to share or not to share?!

Since starting this blog and becoming a fan of other blogs and instagram accounts there has been a niggerling question sat in the back of my mind – what consists of too much information?

This is a conversation Dan and I have had A LOT! He believes that our photos and moments should be kept as just that and not broadcast on social media and that it really is no ones business if little miss s has slept through the night or if I am having a particularly rubbish day! His point is that I should spend more time in the here and now and stop thinking ‘oo profile pic’ or ‘that would be a funny status’ whenever something happens. You know what, I kind of have to agree with him. (I hate saying that!)

He took me away for my birthday on a brilliant trip to Dublin – it wasn’t until we got into the departure lounge at the airport, drink in hand that I realised that I had left my phone in the car – shockingly my first thought was ‘oo no I cant instagram my Dublin pics’ a close second was ‘ how will my mother-in-law contact me about the kids if needed’…reality check. I spent a phone free weekend engaged and present in every conversation and in every moment – it taught me a valuable lesson that life needs to be experienced and enjoyed in the present, not in the facebook pictures you post for everybody else, ok so I knew this before but I kind of get it now!

I will be the first person to admit that I am such a voyeur and I love nothing more than to scroll the numerous instagram accounts that I follow admiring other peoples lives, homes and children. Its this last one that has been giving me grief over the last few weeks, I love posting pics of my little ones on instagram and yes writing about them on here. I’m not sure what it is but I enjoy seeing them, I also enjoy the likes or comments a pic may get – self indulgent? Probably! But if I dig a little deeper it may have something to do with the self doubt and insecurity being a mum can often bring – in a job you get appraisals, reviews and a pay rise if you do well! As a mum your not given a manual, a progress report or a pat on the back when your child first uses the loo on their own – not a big deal? HUGE deal in my life! I think that by people liking my pictures, good angelic kids or little monsters it’s a pat on the back that a. im doing ok and b. I am not alone. There are mums out there appreciating my pic of a three year old tantrum because they feel my pain and they, in that moment like the pic because they too have been there! And yes these pictures and these comments make me smile!

I have made a decision to be a little more careful/clever about what I post, partly to respect the views of my husband and father of the munchkins (so he kinda gets a say!) and partly because you really don’t know who is looking at them and can take the photo to use on such things a beautiful baby competition etc due to the beautiful children I have, obviously!

This blog will continue to over share as this is my brain dump I’m afraid so expect more wonderfully thrilling stories of life with the munchkins – I may even write a post one day about grown up stuff…maybe!

A family photo without sharing too much!

A family photo without sharing too much!

doing davina

I’m going to say it. Motherhood has ruined my body.

Yes in the obvious stretch mark, bladder control kinda ways but in soo many more sinister and backhanded ways. I want to get fit again, after putting my body through 9 (10!) months of stretching, aching and changing twice its time to get the young 26 year old bod back…

Easier said than done, as I mentioned before, motherhood has broken me – but only because now that I’m a mum I have to sit on the floor so my knees are shot and everytime I get up I cant feel my feet. Now that sleep is a distance memory and a lie in is 7am. Now that my relaxing ‘me’ bath time has been hijacked by Peppa Pig figures that just stare and judge the whole soak. Now that my daily walks which could have been good exercise take forever due to a nosey 3yr old. Now that a good night out involves good food, good wine and straight to bed with no dancing after to burn it off.

But most of all, now that after a day of chasing after two little monsters all I want to do is stop, put on the lazies, pour the wine and eat the chocolate and get lost in some awful TV – not a really great diet/body happy routine! (right now as I type this I am in my onsie, eating a dairy milk and may have just finished a beer…fail!)

Because of my tendency to drink a little vino in the evening I have been trying to counteract this with a bit of Davina. On the mornings that little miss s goes to pre-school I get up, get her ready, drag her to school and then master r and I spend a quick 15 minutes getting down with Davina. I have only managed the 15 minute quick routine so far as I really don’t think my soul could cope with anymore, especially since my lovely son who has only really just learnt to laugh is in absolute stitches everytime!

So I have made a start, I am only 3 weeks in and already I am getting irritated by how happy Davina is about exercise but hey ho the privacy of my living room is where I am going to stay… for now!

Anyone have any tips for some lazy, quick ways to a goddess bod? All advice welcome (well apart from stop drinking wine!)

holiday madness

Last weekend we went away for a few days, that was 7 days ago, I think we are just about over it! When did it last take 7 days to get everyone back into sleep routines, get all washing done and finally not feel like I need another holiday to recover from it… but you know what… it’s a mad rush of toddler, baby and husband madness but I wouldn’t change it (ok maybe the three in the bed bit!)

I also don’t know when I became organiser, packer and navigator for our mini trip away. Dan came home from work a little early on Friday for us to leave and miss traffic – he wanders through the door and says “So are we ready? Car packed yea?” when did I become his mother? Ok so I get that I have to pack for OUR children and myself and make sure we have all the holiday essentials… Elsa, Anna, Sven, the emergency dummy and not forgetting the toothbrushes. As it was Dan only had to pack for himself and he forgot his toothbrush!

So the car was obviously magically packed by the fairies and we were off. It took us HOURS to get to West Wales, first there was a loo stop for little miss s, then a shopping stop for Dan, then a food stop for master r, then a side of the road layby wee stop for little miss s, then a side of the road swap the child seats round so that little miss s couldn’t reach (poke) master r and I ended up in the back, the screaming stopped!… then we got lost. Now I mentioned before that I was a navigator – apparently not a good one as mid directions Dan stopped and got out his phone for the satnav, seriously I had the map in my hand giving directions – do all partners do this?! As it was I had a mini wife strop (sooo the best kind, all with hushed swear words so the kids didn’t wake up!) the phone got put away and we did it the old fashioned way… we left at 3pm and got to Newport, West Wales at 9pm = EPIC!

This easy journey was made so much more time consuming and challenging due to the two little munchkins that pretty much make everything more time consuming and challenging… but where is the fun in easy?!

After a day on the beach both kids were totally fresh-aired out and Dan and sat on the sofa in our lovely holiday cottage, drank a beer and watched X-Factor. It got me thinking about the last time we were both on holiday without kids, ok so there was the very tearful and ‘probably a bit to early after birth’ ski trip to Norway here but the last time it was truly just the two of us was our honeymoon, our perfect honeymoon in Canada where we drove, discovered and dreamt up our future together. It made me realise how different our holidays have become…

Pre kids : stress free, relaxed chauffer driven car to the airport
Post kids : aagghhhhh car, stuff, kids, more stuff, frozen soundtrack sing-along

Pre : a night of husband and wife-ness
Post : three in the bed and the little one said ‘get out dad!’

Pre : reading books, listening to music with time to get bored
Post: reading? sitting still? bored?… crab catching, wave jumping, sandcastle building and driving on the beach!

Pre : candlelit late evening romantic meal for two
Post : early evening pizza oven special for 3 ½ followed by beer and X-factor

Pre : fish and chips to watch the sunset on the last night in silence
Post : fish and chips to watch the sunset on the last night, “mum what’s that” “mum can I have that” “mum why is the sun red” “look mum the sun plopped into the sea” “mum the sky’s awake, so I’m awake”

Going on holiday without the munchkins definitely had its upside but if I’m being totally honest, it really wasn’t as much fun – the pure happiness and pride that you get from watching your child overcome a fear of the sea and the look on their dads face when they get covered in sand ‘again’ just before getting in the car is just priceless!

Last week I received an email from an old school friend who has started up her own business as an independent travel agent, as she is independent she can book all the normal tour operators like Thomas Cook, Kuoni, Virgin, etc but can also dynamically package things that are a bit more out of the ordinary if you need that kind of service – now I can see how this could be very useful when the travel cot, buggy, backpack and hair chair just wont fit in the suitcase! I am yet to use the lovely Emma’s service as I’m not sure a friends cottage in West Wales required her help but as soon as we start looking for something a little more adventurous we will be giving her a call – and trust me I thinks she knows what she is on about, I have shamelessly facebook stalked her for a while and some of her beach and sunset pic’s are amazing – they kind of put my Porthcawl sunset a little in the shade…just! So if your thinking of booking up a holiday why not look her up… Infinite Travel

It makes me so excited for all the holidays that we have to come, I am hoping to take little miss s on a cultural trip to the ballet sometime (my big sis is some sort of prima ballerina don’t you know!) and we have a big family trip booked up for next year. It also highlights how organised you have to be once you have kids, the days of one backpack and your passport are gone you now have to either travel with the kitchen sink or go somewhere geared up for what you travel buddies require but I’m not sure I’ll ever find better travel buddies! (well that depends on if I have to map read again.. Dan may be walking!)

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when it was just us we were still silly

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ahh the days when we could afford to stay here!

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family holiday essential, wilma shoes and bucket!

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new beach gear, sooo useful!

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packing light!

 
p.s. This is my first sponsored-ish post. If any of you contact Infinite Travel for advice and all round holiday guru-ness please quote ‘everythingketchup’. Muchos Grasias! x

old, me?

People say to act your age not your shoe size – now I’m a size 3, how nice would it be to be able to act like a 3yr old! I could have someone brush my teeth, wash my face and dress me, I could scream out ‘Let it Go’ at the top of my voice in Sainsburys and have people think I’m adorable I wouldn’t have a care in the world, for my world would be to eat, play and sleep, with the occasional musical number!

As it is I am turning the big 3 0 next month and I am not really sure how I feel about it yet, I have nothing planned (hoping hubby has that covered but this could be my first terrible 30yr old mistake!) and to be completely honest I actually only feel 21-ish.

The other day my age well and truly hit home, whilst out for a walk with the kiddos we spotted a lad roller blading. I’m not sure what it is but I always get a little nervous when passing teenagers, its not because they intimidate me – truth be told its because I actually think that I am ‘down with the kids’ I honestly think that they must look at me and maybe age me in my early 20’s?!?!? I passed him honestly thinking to myself that I could still do that, I very, very nearly stopped to ask him about if he can grind or do jumps. I was even going to mention how I used to play roller hockey in my mighty ducks shirt?!?!!? Agrhh! I am so glad that I stopped and took stock of how I may have appeared to him… yellow mac (it was spitting!) pram with a newborn screaming, and an unruly pre-schooler wearing a tutu, a mum, old! I have made a little promise to myself that my 30’s are going to be my decade, I am going to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and push myself personally and professionally. I’m going to try and be a better baker (by which I mean not burn every cake I make) a better mum (put my phone down more and be more present) a better wife (maybe cook for him once or twice?!) and maybe just maybe welcome another little T!

I have one month left of being in my 20’s and to say that they have been jammed packed is an understatement, there has been tears, laughs and kids! I have moved to Bristol and come home to Wales again, married my soul mate, kept and made some wonderful friends, travelled the wilds of Western Canada, survived 3 weeks in a van on a road trip with only 3 gears, swam in the chilly seas of West Wales, laughed a lot, cried a fair deal, loved and lost, worked for my independence and my greatest achievements of all welcoming little miss s and master r into the world.

20’s Thank you, you’ve been pretty good!!

Bring It

pushing my luck

Its Friday night, I am in my lazy’s and the littles are in bed – I am also eating peanuts trying to be healthy imagining they are chocolate buttons! In a quiet moment it’s great to reflect and I cant help but chuckle about a day I had last week, it pretty much sums up my life lately and if you didn’t laugh you would crack up!

The days goal was simple – get paint for kitchen and do a food shop. This sounds easy doesn’t it?! Add two kids, one tired mum and a few hefty rain showers to the mix and we had all sorts of fun!

After a morning for little miss s in music and at a friend’s house we made our way to Newport. I decided to go to a retail park where I could get paint and food only parking once…

So…park, pram out of boot, baby out, toddler woken up and dragged out of car, into shop

In we go to Wicks to try and find the paint for the kitchen, no paint for the kitchen but they did have some blackboard paint for a DIY blackboard I was planning so we left with one tin of blackboard paint.

So… back to the car, pram in boot with paint. It’s raining now and we have no coats so cue manic dash to the car and back to Aldi for the food shop. Bit of a dilemma as master r is asleep so do I wake him up and put him in the trolley baby seat or keep him in the car seat?

Car seat it is, on one of those trolleys with a tray – only issue with this is that at 5ft I cant see a bloody thing, this was made very evident when I crashed into a display on entering the shop. So massive bang accompanied by master r waking up and letting everyone know about it and also little miss s who really, really needed to sit in the trolley. For a quiet life (and you really do have to pick your battles!) little miss s is now in the trolley and we are getting all ‘supermarket sweep’ about this shop and getting it done as soon as we can. But something catches my eye.. Blackboard pant – I need blackboard paint, great, in the trolley it goes. We then pay, with just one screaming kid as little miss s has managed to eat a plum through the wire packaging it came in…great.

So… back to the car (in the rain with no coats) baby in, round the car, toddler in, wipe toddlers face, boot open shopping in on top of pram wheels. Boot shut and then the mad mum dash to the trolley park whilst you leave your kids in the car – can’t find another trolley to plug the money thing into so forfeit the £1 as I am now puffed, quiet far away from the car and getting rather wet.

This was when I made a huge mistake – I should have gone home, at this pint the day wasn’t too bad, but no I decided to drive 10mins to the next town to try B&Q for paint.

So… park, shopping out of boot, then pram out, shopping back in, baby out, grumpy sleepy toddler out, into shop.

Paint is found in record time and with little fuss so we get two tins and pay with no issues. And as B&Q is next to TKMaxx it would have been rude not too have a quick look at the home bits and bobs – BIG mistake!!!!! Cue 5mins in the shop and I have two very bored children who were not scared to let the whole of the shop know – we make a swift exit, only after little miss s ran off, yes I was ‘that’ mum yelling at their kid across the shop.

So… back to the car, baby in, toddler in, boot open, shopping out, notice the extra tin of blackboard paint…crap! Pram in, notice that the two tins of paint that I just bought are tile paint NOT cupboard pant…pram out, shopping in, baby out, toddler out back into shop.

Ok by now I was getting a bit tired and just really wanted to go home – so back into the shop to change the paint and wait for the lady that can do refunds and exchanges. By this point little miss s was VERY bored, she demonstrated this by swinging on the exit barrier whilst I waited to pay, master r on the other hand just screamed!

So I did what every mother would do at this point… offered the lady at the till a two for one offer on children. She actually laughed and said ‘no way!’ – how rude, my little cherubs are a delight! And back to the car we go..

(yep still raining!) Baby in, toddler in, boot open, shopping out, pram in, shopping in, mum in and home!

So the lesson learnt – don’t try to do too much in a day with two kids and half your brain. You also really don’t need two tins of blackboard paint – but the two bottles of Aldi Prosecco were a must!

Team Thompson... note the bags under my eyes!

Team Thompson… note the bags under my eyes!

taking stock

wow! How things have changed here in Thompson towers. My last blog was over 3 months ago and gave you all an insight into the world of pregnancy… that period is now well and truly over!!

I’d like to introduce Master R, born on the 29th May via elected C-Section and the little mummy’s boy is settling in nicely. (finally!)

Master R

It has taken me up until now to find time to write a blog as over the last 9 weeks I have been totally up to my eyes in nappies, bottles and toddler tantrums! I had forgotten what having a newborn was like, how they are relying on you for everything and how lost you can get in their stare whilst feeding. Over the past two months I have had ups and downs and lots and lots of tears (happy ones too!)

It is hard to admit but I can honestly say hand on heart that I have found the second child experience totally exhausting – my choice to have an elected C-Section was so right for me in the long term (no one wants to shit-sneeze!) but for the first few weeks I was convinced that I had made a terrible decision, as I battled with the ‘I didn’t give birth’ demons and how blinking painful the recovery was. Now, I like to think that I have a pretty high pain threshold but this hurt…lots! Mentally I was so tired as Master R failed to settle at all, he cried ALL the time and nothing would calm him down, in my mixed up mind it was him getting his own back as he had been evicted before he was ready! Add to this feeling my completely crap tits… yes I would love to breastfeed my children and if another doctor asks me if I tried hard enough I am going to slap him with my broken boobs (sorry totally another post altogether!) mastitis and thrush and just blood made feeding soo painful that by week 2 I was done.

Hand on heart the first six weeks sucked! I know I shouldn’t say this, I know I should be in this brand new baby bubble of love and wistful looks and it should have been love at first sight… it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong I love the little monster and always have, I just didn’t like him very much for the first six weeks of his life, hence tears and guilt pretty much everyday. I think Dan thought I was having a mini breakdown (again!) he even grassed on me to the midwife!

Then I went on a hen do.

My constantly crying baby and troublesome toddler were abandoned by their mother and left with their Dad (sorry Dan!) probably at a time when my feelings should have been taking a back seat. But sorry I went, I drank and danced and laughed and had a good time, I was allowed to be me again. In doing so I missed my little crying baby and troublesome toddler and for this weekend I am forever grateful. I was able to take a breath and go back in for round two feeling refreshed and ready.

And you know what – I think I’m winning round two. Master R has settled down and is a smiley and content(ish) little man and as for little miss s, well she is still insisting on lots of cuddles with master r but at least she has stopped putting her fingers in his mouth! As for me, I’m ok – its hard but it was never going to be easy but it hurts how much I love my little family, and I think I my have to buy some shares in Prosseco!

wonky, windy relaxing

I ventured into new territory this evening – I attended a relaxing anti-natal birthing class. It pretty much is what it says on the tin, a class to help you relax and encourage the best birth you can possibly have. This is not something that I ever did with little miss s and first time round found myself a little naive when it came to the actual birth bit. No such luck this time round, I have little anxieties about everything, will I go all natural, opt of a sunroof joby or will the little one decide for itself with the position of the placenta?!?!

Add to these birth questions the never ending Bells Palsy saga and the fact that we are moving house next week and I am a little stressed. I think Dan may have got the picture this morning when after the devil reincarnated itself as little miss s at 2am this morning for an hour of screaming, kicking and general crapyiness, come 3am as quickly as it came it went and I was told to leave her alone so she could go to sleep?!?!? Oh and I was totally overjoyed at hearing her wonderful morning welcome of ‘MUMMY, MUMMY I need a poo’ at 6am – then to get her ready and off to nursery whilst singing the Jungle Book/wheels on the bus before a whole day in the office. A day that I survived purely based on the amount of bread I consumed… hot cross bun anyone?!

And so, to say that I fancied a bit of relaxation tonight was an understatement and when Dan suggested a fish and chip super before I left for the class I was thrilled, tonight was starting well! I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this class and as with most things during pregnancy went with an open mind hoping to learn a little something but really to have a little nap in a peaceful and calming environment, far far away from Peppa Pig! And we started off well, the ladies were lovely and welcoming and like me loved to share a births story and moan about this weeks aches, pains and appointment scares.

The core aspect of the class was focused around learning to breathe and stay calm during labour, to relax your mind, body and soul and all that jazz. This I’m afraid was when my issues began… I am physically unable to relax my face – the Bells Palsy means that the righthand side of my face is forever tense, I just cant relax it and then instead of relaxing I’m concentrating and thinking about relaxing and my mind is in overdrive with, relax, relax, stop thinking and relax… a viscous non relaxing circle! Another of my major issues was that I had fish and chips for tea. Now fish and chips give me wind – normally not too bad but in pregnancy it is sooo much worse and when your trying to relax your entire body whilst on all four position instead of relaxing your mind is racing…don’t fart, don’t fart, don’t fart!!! So in essence I spent the whole time over thinking everything and trying really really hard not to fart. I may have sneefarted (snezzed and let a little one out) at one point but I don’t think anyone noticed?! O god I am gong to be forever known as the girl who looked like she was chewing a wasp who had flatulence problems.

I must say though as I said earlier I think Dan got the message as I was welcomed home with a hot bath, candles and incense (ok WAY too much incense but it was the thought that counted!) and farting in the bath is just the perfect way to relax!!

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This is her crafty face!

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and hoommmm

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The boy done good with the candles, but did leave in the non slip croc!


it’s not always the same story…

When you become a mum you have endless conversations with fellow new mums about your pregnancy and birth experiences and it soon becomes apparent that what they say is true… everyone is different! 

Little did I know that my very own pregnancies would be so very different;

The first with little miss s was full of anticipation and wonder, I spent the first three months dying to tell everyman and his dog – looking into the ‘essential baby buys’ what needs to be packed in my hospital bag and endless web research on what happens week-by-week. I obsessed over the little things from, is this morning sickness to is my bump the right size? We had every test going thinking that this was essential and what you had to do – we attended the classes and read the books, we were ready(ish). We even found out the sex and named our little angel at around 25 weeks – we spent the remainder of the pregnancy trying to keep both a secret from our families…that didn’t really work!!

This first experience felt like it took ages to progress and I looked forward to each midwife appointment, learning more about this little person growing inside of me. Don’t get me wrong, along with my curiosity came fear and dread –I was going into the un-known and didn’t to the full extent imagine how much my life would change after the little arrival. I spent the 10 months (yes its 10 months people not 9!!) eating what I wanting and generally being a little pathetic, sleeping and resting at any given opportunity and man did I milk it with the hubby, as a result I put on 3 stone, which for someone who only just reaches 5ft wasn’t the easiest to pull off.  And then finally at 40+1.5 weeks the little monster affectionately known on here as little miss s arrived and became part of our little family. 

I enjoyed my first experience of pregnancy and at no point ever believed anything could go wrong, it didn’t (ok bar Bells Palsy but that is more of a blip!) and I was lucky, little miss s is the most precious and loved person in both mine and Dan’s world and this made my second pregnancy experience all the more heart breaking. 

We always knew that we wanted little miss s to have siblings and when last spring I found out that I was expecting again we were both over the moon, the age gap would be a prefect 2.5 years and we both felt that we were more than ready for our next family challenge, even if it was a little bit of a shock! As with pregnancy #1 we were positive and felt like this was our time, I was however feeling like death and couldn’t seem to keep anything up (I seem to have the opposite to morning sickness!) on some days I was unable to venture 5 metres from the loo and found myself staying home with little miss s to avoid any potential ‘episodes!’. To add to our excitement the little one was due on  New Year’s Eve, not the best planning but it would make for an interesting Christmas! Our 12 week scan came round and both Dan and I waited  with great excitement to catch a glimpse of our newest addition… Now when everything goes really quite in the scan room and the nurse gives you a look that can only mean one thing, it generally does. It turns out that pregnancy #2 was not meant to be – my heart broke in an instant. The rest of this pregnancy experience is private I’m afraid and the moments, conversations and emotions that followed will remain between Dan and myself and be something we will never forget. All sorts of feelings go through your mind, and you think you’ll never get over it or want to put yourself through it ever again, which leads me onto pregnancy #3…

I have mentioned on this here blog before that I may have gone a little mental… the first 12 weeks of pregnancy #3 was a mixture of stress, anxiety, panic attacks, fear and an overwhelming feeling of dread. I did not want to believe that all would be fine as I did that last time. This time round I did not allow myself to think ahead, we took each day as it came and muddled our way through to our first scan. At 12 weeks, we were terrified – Dan was my rock and at the sight of our baby our hearts skipped a beat – there it was in all its moving, heart beating glory… and relax!

Normal service kind of resumed, we allowed ourselves to think about our baby and to even start thinking of names…the arguments have begun!! This time round everything could not be more different, I have had to completely change my diet as it seems diary just does not agree with me and by doing this I have nearly eliminated the ‘episodes’ so there has been no chocolate, cake, cheese, yoghurts, milk over the last 20 weeks (seriously nearly died over Christmas!) and when I say ‘no’ I may have cheated a few times just to test my tolerance! I have not put on any weight really and am being very careful with my diet – I am very aware that what I do can directly effect my unborn child. Look after yourself, look after them!

At 25 weeks gone, my bump is growing and so is my excitement and love for the little person growing inside of me as it did with all of them – pregnancy number three, baby number three we cannot wait to meet you. (15 weeks and counting!)

Will I get pregnant again?!… we’ll see! For every pregnancy for me (for many it’s different, if we were all the same it would be boring!) there is very much a baby and you are a mum, be it 2 weeks or 40 they become a part of your life, your past and your future – it’s just you may not get to meet them all. They shape the way you cherish all of your nearest and dearest and I would like to say thank you to mine as without them I would have without a doubt gone prober mental!

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Just like pregnancy these kid things are one of a kind too!

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Looking forward to becoming four x

#100HappyDays

Whilst perusing the world of blogging I came across a new and intriguing project, the 100 Happy Days challenge.

The challenge… post a photo everyday for 100 days of something that makes you feel happy, that might even be something as small as the time on the clock when you’ve had an unexpected lie-in!

2013 was a rather tough year and at some moments it was rather hard to stay upbeat and happy – this little challenge will help me to take stock, pause and enjoy all the little things, appreciate how lucky I am and record all those little snippets of smiles. I have found myself being a little glass half empty lately so it is about time I shook it up a little. 100 photos, 100 days all recorded on the happy place that is Instagram, here goes!

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