Archives for July 2011

My List of Things that need Decluttered.

It is the middle of July, look yet I have this overwhelming urge (some may argue need) to have a good spring clean.  In true House Doctor style (remember the rather stern American lady circa 1999 when property and house shows were all that dominated our television screens) a good ‘decluttering’ is in order. This is my list of things that need decluttered.

1. The corner in our home office which is currently being overrun by boxes of books and bin bags full of baby clothes. These are the outputs of a previous attempt at decluttering which resulted in me trying very hard to be ruthless and remove items from blocking up our cupboard space that were never going to be used by us again. I recall poring over each title, patient remembering when I first read the book, wishing I could find the time to read it again, before being prodded by Super Daddy to ‘get it in the box.’  The same applied with the baby clothes.  Each item was carefully folded (many sniffed!) and I remembered dressing my littlies in the pretty pink dresses (LPP – just in case you wondered) and baby blue romper suits (LMB) and pondering as to exactly where the time had gone.  Pleas of ‘Can’t we hang onto it just in case….’ were met with a definitive ‘No’ from Super Daddy.  Secretly I like to think the fact that they are still in our possession is an indicator that the definitive ‘No’ was perhaps a ‘maybe’…..
2. My glove compartment in the car. Until very recently this contained only the sat nav, the handbook and service documents for the car and a half eaten pack of Jelly Babies from a previous journey to Centre Parcs.  When I say half eaten, I don’t mean we scoffed half the pack and there is a half pack ready and awaiting consumption on our next long car journey.  I literally mean half eaten, as in, already been in the mouth of a small child and subsequently removed when half chewed and handed back to me with a brisk ‘don’t like that one’. This changed when at very short notice a few weeks back, a friend asked for a lift to a kids party that we were all off to.  I rarely have adult passengers in my car, therefore the front seat is almost always littered with empty water bottles, umbrellas, used parking tickets and randomly, gloves.  A quick scurry around the car in advance of picking up said friend means the glove compartment is bursting at the seams and pops open like a wound up jack-in-the-box every time I go over a speed bump.


3. My head.  At any one time I have at least 1572 thoughts whirring round and round, growing arms and legs and morphing into full scale plans and ‘must get round to’s’ The result is usually a mammoth list writing session which then spirals into a frenzy of activity for approximately a week when I eventually feel I need an evening / weekend just to sit on my backside and ‘think’ rather than ‘do’.  You can see how this becomes a cyclical process.
4. The drawer on my bedside cabinet.  Once filled with pretty note books that tied with flowery ribbon and captured my every waking thought and key moments (my favourite being the hurried scribbles I still managed to write whilst having contractions in the run up to LLP’s arrival.  “11.53pm – What the F*** was that?  Aaargh. My stomach is cramping beyond belief.  12.09am – Here comes another one!  Think I might need to tell someone about this.  12.23am – Oh my God.  This is painful. And really happening.  I must brush my teeth. “  Given then randomness of the teeth brushing comment after just three measly contractions, it will come as no surprise that four hours into my labour I was signing ‘Copacabana’ in the birthing pool much to Super Daddy’s bewilderment.)  The pretty little notebooks are still there, tucked under a pile of price tags from clothes that I’ve bought over the years and hurriedly stuffed into the wardrobe before Super Daddy noticed.  Why didn’t I bin these straight away?  I think somewhere in my subconscious I thought I would one day pull all of these out, whip out a calculator and shock myself into frugalness by totting up exactly how much I’ve spent on clothes over the years.  I dread to think.
5. My ironing pile.  Can you declutter an ironing pile?  I guess if I trash the bulk of the crushed beyond all recognition items that are at the very bottom of the pile, and rationalise all the bits in the middle that I am unlikely to wear again (mint green polo neck jersey dress anyone?) and hang up all of Super Daddy’s work shirts without actually ironing them, then that might count.  Either way, my ironing pile p*sses me right off.

The Verdict

It’s done. The weird experiment that was the cabbage soup diet is complete.  Firstly, doctor I think I deserve a pat on the back in mammoth proportions for having the willpower to stick to it.  Trumpet duly blown, pills I thank you.  That said, it was just a week, so I won’t get too carried away with myself.

Day four, “banana day” was fairly uneventful (except for the freak hailstones and random thunder and lightning, which clearly had nothing to do with my diet and everything to do with bloody typical Scottish summer weather.) My breakfast was as planned, a bowl of mashed banana and lots of skimmed milk.  Little Monster Blue declared that it looked like porridge.  “I just have mine Cheerios ‘stead.” he said screwing up his nose as he peered into my bowl.  Little Princess Pink disagreed. “It looks nothing like porridge.” She announced, “It looks like gunk!”  She was right of course, especially when I left it sitting in the bowl longer than I should have and it started to turn slightly beige.
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Going Bananas

The holiday is over, doctor and the tan is slowly fading (slowly only thanks to the help of L’Oreal Sublime Dry Mist Self Tan Express Spray – without it, decease it would have gone already) however the waistline appears to have continued to expand following excessive all-inclusive holiday indulgences.  Only at an all-inclusive restaurant buffet could you end up with a green olives, dried banana chips, squid goujons, pork in peppercorn sauce and egg mayonnaise all on the same plate.  Surprisingly, it was an unbelievably yum combination.   I’m quite certain there is a paragraph in the lengthy terms and conditions of holiday bookings that says one item of food from every counter must be loaded onto your plate at the same time, and second helpings are mandatory.  I wasn’t the only one taking full advantage of the option of having all three courses on one plate. It was rife, an unspoken rule.  Petite and portly ladies alike walked gingerly back to their table from the serving counters with plates piled high with pasta, paella, chips, a selection of cold cuts and a chocolate covered strawberry balancing precariously on top.
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A Mooo-ving Tale.

Little Monster Blue LOVES animals. Particularly farm animals. Especially cows.  Whilst most children have a passing obsession with something in their early years, information pills generic cialis usually Ben 10 or Barbie, cialis sale LMB’s love of the humble dairy maker has been something of a consistent obsession for well over a year now.  This fact dawned on me whilst we were preparing for our summer holiday this year and I looked back on the photos we’d taken whilst away at the same time last summer.  The first photo I’m confronted with in the pack is LMB standing with his arms outstretched towards a large and very lifelike statue of a cow dressed in a Portugal football strip. It was the time of the World Cup, and the cow was standing directly outside the official Portugal FC shop (otherwise a cow dressed in a football strip would just be plain weird).  I recall that day, and particularly recall LMB’s reaction towards the cow- you could almost see mini cartoon love hearts popping out of his eyes as he looked at it.  The fact that he seemed to really be drawn to cows didn’t come as a surprise that day as we had spent many a day down at our local farm prior to this holiday, and he’d always happily gravitated towards the barn and the cow fields.  We of course had lots of farm books and animal books, but one in particular, which was only full of pictures of cows was a firm favourite.  We’d also spend many an hour watching the baby Einstein version of ‘Old MacDonald’ on repeat, LMB laughing his head off at the cow (a puppet of course) driving a tractor. A rendition or six of ‘What noise does the cow make?’ was also a hit from an early age. ‘Mmm’ being his answer initially before progressing to full blown ‘Moooooooo’ as he got that little bit older.  As he learned to speak, and express himself as his own person, his fascination has moved to a whole new level, with him clearly being able to articulate just how much he loves cows.

Granny- “ Do you love the cows darling? Are you going to be a farmer when you grow up?’

LMB –  ‘No be farmer. Mine be cow.’

Although given when my little sister was three she said she wanted to grow up to be a nurse, a mouse or a caravan, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that LMB wants to become an animal too.

We’re now beyond just making mere mooing noises when talking about cows, a new game has developed in our house, whereby we have to ask LMB what the cow gives us so he can tell us beef and milk. It’s funny (and not in the ha ha sense) that a two year old can never tire of playing the same game over and over and over. We’ve had tantrums in the supermarket because we don’t buy milk with pictures of cows on the carton, we even had to leave Clarks rather embarrassedly as LMB kicked up merry hell that they only had canvas shoes with fish on them and none with cows.  We went through a very brief spell where he took a liking to Donkeys, or Gonkeys as he liked to call them, but he quickly reverted back to cows when Jenny the Donkey at the local farm went to Gonkey Heaven.   Ask him to tell you what he’s drawing as he scribbles frantically across a page with a red wax crayon and he’ll tell you a cow.  Ask him which t-shirt he wants to wear on any particular day, be it the yellow one or the blue one, and he’ll tell you neither, he wants one with a cow on it.  When given the choice of which bedding he wanted to get for his new big boy bed, he of course opted for a set with cows on it. He loves Big Barn Farm on CBeebies, though has recently taking umbrage to Madame the Cow, frowning and shaking his head furiously when she speaks to the other animals with her French accent.   He has taken it upon himself to call the new calf at the farm ‘Beau’, and he asked today if he could take the bouncy cow from the farm home to his garden (it’s a rather cool cow instead of a castle but  I find its giant dangly pink udders a little disconcerting, though that’s clearly not the only reason I had to explain that no, we couldn’t bring the bouncy cow home).

In a way, I’m pleased he has such a love of animals, and there are worse things he could be obsessed with (you may recall previous mention of a friend who has a son who is fixated with hoovers). It is a little unfortunate that the only animal Old MacDonald has on his farm when you sing with LMB is a cow, and it is unfair on LPP that the only joke of hers that LMB belly laughs at is the one about the cow who went to the moooooo-vies , but it is cute and it does make us chuckle.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there…….

Have children, will travel. Have smartphone, will blog.

I’m currently 30000 ft in the air. Destination, viagra sales Edinburgh.

Unfortunately this is the return leg of our very successful family holiday and not the outward bound leg, viagra canada and here I am with three hours stretching ahead of me and not a stitch to read. Now, as some who can devour a book or six on holiday as readily as a lion presented with six lithe gazelles on a plate, this is an unusual situation for me. I feel a little naked.  However, the situation is one by design, as I genuinely did not expect there to be any opportunity for a holiday bonk buster fix.

I do have four items of hand baggage and they are packed to bursting, but not a beach read or trashy gossip mag in sight. I could indulge in ‘Beautiful Bananas’ which is a lovely story about an African girl who picks a bunch of bananas to take with her on a visit to her granddad but she meets a variety of jungle animals and of course mishaps on the way. It is however aimed at preschoolers and has been bedtime story fodder for Little Monster Blue for nearly the last three months. Similarly, ‘Superduck’ is a riveting read….when you’re under five. Ditto for ‘Here comes the crocodile’ and ‘Let’s get a pup’.

We have wax crayons a plenty, a mermaid colouring book, a farmyard colouring book, an animal magazine with odd pictures of cats wearing tiaras, magic picture books that reveal animals when you scratch them with a coin (we went through 14 pages of one before we got to a cow on the outbound flight, much to LMB’s annoyance.) We have a Hello Kitty dress up sticker book and a further four animal sticker books, unsurprisingly the farmyard one being a firm favourite with LMB given his obsession with cows persists (I could devote a whole blog article to that

Not only do we have bags full of these traditional means of entertainment for small children on a flight, but as we have Superdaddy, so follows we have gadgetry. Cue, tablet PC, loaded with LPP and LMBs movies of the moment, and somewhere in the region of 342 episodes of Peppa Pig (I know, I didn’t think there were as many as that either given the only episode that ever seems to be on in our house is ‘Pirate Island’.) Even Superdaddy managed to grab a tabloid at the hotel shop and sneak it into my perfectly arranged (and on-trend aztec designed) oversize beach bag. So whilst the nippers are entertained and Superdaddy reads the newspaper back to front, here I am literature-less.

I’ve already engaged in pleasant chit-chat with the lovely older lady sitting to my right about the merits of seat allocation (i.e. sitting Superdaddy beside LMB and LPP and sitting in the aisle opposite them myself).  I’ve read the free in-flight magazine from cover to cover, dawdling over the interview with Olly Murs and wondering when pop stars started giving interviews for airline magazines as opposed to Smash Hits! I’ve chosen which perfume and bronzing set I’d like to buy with my left over holiday Euros when the in flight tax free shopping service commences and I’ve educated myself geographically by studying all of the destinations that the airline flies to. (Gerona is in Spain don’t you know, I always thought it was in Switzerland and when I expressed my surprise to Superdaddy he reminded me just how blonde I am by helpfully pointing out that Geneva and Gerona are not the same place.) I’ve perused the in-flight menu and decided that the fantabulous, super special deal of a Twix for the great price of 80p with a £2.20 cup of tea is not really the amazing bargain you are led to believe when you can buy them separately and independently of one another for, yes, you’ve guessed it, 80p and £2.20 respectively. I’ve partaken in a little spot of people watching. Quickly sussing out those people who would be the most likely to clap when the plane touches down in Edinburgh and those who are going to ‘bing’ the ‘bing-bong’ button to call over an air-stewardesses every five minutes. I’ve worked out which couples had lots of holiday sex (row 14, seats C and D, well, just D actually) and which couples can’t wait to get home to decree their relationship officially over.

So here’s where I have to give some credit to gadget-tastic Superdaddy for convincing me I needed to invest in a new smartphone. In the absence of anything else to read, I say thanks for the dinky notepad functionality that allows me commence much blog activity following our week away. Three days ago (I’m not sure what day that actually was as I’ve been on holiday time for a week and think every day is Sunday) I lay ona sun lounger whilst Superdaddy splashed with the littlies in the pool and again made use of said smartphone to list all of the things I’d plan to blog about post-sunshine.

So here I go…oh wait a minute… that the in flight tax free shopping service commencing?  I’ll be back in a jiffy…..might just buzz to see if I can grab a cuppa too, ooh and a twix.

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