Word Of The Week – Birthday

This week saw my youngest, Jake turn three. On Sunday we celebrated his birthday a couple of days early with a little party at home. We were so lucky as the weather was beautiful meaning we could take the party outside into the garden.

We don’t have a large family so having them all come together to celebrate with us meant a lot to me. Jake doesn’t have any little friends of his own yet but I’m sure that will change once he starts nursery.

Jake had a wonderful time, playing outside, eating pizza and cake. He even got to open some of his presents early. He was well and truly shattered once everyone went home.

On Monday night Jake went to bed as a two year old for the last time. Tuesday morning came quickly and he couldn’t wait to race downstairs and open his presents. He soon got to work tearing off the wrapping paper and opening his cards. He loved his balance bike and the Batman and Spiderman Duplo we had chosen for him.

After a quick whizz around the living room on his bike he was ready for his birthday breakfast of pancakes. In our house you get to choose a special breakfast on your birthday. I did feel a little sad as Daddy had to work and it was a school day for Daisy so Jake was stuck at home with boring Mummy for the day.

Once home from the school run, we got to work building the Duplo together. The rest of Jake’s birthday was spent playing and he even got to have another birthday cake which made him very happy indeed.

So now he is three and we eagerly await news of an early nursery place. He is more than ready to start his next big adventure.

Birthdays have also been the topic of conversation between Chris and I this week. I turn 40 in November and I’m still undecided as to how I want to celebrate (commiserate). I’ve settled on a night away on my actual birthday and family meal on the Sunday. I’m leaving it up to Chris to book somewhere nice.

The Reading Residence

 

 

Now You Are Three

Dear Jake, today you turn three. I hope you have a happy day and enjoy the presents that Mummy and Daddy chose for you. It feels like only yesterday that you arrived in to the world. You weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and had the most beautiful head of thick hair. You were not happy to leave the comfort of Mummy’s belly and you let the whole room know with your angry cries of protest.

I won’t sugar coat it, the first year was tough. You suffered with colic and we couldn’t put you down for a moment. The angry cries continued and we didn’t know how to help you. Time moved quickly and before we knew it you were sitting, then crawling, then walking. We blinked for a moment and you grew in to a spirited toddler, full of fun and mischief.

There have been some challenging times, I won’t lie. You have brought us joy and frustration in equal measures. There have been days when every ounce of my patience has been required. Days where bedtime couldn’t come too soon.

But there have also been many more days where my heart has almost burst with pride. You are clever, independent, funny and oh so loving. You do this funny little side glance that you know makes Mummy laugh so much. When you wrap your little arms around my neck and tell me you love me I know I did a good job.

The last couple of months have seen us turn a huge corner with you. You seem to have grown up overnight. I am happy but I do wish time would slow a little, you are my last baby after all.

Now you are three the next big adventure awaits. Soon you will leave Mummy for a few hours and go to nursery. There will be friends to make, games to play and lots to learn. I have no doubts you will love it as much as your sister did.

Happy Birthday, my spirited blue eyed boy. We all love you so much.

Mummy x

 

 

 

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For May

I used to post our goals every month straight after Chris and I had our monthly meetings. They really helped to keep us accountable.  The meetings fell by the wayside and in turn so did the posts. We are determined to get back on track and make the second half of this a productive one. Here are our family, frugal and home goals for May.

Family 

  • Celebrate Jake’s 3rd birthday.
  • Continue eating more healthily and getting some exercise.
  • Have at least two family days out.
  • Make a Summer bucket list.
  • Start preparing and packing for holiday.

Frugal

  • Use Ebay to sell the higher value items we have to sell.
  • Look for more online earning opportunities.
  • Line dry as much as possible.
  • Make a meal plan for the month.
  • Look for free local days out and activities.
  • Check balances and get to cashing out points on survey sites.
  • Remember to use the cashback shopping apps.

Home 

  • Weed the gardens and keep on top of mowing the lawn.
  • Deep clean living room.
  • Fix the curtain polls in the kids bedrooms.
  • Depp clean all the window frames.
  • Do a tip run.

I think that’s plenty for us to be getting on with for now. Do you make goals every month ? if you do how do you stay motivated ?

April At The Websters

Although we are already a couple of days in to May I thought I would share with you what we got up to in April. I’m looking forward to getting back on track with my regular monthly posts.

April has been a funny old month, I didn’t feel quite myself. After some much needed rest and reflection I’m feeling much better. The children continue to grow and are happy that they can finally spend lots of time in the garden. I’m taking steps to improve my health and get my diabetes under control it’s a long road ahead. Chris has joined a gym and is really enjoying going. It also means I can’t send him for chocolate in the evening which is a huge bonus.

Here are some of the things we did in April.

  • We had a lovely Easter Egg Hunt at my aunties house on Easter Saturday.
  • Daisy went on a school trip to a local farm.
  • Jake went from nappy to potty to toilet in just under 2 weeks.
  • The kids got lots of yummy Easter Eggs.
  • I decluttered the house within an inch of it’s life (where does it keep coming from ?)
  • Chris and I watched 13 Reasons Why on Netflix (tough viewing but such an important message)
  • We went to Gandeys Circus (Chris won us a family ticket)
  • I made some extra money from selling some clutter which is always a bonus.
  • Daisy painted and decorated some eggs for a competition at school.
  • I went to watch Beauty & The Beast at the cinema.
  • The kids had their first proper ice-cream of the season.
  • I entered lots of competitions (I’ve got the bug again)
  • We watched Moana that many times I’m surprised the DVD still works !
  • I took a much needed break from blogging.

 

May is set to busy with Jake’s 3rd birthday to celebrate and our first family holiday to prepare for. I’m looking forward to getting back on track with everything.

 

 

March At The Websters

I won’t sugar coat it, March for me has been a bit shit. Months of stress and anxiety caught up with me and knocked me off my feet. I’m working on reducing the stress and trying to use techniques I’ve learnt to help with the anxiety. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for me and taking it one day at a time doesn’t come naturally.

I totally blame Tom Hardy for this rubbish month as I didn’t like the photo of him on my calendar for March. Joking aside it’s made me take a long hard look at my lifestyle and pushed me to make some changes I had been putting off.

Of course there’s been some positives in March. As much as I do try to focus on the good parts I feel it’s also important to embrace the bad. So I’m  sharing a mixture of what the Month of March brought us.

  • We visited a local farm to spot the first signs of Spring.
  • Daisy had an eye test at school which needs a follow-up appointment.
  • We watched loads of great new films including Moana which I think is the best film I’ve ever seen.
  • I had to turn away work due to feeling so stressed.
  • We had some lovely Sunny days which meant lots of garden time.
  • I managed to dry lots of washing on the line on said Sunny days.
  • I had a wonderful child-free afternoon at Bygone Times.
  • Daisy celebrated World Book Day at school dressed as Rapunzel.
  • Jake got over his fear of having a bath, hallelujah !
  • Daisy got an ear infection and needed lots of cuddles.
  • I cut my working hours right back and enjoyed some much needed time with Chris in the evenings instead.
  • Daisy moved up a reading level which means a trip to year 1’s classroom to change her book.
  • Red nose day was celebrated with crazy hair and joke telling at school.
  • Jake and I went to a maths workshop in Daisy’s class.
  • We saved lots of money by Spring cleaning our finances and embracing frugality again.

I’m hoping with all the changes I have been making that April will be a better month for us. I’m looking forward to the Easter holidays, visiting family and eating Easter eggs.

February At The Websters

I’ve said it before but February is my least favourite month of the year. Each year no matter how positively I think it brings illness and stress. myself and the children have spent almost the entire month fighting off one cold and cough after another.

Thanks to vitamins, Berocca and lots of rest we are all feeling much better. I’ve told Mr Webster that we need to go somewhere hot for the whole of February from now on.

Our car Val also had her MOT this month which was rather costly. Thankfully we had some healthy looking savings to pay with.

Anyway, here’s some other things that happened in February.

  • We took a few trips to the park.
  • I went to the cinema to see ‘Split’ (fab film).
  • We tried potty training again with Jake.
  • We celebrated valentines day with a nice meal together as a family.
  • We watched tons of Netflix.
  • Pancakes were made and enjoyed.
  • Chris and I went for a delicious meal at PizzaExpress.
  • I won some great prizes including some gift cards which meant lots of treats.
  • Daisy and I enjoyed a pamper evening at home.
  • I made a start on Spring cleaning.

 

Dear Angie (by FrugalMrW)

This is a sneaky little post that FrugalMrsW my beautiful wife doesn’t know I am writing let alone publishing!

With Valentines Day rolling around this year I thought I would write a little something to let her know how special she truly is and how much she means to me.

Dear Angie,

When I met you I was a little lost, I felt hopeless, useless and stuck. I had no self esteem to speak of and very little confidence. I was living in my old bedroom at my mums house at 30 years of age and at the time I thought I was probably going to be there until my boys were 30.

Then I met you, and you hit me like a train. The moment I laid eyes on you I wanted to know who you were. When you smiled at me the room seemed suddenly brighter, crystal clear. I was still lost but in a different way and I didn’t even realise it. I tried to tell myself “no”. I didn’t believe it was possible that you would see anything in me, I didn’t believe there was anything to see in me.

Now its seven years later, nearly five years married and two beautiful children, and I am not I different person. I am the same person I always was underneath, and you showed me how to be that person. You let me be the husband you deserved, taught me how to be the father our children deserve, and showed me that I am not the person other people see.

I am my own man, I am the father I hoped to be, and I am your husband, from the moment I met you and for all my remaining days.

I am yours body and soul, always, no matter what.

Chris.

Living Arrows 2/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” Kahlil Gibran.

Every Monday for the rest of this year I will share with you two photo’s of my children that celebrate their childhood.

One of our family goals for 2017 is to get outdoors and explore more. I asked some fellow North West bloggers for some suggestions of places to visit. They went above and beyond so we now have a long list of ideas to work our way through. I’m hoping lots of my living arrows photo’s will be taken outdoors this year.

Here are my favourite photo’s of the children this week.

Jake 

Jake has just enjoyed his first full week totally buggy free so he’s making the most of exploring his world in a new way. Leaving the buggy at home when we go out is so strange, but it’s lovely to watch him run and play along with Daisy.

Daisy

We made the most of the bank holiday last Monday and went to the park. Despite is being freezing cold the sky was so blue and clear, it made me long for Spring. I love this photo, I don’t know what she’s looking at or thinking about but she looks absolutely beautiful.

 

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 1/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” Kahlil Gibran.

Every Monday for the rest of this year I will share with you two photo’s of my children that celebrate their childhood.

DaisyI think this one of my favourite photo’s I’ve ever taken of Daisy. Her cheeky grin and her one open eye peeking to see if I think she’s asleep. She looks so grown up in it and it reminds me to cherish every last bit of her childhood. Every week brings her a little more independence. One day she will tower above me but for now we will cuddle and laugh about nonsense. We will learn and grow together.

JakeJake loves listening to his Daddy sing and play so we thought it was time to let him loose with the ukulele. One thing I definitely hope my children will do is love music and perhaps even learn to play the guitar themselves. 

Living Arrows

 

December At The Websters

It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of yet another month. Not only that but we are about to enter a brand new year. December has been a really fun month but very stressful too, trying to fit everything in before Christmas.

I’m so happy that I’ve kept up with these monthly updates this year. It’s lovely to look back and remember everything we have done this year. It’s definitely something I want to keep sharing in 2017.

Here’s what we got up to in December.

  • Daisy turned 5 ! we celebrated with a trip to see Santa and a lovely meal.
  • Thanks to a win we went to Winter Wonderland in Manchester, we had a fantastic time.
  • I cleaned the house from top to bottom in preparation of Christmas.
  • Daisy played Mary in the school nativity (super proud Mummy moment).
  • We decorated a gingerbread house.
  • I won some fantastic prizes.
  • Christmas eve saw us spending time with family.
  • We celebrated Christmas day with lots of excitement and fun.
  • On Boxing day we went for a much needed, very chilly trip to the park.
  • I began the great post-Christmas clear out.
  • Chris and I sat down and planned our goals for 2017.