Archives for October 2011

Guest Post: Mummies United = Fabulous!

Lovely readers – I’m delighted to welcome my first guest poster to Super Mummy. Whilst most guest posters on other mummy blogs already have their own blog, look this lovely lady simply has a story to tell which resonates with me and I expect many others, and where better a forum for her to share it with like-minded folks, than here.

I hope you enjoy.

I hope you are inspired.

Over to K….

Well what can I say, I am still bowled over by the fact that a good friend asked me to write a blog article for Super Mummy, this is for a number of reasons

1) I’m completely flattered she thinks I have something of note

2) I’m a terrible writer i.e. 20 words when 2 would do and erm what is a ‘blog’ anyway?

3) What would I write about?

Perhaps I should explain………..I met this super mummy two years ago through a mutual friend who thought we would have ‘something in common’.  After our initial meeting over a cuppa and pleasantries exchanged we’ve never stopped talking!  It is amazing the similarities between us but the bond that keeps us together is that we are career driven ladies who became mummies and suddenly “BAM!” there was an almighty shift in our priorities.

We both returned to work for the same corporate organisation (having never met before) after the birth of our second child and, let’s face it, anyone who goes as far as having ‘number two’ knows it is a whole different ball game.  Forget the every weekend coupley long lies, it’s now the ‘darling you lie in on Saturday and I’ll do Sunday.’ Forget being able to talk to each other without two little voices going ‘mummy / daddy’ until eventually one of us gives in and says ‘what is it?’.  In fact, forget ever finishing a cup of tea / conversation or having a lie in ever again for the next 10 years (or at least until teenager age.)

Twice as much trouble, twice the lack of sleep but definitely twice the fun. Gradually, the sleepless nights subside and they become fabulous little friends and you wonder how on earth you ever survived before they came along.

So, back to my fabulous friend and our common bond – we tend to find ourselves in the same place at the same time.  Both of us strive to juggle home / kids / shopping / hubby / house / work.  But the truth of the matter is whether it ‘can all be done?’ and more importantly ‘do I really want to do it all?’  My pregnancy journey was fraught with mishaps and to this day I am convinced stress played its part. I took the decision of reducing responsibilities at work and very shortly after became pregnant with my first child.  This was the start of me making subtle changes, not because I wasn’t good at my job or didn’t want to do my job but because it was what was best for my family.  That was 5 years ago and I have been adjusting ever since.

I have long since got over the guilt of trying to be all things to all people and fit with what was expected of me.  I find myself looking to carve a new path for my family and live a life by design on my terms.  So, I am pursuing alternative income opportunities outside the corporate world and meeting some fabulous people along the way –  all like minded mummies who juggle BUT this time it’s on our terms and fit around the family.  What a fabulous sisterhood, I like to think of us as Mummies United.

So, where am I on this path?  Well I am plodding along nicely thank you very much, some days I have a little spring in my step and other days I struggle to get off the starting block but that’s life and where my fabulous friend comes in since we tread the same path daily.  We help, support, encourage each other since we know that anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Recently, I’ve introduced my kids to Dr Seuss and ‘The Cat in the Hat’, a book I loved as a child and came across this fabulous quote which I’ve pinned to my wall.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…………”

The old ones are still the best – oh the places we’ll go!

I. am. a. robot (part 2)

We had a superglue incident. It arose solely from my desire to ensure that Lola the Robot was the best he / she could possibly be. In trying to be certain Lolas head didn’t fall off on route to school on the morning of the great robot presentation, cialis sale I inadvertently managed to superglue my index finger to my middle finger. It wasn’t big or clever and called the shots on 2nd phase of production rather swiftly.

We shall resume once I have had a  good old talking to myself and acknowledged that this project belongs to Little Princess Pink and not me, shop and plain old pritt stick may mean we take our chances with a wobbly robot head.  After all that’s part of the charm of school projects isn’t it?

I.am.taking. robot. project. too. seriously.

P.S. In case of any future superglue incidents, be advised, soap and water doesn’t really work. Nail polish remover must have acetone in it, otherwise you’ll burn your skin and still be superglued together and finally, rubbing butter on your hands just brings a whole other world of troubles.

My best advice when handling superglue – read the instructions first. And wear gloves.

Red Car!

With school holidays and half term upon us, ask you might be about to embark on a long car journey’s to reach your chosen holiday destination.  Here are some helpful pointers to ensure the nippers are entertained and your sanity is retained.

  1.  Before even getting into the car, hospital ensure everyone has had a wee (fresh nappy change for those in nappies too!)  Peeing at the side of the M6 is not a pleasant experience and a coin toss is needed to decide whether it’s mum or dad who needs to get out in the pouring rain AND risk getting peed on by the child responsible for such poor bladder control.
  2.  Pack up a handy bag of healthy snacks – raisins, bananas, small bottles of water, little cubes of cheese, and oatcakes are highly recommended.  M&S Percy Pigs, chocolate buttons, marshmallows, fruit pastilles and blackcurrant squash should be kept for arrival at your destination.  Take it from one who knows.
  3. Magazines with stickers are always a winner in the entertainment stakes.  Do be prepared however upon arrival at your destination to find the inside of the doors have been decorated with brightly coloured and difficult to remove Peppa Pig stickers.  A soft, wet cloth and an hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing will do the trick.
  4. Story CD’s – an old fashioned alternative to the in-car DVD entertainment system perhaps, but avoids the pitfalls associated with reading in the car (motion sickness and see point 3 above), and anyway who doesn’t love The Gruffalo on a loop?
  5. Baby wipes are an essential, and will play a massive part in your in-car experience.
    1. Wiping poo and pee bums whilst on route
    2. Wiping sticky fingers arising from snackage (less so if healthy bite are opted for!)
    3. Wiping stickers off the inside of the car door when the soft wet cloth and hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing hasn’t worked.
    4. Wiping CD’s when they start to jump after being played consecutively for 17 times.
  6. The red car game – always a winner. There are no rules. Invented by LPP and LMB, this game involves nothing more than randomly shouting out  any of the following when spotted on the journey:
    1. Red Car (hence the name!)
    2. Van
    3. Taxi
    4. Bus
    5. Bicycle
    6. Motorbike
    7. Caravan
    8. Dumper Truck
    9. Lorry
    10. Cows

Happy Travels!

 

I. am. a. robot. (Part 1)

I fear I’ve gotten a little carried away with myself.  You see, here purchase today I started a new project, information pills malady or rather Little Princess Pink did.  As it’s the school holidays we don’t have the usual Jolly Phonics sounds and flash cards for homework, no, we have the far more inspiring and exciting…… Robot Homework Challenge!

In the interests of helping the nippers learn about 2D and 3D shapes in a creative and fun way, all Primary 1’s have been tasked with crafting their very own robot over the next week and a half using any junk modelling and craft materials they have at home.  Having an arts and crafts box that could rival an entire Hobbycraft store, Little Princess Pink and I set about the challenge with gusto.  Like some kind of torturous touchy-feely team building exercise, I witnessed from the off that Little Princess Pink shares one characteristic with Super Daddy which, shall we say, is at the opposite end of the spectrum to some of those which I display when setting about a new task or project.  LPP full of enthusiasm, bursting at the seams with great ideas  and just itching to get started, was desperate to wrap three toilet paper tubes and a rice crispies box in some shiny tin foil and bobs-your-uncle, hey presto, ta da…..’Lola’ the Robot.  I on the other hand, whilst not wanting to be one to dampen her enthusiasm was keen that we reflected  further on the task in hand and perhaps undertook some form of planning exercise before construction commenced. There’s the project manager in me.

Surprisingly she was quite agreeable, and came up with the suggestion herself that we drew a blueprint (her word, not mine) of the Robot, whom we kept referring to as ‘he’ despite already tagging him/her with the moniker Lola (after our goldfish). Using a blue felt tip pen, LPP carefully sketched her first idea of what Lola should look like.  Her plan was simple. We’d draw the blueprint, and from that, identify which shapes we needed to make up the component parts, and only then set about the house on some kind of crafting, robotic treasure hunt seeking out body parts for Lola.

One sketch, some scribbled notes and twenty minutes rummaging in every corner of the house later and we had located every identified object which would form some limb or other for the greatly anticipated robot. Taking after her mother this time, LPP donned a painting apron and spread old newspapers all over the kitchen table so as she could crack on with task 1 – naming and numbering of the constituent parts of the production, and a developing an ordering system for how we should paint or decorate each part.

First came the painting.  Having discovered a Dulux  tester pot in ‘Chic Perfection’ (a silver grey) lurking on my desk in the office (not having actually found its way to the walls in the hallway for aesthetic testing) we began slopping and slapping this all over a Pampers size 5 nappy box which would be the robots body. Early on in this phase we identified through a crude risk analysis that we simply weren’t going to have enough to cover the whole box, and made a strategic decision to cover only the top and two sides in this colour and use red paint sprinkled with silver glitter on opposing sides. With more left over in the tester post than anticipated, we tactically decided to adopt a similar approach to the smaller brown cardboard box we’d found in a rarely explored kitchen cupboard, which had contained a traditional sweet shop portion of chocolate limes (marketing idea adopted by Super Daddy for his like-named web design business). ‘Chic Perfection’ on the top and two sides, red paint and silver glitter on opposing sides.  With the creative juices flowing, and a robust robot production plan in place, all was going tickety-boo.

Then came the holler of ‘Ah don wannnnaa naaaap…’ from upstairs.

Little Monster Blue had spoken.

The creative team had company.

‘What’s this mummy?’ he asked, clamouring up onto a seat at the kitchen table and making a clumsy grab for the blue glitter shaker.

‘That’s glitter, big guy.’ I tell him removing it gently from his hands and placing it out of his reach at the other side of the table.

‘What s this one?’ he tries, making another fumble for a second glitter shaker, this time green.

‘That one is glitter too honey,’ I answer, ‘In green, your favourite colour.’

‘Yes, mine favourite.’

‘And what’s this mummy?’ he asks, successfully managing to expertly dive half way across the table landing one hand in the paper plate holding the red paint and grabbing the brush from the Dulux tester pot tightly like the baton in a relay race in the other. By the brush end.  With lots of paint still on it.

Exasperated by her brothers efforts to get involved, Little Princess Pink made a bid to quickly finish the outstanding painting activities – setting herself a critical milestone of 3pm as Chloe’s Closet was coming on tv – and she swiftly coated two Twinings tea boxes, and an empty Disney Princess colouring box in red and blue paint and vigorously shook a myriad of coloured glitter over every square inch (of the kitchen). The lid of a tube of jelly tots, a bottle of fizzy juice and a milk carton were also covered haphazardly in the now globby paint and glitter mix, but oh was it looking good.

With Little Monster Blue safely deposited in the playroom with Granddad Dogs Pick Up truck and a box of raisins, ‘Super Team Creatives’ (I know, I’m sooo geeky) continued our great work.

Pipe cleaners in pink, purple, red, and yellow were twisted round pencils to create  springy wire effects,  pink yoghurt pot ears were decorated with sticky foam numbers and letters to signify an explosion coming out of his/her head (!) and toilet roll tubes were covered in shiny foil ready to be attached by elastic and hoisted on as his/her arms when the time came.

With the time drawing close to 3pm, and my kitchen drawing closer to an explosion in a paint factory, we wound down production for phase 1.  A quick check of the blueprint, and we’re very nearly good to go on all body parts being primed and ready for manufacture. I feel I’ve brought my project planning, and creative skills to the homework challenge this far.  Super Daddy is the engineer – it’s over to him tomorrow for the assembly and construction process.

In the meantime, does anyone have any tips for getting vinyl silk off a two year olds hand?

 

I do…wait, do I?

Apparently my eldest is now betrothed. The lucky five year old goes by the name of Ryan and they’ve shared register monitor and milk monitor duties in class over recent weeks. He walked her to the medical room the other day when she felt sick and waited outside until he knew she was okay. It’s all rather sweet. I am however concerned that over the last few years she has also had her heart set on marrying other boys, generic viagra her first love, Fraser, then rivalled by Callum who declared his love for her at her fifth birthday party in an emotional public display of affection, as he stood up in the middle of the magic show and told all the others that he was he boyfriend. She frequently says she’ll marry her brother and of course, number one choice, her Daddy.

We’ve already got a stack of content for the Father of the Bride speech and expect to add to that repository extensively in coming years.  Not least with snippets from the conversation we had about marriage this week when she announced over spaghetti hoops and toast that she was going to marry Ryan.

Me – Why Ryan?

Little Princess Pink – He’s a bit taller than me.

Me – Is that a good reason to get married to someone?

Little Princess Pink – Yeah, and he shares his crisps with me at playtime.

Me – Do you think that’s why you should marry him?

Little Princess Pink – Nooooooooo (said with ‘duh, mummy’ attitude) You marry people so that you can be with them all the time.

Me – Of course, that’s why I married Daddy. And weddings are lovely.

Little Princess Pink – Yeah, you get to stay up late.

Me – And wear a wedding dress

Little Princess Pink – I know. It’s so you feel like a princess.  But it’s probably a little bit itchy. AND you get a big wedding cake which looks like big towers, there’s one big one, then a middle sized and a small, then a wedding girl and a wedding man on top.

Me – But the best bit is marrying your one true love isn’t it.

Little Princess Pink – Hmm. (Pause) Can you marry two boys ever?

Me – Well, that defeats the purpose.

Little Princess Pink – I think I might not marry Ryan.  Jake has cooler hair.

Something tells me with this one, we’ll need to buy wedding insurance just in case!

Is it bedtime yet?

Today I have shouted. A lot. And loudly. And I’ve cried.

I have just had one of those days where it all seems unmanagable and overwhelming and out of control.

My buttons have been pushed, check my patience has been tested and I’ve not responded in the best of ways.

The children haven’t had their listening ears on, nor has their OCD cleaning and tidying gene which I’d hoped they had inherited from me come to the fore yet.

My ironing pile is gargantun in proportions. My kitchen floor has been swept 5 times and still has pink playdough dots all over it.  As does the livingroom carpet. Which is cream.

I’m having a bad hair day.  My right eyebrow looks curly.  My socks have holes in. Actually, scrap that. They aren’t even my socks. They belong to a man with size 11 feet, which means they are baggy at both the toes and the heels on my ickle size 3’s.

I burnt my tongue on my lunch and I stood on the plug of the hoover.

I fought with the ironing board. Ironed three things, then fought with the ironing board again.

I woke Little Monster Blue from his afternoon nap to get to a family fun day only to find it was bursting at the seams with families and there was little fun to be had.  A consolation face paint did the trick for Little Princess Pink.  A carton of apple juice sweetened Little Monster Blue.

I still have mascara smeared all over my cheeks from my earlier tantrum, and I probably should have sat on the naughty step (with a good book) for 33 minutes (a minute per year old in this house)

So today, I’m telling it like it is.  Sunday Sucked.  I did not like it and strangely, I’m rather looking forward to Monday.

Is it bedtime yet?

 

 

 

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