Resting Peppa Face

You know that thing where people say women have “resting bitch face”?


Well, my kids have something similar. Usually it comes on around 4:30pm, when I plonk them in front of the TV and try to get some housework done. Tired, they completely zone out. I call it Resting Peppa face and it looks like this:

It’s also brought on by Bing and Mr Tumble. A useful tool to keep wrinkles at bay. I may have to try it.

Felt tip Fail

Sorry for not keeping you up to date on my daily parenting fails. Things have got in the way a bit lately.

This one, however, was too good not to document:

You turn your back on them for a few minutes (to drive safely whilst looking out the front window instead of into the back seats) and this happens


Luckily it washed off in her bath later…

Absent without leave

Sorry I haven’t been around for a few weeks, but I’ve been having some work done.  Unfortunately, not the liposuction, boob lift, and eyebrow lift I need, but an extension to the house.  We’ve also knocked a wall down, but no worries, it’s not an important wall, just the wall between the kitchen and the dining room.  So basically, for the past few weeks, access to our kitchen has been fairly restricted.  The kids have had half the area to run around that they are used to, so consequently I’ve been out of the house a lot.  And I’ve just not been able to blog quite so much as I’d like.  So here’s some pictures of what we’ve been going through, in the hope that you’ll forgive me for not hopping on here as much as I usually do.






As you can see, we’re getting there.  Just the new kitchen to go in, some fireplace installation, and a LOT of cleaning.  Plaster dust really does get everywhere – I had some on my toast the other day for breakfast.

See you on the other side.

Watch out, there’s a giraffe about…

My daughter and I have some of our best conversations in the car, where she seems to just let her imagination run wild.  Driving home from IKEA yesterday (where we seem to spend half our lives), we started talking about the birds and where and when they go to sleep.  She thought it was half past one or two in the morning, but when I pointed out that once it starts getting dark you don’t see many birds flying around anymore, she said that it was because the birdies were hiding behind the houses, and when they wanted to go anywhere in the sky, they would just hide behind a plane.  Being me, I went with it:

“So what other animals might hide behind a house”
“Hmmm, elephants.”
“Wow, it would have to be a big house!”
“No mummy, they can go really small.  There is one hiding under my trampoline.”
“OK, well I’m sure he’s a nice elephant, and maybe he just wants a play when we’re all sleeping.  Are there any other animals that hide behind houses?”
“Yes mummy, there’s a giraffe over there but he’s not good at hiding because he’s too big and I can see his head.  Mummy, I want to play I Spy!  I spy with my little eye something beginning with B!”
“Oh, I don’t know…  boat?  Bat?  Bike?”
“No mummy, I’ll give you a clue.  It’s very big, like a giraffe.”
“Oh, this is a hard one.  Emmmmm…”
“It’s a giraffe!”


A giraffe, not hiding behind a house


Let’s talk about poo

Before I had kids, I really didn’t talk about poo very often.  You know, there was the odd day where it would affect my life, after a particularly ‘good’ night out, an iffy dinner, or an illness, and I’d mention something vague, in passing, to close friends or colleagues about a ‘dodgy tummy’, but by and large it wasn’t something that overly concerned me.

Now, two children later, I feel like it might be one of my favourite topics.  Precious first born’s nappies were examined with fervour and the colour, consistency and contents duly discussed with other half upon his return from work.  We still talk about the time she did a massive one in the bathroom section of IKEA, about the furthest away from a real toilet as you can get.  And the time we left the house and there was a poonami incident in her carseat which necessitated us diverting to my brother’s house in order to dunk her in the bath and shower her off.  Ahhh, memories.

In fact, all this talk of poo reminds me that on one of my daughter’s first settling in days at nursery, I had to change her as soon as I dropped her off.  And while I was doing so, she put her foot in the poo and wiped it down my white t-shirt.  I was quick with the baby wipes, but there was still a small, but noticeable stain.  So of course, as an oversharer, I pointed out what had happened to one of the nursery attendants, and said I’d intended to go shopping while she was in for the hour or so of settling in, but now I was going to have to go home and change.  And this, no word of a lie is the conversation we then had:
Her “Where are you going shopping?”
Me “Connswater”
Her “Well, sure you’ll be ok then.  If it was Victoria Square I’d say go home and change, but it’s only Connswater, sure nobody will even blink an eye.”
It should be part of their new advertising campaign, surely?  Connswater – the shopping centre where you can shop whilst covered in poo.

So imagine my glee yesterday when bathing the two girls, when the baby stood up, held onto the side of the bath and hunkered down, grunted, then popped out three poops.  Then hilariously, put her bum down into the water and farted so that bubbles came up.  Twice.

Cue hilarious bought of giggling from her big sister, and from myself.

But then imagine my horror as I realise I have to deal with those three little logs.

I’m sure mums all around the world have had to deal with such issues.  In fact, I’m aware of at least one who’s had to pick up little presents from her toddler from behind her sofa.  So in I dove with a hand covered in multiple baby wipes, and I fished them out, and threw them down the toilet.  It was all going well until I realised that in order for my children to remain ‘clean’, I would have to empty the bath of children, drain the bath, clean the bath, run another bath and pop said children back in, all while dealing with cries of ‘I’m cold’ from the older one, and slightly delirious laughs from the youngest.   So that’s what I did.  We were late getting to bed that night, but at least they weren’t covered in poo.  And if you’re ending the day with your children asleep and not covered in poo, you’re doing alright in my book!


The Best Parks in East Belfast

We’re lucky to live in a city with so many green spaces, so as autumn starts to blow beautiful copper leaves off the trees, and our parks are littered with acorns, conkers and ‘helicopters’ from the sycamores,  I thought I’d give you my guide to the best parks in East Belfast, and some of their main attractions.  Believe me, I’ve spent a LOT of time in all of these over the past few years…
Belmont Park – The playpark is great for all ages and is enclosed, making it very safe.  The park’s won numerous Green Flag awards and has lovely walks, including one through a wooded area.  Park at the Circular Rd entrance if you want to be close to the playpark and the toilets.
Mo Mowlam Park at Stormont – This is great for slightly older kids as there’s so much for them to play on, including an obstacle course, a zip-line, and loads of slides.  The toddler area has swings, slides, roundabout, tunnel, and a climbing frame.  There are picnic tables, toilets, and a coffee kiosk. If you’ve children of different ages, it can be difficult to keep an eye on both of them as the play areas are so spread out, but you can really spend a good few hours here.
Cherryvale Park, Ravenhill Road – A new wooden framed playpark with 3 different areas for toddlers to pre-teens.  Fenced in, and with plenty of picnic tables and benches, plus a carpark.  There’s also a welcome recent addition in the shape of the Hatch coffee van.
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Orangefield Park – I have to mention this as it’s my local!  The playpark has definitely seen better days, but my kids still love it, and the rest of the park is beautiful.  Great walks, an outdoor gym, tennis and basketball courts, bowling green, a velodrome, and huge playing fields.  Recent additions of fairy doors in the trees have added a bit of extra magic, and the Greenway plans promise an extension to the Knock dual carriageway, and new play areas.  If only the vandals would leave the book box and the fairy doors alone, it would be nigh on perfect!
Victoria Park – take some bread to feed the ducks and other assorted seabirds that flock to the lake in the middle of this park.  Flat paths surround the lake, and the new playpark is great.  Visit in the spring to see the bluebell meadows, but at this time of year it’s great for foraging blackberriesP1350894.
Honorary mentions to Ormeau Park, Lady Dixon, and Holywood’s Seapark, which didn’t make this list due to geography!

adventures in parenting, Belfast style