Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Being 'Me' For The Weekend

Unless you've had your head in the sand over the past month, you will know of the tragic passing of the beautiful 9 month old daughter of Jennie, Matilda Mae.

This tragedy has completely rocked the blogging community. Even people who have never met Jennie have been so moved by her story and are in pieces that something so unimaginable has devastated her life.

Tiny Ched is just a month older than Matilda. I think this is maybe why I, like others with children around the same age, have really felt it. I now openly admit that, even now, I can sob at a moments notice. The this tragedy has affected me like nothing before. 

TC has his 1st birthday 28th March and it's breaking my heart knowing that Jennie will never get to celebrate any of Matilda's birthdays. I really need to make his birthday extra special but I've been struggling somewhat.

But this weekend has helped me a little.

Sometime last year a close friend of mine asked me and some other of her friends to go on a weekend away to Edinburgh for her 40th birthday. Obviously I jumped at the chance. My favourite U.K. city and a bunch of lovely ladies - there was no doubt I was going to be there.

However, I've found it really hard being away from the kids lately and the thought of leaving them and Matt for 2 nights and 3 whole days filled me with dread. I had never left TC for more than 4 hours before and I'd only ever left MC overnight. I hated the thought that something could happen and me not be there. Matt's Grandmother had also passed away a week and a half earlier and I knew Matt and his family were feeling it.

"I don't think I want to go" was what I was saying inside but deep down I knew that it would do me good and I wanted to be there with my friends. I knew we'd have fun despite my feelings.

So I went.

To be honest, the day before I started to feel more comfortable with my decision to go and the excitement started to kick in. 3 of the girls (there were 9 of us in total) I class as some of my closest friends and I knew we'd have fun.

Friends and fun - the perfect pick me up
And do you know what? 

Despite hardly getting any sleep the 2 nights I was away, I totally loved the weekend! 

I feel a bit drained from it (we had Matt's Grandma's funeral the day after I got back) but I'm happy. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a while - you know where you laugh so much that your face and stomach actually ache? I was able to relax, I was able to forget about things for a while and be 'me' rather than just a wife and mother.

It was just what I needed.

I've started to plan the kids birthday's (MC also has hers 11th March) over the last couple of days and I'm looking forward to trying to make them as special as possible. The tragic events over the past few months have made me realise more than ever to grab opportunities with both hands, to not get down about things and live for the moment. You really never know what life can throw at you until it's too late.

It hasn't stopped me thinking about everything that's happened but it's made me refocus.

It's also made me realise I need to make time for me. As well as our family holiday in May, I'm looking forward to my night away in a posh hotel for BritMums. Roll on June when I can be 'me' for another night!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Date Night With Chiquito's

I have to be completely honest, I haven't been to a Chiquito restaurant in a very VERY long time. In fact, I think it was well over 10 years ago. Almost as long as I've been with Matt. It's his fault! Matt doesn't 'do' Mexican food.

So when the people at Chiquito offered me the chance to try out their tasty new menu I hesitated a little. Matt and I have promised ourselves to do regular date nights and this would have been ideal but I didn't even ask him because I knew what the answer would be. Then I asked myself "Why should I miss out because of Matt?"

I also had a superb idea!

Use it as an overdue GIRLY DATE.

I get to treat a friend and get out for a bit for some adult conversation. Win-win!

My best friend and I don't see each other as often as we'd like. I've blogged before about how different our lives are now and lately she's been jet setting everywhere. We've had one proper night out for dinner/drinks since TC was born, I think. The thing is though, we've been friends for 32 years now and I think we always will be friends - we have too much info on each other for a start!

So, the other week my friend and I headed out for an early dinner date to Chiquito's at Cheshire Oaks. We decided to go early as we were both tired (probably due to the fact we are both 40 next year!) and dealing with lots of personal stuff.

We were shown straight to the table and given a menu.


I couldn't believe how much choice there was on the menu. It was like a book!

It took a while to decide on what we were going to order and we both changed our minds throughout the process.

It was a really extensive menu with a lot of food even Matt "I don't do 'fancy' food" Lucas would have loved. Ha! His loss.

We did have to wait quite a while to be offered drinks. In fact, by the time we were offered these we were ready to place our order. It would have been nice to have had the drinks whilst we looked over the menu.

I was driving (I'm such a good friend!) so my date ordered a White Russian which she was disappointed with as it came in a really small glass. She said it also just tasted like Bailey's (other brands of coffee liqueur are available, obviously!). She said it wasn't worth the £5.79.

But then came the food! Hurrah!

For starters we ordered Peri Peri chicken wings which came with a sour cream dip. They were amazing (really needed a finger bowl though). My friend ordered potato skins which she really enjoyed too.

There was definitely more than enough for a starter and my groaning hungry stomach was very satisfied.

Then came the mains. We'd both taken so long to decide what we were having and my friend changed her mind at the last minute and ordered the same as me. She was glad she did.

We both ordered the South-Western Meatballs and they were amazing.

What's not to like about this?

"Seasoned pork and beek meatballs in our signature tomato sauce served over sliced peppers, onions and Mexican spiced rice. Topped with sour cream, salsa and guacamole".

In a word. Yum!

And, because we were filling our boots we ordered a side of garlic bread with cheese.

Yup, that's how we roll!

So, I bet you're reading this and your mouth is watering? I bet you're also thinking that we couldn't possibly have room for dessert.

Well, you'd be wrong. Of course we ordered dessert...we're not mad!

My friend ordered the Banana Taquito (a whole banana fried in a cinnamon tortilla served with ice-cream). She said it was really nice but a little dry and could have done with some sauce.

I went for the Golden Nugget Cheesecake. Just look at it? Amazing or what? I sent that photo to Matt by text and I found him crying when I got home*

Our bill came to exactly £55. For a 3 course meal, drinks and a side for 2 people I think this is really good and I can't complain about the food or the atmosphere. I'll definitely be considering Chiquito's in the future. I did have a look at their Kid's Menu and it looks really good. I think MC would like it.

If, like me, you've not tried Chiquito's for a while then it's worth checking out their extensive new menu.

Also, it's a lovely reminder for me to make sure I get out more with my friends.

Thanks Chiquito's!

* Not really, obviously.

This is not a sponsored post.  
I did receive a £50 voucher to spend at a Chiquito Restaurant 
but all photographs, words (apart from quoting from the menu), 
views and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Once Again, I Thank You

Last week we were all really poorly.

It's not often I take to my bed with illness. I think as a mother you have a duty to 'soldier on' regardless. It's something that programmed into you the moment you give birth. You have someone totally dependent on you so illness isn't an option.

Last week though, I was defeated. I spent 2 or 3 days in bed feeling dreadful with this nasty virus that is doing the rounds. I didn't have the energy to blog, I barely had the energy to take myself to the loo. I'm still struggling to recover from it even now.

Anyway, it seems last week The Mad Blog Awards 2013 nominations opened and I missed all the excitement and chatter. I really can't believe it's that time of year again. I think they are earlier this year as I remember it still being at the open nominations stage when Tiny Ched was born 28th March. I was so lucky to be nominated for the Best Pregnancy Blog and Best Baby Blog and was completely blown away when I won the latter.

I checked out the nominations so far this year and someone has very kindly nominated me for Best Baby Blog again (I'm still eligible having a baby born after 1st Feb 2012). So this is a post to say THANK YOU, whoever you are. I know you're not my Mum as I haven't told her yet!

I'm not one for begging asking for votes, it's not my style. Some people do and that's their choice but it's just not something that comes naturally to me. If you enjoy my blog and wish to vote for me then you can do so by clicking on the button below or by visiting The Mad Blog Awards vote page here. There are tonnes of amazing blogs out there though so go ahead...make someone happy. I've still not cast my votes yet - it's going to be tough this year!

MAD Blog Awards

Nominations close at midnight 18th February 2013. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

A Difficult Post

I find my head full of thoughts right now.

Thoughts that are unimaginable.

Yet again I find myself writing about something so terrible and tragic that it doesn't bear thinking about but thinking about it is all I find myself doing.

Yesterday I spent from lunch time in a numb and frozen state of mind. Yesterday I found myself practically glued to the sofa just watching or cuddling my children. Yesterday I kept getting asked "Why do you keep crying Mummy?" by MC.

Again I find myself writing about a wonderful blogger who I've met in the flesh. Someone who is just as lovely in real life as she is on her blog. Someone who was pregnant at the same time as me. Someone who shared a pregnancy journey together. Someone who had a beautiful daughter so full of smiles and giggles and only a month younger than my gorgeous boy. Someone who has been hit by a tragedy that's just too cruel for words.

Once again hundreds of bloggers felt only a fraction of the excruciating pain and sorrow that Jennie and her husband, David, must have felt this weekend when their beautiful daughter, Matilda Mae, passed away suddenly in her cot at the age of just 9 months.

It's a difficult post to write but I have to write it. I know I'm rambling already but I just can't seem to think straight. I've said before that blogging is a way of not only documenting life but finding some comfort through writing about thoughts and feelings. I know Jennie is taking comfort from all the well wishes and support shown by this amazing community through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

My blog silence last week was due to being ill. Not just me but Matt and TC were really poorly too (and MC had been poorly the week before). We are still not right but, thankfully, TC has steroids and antibiotics and is on the mend. If I'm completely honest, I spent Friday night sat on the stairs sobbing as I felt really low. I was feeling unwell and exhausted, Matt was laid up in bed and TC just would not settle at all. All the time I kept trying to think of Kerry passing away at the end of last year and how I said life was too short to sweat the small stuff. All the time I was trying to pull myself into a positive state of mind.

This news has rocked me completely, as I know it has done everyone, and again I find myself unable to sleep and giving myself a good shake to remember what's important.

Life is so fragile 
Life is so short 
Life is for living 
Life is for embracing 
Life is for family 
Life is for friends 
Live is for forgiving 
Life is for forgetting 
Life is for sharing 
Life is for caring 
Life - don't take it for granted

candle for Matilda Mae

RIP Matilda Mae
Sleep tight beautiful angel


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