Family Update – July 2015

I love this weather! When most people are sweating profusely, feeling lethargic and moaning about the heat, I just smile and nod… oh, and I also tend to walk around with a water spray in hand to cool the kids down when they least expect it, he he!

Wriggly (1 year 1 month)

Wriggly - 1 year 1 month - June 2015

· You have started going in the plastic car (you know, that red, yellow and black one they have at all playgroups) and loved every minute of it!
· You had your first meltdown, at the grand old age of one month and six days. Here is what your display of anger looked like: head and upper body between your legs, hollering in frustration whilst banging your head on the carpet. It happened when your Mamie (nan) took you off the trike she had been pushing you on for about 10 minutes. Do tantrums start earlier and earlier as you have more children? I also hope they stop prematurely (wishful thinking, hey!).
· Whenever your Mamie gets an ice cream for your siblings in town (pretty much every day), she gets a cone for you (minus the ice cream). You love it and it is far less sticky than the alternative (win, win!).
· When your Mamie holds her arms in your direction, you start looking the other way every single time. It is hilarious!
· You have enjoyed going to the park. Swings and the see-saw make you really happy.
· You love ‘Row your Boat’ and keep saying, “Row, row, row!”
· When you are really upset, a cuddle and a gentle rendition of ‘Une Souris Verte’ is what helps you settle best.
· Your Mamie taught you how to blow kisses and is trying to get you to walk (you are growing up so fast, my little baby!).
· Your favourite things to eat at the moment are rice, Petits Filous and porridge.
· You are addicted to breastmilk, water and smoothies.
· You gave me a first (very wet) kiss a couple of week ago. I felt loved!
· You went on your first trip to a farm and were not too bothered.

Jumpy (2 years 8 months)

Jumpy - 2 years 8 months

· You are getting really good at telling me when you need the toilet. I will have to bite the bullet and potty train you before the novelty of using the toilet versus the convenience of nappies fades away. Please someone, tell me to do it! I simply cannot bring myself to it.
· We had a tough few days mid-June. Your Mamie and I took you to Carluccio’s in Pinner for lunch as I really trust the chain with allergies and vigilance towards cross-contamination. Just a few minutes after having a few bites of your egg and wheat-free pasta, you started screaming. You could not sleep that afternoon. You were angry and confused. Nothing I tried helped you settle down. Then you started getting quite sick. It had ‘that’ smell; the distinctive smell your body produces whenever you have an allergic reaction. Antihistamines were administered. You were sick and angry all afternoon. It was quite obviously something you had eaten at the restaurant, despite my string of questions to the waitress. They were pretty relaxed and casual about your allergies there. That is rarely a good sign and I should have trusted my gut instinct. Maybe someone did not wash their hands before handling your food, maybe they used the same colander for your pasta that they had used with wheat and egg-based pasta. I have no idea, but what I know is that their carelessness resulted in my baby being poorly.
· You went on a merry-go-round for the first time, with you big sister looking after you.

Beanie (4 years 9 months)

Beanie - 4 Years 9 Months

· You were the first winner for the ‘Beat the Street Lucky Dip Prize Draw’. It was displayed on all the notice boards & windows at school! You loved seeing your name all over the place.
· You can regularly recall your dreams in quite a lot of detail: “I had a really bad dream. There was a monster. He was chasing me. He wanted to gollop me all up and then a prince came and he cut him and then I was alive again.”
· You absolutely loved going to Willows farm with our local playgroup. You were permanently attached to Margaret, your favourite helper. No matter how much she tried getting away from you, you kept clinging on to her.
· Yesterday, as we were driving home, you exclaimed: “I don’t want to marry Mikey anymore cause he’s too rude. I’m gonna marry Daniel.” I know a little boy who might be disappointed, and another one who will probably be over the moon!

Crevette (6 years 11 months)

Crevette drinking his Favourite Smoothie - Strawberry & Banana

· You have just been awarded the 50 metre badge for swimming. I am constantly amazed at how gracious your strokes are. I look like a cat trying to escape from the pool when I am swimming, but you really make it look easy and almost effortless.
· Your French is getting better and better. Having your Mamie around for a few weeks and now our lovely friend Solène has certainly helped. It is like music to my ears when I listen to you having conversations in my mother-tongue.
· You helped me make garlic butter to take to your school next Tuesday (French National Day).
· You are starting to get a bit of an ‘attitude.’ That is not allowed! My lovely, gentle little man cannot possibly stop being the nicest boy around… I do want you to have a personality, but I love your caring, sensitive nature, too.
· You are getting incredibly messy. Most of the time, you blame your sisters for low-level disruption and mess, but I have started noticing that you initiate a lot of the mess, you silent troublemaker!
· You eat so much I have no idea how you can be so slim!


· The picnic my friend Nath and I had in support of Allergy UK’s #FreeFromFeast not only made it to the charity’s magazine Focus, but it also featured on the cover!
· After celebrating my colleague’s 30th birthday, we went to the Y13 prom and thoroughly enjoyed it.
· I had the privilege of attending an amazing Canon photography course, led by Paul Hames. It is a must do for anyone who has just bought their first Canon DSLR and is too scared to shoot on manual mode.
· I had a brilliant time at BritMums Live, listening to truly inspirational people, cheering all Brilliance in Blogging award winners, meeting in person quite a few of the people behind blogs I love and catching up with friends.
· I wrote an article for The Times Educational Supplement online about leaving teaching.
· Until a couple of weeks ago, I had read about bloggers being ‘trolled’, but I did not really know what an Internet troll was. They target big bloggers raising sensitive issues, right? Well, I have been trolled. As a teacher in a secondary school, I have grown a thick skin and a sense of humour. The thread of colourful comments I landed on was rather entertaining and I have to say some of them had a point and were quite funny. I knew having four children in succession would mean staying in state education might not be affordable. I will undoubtedly find other ways to make a living but I will certainly miss teaching.


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  1. Alexandra Mercer (Life of mummy)
    09/07/2015 / 5:07 pm

    A lovely update. I had my first troll recently too, what fun! 😉 x

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:48 pm

      We could start a club, he he!

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:47 pm

      You tell me! OK, I can do this. Give me a week and I’m on it… or shall I wait until I’m at my mum’s? I’m sure she’d be much better than me at the whole potty-training thing.

  2. 10/07/2015 / 7:33 am

    Lovely post and fantastic pictures. Love the photo of Beanie and the little snail! x

  3. 10/07/2015 / 12:21 pm

    You’ve certainly packed a lot in this month my lovely! I’m hearing ya about the tantrums coming thick and fast already 😉 well done on the Times piece, it’s a great article. I couldn’t work out how to comment on it but I’ve shared it on Twitter & FB xxx ps. gorgeous photos as always

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:59 pm

      Oh you’re so lovely hun, thanks! You can’t comment on the TES’ website (not necessarily a bad thing). Thanks for sharing!

  4. 10/07/2015 / 1:26 pm

    These family updates will be lovely for the children to look back on and read. I can’t believe you were trolled! Hope it wasn’t anything too upsetting X

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:45 pm

      I’m certainly loving writing them. That’s definitely something I enjoy every month. I enjoy looking out for ‘the little things,’ the ones that don’t matter that much but make them who they are. Being trolled was surprising (I’m only little fish!) but it made me laugh a lot more than it upset me to be honest. x

      • 11/07/2015 / 11:07 am

        It’s great as those little things are the things you forget about……That’s a good reaction – the people trolling tend to be rather pathetic! x

  5. 10/07/2015 / 1:31 pm

    Mel you have certainly packed a lot in. I’m so sorry to hear about you being trolled, you are one of the most generous and kind people I’ve ever met. Hopefully, it will blow over soon. xxx

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:39 pm

      Being trolled didn’t affect me that much to be honest. You get used to not taking things personally as a teacher, and I found some of the comments quite amusing, especially when they started arguing with each other. I wish I had that much time in my hands… I’d probably read a book or learn how to knit!

  6. Kim Carberry
    10/07/2015 / 9:53 pm

    Aww! What a lovely round up! You little one’s are growing up so fast!

    • 10/07/2015 / 11:23 pm

      They are! IIt’s just crazy… my ‘baby’ is not a baby anymore. She’ll soon be a toddler.

  7. 10/07/2015 / 9:54 pm

    I miss reading your post! I have been off the grid as I have allergy. I wont stop sneezing and the laptop is stained with my snot now!

    Also love the warm weather as this is something that we have home. I also have that water spray and some wet tissues that I kept in the fridge!


    • 10/07/2015 / 11:18 pm

      Oh, it’s a good idea to keep wet tissues (or even a pack of wipes come to think of it) in the fridge! I’ve also been suffering from hay fever. It just never goes away. So annoying to be ‘unwell without being unwell.’

  8. 12/07/2015 / 8:30 am

    Lovely update! I’m sorry about the meltdowns starting already. Hope they end sooner too (wishful thinking indeed). #PoCoLO

  9. 12/07/2015 / 4:15 pm

    I’ve got a little one the same age as your youngest and was totally thinking of getting ‘the car’ why oh why do they only ever have 1 in toddler groups! Ali guest hosting #PoCoLo

  10. athomewiththeboys2015
    13/07/2015 / 11:16 am

    As another person has already commented, nice post and a great record to look back on.

    Unfortunately, I can relate to the temper tantrums with our youngest at the moment and it’s not a nice experience.

    The messiness, my wife and I find ourselves cleaning and tidying all day long. Is anybody able to tell us it will get better?

    And the eating – The boys are totally different to each other when it comes this. They both eat a lot but one shows it a little whilst the other doesn’t. Not sure how that works. I just thought it was an age thing, because until I was thirty, I was able to do the say too. Now I fill up instead of up!


    • athomewiththeboys2015
      13/07/2015 / 11:18 am

      Can’t edit but the last sentence should have read – Now I fill out instead of up! Sorry!

  11. 14/07/2015 / 2:29 pm

    Oh Mel, your updates are always so lovely and make me feel bad for my lack of tracking what my children are doing. That said, I did manange to write a few bits into Number Three’s baby album this week. Walking at 10 months is such a highlight, I HAD to write it down!
    I know what you mean about the six year old with attitude. My eldest has just turned 7 and some days it is like having a teenager instead of my sweet, considerate little man.

    • 15/07/2015 / 11:50 pm

      I didn’t realise our children were so close in age. Wriggly is not walking yet, and I love the fact I can still call her a baby, rather than a toddler! 10 months and walking. Wow! Crevette will be seven (going on 17) at the end of the month! How old is your middle boy? x

      • 16/07/2015 / 7:46 am

        He’ll be five next week, so just a little older than Beanie. We seem to be quite alike, you and I, living abroad, kids of the same age, mad about food and languages,….
        Where are you from in France, if I might ask? We llive on the border to Alsace, although they don’t quite consider themselves French 😉

        • 21/07/2015 / 1:03 am

          I’m from Champagne, and I used to spend all my holidays in ‘les Vosges’ in my teens. My mum and I loved Alsace and we’d always drive around the area from our campsite in the Vosges.

  12. Louise
    14/07/2015 / 5:30 pm

    I always love your family updates Mel – Wriggly saying ‘row, row, row’ and giving kisses is just adorable. So sorry to hear the Jumpy has been poorly due to her allergies – that must have been very worrying for you. Hope she is better now – and good luck with the potty training – it’s on my to-do list for the summer too. Very impressed by Beanie’s ability to recall her dreams although that one did sound a bit scary. Loved her changing her mind about which boy she wants to marry – I suspect there’ll be a few more changes of heart in the years ahead! Well done to Crevette on getting his 50m swimming badge and getting better at speaking French too. So sorry to hear that you were trolled but sounds like you handled it well and didn’t let it get to you. Thanks for linking up to #ftmob 🙂

    • 15/07/2015 / 11:35 pm

      Hey sweetie, I’m always pleased when I have something to link up to #ftmob; it’s such a lovely linky full of fun kiddy talk!

  13. 15/07/2015 / 10:13 am

    I love these round-up’s hun and I’m sorry I’ve not stopped by for a while, life has been busy and I’ve been relaxing a bit too much but I’ve missed you and this is one of my most favourite blogs in the world, it always makes me happy. I love reading about the children’s milestones, I hope Xander will be potty trained by the end of the summer, he’s getting better at telling me he needs the loo too. I love your attitude towards the trolls, haters gonna hate girl and you should still be entitled to a teaching career with a young family x

    • 15/07/2015 / 11:28 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed taking some time off, ma belle. You really deserve it. I’ve slowed down a lot. Must be the heat and the thought of our holidays coming up. I can’t wait to spend some time in France! I’ve not really made the jump with potty training yet. I find it tedious but I think my mum will enjoy helping with that during our holidays. I have to say I really surprised myself for not taking that trolling thing seriously. I found it all quite amusing to be fair. I like a bit of banter (and most of it was just banter, really).

  14. 16/07/2015 / 5:55 am

    Hey Mel, my middle boy is slightly older than Beanie. He’ll turn 5 in a week. How you manage wprk, your fabulous blog and everything with four under seven I do not know! Good on you!

    • 21/07/2015 / 1:06 am

      I don’t! It is 1 a.m. and I’m answering comments from last week, trying to write a post and my inbox is nearing 2,000 emails… oh, and my house looks like a launderette! On the plus side, I had a fab day with the kids, walking around London, going on the bus and we had dinner at my friends’ house. x

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