Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Appreciating what I have...

'I can only be honest and say I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed and glum today. I am working away from home, its half term and I am very busy all week and I feel detached from Amy and the girls at a time when I most need to be with them. With Grandma in hospital and quite poorly at the moment, I am not able to visit her either as much as I would wish  and I am feeling guilty and questioning my priorities. I have continued with my work this week, as my main role in the house is as a provider, sometimes my feelings can easily contradict this, but I can't earn enough money to keep a roof over our heads by being at home. I have this argument with myself on many an occasion and never really come out with a balanced solution. It is true, since I became self-employed, I definitely have more family time and am at home more, but I just sometimes get ill timed periods when I am stacked up and this week is one of them. My most treasured possession reminds me of why I work so hard, who will most benefit and my role in looking after my family. Amy and the girls bought and made me at Christmas, a bracelet with 'Wiggle', Looby Chick', their dates of birth and our wedding date on it. Now whenever I feel not quite right, a bit low and I am not with my family. I touch it, think of what is important, take a deep breath and carry on. I am privileged to have what I have in my life and that comes from holding fast, doing the right thing and working hard. Today was not a good day, but I go again tomorrow with my bracelet on and my family supporting and behind me. Not a bad place to be in really..

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Really pleased I had my shopping buddy!

Now I am not a fan of shopping at the best of times and outnumbered in my house with an all female to male ratio, these family trips could turn out to be a nightmare for a gentleman such as myself. I could be stranded in clothes shops and viewing all things feminine, such as looking at make up, answering difficult questions about sizes and whether the ladies in my life look nice in it. Too many loaded questions to cope with! Or so I thought...Thank heavens for Anna. Last weekend I spent two of the most pleasurable hours shopping I have ever had in her company. We shopped and looked around in calm ease with no agenda. We scouted for DVD's, film memorabilia, the Norwich shop, football gloves and went for coffee. She was great company, we chatted away and this was a shopping experience I would love to repeat! P.S. Why is that neither of my children can't avoid getting messy when eating or drinking. Must order some bibs for them - note the chocolate sauce on Anna's nose. Messy pair!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Even Anna ate some pudding!

Recently we have been treated to Lucy's experimental cooking and she definitely whipped us up a treat or two. Given the task to make a crumble at school, she thought she would test the recipe out on her unsuspecting family and I have to say it was wonderful and tasted great. The dry run was a cherry and apple crumble, served up with lashings of cream and ice cream. A week later, the main dish arrived home from school and was also delicious. A slight problem in that there was fifty percent less apples, with Amy having supplied her with large cooking apples, I can only conclude that Lucy got a bit bored peeling such large ones. The result was a bit too much crumble and not so much apple! Anna, not normally one to have a pudding bravely tried some on each occasion and ate every bit. Amy is a fabulous cook and we can't get her to eat any of her puddings, so praise indeed for Lucy from the famous food critic Wiggle! I for one am looking forward to next dishes Lucy tries, what will be next?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

It's finally finished!

After much swearing and I really mean much swearing, Lucy's bedroom is finally finished. After all these years of being practically inept, you would have thought I would have learnt my lesson and paid somebody to complete projects in the house such as this! It was a good job, that for some periods of time Amy and the girls were not in the house whilst I was decorating, as I used words I have not spoken in a long time! Not one screw I put up stayed secure, I fell off the step ladder, landing on my arse on an open pot of paint - for a short period of time I looked like a smerf (angry smerf). Rescued by Uncle Ron and his drilling skills, I completed the project by the skin of my nose, hours before the carpet guys arrived to fit it. Despite all the hassle, agitation, loss of dignity and pain, I am chuffed to bits to be able to have done this for Lucy. Her emotional reaction with tears of joy, made it all worthwhile. Enjoy Looby chick. Your first grown up bedroom with enough storage spare to keep all your crap in! xx

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Resolutions that I must make stick!

Another year of family life has flown by and we dive into another full of hope and expectation. This New Years eve, the Hammond family broke with tradition and our usual level of social ineptness and actually stayed the course and saw the New year in! Getting home  at around 2am, having had the most wonderful time as guests at our friends Sophie and Jo's house with great food, fireworks, toasting marshmallows on the fire, meeting new people and even a bit of low level partying. All right, we are all paying for it now as we are usually all in our PJ's by 8pm! I love my family, beyond words, but we do get caught up in the mechanics of life and routine and sometimes do not make time for each other as much as we could, me probably the most. I take life too seriously and forget at times, just to spend time with Amy and the girls enjoying ourselves.  Amy and I focus so much on parenting and providing the girls with all they need, love and support, that we often forget our marriage and time to be with each other. So girls, the message is clear, I am going to find as many baby sitters as possible and palm you off to them for the whole of 2018, so your mother and I can spend more time together. Just kidding! Although this is important and I especially need to make the effort to find time with Amy and simply be together. So this is my resolution this year and one I fully intend to stick to. Don't feel at all like I saw enough of Amy last year as my wife, not a fellow parent and this is something I want to change moving forwards. Spending time with the girls is always great, such as taking Lucy to her first competitive game at Carrow Road and we won, but spending time with Amy is what makes me tick. Happy New Year to my family and can't wait for the adventures this year may bring! xx

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Grandma's first selfie!

The Christmas festivities have simply flown by. Full of excitement, lots of food (so much food), time with loved ones and friends and so very, very relaxed with not a stressful minute at all. I perhaps could have done without Anna waking up at 4am on Christmas day, but you can't have it all! A special time that has created more family memories; Lucy's emotional reaction and pure joy at receiving a unicorn onesie and new rose gold converse trainers was worth the entrance fee alone. We have a new addition to the Hammond household in 'Snuggles' the elf, who has graciously been allowed to stay with us all year by Santa, much to Anna's delight. The girls had so much swag, it was hard to keep up and I received a present to treasure in an engraved bracelet with the girls names on and our wedding date. I tried hard not to hold back the tears, as I always seem to cry on these kind of occasions.  Amy, Libby and big Lucy cooked some wonderful meals and I have eaten till I could pop for the last three days. Diet must start next week. Boxing day finished off next door and Libby generously invited Grandma and Joan for posh afternoon tea. It was wonderful to see her do something different and Amy even managed to coerce her into a selfie. Not many pictures of Grandma around, so one to treasure and enjoy. A simple, wonderful family Christmas that suits me down to a tee with no fuss, just great company. Merry Christmas to my family, eclectic and diverse as it may be, I love you all and feel truly blessed xx

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Feeling really festive now!

The tree is up, decorated to a high standard by myself and the girls and looking great in its new position in the house, stockings are out and just five more sleeps to go before the big man visits. I think, sadly we now have a complete house of non believers and Anna is definitely playing the game to exploit Santa. She knows, but she is determined not to let on. I am excited, blessed and eternally grateful to have my family to enjoy another Christmas within our home. with friends and loved ones. I know this sounds a bit soppy, but I can't wait for this year's festivities. I simply love watching the girls open their presents and this gives me a moment of pure joy to savour. A couple more days of work to get through, Star wars tonight at the cinema, footy match on Friday night and then we head into the weekend and the final countdown. Have excelled myself with Amy present this year, hopeful of many brownies points for this gift! Christmas is about those you love and being at home and I am excited as a five year old waiting at the bottom of the chimney. I am chirpy, looking forward to the break, seeing old friends and chilling out. I can feel a few Christmas films by the fire coming on too!