Artistic Licence — Perfect Portraits

An introduction to Sharon and her art.

via Artistic Licence — Perfect Portraits

Hi to all Team Sequoia followers, just letting you know that one of our team, Sharon, has her own blog for her artistic endeavours. Please take the time to follow it.

 

Thank you,

Team Sequoia x

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The Happiness Tag Challenge

Ok – so here we go! Thank you to Brilliance Within for nominating Team Sequoia Lifetree World to complete this ‘Happiness Tag’ challenge! It was SO fun to do!

The rules are simple; Write about 5 things that make me happy, 5 songs that make me happy and nominate 5 ‘happy’ bloggers to complete the tag too if they fancy sharing a bit of happiness!!

5 things that make me happy;

1: Sleep!!
Sleep makes me happy!
Why?? Because it’s so under appreciated!! Sleep is like being engulfed by a beautiful, big, cosy, snug bear! That moment my head hits the pillow (and I’m not gawping at some sort of social media post or some ridiculous online quiz that’s going to tell me what cereal type I was in a past life!!) The feeling that starts from the bottom of my feet and trickles up through my whole body to the top of my head! That magical relaxation you and I call…. Calm.
As everything stops and suddenly you feel yourself begin to drift off, everything feels so lovely and fuzzy 🙂 that is, until suddenly you do that falling thing!! The jolt!! You’re almost in an in between state of awake and the sleepy place and you suddenly think ‘Sh#t – I’m falling off the BED!!’ And you roll back to stop yourself waking in the process to realise it was just a prank!! Your cheeky little mind decided to trick you just before reaching dreamland!! Well that’s why sleep makes me happy because if my little boy isn’t keeping me from sleep, my husbands snoring is and if neither of these two are keeping me from sleep, my own BRAIN is so when it happens, it’s literally magic!!

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2. Crisps!
I love crisps…. They make me happy. They don’t judge. They don’t tease. They just ARE.
Salt and Vinegar, Beef and Onion, maybe even a cheeky Prawn Cocktail. They don’t make you slim but neither do they rot your teeth like chocolate and Coke! That’s gotta be a winner!
The happiest moments in my crisp trance eating is when you get that one crisp which has been COATED in the flavour you’ve chosen SO much that you can’t sit and just munch it, you have to suck all those artificial flavours, chemicals and heart attack inducing salts off it until it’s nothing but a soggy potato! Mmmmmmmm!

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3. Popping Zits!
This is a particular pass time of mine. If I see a big beautiful zit, I’ve just GOTTA get my fingers round it! There’s nothing more satisfying than a massive blackhead though! NOTHING! Especially those ones that shoot out like a perfectly formed bullet!! Awesome!
There’s a Dr in the USA called Dr. Zit Popper (or something like that). She has a YouTube channel! I am happy to shamelessly admit that I will watch those bad boys over and over! Even my four year old seems to have inherited my fascination with uber zits! He watches these videos with me!!
He’s become so accustomed to the process, and so used to watching me try and zap hubby’s back zits (which unfortunately are VERY rare and pretty disappointing) that if I’m exposing any skin on my back, HE starts having a go at any of the suckers that may have appeared!!!
Zit popping – it NEEDS to be made a national sport!

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4. Ice Cream.
Doesn’t ice cream make EVERYONE happy?
Ice cream means it’s summer! This means HOT…. This means FUN times.
Ice cream also means movie time! A tub of Phish Food and I feel like I’ve finally discovered the meaning of life!!
Ice cream in the winter means I’m being rebellious! Going against the grain! Sticking my fingers up at the ‘conventional’ way of life! HA! Have that!! Yes it’s snowing! Yes it’s raining! Yes it’s DARK by 3pm but THIS Momma does NOT care!! I am DOING IT!!
Add in some sprinkles and it’s like a moment from childhood right there in that bowl!! A memory of once putting hundreds and thousands on my raspberry ripple ice cream and the lid coming off so it was impaled with all these little sugar pellets…. Then trying each time thereafter to make that lid come off again but it never did!!!
Ice cream makes me happy because it’s magic in a tub! (Or on a stick…. Or in a packet!)

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5. Bedtime for my Little One!
This makes me happy because as much as NOTHING ELSE in this world REALLY makes me happier than time with my AWESOME little person (including Sleep, Crisps, Zit popping OR Ice Cream… ) bed time means I can be ME for a couple of hours. Just a couple but it means I can watch Geordie Shore on catch up or steam through Netflix with a glass of something bubbly in one hand (probably a Diet Coke) and a packet of crisps or a tub of ice cream in the other! I don’t have to share, I don’t have to pretend it’s ‘got alcohol in it’ and I don’t have to remember all the words to the SpongeBob SquarePants theme tune….. I can just….be…..me….. Until I realise I’ve been watching Paw Patrol for 45 minutes while ACTUALLY scrolling through Facebook and eating a few left over, soft chedders from little mans lunch! Then getting overly emotional about how much I ADORE my mini-me and how much I really wish I could go up there and scoop him up and snuggle him all night long!
Truth be told, I truly love bedtime with my little man because after all the madness of the day, all the rushing and routines, bedtime is when I finally get to hold him close. I get to read him his favourite Mr.Man book and sing him his favourite ‘You Are My Sunshine’ while stroking the side of his silky smooth cheek. X
He too loves his bedtime because he gets undivided and total attention as he listens to my words and allows his imagination to run wild with the story. He loves to ask for ‘lots of Sunshines please mummy’ to help lull him off to a place of calm while holding the hand that isn’t stroking his face X
Bedtime for my little person isn’t just for me to get some peace, it’s for us both to share our time and enjoy those cuddles which round the day off beautifully xx

Now, please pass me the remote 😉 xxx

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5 Songs that make me happy:

Madonna;  La Isla Bonita! This reminds me of holidays when I was young with my family. We always went to the same villa complex, had such fantastic times, knew all the other families and had a blast.

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Tom Jones; ALL of them, purely because he reminds me of my dad! He looked like him and even sang like him. Delilah was his favourite song and this is what makes me smile x

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Cyndi Lauper; Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, of course! Lol x I used to listen to Cyndi when I was getting ready for a night on the town with my girlfriends  and it was also the song and music video I recorded on my Hen weekend!!

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Michael Jackson; Thriller, loved that song, just reminds me of being an eighties chic and taking my youngest to a Michael Jackson tribute act a couple of years ago. Shania Twain, from this moment. Wedding song, from this moment, life has begun. It certainly did begin then too xx

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Tears for Fears; Everybody Wants To Rule The World! I can’t really tell you why this makes me happy but the minute that first bar starts I get a lovely feeling inside and I just want to whack it up and dance like a mad woman in my lounge! My Epitome of music happiness! X

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PANTS TO IT ALL!!

Daily word prompt: Struggle…

Ladies and gentlemen! Has anyone ever heard of the ‘Knicker Lasso?’
It’s a real thing!! And anyone who struggles with a bad back I’m sure will know the knicker lasso pretty well!

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I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of why my back is so rubbish – it just is and has been since I was a young girl! PE at school was my nemesis!
I was never the most adept sportswoman! I often got hit by a ball as opposed to catching it, if I scored a goal it was because I was running away from the ball…. And then it would be an own goal! Shooting for a netball goal..? Forget it! And hockey…. Well I broke my toe playing it at 10years old…. It’s fair to say, naturally gifted in sport, I am NOT! So as I reached a point where pain started happening in my back, I can kind of understand why my PE teachers often gave me a ‘pull the other one, luv’ look!

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A few years ago, my back got so bad I had to have an operation to remove a pretty impressive prolapsed disc!! Since then, it’s been ok but of late, (and after a very stupid and inelegant trip over a few weeks ago) I’ve been having some more challenges with it!!
The daily tasks that some may do without a second thought would, (if you were a fly on the wall in my house), look like a comedy sketch!!

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Picture the scene; It’s morning. I’ve slept all night and only woken the UMPTEEN TIMES that I’ve needed to turn over (because a simple ‘twist and roll’ is a definite no-no!!) The alarm is sounding as it does and I do my usual expletives at it for daring to have only allowed me what feels like two hours sleep!! Unfortunately, I have my back to it this morning so I have to begin my morning manoeuvre….. After a number of hours laying down (ooooo-errrrr Mrs) my back has set like concrete and is refusing to help me in my ‘morning roll challenge!’ So – I start to slide my body round and twist bit by bit. The 180 degree turn looks as graceful as a humpback whale trying to pedal a unicycle on a string of spaghetti!! Only a whale would make less racket about it!
After what feels like a lifetime I’ve made it onto my left side (yippee – round of applause from me, to me!) I reach over and switch the alarm off. By this point my husband is moaning at me for leaving it going so long because it has ‘woken him up!’ Really??

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Anyway – I’m now into position two of the morning roll. My next challenge is to get out of bed. My back is swearing at me just as much as I am swearing at ‘it’ by this point because it knows – it KNOWS it’s got seconds before I’m going to ask it to take the weight!!! (And there’s a lot of that these days!!) I pop both my feet onto the side of my bed, bring myself slowly onto my left elbow…. Say the ‘F’ word as I push through the stiffness, ask my hubby a romantic ‘give us a shove babe’ and then in one movement, as fluid as steel(!) I drop my feet on to the floor and find myself sitting upright on the edge of the bed! Woohoo!!! Go ME!!!
As I sit for a moment to adjust to the world being upright again, my next move is to stand up!!
As I psych myself up, I have to place both feet apart with my hands either side of me on the bed, and with hubby’s hand on my back he gives me a little shove! With my final ‘lift’ I make it into a somewhat Quasimodo position. (Honestly! My poor husband!!) I then do a little shuffle to the bathroom.

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Once I am ready to get dressed, I’m feeling a little more limber. Not quite ready for yoga sesh but less solid than I was 15 minutes before! My next challenge is to get dressed!
Any of my fellow back pain sufferers may know the next move VERY well….. It’s called the Knicker Lasso!

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Yes – it is a national sport in the secret ‘My Back Is Crap’ club! Now, there are two options for this game. It all depends on what level and area the nagging back is in as to which I choose.
Option 1: Laying down, stark, whatsit naked on the bed with legs at a right angle in the air. (Can you imagine the sight?! Thank heavens for blinds!!) Undies in chosen hand and …… FLING up in the air, lassoing over my right foot! This can take a few goes, but generally it’s pretty successful.
Option 2: Sitting stark, whatsit naked on the edge of the bed and like a game of Hoopla I flick those bad boys over my foot. It’s all in the wrist action!!

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Option 1 is more productive when ensuring said pants are nearer to required landing site whereas Option 2 still requires a forward bend to lean and collect undies in order to fit accordingly! This is often less theatrical when you have another person to hand who can pass you the successfully placed knick-knocks!! (Cue Hubby’s third involvement of the morning!)
The same/similar process is required for trousers…. Can you imagine how long this process takes??

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Anyway, once I’ve passed this stage of the day, Mr. Back is finally a little less naff and apart from climbing into and out of my car like a complete LEMON, things have finally improved.

So when you hear someone complaining about how their back hurts, or see your other half struggle with the morning ‘bend’, perhaps as an act of kindness – tell them about the Knicker Lasso….. It’s a real thing, you know!!

Lots of love,

Vicki
XxxxX

Rebuild – A Tribute to my Father

Daily Post Prompt – Rebuild

“Make it stop”, she says through teary eyes

“No way, no more”, we hear her cry.

Her loss is a pain that cannot go,

her father, rock, her true hero.

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The wretched torment twists inside,

the throes of grief she cannot hide.

His image she holds within her hand,

“Why him?” She does not understand.

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Taken abruptly, unexpectedly,

the cancer took hold so rapidly.

A week goes by, a month, a year,

he’s still so missed, much loved and very dear.

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Her time since loss has passed so slow,

rock bottom being the only place she’s known.

She sits and thinks of times gone by,

she hears a voice, “I did not die”.

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“I am here with you for eternity”.

She spins around with urgency,

“Did I? Was it? Is he really here?”

she lifts her head, she feels no fear.

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Her darkened heart feels warmth inside,

a feeling somehow not justified.

“It’s time dear child to live again,

to laugh, to love, cast out the pain”.

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“Your life’s a story yet unfulfilled,

I’ll give you the strength you need to rebuild.

One page at a time, we’ll get you through,

If you ever feel lost,  know I love you!”

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A hand touches her shoulder, a breeze blows by,

“But Dad I’m not ready to say goodbye!”

“Rebuild, my child, rebuild for me,

you’re broken, it’s clear for me to see”.

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“I’m with you forever, in heart and mind,

stride forward my daughter, no more rewind”.

She sits up straight, she knows she can,

her father was always her biggest fan.

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“Goodbye dear Dad”, she whispers through choked back tears,

“You have loved me so much throughout the years.

I’ll make you proud just wait and see,

I’ll be the best me I could ever be”.

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With that his presence fades away,

but in her heart he’ll always stay.

She blows a kiss and looks on high,

for now she is finally ready to fly.

Love you always Dad,

Sharon xx

 

 

 

 

PURE

Daily Post Photo Challenge Pure

Ingleton Waterfall Trails in Yorkshire

I love this place, if this isn’t a place of purity then I don’t know where is! This was taken last year on one of our many trips there.

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Hope you like,

Sharon

Team Sequoia x

Teenage Mutant Stinking Hormones

Understanding

TEENAGERS!!! Every parent’s worst nightmare, and for those of you looking at your darling angel as you read this and are thinking this won’t be me……. trust me it will!

It is just a fact that as every child hits that milestone they change overnight and the once sweet, innocent little cherub you loved so dearly becomes suddenly replaced by an extremely well-acted Kevin and Perry lookalike! I myself have two teenagers and I can assure you they are both extremely efficient at ensuring I claim a grey hair and wrinkle daily!

You would think that being a teenager once myself I could totally relate to their angst at life in general but to be honest I don’t understand them at all! They can be so opinionated, stubborn, stroppy and unreasonable about the smallest thing and you can guarantee in their eyes Mum does NOT know best! I question my parents about how they survived these years without it resulting in them rocking in a corner, did they simply have a better understanding or was it because I was a model teenager?!………doubtful! Either way it is a fair conclusion that as a parent of teenagers karma will come knocking to inflict your former self on yourself, enjoy!

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It is also well known teenagers are highly unpredictable creatures and should carry an approach with caution sign, after all what might send them into an absolute melt down one day will be a little blip in the road another. When the world is against them though and by that I mean mum said NO their favourite pastime is to slam any door as loud as they can adding “I HATE YOU” for dramatic effect!

Also I feel I should warn you teenagers have a distinct lack of ability to find a bin?! My worst nightmare is cleaning my son’s bedroom, trust me anyone with boys will know what I mean! Just today I stepped into the hazard zone and found a load of snotty tissues that had lovingly been thrown onto the floor, toenails strategically placed anywhere that would hide them and numerous empty deodorant cans, Kim and Aggie would have a field day! It is fair to say teenagers are grim!

I have only had the pleasure of boys going through the teenage years so I have no idea what girls are like, although I suspect by my dad’s evil laugh it doesn’t bode well…….did I mention I have another son and daughter to grace me with this period too…….gulp! Well I feel slightly better prepared and will ensure three things, I will….

1 Buy ear plugs…… to insert the minute I reply no to something

2 Invest in door stops

3 Takes shares out in wine……and chocolate!

 

Enjoy the years, they fly by too fast!

All my love

Emma x

The Peak of Life

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Throughout life it’s fair to say that every one of us experiences events that we feel are insurmountable but just like any mountain with the right support and encouragement we find a way to clamber up until we stand at the top feeling proud of our accomplishment.

I guess this must start early on in childhood, although at the time maybe not quite so profound. From that very first step to our first leap from the couch to the sea of cushions on the floor (pretty sure we all did that as kids) we learn new abilities and skills. We seem to have an innocence as children that allows us to believe we can do or be anything we want, something that seems to decline the older we get when self-doubt creeps in.

As we move through the years, and particularly as we become teenagers we seem to start questioning and comparing ourselves to others, perhaps in the way we dress or the way we look. We start becoming more self-conscious and occasionally forget to go for what we want, worrying more about what our mates will think.

For me being a teenager brought with it probably the biggest challenge I will ever face……. Parenthood! Bam…. overnight my whole life changed, no more crawling in from the pub at some ungodly hour, no more shopping with my mates at the weekend ………instead I now had this teeny tiny person (my son was 3lb 6oz when he was born) and a huge responsibility to care for him to the best of my ability……. I won’t lie I was petrified! I got through it though, despite the ups and downs and even went on to have three more children who I all love dearly!

As much as I loved and was grateful for being able to be a stay at home mum financially I had to find a job when my second eldest started school. This was extremely daunting for me because at the time I had been at home for nearly 9 years! It’s fair to say my confidence was pretty low and the thought of attending an interview filled me with dread, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and went for a job at the local school. I was thrilled when I got offered the position and it renewed a spark in me and my self-belief!

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Our circumstances however changed after welcoming our fourth child to the world which meant I wouldn’t be able to go back so I had to find something else that would fit. This is when I took the step to become a childminder and had to go back to school so to speak by completing coursework as a requirement to registration. Following on from this I had to be Ofsted inspected…….gulp……those four hours of being watched were perhaps the longest in my life but do you know what I got through it and I can safely say I was over the moon with the result! This was a pivotal point in my life because I suddenly realised I was capable and I was good at my job, and perhaps my darling children hadn’t quite sucked all my brains from me!

I now realise that I can achieve anything I set my mind too and I genuinely believe that because of my renewed confidence I have been pushing myself to learn new skills and abilities. Infact since joining a networking company I can now use Instagram, blog, tweet, create ads and help support my team. Maybe little things to some but to me this has truly opened my eyes to the fact the only box I am in is the one I create for myself. I believe that we have to embrace challenge and give it our all, for if we don’t we simply don’t learn what we are truly capable of.

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Yours confidently

Emma

 

 

A (paper) WEIGHT OFF MY MIND

Word Prompt: Transformation

About 20 years ago my now husband was offered some casual work by a friend. He was asked if he would like to earn some money lifting bundles of newspapers onto lorries all through the night. At 17, the money glittered like a gem to a magpie so with his first pratt-mobile to buy and a wardrobe of chavtastic attire to purchase, he went for it.

After a year or so, he was offered a permanent contract with this National Newspaper and a great salary for his age!
Back then, ‘the print’ paid well. Everyone bought a paper daily and the work was never ending.
Over the years, he was given more opportunities to progress through the company and worked in a number of different departments. When we met, 10 years ago, he was what they called a ‘Line Operator’. This meant that he spent all day, or all night (as this was a 24/7 plant) watching newspapers running on his line. His main excitement of the shift was when there was a ‘jam-up’ and he was able to get his hands dirty and get fixing the issue. Oh how the long Summer nights just FLEW by!!

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Not long after we moved in together, he was offered the opportunity to move to a different department to train as a Supervisor!
We were over the moon and I was SO proud of him! By this point we were engaged too so the increased salary was really going to be useful in paying towards our wedding!

As he got into the swing of the role, he really started to grasp it and was receiving great feedback! He was working long 12 hour day shifts and working every other weekend but it was all going to be worth it. Then, out of nowhere, he was asked to move onto nights…… Permanently! It wasn’t much fun – for either of us really. We lived in a one bedroom flat so as he was getting into bed at 7am, I had to keep quiet or go out until he was awake (understandably).

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It was ok but after almost a year, it started to get a little tense between us. I saw a transformation in my man which meant he was becoming quite grumpy, short tempered and generally a bit of a grot! Not only that, our lovely home wasn’t getting the TLC it deserved either because I couldn’t crack on with the things that needed doing for worrying that I’d wake him. Now, I know our other halves all have their moments but we were getting to the point where we didn’t have as many of the nice moments together as we used to. Not to mention that I worked Mon-Fri whereas he worked throughout the week and every other weekend. Our time together was limited.

It wasn’t a bed of roses anyway but regardless of the grumps, we still loved each other very much and knew that it wouldn’t be for ever…..

By this point we were married and after a couple of years of marriage, my Mr was moved back on to days! It was the BEST news I’d heard in a VERY long time!
We were so excited and realised that the gritting of our teeth had been worth it.

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Not long after this, we discovered I was expecting our first baby. Everything was falling in to place and all we needed now was to move to a bigger home….. We managed to rent a little 2 bed Victorian Terrace just a couple of months before our little boy arrived.

We lived in our house for a year and a half before an opportunity arose for us to buy our dream home in a little village 25 miles from where we were. We LEAPT at the chance and could hardly believe it when we had the keys in our hand! It literally was like a dream come true (and let me just take a moment to remind you that dreams really can be a reality! You just have to keep believing and visualising your wish. The Universe will crack on with the rest for you.)

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I think we had lived in our lovely little house for about six months when suddenly, we were given the news that Hubby was being given a forced promotion…… On to nights! No choice whatsoever! Take it, or clear off! So, new mortgage, a baby and we had no choice, he had to take it.

That was the worst situation we’ve been in.
The transformation of my Mr from happy, fun and pleasant to exhausted, unhappy and frustrated was almost instant.
It was like a merry go round and we passed like ships in the night. He left for work at 4pm, I got home at 6pm. He came home from work at 7:30am, I left for work at 8:15am! It was relentless.
Not only this but I’m a bit of a tyrant and after moving in, wanted nothing more than to put our stamp on our home but in the FOUR days we spent together a month, he was so tired or we were visiting family, that nothing got done!

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We were in a rut! And we were being snappy with each other over the most insignificant things! I think one day we had an argument over a pair of shoes being left in the kitchen….. That was impressive! I’m sure my poor neighbours must have thought a fishwife had moved in next door!!
But still, regardless of all the strains, we kept going and remained a team.

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This was actually one of the biggest reasons that I chose to join Team Sequoia in a network marketing venture. I wanted a second income stream to help get him out of his work and into something else but also to allow me to build a business that would give us more time together as a family! It was just the right time and an easy type of business to manage as all I need to do is buy my shopping through a different website to the norm! Nothing to sell and nothing taxing to take any of the precious time we had together, away! Perfect!!

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Then last year, it all changed. We made the decision together that enough was enough and Hubby requested voluntary redundancy. After 20 years and far too many permanent nights, it was time for us to make a change and do what was right for us as a family!
Not only that, but the transformation of the newspaper market was a massive decline as everyone just read the news on their little hand held pieces of brilliance! The Internet was slowly finishing the newspaper industry and we wanted to be in control of when he left rather than having it sprung on us! So – he went for it!

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By now he was the Publishing Manager of the night Shift and as such, it took 10 months from asking to leave until actually walking away!
It’s quite apt this evening that the word of the day is Transformation because I only posted a status on my personal Facebook account last night with the following:

“My new husband is just like the one I remember from a few years ago but with a few upgrades :)’

It’s fair to say, the transformation I have seen in my fella been astronomical and instant. He’s happy, relaxed, grateful and just, well, pretty perfect really ….(shhhhhhh, don’t tell him).

It’s fab having my husband back, it’s better than fab having company in the evening but with every gain must come some loss and my biggest sense of loss is the control I had over the remote! RIP Netflix – it’s been emotional xxx

Lots of Love,

Vicki

XxxxX

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES

 

Word prompt: Embarrassing

Anyone with any experience of a child of any age will most definitely understand the true meaning of embarrassing! I’m not talking ‘whoops, I just stumbled a little but remained on my feet’ embarrassing – I’m talking ‘HOLY MOLY MACARONI! Please let the ground open up and swallow me RIGHT NOW’ kind of embarrassing.

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Before having my little one, the most embarrassing thing I can recall happening to me was when I was about 23. I was a LOT slimmer and as a result, I felt pretty confident in myself. I had a full on job as a Relationship Manager and pranced about in my convertible company car thinking I was the bees knees (what a banana!).

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Anyway, I was driving with the roof down to get a house key cut. A very simple task! I pulled up outside the key cutters where there happened to be builders working too. Applied my lippy and sunglasses then out of the car I stepped. I walked round to the passenger side, took out my handbag, shut the door and turned to strut into the shop then – WHACK – I walked STRAIGHT into a lamp post. I cannot tell you how painful my face was but the dent in my face was nothing like the pain of my dented ego. Add in the embarrassment after the builders chuckled then shouted ‘you alright, Luv?’ and I felt at least 4ft shorter! That brought me down a peg or two!!

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But that was then – things are far different today! My little boy has unashamedly put me in some VERY tricky situations. He’s only four – it’s all in total innocence and naivety and I know he would never mean to cause offence…. However, he doesn’t have any issues with embarrassing mummy!!
A few of his recent clangers included shouting at me to ‘look, mummy, look! That lady is SMALL!’ regarding a lady who was definitely in the 4ft height bracket. And then a very loud ‘Mummy….where is his hair??’ When passing a gentleman with a bald head. His next was shouting again when walking into a bar on holiday while a gentleman was singing on stage ‘Is that horrible singing mummy? Is it? Mummy? Is it???’
He also pointed to one gentleman who had perhaps not worn a brace when he was younger staying with conviction ‘Mummy! Look at them TEETH! (Or TEEFF for the actual pronunciation)! All these incidents led me to wonder if I had done something mean in a past life to have deserved such gut wrenching embarrassment! But it seems, even with these scenarios under his belt in no more than five days, he really hadn’t finished with embarrassing this mum of his! The real clincher came when on holiday, he saw a gentleman of the Sikh faith in the pool. He was with his adorable baby girl and wife and instead of wearing his turban, was wearing his more casual head scarf. My son, a mere four years old, sees this gentleman as we walk past them in the pool and shouts on the top of his lungs…. ‘MUMMY!!! PIRATE!!’

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The ground did NOT open up and swallow me that day regardless of my intense, silent prayers!!

In all the above instances I tried to either divert his attention by almost squealing an ‘oh look darling! Look at that tree!’ or in other instances a half whispered ‘I’m so sorry’ to the victim of his beautiful innocence.

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It’s fair to say, my son has ’embarrassing’ down to a fine art and I PROMISE you all that as he reaches his teenage years, I will totally revel in the opportunity of taking my revenge!
In his defence, I’m sure he gets it from his father who would often shout to me down the shopping aisle ‘BABE, WAS IT PILE CREAM OR PILE TABLETS YOU WANTED?’ simply to put me in another embarrassing situation!

Note to self: Never underestimate the prowess of a toddler when an embarrassing question pops into their head!!

Lots of Love,
Vicki
XxxxxX

Disconnect to Reconnect

Connected

Day in, day out we are connected in some way, be it through facebook, twitter, Instagram……….in fact I often wondered what would happen if for just one day we stopped!

What if we all disconnected from the internet and reconnected in person? I mean what ever happened to a good old chin  with your friends………in person, or writing a letter to your pen pal…………yes once upon a time I did have one!

I don’t know about you but my husband and I have fallen into really bad habits, the children go to bed and from about 8pm until bed we sit and stare at our phone and ipod! Sure this means we have a very happy marriage as I am not chewing his ear off (as he puts it) and he gets to stare at tin cans (which is what I refer to as his car interest), however we don’t sit and talk………well not like we did before we had a gazillion different ways to access the net!

Well Saturday just gone, we stopped, we turned our phones off and spent time together. As a birthday treat he whisked me off to a lovely hotel where we had the most amazing dinner! I won’t lie the prospect of being without my phone for more than a couple of hours……..oh who am I kidding……minutes, filled me with dread! I mean what if someone needed to get hold of me, what if I missed a highly important message………the panic was IMMENSE!!!

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It took a huge amount of will power to press that off button and place my phone down on the bedside table, it seriously felt like I was leaving my access to the world behind! Sad state of affairs really, I admit. So we headed down for our meal and spent the next 4 hours TALKING, actually TALKING to each other, and do you know what I realised that even after 15 years together we still have plenty to chat about………quite a relief I must admit!

In fact we had such a lovely time that we came away that night knowing that we really needed to take time to connect the good old fashioned way and make more effort to see family and friends in person rather than through facebook chat! I don’t want my children growing up with a phone permanently glued to their hands and I realise now that things need to change!

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So we have made a vow, my phone and ipod respectively will be turned off every now and again so we can stop getting distracted by the constant ping of the latest update on facebook and have some quality time together, engaging in proper conversation to appreciate what life was like before google!!!

 

Yours connected at present

Emma x