Midge Turns Fourteen!


On the seventeenth of January my eldest turned fourteen...14! Where is it all going? 

Midge has had a huge turning point over the past couple of years. I feel our children have been through so much since the pandemic started. She's dealt with the onset of social anxiety due to not being out and about as much and then thrusted back into school life, sadly she lost her favourite teacher in her favourite subject and that hit her hard.

Still, she's made out of strong stuff this one and with the right support has continued to flourish both personally and in many other ways. Her confidence has changed, she feels comfortable in her sexuality, made more solid friendships with some lovely girls and dived into her art work even further. 

Midge wearinf her blond hair down and a checked shirt smiles at the camera kneeling by a bed

Midges birthday was on a Monday this year which meant, as usual, she was in school. We managed to get up early enough for one present opening and birthday pancakes with chocolate sauce. We love our birthday pancakes! 

School wasn't an issue, apparently Monday is a good lesson day and she got to see her friends who actually spoiled her a bit to be fair with books, money and chocolate - so thoughtful. 

Close up image of a heart shaped chocolate cake on a silver board. On top are 4 candles not lit, a pink small happy birthday sign and the top is ckvered with icing dust and gold stars

Every year we celebrate our birthdays in a rather understated way. We all choose a birthday dinner and Martyn and I will create it! Usually Midge goes for an Indian or Chinese dish but this year she just wanted a buffet. The girl loves her beige food!

So they had pizza, sausage rolls, biscuits, chocolate and crisps: everything that's not very good for you basically but oh well! It was enjoyed! 

After dinner, we all piled into another room for present time. Midge got money, a new school bag, art set, chocolate, headphones and more things I will never be able to remember!

Finally we did cake.


Samson, a white westie sits behind anheart shaped chocolate cake lookong at the camera

A heart shaped chocolate cake with 4 cabdles lit. Midge smiles at the camera

A heart shaped free from chocolate cake, nice and simple because Midge doesn't like butter cream. There was also a gateau but I can't eat that so I made this! 

Here's to my beautiful eldest daughter and another wonderful birthday!

1 down, 3 to go!!

Ramblings on Loss

 I have no idea how this will go, it's a bit of a 'write to get it out' type post. 

Keith, an elderly white male smiles at the camera with glasses on

Last week, on a Monday evening I sat at home in my bed waiting for a message from Martyn. I was waiting for the message telling me his Dad had passed away. It was a strange moment waiting for that message and not one I've ever waited around for.

One of my great privileges that I am hugely aware of is that I have never experienced close, personal loss. Well, not strictly true.

In 2021 I lost one of my best friends. I hadn't seen him in 4 years, the one time I went back to Cornwall I saw his wife, my other best friend, and we had a lovely catch up with some of the kids and her friend. He wasn't there and his absence was felt by me.

I did get a phone call very out of the blue one evening in February. Some indication as to how often I got called by him was I almost hung up the call thinking he had sat on it! Luckily I answered and we had a wonderful catch up. A week later he was in hospital and 3 days later I had a text I could never predict telling me he was gone.

Gone.

I've lost family but I've been never close to them. Either not seeing them since I was very young or they passed when I wasn't old enough to understand. My friend was the first loss and it hit me hard. Keith passing away has also hit me. I wasn't close to him. I also know how he brought up Martyn and treated him, I wouldn't have liked that version of him but the man I have known for 4 years was a vulnerable man. A man who was lost without his wife, deteriorating with dementia and quite funny.

We bonded over gardening. He loved to share the knowledge he had with me. He made me laugh when he would shuffle around the house muttering about people in his house he didn't want there. When he tried to climb the ladder to the loft I was trying to clear out he nearly gave everyone else a heart attack!

He came over a few times to our house when Martyn lost the ability to be able to enter his old family home and it was nice to cook for him. We spoke about the same things we always did; his youth, the marines, his family and friends. They were always the same stories but I smiled and laughed and nodded and asked the same questions I had asked a thousand times before because I didn't mind. I didn't care.

Now he's passed away although it's sad it's a relief.

But I kind of find that these losses have made me realise my privilege even more. I have both my parents who are only in their 60s. An aunt who is my second Mum. I even have 3 grandparents! My kids have 3 Great Grandparents! I know you can't think about all these morbid things too much because it'll drive you mad and you should focus on life, making memories.

I've always had this fear of death. It doesn't suit my control freak nature but I wouldn't exactly like to know when it would be my time either.. bit of a problem there! 

Next month is the first year of my friends passing and as it gets closer I feel my heart break all over again. I didn't have enough photos. I didn't have enough memories. I didn't have enough bloody time. 

Now I sit here and I think of all those in my close family circle and my close friends. I don't think I have enough memories, I don't know how easy it would be to make more given all our different circumstances.

Things are so hard for everyone. Money is so tight. My family are in one direction and myself in another. My friends, our relationships much smaller. My oldest friend just stopped being in touch one day. 13 years and suddenly it was all gone. No matter how much I want to move on I still grieve that friendship too.

I know I have to make things happen. I know who I want to fill my life with. I know those who I feel it would be almost impossible to live without and I know we have to make those memories together. Perhaps I'm having some early crisis or loss drives everyone a bit mad! I don't know, it's all another journey to walk isn't it? 

2021 at The Cupcake Kitney House

 Well, well, hello there strangers!

It's been about 7 months since I wrote anything on here. We are still in a global pandemic, Cupcake Mumma turned 10 very quietly and I have mostly set up camp over on Instagram (link to my page there!) getting sucked in by watching reels and falling in love with stories. 

There's only 2 main traditions on this blog and that's sharing birthdays for my children to look back on (and myself) and our yearly write up. If I write nothing else I'm happy to keep up with that at least.

So let's jump in shall we? Let's see how much I can actually remember of 2021!

January 

Midge turned 13 in January and we celebrated with a large chocolate cake, Indian fakeaway, gifts and pancakes. 

We also had Will's private educational physiology assessment that we had to get done before the council would consider our application for an EHCP. It was a good day out in London spotting sports cars with A while Will did his assessment really well despite the long hours it took.

Midge sat at the table with 2 pancakes smiling in a white t shirt

February

A turned 10 years old quite happily with his gifts and a big flapjack instead of a cake. It seems he now doesn't 'do' cake.. We enjoyed a swim at the leisure centre and a walk with hot chocolate in Rochester this month. 

Will also had a birthday turning 12! He enjoyed homemade burgers and wedges for his birthday tea and a zoom session with all his cousins with a virtual DJ. It was pretty cool! It also snowed at the beginning of February which was good fun.

Sadly I also lost a close friend from complications of Covid. I hadn't seen him since I moved to Kent but had spoken to him just 2 weeks before he became unwell. I will always hold that last phone call close to me.

A wearing joggers and a black puffer coat holds a costa cup standing on a grass area in front of rochester castle

Wills face is smiling in a grey wooly hat with fennal sticking down the front of his face. He is in a grey coat and close to the camera

April

The biggest news for April (and the whole year really) was Martyn and I getting engaged! We got the kids involved in the proposal, which you can read in this post 'How I Proposed' and had a lovely time celebrating as a family.

Hannah on the left smiling opened mouthed wearing glasses shows off her ring on her hand next to Martyn wearing a maroon jumper and smiling widely wearing black framed glasses

May

The last of our lovely tribe, James, finally got his day turning 10 as well. This year he mostly got money for gaming and a few sweet treats. We had a Japanese themed dinner by ordering sushi and cooking a katsu curry which was delicious. 

I also got to see my sister for the first time in over a year. We met up halfway at a lovely park for a walk and a picnic and also got Midge back from her weeks stay with them. 

James sits on a pavement with green leaves behind him wearing a white and red hoody. He smiles at the camera

June

In June we had a few days out which was nice. I walked around Rochester exploring it properly for the first time in months, actually entering small shops and spending time in the gardens near the library. 

We had a church day out at the beach, I paddled with all the kids, we ate chips and ice cream and had a good walk back. We made some new friends that day which was wonderful. 

Lastly, we got to try out a new piece of equipment to help Martyn use his arm fully. It's called a Neater Eater and will allow him to eat easier and brush his hair which he can no longer do as easily.

A stands close to the camera on the beach wearing a black with white splats hoody and a black sun cap. He smiles holding an ice cream cone with blue ice cream on top. Blue is on his chin and teeth

July 

July was heavily based around baking and gardening. I got to grow more this year which made me much happier. Still more work to be done but a garden is never truly finished! 

We also enjoyed water fights and outdoor church which was so good I think we will do it again next year.

August

My two went to Cornwall for several weeks to see family and their dad. I remember missing them lots and missing out on not seeing my parents. They had a great time and I always love getting them back. 

We also enjoyed a great trip to London with the older two later on in the month to explore The British Museum; such a good day out. 

Will on the left wears a white and black t shirt and leans in next to L wearing jeans and a blue funky shirt. The are wearing seatbelts in the back of the car and smiling

September 

The kids went back to school after intermittent home schooling and a long summer break. We now have a year 8, two in year 6 and 1 in year 9!

On the 12th Mr K and our friend Nat took part in the Brighton Marathon raising money for Macmillan cancer charity. They raised an amazing £1250 and Nat ran so well pushing Martyn in the chair. I got to walk and explore the town a bit, have a dip in the sea and a rest on the beach in-between chasing them around main points for photos and cheering!

Martyn on the left sits in his wheelchair smiling. He is wearinga red hoody and his marathon bib. Nat stads nect to him in her bib and running gear smiling with the finsih line just behind them both.

October

Martyn turned 39 this month followed by myself turning 32 later on. Neither of us did anything special. I got a cake made for me by Midge and Mr K and we both had simple dinners with the kids.

We made some awesome pumpkins this year all of which were grown in our garden, I am so proud of them! Martyn's creation was the best (pictured below.)

November 

We had a surprise family reunion in a lovely lodge in Cambridge for my Dad's 60th birthday. We stayed 2 nights, ignored the awful weather, had a delicious roast cooked by my sister and Mr K and also enjoyed the hot tub! A would've stayed in that thing if you let him!

It was so good to see my brother and sister after so long and surprise Dad. 

On a grey sofa sits A on the left on the arm of the chair with I in grey, Dad and mum holding hands, me wearing a large hoody and smiling. Martyn is behind me in his power chair with B and M and L smiling at the camera behind the 4 on the sofa

December 

This year I didn't have my 2 although it was very close! 11 days before they were due to go both Martyn and I got sick with covid after James caught it a few days prior. Some how my 2 avoided it all and managed their Christmas holiday.

We had the boys in the afternoon of Christmas eve and went to church to celebrate the stable service. We also had a random tea thanks to a gammon and oven disaster (I didn't turn it on!) Not a huge problem because gammon on a Christmas dinner turns out to be very, very nice indeed! 

I got several books, a wonderful pink  fluffy weighted blanket, a couple of care bears and a giant care bear too. 

James smiles at the camera holding a plush cat wearing a long blue shirt and standing in the pews at church

It's been a weird Christmas with the boys mostly doing their own thing and my 2 did the same by the sounds of it. Presents were smaller and the magic was less but we all had fun, a delicious dinner and a very slow, intentional Christmas

There's our 2021, or what I can remember of it! Here's to 2022 with no expectations set by myself for the year. If I've learnt anything from this year it's to stop expecting things to happen, don't try too hard to plan oh and don't read the news too much *wink*

Have a blessed 2022 friends!

James Turns 10!

James with brown hair and a big smile grins at the camera. In front of him is a rainbow birthday cake with 10 lit candles on
 
As usual, it's better late then never over here!
 
Our James turned 10 at the end of May and even though I'm a bit (very) late, I would still love to share his special day with you all.

Yet again we went with the amazing Ian from Cakes Against The Grain. He made James his specified cake 'a big rainbow cake with vanilla and raspberries!' I think you can agree the cake looks amazingly colourful and it was just as tasty as the others!


The top of the rainbow cake. White melted chocolate with rainbow sprinkles has 10 lit candles on

James leans on a table blowing out the candle. Smoke drifts towards him

James had school on his actual birthday which is never too bad as he gets to hand out some sweeties to his class mates. He also saves one for me, the sweet heart he really is!

For his family birthday dinner he requested a Japanese theme. We've never done that before so it was exciting. Usually we go with an Indian or Chinese or maybe a big old home-made burger and chips. This time I was challenged.

I made a Katsu Curry which was lovely. The rice was cooked in an actual rice cooker we borrowed from the boy's Mum and I must admit I cheated a little with the chicken..I bought it already breaded at the supermarket..It was tasty though and I had a free from one as well so that was a win.

On a white plate is white rice, 2 breaded chicken strips and some golden coloured curry spooned on top

We had Mochi as well as cake for pudding. The guys learning to use chop sticks was good fun. I think Will got it pretty quick, James took a while then went and ate with his hands as per usual and A took a while but was very happy when he actually managed to do it. Midge on the other hand totally gave up and just wanted to eat!

6 pink Mochi in a circle on a small white plate with a pair of chop sticks about to lift one off the plate on the right

One thing I wasn't going to attempt, not because I didn't want to but more it was super time consuming, was the Sushi. I ordered a lovely platter of sushi from a local sushi take away who made it up and dropped it all off for him just before dinner. I've never had sushi before and I actually really liked it.

A varity of sushi sits on a black tray. Cucumber sushi rolls and whote rice with raw salmon draped on top

James definitely had an awesome day. He loved all his gifts (mostly money because he is the hardest child to buy for) but he also got a sweetie box (some what of a tradition now!) clothes, neon laces for his trainers and some gaming money. 

At his Mums party he had a big van rented out with games consoles on. He invited some of his cousins and his siblings over and they all had such a great time gaming on PlayStation, Xbox and their mobile phones in the van before having a huge take away of their choice. It was so lovely that they could all be together and James thought to invite A and Midge.

So that is all the kids birthdays done this year!  

How I Proposed

Announcing our engagement a few weeks ago was so much fun that I really wanted to share how I proposed (mostly for the fact everyone keeps asking me how HE proposed) and well, anyone who knows me knows I can't have him looking like the soppy one and taking all the credit! 

On the left, Hannah a white female holds up her hand with a silver engagement ring on. She has a big smile. Martyn, a white mail sits to her left wearing blog black glasses and smiling with a big grin.

To be fair, it is quite unusual, even in this day and age for a woman to propose to a man. According to a 2019 survey that I found before typing this up, I would be one of the 16% of women in a heterosexual relationship to propose; I knew it was low but not that low! 

Martyn and I had spoken about getting married many times in the past being keen to make sure we were on the same page. I think I always knew to some degree that I wanted to get married again some day but for a long time I know Martyn wasn't thinking of marriage. Until a while ago and that all changed.

The only question really left in my mind was when? I felt ready but I wasn't sure if Mart was the same. I knew he would say 'yes' but would he really be ready? I also worried with his terrible indecisiveness that I could be waiting forever! So it was time to just go for it.

Initially, I planned to wait until the summer when the boys were with their mum for a day or two and my two would be away with their dad. I thought about cooking a dinner and doing it at home, then realised my cooking sucks a bit but neither of us would be happy to eat out and be the centre of attention. 

I thought it might be nice to go to our favourite park but I couldn't work things out. So I actually prayed about it all one night and it all just hit me.

I ordered my ring. I loved doing this. I got to look for ages at pretty rings, I didn't have to worry about budgets because I could use my own money, I could buy exactly what I wanted knowing I would love it and knew it would fit me perfectly. I absolutely love it. My ring is from a small business seller on Etsy called The Aladdins Cave and it is lovely.

I then bought an old American coin from DogsandHats on Etsy. The purpose of this was that I stumbled upon it and it bears the words 'In God we trust' and the seller had engraved the words 'will you marry me?' as well. 

It was just perfect.

American coin Will you marry me engraved

On the 14th April, 7 days before the anniversary of us officially getting together, I couldn't contain my excitement. Martyn knew something was up.

 I gave him a small brown envelope. 

"Are you asking me to marry you?"

"Yes I am," I smiled. 

"Yes, of course, he replied. I'll need to get a ring now!"

I then pulled out a little blue box and handed it to him. He loves my organisation and it made him laugh. I let him pop the ring on my finger, (perfect fit of course) and we both just enjoyed this quiet moment.

Telling the kids some time later was so much fun. We got them to open envelopes with different words on and they put it together. All very excited and all happily overwhelmed they posed for several photos before life went back to normal. 

I think we did things the best way. I was getting all hooked up on what people would think, what society expects and I'm glad I went 'sod it' to it all. I loved asking Martyn, I loved taking the pressure he undoubtedly would have felt off his shoulders, I loved having the kids here with us and I loved doing it our way.

We will plan our big day for April 2023 and there's no danger of this becoming a wedding blog!

We Are Getting...

 Married!


I feel so happy and blessed to be able to share this news with my lovely readers! After 4 years together and being friends for longer than that through the blogosphere, Martyn and I are happy to say we are indeed engaged.

I am so excited!

I was never going to be one of those people who separated from their partner, got divorced and would swear to never get married again. I am a hopeless romantic, so much so it was actually me, ME! who asked Mr K to marry him.

We are not the conventional type in this house!

Thank God we are all slightly crazy and totally original. We are an open family, we do some things differently from other families. I love our set up and the kids think it is awesome that I proposed to Martyn instead of the other way around.

I've wanted to propose to Martyn for a couple of months now. I thought waiting until summer would be the ideal time. I could wait for all the children to be away with their other parents, I could take Martyn to one of our favourite spots and do everything that way. I also thought I should wait until we had more understanding about Martyn's Dad's health and William's EHCP process.

I decided to pray about my plan. I heard clear as day in my head 'What are you waiting for?' 

My heart swelled and I smiled as lay sleepily in bed. I knew then that at some point in the week I had to propose. 



We spoke a while ago about wanting a marriage this time and not a wedding. We were both so young and caught up in the wrong things when we married our ex partners. This time it was about us and our children.

So our children have been involved. They all had to open an envelope with a word on and get together in the right order to make the sentence. 



We are so excited to spend the next year together knowing we will be man and wife. We will enjoy our engagement for a year while saving up and plan a small, intimate and geeky little wedding that will put us and our kids at the centre in 2023.

I hope you will all continue to come along for the ride! x

Birthday Boys and Double Digits!

I usually blog about the children's birthday individually but as the time has flown by since then I will have to pop them together. As it is, thanks to lockdown, neither A nor Will did anything that requires a lot of writing about!

First of all A entered double digits! He is now 10..TEN? I can't believe he has finally entered the doubles. He still seems so much younger than his peers but it is what it is (tries to stop thinking about the secondary application she has to fill in this autumn)

A was originally meant to be in Cornwall for his birthday but it didn't work out so I got my boy for his special day again. We didn't plan anything (obviously) but as usual the children always request their special birthday tea and we keep them to some sort of routine in terms of birthday breakfasts and gift opening etc.