Welcome to Bear and Moo

Moo & Me.

Hi and welcome to my first ever mummy blog!

‘Nervous’ is an understatement for me at the moment. I’m not sure how this will go, if people will relate to what I have to say about my life or if I even get any views. All very valid points to be nervous about, I think.

So, to begin with I need to explain the up coming blog.

I started writing it on my computer just after my second daughter was born in 2017. It started as a way to get my emotions out after having her and express what I was going through as a mother of two independent girls and a wife to Matt. Little did I know the mountains I had to climb to get to where I am today.

I hope you enjoy reading all of what I have to say and Thank You for getting this far!

Netball World Cup. Day 2

So. Apparently 6am on a Saturday. With no children is obviously a good time to be awake. Well. Ali’s phone thinks so. Her alarm went off and bang! I’m awake. 🙄. Anyway. We got ready. Had breakfast and went out to start the second day of Netball games. We had tickets for the morning session. First game was Australia v Zimbabwe. The Aussie’s obviously smashed them, but the fans for Zimbabwe didn’t stop cheering for the whole game! It was great.

Second game was New Zealand v Barbados and New Zealand dominated the whole game. As predicted. So that was that.

We left and got some lunch and planned to watch the England game at the fan zone in the centre of Liverpool. “Shall we just check if there are any seats left for the next session?” So that’s what we did. And we were in luck! Two tickets left….. but it hurt my account. (I may have to ask Matt to help me stay out of the red this month 😳) but it was so worth it! England played Scotland and showed them the best way to win a game. And we got on tv! It was awesome, but came at a price, our GK retired early and apparently ruptured her achilles heel. So is out for the rest of the tournament. 😢 but I know the girls will do well tomorrow and hopefully will win the whole thing!

LETS GO, ENGLAND, LETS GO!

To finish off our netball experience for the day. We watched Jamaica v Trinidad and Tobago. Easy win for the Sunshine girls.

We got selfies with Pamela Cookey, above (former England and super league player) and Zigi Burger (South Africa’s GS)

Then we did some sightseeing.

There are some amazing buildings along the docks and definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Liverpool.

Tomorrow, we’re going to maybe do some shopping then head home. I have enjoyed my time away and felt I needed it, but I do miss my little family.

Also, we’ve decided to save up and go to the next World Cup in South Africa in 2023, so if you want to donate to the cause, don’t hesitate to get in touch! 😂

Netball World Cup!

So today was the start of the Netball World Cup! Set off from home about nine am and drove the 3.5 hours to Liverpool, singing and performing Queen, Paloma Faith and others all the way down. We’re staying at the Hampton By Hilton hotel.

Ali made the challenge to get as many netballers (famous of course) in our selfies. We check in at the hotel and bump into Ama Agbeze.

She’s a power house in Netball and we love her.

We headed over the Mersey River to be greeted with an amazing atmosphere of people dancing to music and just generally having a great time. It was awesome!

Gosh, we love netball and it was so nice to see like minded people enjoying the World Cup in our home country! Aussies, Kiwi’s, South Africans, Jamaicans, the Scots, Irish and many more nationalities were just having a fab time and enjoying the sport we all love.

We got some hoodies each too.

We didn’t eat here, but look how awesome this fast food place is. 🚌 America is always around🥰

So the games we saw today. Jamaica vs Fiji. I would say Fiji put up a good fight, but I would be lying, Jamaica ruled that court and managed to score an impressive 85 goals! If you know anything about netball, that’s a hell of a lot in an hour! Fiji only got a fraction of that score line at 29.

Then out came the big guns. England (our loveable England) vs Uganda! After a super start England took the lead and stayed ahead of their game throughout, leaving Uganda with only six players by full time.

We mooched around the centre for a while, found a Nandos and had dinner and finally got back to the hotel room. Getting ready for the next two games we’re watching tomorrow. New Zealand vs Barbados and Australia vs Zimbabwe.

We’re stoked that we’ve been able to see the four best teams in the world, but obviously we want England to win the whole thing! That would be amazing, coming off the back of the win at the Commonwealth games. They’re ready for this World Cup. They’re ready to win and they can win! LETS GO ENGLAND, LETS GO! COME ONE ENGLAND!! 🌹🌹🌹🌹

Horrendous….🤬

So in the last few weeks Marnie has become the spawn of something terrifying! We went out birthday present shopping for a friend of Darcey’s this afternoon and Marnie has decided that seat belts are for wimps. Like seriously… what is her issue with a seat belt?! I don’t understand it. Darcey was never the kind of child to try and get out of her buggy, car seat, high chair. None of that. So this is all new to me. How do you stop a child trying to escape a belt that’s there to save their lives?! Someone please give me some advice. I knew this was a thing, but it’s terrifying that she could escape whilst I’m driving!

Apart from the dramatic change in Marnie, I feel things are in the up with us as a family. I have my new Cricut machine and I’m designing stuff to start selling. At the moment I’ve got a lot of cake toppers and t shirt slogans and stuff ready to print. Just need the t shirts to print them on. I’m in the hope that I can get hold of a sewing machine so I can get creating with fabric too. I’m excited for this part of my life to get going.

Darcey isn’t six yet, but thought it was a good opportunity to practice a cake topper. First attempt is pretty good, I think. 🤔

I have to apologise for not being active the past few weeks. Please don’t hold that against me, it’s just been a bit busy. What with Marnie turning into a brat again (Not sure she stopped to be honest). And it’s almost the end of the school year for Darcey. So I’ll be back with things we’ve made for the teachers to say ‘Thank you’.

Is this me for good…?

I’ve not been about for a while. I’ve definitely hit a wall, emotionally. I’m not sure how or when it happened, but I’ve not been feeling myself for a while now. I reached out to Matt, Ali and my other friend, Neta about it and they helped a ton. I thought I could have possibly dealt with it by myself and hadn’t said anything for a few months, obviously that didn’t work. I broke down in tears to Matt and he asked me what’s wrong. I had no idea. Darcey wasn’t listening to anything I said to her, Marnie was being her usual whinge bag self and I just couldn’t handle it any longer. I can always tell Matt never knows what to say or do (he gives good cuddles though). It just feels like I’m failing as a mummy and a wife. I’m constantly telling the girls No and don’t feel like Matt and I are doing much together. But it could just be one of those situations when you’re just stuck in a rut and you have to get yourself out of it. I don’t know.

Ali and Neta both said I need to get back to exercising again and I know they’re right, I just don’t seem to have any motivation at the moment. Where can I buy some or do you have any spare?! Even Darcey has noticed that I don’t go to Triline anymore and asked when we’re going to go back. I’m not entirely sure that Triline is on my agenda at the moment. I’d like to get my fitness up by myself. I need to do that. I have to do that. I loved doing Insanity for the two months I did it, but just stopping probably wasn’t the best solution because now I’m in this situation emotionally. I’m not going to get to my goal of being two dress sizes smaller before Christmas just sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I want to exercise, I want to feel good about myself again.

So that’s me at the moment. Hopefully I can sort myself out and be me again.

Let’s go Fly a Kite…

So we had a spontaneous trip out to the local “Great Park” over the weekend. We had bought Darcey a kite last year. Just a beginners one. It’s a butterfly with a super long tail. She loves it. We stepped out of the car and almost was taken down by the wind! It was so strong! Walked a bit from the car park to the top of the hill and got the kite ready to fly. It’s a great feeling being outside with the girls. They love being outdoors and doing cool stuff like this. I recently downloaded the Geocache App and we’ve been out looking around for them in the town we live in. We’ve found one out of five so far. We’re not the best at looking for them. Darcey always needs the toilet at random times and Marnie moans when we’re standing around in one place for a length of time.

Anyway, back to the kite flying. We spent about 45 minutes flying a kite in the cold windy spring we’re having here at the moment. Marnie grew tired of looking at a kite flying, so we went to look for trains floating across the countryside landscape. “TRAIN TRAIN MAMA”. It’s there somewhere. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Darcey just runs around with the handle in her hand in the hope to flick it up and it’ll fly. “Darcey you won’t need to run around. It’s so windy, it’ll just pick it up” – she carries on running. Cue ‘slap on the face’ emoji.

That’s her, running.

“Mummy. I’m really cold, can we go to the park now?”

“Yeah, I think daddy is going to buy you a hot chocolate on the way”

“I want an ice cream”

Yeah that’ll help with being cold.

*rolls eyes*

What is it with children and eating/drink random things. I caught Marnie dipping her fish fingers in her water the other day. I would love to see the look on people’s faces if adults were to eat like children. Especially two year olds! 😂

Darcey was grumpy, so couldn’t smile for any photo. Marnie just wanted to be picked up and was moaning. Standard procedure. Then there’s me. Pretending to be a mum with no dramas. 🤔

Moo turns 2!

Yesterday was Marnie’s 2nd birthday. She woke up in my bed with Darcey singing ‘Happy Birthday’. Darcey was welcomed with the response “NO!” And a slap. 🙄. Great start to the day.

She opened her presents from the three of us and we got ready for the school run. After taking Darcey to school, we headed out for some party supplies. I’d already been to Costco’s for a couple of pizzas the day before, so yesterday was cups, plates and banners. A few other things were purchased too. New hula hoops and a couple of teddies for both girls.

To make it clear. I’m not “one of those parents” who give the non-birthday child a gift on the birthday child’s actual birthday. The things I got Darcey are hidden and I will give them to her on another day.

So, anyway. I prepped the party food during the day. The party was starting after Darcey had finished school. Everyone came over and filled the house pretty quickly, but I love the madness! We played some games, filled up all the children with sweets, cake and pizza and sent them on their way. Marnie did well for presents. Clothes, toys, soft animals and puzzles! She loved opening them all (with the help of the older children).

I got to the end of the day and thought “How on earth is she 2 already?!” It feels like I’ve blinked and she turning into a little girl. She’s just not a baby anymore. She’s talking up to five word sentences and just becoming more bearable to be around, which is always a nice feeling. Roll on Darcey’s birthday in October.

Also, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m turning into a ‘Pinterest Mum’ and do you know what? I’m fine with that.

It’s my birthday… well yesterday it was

So the 28th March is my birthday. This year I turned 33… I think! Matt was working an early shift, but because he is thoughtful, he had pre-made my breakfast, all I had to do was turn the oven on and 10 minutes later, I had pancakes with Nutella, berries and a cupcake! Delicious.

The girls (mainly Darcey) were excited to give me my presents and I had Matt on FaceTime to watch me open them. I got Friends Top Trumps. Monopoly – Cheaters Edition and Matt has glass fitted in a frame that we used for our wedding and put a ton of photos of the four of us inside it. Best. Present. Ever. And I also got the ‘Star is born’ soundtrack. I’ve not seen the film yet, but I just adore the song ‘shallow’ so I already know that I’m going to love the film and Lady Gaga is my all time favourite singer! Also, little known fact we share the same birthday and born the same year! So that’s that.

I went to the Waffle House in St Albans for lunch and TGI’s for dinner with the girls and Matt. Dinner was soooo good! Jack Daniels gaze chicken and fries. Cheeseburger tacos and mozzarella sticks. Dreamy. Oh and brownie and ice cream for pudding. If you’re not salivating now, what’s wrong with you?!

I’m off out with Ali tonight for dinner. Not sure what the plans are, but I know we’ll end up laughing at something.

Matt made the best Red Velvet cake for my birthday. Darcey did the most important bit. The candles. She was so proud to show off her handy work.

New ventures…

So I’m one of those people that have great ideas, but never really fully achieve them. Or strive to achieve them. I think that’s mainly to lack of funds to start anything up. But I want to make a good life for us and the girls. I want them to have things that I never had. I want to give them opportunities that I never got the chance to do. I grew up in a single parent family. Me, my mother and my brother. She worked in a fast food place during the night so we didn’t really see her during the daylight hours. We’d either be at school or she would be sleeping. This probably didn’t happen all the time, but you know when memories just “stick”. Those are the memories that I just remember. We were on Free School Meals. So had our hot dinner at lunch time and didn’t really eat when we were home. Mum never had enough money to buy a fridge full of food. So you can see why I want more for Darcey and Marnie. So this new venture at the moment is still for Bear&Moo, but it’s more than a blog now. I’m making Mickey Mouse magnets. Apparently it’s a thing you buy when you go a Disney Cruise. I had no idea these existed! I would love to take the girls on the Disney Cruise. It’s the top thing on my “if I won the lottery” list. Here’s a preview of what I’m talking about…

These took me about five hours to make. I still need to do the finishing touches on the back. But I’m super happy with the way they turned out. I can’t wait to order more templates and get all other characters done. I’m starting small but by the end. I’m thinking big things! Watch this space…

Money Saving Hacks…

So after being a mum for over five years. I’ve managed to do things on the cheap side. Here’s a few I’ve done so far.

  1. Going out for dinner with a toddler. Don’t pay for their own food. They hardly eat anything anyway. With Marnie I buy something for me and feed her off my plate. Going out for dinner is expensive anyway and restaurants expect a two year old to eat the same as a five year old. It doesn’t always work like that. Not saying all toddlers are the same as Marnie, who is a grazer. But this is a good money saving hack. And if we can. We take a picnic out with us.
  2. Save money on nappies. Try using shops own brands. Tesco have 52 nappies for £2.99! Pampers are more than twice the price. This money saver depends on your child’s need for wee and depends on your preference I guess. But Tesco own brand is great for us and mega cheap. We did use re-useable nappies for the first year of Marnie’s life, which I highly recommend! You spend a lot to get the nappies started and getting the liners and detergent, but that’s it. It’s definitely worth doing if you’re short on cash or care about land fill sites! I just couldn’t use them when Marnie got so big. You know….. Big poops💩
  3. Try shops own brand food. Fresh fruit and veg is so expensive. Especially if your children are like mine and will eat fruit all day everyday if I let them! Tinned fruit is just as good, just find the ones in their own juice not the syrup.
  4. Our four weekly food planner is a lifesaver sometimes. I found meal ideas on ‘Pinterest’ and in ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ cookbooks. It’s all healthy and easy to do. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t always eat healthy, but I do try and have the girls eat veg in most of their dinners. And it’s good for when you’re shopping you won’t impulse buy. You’ll only buy what you need. Unfortunately we’re not lucky enough to have the ability to ‘Extreme Coupon’ buy here in the U.K., but I would be SO one of those mums!
  5. I’m not afraid to say that I buy some of the girls clothes and shoes secondhand. I use ‘eBay’ and ‘Vinted’ to buy really nice secondhand stuff for both girls. Mainly Darcey because Marnie gets all of Darcey’s Hand-Me-Downs. What I do buy is always in great condition and they are just happy to have something new.
    I buy Birthday presents/Christmas presents throughout the year. So when it comes to the big day. I’m not struggling financially. And I don’t “over buy”. I try and get what Darcey asks for. At the moment she’s just happy to have a few things. Marnie is just happy with an empty box! Why does a two year old need loads of stuff?! I don’t understand parents that just buy £100’s of stuff for them. I have a budget for each occasion and stick to it. Children don’t need all the stuff! I also make the girls birthday cakes too. I’m not paying someone else to do it when I know I can do just as well. Now I know some parents won’t even attempt to bake. But it’s not hard. Give it a go. You might surprise yourself! Cake below is from 2017.

Once I think of others along the way. I’ll note them down. I guess what I’m saying is love within your means. If you can afford all the nice, expensive stuff. Good for you! I guess if I was still working full time, I would probably spend more. Fact is, I’m not and I had to make major changes. Maybe when I can get a full time job, once Marnie has started full time school. I’ll be able to work more hours, but for now our situation works for us and we still do nice things with the girls and make memories that I didn’t really have as a child. So already the girls have a better childhood than what I did and that’s I wanted to do for them.

Half term is over…!

This week has been full of fun stuff! We kicked the week off with trip to the park in the next town, as their children didn’t have a half term this week we knew it would be quiet. So we made the most of it. Also popped into The Range to get some bits to craft during the week.

Tuesday saw us go to MK Gymnastics Centre for the playgym they run every week. Both girls loved it. Marnie just walked around everywhere saying “what’s that?”…. This stage is fun… said no mother ever! 🙄

Wednesday, we ventured out to a lake about a ten minute drive from our house. Darcey and Matt rode their bikes round and I walked/jogged round with them. Marnie was in a seat on the back of Matt’s bike. It was such a lovely day. The sun was shining and temperature was OK. Once we got all the way round we had Ice Creams and Hot Chocolates. Not in that order.

Thursday we packed up some snacks and headed over to the local Safari Park to see the animals! Once you drive in. There’s a bit where you can drive round and be super close to the animals. We had arrived just as it was opening. So all the animals were getting up and really active! Especially the monkeys! The baby ones jumped on our car and were playing together. It was so funny to watch! One monkey also thought it was appropriate to play with his bits on my bonnet. In front of us. 😂 We saw all the giraffes being let out of their house too. I’ve never seen a giraffe run. It was fascinating to watch. It’s like they’re running in slow motion. Once the drive Safari was done. We walked around the rest of the Park. We saw meerkats, porcupines, otters, emu’s, wallaby’s, pigs, goats, penguins, lemurs, red pandas, elephants, rhinos, birds, sea lions and probably more. They have a bird house where you can go in and feed them some nectar. Darcey and Marnie FREAKED OUT! As soon as we went in the birds came flocking over to us and started fighting on who was going to get the small pot of nectar first! The noise they made was like they were being murdered! We weren’t doing that. Just for the record.

Friday we had Darcey’s friend and her little brother over for lunch. Their mum is pregnant with her third child (she’s mental and I’ve told her that on a regular basis!). So I offered to have them over for a few hours to give her a break. I’m nice like that. They played and made their own pizzas for lunch. It’s the best way to get a child to eat. Let them help you make their own food. 😉. Well. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s a flop.

Over the weekend Matt was back at work. So I caught up on Teen Mom 2 and did Marnie’s birthday card to send into her favourite channel – CBeebies. The first programme she really watched was ‘Sarah & Duck’. So I based her birthday card on that. I think I’ve done a really good job.

It just needs her photo on the top of Sarah’s head and I can then send it in. I did Darcey’s back in October, but it wasn’t shown. So hopefully Marnie’s will be.

So that was our Half Term! Busy and lots of memories made. I was back at work today and I missed being there. It was busy today which is how I like it.

Adios for now. I’ll be back over the weekend. We have my cousin and his boys coming over on Friday for the weekend.

That will be a fun read!