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Homemaker and Mama to 4 beautiful children. My daily journey through life on our farm.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Christmas shopping!

Im very lucky to have been born in, & raised near, the beautiful city of Winchester, which every year puts on an amazing Christmas fair around the historic Cathedral. 
We always go for a look round & love looking round all the little wooden huts selling everything from handmade toys, ceramics, clothes, to soap & fudge & everything inbetween.
But, it's now become so popular with tourists & locals alike that I've really been put off going. It's such a battle to get near enough to each little hut to see what's on offer that we end up wandering round, not really looking at anything in particular & coming home empty handed.

This year I could attempt it, with baby girl in a sling & the other kids trailing behind, but somehow I don't think I really fancy that!..Also, taking into account a crepe is about £6, times by three kids & you've got an expensive afternoon out before you've even bought a gift!..

There is an ice rink for the kids but the queues have always been so long that we've never attempted that either.
I haven't pounded the high street this year, although I do love seeing all the shop windows dressed! I think The White Company is one of my personal favourites, their styling is impeccable isn't it? Maybe once all my shopping is done I'll go for a window shop just to take it all in, smug in the knowledge I don't have to hurry or elbow people for bargains!
(They'll be lots of baby feeding stops through the day of course!)

Online shopping is an amazing thing isn't it? I don't know about you, but I can spend hours lost on 'not on the high street', etsy & folksy, not to mention all the lovely shops of IG lovelies I follow!...
This week I discovered this gorgeous talented supplier..

I'm a bit of a mug hoarder..I don't know why, mugs & jugs. I.just.love.them!
I think I may have been looking for Pheasant themed gifts(standard farm theme I'm afraid!) when I stumbled across Fenellas gorgeous makes, just look at these!..
I don't know about you, but I find it so hard to just buy for other people, each gorgeous thing I find I feel like I need too!!..Maybe if I get some cash for Xmas I'll treat myself to a pheasant mug..or perhaps this one?(by big tomato company)

may have persuaded my mum to grab this new lovely Hare mug in Next the other day, there are lots of matching bits & pieces too, so cute!!

So this year, I had to be super organised with gift buying..I've joined Facebook groups for things like Emma Bridgewater & Cath Kidston, watched eBay like a hawk & had a few big Amazon parcels delivered! I've had to shop smart, my budget is tiny due to being on maternity leave but I still love to buy gifts, & make things look pretty, so I've bought wrap from matalan, primark, home bargains, even Aldi, often on 3 for 2, or 99p a roll for the kids stuff, you can't go wrong. Home bargains has some fab hamper baskets, & felt bags, & I've bought little gifts from the same shops for people like the kids teachers, they look amazing, & i'd be glad to received them myself. 
For the main teachers, I've given them a gorgeous Primark scarf, little next mug, bar of chocolate & some luxury hot chocolate..like a little winter bundle. 
The teaching assistants will be receiving malteesers(£1 a box in home bargains) or a toblerone for the chaps(£1 shop for a big one!) a Primark plastic coffee mug-they're so nice & such good value at £3 each! & luxury hot chocolate. £6 in total for each including gorgeous Primark xmassy gift bag!

I don't have many gifts left to buy but I haven't started wrapping yet so hopefully I'll crack on with that in the next few days as its making me nervous having it all sat there disorganised!

My due date is this Saturday, the 7th of November, but I don't think this baby is cooked just yet so hopefully I have a little while longer to sort operation Christmas!

Wish me luck!!

K x X x 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Lovely things & quality time...

For all you lovely people having a quiet Saturday(like me-girls with family #2 & Wills off beating with Grandma), I thought you might like to see what I picked up on a little shopping trip yesterday?

Mum & I ventured to Next Home & John Lewis in Southampton-those reaaaallly big stores, and gosh these shops know how to suck you in with their gorgeous home/Xmas/nursery displays don't they?
I'm a fondler in shops(ooooh matron!) I have to stroke cushions & throws, pick up beautiful picture frames, rub my cheek against beautiful baby blankets, & open every pack of baby crib sheets to feel how soft they are before buying! 

I get right into the whole 'shopping' experience as I don't get to do it(alone) very often!...So here's my little haul..

Next had the most gorgeous displays throughout the store, a few Xmas bits which looked to be of lovely quality, I'm tempted by a fur Xmas tree skirt, it's grey & soft & would look so nice in my lounge with my glass/white & pink tree ornaments!
I was very restrained though, & bought (mainly) for others!
I picked up these sweet little mugs, priced at a very reasonable £2.50 each, to pop in the 'teachers gifts' selection bags(all my Xmas shopping MUST be done before Little Miss Parsnips arrives)..so far I've bought beautiful scarves as the teachers main gifts, plus chocolate, & luxury hot chocolate, I was just on the lookout for a sweet mug to pop in with it all & Next had just what I wanted..aren't they lovely?(they say 'made with love' they're dinky & have a real 'hand made feel to them') You can make out the scale better in the other photo on here.
Next do a lot of these ceramic & wood hanging bits & im not usually a fan of them but this time there were some really lovely ones, with different quotes in different shapes, I fell in love with this 'always kiss me goodnight' pink heart one, as I hope to do Little Miss P her own little corner in our room(she won't have her own for a long time)...it'll go perfectly!

Onto John Lewis now. And we just HAD to have an Ewan-the dream sheep didn't we? After all, not only does he have amazing reviews, Little P will be a Farmer's daughter so we have to get her used to animals early-right?!
Priced at £29.95, he's not cheap, but trust me, anything which claims to aid baby sleep, is worth its weight in gold in my book!..William is going to help me test Ewan out tonight, we're going to snuggle together & get our smell on him ready for baby to enjoy!

(really sorry for the crap picture quality-it's soooo dark today!)
After a mooch round the nursery department, Ooohing & ahhhhing at all the lovely baby things, I picked up a very practical large wedge changing mat. Inspired by this Pinterest image, I had to have it (it was £15).
(Why are British homes so small?!..my room won't look like this, but you get the idea!)

crumbled at the tills when I spotted the beautiful Xmas stocking..Baby girl will need her own one to keep the 'magic of xmas' otherwise William will be confused as to why Santa would leave one for everyone but her! 
This one is beautifully soft, thick fleece with lovely faux sheepskin at the top, I just love the Penguins & polar bears!! It was £12.00 & is huge! 
Nana very kindly treated her to it, can't wait to hang it up! (Nearer the time, I am aware it's still October!)

I'm 38 weeks pregnant today, & now always take someone with me(whenever possible) when venturing far from home for shopping trips & errands, i need someone to help me with bags, pushing the trolley, loading the car, unloading the car..etc! It's hard work just walking round the supermarket for an hour. And being a loyal Aldi girl it's made even harder by not being able to pack it all properly at the till, then having to walk the trolley allllll the way back into the store after loading the car, I feel so lazy but it I know it's just the huge weight I'm lugging about! 

I really enjoyed the quality time of having my mum with me yesterday. We're very close, but argue a lot(always down to me!) my mum puts up with being in the firing line from me being stressed & worn out every week, she's always there the instant I need her, and never asks for anything in return. 

She's looked after each of my children with me from the day they were born, when I returned to work each time, had them when I've been ill, needed a weekend off, spoilt them, played with them, taught them & most important of all, loved them. 
She told me yesterday that the recent episode of 24 hours in A&E(if you didn't see it, go watch it, so good) really made her question her parenting of my brother & I. It wasn't smooth sailing, my childhood, & it broke my heart to hear her silently sob as we drove home, listening to her guilt, questioning herself, & me...I guess we never stop feeling mummy guilt, or questioning how we're bringing up our children, we just do the best we can with the limited resources we have?

I want my mum to know, if she reads this, that I love her unconditionally, like I love my children, and my husband, and my brother & father. 
Nothing, no experience past or present, will ever change that. 
I hope my childhood has made me a stronger person, a better, kinder human. 
And I wish my own children are as lucky as I was to have a beautiful loving mother, as I did, for as long as God intends.

I love you Mum, and I can't wait to share Baby girl with you...

Monday, 19 October 2015


Here they are! 
My beautiful family..well, minus one small ferral boy who couldn't be caught from the bouncy castle to 'pose' with us. 
But that's life isn't it? Kids don't always 'perform' do they?

I felt I needed to write this post to tell you my current thoughts & feelings as I think the whole of insta/Facebook can be an overwhelming world of perfection..which, well, for me at least, just isn't reality!

So here I am 37+3 with baby number four & the last few weeks have been really testing, a hospital stay for a horrible pregnancy complication & my body 100% letting me down even though I'm physically active(who wouldn't be with a farm, three dogs & three kids?!), & eat well etc, has really taken its toll & tonight every emotion I had came flooding out of me. 
Poor Mr P was greeted from work at 10pm tonight to a wife who most certainly did not have her shit together.
Wracked by huge heartbroken sobs, he thought something terrible had happened. After reassuring him that the baby was fine, i told him that I wasn't. 
I can't do it, I told him. I can't give birth, I can't look after her, I can't cope with four kids, I CANT!!!

Phew. There, I said it, my thoughts had been bubbling away, choking me silently whilst well meaning strangers looked at me pitifully & cooed how it 'won't be long don't worry'..& inside I'm screaming I DONT WANT TO HAVE THIS BABY!!

Now don't get me wrong, I've calmed down, we had a long talk(through him helping me out with an entire roll of Andrex to catch the worst of it) I have no idea where this has come from but sometimes, life is just overwhelming. It's TOO MUCH. 
I'm terrified of being in more pain, eventhough I know I can(& kinda have to now I'm committed) give birth, physically, yes it's going to happen very soon, but it hurts like hell, & I've been through enough of that lately.
I'm terrified of having every moment of our day taken up by a screaming hungry baby, because of what it'll mean to my other children, the time I won't be able to give them, the homework I won't be able to help them complete, the healthy food I won't be able to cook.
I'm terrified that yet again our relationship will change, my husband is an AMAZING father, he really is, but he's also just that -MY husband, & call me selfish, but he's spread pretty thin as it is, & my little bit of him shrinking is not something i relish the thought of when I know I'll have to share him with yet another person.
I'm terrified that I just won't cope.
That my tiny house(with a million unfinished jobs) will be chaos in days, & that I'll be stuck on the sofa with sick in my hair & a box of Jaffa cakes for company while everything is everywhere & I have no energy to sort it out.
Honestly I'm not one of those 'the housework can wait' kinda gals. Farmhouses are NOT like real houses, every being who passes through brings dirt with them, sometimes actual shit, be it pig/cow/dog, choose your poision. So it's a huge task to keep on top of, & one that scares me quite a lot actually.

I don't think the fact that sodding Christmas is round the corner is helping either. I'd love to make it special for my children, & by special I mean actually wrap their presents?! Like, how the hell am I physically going to find the time to do that? 
I'm fairly sure this is where my army of reliable friends & family step in.
I'm very lucky, I know that, to have a handful of 'A-Team' people, who, no matter what, are there for me. Whether it's to walk dogs, or pick up pile cream, they've got my back(or my arse).

Maybe if I wasn't a huge control freak none of this would all seem so bad. But I can't change who I am, can i?
Mummy guilt is a terrible thing.
How dare I have these thoughts.
How dare I wish I wasn't pregnant, for even a moment. How dare I moan when I be got entirely myself to blame for this situation? How dare I take for granted the fact I even have a husband to share my fears with...? I'm angry, & sad at myself for even having these feelings. Cue more sobs.

My lovely husband did his best to talk me through the whole situation. To tenderly show me the full nut-job scale of my irrational ramblings...To reassure me that they're all so excited to have this new baby in their lives, they they don't share these 'new mum' fears that I have(that was a revelation I can tell you, I honestly thought they were dreading sharing 'mummy')
He told me of how, in the church on Sunday, one family member took him aside and asked 'how do you do that?' how do you have such perfectly behaved kids? 
Kids who were silent throughout the service when they were meant to be. Kids who were all immaculately turned out, & not one moaned or looked miserable(Poppy dodged shaking the 'weird' vicar's hand but honestly, I'd have done the same if I could've!)
He tried to take the credit but said person knows us well & pointed out it was likely to be more down to me than him that we'd once again managed to at least look like we had our shit together. 

It was the right moment for him to relay this little story. 
Some days we won't be that family, I won't be that mum. When I have Breastmilk stains on my top & our bed hasn't been changed in two weeks. & the teacher calls me in for a 'quick word', I definitely won't be that mum.
But, I guess we're only human. We're all struggling towards the same goal...health, wealth(hmmm), happiness?

So I hope you know now that behind the smiles, the unironed dress, the uncomfortable tights, the £7 new look shoes Ive had for three years & wear to most occasions, & that big(beautiful) bump, things are not always as they seem?

If I've helped a single person to see that they're not the only one who has these thoughts & feelings then it'll have been worth it. If not, well, at least I can pinpoint the moment I actually lost my mind?!

Lots of love...
Kirsty xxx