Friday, 19 July 2019

A baby is coming... November 21st.

Earlier this year, in February, David and I found out we were expecting another little bundle of joy.
This is our fourth pregnancy! - Our third earth baby. And, although it was a bit of a shock, we were both very excited when we seen the positive test result.

Fast forward to now 22 weeks.
We had our 12 week scan in May, and found out Peanut is due on the 21st November 2019.
We then had our Gender Scan, followed by a gender reveal party on the 9th June 2019, with all the closest people to us there.

We had our Gender Scan done, in Window to the Womb.
This was the first time we have used them, and honestly? I would go back in a heartbeat.
All the staff were absolutely fantastic, and couldn't do enough for us to make our experience with them 100% perfect.
From start to finish the whole experience was out of this world, and not only did David and I enjoy it, but our girls both enjoyed it aswell.

We got given gender reveal canons, aswell as a heartbeat bear which recorded the heartbeat onto it in the gender colour.
And went home to celebrate with our family.

The girls popped the canons which revealed confetti in ... PINK!

Yes.. we are having our THIRD baby girl and couldn't be anymore ecstatic.

We had our 20 week scan on the 27th June 2019 - and she is already a little monkey and keeping everyone on their toes.
Due to the position she's currently lying, the sonographer couldn't get a view of her heart and chambers, so we have to go back on the 25th July for a re-scan of her heart.

To be honest though, every scan we have had so far, she has been a little rascal. She's very alert already and hates to be disturbed, so as soon as they start to scan me, she becomes very active, jumping about and kicking, so it's been impossible to get a proper look at her, but so long as she is growing well and healthy, that's all we can wish for.

The girls obviously cannot wait to welcome their baby sister into the world. Lexie-Anna I thought, being the baby of the family, would have taken this news badly - but surprisingly she has been so protective of my bump, and the love she has for "Skyla" as she has named her (LOL) - is unreal.
I just hope she won't be too disappointed when we let her down gently and tell her baby isn't going to be called Skyla!
Although, at this rate, at least her big sister is actually thinking of her, and named her, for me and her dad can't seem to agree.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A McCullough Family Catch Up

Well, I guess it's time for a McCullough catch up! - Just a wee bit of an insight to what we have been up to from December! 

Obviously December was an extremely busy month, with Christmas Nativities, Christmas Showcases in the dance school, Christmas parties, visiting family, and then off course Christmas Day itself and the whole hype leading up to it. 

School Nativity:

So this year, for the second year running, Lacey-Beth played the part of an Angel in the school nativity - and Lexie-Anna played a Star - Unfortunately, I couldn't get a proper photo of Lexie-Anna to upload as other children that I don't know them or their families personally were in the pics, so I can't obviously upload them. 
Anyway - the school nativity was fabulous as always, and the girls really enjoyed taking part. 
A bit of a bittersweet one this year - as it was Lexie-Anna's first school nativity, however, it was also the last nativity Lacey-Beth will take part in, as from Primary Four onwards, they don't participate. 
So it was a bit sad that it was the first and last time we'll have seen the girls, together in a nativity, still lovely all the same. 

ABD Dance Exam and Medal Test:

So, another huge milestone reached for Lacey-Beth. On 17th December, she took part in her very first dance exam and medal test. The exam she had to do the examination dance moves / stretches that she had been learning for weeks since August - and the medal test she had to perform her Jazz/Modern solo to go for a Bronze medal. 

And after a six week wait - she finally got the results, and she PASSED both! 
She passed her exam with a merit, and passed the medal test with a high merit. 

This is the first time her dance school have done examinations, and the first time Lacey-Beth has ever sat such an important exam. She loved every moment though, and was so proud of herself, as were we very proud of her. 

And she's now moved up a level for the next exam! 

Dance Christmas Showcase:

The girls took part in their dance school's Christmas Showcase performing a dance each on stage. 
Lexie-Anna was a gingerbread lady, and Lacey-Beth a snow woman. 

The Christmas show as always was incredible, and the girls really enjoyed themselves, and loved performing.. Their dance school always puts on a fantastic show for both Christmas and End of Year. 

Photo Competition:

Lacey-Beth entered a photo competition for a local shop in town, and WON
This was the photo she entered with, captioned with - Dancing infront of the Tree

She won a christmas hamper from the shop - so kind of them. The basket they gave her was absolutely beautiful, and im now using it to keep all my cleaning products in. 

Sweet Shop Competition:

I, also feeling very lucky, entered a competition for a new local sweet shop in town, to win a giant lolly - and won. So the girls were over the moon to get this huge lollypop that was bigger than them. 
And no, they couldn't finish it. 

Hand Foot and Mouth:

Lexie-Anna came down with hand, foot and mouth disease, which unfortunately meant she had to miss a week of school. And unfortunately, during this week, her class were doing fairytale day, which she had been looking forward to, bless her. So, we decided to do fairytale day at home, and let her have one of her christmas presents a bit early, to cheer her up a bit - so she was over the moon to dress up as Rapunzel. Her favourite princess atm. 

Improving with Writing Work: 

Lexie-Anna is definitely improving with her writing work in school. She's doing fantastic, and her teachers have said she's a little pleasure. Very hardworking and tries her hardest at everything shes asked to do! Very proud to hear such a good report, especially as I know she had been fretting about going. 

The Ear Piercing Incident:

Lacey-Beth decided she wanted to use some money she received from her great grandparents on Christmas Eve, to get her ears pierced. 
Now - a little story here - Lacey-Beth got her ears pierced for an Easter Present, two years ago, which she let close over, because she was terrified about changing the earrings, and needed to after one of the studs fell out - so two years later - with her closed holes, she was desperate to get them pierced again - using the argument, she was older now, and wouldn't cry, and would be brave, and everything else - So I said, fine, its her money, let her do what she wants with it - so yes, she was brave, she got them pierced no issues - but now, two months later, shes gone and let them close again, due to being afraid to put new earrings in after a problem with Claires Accessories studs. 

So NO.. while shes under our roof - she will NEVER have another piercing again! 

Christmas Eve:

 Christmas Eve, we had a quite day! We went into town for a walk that day, then had a chinese for dinner that night, while we watched the Christmas Chronicles on Netflix. 
The girls had a bath and put their Christmas Eve PJs on, and LOVED their LOL Christmas Eve Boxes. 

Christmas Day: 

We had a lovely Christmas Day! Spent the day at my Mum and Dads for dinner. The girls had the best day ever and got everything they asked for. Lacey-Beth is absolutely smitten by her Baby Boy - Jack! 
The Luvabella Boy! 
Definitely worth every single penny! 

A magical Christmas, and spent with the most important people, which is all that matters. 

D a n c e:

The girls are still loving their dance days! 
Lexie-Anna got pupil of the week just after Christmas and it made her week - and Lacey-Beth is coming on well with her private lessons and is LOVING her new solo. 

First Dance Competition of 2019:

Lacey-Beth competed in her first dance competition of 2019 at the start of January. It was a Lyrical comp, so she only danced her lyrical routine, but she got to wear her new lyrical costume, and it was beautiful on her. 

She didn't place in this comp, but she loved every moment and had a ball. 


Lexie-Anna has always hated eating Mince - spag bol was never a favourite of hers. 
However, I made some meatballs last week, and she loved them. 
I was so chuffed that she had tried them, after thinking she wouldn't entertain the thoughts! 
Such a challenge for her to do this, and now she's found a new food she can enjoy at dinner times! 

So yeah, this is pretty much it in a nutshell. Nothing else much exciting has happened over the last month or so! 

Hope you have all been well? 

Monday, 4 February 2019

Instagram Influencers: How they helped me

If you don't know by now who Mrs Hinch is, where the hell have you been living? 
Instagram Influencers such as Mrs Hinch, Lynsey Queen of Clean, Little Miss Mops, The Secret Cleaner, and Sian, from TheMumWays are all the range right now in the world of Insta. 

I've never really been "big" into Instagram, I had my own personal account for family and friends, and that was that, then I'd seen this hype on Facebook about Mrs Hinch and how wonderful her cleaning tips were - so being the nosey cow I am, I had to go check her out, and instantly I was hooked. 

Now, obviously with being an instagram influencer, comes a lot of backlash, negativity and LOTS of trolls, which certainly has been the case for Mrs Hinch, and when this hype started, I can remember being so excited to purchase a Dave and posting about this, that and the other cleaning tip that I'd tried that week, that so many people were leaving shitty facebook statuses about how people clearly never cleaned before Mrs Hinch. 

Which for me, wasn't the case, and i'm pretty sure for a lot of other people who became hooked with hinching. 

Cleaning to me was a chore though. I mopped, hoovered, dusted, just the same as I do now, but it didn't seem fun - it just seemed like a job needing doing, something that I'd no choice but to do, something tiresome and dull. 

Whereas now, cleaning (or hinching) is a lot brighter, more fun, colourful, exciting. 
Mrs Hinch doesn't just share tips, tricks and the latest zoflora scent, she puts the fun into cleaning, she makes you want to get up off your ass and vera the floor, she makes you want to bounce out of bed to Paul the Toilet, she makes you wanna dirty your sink, just so you can CLIFF IT. 

So, how did these insta influencers help me? 

Well, my best friend suggested to me, I should make a 'home account' on Insta, and I thought, why the heck not - I couldn't think of a good home account name - Mrs McC clean with me, was a bit shit to be honest, and most catchy names, were already taken, plus the fact I am the least bit creative so thinking of a catchy name wasn't gonna come easy, so I decided, why not use my blog name, and just have it as a blog/family/cleaning account, mix it all up a little? 

So I started following a few - then following some more - soon I was gathering up quite a few 'home accounts' and loving it. I was becoming hooked. 
I followed Mrs Hinch, obviously - Little Miss Mops - and all the usual. Then found The Mum Ways. 

The Mum Ways - Sian is one of my favourite accounts on Instagram. I love watching her stories, and find her amazing. She keeps it so real, and talks about everything from cleaning to mum life. When comparing my life to other mum accounts on Insta, I always felt I was lacking something - like I was doing something wrong - but watching The Mum Ways - she makes you feel like a normal mum! She shares the normal every day realities, not just the best bits that most people (including myself probably) do share.  She makes me feel good as a mother, because of how real she is, and it helped me come round to the idea of being able to do selfie videos! (I still don't think i'd have the balls to go live) 

Mrs Hinch - the lovely Mrs Hinch! 
She has helped inspire so many people, and continues to do so everyday! 
Like i said before, cleaning before Mrs Hinch came into my life, was a drag, it got done, but I never got excited about it. 
Mrs Hinch - although is a cleaning account - she adds that oompf to cleaning that makes you want to get it done. 
From naming the majority of the products she uses - to getting you to write little but often to do lists - and the insta music videos that you can secretly have a little boogie too while filming yourself cleaning your loo. 
Cleaning got a lot more fun, and the cleaning aisle in Tesco has become my new favourite place. 

I've also found, since I am enjoying cleaning a lot more now, that it is keeping my anxiety at bay. Don't get me wrong, I'll always suffer until I learn to control it properly, but cleaning is something that keeps my mind busy, keeps me motivated and gives me a focus. I'm always wondering what new tips Mrs Hinch has lined up, is Little Miss Mops doing an end of tenancy today, what science is The Secret Cleaner gonna share with us today? Is The Mum Ways gonna give us a dance this morning?

It's like a little community, on your phone screen, and although that does sound bad, it actually isn't. All these home cleaning and mum accounts I have found to be so supportive of one another, like a little family. These are just a select few I have named - there are LOADS more amazing accounts that I follow, and love to watch their stories daily because each of them bring something to their stories that I feel I can relate to, or think, wow, what an awesome tip! 

And because I have become a little bit more confident since joining this little community, I do want to thank them all, for sharing little bits of their lives on their grids and stories each day, for us all to enjoy, and learn from. 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Mum guilt is a real thing, it does exist, and for many, if not all Mum's, we are affected by it, daily. 
Well, I know I am. Every single day!

My Husband, bless his heart, offered to buy me a brand spanking new hoover - the fecking joy I felt at the thoughts - a new top of the range, cordless job - no more breaking my damn back lobbing the monstrosity shit mobile we currently own up and down the stairs. So, online I popped, as you do, to pick out my new best mate to be, only to see the prices of something that sucks up fecking dirt, and BAM, like a brick being threw at my head, I was wacked with that sinking guilt feeling. 

"oh no" I thought - "I couldn't possibly spend that much on a hoover for myself, the kids could use that money for something else" 
Now, I know, they don't need anything, because I've them fully stocked up on clothes for the next year, infact Lexie-Anna is fully stocked up on clothes for the next decade considering Lacey-Beth's hand me downs will go to her, but that didn't stop me rhyming off a list of things they really might need soon. Because I couldn't justify spending that kinda money, on me! 

In my life, since gaining that title "Mummy" - I've just always put myself, last. I think most of us do, it's kind of a given, isn't it?

The kids
The house
A million other things I can think of
Then me. 

I don't know why I do it. I just do. And i'm just used to that being the way things are for me. It's my routine I guess. Now David, my husband, will argue with me to spend a little money on myself, to treat me for a change, I always find a way to object, or just won't do it.

I feel guilt if I do just treat me and start questioning myself. And why? Because I have NO REASONS to, but I start to think things like - I have these two girls, who come before my selfish needs. 

ButI wasn't always like this - Heck no! 
I remember the pre-parent me. 
ALWAYS had her face caked in make-up. I wouldn't have dared cross over the door without my make-up done. I spent a fortune on make-up on a monthly basis. I remember a time where I wouldn't have dreamed of shopping in Primark, let alone even so much as carry a bag from Primark. It had to be the more "expensive" shops, or it wasn't good enough, because that's where all my friends shopped. 
I had the latest and most up to date phone or gadget there was. 

Now, the parent me, runs about in leggings, infact I own at least ten pairs of the same leggings, from, low and behold - Primark. £4.00 and you can't go wrong, they're comfy and ideal when you spend the day running around after two kids and maintaining a home. I have zero time to be maintaining myself. 

I spend £16.00 per month on myself, that is for my contract phone. and the only reason I do have a contract, is incase I need to ring the doctor for any of the kids, at least I know i'll always have the credit, because I never kept my pay as you go, topped up, due to that little mum guilt again. 

That same contract phone was due for a renewal in December, and I still haven't upgraded due to that Mum Guilt again - because damn it exists. 

I spend nothing else on myself - my winter coat is that old, it has lost a few stitches. I never have time to make myself look presentable because firstly the kids have to look immaculate before me and secondly the house needs to be cleaned before me. By the time those things are done I haven't time to do myself, so I run a hairbrush through my hair, shove it up a "mum bun" and get myself out the door. No makeup routine or straighteners in this household anymore, even though I would love to get back to 'finding' the time to at least run my wasted GHD's through this raggity bap, but then I feel guilty for not doing "other more important things in the daily life of a mum"  

I live my life in over sized hoodies and leggings because comfort over style and all that shiz. I haven't the extra to spend on other things because I always find excuses or something ALWAYS crops up. 

Lexie-Anna needs new trainers 
Lacey-Beth needs a new dance costume
Dance bills are due
Theres another competition around the corner 
Lacey-Beth has had another growth spurt and needs new trousers
Lexie-Anna wants to join an after school club
One of them has been invited to a birthday party 
They want a friend over for a sleepover 
The internet bill is due 
Ooops we forgot to pay T.V licence again, look at that massive bill. 
Shit - its world book day next week - two costumes needed, PROMPT. 
Valentines Disco at school? Eugh, new dresses needed because God forbid you send them in something they've already wore to a disco before - it would be a fashion crisis!!!!!

The list is endless - there is ALWAYS an excuse that I manage to pull out of the bag. 
And to be honest, when you have kids, handing out money is never ending, especially to school, who always want for something. So when these things to crop up, and I can't treat myself to that lovely top I spied, or the book I really wanted, and I do feel a bit pissed off because of that, then I start to feel guilty and think - meh, this is the life I chose - I wanted kids, so I shouldn't get that top.  

But why?

Why shouldn't I? Why should I feel guilty about treating myself to a £5.50 t-shirt in Primark? 
Why should ANY of us, just because we are mothers, feel guilty for spending an hour out of nights to pop a face mask on and relax in a bubble bath? 
Why should we as mothers feel guilty for devouring that Galaxy bar we had secretly stashed away because we didn't want to share it? 
Why should we as mothers feel guilty because we said NO to the LOL doll the kids wanted and used the money on a new Yankee Candle instead? 

Moral of the story - STOP FEELING GUILTY!
Mum guilt exists - but you were your own person before being a mum, and the pre-parent you, still needs to feel loved, spoiled and cared for. So buy the top, book the spa day - treat YOU! Because you fucking well deserve it!