Going into business

So as I had to quit my job back in May (for many different reasons, not just the cost of childcare), I now find myself with a tiny bit of time in my hands. Not during the day. No, daytime is taken up entirely by looking after the children. But I find myself wanting to do something else with my spare time. Checking on facebook, browsing the web and watching TV series can get a bit tedious when that is ALL you ever do with your evenings.

So I have decided to turn my hobby of cardmaking and papercrafting into a business! My facebook page, which until now was there only to showcase my creations, now is open for business and I am taking commissions! My personalised paper bunting is my most liked product. So popular that within a week of “opening” the business I already have two commissions! And I so excited about it. 🙂

I have ordered a custom logo stamp and also an order book to keep track of all my orders (if only!) and I am expecting to be making at least one a week if things go well. I haven’t timed me yet, but I guess that it takes me approximately 2 and a half hours to make an average sized one, back to back. (Average size is 5 or 6 letters – most names are 5 or 6 letters long)

So wish me luck in this new venture, and if you’re ever in the lookout for a handmade and personal present, please come by my shop!

Jacob - Bunting

Bye bye Tom

Tommy, my first “son”, my ginger friend, my trusty companion… He passed away during the night and has left a massive whole in our hearts.

The tears that we are shedding can’t even compare to the infinite sadness that we are feeling. I can’t stop crying as I write this, and I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be a long while before we can get over this.

We met him for the first time four years ago whilst we were on holiday in southwest Wales. Our friends, who have a B&B, had allowed him to stay in their outside shed and gave him food from time to time. However, due to strict H&S rules, they couldn’t allow him in the house and risk losing their 5* hygine rating.

The moment we first met him we both fell in love with him. He was gorgeous, playful and seemed to like us! Our friends made enquiries with the local vet and cats protection, and when we found out that nobody would miss him (aka, he wasn’t just lost) we decided to take him home with us.

The journey from St Clears to Basingstoke was quite “interesting”. Obviously Tommy was not happy about the cage and being in a moving vehicle was not great for him either. But we made it (quite fast, as well) and we introduced him to his new home.

He was in the garage for a couple of days with brief visits to the garden on a leash. We allowed him in the house on the third day and very gingerly he started exploring his new surroundings. Within a couple of weeks he was the new king of the house.

He got used to his new homely life quite quickly although he would still go out and hunt quite a lot. He settled very well and we never had a problem with him scratching the furniture or with his toilet visits… He was a very domesticated cat!

We have no idea what happened. We went away for the weekend and when we came back on Sunday afternoon we already noticed that he wasn’t being himself. I brought back with me some leftover roasted chicken, and he didn’t finish it all! He would normally devour any meat, so this was already a sign that something wasn’t 100% ok.

But it was towards the end of Monday when I started to be a bit concerned. He had spent the whole day outside in the garden and he seemed to have lost his appetite. He’d been like this before and his yo-yo appetite it’s something that had always bothered us. But he was also behaving weird.

By Tuesday night I was proper worried, as he wasn’t eating anything… Not tuna, not pate, not his favourite Felix sachets… Only cat milk. And only after I put it right under his nose and kind of forced him to drink.

On Wednesday morning Jon called the vet and got an appointment for this morning. Sadly, Tommy didn’t make it.

In hindsight there are a couple of things that we could have done better, like calling the vet sooner. But it was all so sudden! As I said, he’s lost his appetite before so we were waiting for him to get better naturally like he had done in the past.

I am already missing him so much…

I’ll miss him begging for any food that I was eating, and him sitting by my feet at the dinner table.

I’ll miss him following us every time we went out for a walk and see him running in front of us.

I’ll miss arriving home in my car and see him approaching the house as I parked… He knew the sounds of our cars so well!

I’ll miss his purring, and dribbles and his paw-claw. And how he liked to curl up on my lap on cold winter evenings.

I’ll miss how he just loved to be with us regardless of the situation… In the garden, watching TV, outside the shower cubicle. Anywhere.

I’ll miss him jumping on my laptop or on my craft table everytime he wanted tickles.

I’ll miss how he would find the funniest positions during his sleep.

I’ll miss him forever. He was our ginger angel and we loved him so much.

Bye bye Tom. I hope you were happy with us. We certainly were.

Rest in peace beautiful furry friend.


Happy days

A few months back I discovered the #100happydays initiative and decided to give it a go. Every day, on Facebook, I would post about something that had made me happy that day.

Easy, right?

Not so much, no.

Originally I self imposed a rule where I would not talk about the twins, since no matter how naughty or ill or boring they can be, there is always something they do that fills me with joy and happiness. So, no posts about the twins.

It only took me about a week to realise that this self imposed rule was crazy as some days, when I can’t leave the house, for example, there is not much more to my happiness than the kids. So I scrapped the rule.

And it was much easier from then on. Every day there was something… Some days it was a big thing like seeing old friends and having a great time; other days it was small things, like having something really tasty for lunch…

But other days, I struggled to find something unique and new. And this is when I started getting quite pissed off about the whole thing.

Most days (especially towards the end) I found it a chore! Surely this happy-happy, let’s-all-show-the-world-how-cool-we-are enterprise shouldn’t be an annoying task?! It’s not that I hadn’t been happy, but for me happiness is a state of mind and I don’t really need to pin point it to a particular event or thing.

So you know what? I quit it at around day 85. I had had enough. I had nothing to prove to myself, let alone to anyone else. I was tired of having to find unique and new things to post. Who was I trying to impress? I don’t think I failed at the task, since I am and continued being happy since I stopped posting about it on facebook with a silly hadhtag.

It’s been a while

So yeah, it’s been a while since I last wrote in here, but I’ve decided to come back. I finally have other things to talk about other than baby or motherhood topics.

Because of them (babies and motherhood) my outlook in life has shifted and changed a bit, so I wonder how this new side of me will be reflected in my topics and writing.

Let me use this post as a new introduction of who I am now, maybe things have not changed that much anyway! I will also get all of the motherhood topics out of my chest once and for all.

So I am Maria, a 36 year old, mother of twins. I gave up my old job about a month ago, since I could not afford to go back after my maternity leave. I had been there for 8 years and it was a sad decision to make. I currently am a “SAHM”, although I despise that term and very rarely you’ll see me using it. I look after my children full time but I also make time for myself. I see friends from time to time and also find time to craft.

What has changed drastically? I hardly find time to listen to music like I used to. I still play music, but I have to be very careful with what I play in front of the children, since they are picking up lots of things at the moment. Also, sometimes I play an album in front of them and 40 minutes later I realise that I haven’t heard a single song because I was paying more attention to them.

Evening outings are very limited too, and never with my husband. We make it work by doing things together during the day and going out separately in the evenings with our own friends. This means, however, that concerts, comedy stand ups and cinema visits are a thing of the past. The last concert I attended was Ludovico Eunaidi when I was 7 months pregnant. We’re not ready to leave the kids with a sitter at night.

I remember writing, before the children arrived, that I wanted to remain me, I wanted to keep being Maria, and not just “the mother of the twins”. This has become very difficult. I don’t think I’ve lost my identity but it is quite hard to be a committed mother and not let your children’s lives rule your own life. You automatically become “the mother of” when all you do is look after your children full time.

I do not regret anything, don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying this new phase in my life. I did have plenty of time to fullfill myself as an individual in the 35 years previous to having offspring. But it is inevitable to miss certain things and to wonder if I would have done anything differently if I could start all over again.

My outlook in life is way more relaxed now. I take things as they come and I’ve learnt to not be disappointed when plans get cancelled at last minute notice (you wouldn’t believe how unpredictable life with kids is, even when you have an established routine). I enjoy simpler things now. I don’t need to be stimulated in complicated ways, I am happy to just watch my kids develop into little people and interact with each other.

So, yeah. This is me. And I’m back.

Still here

I honestly have no excuse for the lack of updates lately. Well, I do. Kind of.

My excuse is that I wanted to keep this blog free of pregnancy related posts. That’s what mariaandjon.com is for. However, I have found it really challenging to find anything to post about that is not related to the twins. It’s like they’ve taken over my life way before they are even born.

And it’s not only Jon and me. It’s everyone around us too. Every single person we meet, every person we speak to, everybody seems to have just one topic in mind: my pregnancy.

It doesn’t bother me much, to be honest, I am happy to talk about it. It’s just that it is 24/7. There’s no escaping it.

Anyway. Maybe I will find something to talk about that it is not pregnancy/twins related.

That day I will update the blog.

The Cheekiest of Chicas