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Sharing a room…

After the announcement of our new little boy this week my focus has been on decorating a mixed gender bedroom for two tiny people… Some people do not agree with the idea that a boy and girl should share a bedroom at all, but others like myself do not see a problem with it all… Well there is one problem… How do I decorate a room for a little girly girl and a tiny new blue bundle of joy? My first thoughts when decorating a room for my Florrie was pink, pink and flowery, but this is not going to work when I add a little boy to the room, so after some research, Google, Pinterest and whatever else I could find I am very keen on a gender neutral off white room, with off white slatted wooden blinds from Ikea, oh how I love these blinds then off white ruffle drapes/ curtains… The perfect palette for one little girl and an added baby boy.

I love, love, love flowers, I am a huge Cath Kidston fan, I love Cabbages and Roses and I absolutely adore the English shabby chic country garden look… With this in mind, Florrie my very girly pink girl is having a very feminine flower pink, Blue and green bedding, pottery barn style, they actually have pink cabbage rose bedding, so perfect. Then at the other end I am going to take the blue and green from Florrie’s bedding and create a classic baby boy area. I am not a fan of the generic boys apparel, bed linen or really anything boyish really, so having a baby boy is a challenge, I really don’t like clothes with animals, cars and trucks all over them, I dislike the primary colors on boys and I really dislike baby boys in jeans, khakis and sweat pants… So as you can see having a baby boy is a big challenge for me to be different in all aspects of baby boys… I am loving Etsy, the baby boy items are so different, cute little long johns, onesies, baby legs and crochet hats, my creative juices are ebbing and flowing with boy ideas.

At each end above my two baby beds I am going to create their names using the wooden letters from Michaels and AC Moore, an idea from Pinterest is to cover each letter with different scrap booking paper giving it a very Anthropologie style, again another absolute favorite of mine! I am going to put a canopy over Florrie’s new toddler bed and then everything else I will just see how it goes from there… this is my plan, I think keeping it neutral will also help with selling our house next spring so hopefully we can move onto a new town and new lives… It is time, so fingers crossed our house will sell quickly as we have other places to be eventually and new friends to meet!

Now all I need is the paint, a paint brush, a trip to ikea and my Mum… Why my Mum I hear you say, well she is a whiz on the sewing machine and I have bed linen I need making and perhaps a few other items to make this room look perfect!

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Florrie the big sister…

Where to begin my story…
I suppose it goes back to being 46 this year, too old according to my OBGYN to get pregnant, when my doctor told me I was getting to that age, I did not realize quite what he meant at first, it took me a while to realize he meant the big M word… Duh? Gasp, horror, I was that age now, officially old enough to start the menopause… And yes all signs led me to believe it had started, my cycle had changed, my mood swings were different, my period was an erratic mess… Gasp, I was starting the menopause! I started to look on the positives, not that I could find many, periods, heavy, heavy, heavy, irregular timings and weird moods at bizarre times of the month, but, yes according to my doctor I did not have to worry too much about pregnancy, no eggs were being released I was just going through the motions, so although about a year ago I was in love with the idea of Florrie having a little sibling, I think those baby hormones had flared, but then subsided quickly, I was definitely thinking life was calming after the storm of a newborn entering our lives… This was it 7 beautiful children, we are definitely blessed!

Going back to the end of June now… School was out for summer… Yay, and my period was late, but I wasn’t worried, remember that peri menopause thing… But there was this nagging in my brain, on a trip into Target I casually wandered around to the pregnancy tests…$15 to pee on a stick and then flash NOT PREGNANT, I was not spending that, so I walked away empty handed! Still a nagging thought lingered, so on trip Starbucks one day I wandered into the Dollar Tree across the road, I had read somewhere at some time they sold $1 pregnancy and ovulation kits, but not only that they have $1 majuana testing kits too… Bargain! I picked up one pregnancy test, yes only one… Last of the big spenders… $1 later and three drops of pee the control line appeared but that was it… Phew, wait 2-3 minutes later another very faint line appeared… WHAT? I called Paul and all he could say was try it again, but of course I had only bought one, yes ONE $1 test… Really! So the next day I headed back to the Dollar Tree and repeated the whole process… SH##, another faint line… My plan was to forget about the whole thing, enjoy the summer and then think about it when the children went back to school… Really, I am just a crazy chick, and of course no great plan ever goes to PLAN!

About two weeks later the sickness started, then it hit hard… I felt like Crap, excuse the term, but I really felt bad, I was forced into going to the doctors as a non pregnancy related issue occurred… And so began the roller coaster of the first trimester! The odds were not good, at my age a 1/4 chance of having a baby with a chromosome deformation, at 8 weeks I had an ultra sound, one heartbeat… Yay, some good news, at 12 weeks I had another ultrasound and two blood tests, the first blood test and ultrasound nuchel fold test bought my odds of having a trisomy 13 or 18 baby into a normal range and although my Down’s syndrome risk decreased it was still low! The second blood test the new maternit21 confirmed a normal 46 chromosomes… Yay, but I had decided I wanted to opt for the same invasive test I had with Florrie, a CVS, 2 needles in my stomach later, a very long weeks wait and I finally got my results on Friday… 46 normal chromosomes, Florrie is going to be a big sister to a little brother… Of course it’s a boy, when I have all this girl stuff… It’s so funny!

Are we crazy… I think the answer to that question is a definite YES… but life throws us curve balls sometimes just when we are not expecting it… Florrie has bought so much joy into our family, so even if Paul and I are MATURE parents (in other words old) we will love and cherish this bundle of joy and this huge family will always love and be there for each other… Who says what is normal anyway, we have seven children now so one more just makes for more fun!

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My baby boy…

Yesterday my baby boy had his first day at High School… Wow, when did he grow up so much? I think the answer to that question, truthfully is in the last year, this time last year he had just become a teenager, he still had his cute puppy fat and looked like my cute baby boy! Over this past year he has started to look so much more grown up, he has grown upwards, slimmed right down, he has hairy legs and his face has matured so much… He still looks like my cute baby boy but all grown up, this makes me slightly sad, but most of all I look at him with pride, he is a wonderful kind person, annoying at times but mostly he has the most wonderful personality!

Blu has always been an easy child, in the first five years of his life he was a pleasure to be with, I cried when he started full time school because I loved spending all of my time with him! His eyes are a beautiful bluey gray color, they light up his whole face, he has always worn his hair long and his easy going personality makes it hard to ever really get mad with him! Of course as he approached his first ever teenage birthday I could see traits of the dreaded teenage hormones, but my fears have been unfounded, he is an annoying teenage boy from time to time, he loves spending time on his beloved Xbox, but he has his own mind and recently decided he wanted to play soccer for the High School team, his commitment has been fantastic, even though throughout most of August he had to be on the soccer field at 9pm every morning, he has not wavered!

Now my beautiful blue eyed boy is at High School I can only look on and hope that the person he is will always shine through, as we all know High School is a whole different ball game, drugs in most schools are abundant, our grades we achieve are now the most important they have ever been and the friendships we make can be the ones that will last forever… It really can shape who we will be… My hopes are that Blu will always follow his heart, remember who he is and be the best person he can be… I love him so much and have such emotion whenever I look at his handsome face!

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Once upon a back to school time…

Well the day before back to school in our house is normally, calm, organized and productive… Not this year though! Unfortunately we were out all day yesterday, from doctors appointments to soccer games and then first evening fall practices, our whole day yesterday was busy, busy, busy, with very non back to school preparations… So as you can imagine this led to meltdowns later in the evening!

Blu spent his day playing Xbox, then traveling to Randolph for his first ever High school soccer game then home again for a little more Xbox time of course, before finally realizing he needed to get organized for his first day at High School, of course this did not worry my chilled out teenager, he took it all in his stride, on the other hand Mabel was a hot house mess, stressed to the limit, of course it was all my fault and she hated me, a term she likes to use almost every day when things are not right, so I had to walk away, there was nothing I could do to calm her, with a floor full of school supplies scattered everywhere, she said she could not get organized as we had not managed to get her binders… Really what are you going to do with 6 empty binders on the first day back anyway? Her nails were chipped, so of course that was my fault too, it didn’t matter we had spent a very painful whole day choosing shoes this week and she had, had all week to have sorted all of this out… She was stressed to the limit and of course who else’s fault could it be, but yours truly! I left her to her meltdown, climbed into bed, but could not get to sleep, back to school nerves I think!

This morning was much calmer, my alarm went off at 6.15am, but of course I had woken at 4.30am and could not get back to sleep… Blu got up and got ready like a zombie, his bag, which really was a bargain for $25 at Marshall’s two years ago and is still going strong after a quick wash is like new again ( he was happy to use it again, so why spend money on a bag he did not need) was packed and ready to go, he was out the house and waiting for the bus by the time Mabel got up, of course she had her hair to straighten, her shoes to chose, but luckily her outfit had been planned weeks ago! Now on the subject of shoes, we spent a very, very painful whole day choosing shoes for Mabel on Wednesday, she loves to buy clothes but shoes are more difficult for her, unlike her mother and baby sister she is not a shoe-aholic! She had three brands of shoes she wanted to look at, Converses, Toms and Sperry’s, that was all she would even glance at, now I have to explain at this point that Mabel wears her shoes day in and day out, her closet contains one pair of gray converses, bought for back to school last year and worn throughout the year everyday almost, one pair of $10 fashion flats, one pair of $12 Tom’s lookalike flats from Target, 2 very worn pairs of flip flops and her beloved Ugg boots, so when I buy Mabel shoes this is usually her one and only pair of shoes she wears to school through out the year, so to spend a little bit more on her shoes is money well spent as she gets really good wear out of them, plus they need to be comfortable! Some would say that spending $50 to $100 on shoes for a 12 year old is extravagant, but in this case I feel it is justified! Has anyone actually picked up a pair of Toms, I love the design, but wow, for $50, I was expecting something much more substantial, and again the converses were better made but still a lot of money for canvas and rubber shoes ( we normally manage to buy them in Marshall’s much cheaper, but not this year), so although the sperry’s were more expensive, they are good comfortable well made shoes, I was impressed… They looked nice and were real leather, a plus in my book… So taking into account the fact that Mabel would get a lot of wear out of them… And after hours of looking, these are the shoes we finally chose, but then she told me she would be wearing her fashion flats with her first day outfit… Really Mabel!

Well this back to school story does not quite end there… With Mabel’s hair straightened, her well thought through outfit on and her trusty old $10 flats on her feet, she tells me her shoes are way too tight, so she swaps to her $12 Target lookalike Toms and again they are much too tight, her well worn converses from last year are much too small too… Thankfully, she has a SUPER MOM, who organized her new shoes this week, she had gorgeous well fitting shoes to go with her new clothes for her first day back at school…

The moral of this story, Moms always know best, no matter how much their almost teenage daughters shout at them!

HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL DAY!

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Is it Fall already?

I am definitely a fan of Spring and Summer… I would go so far as to say they are my favorite seasons… But there is definitely something to be said for Fall… I love the flavors of Fall, pumpkin spice, warm apple cider and the array of beautiful soups served with crusty bread that can be created, I love the slightly cool breeze and the warm sunshine mixed together, but most of all I love the silence as the children go back to school after a wild and crazy summer of madness! Now if we only had Fall to contend with and not the harsh temperatures of Winter to follow, I would be very happy, I could very easily live in a warmer climate all year round and be very happy!

Back to school is looming, one more day with no alarms and one more day to get organized, I think this year I am the least organized I have ever been… Still no shoes for Mabel, no school binders and no haircuts, I am running out of time! I love that first day they are back at school… On one hand I miss my children’s craziness in the house, but on the other hand the calmness is wonderful, no lunches to make, no fighting over the programs on the tv and no arguments for a few short hours… Peace and quiet reigns!

An easy recipe to start of this Fall, or should I say soup season from my favorite chef, Jamie Oliver … store cupboard lentil soup

Happy Back to School to everyone… Lets hope this school year is a good one!

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MIA…

This summer has not really gone as planned, it’s been quieter than usual, explanations coming later! The food we have eaten has been oh so bad, junk food to the max, we have been at home a lot, just a few days out and about, and then this last week we did finally organize ourselves enough to vacation for a week… And that really was an oh so much needed break away!

A couple of weeks ago, we finally got our acts together and booked a week away in North Carolina… I was not looking forward to the 8 hour drive to Raleigh, but with 3 drivers, Dom came along with us, it wasn’t too bad. I don’t really know what I was expecting from this southern state but it more than lived up to my expectations, so much so, I think I could easily live there! Everyone was extremely friendly, the roads were easy to drive on, clean, wide and the best thing no traffic or police hanging around in every nook waiting to get you for silly things! The whole place seem to be thriving, new and again so clean, no empty, closed down buildings in sight, everywhere seemed to be booming unlike here in New Jersey! Now if you wanted to eat out there was everything you could imagine and things you hadn’t even thought of, every shop you wanted was all within an easy driving distance… Each town had it’s own identity, Raleigh was more a smaller city with thriving business’ everywhere, Apex was the cutest small quiet town and my absolute favorite Chapel Hill, a thriving college town with lots of bars, shops and a great feel about it!

A two hour easy drive took us to Wilmington NC, home to Dawson’s Creek… Who knew? Here in Wilmington are three beautiful sandy beaches… Wrightsville Beach was the nearest to our hotel, clean, gorgeous blue water and well worth a visit, we spent 6 hours on this beach, Florrie even took a dip in the water here, but she still did not like the sand! I think the beast thing about this beach for us was the Starbucks situated just off the road just before you got to the beach! Carolina beach was a little bit more vibrant with a boardwalk and shops, this beach was beautiful, very clean and the most gorgeous view out to sea, we were on the beach for about 4 hours when a storm came across the beach, it was amazing to see, we maybe stayed too long taking photos of the amazing sky, because when the rain came, it really came hard and we got absolutely soaked… It was fun though! There is also another beach within Wilmington, Kure beach, unfortunately we did not manage to get to that one… Maybe next time!

Downtown historic Wilmington was my perfect town, a gorgeous boardwalk along the water, cute restaurants and shops, antiques, homemade ice cream and lots more for the avid photographer and her camera, unfortunately my younger children did not feel the same so we cut our tour short of this must visit town!

All in all I am totally in love with North Carolina… There was one tiny thing I was not so impressed with though… I do not like pumping my own gas, thankfully on this trip I did not have to do it, I am guessing I have turned into a Jersey girl… As they say Jersey girls don’t pump gas, and this Jersey girl has forgotten how to pump her own gas!

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