearing all 18-24 mo th clothing and some 2-3 bits already! You are in a size 4 pull up and a size 6+ nappy at night. 

You are the most mischievous kid though! You are always looking for trouble! At nanas you have learned if you climb onto her sofa you can then climb into the window! You also run up and down the stairs at every given chance! You are totally obsessed with the washing machine and tumble dryer! We have to check the washer for toys before we use it!

You only have milk in a bottle at bed time, the rest of the time it's in your 360 cup! You live bread sticks and as I write this you are onto your third in the last half hour! 

You are definitely very much a mummy's boy still. You love nothing more than snuggling up in mummy's bed and cuddling into me all night!

I cannot believe you will be two next time I write to you
All my love
Mummy xxx

Sunday 15 October 2017

#Blogtober17 Day 15 Old Photos

Old photos well I have a lot of them! That's what Facebook is good for, saving photos so you can go back and look at them years later! 

This is a photo of James on his third birthday and a photo of me when I was three! Everyone says that James really looks a lot like me at the same age. In fact James once thought this photo was actually him with a wig on! This is actually one of my favourite photographs of me as a child!

I really cannot see anything of Freddie in me as a child yet. I think Freddie looks more like his daddy!

I love looking back at old photos as they bring back so many memories. This one of me for example was June 2008 in Dublin just a couple of months before I met Andy. I had gone to Dublin for a few days with my best friend Michelle so we could go and see Westlife at Croke Park. We really didn't pack for the weather as when my flight landed a few hours before Michelle's it was scorching hot and I had to ring Michelle back in Aberdeen and tell her to bring summery clothes and I had to go and buy a few bits! 

This was taken on O'Connell Bridge over the River Liffy.

This is me and Andy the first time I went down to Surrey to stay with him and we went to Thorpe Park for Fright Night! The maze we went into was absolutely terrifying and I can remember shaking like a leaf when we got out! We had had to queue for hours as the Maze kept braking down! Lucky it was a nice day and we had friends with us in the queue!

This was also the day I met Andy's mum and dad for the first time! I totally fell in love with Thorpe Park this day and it was the first of many visits!

Some of the best photos for me to look back on are the ones from our wedding day. Even though I was ill, it really was the best day of my life! 

The photo of me and my dad was taken by my cousin Pete and it is one of my favourite photographs from the day.

The one of me and my mum, on the wall behind me is actually my mum and dads wedding photograph.

We were married on March 19th 2011 at the Sun Hotel in Warkworth, which is actually the village my mum and dad now live in!

My honeymoon definitely holds some special memories so looking at those always makes me happy although it was our last holiday. We visited SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and my complete favourite was Discovery Cove where we got to swim with the Dolphins. 

The Dolphins we had at our experience were called Yoshi and Dexter and well I totally fell in love with them!

We also met Mickey and Minnie Mouse when we were at Magic Kingdom. There is actually a Christmas shop all year round at Magic Kingdom and we bought some Mickey and Minnie bell decorations for our tree that we have used every year since we moved into our  first flat in the North East in 2012.

Another photo that holds memories is this one my cousin took of my Nannie with James when he was about six months old.

James adored my Nannie and we both miss her very much. He was 21 months old when she died and he still remembers her and talks about her now. 

I really wish she had met Freddie as he really is such a little bruiser and the total opposite of his big brother! 

So for me I use old photographs to preserve special memories of special times.


Saturday 14 October 2017

#Blogtober Day 14 Novels

Day 14 and it's all about novels.

Before I had my boys, I was a proper bookworm. I could often read two or three books in a week. Now I'm lucky if I can read two or three a year! 

My favourite authors are Cecilia Ahern and Cathy Glass.

I first started reading Cecilia Ahern's books when Nicky from Westlife started talking about them as she is his sister in law. I got her first novel, P.S. I love you when it was first released and I loved it!
I think I must have read it three or four times in that first year. The book was later made into a film and to be honest I really didn't like the film it was not true to be book at all. Another one of her books which I loved was made into the film Love Rosie, which was good, but again it was not true to the book.

I first got Cathy Glass books when I met Andy. He had read a couple of them and leant them to me as I needed a new book to read on the train when I was commuting up and down the country. Nine years on and I think there is only two or three of her books I've not read! Cathy Glass is her pen name as she is a foster parent and all her books are based on real life stories of children she has looked after. 

I've not really got any other favourite novels apart from the babysitters club series that I read as a teenager!


Friday 13 October 2017

#Blogtober Day 13 Movies

So today is all about movies. I used to love a good romcom, but since having the boys I love nothing more than watching a family film with them. 

James went through a stage of wanting to watch the same film over and over again when he was a bit older than Freddie is now. We went through a stage of watching Bolt three or four times a day. It was the same with the Thomas movies! He would come home from nursery at 12 and all afternoon it would be Thomas or Bolt! 

Freddie, however has not reached the age to sit and watch a film. Not that I haven't tried! He just prefers to keep himself busy with toys on the floor!

When I was at university, it was in the days of Woolworths and cheap DVDs so I had loads of girlie films on VHS and DVD. 

My favourite all time film is Grease, closely followed by Mama Mia! Both of them I have seen on stage too! Grease I saw in Manchester when I was at university and Mama Mia I saw on Broadway when I went to New York with my best friend! 

So yes this is a short but sweet post as both me and James have been ill.


Thursday 12 October 2017

#Blogtober17 Day 12 Love

When I first saw the prompt for today was Love, it did puzzle me at first then I though well what do I love and well that would be my family.

Andy, James, Freddie and my parents.

Those five people are the people I love most in the world. 
Then there is other things I love like my friends, cups of tea, watching football, Manchester United the list goes on!

Then there's destinations, I love Malta. I had many happy holidays there with my parents as I was growing up. Orlando I had a brilliant time here on my honeymoon with Andy. Dublin I had many happy trips there with my friends as I was growing up! Manchester I had three happy years living there while I was at university. I was walking distance to the city centre and spent many afternoons wandering around the shops or going to the old Granada studios gates to see who was going in and out of coronation street!

So yeah is is a really rubbish post for today but yes I love my family more than anything in the world!


Who hides here? Footprints in the garden review

James has just turned five and all through reception year he was a very reluctant reader. He does however love having a story read to him. So you can imagine his joy when we got sent a copy of Who Hides Here Footprints in the garden by Rachel Coverdale to review. 

As he has just started Year One we are making a bigger effort to help James with his reading and this book has helped him along side the books he brings home daily from school.

James absolutely loves being outside, I think this is partly to do with him doing forest school at nursery and then again in reception! 

James loved mummy reading the book to him and seeing the different footprints that the animals make. He was really good at guessing which animal made which prints. 

He is very excited as Year One are about to start doing their Autumn Term of forest school in the secret garden and he is wanting to take the book in to school to show Sophie from Stomping Grounds as he is hoping he will be able to spot some of the footprints in the school garden!

Overall this is a brilliant book for reluctant readers like James! His reading has really come on in leaps and bounds in the last two months! 

Wednesday 11 October 2017

#Blogtober Day 11 Kitchen

Kitchen, What can I say about my kitchen other than I absolutely hate it!

We have now lived in our house for just over two years and its only now I am starting to get ideas about what I would like to do with the house! 

The kitchen is definitely the first room downstairs I want to work on as well it is terrible! There is definitely not enough storage! Especially for a family of four!

Our kitchen has two parts to it, The main part where the sink, table and washing machine are. Then we have the utility area which has our cooker, chest freezer, tumble dryer and fridge freezer!

They are both completely different! The main part is white and blue with a wooden daedo rail around the middle. and the utility is just white. They are different units in each room and the utility is also down a step making it much lower than the main kitchen. But what is the same about both parts is that they both lack storage!

The main part has one high double cupboard, which has little shelves on each end. Then it has one low corner cupboard and one low double cupboard. We then have four draws and a wine rack! The utility has one upper double cupboard and an upper single cupboard. Then it has a lower double cupboard and a lower single cupboard.

What I would like to do it move walls back between the main part and the utility part to open them up and bring a bit more light in, I would also like to raise the floor in the utility to make everything the same height. I would then have the same units running though both parts with some extra upper cupboards in the main part of the kitchen.

We would also add an extracter fan above the cooker. 

I would love to also knock the big walk in cupboard which is kind of under the stairs out to give us more room for a better table. 

It feels like everything is jammed into what storage we have so I would love more space! So yes this is my plans for our kitchen! And sorry there is no photos of it but it is too much of a mess!

Tuesday 10 October 2017

#Blogtober17 Day 10 Joke

Day ten and its Joke! 

James has been learning lots of jokes since he went into year one at school. He also likes to try and make up jokes!

This is his favourite that he made up himself!

Andy made up the next joke, but James has tried to claim it as his own!

So yes my husband and son do like to try and out do each other with bad jokes! I'm hoping as James gets older he will actually have a few better jokes, but I'm not holding my breath!


Monday 9 October 2017

#Blogtober17 Day 9 Ice Cream

So what can I say about ice cream except it's always in my freezer! James absolutely loves ice cream and during the warm weather he would be having ice cream when he got home from school!

James loves Neapolitan or the stripy one as it gets called most of the time! Freddie is starting to like it more and more. But it it expensive buying it al, the time so the purpose of this post is to say, does anyone have any tried and tested ice cream recipes at can be done simply at home?

I've been on the hunt for one for months now, but I can't seem to find anything that is simple to make that James can help with.

This one from BBC food looks like it is pretty easy so we may try this one, but this one from the kitchn looks like it could be a winner for us as it is only two ingredients!

Let me know if you have tried to make your own ice cream and what recipe you have used in the comments below!


Sunday 8 October 2017

#Blogtober Day 8 Holidays

So I have made it to day eight of Blogtober 2017 and so far so good! I am proud of myself getting this far! Although I would like to be publishing earlier in the day but it always depends on what time I can get the laptop on and if I have remembered to charge it up the night before.

So yes day eight and the prompt is Holidays!

My last holiday was actually my honeymoon just over six years ago! I know totally shocking isn't it! Not having been on holiday anywhere for over six years! In fact James is five and Freddie is almost two and neither of them actually have passports yet!

So our last holiday was actually to Orlando, Florida, USA! It was absolutely brilliant! We were there for ten days and we literally crammed in everything! We had planned what we wanted to do before we went and since we had pre booked our Dolphin swimming at Discovery Cove for the Tuesday which was also Andy's 29th Birthday! 

So we arrived on the Thursday afternoon and was evening by the time we got to our hotel which was in the suburb of Kissimee. We went to our room and unpacked then headed out to find somewhere to eat! We found a McDonalds up the road so we ate there then went back to our hotel.

The Friday we got up and went to Florida Mall. We had a look around the shops and had lunch. Then we chilled out round the pool and then ended up in our room during a big, but short storm! We had dinner at IHop and looked around the little gift shops by the hotel. We also stocked up on drinks and snacks for our hotel room!

The Saturday we were up early and on the hotel transport to Seaworld! This was one of the day I was really looking forward too as I had been reading up about the different shows we could see and all the animal interaction! My favourite bit was getting to stroke the Dolphins as they are definitely my favourite animals!

Sunday was spent at Universal Studios. It was also the tenth anniversary of 9/11 so we were expecting there to be a lot of extra security but to be honest there wasn't any extra at all!

Monday was our first day at a Disney park when we went to visit animal kingdom! Due to me being on crutches and using a wheelchair in the parks we did get to go on a lot of the rides quicker as we didn't need to queue! My favourite thing at Animal kingdom was the Kilimanjaro Safari! We also tried frozen lemonade for the first time while we were waiting for the parade to start! We also met Tigger, Pooh Bear and Eeyore!

Tuesday was another early start as it was our pre booked day at Discovery Cove! It was also Andy's birthday! This day was truly amazing! We got to the park and checked in and got our id cards! We then went to put our bags into the locker and get our wet suit jackets! We then made our way to our hut to have the briefing before we did the dolphin interaction and swim! As we had an early swim time we were in a really small group! which meant we got so much interaction! Once we had finished with the interaction and swim, we chose our Photos and DVD. We then went for our breakfast which along with lunch was included in the package along with all our drinks and snacks!

Wednesday was going to be a very long day as we had decided to go to Magic Kingdom! This day was amazing as we met Mickey, Minnie and Pluto! We were in the park till gone 11pm as we stayed to watch the electrical parade and also see the wishes fireworks show!

Thursday we had a chill out day as we were exhausted from all the parks! We also went to one of the designer outlet malls while was pretty cool! Friday we went to mall at millenia. Saturday was our last full day so we did the rest of our present shopping and visited the other designer outlet. We also did our packing! Sunday we just chilled out in the hotel, had a last meal at IHop and waited for our airport transfer after lunch. 

This really was the holiday of a lifetime and I really hope we get to go back with the boys when they are a little bit older!


Saturday 7 October 2017

#Blogtober Day7 Goals

Now what can I say about goals? For me when I think of goals I always thing back to 1999 when Manchester United scored two last minute goals to win the European Cup.

I was 14 years old and in year nine at school. I was so excited that my united had reached the final of such a historic competition.

When the day came I was so excited. Looking back now I feel so sorry for my friend's as it was all I went on about that day. I remember being on the sofa watching kick off.

The horror that struck in the sixth minute when Bayern Munich of Germany took the lead really upset me. It got to the stage where I couldn't watch so I went to my room. My mum was downstairs and my dad was in their room. 

As I watched the clock I decided to put the match on in my room, even if we were to get beat I still wanted to see my team collect there medals. Then United got a corner. We had everyone behind the ball, even our goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichael, came up! That confused the Bayern defence, suddenly the ball was in the net! Teddy Sherringham had equalised! I started screaming! We were heading for extra time, play kicked off and United were on fire! The players knew they had a chance! I still remember the words of the itv commentator "Giggs! Sherringham! And Solskjaer has won it!" 

With in minutes I can vaguely remember jumping on my parents bed and mum coming running up! We were all so happy! Seeing my team achieve their dream was amazing! I still go back onto YouTube now and watch the goals and show the boys.

So yes goals, two goals from SaS! Sherringham and Solskjaer! 


Tuesday 3 October 2017

#Blogtober17 Day 6 Flowers

The prompt for day six is flowers.

To be honest I'm not really a person for flowers! I don't buy them, and to be honest when James was born my aunt and uncle sent us a massive bunch of flowers as they were on holiday at the time. We had to put them into a bucket as we realised we did not have a vase!

The only flowers  I have ever really liked were my wedding flowers. I had red roses as my main flowers. I even had my flowers preserved and framed. We still do not have them on the wall yet and we have been married over six years!

I'm really not that green fingered either, my dad bought me a plant a few years ago and I managed to kill it! 

James hates bees, so we are trying to eliminate the amount of flowers in our garden as well James literally freaks out when he sees a bee!

So yes flowers are definetly not my thing!

Photo from My dads website!

#Blogtober17 Day 5 Education

The prompt for Blogtober day 5 is education!

For me this means everything I have done! So where I grew up it was a three tier school system with kids starting school at four rising five, then moving to middle school at the end of the school year you turned nine. Then again moving to high school at the end of the school year of turning thirteen.

So after completing my GCSEs at high school I had the option of staying on at school for another two years and doing sixth form or I could leave school and go to the local college for two years. I chose to go down the college route. I did a BTEC National Diploma in Media Production.

I then chose to go onto Manchester Metropolitan University, but the course I started was not the course I had been told about at the open day, so I chose to leave the course after the first year.

I then worked for a year for the camera shop Jessops where I learned so much about photography and digital cameras and also how prints were developed. 

I then went onto Salford University and did an HND in Media Production. I absolutely loved my time on the HND. Sadly when I went back to the university to do the one year top up degree it was a horrible experience, which ended up with me appealing my results and eventually resitting some of my modules.

I eventually graduated in 2012, but I was pregnant with James at the time so deferred the ceremony till the July 2013. James was eleven months old when I walked onto the stage in the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays to receive my degree. So I ended up with a BSc Hons Professional Broadcast Techniques 2:1 Degree.

Do I want my boys to go to university? Well I would love it if they did, but it will be there choice. If they dont want to then I wont force them. Its their happieness that means the most to me.

#Blogtober17 Day 4 Date

The day 4 Blogtober prompt is Date.

Me and Andy try to have a date night at least once a month. Normally it is a Friday night.

My parents will come down in the afternoon and pack the kids stuff into their car. Then they will load Freddie into his car seat then drive around to James school and collect him then drive to their house! They live 40 minutes drive from us, so its easiest if they go straight from school to try and avoid most of the rush hour traffic going north!

Our last date night was for Andy's birthday. His birthday had been on the Wednesday, but with it being a school day for James we decided to have a meal at home on the actual day and they have our couples meal out on the Friday night!

We started with Tea/Coffee and birthday cake at home with my parents and the kids. This meant I was also able to get James changed out of his school uniform and get his uniform into the washing machine!

Once the kids left we got ready and headed into Newcastle city centre for drinks and our meal! 

We went for a drink first at a little bar next to Greys monument which was lovely and it was somewhere we had never been to before as a couple, in fact I don't think either of us have ever been there before. 

Eldon Square opened a new restaurant section almost a year ago i think it was, and we are trying a new place every time we go out for a meal! This time we had chosen to book Giraffe World Kitchen!
After our meal we then headed off to start our drinking! We first went to Wetherspoons and well we actually ended up in Flares! Lets just say mixing drinks is never a good idea and this mummy had a very sore head all day on the Saturday! 

We need to start planning our next date night but it will probably not be until the end of October at the earliest as Andy has been doing overtime on Saturday mornings at work.

I'm really looking forward to our next night out, but this mummy will not be mixing her drinks

#Blogtober17 Day Three - Cars

So the prompt for today is cars!

Now I actually don't have a car as I cannot actually drive! Yep that's right I'm 32 and cannot drive! But I do plan to change that and learn to drive in the next year! I think if I learn to drive then it will be easier for me to take the kids to my parents to visit! It would mean my mum and dad would not have to come down and pick me and the kids up! We would also be able to drive down to Surrey to see Andy's family rather than having to rely on trains, which are expensive and have to be booked at least three months in advance or the coach, which is cheaper but it does take at least six hours just to get into central London, then it is two trains! 

But if you get me onto the topic of cars then Formula 1 cars have to be my favourite! I love nothing more than sitting down to watch the Grand Prix. My favourite team is Ferrari, obviously because they are red lol. I can remember watching the F1 with my late nannie who used to love watching just to see how many cars would crash on the first lap!

I do love Aston Martin cars as my lovely cousin works for them. He even brought a DBS to our wedding.

As a boy mummy we do have lots of toy cars in our house! James absolutely adores hot wheels and other match box sized cars! But he is always leaving them all over the house, so I am forever rescuing them from the jaws of Freddie who thinks they make the perfect teether!

If I had to own a car through I have no idea what I would have, but as long as it had four doors I would be happy though! 


Monday 2 October 2017

#Blogtober DayTwo - Babies

So the prompt is babies!

These are my two babies! 

James is my oldest who is 5 and boy does he hate being called a baby! 
He's just started his second year of primary school and he totally loves it! James has blonde hair and bright blue eyes and he knows exactly how to use his eyes to twist everyone round his little finger! 
He can be a little devil at times! Very demanding and boy if he does get his own way you will certainly know about it! He is a very loving and sweet boy though! He loves his daddy more than anyone else and yes that includes his mummy!

Now Freddie really is my baby. He's almost two and such a mamas boy! 
He looks very much like his brother with the blue eyes and blonde hair! 
He loves nothing more than snuggling up next to mama and either playing with Siri or listening to a story! His current favourite is that's not my hedgehog. 
He seems to have been a baby much longer than James was! I'm guessing this is due to him walking later and starting to talk more later! He is very cheeky and fast! If you leave a door open he is off! He loves having snuggles with mummy in his carrier.

So that is all about my two gorgeous babies!

Sunday 1 October 2017

#Ecover Laundry Challenge

Doing the laundry has to be my least favourite household task. But I am definitely determined to get us into a better routine! 
So our washer has been covered in Ben and Holly stickers by James!

Normally the laundry gets washed, then tumble dryed, then it's split into three separate crates, one for James, one for Freddie and one for myself and Andy.  Then the crates normally sit on top of each other in the middle of the kitchen till either Andy or myself take it upstairs. 

Now that James is back at school and in year one I need to get us into a much better wash routine. So now when James gets home from school, his jumper and trousers are hung on the bottom of his bed and his white polo top goes into a crate at the top of the stairs! Anything that needs washing that is white gets thrown into this crate and that gets washed on a Friday night.

We used the Ecover laundry detergent liquid to do our white washing load and then our subsequent loads and oh it is amazing! My washing is coming out the machine smelling lovely! My whites are coming out the machine actually white! Even things that had been washed a few times came out looking better than they ever have before! 

Since the first wash we did with Ecover we have actually kept using it as the washing has been coming out smelling lovely! James school uniform has been coming out so soft and well Ecover definitely get the stains out! James is the only child I know who can go to school on a Monday and need his sweatshirt washed when he gets home at three fifteen! 

I will certainly be looking for Ecover when I am next in the supermarket as this is a product I would love to keep using!

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover.  

#Blogtober17 Day One - All about You!

So here it is, 1st October 2017 and the first day of Blogtober 2017!
Today's prompt is All about you, so here goes!

My name is Victoria, but everyone calls me Vicki or Vic.My dad is the only one who really calls me Victoria!

I was born in April 1985 so that makes me 32! And yes I think I actually look my age now, especially since having the boys!

I've been married to Andy for six years and we have been together nine years!

We live in a suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne and bought our current house two years ago!

We have two boys, James who is five and Freddie who is almost two. As it is babies tomorrow I will be talking more about my two monkeys then!

In our nine years together, me and Andy have lived in eight homes together, Three down in Surrey and the rest up here in the North East! Twice living with my parents!
We have no pets although James is desperate for a dog, but it has to be a big dog he says!