I don't know about you but it feels like Easter is taking a long time to arrive. Even Harry has taken to asking "Is it Easter yet?" every single day. I am sure that, much like Christmas, the signs of Easter arrive earlier every year. In fact, I am pretty sure that I started seeing some Easter Eggs in the some shops as early as January.
Harry and I are both huge fans of chocolate. Luckily for us, the husband isn't usually that fussed and can take it or leave it. Apparently he needs to be in a chocolate mood. Who knew? Anyway, that said, it has been a while since I have had an actual Easter Egg, it seems that as you get older and have a child, people forget about the adults in the family! So I was delighted when Thorntons asked if I would like a selection of their Easter goodies! Win!
First up, of course I had to look at the choice aimed at children. I know, selfless of me right? I am fairly certain that any child (or adult for that matter!) would love one of these.
Now, as much as I love chocolate, I can be rather tight-fisted and usually, I must confess, I would get cheaper eggs for children. As a result, it has never occurred to me to check out the selection at Thorntons and I was pleasantly surprised at the affordability! Let's face it, you cannot go wrong at with four excellent quality chocolate Easter eggs for £12.
If you are after something slightly bigger but still brilliant value you could always take a look at their amazing offer of 5 for £25.
I can confirm that these are quite simply delicious, rather addictive and the chocolate is lovely and thick.
For those people who are fans of Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Banoffee Pie you could always get them Easter eggs in those flavours from Thorntons as well! These went down a real treat with my family of desert lovers!
Thorntons really do have something to suit all ages and tastes, the above just shows a selection of what is available.
Disclosure: I was sent some Thorntons Easter goodies as compensation for this post. All views and opinions are my own.
Harry adores being read to. As a lover of reading myself, it thrills me that he enjoys something that I do too, something that, even on my worst days, I can do with him. He is such an active child, so full of energy that I never thought he would enjoy such peaceful times and that I would miss out on many special times with him due to my disability.
Very recently, he has started to use his imagination more, involving in himself in imaginative play with his soft toys, or asking the husband and myself to be a certain character.
Yesterday, the husband decided to take Harry to the park for a little while and Harry wanted to take his cuddly meerkat with him. We managed to persuade Harry that actually, meerkat needed a nap so that he would be able to look after Harry when he went to bed later. So Harry decided that meerkat needed a bedtime story and I caught this; Harry was telling meerkat a story about the park and how it is lots of fun, that one day meerkat will be able to go as well but not today because he was too tired.
During this week we went for a short, easy stroll to get some fresh air and as ever, ended up in our local playground. I had my camera, which seems to be becoming a more regular fixture in my handbag, with me and began to snap away.
It was only when uploading the pictures to the laptop, deciding which ones to discard, that I came across this.
I was going to delete this one but I decided to see if my wonderful readers could come up with a Saturday caption for it instead!
If you want to take a look at some others, pop over to Mammasaurus. I am also linking this up to Helen from Actually Mummy's new linky "Expressions", so please do stop by and see what expressions other fabulous bloggers have to share.
I have always admitted how I find Mother's Day to be the hardest special event in the annual calender, how it has got worse rather than better since Harry arrived.
It makes me acutely aware of just how much I miss my mum, more aware of my mortality, more aware of what she missed, what Harry missed and selfishlywhat Ihave missed.
I think of how proud she would be of Harry, of my sisters, my brother and maybe even me. I chastise myself for not realising how special she was, for not telling her how much she meant to me enough, for not apologising for the anxiety and anguish I caused her. I hate that I will never be able to make amends.
Of course, these thoughts and feelings go through me often but Mother's Day always seems to bring them to the surface much more strongly.
I've spoken before about how I naïvely thought this day of the year would be easier once I had Harry and yet it's got harder.
This year though? This year came with an acceptance. Almost like an understanding that no amount of tears, anger or regrets would change things; ultimately, I would still have to get through the day and to try to do so without upsetting Harry or the husband (whose own mum also away 7 years ago). Of course I have known this for the last 10 years so it wasn't new knowledge, I'm not really sure what it was.
This Mother's Day we were blessed with a bright and warm day, so we packed up a picnic and headed to a local attraction called Blaise Castle Estate, which has a couple of lovely and well maintained playgrounds for children of all ages, is a beautiful place for a picnic and has some lovely walks as well. As expected on such a beautiful day, it was busy. And true to form, Harry wanted to go into the playground that is more suitable for older children! Both the husband and I tend to analyse risks so how we managed to produce such a dare-devil is beyond us!
Climbing up to the top with a scared Mummy looking on...
And he made it in one piece!
Managed to convince Daddy to go up too!
Check out Daddy's socks...!
It was a lovely day, exactly the sort of day my Mum would have enjoyed with us had she been alive. It was lovely to enjoy the day and whilst there was always the thought at the back of my mind, expecting the tears or sadness to come, they never did. Yet she was, as always, in my thoughts.
The difference this year compared to previous years was beyond what I could have wished for and I can only put that down to the husband and I both giving up alcohol completely in recent weeks. We drank excessively and having stopped, we have truly realised what a detrimental effect it was having on us and more importantly on Harry.
It seems that the operation I had before Christmas had a better outcome than anticipated. The length of the syrinx in my spinal cord has reduced. It's a small reduction but a reduction all the same.
Previously my neurosurgeon had been fairly adamant that I would need to undergo high-risk, long recovery surgery called posterior fossa decompression. This is not a cure, there is no cure, merely surgery to prevent the condition worsening. For now though, this on hold, with a view for more MRI scans in four months to see if it has improved further. As unlikely as this is, it is a possibility and given how complicated the surgery is combined with it not being needed immediately, it's probably worth doing, no matter how frustrated I feel at the prospect of yet more waiting.
In the meantime, I returned to my GP this morning. I am being weaned off the drug for my headaches and migraines since the original surgery was such a success and have been given amitriptyline to take before bed with a view to help me have a more comfortable night's sleep and ease the pain a little more. I am also succumbing to my body and have decided to order a cane when I next get some money. I worry about what people will think of a young woman with a cane but also think it will be a good thing to have a visual sign of my disability; I know people who walk behind me get frustrated if I am holding them up.
Life seems to have reverted to a state of feeling in limbo once more. Of waiting and hoping and holding on to the positive outcome that I have already had.
Regular readers will know that in the past we have had a lot of upheaval and around Christmas started waking up during the night and beginning the day at 5 am. We then decided to bring in a longer bedtime routine, introducing signals to him so that he had adequate "winding down time" before bed. The TV generally goes off during dinner, he will then get 30 minutes of a calming show before a bath, which is followed by getting into PJs (again without TV) and finally a story or two of his choosing. We also took him out and let him choose his own bedding as before he just had the bedding we had from the hostel, rather too grown up for an almost 4-year-old!
We have come to love bed time (not just because it means peace!) and it has made a noticeable difference, even within a few days and it is rare now that Harry will act up during this routine, although of course there is still the odd time when he will make excuses. Heck, more often than not now Harry tells us when he wants to go to bed! ;-)
For me I am lucky enough to be able to nap during the day should the need arise but I prefer getting a good night-time sleep and waking in the morning feeling refreshed. Funnily enough, the husband prefers it when I get a decent night's sleep as well; let's just say it is very noticeable when I haven't.
So, recently I decided to effectively borrow some of the things we have found that have worked with Harry . I now generally read in bed for about 20-30 minutes before settling whereas until recently I would be on social media (Twitter, I am looking at YOU) and/or watching TV until the last-minute. It is only recently that we started using our new, excellent quality bedding that we were gifted for Christmas. Even more recently, I have stopped drink alcohol (I am now fully aware that many of you may have your jaws on your desk at the moment but it really has helped!).
All of these things combined, I truly believe have worked wonders. Our bedroom is still a work in progress in terms of decoration but we have a much clearer idea of the sort of look we want. Aside from the bedding we were given at Christmas, we have had the rest of our bedding for the last five years and it certainly does not match the ideas we have; it is red and brown and we are looking for more neutral, relaxing colours this time. With that in mind I have looked for stylish bedding sets available online.
Whilst I was having a look with a friend, it occurred to us that with white furniture and neutral walls in my own bedroom, perhaps I could have at least one set of bedding to add an injection of colour and we love this cute Lovehearts duvet cover, my husband however, may take a little more persuasion.
So, whilst I am on the hunt for good quality bedding, can you give me any ideas where I might get some at a reasonable price? Or indeed any more tips to help sleep better?
Clearly we have a young boy, determined to follow in Daddy's foot steps one day.
Harry really enjoys helping to cook and likes to get involved as much as he can. I think it makes him feel very grown up and certainly seems to encourage him to eat more, not that eating is often an issue with him. For example, having been up for 3 hours now he has eaten; 2 small boxes of raisins, a bowl of cereal, 3 satsumas, an apple and a carrot. Yes, the boy does love his fruit and veg, he'd live off them if we let him!
Anyway, back to business. Can you caption this?
As ever, if you would like to attempt to caption some more pictures, head over to the uber lovely Annie at Mammasaurus.