Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Confessions of a regular mama

It seems to have happened... the one thing I promised myself I would never turn into when I had children.  I am a shouty mum! Sometimes even a yelling one and quite frankly it makes me feel like crap.

I am not sure when it happened... don't get me wrong I was never a perfect mama by any means and occasionally I did shout but as my children grow out of their toddler years I seem to be doing it much more often.

Since moving out to Abu Dhabi our lives have been filled with emotional highs and lows and sometimes these are pretty extreme.  I think this has had an impact on my parenting.  It has taken time to adjust to the earlier get up times, a new job, a new home, the fact that we are constantly together and of course the heat.  We still use 'time out' as our main form of discipline and yet I seem to be raising my voice more and more.  The truth is the more I yell, the less I am heard and the more both Posey and Lochlann seem to push the boundaries.  But then of course they do, who wants to be shouted at by their mama.  I need to remember they are still my babies, they are only 3 and 4.  Shouting is not the answer not matter how tired or emotional I am and no matter how much they are testing my patience.

Lochlann has hit three and although he is still such a sweet and gentle soul he now has fits of anger and frustration.  This frustration sometimes causes him to act out by hitting his sister or yelling, 'no' at Sam and I when we ask him to do something.  I think that I know the reasons behind his behaviour though.  Not only has he gone through all the changes that we have as a family, he has also been toilet trained and is being weaned off his dummy.  I know he is finding the latter of these very difficult so I need to bloody well remember this when he is acting out.

The thing with Posey is that she is a bright young lady and she is testing her limits and ours.  She has learned that she can tell lies (by lies I mean little fibs) and this is something we are tackling.  She also has a cheeky attitude and now stamps her feet at me if she doesn't get her own way.  It absolutely infuriates me when she does this.  I then shout and plonk her in time out when really it probably just needs a cuddle and a discussion about the right ways to show her frustration.  She is only four after all.

This isn't a, 'oh woe is me, I am such a terrible mother' post.  Instead it is me recognising something in my own behaviour and vowing to change it.  I am going to talk to my little family and let them know that this is something I am going to work on.  I need to speak more softly and hope that I am heard better.  I need to go to bed earlier and get more sleep whilst we are off and replenish my energy.  I also think making healthier eating choices and taking some time to exercise (aka have some time to myself without feeling mega guilty) will help me be a calmer, happier mama. 

I love my babies, I am in love with my little family and I need to make sure they know how much they are loved.  Shouting is not my parenting style and it stops here.

Thanks for taking the time to read.  If you are a parent reading this, I hope you can understand.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

7 months in...

The wall of dreams at Yas Beach.

7 months in doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 6 months in but I have been one busy lady recently so, alas, it's now mid March and we are 7 months in!

7 months into living a 7 hour flight away from the UK. 7 months into working in a new school.  7 months into the littles settling into their new home.  7 months into apartment living and 7 months into living in the desert heat!

How do I feel about it now?

In the interest of being honest, it hasn't always been an easy move but then we never expected it to be.  We moved two small children away from their home comforts and we have all had to adapt to a very different culture.  There have been many ups and downs along the way.  They say it takes at least 12 months to feel settled and to think of this place as 'home'.
Having said that, there are so many positives here that sometimes I wonder how we will ever go back to England.

Highlights of the past 7 months include;

  • our marriage has survived!! Wahoooo!! 😂
  • settling into and beginning to enjoy a new workplace
  • watching P and L settle and thrive in their classes 
  • copious days enjoying the swimming pool
  • a yearly membership to the local waterpark (Yas water world which is 10 minutes away and fantastic for children). 
  • Trips to Dubai 
  • Our desert safari for Sam's 28th birthday
  • making new friends
  • watching Sam enjoy playing for the Saracens Rugby team (not going to lie I think it is rather hot watching him run around the pitch in his shorts!)
  • visits from Sam's sister Kate and my sister Sophie 
  • I got to see one of my best friends and her beautiful baby girl on a trip to the UAE for her 30th
  • trips to the beach for birthday parties 
  • watching Beauty in the Beast in the park, all sat together on a blanket munching treats whilst the sun set 
  • Sam cutting off all his hair (I am pretty much his no.1 fan at this point)
  • playing in fake snow at the Galleria Mall at Christmas time
  • Christmas Brunch at the Westin Abu Dhabi 
... the list goes on.   I could go on about the negatives that we have experienced (like me crying every time it bloody snows in England and we aren't there to enjoy it) but then, nobody really wants to hear me moan.  Those aren't the things I want my children and I to look back on either. 

In short, yes we get homesick quite often but the move out here was absolutely worth it.  Work is going well, the children are happy and my husband looks great with a tan! What more could I ask for?! 

We are very much looking forward to our holiday back to England in the summer.  There are lots of people that we miss terribly and I can't wait for everybody to see how much our two littles have grown.  I am so proud of my little family and despite everything, I am really proud of us for moving out here. 

I am now going to share some of my most favourite photos from our time here so far - most of which are just iPhone snaps...

Our first date night in Abu Dhabi

P and I at the Crowne Plaza on Yas Island

P and L enjoying an ice-lolly at Dubai Mall
Our first trip to Dubai

On the boat ride to watch the amazing fountain show at Dubai Mall
Our first ever time trick or treating.

When Sam plays the name game at Starbucks! 
When Posey won star of the week and got to take Popsy home.
My handsome husband on his birthday trip to the desert. 
Me feeling awkward around a camel... 
At the F1watching Mumford & Sons ... what a great night! 
P and L all ready for National Day celebrations
Christmas 2017 at the Westin Abu Dhabi 
Posey just generally being her usual self :) 
Our boy at Yas Gateway Park 
After our winter picnic at Yas Gateway Park 
and then she turned four. 
And he turned three...
When my beautiful friend and her family visited during their stay in the UAE for her 30th.

Mother's Day celebrations at Lochlann's nursery.

A special moment with my boy and I whilst waiting for Daddy to bring the coffees. 
When Auntie Katey came to visit.
When Auntie Sophie popped in for 3 hours on route to Nepal. 

One of my most favourite things about Abu Dhabi... the sunsets. 
Our littles on a recent visit to Jumeriah.

If you have reached this point you are an absolute legend because I included FAR too many photos! Thank you for reading, I am sorry my posts never follow a pattern or schedule, I'll get there one day... maybe! 😊

Monday, 5 March 2018

A Valentines Date Afternoon

So, I may or not have started drafting this post and then forgotten all about it and never uploaded it... OPPS.  Still very much an amateur blogger over here!

I still wanted to document the lovely afternoon Sam and I had during our visit to the Saray Spa located within the Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi.

We visited the Marriott on a bit of a whim really.  It was during our half term break, Lochlann was still in nursery and our good friends had offered to take Posey to the waterpark with them.  This meant one thing... a child free day!!!! Don't get me wrong I love my children dearly but time alone with Sam was needed.  So off the children went and we were left with most of the day to explore the endless possibilities.  Do we get on top of the chores 😂, go and chill at our pool or go out for a nice lunch? In honesty, I really wanted to do something a little more special as Valentines was just around the corner and although we don't usually celebrate it, I thought it would be nice to do something a little more special.  I just didn't know what.

In the end, whilst I was getting ready I heard Sam on the phone arranging our trip to the spa for drinks and a couples massage.  I was so excited, as parents we don't often get chance to appreciate each other and I never expected that this afternoon off parenting would result in a little spa date!
We quickly got ready and headed off as we needed to be at the hotel for midday.  This gave us three and half hours before we had to go and collect Lochlann from nursery.

Our arrival.

When we arrived we were shown to the hotel lobby where they had the most delicious pastries and cakes on offer.  With the package we had bought we were able to choose something to eat and a drink each.  In the end we opted for a lattes rather than bubbles (the reality of needing to parent later that day).  We sat out on the terrace in the sunshine and were served our little treats.  I had a vanilla latte and a chocolate orange macaroon and Sam had a hazelnut latte and some sort of chocolate delight.  I loved this part of our date, the treats were scrummy and we got to sit and just chat to one another without any distractions... lovely!

Saray Spa.

At half one we strolled over to the spa.  We were greeted with a glass of chilled cucumber and lemon water before being escorted into the spa.  Whenever I have been to a spa before I have been really nervous and unsure about what I am actually supposed to do but the ladies at the Saray Spa were so lovely, calming and reassuring.  Plus, I actually took a lot of comfort in the fact that Sam was there with me too.  We were given really luxurious bathrobes and were given time to make ourselves comfortable.  As part of the valentines package we were also treated to a full body scrub which was amazing.  I throughly enjoyed this and really appreciate the fact they cover your eyes over during this... can you imagine how awkward it could be otherwise! After our 30 minute body scrub we were given time to have a shower.  Which I am sure any mother will agree with me, a hot, uninterrupted  shower is like a spa trip in itself!

After we had showered we then had an hour's worth of a full body massage.  It was so soothing and calming, I think Sam even dozed off for a while it was that good.  I really enjoyed the extra little touches such as the heated massage table and the oils that were used to fragrance the room.  I honestly don't think I have ever felt more relaxed in my entire life.

After the massage, you were invited to relax, stay awhile and enjoy the hotel's facilities.  Before leaving the spa, they give us some nuts, dried fruits and a cup of lemon tea and honey.  We didn't have the time to enjoy the pool and things as we needed to collect Lochlann but I did soak up the last few minutes of calm with my tea.

As someone who can be quite nervous and awkward I was never quite sure about spa days but I have to say I throughly enjoyed this afternoon with Sam at the Marriott.  Being there with my husband put my mind at ease and the ladies in the spa were just so lovely. I would most definitely recommend the couples package to any parents that are in desperate need of some. R & R and time together.

 This post isn't sponsored or anything (I am probably one of the smallest blogs out there) we just had a genuinely lovely day and I wanted to share how much we loved it.  If you live in the area or are over in Abu Dhabi on a holiday, I would absolutely recommend a trip to the Marriott Al Forsan.  Thank you to all the lovely staff who made us feel so welcome.

Thank you to my gorgeous husband for treating us to this little spa trip, Sam we need to spend time together like this more often.  💌

Here is a little instagram husband outtake of me to make you smile! 😃

Thanks for stopping by.