Thursday, 31 December 2009

Been There, Done That

We have come a long way baby, we really have since 2000.

I used to be a hard nosed career woman living in Berkshire with the love of my life. I  loved my job, I was good at it and relished the challenges it brought.  I managed projects, relocated 600 people in to a brand new 160000 square foot campus and I did it with time to spare and nothing but commendations.  I was super organised and a super organiser!!

In 2000 my dad was fatally injured in an industrial accident.  They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, well this tested us all and MadDad was a tower of strength for all the family. It took the next 4 years for resolution to be agreed upon, Health and Safety prosecuted them and an inquest was heard.  It was a painful time for us all.  My dad is sorely missed still to this day and not a week goes by when I am not desperate to tell him something about my life.

Then our world was turned on its head again, March 2005 MaxiMad was born after a crash section, we named him after my Farther and our Grandfathers (3 of whom were called William).  After 10 years of marriage we were floored by our wonderful little man.

In June 2005 we nearly lost him, but he was a fighter and MadDad and I spent 2 weeks constantly by his side at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and we made the decision to relocate back to the North East so that I could be a stay at home mummy.

We moved back in April 2006 and two months later in June 2006 MiniMad was born, 3 weeks early and looking so much like his big brother did.  I was smitten, as was the whole family.

But wow all of a sudden my 15 month old MaxiMad stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a toddler.

Just like his big brother did when he was small, MiniMad decided that we needed a scare too and was admitted to The RVI in Newcastle a good 60 miles away, but we got through it.

We celebrated our first Christmas as a family of four in a new home and we have grown to love this house, our home.  It has become my haven.  MiniMad just fitted in to our family, it was as though we had always had him and him us.

Amongst all of this my dear Aunt was diagnosed with a rare cancer and we found out that we carried the BRACA spelling mistake and the rest as they say is history, we it is my history.  In 2008 I had my ovaries and tubes removed.

In 2009 MaxiMad started school.  I cried my baby was at school how could this be.  I have only just given birth to him.  He loves it.

I have learned that I do not need 5 star holidays (although they are wonderful) camping is great with my boys as long as a I am warm and we have alcohol!!

I underwent my double mastectomy in February, so end this decade with two less body parts than I started it with, but with the knowledge that the dreaded C is so much less likely to come and visit.

It has been a wild ride, taking roads that I didn't even know existed, let alone signposted and that is the great thing, life is all about how you travel and which roads you take, not where you end up.  Yep the journey not the destination is important.  So I am in it for the ride, so come on next decade, lets enjoy it together!


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Toilet humour and the best present of the holidays according to the minimads

My Brother bought MiniMad  "Pooh is that you Bertie?"

It has been the biggest hit of the holiday, we seem to be reading it constantly and the boys love the toilet humor, in fact we have been parping, boffing and tooting ever since.

Who would have thought a book about farts could have been so much fun!


Monday, 28 December 2009

Social Club Childrens Party

I somethimes think that pictures can say things much better than words, but have to say a great big thank you to my wonderful sister in and law and the Ladies of Steel for putting on such a fantastic event yet again!!

Cousins in the calm before the storm

Kissin Cousins

The Club looking all festive

Best friends having a bop

Mince pie number 5

Putting the world to rights!

You can never have enough chocolate mum!

Oh no, see the lip just starting to wobble

Ending the night raving on the stage

Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box

The boys fell asleep in the car on the way home at 10pm and we put them straight to bed.  There is nothing better than watching my children have fun.  In fact that is the equation for this Christmas Happy Children = Happy Mum

MadDad is at home until the children go back to school on 4 January, so can not promise a daily post, but safe to say we are having a wonderful time as a family and we are introducing the boys to the world of Indiana Jones, after having to buy the Star Wars original trilogy on DVD after minimad wore them out on VHS!

Plus we both have or had a nasty cold and are soldiering on regardless.


Saturday, 26 December 2009

A Home Made Christmas

Pennies have been tight this year at TheMadHouse, so we have put our heads together and made as much as we can.

Rice and Lavender hot pad with removable cover


Felt pocket tissue cover



Basic wrapping with brown paper, wool, string and ribbon  - I am of the opinion that good packaging detracts from the homemade feel


I tied home made gingham and mother of pearl hearts to the wrapping.

We  had printed postcards of some photo's we had taken over the year at Moo.

I made pouches to hold them


I made unique appliqué book bags for my neices.

Filled with home made crayon rolls

Paint brush and water colour rolls

and pen rolls

We included a good pad of artists paper in their bags too.

We made pear butter from gifted pears over the summer

The boys made calenders

We supplemented the gifts with some fantastic charity shop finds (Father Christmas Cushions 50p brand new)

All in all, I am really proud of what we managed to achieve over a short space of time, with little on the resource front.  The thing is that it has all been made with love and the person receving the gifts.



A Wonderful White Christmas

I do hope that everyone is having a great Christmastime.  We have been having a fantastic time here in TheMadHouse.

Christmas Eve was spent wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping, as all the presents were hidden in the loft until last minute to make sure that we dont spoil it for the children.

We also made sure that we ate the mince pie and carrot and also drank the drink left for Father Christmas.  The Mini's managed till about 5.50am, but we didnt come downstairs until 6.30am.  The rule here is that stockings are opened straight away and that other gifts after breakfast and once we are all dressed.  Rhis was no issue for the mini's as Father Christmas had left light sabers and malteezers in their stockings.

We then spend most of the morning, in between MadDad checking on Lunch (he did it all this year, from prapping the veg on Christmas eve, to making the sausage meat stuffing with MiniMad) opening and playing with presents.  The boys loved everything that they were given and were mighty lucky in that there are some very generous people out there (we were lucky to have been nominated for the Mumsnet Secret Santa).

We all sat down for a wonderful feast, including Boy Booze (sparkling pomegranet juice) for the mini's and a glass of pink fizz for me (only one as I was driving later in the day).  Being only the four of us for Christmas dinner, we had the things we like to eat, turkey, stuffing, sausages, roasted veg (carrots, parsnip, swash, onions and turnip from the garden), roast potatoes and gravy.  It was yummy.

We then all had a relaxing afternoon playing with more of the boys toys, they really loved their Leapfrog Tag systems that I picked up in the sales last January!!

We then went to my inlaws for a late afternoon tea, the boys loved spending time with Nana and Granddad and were glued to the TV for The Gruffello.

Then back home for me and MadDad to have a lovly relaxing evening and lots of cuddles from Mr Smudge.

We have spent today at Harrogate and spent our Christmas money (from the inlaws), they were very generous.  I dont really like enclosed shopping areas and we all love Harrogate with all the open spaces, which were filled with Snowmen.  We all managed to get something we wanted, so a successful outing for all.

We are really looking forward to tomorrow, which we are spending at my mums with my brother, sister in law and niece, there will be present exchanging, eating, drinking, joking and lots and lots of messing about. 


Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve Elves

We have a tradition here in the mad house which has evolved from when I was small.  I always got a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve to go to bed in.

I dont know when I stopped thinking they were from the elves and know they were from my parents, but we have carried out this tradition throughout our grown up life too.

We have also been keen to do this for the MiniMads and this year decided to expand it a little and leave a bag of goodies from the eveles on their door.  We have been lucky enough to receive a couple of DVD's as gifts for the boys, so included them, in addition to a book each, a colouring book, some reindeer food and a little chocolate Father Christmas.

We hung the bags I made on their doors last night after putting them tobed and also popped our new PJ's on the floor too for them to find.

It has made for a very excited morning and will make for a very family, snuggley day as the snow is falling again here in North Yorkshire.

I am not sure how much or little I will be posting over the festive period.  I do find that escaping into the kitchen, where the laptop currently is really wonderful so may not stop at all!  

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