Thursday, 31 March 2011

I wore my coat, with golden lining...Reasons to be cheerful

Reason to be Cheerful Number 1:

Guess what we went to see this week? Yes the first of my Reasons to be cheerful for this week was our mid week trip to see Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Liverpool Empire. I went with my Mum (Christmas present), my youngest sister (birthday present) and my 2 eldest daughters (still doesn't feel quite right saying that when Baby T is only 5 weeks old). Both M & V are the biggest Joseph fans and were so good all the way through - Millie proudly knows all the words to the colour of his coat song! It was so lovely seeing how much they enjoyed themselves - I can definitely recommend taking your children to the theatre.

We also had a gorgeous meal beforehand at Casa Italia just to make the night even more lovely.

Reason to be Cheerful Number 2: Parent's Evening

This week we also had parent's evening for both M & V - How lovely to be greeted by a huge smile from the teacher saying how lovely your daughter is and how well she has progressed during the past term. She really couldn't praise M enough. V's teacher is happy with her progress too and it was lovely to hear what a huge personality she has in school and how happy she seems. Phew!

Reason to be Cheerful Number 3: The Costellos hit the road!

This is the biggie for us this week. Our first trip in our touring caravan as a family of 5 - we are madly trying to get ready and set the van up for the season. I will be blogging about our adventures over here I am even more excited after seeing the lovely Becky Willoughby's Reasons to be Cheerful post from last week where she discussed the beautiful flowers that are in bloom where we are going and the gorgeous little lambs.

And that's our update for this week - why not hop over a few of the other blogs? I wish you all a happy & healthy week - Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Countdown to 40!

Eagle-Eyed regular readers of the blog may have noticed the countdown to 40 icon on the right. This is something I've been meaning to address for ages now - not because I am desperate to turn 40 but because I see it as time to cross a LOT of things off my to do list. There are a lot of blogs who have done similar lists before a significant birthday - the first one I came across is by Janette Jones, whose list of 40 items to complete before she is 40 terrifies me.

So this is the plan of what I'm to do before the Big 4 0. I plan on doing regular updates of how the list is coming along - more items may be added if I have forgotten anything. My list is in no particular order - some items may require another one to be completed first.

1. Sing Karaoke

I am probably one of only a handful of people on the planet who have not sung at Karaoke (slight exaggeration I know!) This has become such a big thing now with so many people knowing that I have yet to do it that I don't think I could get away with any old song and not much fuss - believe me, I am no singer!

2. Learn to Knit/Crochet/Sew and ultimately own a sewing machine

I come from a crafty and arty family and am fairly creative myself (well maybe slightly more than fairly considering what I do for a living) This does not mean though that I can turn my hand to any craft - My mum is an amazing sewer (?)/crocheter but I think the gene passed me by - well I'm going to catch it up...hopefully!

3. Read the whole series of Harry Potter Books

For some reason I own them all but have never got round to reading them.

4. Finish the ironing pile

The word 'pile' does not do justice to how big our ironing pile is - We each have a huge box of ironing which takes over the whole of the office - I will photograph it as evidence before and after the task.

5. Own and use 200 'good' Baking/Cooking/Sugarcraft books

I have already started this and own 100+ but need to have a sort out (and a mighty good shop!). The rules of this are that I have to have cooked/made something out of each one for it to be classed as good. I also need to post a short review of these books.

6. Be on time with cards and presents for a whole year

7. Visit Hay-on-Wye Book Festival

8. Be a size 14

I am currently a size 16 (I can't believe I've jsut told the whole of the internet that!)

9. Regularly cook nutritious family meals

I'm sure I'm not alone in finding our family in a rut of eating the same meals over and over - I cannot justify owning so many cook books if I don't use them. It is said that the average family eats from a repertoire of only 10 meals regularly - not any more for us!

10. Register as a tutor with The British Sugarcraft Guild

Its a bit terrifying this one!

11. Make homebrew/homemade wine

God Bless my liver!

12. Conquer the art of G & T drinking

I have always thought that it seems so much more grown up to drink G & T than other drinks and as I have got to as certain age I need to grow up bit in my choice of drink. I am pleased to report that so far this task seems to be going well - Its a hard life!

13. Become better at Gardening

When I say better, I really mean learn something about gardening - This will involve me overcoming my phobia of creepy crawlies. I hope to grow veggies and have put our name down for an allotment. Unfortunately, there is a substantial waiting list which means we might not be in the plot before the big birthday but I can still learn in the meantime.

14. Have a go at surfing

I spend a lot of time watching dear husband and his passion for surfing and want my girls to see that their mum is game for anything too. One requirement of this task though is to succeed at Task 8 first!

15. 100 books read and reviewed between now and then

This is approximately one every 9 days which for some people might not be much - Having 3 daughters, running my own business and everything else that I fit in though means that this will be quite a challenge.

I feel quite nervous now that I have put my list 'out there' - It is something I have been thinking about for over 2 years and it being public knowledge means that I have to do this space and follow the journey!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

A new venture for me is the Reasons to be Cheerful blog hop that is hosted each week by the lovely Michelle from Mummy From The Heart. I am generally a happy person with a lot to be cheerful about - we all have grumpy days or sad times though and if looking back at my lists of reasons to be cheerful helps just once then I'm happy. I also think it will be a lasting record of some of our lovely times for me and the kids to look back on in the future.

So here goes, we aim towards 3 reasons each week and they can be of any topic ...

Reason to be Cheerful Number 1: My 3 wonderful girls

I wouldn't feel right not including this as my first entry. At ages 8, 4 and 4 weeks I am proud of them all - they are all beautiful and for the majority of the time get on very well with each other. I love that they are capable of having a conversation with different people ( my close friends will know that I had a slight paranoia about having boring children before they were born - as if these lovelies could be boring!)
I am very aware that I need to get some picture of all 3 girls together but happily we have been so busy since Baby T was born that we haven't got round to it yet!

Reason to be Cheerful Number 2: Spring is in the Air

It has been a beautiful week weatherwise (how terribly British to discuss the weather!) I have managed to get out a lot this week with the pram and done tons of walking (I even managed to get down to the local allotments and put our name on the waiting list which is something I have been meaning to do for 2+ years) It has been great to see everyone else out and about and people I have met seem to be more chirpy. I have spoken to loads of random strangers on my travels this week but in all honesty this isn't that unusual as I will talk to anyone!

Reason to be Cheerful Number 3: A Bit of Bling

When M was born 8 years ago, I somehow managed to persuade Derm that it is usual for the mother of a newborn to be showered with a diamond (If anyone tells him otherwise I will NOT be happy ;-)) For M, I got a beautiful diamond necklace and for V, 4 years ago I was given a fabulous bracelet encrusted with diamonds that matches my wedding ring (Get me sounding like a spoilt brat).
This week I received my gift celebrating the birth of Baby T - a bespoke necklace that has the names of all 3 children embossed on it. I absolutely love it as it symbolises a lot of hard work and just how lucky we are to have our 3 beauties. A few people have spotted it and commented. My favourite comment was the lady that called it my Mummy Necklace - it is just how I see it.

Reason to be Cheerful Number 4: (see already I can't keep to just 3!) Weekend plans

Our travelling weekends haven't started just yet but this weekend will hopefully be one of preparation for a busy summer. We have a few committments alongside the usual swimming lessons and dancing lessons - Not forgetting of course, our ritual Saturday afternoon at Grandmas!
On saturday evening at our church, there is a group of entertainer/musicians/puppeteers that are coming for the children of the town. I'm not quite sure what to expect other than what the organisers tell me will be a fantastic night. There have been 500 tickets sold so one thing I can expect is it will be very busy. More probably next week ...
Sunday morning will once again be at church (how on earth will all 5 of us get out of the house on time?) - We have been asked to go as the priest introduces babies of the parish to the congregation a few weeks before they are baptised - and that's us!

So that's the Costello Family reasons to be cheerful for this week - I wish you all a happy and healthy week - let me know if you stop by and it would be lovely to read what you are looking forward to this coming week.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Tara Beatrice - Weeks 2-4

Tara 1 month09
I cannot believe that Baby T's first month is over already. She has been a little dream and continues to settle in brilliantly. She has met so many people - The joys of being taken to everything that your older sisters are doing.

We are finally signed off the midwife rota - Even that has been enjoyable with us being signed over to Kath, that I have known since school. We had a little scare with Baby T's belly button as when it finally fell off (Ew!) at 11 days there was a vessel still live that we had to have checked out. Even by the time we got to the doctors an hour later it was starting to die off but there is nothing like seeing what looks like a worm coming out of your baby's belly to terrify you!

We have had a visit from the Health Visitor who was really lovely and made me feel that we were doing everything just right. She seemed so realistic about living with a baby.

Last Thursday (17th March), we went to Prescot Registry Office to register Baby T - It felt slightly sad knowing this was the last time we would do that - We were so much calmer than when we registered Miss M 8 years ago - I remember being really stressed about having to keep to an appointment time! I tried to convince Derm that we could have 'Sparkle' as one of her middle names but he was having none of it (i'll still call her Sparkle from time to time!) He wouldn't even have 'Leprechaun' in honour of it being St Patrick's Day.

Both M and V continue to be besotted - M in particular can't keep her head out of the pram or Moses basket - It is lovely to hear her talking to T, telling her how beautiful she is. V has really calmed down and seems to be so much more content.

Activities in the past fortnight have increased again. In addition to the usual swimming lessons and dancing lessons, we have had a trip to church (we would have had 2 but couldn't get there in time the first time we tried - it took us 2 hours to get ready the second week!). We went to Harrison's christening which was a lovely afternoon, a 3 hour children's party (why 3 hour?!!) and plenty more visitors.

At exactly 4 weeks we decided to take a trip to Auntie Maz's and Uncle Baz's in Leeds - What a lovely afternoon we had.

Baby T continues to be very placcid - I have never known any of our girls to be happy to lie in their pram more than 30 seconds after waking. We are still using the Colief drops - the odd feed where we have forgotten to put the drops in have coincided with windy and unsettled night - We're not taking any chances! The christening is booked for 15th May - preparations are very laid back this time. All of Baby T's godparents have been asked - Fairy Godmother, Cara said as expected that she wanted to cry, Godfather, Ant gave T lots of kisses and said he was honorourd as did Auntie Suzanne. Becky went pink and said thank you. We are so lucky to have such lovely people to ask.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

This is Me Meme

I have been tagged today by the lovely Cara of FrecklesFamily to complete the This is Me Meme. The task is to get your child to draw a picture of you which I had no trouble getting my 2 eldest girls to do on our journey to Leeds this afternoon.

The top picture was drawn by my 4yo, Violet and the bottom one by my 8yo, Millie. We let Tara, aged 4 weeks off this one as she was asleep!

It was really interesting to notice the different ways our daughters went about the task - Violet got straight on with it and finished it in record time, gave the sheet of paper to me and forgot all about it. Millie was so much more serious about it - concentrating on every detail, she was very unhappy with the result (saying my body was far too thin - ahem!) and complained that there was a smudge on the left hand side. She is such a perfectionist! Wonder where she gets that from?

I have included a rare picture of the real me (with tied back hair that my children hate - Vi has been known to tell me to take my bobble out before now). The picture was taken this afternoon with my sister and our 2 youngest children, Milo (aged 12 weeks) and Tara (aged 4 weeks today).

So what happens now? I have been cheeky and tagged a couple of people - Please don't feel pressured to do it. If you ust happen to pop by and fancy joining in, it would be lovely if you did!


The Rules
Ask your child to draw a picture of you. It doesn’t matter how old they are…
Post the picture on your blog.
Call it the ‘This is Me Meme’.
Pop over to Tara’s post to add it to her linky too.
Then tag some others

Silent Sunday - True Silence

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

World Book Day - The finished articles

A long overdue post but one I want to mark just to prove I did it!

What do most parents dread receiving a lot? The letter home from school saying that the next week there is a dress up day for World Book Day - and into the equation that I had a baby 5 days earlier and you get a sense of how pleased I was to hear this news.

I love books and can't wait until the girls really get a sense of enjoyment from being lost in a book - M at 8 is getting there but I swear if I find her reading another Horrid Henry book I will scream.

I was certainly in no position to race to the shops myself to buy outfits and if anyone knows my sewing skills you will know that making a costume was not an option either. M decided to take it upon herself to ring my Mum who is a whizz with some fabric and thread and order a Dorothy costume - She had it all worked out around her fabulous ruby slippers that she happens to have in her wardrobe. Luckily, Mum was very willing and the photo shows the finished article. M wasn't that impressed at having to wear a white top inside out so a small pattern doesn't show but the ensemble looked fab!

V (aged 4) definitely knows her own mind and after suggestions of Winnie the Witch, the witch from Room on the Broom & Tinkerbell still insisted on being Snow White (the outfit was a little tight being aged 3-4) but at least its a character from a book we have.

I loved picking the girls up from school that day and seeing everyone's efforts - I am still puzzled though by the child that was Hannah Montana - don't remember that book.

Did you take part and what as? What's the best and worst costume that you saw?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Gallery - Simple Pleasures - Family

I have only just got round to checking this week's Gallery entries and find that I am number 100 in the list. The theme this week is Simple Pleasures - For me there is nothing nicer than being surrounded by good company and my photo entry is of my family when they were introduced to Baby T last week - Aged 3 days.

My OH is missing from the pic as he is behind the camera and I am looking less than my best but it was such a lovely evening I couldn't not include this photo.

Introducing Tara Beatrice - The First 2 weeks

The Costello Crew have a new member - our darling little girl was born on 20th February and is absolutely perfect. Tara Beatrice is a welcome little sister for her 2 older sisters who are looking forward to many years of fun together.

Tara has settled well into our household - she has received lots of visitors and once again we are amazed by how generous people are with their presents. She is very patient as we keep calling Tara, V as we are used to calling her 4yo sister.

On Day 3, OH had to return to work and the next day I developed an infection. Cue, the most AMAZING friends a person could ever have - We were so well looked after - with lunch being brought, shopping being done, photos being taken and even Baby T being bathed.

Biggest sister, M has been an absolute star - never once complaining when she is asked to fetch items and always being ready for a cuddle with T. Middle sister, V loves T very much and even wanted to kiss her tongue one night!

By the end of week 2, T has met all 9 of her cousins and has even been to a swimming lesson, visited a pub and attended a swimming gala - the life of a 3rd child. She is very popular at school and behaved perfectly at the school fashion show. Auntie Cara has kindly done 2 photo shoots - Evidence of which can be found here.

Life for M & V has been just as busy with World Book Day on Thursday (M had a fabulous Dorothy outfit made by Nanna and V was a beautiful Snow White - Photos to come!) On Tuesday, V had a visit to A&E with a huge bump on her forehead after falling off a kitchen stool - The proof of this will forever be on the school photo taken the next morning!

The next week holds in store lots more fun and lots more visitors - T is already growing out of outfits but continues to be a tiny 7lb and very beautiful - we are feeling VERY lucky.