Archives for January 2012

Thirty One Days in…

The trouble with January is that it follows December. Poor old January, remedy forever tarnished with the bad rep of being miserable, rx depressing and jaw droppingly boring. A stark contrast to December, all warm, filled with laughter, cheer and joy to the world. In December it’s acceptable to wear glittery dresses and sparkly shoes. Not so much in January.

January also gets the unfortunate millstone of being the month in which resolutions are made and broken all at once. Frankly, it doesn’t have a lot going for it. But this year, I wonder if the trend has been bucked just a little?

I look around me at friends who’ve seen their year get off to a cracking start. New businesses have been started, and new qualifications gained. New friendships have been formed, old ones have been tested. New jobs have started and career changing decisions taken. Diets have been started and stuck to. Preparations have been made for the arrival of new babies (three in the space of the next six weeks, I’m a tad broody as a result but guess that’s a whole other blog post I’m not yet brave enough to write!) Big plans have formed to celebrate big birthdays, weddings are on the horizon, honeymoons and holidays booked and that’s us just 31 days in…

Hats (and sparkly shoes) off January, this year, you’ve not been all that bad.

 

 

Simple Pleasures.

Oh what a beautiful morning, no rx oh what a beautiful day..!

I didn’t quite feel like this when the alarm went off at 6am and I cursed the dark January mornings for being so, well, dark.

A cold blast in the shower did little to revive my bleary eyes and tired head, but nonetheless I managed to leave the house make-uped to the max and looking a little less tired than I felt.

The nursery run was a somewhat noisy one this morning with Little Monster Blue and Little Princess Pink providing musical accompaniments in the form of the low parp parping of a harmonica and the shrill whistling of a wooden recorder. Neither in any kind of tune.

Nursery drop off always involves LMB hiding under my long winter coat and pretending he doesn’t really want to leave me for the day, when secretly he can’t wait to get to the painting station.

This morning was different from the off, he was thrown as soon as we walked in the front door, by the fabulous nursery manager who was stood offering all parents tea, coffee or hot chocolate to take away! Imagine! Okay, so it is really basic, but never have I been so chuffed to have someone intuitively know I needed caffeine.

Little Monster Blue safely deposited with his fellow monsters and me with a takeaway coffee in hand (I did feel cheeky asking for the skinny milk option!) and I skipped off to the car for stage two of the morning routine, the school run. Heavily punctuated by sharp piercing whoot whoot whoot on the recorder, but with coffee in hand it was all okay.

Well done nursery for making my morning with your ‘parents surprise.’ Any chance of a glass of wine at pick up tonight?

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My Weekend in Numbers

One. The number of glasses of wine I planned to have  on Friday night.

Two.  The number of minutes I managed to shower in peace and quiet before Little Princess Pink decided she needed to pee in this loo as she’d be ‘too lonely’ in the others.

Three. The number of grandparents who came to visit the littlies.

Four.  The number of shirts I still need to iron for work this week. Bah!

Five. The number of glasses of wine I actually had on Friday night.

Six. The number of mini shortbreads I managed to resist in Costa in favour of my weight watchers caramel wafer biscuit.

Seven. The number of times I’ve rolled my eyes at Super Daddy’s innuendo.

Eight. The number of cups of coffee I felt like I needed to get moving this morning.

Nine. The number of times I loaded, there emptied and reloaded the dishwasher.

Ten. The number I counted to before then still shouting the F word when I caught my finger in the washing machine door.

Thirteen. The number of weight watchers pro-points in the full bag of sour cream and chive party snacks I consumed whilst watching poop on tv on Saturday night.

Twenty Three. The number of times I told Little Monster Blue to move back from the television as he was standing too close (I.e. nose touching screen)

Twenty Eight. The number of candles on my little sisters birthday cake. (Happy Birthday Lou!)

Four Thousand Six Hundred and Seventy Three. The number of grains of rice I had to sweep from the kitchen floor after taking the bag out of the cupboard upside down.

Fifty Five. The number of screaming children in the soft play on Saturday afternoon.

Fifty Six. The number of times I said to Super Daddy ‘is it time to leave yet?’ whilst in the soft play.

One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Nine. The number of pennies I spent on five (lovely) t-shirts for the nippers in Gap. Bargainous much. Yay to 40% off specials.

Seven Hundred. The number of episodes of Fireman Sam I feel like I’ve seen.

Six Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty One. The number of points I scored shaking my toosh to Aha Take On Me on Just Dance 3 on the Kinnect.

Twenty One Hundred. The number of hours at which I will flop into bed, exhausted but contented, happy and ready for another jam packed week ahead!

It’s a buggy disaster!

Did you know that 75% of mums have experienced a “buggy disaster”?

From the absolutely hilarious, pharm to the downright dangerous, medicine over 1,300 mums shared their worst moments out with their pushchairs in a recent survey by MadeForMums.com.

What’s even worse is that over 35% of mums’ disasters happened while using public transport, so we’ve put together our top 10 transport horror stories:

From the embarrassing…

  1. “Every time I went into a shop, my buggy switched all the alarms off. Embarrassing!”
  2.  “I blocked off most of the aisle on a busy bus once – the looks and tuts I got from the other passengers who had to squeeze past me…”
  3. “The wheel broke of my buggy as I was getting on the tube but I didn’t realise until the tube left and I saw the wheel on the platform”
  4. “I was trying to fold down my buggy to get on a bus, while holding shopping and the reins of my child, but it ended up with the shopping rolling down the hill and my child screaming! Luckily the nice bus driver came to offer a helping hand though”

To the super scary…

  1. “I was on the bus and as we went around a corner, the brakes clicked off and my pushchair spun around to the other side of the bus”
  2. “My buggy’s front wheel turned sideways and got stuck between the train and the platform as I was getting off the train. Now I always reverse the buggy off – it was a very scary experience”
  3. “I was walking fast with a stroller when the hard wheel hit the inside curb. The buggy fell forwards onto the ground with my two-year-old inside and I fell head first over the top of it”

And finally, to the worst…

  1. “The train driver shut the doors without looking putting the warning sound on and ripped the wheel off the front of the buggy. I had to walk around central London with three wheels”
  2. “I got on a bus and had to fold up my buggy, as there was hardly any room. When I got off the bus, I left my one-year-old on the seat while I took the buggy off to unfold, but when I turned around, the bus drove off! I had to chase after the bus and when it stopped my one-year-old was on the floor crying AND the bus driver didn’t even apologise”
  3. “I had to change platforms at my train station and was carrying my baby at the same time as trying to bump my pushchair down the stairs. Suddenly I let go and it fell all the way to the bottom! People at the bottom thought there was a baby inside, yet no one tried to stop it! They just stood there with their mouths open!”

With transport at the top of the list for the most common reason for a buggy meltdown, the weather came in second, while faulty wheels came in third and forgetting how to fold the buggy up and down came in fourth.

 

*****

Supermummy: Thanks to Made for Mums for the exclusive on top ten buggy disasters – Perhaps this would be an alternative mode of transport?!

Date night no more.

I did that thing this morning that causes a similar sensation to putting your shoes on the wrong feet.

I woke up thinking it was Thursday.

It took a few seconds of quickly running through the day ahead in my mind (whilst trying to gain some feeling back in my right arm due to the weighty sleeping child still lying across it) before the realisation dawned that it was only Wednesday. Demonstrating exactly how my life has changed since becoming a mum, cheap the mental diary note which prompted me on which day of the week was stretching ahead of me was Little Princess Pinks Rainbow Guides class this evening. Once upon a time it might have been a weekly recurring work meeting, buy viagra a planned evening swim (ladies only naturally, me being as friendly with my swimming costume as I am with my trainers)  or gasp, Wednesday date night with Super Daddy!

Further evidence of the changes from pre-parent days gone by can be found on my Highly Organised But Seriously Lacking in Strategic Activities to do list. The most pressing item for today?

Post dinosaur drawing competition entry to Milkshake! 
 

Written in orange felt tip pen and heavily underlined (stressing its importance, and because I forgot yesterday.)

That item nestles snugly between ‘buy mushrooms for spag bol’ and ‘write cheque for French’. Frankly,  yesterday’s list was much of the same, interspersed with important work calls, the need to submit business cases and reminders to book work travel to London was

‘Gruffalo  birthday cake. Full size or cupcakes? Call Alexandra the cake lady!!!

and

‘Pick up BOYS pull-ups’

(also underlined purely to shame myself for having Little Monster Blue wear princess pull ups for the last three days to use up a pack I found when clearing out the bathroom cupboard.)

I must be clear, I’m not bemoaning the change, but I am simply more aware of it now than I seem to have been even in those early days of sleepless nights and (forgotten) pelvic floor exercises. Gone are the days of a phone call on a random Tuesday evening from one of the girls saying she’s about to pop over with a chinese takeaway, a bottle of plonk and a must hear story about the guy in accounts. No more are the mid week cinema dates where the movie starts later than 9pm.

So here I am on a Wednesday night, where once upon a time I’d be drinking wine and scoffing nachos in a poncey George Street establishment after work, and I’m sitting outside the Rainbows group where they’ve invited along a kids Zumba instructor who could easily be the love child of Balamorys’ Josie Jump and Archie the Inventor such is her energy and fetching pink t-shirt and combats combo. I’m suspecting she may also have had her fair share of coffee and blue smarties today.

Tomorrows’ diary scribblings clearly show its Thursday, we’ve music at nursery in the morning and French class after school, apparently I must also ‘call the council about the wobbly wheel on our wheelie bin.’

Oh and its S.E.X night…or was that last week? …. best check the diary!

Pass the brocolli please.

Dear Little Monster Blue, malady

You love your food, don’t you little man?

Coming into the world at a whopping 9lbs 9oz (nearly three years ago now) it was clear you’d been making the most of the ease of access to nutrition and sustenance whilst tucked up safe and warm in the confines of my tum. Nothing has changed since your arrival. You guzzled so much milk in the early days I sometimes wonder if this is where your love of cows developed. As a baby you were very keen to move onto the harder stuff long before you should have been. Puréed foods were a whole new world of discovery for you, with you often favouring broccoli over banana, which you still do. Blueberries weren’t so much of a hit as the entire light grey interior of my Golf found out when you projectile vomitted their super vitamin goodness all over the back of the car. Tomatoes were a worry in the early days too, swelling lips, quickly developing rashy face, vomitting (again) and a frantic trip to A&E confirmed that you were indeed allergic. But aside those there is nothing that causes you any woes when it comes to your grub.

I quite admire your ‘bring it on’ attitude. Heartening especially when I’m so fond of Being On A Diet. You tackle food with gusto, wrestling corn on the cob all slippery with butter into a tight vice like grip and demolish it in seconds.  You power through platefuls of pesto pasta, using your little hands as scoops when the fork to mouth action is proving to be too slow. In your world, soup was made for drinking, even when it’s chunky, and you crush yoghurt pots like Popeye with his can of spinach and squirt the contents in your mouth, wiping your lips with the back of your hand and looking round for your next target.
When I’m cooking in the kitchen and I hear the pad pad pad of your feet wandering through, I just know the next thing I’ll hear is ‘Can I have something to eat please?’ Your daily nursery reports are always the same when it comes to your mealtimes. Lunch all eaten, seconds requested and plate cleared. You have been known to swipe whatever takes your fancy from my plate if you’ve finished all of yours and I know you trade carrots for broccoli with your sister if I need to leave the table during mealtimes. Not that you don’t line carrots… You just LOVE broccoli. But you’re not a greedy boy, and wont just eat for the sake of it. The pushing of your plate from one end of the table to the other like an ice hockey puck gliding across the ice whilst  shouting ‘take it awaaaay’ at the top of your voice is my least favourite of your less than desirable table manners.
Tonight you took the biscuit, no pun intended. After scoffing your brocolli before I’d even lifted my fork, making a smiley face with the cubes of roast gammon I’d chopped to Little Monster size and filling your Yorkshire pudding with mash and standing all your carrot batons upright in it to ‘make a cake’ you polished off your entire work of art meal with aplomb, declaring afterwards, ‘Im still hungry.’ The same three words followed after your yoghurt, again after a bowl full if grapes. One jammie dodger later and yes, you’re still hungry. Packed off for a bath regardless, being told by Daddy that you’d had enough to eat, you happily go to the bathroom with no fuss. Assuming you were reacquainting yourself with your Mickey Mouse toilet seat after last weeks unsuccessful attempt at toilet training, I left you to it whilst fetching PJ’s and towels.

The look on your face was priceless when I walked back into the bathroom, caught you red handed with the half squeezed toothpaste tube in your mouth and a pasty white beard like your hero Santa Claus.

‘But I was still hungry’ you said.

At least there was no need to fight to get you to brush your teeth tonight big guy.

Love Mummy xxx

PS: bagels and squeezy jam for breakfast tomorrow, followed by a toothpaste chaser?

No, I thought not.

Smug Mum

I’m feeling rather smug after some successful sales shopping today, order no massive bargains to be had on designer handbags or big electrical appliances, order no, no, no. I have well and truly stocked myself up on children’s birthday gifts. Yes, I feel very smug indeed.

Any mum or dad will know just how many party invites come home in school bags over the year. We averaged 3 a month last year between our two and quite frankly the amount spent on ensuring our kids were suitably gifted up to attend  said parties could have bailed out the troubled Eurozone countries.

Not just stopping at gifts, I’ve managed to get gift wrap and generic birthday cards too. How organised am I? No more last minute dashes to Toys R Us on the morning of the party, where nine times out of ten I’d end up spend more than really appropriate on a school friend I only ever see giving his mum backchat in the playground, just because I’m rushing / feeling guilty for not being organised / secretly trying to show we give good gifts . No more.

Yes, I appreciate hosting a kids party these days can require the taking out of a second mortgage and I acknowledge that the parents are kind enough to entertain, feed and fill our kids up with enough E numbers to ensure there’s no bed before 10pm, but surely a birthday gift shouldn’t break the bank.

Gasp. I’m now one of these mums with a birthday present drawer. Never again shall I be caught out by a rogue party invite lurking in the depths of the nursery bag, tucked under nappy sacks filled with wet clothes and three scribbled drawings of the Gruffalo. I’ll just be able to select from my wide array of gifts for girls and boys ranging from aged 3 to 6, wrap it beautifully, and write a tag. I feel serene and calm at the thought.

Now, where did I put the sellotape again?

I promise

New Year.

Goals, diagnosis plans, unhealthy hopes and dreams and the time of year when everyone put pressure on themselves to make resolutions they know they’ll have broken by the 5th January.

This is my list of new years resolutions I vow to keep / mini goals I’ll aim to meet:-

(Progress reports available on request.)

  • I will use body butter or moisturiser every day for silky soft skin
  • I will ‘Just Dance’ on our Xbox Kinnect every weekend (it’s the new clubbing don’t you know) and look ‘fit as’ as a result (though not whilst actually dancing, during that process I will look clumsy and uncoordinated)
  • I will write 500 words a day (excluding shopping lists, lists of things to pack for holidays, lists of jobs to do around the house, lists of presents to buy, lists of things to spend any future lottery wins on)
  • I will do one thing this year that scares me
  • I will stop scoffing Pringles by the tube of an evening
  • I will give everything I have to my friendships and relationships….
  • ….but know when to give up on something that’s not there.
  • I will drink more water every day
  • I will grow my hair
  • I will use my scary lady shouty voice much much less with the kids
  • I will take my make up off every night and use my anti ageing neck cream daily (Deirdre Barlow neck is not a good look)
  • I will read at least one book a month
  • I will get all of my shoes reheeled instead of just buying new ones
  • I will ensure the family all get our five a day and just eat bloody healthily instead of doing faddy diets (ala cabbage soup July 2011)
  • I will plan our garage conversion and save really hard for it (less buying of shoes may help with this)
  • I will learn Spanish. (Note, this has been a goal since I was aged 21.)
  • I will write my book and secure an agent (of the literary variety, not of the CIA or special variety)
  • I will learn how to play call of duty in order to please my husband (this is obviously his second choice of things I can vow to do to please him but my mum and the outlaws read this)
  • I will buy goldfish bowl sized wine glasses
  • I will not be sucked into celebrity big brother even though I’m a little bit curious
  • I will go on one city break with hubby leaving kids in grandparents care for a whole weekend. Eek!

Phew- not massively high brow but how’s that as a starter for ten?!

Happy New Year and hope all your dreams and goals become a reality in 2012.

This post is part of the Brit Mums Blog Hop.

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