Christmas OMG it’s just around the corner

Christmas if you are like us is a huge deal in our house the kids look forward to it and Cheryl counts down to Christmas from the 1st of January.

It’s strange because we come from different backgrounds and i was never a big fan of Xmas don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it but not to the extent that Cheryl does and I soon found that out when I met her.

When she was little her Christmas Tree was just surrounded from top to bottom with gifts that her parents had collected all year round leading up to this one day, so she has always had the magic of Christmas and has passed it onto her children now that she is a mother herself.

All of our kids look forward to the magic even though the big ones know about how the magic works, our little ones look forward to seeing and waiting for the Big man in red, and this being the first year Freddie actually understands Christmas he has been super excited for months now and keeps saying Santa will bring me presents which is just lovely to see!

Xmas Visit
Xmas Visit

Every Xmas eve we have the same tradition since the Harry was a baby, the kids will get to open new pyjamas to go to bed in, we will drink hot chocolate, sprinkle magical reindeer food by the front door to attract the reindeer to our house the set up some treats for Santa which usually consists of milk or beer, a cookie and a carrot for the reindeer then its off to bed where they fight going to sleep every year but lose.

As each year comes we say the same thing, “we will buy stuff from January then we will be better prepared” it never ever happens that’s way but its nice to have a plan of action, we already have stuff brought but not as much as we planned we would have.

This year Christmas has snuck up on us like a tinsel covered ninja!!

Xmas Ninja
Xmas Ninja

We have had a bad few months with our daughters operations, Harry’s bullying problems and Cheryl’s mom passing away that the months all just rolled into one then BAM its November and we need to get our asses in gear if we want to get anything done.

We are determined that this year is going to be a great Xmas where the kids get spoilt and enjoy the day with no problems, new decorations in our new house and appearances from the Naughty Elves to cause havoc over December.

Even though Christmas has come quickly this year we are looking forward to it, I only hope I don’t get coal like the past 33 years!

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

How you meant to get anything done around here

With 5 children people often ask how do you get anything done?

The answer is with great difficulty.

Luckily for us 3 of them are over 8 so they generally look after themselves but the problem is we have a 3 year old Tornado and a 1 year old who has discovered she can not only start to walk but figured out she can climb and its a lot of fun!

Simple daily tasks are a little more difficult such as washing up the dishes (I know who washes dishes in this day of age) well since our dishwasher sadly passed away RIP, we have had to hand wash everything which is a ball ache at the best of times but imaging a 3 year old on a chair next to you re washing your washed cups and the floor and the chair and himself while your 1 year old is trying to bite your leg because she’s teething.

The hovering is not so bad because Freddie isn’t a big fan of the Hoover so he tends to keep his distance but Bethie sees it as a challenge and try’s to attack it like a puppy or pulls the wire so the plug comes out of the wall socket, you may think this is cute but by the time you have walked over to plug it back in you turn around and find she has grabbed the Hoover and now your taking away her favourite toy of all time (cue major tantrum)

Today the elder kids were in school, Freddie was watching Paw Patrol and I thought excellent I shall break out the old laptop and see if I can get a blog post done, I hear the sound of a chair dragged out from the table and a tiny little smiley face popping over my screen and in just one tiny finger the post was gone!! But you can’t be mad at something so beautiful, how can you be just look at that face.

How Bethie Demands Attention
How Bethie Demands Attention

So we have figured it is much easier to do anything when the babies go to bed just to get as much in as you can until the little monsters awake and the battle continues.

But we are parents and this is what we do and what we signed up for, I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

Wanted the old me. Have you seen him?

WANTED man around 34 years old, slim build, 5ft 10 inches, funny and good looking…..have you seen him?

No?

Neither have I and ive looked under the sofa.

Years ago I was a shadow of the person I am now and it’s taken me so long to realise this, so long I have been deaf to it and pretended that this is me now so I have to deal with it.

Before my Mental Health got worse and took its toll on me I was this fun loving guy who loved life, loved going out with friends and family, socialised and took good care of myself.

Now I don’t go out unless I have to pick the kids up from school, I don’t socialise anymore not even in my own home, I have cut myself off from all family and friends and am just basically existing when some days I don’t even want to do that.

I ignored everything around me, nothing mattered and I only did things because I was pushed into it like making an effort with myself or even getting up in the morning, my family life suffered with my relationship taking the brunt of it making it non existent, just 2 people living together.

Something had to change and change fast before I lost/lose everything, my family and my relationship.

So I have tried to be the person I was, the fun loving person my partner fell in love with the person that she knew and the person that everyone knew. I have dug deep and thought and really tried to bring that person back, I have looked everywhere and I can’t seem to find him, maybe he just doesn’t want to be found.

So the person I wanted and what everyone else wanted might be gone for good what do I do now? Just except that this is it and cope the best I can until I realise I am an old man who just let life go by with no change to reclaim any of it back and just hope what comes after life isn’t so bad.

No!!

The old me maybe gone but I can be a new me, a better me, a stronger and more stable me. Someone that my family can be proud of and someone my partner deserves to be with better that before or what she has now.

I have made a list of things I want to be doing by next year:

  1. Be back in work
  2. Be married (If she still wants me)
  3. Be off my medication or at least have it stabilized
  4. Help someone who is in my position
  5. Be able to say I love life

A new start…a new me.

You can shove your WANTED notice up your ass!!!!

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

Children say the funniest things

It’s not all hard work raising our children, sometimes they will catch you off guard with something funny that just leaves you in shock like a tiny little comedian.

I remember a 2 year old Annabelle sitting next to me looking me straight in the eye and said “I just farted”

What have some of the things your children said that has made you laugh or shocked you?

“My son said ‘par cark’ a while back and did correct himself, I have a similar memory of myself struggling with the word ‘car park” https://mummycatnotes.com

“When completing homework one day my son turned to me and said ” Mum what was it like living in Victorian times?” http://www.mummyof5miracles.com

“At a birthday party recently my 6-year-old cousin came up to me while eating cake, waved a plate in my face and said, “Elli, the air smells like freedom.” http://thehomemakersjournal.com

“My almost 3 year old loves to tell me “well done mummy, good wee wee!” in public toilets. She’s recently added “you did very well” to the end” http://www.newmummyblog.com

“The Small one just piped up from the back of the car last week, Mummy you make my heart smile, I nearly burst into tears..darn kids.” http://www.sineadlatham.com

I told my one year old I loved her and she replied ‘you’re welcome” https://mamamighalls.com

“When your 5 year old asks why a boys willy is called a peanut. Took me completely by surprise and off guard. Wasn’t sure how to react to that one” http://www.thisdayilove.co.uk

“My 3 year old looked at me and said “he’s a nobed” talking about her Dad safe to say he wasn’t too impressed! I try to keep the knob head remarks until she’s not around now!” http://www.thesmallestofthings.com

“My 2 year old frequently likes to shout, ‘ I’ve got a willy my mummy hasn’t” https://beingmrsdavies.wordpress.com

You just have to love how random your children are at times and what goes on in their heads.

Thank you for all of those who let me hear the funny things your children come out with and I hope you enjoy the read.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

Admitting there something wrong with my son?

Admitting there maybe something wrong with your child is a hard thing to accept, as a parent you like to think your child is perfect and of course there is nothing wrong with them because it would never happen to your child.

Freddie has always been a polite boy when it comes to talking to people, he uses please and thank you and will wave at everyone he passes in the street but there are things that my partner noticed and I just wouldn’t except.

Admitting is hard just look at that face
Freddie

In new situations like meeting new people or children his own age Freddie struggles to interact as part of a group or show little interest in what everyone else is doing, he needs encouragement to join in with others which he does in the end but its a battle.

Pretending is a big part of Freddies life, he is always in his own land and is either a superhero or someone he has seen on TV. Now I know he is only 3 and kids have a big imagination but when it comes to the point where you cant talk to him without him going off into his own world then alarm bells start to ring.

I refused to admit there was anything possibly wrong with my little boy and the first time I actually thought oh there might be something was when I sat him on my lap and tried to have a conversation with him and ask him some questions, I battled so hard to get his attention and stop him from straying into a different character until I admitted defeat and started looking at him closer.

More things started to make me think as I watched him struggling to handle certain situations like when there is to much noise he will cover his ears even though its not very loud compared to what he is used to and the noise he makes just by himself.

The latest thing is he has a meltdown every time there is a change or he is put into a new situation for instance he went into the bathroom and because the light wasn’t switched on when he went in there he started to panic instead of just walking out of the open door.

His tantrums are getting worse and more often over the littlest of things where your only options are to punish him for being naughty or try to calm him down and talk to him which in turn is difficult if he is not willing to listen to you.

Admitting there maybe something wrong with my little boy is hard and I see him as this perfect daddies boy who is just a typical 3 year old, nursery are seeing him as polite and caring but will often go off in his own little world, so where do we go from here?

How long do I leave it before I get him seen?

Is he just to young and is a typical 3 year old?

He will wake up at 3am and have complete meltdowns before going back to sleep if i’m lucky enough that’s he tired, I was in denial at first but slowly admitting to myself there maybe something underlining.

Freddie you maybe a little tornado and there may or may not be something wrong with you but regardless your my little boy and I wouldn’t have you any other way, Daddy loves you very much

Daddy Giraffe

https://patient.info/doctor/common-behavioural-problems-in-children

 

 

 

 

Things I never thought I would end up doing or hearing as a parent

Growing up from a child yourself to a teen and then into adulthood you think you have seen everything, your grown now and done it all, this is until you have children then you see and end up doing things that you could have never prepared yourself for in life.

So here are my top 10 things I never thought I would have to do as a parent some of them you may relate to

10. Who’s peed on the floor??? Yes a question not only I ask but my partner does also, now there are 3 boys and 4 girls in the house but guaranteed it’s a surprise every time and turns into a full blown investigation where everyone claims they haven’t been to the toilet today.

9. Stop biting the dog! That’s right you would thing the dog would be nipping the children but no, the dog is lying fast asleep on the floor and my 1 year old who is like a crawling ninja quietly commando crawls to the sleeping dog and bites the dog the poor dog tries to get away but Bethie is fast on his heals shouting doggy…doggy.

My Beautiful Bethie Boo

8. Dealing with Hormones. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have to deal with this but I now have a 12 year old pre teen who’s hormones are at an all time high and she is just crying at everything and I have no idea what I’m meant to do. So I did what I’ve seen in the films and that was give her some chocolate and hide until it’s all blown over…I hope storm Ellie is over soon.

7. Chasing my escapee toddler. Now this one I wasn’t prepared for in the slightest, our front door is always locked but on this occasion he clocked that we didn’t lock the door, I’m happily washing up singing badly to the radio and I see this nearly naked toddler in just a pair of blue wellies running down the street it took me a while to click “Oh Crap that’s my kid”

6. Having one of the elder children turn to me and as is there a U or an A in the word SHOE?? I just looked until I realised it was a legitimate question and simple just shook my head.

5. Cleaning sick. No baby sick is a whole different thing I can deal with baby sick but when an older child is sick it’s so much worse because they just eat the most random crap. The worse thing iv’e had to clean up to date is Banana and Coco Pops sick is was horrible…never again…the horror!!

4. When your child comes to you covered in stuff and you pray it’s not their own poo, no that’s definitely poo

3. Sleep Talking. We all have done things throughout the day that we dream of at night but kids have the strangest dreams and when they talk out loud in their sleep it’s weird. I’ve heard one of the kids talking what sounded like Chinese, another arguing with their brother in their sleep and the freakiest thing is when they are full blown laughing but they are fast asleep..you cant prepare for hearing that at 2am.

2. It’s very quiet in the house, a little to quiet so where is Freddie? We start searching the house until I hear whistling coming from the downstairs toilet and there he is sat inside the toilet stuck! I don’t know how long he was there but he was happy enough just to wait to be found.

Toilet troubles Freddie?
How did you get there?

1.Arguing with a toddler at stupid o’clock in the morning that no they can’t get up and no they can’t have any sweets. The screaming starts and you’ve got to try to explain the reasons why and suddenly you  become to some sort of negotiator to try and calm the situation down before the whole street wakes up to the sound of an angry toddler.

I would love to say that these things wouldn’t surprise me anymore and I would get used to it wouldn’t be true, kids have a wonderful way of catching you off guard and leaving you speechless.

Daddy Giraffe x

Mummy the glue that holds the family together

Being a daddy blogger I talk about my experiences bringing up 5 children but what I don’t talk about is the star in the background getting on with it and holding everything together we call her mummy.

When I met Cheryl she was bringing up 3 children by herself, she taught them manners, how to treat people with respect and spent countless hours teaching them things to the point that they are now top of their classes in school.

Three eldest
The Big Uns

Nothing seemed to faze this girl, she was as cool as a cucumber who didn’t care what you thought of her just as long as her kids were happy then she was happy. I moved in and she taught me how to be a parent, to care and look after children to the point I was ready to have my very own first child which was a baby boy named Freddie.

Freddie arrived and Cheryl taught me how to look after him from feeding, changing and even putting him to sleep. She would stay awake with me to make sure I was confident enough to do it by myself even though she was sore and tired for a long time after she still found time to teach me step by step.

Despite this she still managed to work nights in a busy office to come home and still listen to the kid’s night and take them to school before catching a couple of hours herself before starting again.

Things changed and I got ill, Cheryl gave up her job to not only support me through my troubled times but also look after her children making sure they never missed out on anything like she always had done before.

Soon she was pregnant with Bethie and had a horrible pregnancy with constant pain, restless legs and arms to the point she just couldn’t sleep for days, still she would balance the kids and me before herself while we were going through a rough path as a couple she stayed strong as a rock.

Mummy and Bethie
Cheryl and baby bethie

Bethie came along and made our family complete with 5 children, I just couldn’t bond with Bethie as a baby and paid her little attention handing her back to her mummy at every opportunity but instead of making a fuss about it Cheryl was patient and helped me bond with my baby girl to the point where now we have an amazing bond.

My Mental Health got worse and distance came between me and Cheryl where we would constantly argue and there would be no relationship there but she balanced it and never let on to the children that she was sad and hurting, instead she put on a brave face and made sure life was normal.

Recently has been so hard for her she had a lot of friends turn on her for no reason and just fade away, she is constantly being put down by friends, family and loved ones then all of a sudden her mom died and it broke her heart but the people who should have been there to support her wasn’t there and she had to be strong for everyone even though she was hurting so bad.

Even in such a low place she is a mummy first and always makes sure her kids happiness is first, moving heaven and earth just to keep them safe or just to see them smile.

She has been the rock in my life, a sympathetic ear for friends and a constant figure in her children’s lives where they know they can always go to her for help and advice.

She is strong, caring, funny, reliable and fearless when it comes to protecting her children…she is a mummy!

Relationships and what not to do if you want them to work out

I see a lot of posts on how to make a relationships successful and how to keep them fresh.

When it comes to my children I would like to think that I am a very good father and tend to  all their needs, but as a partner I…how do I say this….I suck!!

So I would like you to take time and learn from my mistakes and read the what not to do’s in a relationship if you want to make it last.

Listening – This is very important in every relationship, it’s a give and take where you both express your feelings, listen and understand, unless your me! Now don’t get me wrong I will sit there and listen but does it sink in NO! So she finds herself repeating the same thing over and over and when your asked to repeat what she just said under no circumstances take a wild guess, it won’t go down well.

What are you thinking? – Sometimes you are in your own world and we all do that but in certain situations when asked what are you thinking and you give the answer nothing, it generally doesn’t go down well. Out of all the things in the world you could be thinking of and you have the opportunity to compliment her don’t waste it with a stupid nothing.

Don’t fall asleep!!! – If you’re having a deep and meaningful conversation in the middle of the night in bed with the lights off, for god sakes don’t fall asleep. It will go down like a lead balloon. Stay awake listen to whats being said to you idiot instead of dreaming. Also once the argument is over don’t just go to bed on bad terms on go to sleep, hug it out make sure their alright and at least you stand a fighting chance the next day.

Don’t Lie – I am notorious for this even little white lies that I think won’t hurt or will spare someones feelings, a lie is still a lie and eventually the trust will be gone and trying to win that back is you fighting a losing battle.

Keep on top of dates – Make time for dates, so many times I have missed date night or not arranged something to do for us as simple as watching a film together. I have figured out that its just time that your relationships are after, so why can’t I spare an hour out of my time?? Because I’m to occupied doing nothing instead.

Words hurt – As I mentioned in one of my last posts I am an asshole, I don’t shout and swear in argument instead I do worse I will say somethings that I can’t take back and once it is out there in the open good luck trying to claw it back, saying I didn’t mean it doesn’t make it any better no matter how many times you say it.

Slip into a routine – Day in day out just the same things but on a different day on the week, no interaction, no change and no effort. You both just end up falling into a pattern where this is just how life is nothing more nothing less. Where’s the excitement?? I don’t know I’m still looking myself!

Ignore them feelings – My biggest flaw is just not expressing how I feel and not showing it, words can be said so easily but actually showing it in relationships is key. A simple cuddle when they are sad or asking how they feel will go a long way, not just ignore the situation and just guess that they know that you love them and the way you feel.

Now if I could follow my own advice then maybe I can have one of those dream relationships instead of self destruction my own.

I have found the love of my life and i’m trying to hold on to it but my stupidity and ignorance is pushing it further away from me

Life is very short and you only get one shot at it so let your loved on know that you care and that you love them.

 

 

 

Ghosts? Whats happening around here?

10 months ago we moved into a new house in a different area, the house is nice, big, plenty of space for the kids and had a calm atmosphere but over time we think the house may have ghosts!!

Let me tell you from the start, in our old house we had the same problem but on a bigger scale of ghosts, they would walk around upstairs and you could hear it when you were downstairs alone, dark shadows from the corner of your eye and I saw Cheryl’s granddad who had died when she was a small girl walk through the kitchen and into the living room.

We moved houses since then and found ourselves in the house we are currently in and there didn’t seem to be any problems around at first until we started noticing certain things at different times.

The first is from our kitchen you can see the stairs because its open floored, at the very top of the Bannister leading up the stairs you can see someone who keeps popping their head around the corner, I thought I was going mad until Cheryl said to me one day “have you seen that someone keeps peaking around the corner??” Now I don’t know what or who it is but I don’t want to be playing peek a boo while eating my Coco Pops.

The corner we see the peeking ghost
The corner we see the peeking ghost

From our babies room one night you can hear Bethie babbling away and then all we hear is shhhhhh, I jump out of bed and find nothing out of the ordinary.

These things kept happening but in small doses so it wasn’t really bothering us, I woke up around 2am one morning to a huge man standing by our wardrobe wearing overalls, he then just faded away. I shrugged this off and went back to sleep telling Cheryl about it the next day but she didn’t seem fazed by it at all.

Now the kids don’t really believe in ghosts and we never talked about the strange goings on in the house as it didn’t really affect them until Cheryl’s mother sadly passed away then things started to get weird.

It started off when me and Cheryl was up at 1am having a heated discussion about our future in the kitchen, on the shelf was a pile of memorial leaflets for the funeral we attended a few days prior, half way through our conversation the leaflets flew off the side and all over the kitchen floor, the floor was covered in these leaflets with pictures of Cheryl’s moms face.

We agreed this was strange, worked things out and went to bed not thinking to much of it, the next day items would disappear and re appear in different places such as Ellie is now using her Nan’s mobile as hers broke a while ago and this phone went missing.

We searched the house top to bottom, moving sofas, checking all sides and surfaces but we couldn’t find it. Ellie was devastated we walked into the kitchen a few house later from coming back into the house after being out and there it was on the kitchen side where we had cleaned and searched like it was there the whole time.

Still convinced this was just a coincidence I was talking to Ellie in the kitchen and the tap came on fully by its self, I looked at her and she looked at me, I’m sure we were thinking the same thing (please don’t be a ghost..please don’t be a ghost) I turned off the tap and we promptly left the room.

Now convinced more than ever there is something here, today me and Harry were downstairs and all of the pictures on our walls that were hooked to the walls may I add, they all few off and scattered across the living room!!

Not everyone will believe in ghosts and they will have their own theory on this but at the moment its crazy here, something is going on and I swear if I see anything I’m going to shriek like a little girl and pass out!!

If I didn’t believe in ghosts before then I certainly do now with everything that is going on at the moment.

Do you believe in ghosts or have a weird story, I would love to hear it and hope it doesn’t scare you too much.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

Tantrums…Whats the best way to discipline your child

The joys of having children is you get all the love, hugs and kisses from your little ones but on the other side there is the dreaded tantrums that go from level 1 a sulk to 10 a full blown meltdown.

Children throw tantrums for all sorts of reasons and over the tiniest detail, for example my 3 year old had a full blown screaming fit the other day because he took himself of to bed because he was tired and I said goodnight which meant it was bedtime and he was not having that at all.

With tantrums comes screaming, throwing themselves around the floor and saying sometimes hurtful words or sometimes even better the funniest things..for telling Freddie off he was so angry that he grounded me with no TV and phone.

The main problem now days is how to discipline your child when they have been naughty and teaching them right from wrong, when I was growing up it was normal for if you had been naughty you would get smacked and sent to bed but now you can’t smack your children, so how do you find an effective way to discipline your child?

In my case if any of the children are naughty they are made to apologise and they will have their phones confiscated and early bed times depending on the severity of what they did wrong.

I asked a few people what they thought and its interesting to see the different methods and how differently people handle these situations.

“We have a naughty spot by the front door. If their naughty they get time out. My older daughter gets sent to her room which she hates” http://www.mummythatsme.com

“We have a feelings mat – it’s more about reflection and thinking about the consequences if their actions” http://www.thesleepthiefsmummy.co.uk

“When he was little he used to get sent to his room. Then at some point, he realised that’s where toys were. So we started a naughty corner. There was a list of rules printed in the corner” https://bobsysmum.co.uk

“We are entering tween territory where time out corners and being sent to their room (ideal for them) doesn’t work anymore so we are trying taking away privileges e.g. losing her newly acquired minimal makeup or, shock horror – her phone.  For the littler ones we still use the ‘time out’ step to good effect!” http://www.wildmamawildtribe.com

“If my young son has a tantrum which then leads to bad behaviour, I find I can cuddle him out of it…! He’ll resist at first but then we’ll usually both end up laughing and it often turns out he’s over tired and so gets sent to bed earlier than usual. If it’s behaviour that I really need the kids to think about and to not repeat then I confiscate the phone/iPad.” https://thedaisypages.com

“For my teenagers, just about the only thing that works is taking away their phone or PlayStation controls. For my six year old twins their room seems the best option. I also tend to use bribery – in the name of “managing the situation” quite a lot too!” http://www.trulymadlycuckoo.co.uk

It’s interesting to see all the different methods on how people punish bad behaviour in their homes, some of these wouldn’t personally work on my tornado of a toddler but some I might try myself.

The one thing I don’t really believe in is smacking your children often just because if you’re trying to teach them to be good or they are being punished for hitting their sister does you smacking your child teach them that it was wrong to do that or re-enforce the fact that this is acceptable.

I think it’s hard today to be a parent and try to teach your children right from wrong because you have to be very careful with what you do, you can’t discipline your child too much because its been taken out of your hands and you may get in trouble so it’s a case of finding your way and making it as effective as you possibly can without losing your mind.

Kids will be kids and we have all been that naughty little kid at one point in our lives, I know I have thrown my fair share on tantrums.

Daddy Giraffe x

http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/discipline/tantrum/tame-your-kids-tantrums/