Mother’s Day Musings

Problems with presents and picture perfect mother’s days: I’ll take a cuddle with my mum and my baby any day.

Mother’s Day 2018 was my first ever Mother’s Day as a mum. I was excited. Growing up, it was always me who had insisted that Mother’s Day was special and that my mum’s should just sit with her feet up while my (reluctant) sister and I waited on her. It never normally went that way though. My mum isn’t a breakfast person so didn’t really enjoy breakfast in bed, and she’s also such a whirlwind that there was never any way my sister and I could have done everything she did so she could put her feet up. And she wouldn’t have wanted us to. She actually liked doing some of those things and would end up following behind us re-doing them anyway. So by lunch time we would have ‘helped’ prepare lunch by peeling the carrots and that would be pretty much it.

Despite this annual flop, I was very excited for my first Mother’s Day! I had visions of flowers, breakfast in bed, smiles and cuddles with my little chick, maybe a personalised gift (or two!), a big fuss. I do like a fuss!

A side note for some relevant info about me: I am a bit materialistic, I like stuff. It doesn’t have to be expensive stuff in my defence! I just like stuff, a thing to look at and think, for example, ‘Awh, that’s what I had for my first Mother’s Day.’ I’m a particular fan of personalised or handmade stuff. I eagerly await the day the little chick starts bringing home paintings and crafts from school.

Secondly, linked to the point above, I am a great gift buyer. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I am. I put a lot of thought into buying gifts for people because I want it to bring them joy. Christmas takes me all year because I think so carefully about what to buy everyone and then I’m so happy when I find the right thing I just want to give it to them straight away!

Anyway, back to Mother’s Day. The above character traits meant that Daddy Nuthatch was feeling the pressure. He can be a good gift buyer when he tries, but he is often so busy with work that he is usually a last minute shopper. This is what happened the Saturday before Mother’s Day when he confessed he didn’t know what to get me. I find this frustrating as to me it seems so obvious if you do the thinking:I always lose my keys because they rattle around loose in my pocket- a key ring with a picture of the baby would be a good gift. I love to read the baby stories- a Mummy story would be a good gift. (Chick has lots of ‘My Daddy is the best’ stories, because I buy them for Daddy Nuthatch to read with him. It seems a bit egotistical to buy a ‘My Mummy is the best’ book for me to read to him, but wouldn’t it make a lovely gift?!) The list of obvious gifts really could go on and on in my opinion. Daddy Nuthatch kindly bought me a Nomination bracelet as a present when the chick was born (see, he can be good at gifts!), so as a last resort I added that he could even buy me a link for that if he was really stuck but the other suggestions are cheaper and more personal and I’d be just as happy if not more so with them. Off he plodded to town.

The Big Day!

Chick wakes up at 6am after a night punctuated by feeds and lost dummies. He usually wakes up smiling. Not today- he is constipated. (He had his jabs a few days earlier and they always mess with him). So I get him in bed, give him lots of cuddles, bicycle legs and belly rubs. Eventually it pays off. Daddy Nuthatch offers to get up and deal with it, but it but was the kind of offer where he still had his eyes closed so I just rolled mine and trotted off to the changing table. But it wasn’t over. Half way through the change, poor little chick starts screaming again bless him, and the next thing I know I have a hand full of green poo. Happy Mother’s Day. Thanks Chick.

All cleaned up, I give Chick to Daddy so I can have a shower- first Mother’s Day treat! When I get out they are both back asleep. Ok, Daddy gets a lie in on Mother’s Day, that’s fine. So I go and get a coffee and find my gift. A link for my bracelet and a card off each of them. Lovely.

Half way down my coffee I hear Chick has woken up so I go up and dress him in his best outfit and off we go round Nanna Nuthach’s for dinner. Daddy isn’t coming, he’s too busy working (there’s also an important football match on the tv and no fooling me!).

When we arrive at the Nuthatch Farm, we go in with our gifts for Nanna and she whips chick out of my arms and sends me to the kitchen to make tea. Ok. Five minutes later they return, Chick is holding a balloon that says ‘No.1 Mum’ and my mum hands me a gift bag. Awh! Inside is a card that with a picture of him on and inside she has held a pen in his little hand to write ‘Mumma’ on the envelope. Heart explodes.

As a gift she has bought me a pair of shaper jeans because I can’t get in my old size 8s yet and have been feeling frumpy so these should get me feeling somewhere near normal and more importantly, out of my maternity jeans! Nanna Nuthatch, my friends, is the best mum in the world. I’m not even her mum and she has made my Mother’s Day. Apparently she is so proud of what a good mum I am that she wanted to treat me. Awh. I learned it all from the best Nanna Nuthatch, and that’s you.

Then we gave Nanna her gifts:

Her favourite perfume and flowers off me, and off the chick a Nan mug to take to the office, an ‘I love you to the moon and back’ shopper (that’s what she always tells him), and a phone case brandished with lots of pictures of him as she is always rummaging in her bag for loose photos to show people.

Suddenly we felt guilty as we hadn’t actually bought anything for the Chick even though he was the catalyst of all this love and soppiness. Mum guilt- still getting used to that one!

After that our day was pretty much like any other Sunday. I should have known! We enjoyed a lovely Sunday roast, played and napped. Job done. Nanna Nuthatch had even added a little sign to my desert saying ‘Happy 1st Mother’s Day!’ Cute.

Although this was a very long story where very little happens, I feel like it was worth sharing for several reasons.

  • To show that not everyone has an Instagram perfect Mother’s Day and that’s ok.
  • To show that a token of appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot, it’s the thought that counts.
  • To show that sometimes mum to mum appreciation is just the best because as mums we know how hard it is to be one so it’s extra nice to say to another mum ‘you’re doing a good job, well done’.

On Mother’s Day, dads might not always pull a blinder, sometimes just turning up is enough from them, but we should be able to count on each other to have each other’s backs. I have found that the mummy community is a strong one in more ways than one, and I am grateful for it, just as I am grateful for my own mum, every day. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day Mummies, whatever shape it took. I’m off to take the chick to town to buy some new stories with ‘My Mummy is the Best’ themes! If you want something doing, do it yourself! That’s another pearl of wisdom from Nanna Nuthatch. We all have the best gift we could ask for anyway, our beautiful babies!

The Mummy Bubble
3 Little Buttons
Hot Pink Wellingtons

Book Review – A Country Escape by Katie Fforde

The perfect light read for mums as you can easily pick it up where you left off when you get a luxury 5 minutes to yourself.

A Country Escape Katie Fforde is an English romance novelist who has had success with almost 30 novels since her first release, Living Dangerously, in 1995. Her latest release is A Country Escape which I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of so I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

A Country Escape tells the story of a London chef who makes the life-changing decision to leave the city behind her and attempt to make her way running a farm in The Cotswolds.

The protagonist, Fran, is likeable and you find yourself instantly rooting for her as she embarks into the unknown (to her!) world of agriculture. The story is overshadowed by the unfortunate peril that all of her efforts may be for nothing if her elderly relative, Amy, decides she’s not suitable to continue. Because you are immediately Fran’s friend, you feel the extreme injustice of this potential downfall quite heavily and really will the various challenges to go her way.

Katie Fforde incorporates just enough description to allow you to imagine the scene but not so much that it gets in the way of the narrative. I dream of renovating an old farm house, so if you’re anything like me and love creating cosy interiors then you’ll probably find yourself picturing what you would do with Hill Top farmhouse and intrigued to see how transforms it.

My favourite line comes from the description of Tig, the herdsman: “she noticed he had very blue eyes as if he spent a long time looking at the sky”. I found that thoroughly enchanting. Fforde states that she loves a love story (-who doesn’t?!) so I think I might be on Team Tig and his sky-eyes. However, right at the end of the sneak-peak version I have, Anthony Arlington makes an appearance. He reminded me of a Mr Darcy type due to his grandeur. Despite Amy’s warnings, if I was a betting woman, my money would probably be on him getting the girl.

In the notes at the start, Katie Fforde describes how she like to explore various careers through her characters. Farming gets a tough rap sometimes because it’s not an easy job having to be out in all weathers, caring for untamed animals and being at the mercy of the market, but it requires skill, determination and passion which I think Katie Fforde has started to capture right from the opening chapters of this novel. As a country girl myself, I am excited to see how Katie Fforde paints rural life in this novel. It already feels as if it’s taking place right on my doorstep!

One tease from Katie Fforde, which is what finalised my decision to buy the book, is the mention of cheese production in her Foreword. There is no mention of cheese in the opening chapters, but that little clue really gives away that the protagonist is going to take some interesting twists and turns in her adventure through agriculture.

My full length copy of the novel should be working it’s way to me right now and I can’t wait to pick up where I left off to find out where rural life takes city slicker Fran and how the love story unfolds. Katie Fforde’s latest masterpiece, A County Escape, has been on shelves since 22nd February so grab your copy now and embark upon A Country Escape of your own.

Five Little Doves

Shop Local – Support a Dream

I’ve enjoyed reading lots of great Mothers’ Day Gift Guide blogs this week. It’s been great as I haven’t had chance to shop around myself yet because of the snow. As I was browsing, it occurred to me that a lot of them are showcasing gifts from large scale national companies, useful because most people have a Tesco, Home Bargains, Etc near them. Maybe the blogger was even sponsored to do it, which is great for them but my shopping habits, (much like my blog) are a lot more small scale and sometimes that’s not such a bad thing either.

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Welsh Lamb Hotpot Recipe- the perfect winter warmer!

In honour of St. David’s Day, I thought I’d share my family recipe for Welsh Lamb Hotpot. It makes the perfect winter warmer, just what we need as the Beast from the East takes hold!

I’m not claiming to be a culinary genius, but this is a firm favourite in our house. It’s our version of Welsh Cawl, but more of a substantial than a soup. The (not-so) secret ingredient is the whole jar of mint jelly; it might seem a bit excessive, but just go with it. It’s yummy.

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100 Days on Earth

When it all goes quiet and you want to throw a random party to celebrate your baby, then do it!

My son was born on 5th November, Bonfire Night here in the UK. By the time we left hospital it was 6pm, a cold but dry evening. The drive home was surreal, my husband at the wheel and me sat in the back with the precious new cargo stuffing my face with chocolate buttons provided by the hospital like some kind of bizarre party bag. For the whole 20 minute journey, we were surrounded by fireworks going off as the various displays in the area got underway. I know this sounds corny, but it felt as if the whole world was celebrating the arrival of our son. It was lush, but it didn’t last.

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