How early COULD I put them to bed without them noticing???

For some unknown reason we used to watch ‘According to Jim’ while we ate our breakfast, before we went to work, to the point where it had become a routine and it wasn’t a week day unless I’d had my dose of canned laughter (needless to say this was pre-kids). Although most of it I found irritatingly un-funny (looking back a lot of the ‘kid humour’ went happily over my head), there were a few serious laugh out load moments. One of them was an episode where the parents realise they can put the clocks around the house forwards so that they can put the children to bed early….I am somewhat ashamed to say that this farcical story line has ended up being my savior in containing the giddy excitement of my 3 year old in the run up to the big day…  

Aubrey's comment of the week: “So now I’ve helped tidy up, Father Christmas will bring me lots of toys” (note the lack of a question mark; this was a statement, not a question). This was said at the end of a VERY long day when we had been up on and off all night with our youngest Leo and during that day Aubrey had what I like to call ‘an off day’…in the end it was pure bribery from Father Christmas (best app I’ve ever downloaded) that got him to comply with the basic principals of human decency.

No of times I've used the phrase “if you want to be on Father Christmas’s good list then you need to…help tidy up/eat your meal/stop flushing boxes of tissues down the toilet/stop drooling on purpose onto your brother's head/wiping snot on me/telling me your dinner tastes disgusting…(the list is pretty much endless at this point)”: Somewhere in the region of 250

No of times I have felt so drained and in need of a pick me up I have crept unseen to the cupboard and quickly and noiselessly eaten 1 (or 5) Christmas chocolates under the cover of Octonauts: a conservative estimate of 25

Lightbulb moment: When Christmas has gone I won’t be able to use my current most effective parenting tool to date (behave well or suffer the wrath of Father Christmas)….need to start thinking of a new bribe, and fast

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A bit of a wobble

No we didn’t make jelly this week, I had an actual full on wobble; on what I will refer to as THE BAD DAY, I had a recurring thought in my head all day (okay more than one; ‘how long until the kids bedtime?’ ‘what drink shall I have straight after bedtime?’ and ‘how early COULD I put them to bed??’) which was ‘what the f**k was I thinking launching my business at this time in my life?????’

I was thinking this mostly as I walked slowly (like I was walking down the aisle but impersonating a zombie) up and down our hallway whilst simultaneously bobbing my upper body up and down in a way that must have made me look unhinged/possessed at best. If you haven’t guessed already, I was trying to get Leo off to sleep in his carrier (he’d been up most of the night yet needless to say wouldn’t go down for a nap).

I was thinking this as I realised at 3:30pm that I hadn’t looked in the mirror all day and that when I finally did, I could see why I got a few pitiful glances when I rocked up at Morrisons at 8:15am gripping some 50/50 bread and some bananas, trying to pay with my maternity exemption card (good when you’re at the dentist, not so good it turns out when you want carbs and soft fruit).

However; I have realised that actually it is THIS - writing my blog and squirreling away in my sewing room, that has actually saved me from losing myself completely into a mum shadow. I have come to the conclusion that I may be more tired now, even more unrealistic in what I can achieve whilst teaching 2 small people the ways of the world, and more of a mess in general, now that I am trying to make my business a success; but I am also happier because it is MY mess and I am glad that my boys are part of that mess with me - for every single second of it.  

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This week’s Make: Bauble Gift Tags

I won’t focus on makes too long as I am planning to do a separate page on my website concentrating on family crafts, baking and the like, but in case anyone still hasn’t wrapped their Christmas gifts…

All you need is a potato or two, some paper, paint, paper plates or old food trays, glitter, hole-punch, odds and ends of ribbon and pens.

I’ve never come across a child who doesn’t want to mess around with a food item AND paint AND be congratulated for doing it. So if you have one handy, get them in an apron and let them print away to their heart’s content. Add some glitter and when dry add detail with pens, cut a hole and add ribbon…Voila!

Best bit is it looks like you’ve made a lot of really thoughtful effort when it is actually reassuringly easy and quick to make.

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A Reflective Mood

Even though we are a few weeks away from starting a brand New Year, I have been feeling increasingly pulled towards that certain type of reflective mood that you only get at this time of year.

I think it was the juxtaposition of THE BAD DAY, the day I completed my last Christmas order and was feeling really quite proud of myself, plus the fact that my hormones are still all over the place (not sure how long I can use that excuse for but I’m clinging onto it for a while yet) that resulted in me getting a bit teary eyed this week.

Without wanting to get too soppy and Un-English about it, I really wanted to take this opportunity to say an enormous thank you to all of the people who have supported me in the last 2 months since I launched my business. To the people I have never met who have liked one of my posts, taken the time to leave me a thoughtful comment or followed me on Facebook and Instagram, people who have trusted a brand new business and placed an order, people who have written a lovely review, and also to the people out there who are championing small independent businesses and raising the profile of #campaignshopsmall (you make us feel a lot less alone!). To my friends near and far who have believed in me, my family who have encouraged me, my husband who has made it possible for me to try to take this little dream of mine and make it real. And most importantly, thank you to my sons for being the inspiration I needed to believe that if I can create two humans (and clean the house/change a nappy/have a phone conversation/wipe a bum/make breakfast/do my Sainsbury's order/attempt to explain the law of physics - simultaneously before 8am) then maybe, I have a good chance of creating a successful business too.

Merry Christmas everyone - enjoy every second!

Em xx

Emma Cruickshank