So apparently, I'm THAT mum. The one that puts my children in matching clothes. I love my girls to wear the same matching outfits, and whilst my eldest (almost 4) thinks it's fun, I'm making the most of it. Soon enough she will be refusing to dress like her little sister.
Just a couple of weeks ago we celebrated Noa's first birthday. I remember Frankie's first birthday, and feeling really emotional about it, but for Noa I didn't feel that way, just excited that she had turned 1 (and that hopefully life would start to get easier?! haha who am I kidding!).
We threw Noa a cowgirl themed birthday party to honor her Texan roots. If I'm honest, it was a last minute throw together as my time management since working has been diabolical, and her birthday just seemed to creep up on us.
Luckily I have a very organized friend Chrissy who was all to help out with some decorations (See Noa sign below) and give me a little inspiration.
It was just a small party with family and friends in our home. The cake was pink and white with stars and a little cowgirl sat on top. The plates and cups all had little cowgirls on (from Amazon) and we had a cowboy boot piñata for the garden (Amazon). Not wore a custom made outfit by Momma makes, it was cactus print leggings, catchy bib and hair tie teamed with a little Next cream top.
She received some really lovely gifts and was truly spoilt rotten. She received a particularly exciting delivery just this week from our lovely friends in Texas, her very first pair of cowboy boots!
It was a lovely afternoon and Im so glad we decided to celebrate her birthday with our loved ones. I have filmed a 1st birthday haul which will be up on my youtube channel shortly.
Sunday 4th September 2016 marked my last ever day as a stay at home mum.
My experience of being a stay home parent has been very mixed and in the end, I decided that it would be best for myself and the children if I returned to work part-time. I had got myself in a rut of not leaving the house very often, and felt as though my days were a haze of nagging the children, shouting and an increasing need for caffeine. I had also reached a point, where I didn't appreciate my time with my girls. And I desperately wanted to enjoy my time with them again.
I returned to work quite quickly after having Frankie, and have lovely memories of our days off together. I really appreciated the time we had, and found working 3 days a week was a really nice work/life balance.
I had been so excited about starting my new job and the benefits we would all ( hopefully) feel from it, that I had neglected to think about all the things I would no longer get to do with the children anymore.
It was only on my last ever day as a stay at home mum that the realization of what I was giving up, hit me like a lead balloon. I made sure that I treasured and savored every last moment. My phone was locked away in the glove compartment for the day, no checking Facebook, no instagramming cute pics, no checking emails, no texting friends. Just me, Ste, our girls and quality time together.
I woke up that morning feeling sick with nerves, both for myself and the kids. They wouldn't have mum around all the time anymore, they would be going to nursery and would have to learn to wait. How would Noa cope without me breastfeeding her in the day? Had I made a mistake? I kept telling myself that if it doesn't work out, then its a simple solution, I just go back to being a stay at home mum.
Sunday morning was a lazy one, Ste went out on his bike, and me and the girls played tea parties and play dough in our PJ's. I kept feeling the need to sniff the childrens' hair and held, cuddled and kissed them at every opportunity. It was a gloomy day, so we asked Frankie what she would like to do, she chose to go to the soft play centre.
So, off we went, whizzing down on slides and climbing through ball pits. The children laughed and seemed so content. I felt as though my heart ached, how could I leave my girls to go back to work? Why is it that only now I am appreciating this time with them?
After soft play, we went to our favorite family spot, Costa coffee in Wilmslow. We used to live just a short 5 minute walk from it, so spent a lot of time their as a family of 3. When we lived in Texas, I always thought of this Costa coffee as 'home'. Its a sentimental place for us. We spoke about wedding arrangements their, we planned our move to Houston, we spoke about trying for a second child their. Its just a special place.
We ordered our Americano's ( I had a pump of pumpkin spice in mine!) and Frankie ordered her usual chocolate milk. We chatted about our day and spoke to the girls about how things were going to change from Monday. Frankie thought it was "awesome" that Noa would be going to nursery with her, and that we would make sure our time together was more special. Noa was particularly clingy all day, I think she could sense that I was quite anxious and nervous about the impending change.
As we left Costa to head home, I felt very daunted by the fact that we were heading back home to start what would, from now on, be a Sunday night ritual. Uniforms to sort, shirts to iron, snacks and packed lunches ready for the week, meals to prepare for the days that I would be working. Gone are the Sunday evenings where we would just eat and relax.
The TV went on for the girls, and I started to prepare dinner. Whilst it was simmering, I saw Noa take a couple of steps unaided out of the corner of my eye. Ste saw it too. Excited and emotional, we all got on the floor and started to encourage her to walk to each of us. And just like that, on my last ever day as a stay at home mum, Noa walked ( 11 steps to be precise!!).
I will do a separate post about how life as a part -time working mum is going in a couple of weeks :)
Thanks for reading!
Are you a stay at home mum? Do you have days when your tempted to go back to work?
On Friday 19th August, I was given the opportunity to review the new children's menu at Thaikhun in Manchester. The new exciting menu has been created alongside the National Geographic to create a child friendly, authentic Thai experience.
We had never been to Thaikun before so we were all really excited to try out some of their delicious dishes. We were greeted by a lovely lady called Nikki who would be our server for the evening. She was happy, helpful and immediately brought over coloring for Frankie and talked us through the menu.
The children's menu came with 3 courses; vegetables sticks to start, a main chosen from the menu (Phad Thai, mix and match Thai try or fried chicken with jasmine rice), ice lolly or ice-cream to finish and a drink of water, juice or milk.
Whilst talking through the options with Frankie, she was reluctant to choose any. We decided that the mix & match Thai tray would be the best option.
Frankie chose the Jasmine rice, mixed vegetable and Sweet BBQ sauce. Noa went for the noodles, mixed vegetables and no satay sauce.
The lovely waitress took our order and gave us the option to bring the children's food out with our starters (which we thoughts a great idea!)
Whilst waiting for our food, the manageress brought over some creepy crawlies for Frankie to try, and to add to the authentic Thai experience.
Frankie was not so sure about eating creepy crawlies and was happy to sit that one out (I can imagine their are lots of children who think that this is such a cool touch!).
Whilst I photographed the bugs, Noa reached over, and before I could stop her she devoured the lot of them!!
The starters and children's meals arrived shortly after, and I was pleased to see that the children's meals arrived on trays. I thought this was a brilliant idea, especially for fussy eaters as it gives them the option to eat the foods separately or mix them up as a meal.
The children really enjoyed their meal (especially Noa!)
Frankie found the Sweet Bbq sauce a little too spicy, but Ste tried it and said it was delicious. I had a taste of Noa's no satay sauce and it was lovely!
The quality and taste of the food really was fantastic. The ingredients were fresh, the appearance and presentation was excellent and the taste was delicious.
After devouring their meals, the children were offered ice cream or ice lolly's. Frankie chose a chocolate ice lolly and Noa had vanilla ice-cream.
The kids menu was good but their is definitely room for a little more improvement.
I love the idea of the creepy crawlies, and explaining to Frankie that in Thailand they are part of the cuisine. The menu needs a couple more options. I would love to see sticky rice and chicken or tofu satay!
I really like the fact that the menu doesn't include the typical pizza and chips option, as it meant that Frankie had to try Thai food (and best of all she loved it!)
The desert options (ice lolly or ice-cream) were a little too generic and I would like to see Thai options such a mango sticky rice to compliment the authentic Thai main course.
Overall, our experience was very good. The service was impeccable, the food fantastic, the ambience of the restaurant felt very relaxed and cool. And we would definitely choose to go back again.
* The meal we received was complimentary in exchange for a review. All opinions I have shared are honest and true *
Are you a stay at home mum?