moving day!

ITs that time again. I promise I won’t make a habit of this. but I’ve moved over to another blog:

tutus and trainers

please come over and see how I’m settling in at my new place.

For now…x



I bemuse myself in my contradictory ways.

I’m a walking talking breathing oxymoron. Only today:

I used the self service checkout at the supermarket for speed only to get cross at the machine for not being patient with me. Yes I really, verbally argued with a machine.

Needing to dust away the cobwebs I headed off to the gym, only to drive around looking for the nearest parking space so I wouldn’t have to walk as far.

I was desperate to pause and catch my breath in the whirl wind of a busy morning only to text my husband five minutes later saying I was bored.

And this is no extraordinary day.

I get frustrated when the husband leaves something lying around, but I can live with my own mess.

I adore spontaneity, and then plan my way through it.

Risk thrills me but I’m too sensible to step out.

I live by lists. And then lose them.

Yes. I bemuse myself.

A lot of snow for May.

My surrogate little sister turned 18 last week. isn’t she beautiful?

So a couple months ago I planned a girls camping trip up in the lake district. Laura kept harping on about going out on the lakes on some kayaks. For one reason or another it didn’t work out. This not-working-out happened quite last minute. I came up with a plan B and Laura was super duper excited to get to go water skiing. Except that didn’t work out either. The wind was too high and blowing in the wrong direction. And this not-working-out was really really last minute. Like a couple hours before we were supposed to go last minute. But somehow I came up with a plan C. So three of us headed off to ChillFactor in Manchester. To learn how to ski. The husband and the little bears came too to play in the snow. Yep. If you havn’t been: real snow. Inside. Way cool.

The skiing was ace. We wanted to get back out when we were done. It was all going so well…..

We did head back out into the snow to use the sledges on the slope. I watched the girls play in the snow while The Husband, Sammie and Laura bombed it down the snow on various contraptions. Half way through the session Rob came to take the girls and I was handed the ‘safest’ sledge. It was more like a mini go kart without wheels. you could steer the thing and it even had brakes. I felt I was in safe hands. I sat side by side with Sammie ready to race her…

I don’t know what happened. It all happened too fast. I think I slammed on the brakes too hard. The monster I was sitting in started to spin around the ice as I hurtled down the slope and then I flew off it. I think. I’m not sure if I actually separated from said demonic structure or not. Maybe we continued to tumble together. Either way I sumersaulted over the ice (with or without the sledge) and landed on my right arm and leg. Then the monster sledge landed on my head and smacked it onto the ice underneath me.

I lay still for a second and then…started laughing hysterically. Really. Laughing, I wiggled everything to make sure i hadn’t broken anything and everything seemed in working order. Sammie got to me and followed my lead with the laughing. I was still laughing when I got to my feet and saw the instructor running down towards me to see if I was ok. I was throbbing all over but made my way back up the slope. I needed to do this again. Don’t they say if you fall off your bike you’re supposed to get back on straight away or you’ll become frightened to ride again later on? Well I figured I needed to get back onto the saddle sledge. As I got to the top I wasn’t feeling so good. My head was banging, my neck hurt, I had a dead arm and I started to feel dizzy.

I walked back down the slope this time.

A little while later I hurried to the toilets to throw up. I felt dreadful. And I had to drive an hour back home.

I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard. I had gotten cold and shivery and feeling really really tired. It must have been adrenaline that kept me going because when we were getting close to home I was starting to lose it a little. I was confused and sleepy and just glad Rob’s car was right in front of me to follow. I pulled up onto our drive and turned off the engine. I think I asked L to give me a minute – I just couldn’t move. I put my head on the steering wheel and fell asleep. Rob got me out of the car and up the stairs. I climbed into bed relieved that I could close my eyes. Rob came up to wake me at regular intervals through the evening, asking me randomly wierd questions and flashing bright lights in my eyes. I think he fancied himself as Dr Karl Kennedy.

I woke up this morning still feeling out of it. You know when you take really strong pain relief and it spaces you out? It was just like that. I sat in the church service not really with it. I warned Rob to leave me along because people might look and think I was high on drugs…

Throughout this afternoon I have started to feel loads better. Now I feel fine, just really sore around my neck. Give it a few days and I’ll be good as new.

At least I didn’t bleed. I don’t like blood. And can you imagine that kind of mess on a load of white ice. Gross.

And at least I was wearing a helmet. I shudder to think…

So quite an adventure right?

Would I ski again? Totally. Can’t wait. Do I look forward to the next time I see a sledge? Not so much.

Happy Birthday Laura. You’re awesome and I love you.

glitter, ofsted and humility

So tomorrow is P-day. Time to partaaaay. In a five year old kind of way. I think I’ve lost track of which kids are coming and who can’t make it. I have a number, I just hope its’ the right one. and why did I think it was really clever and thrifty to bake a birthday cake rather than buying a good ol’ reliable one? Am I completely nuts? Having said that, I’m not making a cake. I’m making 21. Cupcakes that is. Cupcake must be easier than having to decorate one big one. Piece of cake. Get it?

Oh and I have ediable glitter. That will balance out any potentially cake disaster. If it sparkles, it is good.

This week saw our school get the Ofsted call. They’re coming on Tuesday. An army of three coming to wreak havock with the nerves of an entire school staff.

It’s fine really. I’m cool, calm and collected.

So all in all I’m not feeling at my most relaxed at this moment in time. But it is just a moment in time. It’ll pass. the party will be great. Ofsted will be….done with. A family I’ve gotten close with have had their lives thrown upside down with tragedy. Pakistan is facing terrorist revenge. Sometimes we need to step back and get a little perspective.

On a side note, I I watched a lady called Holly Furtick talk on relationships. If you’re single, in a relationship or married, it’s definitely worth a watch.

you can’t escape the pox.

It was inevitable. For crying out loud they shared a bed when Ruby was at her most contageous. Exactly two weeks after Ruby caught chicken pox, her big sister followed suit. Text book.

It doesn’t mean I wasn’t hoping chloe would last it out ’till after her birthday. Yep. 24 hours after her first spots appeared I was wishing my girl a happy fifth birthday, trying to hype up a day of not doing much. Last friday my five year old daughter showed so much grace and maturity it blew me away.

You wouldn’t expect a little girl to look on the bright side of having to cancel her birthday party. But she did. She took it all in her stride.

Grace. Maturity. I think I have a lot to learn from her.

Chloe was an absolute warrior taking her piriton and calpol. You have to understand, Chloe doesn’t take medicine ever. Ever. But she was taking the stuff. It was a modern day miracle. But then… Don’t you just hate it when there’s a but then? Chloe had been complaining it hurt when she swallowed within a day of getting chicken pox, and I could see some spots on the roof of her mouth. Poor mite. But by sunday morning she’d gone too long without eating anything, I had a good look and thought her throat didn’t look right. I got her up to the walk in centre and the doctor took one look and said it was a nasty case of tonisilitis. I gave Chloe the pep talk about another kind of medicine that would help her swallow properly and eat again.

It only took one dose and I knew the battle was back on. To her credit, the stuff is really gross. Bright orange and tastes like acid. So much for the banana milkshake they used to hide penicillin in. So now, not only is it a nightmare getting her to take the antibiotics, but all medicine has become the enemy. Again.

As you can imagine, I don’t look forward to this every four hours:

You should see that girl stuff a whole chocolate roll into her mouth in one go.

Now please don’t get me wrong. In the whole scheme of things I know this is not the end of the world. I know that children have to cope with far worse on a daily basis, long term and they show us what bravery is really all about.

But as a mum sometimes our worlds are a little small and so the minor things feel huge. And right now, Chloe is my hero in against the plight of the dreaded pox and tonsilitis and getting her to take her medicine is my everest.

royal weddings and chicken pox scabs.

Man alive I love four day weekends. Don’t you love four day weekends? Shouldn’t we always have four day weekends? God bless Prince William for deciding to get married at the beginning of a bank holiday weekend. It’s like wave after wave of that feeling – the freedom from mid-week responsibilities and the early morning rush. Bliss.

Having said that, if I had a four day weekend, I’d probably long for a five day break…

So we rocked the royal wedding with lie-ins, cream scones, cupcakes and about 12 hours of being glued to the TV screen. One serious television marathon. Tiring really. Chloe was hooked, being caught up in the fairytale of it all. Ruby picked her chicken pox scabs.

We recovered from our wedding-hangover with ever bigger lie ins, 9.30 baby!! I don’t remember the last time I slept that late. Of course the girls didn’t lie in. No no no. they got up 7 with their daddy. Then The husband went back to bed until, wait for it, after midday! It’s like we’ve regressed back to studentdom. Love. It.

Wanting to make up for such excessive relaxation over the last two days, I sent The Husband up into the loft to fetch some old clothes boxes down. Are we the only people to keep shoving stuff in the loft, hoping it will stretch like mary poppin’s handbag? The husband has been warning me for a while that it’s chaotic up there. Organisation up there was becoming necessary. After a little while of denial I agreed he might just be right and agreed to sort through all-things-baby, passing on anything Ruby has now grown out of and is therefore superfluous.

After about an hour The Husband stuck his head into the sitting room – and he thought the loft had been chaotic…! He observed that the ‘keep’ pile was significantly larger than the ‘pass-on’ pile. This is something that worries men. Especially if it is baby related. I thought I was just being a sentimental softy but when he sat down and looked through what I couldn’t bring myself to part with he totally agreed. Good man. I have managed to fill two bin liners and two carrier bags to distribute accordingly so I call that a job well done. For now.

Having missed Church last week I’m super dumper excited to be there tomorrow. I am putting aside the prospect of the inevitable beads of sweat that gather whilst wrestling Ruby during prayer time. Because it is in fact when it is quiet that my girl works on her fog horn skills. I refuse to consider the certainty of chasing this child as she tries to run onto the bands’ platform. No sir. Instead I will choose anticipate being in God’s house and being in the company of family. I will remind myself that I will entering into the presence of the Most High, the Creator, My friend and my Lord, who takes me and my colourful family as we are.

Being a mum (with little ones) at church often means there is pain (or embarrassment!) in the offering, but how much sweeter that offering is to my God.


The little ones have very much made their mark on Easter this year. And not in the way you’d think.

I’ve been looking forward to Easter Weekend. It’s been way too long since I saw my niece Matilda. Last time I had to support her pretty little head. Last time she pretty much slept and ate. Now she sits and babbles and hits you in the face. So Mart, Heather and Matilda made plans to come see us on Good Friday for the night. Wohoo!! Excitement all round. Didn’t want to wish away the easter holidays but I couldnt wait to see them.

We had spent the week before over in Yorkshire with very un-yorkshire-like weather. P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N. A well earned break away to revive the body and soul. Getting back on Thursday we had a call from Rob’s mum to say that Rob’s brother Chris and his wife were having their baby. Well more Kim and less Chris. I should have guessed baby would arrive early to catch Chris and Kim out because they hadn’t finished getting everything they needed. Over the evening nervous texts were exhanged between myself and my mum-in-law. It had been a while since we heard any updates. My imagination was soaring and my thoughts floated over the Atlantic to Canada. Then, to my relief and excitement I woke up in the night to a text that a baby girl had been born. Hurray!!! Girls are definitely rocking this generation of Stewards (and Lewins’ for that matter), not a little boy in sight.

Enter Good Friday. With that glowing feeling when a baby has been born into the family, and the anticipation of family arriving, the Steward house was buzzing with tidying, breakfasting and generally being excited. We still didn’t have a name from Chris and Kim and so when I told my girls that they had a new cousin and they wanted to know what to call her, I called her baby Canada. It stuck. Since then we have heard her real name, but for Ruby I think Charlotte Steward will always be baby Canada.

I worked out that family would be arriving around 11ish and so we gathered in the living room and chilled out with the girls watching out the window for their cousin. I don’t even know why I looked because Ruby was wearing clothes, but I noticed Ruby had about 5 spots on her tummy. Tiny pin prick spots. Rob, who was on the phone to his mum, told her about the spots and asked if he could go and show her them to check them out. She used to be a nurse. Very handy indeed. They dashed out and within a matter of minutes Mart, Heather and Matilda rolled up. Within a matter of a few more minutes and Rob called me. The consensus was Chicken pox. We had chicken pox in the house and a six month old visitor.

I could bore you will the labourous quest for keeping Ruby and Matilda away from each other but I don’t even want to think about it myself. I just hope it worked and Matilda doesn’t get sick. Time will tell.

Ruby woke up Saturday morning (at her grandma’s) with a lot more spots. She woke up this morning with even more. Rob has trained her to call herself ‘Spot’. I really hope that one doesn’t stick.

So this is going to be a really weird Easter Sunday. I won’t be at church. I’ll be at home with my spotty girl. As a christian, Easter is, understandably, really important to me. Even moreso because I became a christian on an easter weekend making it particularly meaningful. Rob’s preaching tonight too so I won’t get there either.

But as good as it would have been to be there, turning up to a church service aint what it’s all about.

The excitement of a new baby, the feeling of seeing family that you ache to be with, a dose of chicken pox and the prospect of lots of chocolate could so easily have distracted me into turning this weekend into any other ‘holiday’.

A woman called Rachel Hughes tweeted this this morning:

the same power that conquered the grave lives in me…. How easily I underestimate this truth. Thank you Jesus that you’re ALIVE”.

No more words are needed.

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