Thursday, 31 December 2009

Epiphany!

OK, my Epiphany might be five days early according to the calendar. But when the tree actually collapsed under the weight of the kittens climbing it once too often, my Good Idea – or Epiphany, geddit?? – was to put the damn decorations away already!

We have had an amazing Christmas. Finally, a white Christmas, too. I’m so sick of snow, though. It’s cold, and wet and icy and I think moving nearer the equator may solve a lot of problems next year… Although, for the first time in years, I did NOT have a cold over Christmas. Probably because I had a real humdinger of a cold while Babe was in hospital at the start of the month (so much so that I was terrified to sleep in case I snored*, so stayed awake for three full days straight).(*OK, you know that EVERYONE snores when they have a cold, so don’t point and jeer at me. Huff).

I hope you have all had a wonderful Holiday season, whatever you celebrate, and wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Joyous Erastide.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Suck Up

Thing One wants something.

She has tidied her room. Played with The Babe. She is setting the table as I type. She is co-operating with Thing Two. She has already done her homework. She has begged me to make dinner so it is ready when Himself comes home. She has made him a fabulous pudding.

In short, she is Sucking Up Big Time.

“What will you do when he says no?” I ask.

“Beg.”.

“And when he still says no?”

“Beg.”

“And when he still says no?”

“Beg.”

“And when he still says no?”

“Scream that he is ruining my life and strop up to my room all evening.” She taps the side of her nose and winks. “See? I have a game plan.”

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ka-Boom

Himself borrowed my car… my beloved, almost new car… and it wouldn’t start for him. Leaving it outside the hospital all week had obviously done the battery no favours. He grabbed a mate, bought some cheap jump leads and tried to jump it. Mate’s Jeep Cherokee and our Voyager. Put the leads on, started the engine and WHOOSH. Flames. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. Pull the leads off quickly before the cars themselves go up.

Himself called me. “Mate put the leads on wrong. Sigh.”

Mate drove back to me. “Himself put the leads on wrong. Sigh.”

Called out Green Flag (and boo-yah to those who told me I’d made the biggest mistake going with them this year, they turned up in twenty minutes and had him back on the road in a few minutes more. Hah.) Green Flag laughed himself almost sick. He said that the two powerful cars and the cheap leads had been a recipe for disaster, the surge of the engine had simply ripped through the thin leads. Oh well. At least it stopped Himself and Mate blaming each other to me.

Himself drove my car back to me. Hurrumph. I took great pleasure in pointing out the Heavy Duty jump leads in the boot….

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The Babe has finished the Augmentin and has started on the prophylactic antibiotics. So far so good. Fingers crossed no more infections!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

UTI

When you have a baby you always think you’ll remember everything. You’ll remember their first step, their first word, their first laugh, their first tooth. I’m here to tell you, you won’t. Even the really important stuff, you won’t remember. Write it down!

That’s what I use this blog for, an aide-memoire, hence this entry which is more for me than you. You just get to share it, lucky you!

So. Babe has been ill off and on since September. She has seen the doctor on 4 separate occasions – 24th Sept, 22nd Oct, 23rd Nov and 2nd Dec. All with exactly the same problem – soaring temperature, shaking, throwing up, and pain in her stomach. All showing positive on urine dip test for nitrates, leukocytes etc but only one culture actually positive. All treated with antibiotics – Trimethoprim first, then two lots of Cephalexin and then Augmentin.

2nd December, she was seen at one of her worst points. She was shaking (rigors), almost unconscious and boiling hot – around 39.7c. They gave her Nurofen and admitted her to hospital. Once she got there, the meds kicked in, her temp dropped and she was racing around playing. Sigh. They had to wait for the Nurofen to wear off so they could see her at the “bad” stage. So a few hours later, again with the rigors, temperature in the 39s and so on.

At this point they needed to take a blood culture, so I held her up, as she threw up on one side and they inserted a needle in the other. She screamed, just once, as the needle went in…

Babe stayed in hospital for three days, on IV Augmentin, trying to get her temperature stabilised. Her highest ever temp is 41.3c and she didn’t get close to that this time, thankfully. She whimpered slightly as they did the antibiotics but was otherwise a star patient the entire time.

She’s had a scan on her kidneys, bladder, liver, pancreas and spleen and she is physically fine inside. No abnormalities, no Polycystic Disease. They are muttering about upper UTI now – pyelonephritis, a kidney infection - rather than a lower UTI like cystitis. She’s home now, with oral Augmentin and we go back in two weeks to attend the UTI clinic.

My sister Sharon’s primary cause of death on her death certificate? Pyelonephritis.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Count to Ten

Every time I start to think Thing One is vaguely normal, she demonstrates just why she got landed with the ASD label.

T’other day we parked our car outside a neighbour’s house. Maybe “neighbour” is a bit of a stretch but they do technically live on the same street even if they do live at the other end of it. Thing One glanced at the house.

“That’s 13” she stated. I glanced over. No, it isn’t. It’s 48.

“Not the house number. Just the number!” she sighed.

I obviously looked confused.

“This is a 13. That’s a 12. We live in an 11. That’s a 12, and that one, that one over there is a 13, this one is just a 9….

She has categorized... and memorised… every house in the street. According to the number of visible panes of glass.

Ok then!

And just to prove to us that she isn’t weird, she later admitted to counting:
1. The number of door handle screws in the house.
2. How many patterns in the wallpaper.
3. How many indents in the radiator.
4. The raised bumps on the bathroom stool.
5. The dots on our placemats.
6. The colours in her bedroom (She can’t match Phoebe’s 66…)

At least now I don’t just think she is a bit strange.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Procrastination

I am seriously considering changing my name by Deed Poll to “Will You Just Get On With It Already”. Wygowia for short. All month I’ve been MEANING to swing by, but… you know. Busy, busy, busy. Or, not busy but lazy. One of those.

I just looked back at last November and not much has changed anyway. Guy Fawkes? Check. Birthday? Check. Colposcopy? Dammit, check (it’s tomorrow, eek). Hell, I’ve even had a haircut and been to the dentist. I feel like Groundhog Year just happened.

fireworks-2009 Fireworks!

Thing Two had a parents evening at school. I cried. Sniffle. The teacher used every superlative in the book and then some. Apparently my daughter is reliable, friendly, responsible, neat, intelligent and – QUOTE! - “I wish my own daughter could be like her”. So proud.

On the other hand. Thing One took part in a group dance competition at school. Inter college thing. She’s been AWOL most of the term with late nights and early starts for rehearsals. The competition was today. She didn’t text me the result, so I knew her team had either done spectacularly well or abysmally poor. I’m not allowed to tell you where she placed but here’s a hint. She didn’t win… Heh.

Happy Tenth Birthday Thing Two!

Double figures now, Sweetie. And no broken arm this year, woohoo!

thing-2-10

Friday, 30 October 2009

Imagination

Himself shook Tabasco over his Chilli, since I make it mild for the children. The Babe wanted to try it, so he did the adult trick of shaking the capped bottle vaguely over her plate. Satisfied, she took a huge mouthful.

And gagged. Cried. Started to pant. “Is too hot!”

So I passed my hand over her plate to “remove” the spices. “Phew. Thanks Mummy, that’s better!” And she continued to eat.

I shook my hand. Thing Two cried “Careful, Mum, don’t fling the Tabasco on the floor the dog will eat it and get sick!”

Methinks both of them have a little too much imagination…

Monday, 19 October 2009

Toof-hurty

It ain’t no better, neither.* Apparently I have something called Dry Socket, which I think is Latin for OMFG-IT-HURTS-IT-HURTS-IT-HURTS". I also have an ulcer right on the tip of my tongue, which comes under the header “Kick Me While I’m Down”.

However, I have realised – belatedly, I know – that chocolate could well be included in the “mush” category of food. This is good. Obviously. I have had a slight chocolate addiction ever since I developed hormones and will happily self-medicate with it at a push. Gentle shove. Nudge. Heck, just look at me!

Ally mentioned today that she is also addicted to chocolate. This didn’t surprise me.  I actually assumed all sane, rational women were. Otherwise we wouldn’t be sane or rational.

And especially not sane or rational when in pain. Oh my tooth… gap… hole thingy. I need another Flake to make myself feel better…

*So if a double negative is a positive, a triple negative is… ?**

**This one is here for no reason. I just missed my footnotes. So, how’ve you been?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Hole Not Whole

So. Anyway. Okay.

This? Became a nightmare of epic proportions. Sadist did try and do that root canal but couldn’t access the front root. So having gone through the whole drilling and pulling out root thing, Sadist had to resort to yanking. Except yanking became breaking, became cutting, became levering, became foot on chair, sweating, shaking hell on Earth.

I thought it was strange when the dental nurse offered me a mirror and a wet cloth afterwards until I looked in the mirror and had to wash bits of gum out of my eyes. Blood everywhere. Bits of shattered tooth and gum everywhere. Texas chainsaw massacre had nothing on me.

I’m living on painkillers and Heinz mush. I have regressed to childhood and am eating tomato soup with white bread soaked in and tinned spaghetti – which is actually pretty yummy. No idea why I grew up and stopped eating them. I’m getting zero sympathy but lots of voyeuristic “show us the hole then, eeuurrggghh that’s gross”.

And I just want to say I told you so. I told you dental work was terrifying. Now do you believe me??

Monday, 5 October 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Third Birthday, Munchkin. Love you always.

Untitled-1

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."
Robert Munsch

Thursday, 1 October 2009

When you grow up

Random adult: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Babe: Bigger.

Random Adult: And what do you want to be when you grow up?
Flower: A princess.
RA: And how do you become a princess?
Flower: Marry a king.
RA: And what do princesses do all day?
Flower: Dance.
RA: Oh. Got this sussed, haven’t you?
Flower: I get to shop too.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Gah!

As usual, I go to the Primary School to collect Thing Two. I wander blithely into the playground to be met by a confused smile from Fay.

“Why are you here??” she asks.

Oh. I arranged for Thing Two to be collected by Fay to play with her children after school, didn’t I? I don’t actually need to be at school, do I? The worst thing is, I do this every time. I’m a ditz. Grrr.

Oh well. I’ll go to the Senior School to collect Thing One from her after school club (who is currently grounded and getting collected from clubs instead of sauntering home when she feels like it). I’m a bit early, but I can just wait outside, it’s a nice day.

I arrive. Find a spot to settle. Settle down. Flick through a magazine. My phone buzzes with a text (currently the Boing Boing song from Dora the Explorer.) (What’s wrong with that??) from Thing One. “Club cancelled. On bus home.”

Oh.

Aaarrgghh.

I just wasted an hour trailing around schools. I am a numpty.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Horseshoe!

That is The Babe, lying on my bed this morning, feigning sleep. She lay there, eyes closed, snoring “horseshoe”. Really. “Horse-shoooe”. Try it.

She’s had One Of Those Weeks, actually. I have mentioned her ability to rival Vesuvius… several times… since she decides any illness, no matter how mild, is no fun without a fever. So she topped the forties again. We got very little sleep, so come Sunday morning we just wanted a little snooze, a little lie-in, with her giggling “horse-shoe” between us. Sigh.

The Babe has been coming to work with me recently. I work in a pre-school so it is a lot of fun for her. Her best friend, Flower, also started Nursery School this term.

Flower: Babe, what’s your teacher called?
Babe: Mummy.
Flower: No.. your TEACHER. Who is your teacher?
Babe: MY MUM.
Flower: Noooo! Sigh. Mydonna, who is Babe’s teacher?
Me: I am.

Flower is absolutely disgusted that we don’t appear to know the difference between mummies and teachers.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I can’t think of a title

Thursday we had guests for dinner. Kid guests, so pizza and salad type dinner. Buy pizzas, add toppings, chuck in oven type dinner. When you smell burning, open oven door, have it fall off in your hand type dinner.

Yes. The oven door. Fell off into my hand. Fell. Hot door. My hand. Yes.

Unbelievable.

Now I have a shiny new oven, hurrah!

Have you all noticed something by the way? That I only ever get shiny new when old and crappy finally falls apart? I never get shiny new just for the sake of shiny new. Hmm. I should complain about this to whoever controls the Budget. Which would be me.

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Friday, I took my tired old teeth to the dentist again. He’s been working on my impacted wisdom teeth, and I had an owie bit. He poked. He prodded. It wasn’t my wisdom tooth. The owie is another tooth. I have to have a root canal.

I’m scared of dental work, by the way. (I used to be scared of dentists but an old classmate is a dentist and he isn’t scary so I can’t be scared of him. I’m just scared of what he does). The idea of dental work... especially something as horrifyingly scary as a root canal… is a tad “worrying”.

Well, he said. I can always just yank it out instead.

I’m not even forty yet, am I not a bit young to lose my teeth? The lily-livered majority of me is leaning very heavily toward the yank it option. The tiny bit of rationality in me knows I have to do the unthinkable, but whoo boy. Very scared.

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To keep things in perspective though, an update. Thomas has started his chemotherapy. He is fighting every step of the way. Fighting taking the medicine I mean, poor kid. He’s still in hospital but they are hoping to at least visit home one day this week or next week. Keep on sending those good thoughts and vibes, people, please.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Thoughts, prayers, good vibes

On Thursday, a little boy looked a bit peaky at school. He still looked not quite himself on Friday morning so his mum took him to the doctor… who sent him to hospital… who sent him to a big city hospital. And less than a week later, they have the results. This perfect little boy, who just looked a bit peaky, has leukaemia.

I can’t imagine how this family feels. I can’t imagine the shock, the terror, the panic. I can’t put myself in that situation. All I can do is pray for them.

Please, whatever Deity you believe in, pray for this little boy. Or if you don’t believe in that, then send him your thoughts and vibes. His name is Thomas and he is just six years old.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Circus

Took the offspring to “The Greatest Show On Earth” (TM) last night. The older two go most years, but this was The Babe’s first time. She loved it, right up to Intermission when “Me go home now, me tired, let’s go now. Now. Now peeeeeaaaase.” Then Pedro the Clown came on and she laughed so much the entire Big Top resounded with toddler giggles. Thank you Pedro!

At one point, the entire ring went black. A shadow appeared and a single spotlight illuminated the Man in Black. Black leather trenchcoat, chains on his black trousers and tight fitting black shirt displaying his rippling six pack. Like the hunkiest Matrix actor. He brooded between his lashes at us, and then a small white ball appeared in his hand. Anticipation. Is he a magician? A daredevil? What is about to happen? And then he bounced his little ball. You’re kidding. Matrix hunk’s show is BOUNCY BALLS??? Funniest (even though admittedly very skilful) thing ever.

We also bought some candyfloss. The Babe: “Me try it! Not want yours! Me want my OWN!” I pulled a small piece of the stick and offered it to her. “Euurgghhh, no, it’s FLUFF! It’s HAIR! It’s DISGUSTING!” Don’t want your own anymore, huh? She still mentioned it this morning and still thinks we are gross for eating hairy fluff.

(Ouch - kitten just fell backwards off my lap, digging his claws in to try and save himself. My leg is bleeding. Going now. Owww.)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

9.9.9

dwocbanner

Today was declared to be A Day Without Cats. The notion seemed to originate over on Urlesque, but was quickly taken up by many other sites who think today – just for one day – we should ban images of cats, mention of cats, and purrfect puns relating to cats.

And of course, I will bow to the will of those Oppressors and support No Cat Day, by not using the word cat in my blog at all, on this, No Cat Day. I shall save the pictures and tales of my kittens to next Caturday.

=^..^=

Back to School

Well, that’s a very quick seven weeks over, innit? And, bizarrely it piddled down from the very last day to the very first day – or so it seemed anyway. And on Monday the sun came out and it’s been glorious ever since. Now I’m not saying that the weather has a Freudian twist to it, but Someone Up There seems to have a very dark sense of humour!

Naturally, Thing Two has already lost her school cardigan. Naturally, Thing One got lost finding her classrooms. Naturally, Thing Three aka The Babe has whinged constantly that she wants to go to school. And naturally, I’ve been revelling in the freedom of fewer kids and have accomplished absolutely nothing this week.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Copycat?

I have a kitten who thinks he is a parrot.

By which I mean, obviously, that he likes to sit on my shoulder. Not that he repeats everything I say. Cats can’t talk. You know that. I know that. Ally, on the other hand….

When I mentioned last night that kitten thought he was a parrot, Posh understood straight away. Ally on the other hand – and I quote - “had images of a cat mimicking you”.

Seriously, Ally. Cats don’t talk!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Babe Stories

Madam is standing in front of me. She rings an imaginary bell.
“Ding Dong.”
“Who is it?”
”Trick or Treat” she cries.
”Oh, trick please.”
She stops, dumbfounded and confused. I laugh and try and explain…
”It’s trick or treat, honey”.
”Yes. Treat please!” She says smugly….

(Blame Nickelodeon and out of date programming for this one.)

I was reading a blog a week or so ago and chuckled at a specific antic. Blow me if The Babe didn’t do the exact same thing the other day…. She was colouring on orange paper with her crayons. She picked up the orange crayon, scribbled on the paper, stopped, looked at the crayon, scribbled again. Stopped. Looked at crayon.
“Is broken!”

mads-facepaint

This photo... I have no words. She doesn’t look too impressed either. Thing One’s attempt at… a face-painted creature of some description although I have no idea what.

Yeah.

Moving on…

Thing One has a new game with The Babe. We have a jewelled hairband, very pretty, belongs to Thing Two. The Babe thinks it is a crown and she is princess. Except if anyone else wears it, they are suddenly promoted to the Queen. The Babe will look... bow deeply... "Your Mas-jest-ey!"

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Camp Rock

We did try that “sleeping in a field” thing again, and… it wasn’t that bad actually. The Babe had to stay in the car until we were set up so she didn’t trip on the ropes again, the dog went to kennels, we checked the weather forecast and we used nice new tent.

                   tent Camp

Sunny and warm, we camped next to a river which the girls adored, we stayed up late drinking tea (!) and playing charades (!!) and we all agreed that, okay, we could tolerate this roughing it deal. The only bad thing was the cold when we went to bed, but more experienced campers have pointed out my errors so hopefully next time we go my face won’t freeze so bad I can feel my own breath. I may just take a balaclava just in case. That wouldn’t be weird, right? Me stumbling to the loo blocks in the middle of the night in pjs, jumper, wellies and balaclava…?

                  river Rock. Snerk.

The next trip is already booked!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Photos!

tiz1

tiz2

tiz3

tiz4

Yes we have two cats… here’s the other one…

tab1

The Babe loves the kittens… but loves her bed more. If they won’t move, she’s sleeping anyway.

my-bed

This post has nothing to do with the fact that I have nothing of interest to say at all. Sigh.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Klutz

In answer to yesterday’s question – Yes. Yes it is. And here is the proof.

nose

Now okay, it’s almost impossible to see. But if you squint and turn your head sideways you can just see the bruising and swelling on the right (her left). They have no idea if it is actually broken, because of the swelling, but it is possible apparently. Marvellous.

Oh, and this is her “See my smile, Mumma, is orange!”

Now you may notice a slight difference in the tone here, compared to last year’s rather hysterical post. That is because I have decided that my children are totally and utterly clumsy and accident-prone and there is no point getting upset at each and every bump anymore. I have no idea where they get this trait from – it must be Himself’s influence.

In other news, today for dinner we had baked potatoes. I washed and scrubbed them, threw them on a tray and proceeded to merrily stab each one with wilful glee. As you do. Raise arm and swoop down to STAB. And AGAIN. And AGAIN… and oh my that smarts a little, and look I have stabbed my thumb and the knife is stuck tip first in the bone and oh wow that really hurts now….

I am not a klutz.

Glutton for Punishment

“Anyone who decides to sleep in a field of their own free will is crazy”. Seriously.

I have a perfectly nice house. It’s a bit messy, but it has walls and a roof and central heating and a kitchen and wifi and several thousand books. So why did I agree to sleep in a field with sheep baa-ing over the river at me?

I’d say camping was Hell, except at least Hell is warm and dry. The rain was horrific, not least when we were wading through a couple of centimetres of puddle inside!

The dog thought we were loons and every time someone unzipped the “door” he darted out to sit next to the car. “Come on people, you’ve had your joke. I’ll be nice to the kittens if you take me home now.”

And The Babe tripped on a guy rope, fell forward to the next getting a nice rope burn on her throat and bashed her face. Blood everywhere. Today her nose is doubled in size and is bruised all the way up to her eyes. Is it even possible for a child to break their nose?

I have to admit… the tent ended up at the tip this morning. Never, never again.

Not in that tent anyway. I bought a nice new one this afternoon…

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Last Day…

… of school. And it RAINED! Even the weather is upset. Seven weeks. Oh dear lord. Seven weeks.

As for the rain. It may interest you to know there was some sort of seagull paddling in my street today. No, I don’t leave near the seaside. No, I don’t live near a stream or river. But there was a gull. Paddling. In. The. Street.

I’ve had such a productive few days. I have cleared an old office at work, which was chest high with crap, to turn it into a sitting room. Somewhere for everyone to have lunch, have meetings in comfort, for the kids to play in. I threw away, amongst others, a huge desk, three computers, a laptop, a giant TV, 3 pairs of curtains, about ten miles of assorted wiring, two stereos, sixteen video cassettes, 3000 payslip envelopes, two tents, 150 old price lists, 1997's Argos catalogue, a magazine from 1991.... You get the idea. I did have to chase Himself around to stop him grabbing rubbish and hiding it to keep. Like that magazine from 1991. Seriously. Man, that guy can hoard. If I die first he is going to become one of those men who have to dig through piles of tat just to get to the bed!

Anyway, there is now a lovely empty room, ready to decorate and furnish. Thing One has asked if she and her friends can do it. We give her a budget and just leave her to it. Ha. I said no. She said “The summer holidays start tomorrow. I give it 3 days before you change your mind just to get rid of us”.

I’m already considering it….

Monday, 13 July 2009

Just One More?

One great thing about the End of Year at school is reading reports, attending Award Ceremonies, and all the fun days they plan to reward students for their hard work. (In an ideal world, anyway).

Sometimes I do get a teensy bit put out with the lack of warning given (Hey, come see your kid this week, we don’t care about your childcare or work or whatever, just drop everything and come dance attendance. Oh and whip up a fabulous costume overnight while you are at it, and bake us a dozen fairy cakes….) Cough. Sorry. Bit of bile there.

mexican-dress

Here is Thing Two, at a multi-cultural day. We were aiming for the idea in the small insert, and I don’t think we did that badly…. Doesn’t she look great?

Earlier in the week, she’d also participated in a Music Recital. Now, the last time I heard Thing Two play the recorder she was massacring the scales, reaching notes that made the dog come to heel for the first time in his life. It was painful. So at the assembly, I sat gamely, squaring my shoulders, fixing my proud maternal smile in place and prepared to applaud my daughter regardless of what she actually did.

And she blew me away. I couldn’t even take a picture, never mind record it. She played, beautifully, Jazzmania, My Heart Will Go On and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. My girl. She did so good.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Brag Post

I don’t do these often but sometimes you just have to! As you know, Thing One was nominated for an award at her school. She was scared and unhappy and so, so heartbroken at leaving her friends to go to Secondary School, but she settled in and made new friends and we are very proud of her.

The school called an assembly today to hand out awards to all the Year Seven’s who had excelled in one form or another. Thing One was awarded….

Drum Roll…..

Positive Attitude to Learning

Yr 7 Achievement in Science

Yr 7 Top Achiever in Maths

Baby, I am so proud of you, and so happy that you are happy.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Homework

A car of mass 900kg has an engine which exerts a force of 450N on the car. How long does the car take to accelerate from 0-10m/s?

Please finish the page, and see me. Detention for anyone who fails to understand and thus doesn’t hand in their homework. I have explained it once, it isn’t my fault if you weren’t listening, now please get on with it.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Did I Blink?

When did this happen? Seriously? Brushing all the clich├ęs aside about how quickly they grow up, yadda yadda yadda… I swear last time I looked she wasn’t this grown up, nor this beautiful.

alex-june2009 Oh Boy…alex-july2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

Kittens!

cats

Aren’t they sweet? We did end up with another, the little boy on the left is Tizer, and his sister on the right is Tab. No, I didn’t name them. Sigh.

They are recovering well, although they are very young, only around five weeks. They did start off being syringe fed, and then finger fed, but they picked up lapping from a bowl really quickly. They hate their medicines, and spit at us when we give them, but are otherwise very tame. Tizer in particular is very affectionate and playful so far.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

All Three are the Charm

Thursday: The car. Finally. We bought a new car. We’ve only been looking for three months! However we found a car that fits all my requirements – especially that “made by Chrysler” thing - and it’s like driving a monster truck! Still, nice to have a reliable car so we can get away for weekends again.

Friday: Except we can’t. Get away for weekends I mean. Because last night we had a new arrival – and in all likelihood today we will be getting another! Unnamed, very poorly and very very young…

cat Here he is. Aww!

Name suggestions welcome please. Thing Two suggested Lolly and Pop. Thing One suggested Fish and Chips. Both are being ignored.

Saturday: Got back from taking poorly kitten to vet just now, and found a letter from Thing One’s school. Any parent with older children know The Fear these things bring, so I ripped it open and… she’s been nominated for an award. Oh my… {sniffle}…. am so proud.. can’t speak….

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Arrogance

What do I hate the most?

Well yes, okay, moths rank up there quite highly.

Yes, fine, I detest rudeness.

Counting years… yes, that too.

But above all else, what makes me the most uncomfortable? Yes, you in the fuchsia? Talking about myself, right! And right now I am having to write 100 words about myself for a charity. It is taking forever. I’m on sentence two, which has been re-written 16 times already. Sentence one needs polishing too.

Why am I labouring this so much? I can witter on mindlessly here. Why can’t I do the same THERE? I’ve actually come here... to talk about myself, natch… as light relief. The thing is, you see, is that this has to be a positive piece and who in hell is comfortable bragging about themselves? I can do self deprecating as easily as breathing. Belittling is easy. Commendation… well isn’t that just a touch conceited?

There’s a reason I work for myself you know. I can’t write my own C.V. either (resume for those of you on the wrong side of the pond). Sigh.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Weird?

It was my 13th Wedding Anniversary this week. Bleurgh. We tend not to actually celebrate our anniversary as much as use it as a pawn in our constant one-upmanship. So, if one of us happens to remember  – unlikely, since we aren’t actually sure of the date and have to look it up, but it has happened – we hug it to ourselves like a delicious secret, with the sure knowledge that we know something and our opponent doesn’t.

This year, I remembered. I waited all day listening to the sound of his silence on the subject. Later in the evening I slipped out and bought some flowers and chocolates. Gave them to him with a flourish – Happy Anniversary Darling, I cry, with an expectant look on my face. He fumbles. It is joy to watch. He completely forgot and I wrong-footed him.

I win!

Ally thinks I am a bit weird to be happy that he forgot our anniversary. I think she can’t have been married long enough to realise the skill required to outmanoeuvre your opponent. She doesn’t think her husband is her opponent. I say HAH!

She also thinks I am a bit weird because of this:

bruise

This is my arm, the day after donating blood. I have given blood lots of times and I have never bruised. I have had innumerable blood tests. I don’t bruise. This butcher got hold of me and that bruise is huge and sore and it is so COOL!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully it is t-shirt weather and I get to show it off.

That isn’t weird, right?

Monday, 15 June 2009

In Which I Have A Nervous Breakdown

“Oh for Goodness sake. If you are going to cry then you can’t come. Stop sniffing. Sigh. Just stop it, stop it now, or you are staying home!”

Harsh? Maybe. But Thing One didn’t want me crying all over her when I dropped her off at school for her trip to Barcelona and needed me to pull my act together. So I sucked it up, and didn’t cry… until after I had dropped her off and got home, anyway.

Can I quickly point out to Barcelona airport that YOU SUCK!? Checked their online arrivals to ensure she had landed safely. No report. Checked again. Nothing. Checked again. “This flight has been delayed or cancelled”. That is…. not good.

Checked her departure airport. Their departures board only shows flights leaving soon, not those already left. Gah. Phone their flights information line. Automated. “Please state the flight number”. Did so. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. Please type the flight number into your handset.” Okay. “There are no flights at that time.” What? I didn’t say anything about the time. “Would you like to check a different time?” Fine. Say the time. “You are checking flights to Cairo. Is that correct?” Headdesk. No! “Please state destination.” Barcelona. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. Are you a Martian?”

OMGRRRRAWRRRRR!!!!!

Repeat the above several times. Yes, really.

Send incoherent email to Posh and Ally. I may have mentioned that my daughter was “lost in space”. Ahem. {Blush}.

She has arrived now, since she texted me to say so. But the online arrivals board? Is still showing that the flight hasn’t even left yet. I think I’ll get drunk the day she flies back.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Going Away

‘Fess up. Whose asinine, foolish, stupid idea was this? Who thought that it would be okay for my First Born to go on a school trip – not just across a few town boundaries but across international borders?? I know it wasn’t my idea, I remember saying a very firm no before Himself over-rode me. Maybe now he’ll realise that my decisions are right and his are wrong? Because in less than 48 hours time my baby is getting on a plane and flying away from us. And it is killing me!

Actually, apart from all the mental anguish, the “whatifs” (which need to be buried in a very deep pit and not brought to light again until she is home), the simple logistics of it are bugging me too.

They must take, for example, exactly this amount of clothing, including this amount of towels, this amount and type of footwear and must pack it all in a space exactly 30x15x15 which isn’t actually all that big you know.

They must bring a packed lunch for the first day including a drink stored in a clear re-sealable container of less than 100ml. Which is physically impossible, but hey.

Worst of all, though, is that I must have her packed and ready to leave the house at 5.30am. Aaarrgghh. Do you remember the days when you only ever saw 5.30am as maybe a bit late, on the way to bed after a good night? And not as a ridiculously early start? 5.30am. Ugh.

I’m still looking for an excuse to ground her for some minor infraction, because I’m telling you – she is not going. Sniffle.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

R.I.P Harry, father of Himself and Silly and Grandfather to Things One, Two and Three.

15.07.45 – 02.06.09

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Meet NB!

I thought it was about time you were introduced to the newest member of our family. No, I didn’t have a baby. Or buy a kitten. Tut. This is so much better.

Remember Silly? This is about her. She will die of shame if I tell you this story but, meh. It’ll entertain you and me for a while, huh?

Once upon a time there was this cute guy who used the same gym as Silly and shopped where she worked, so they saw each other fairly often. Both would stammer and blush a little, and I’m sure things would have progressed naturally but it was not to be.

Colleague decided that nature was too slow so she sidled up to him and hissed out of the corner of her mouth “For God’s sake ask her out, I’m sick of listening to her go on and on about you.”

Subtlety, thy name is NOT colleague.

Still it worked and he asked her out and they arranged a date. All good, huh?

Except the morning after the date, Silly was nowhere to be found. There was a note in her mother’s kitchen to please wake her for work (they live next door to each other). There was loud music coming from her flat, her car was outside, she was in but not answering the phone or door.

Babcia, Silly’s mother, called me in a panic. “I’ve called and knocked and shouted, and had to go to work but am still trying her phone with no answer and now I’m worried. She might have fallen and hurt herself, please go and check on her!”

Himself, Silly’s brother, called me in a panic. Cute guy “might have chopped her body up and stuffed her into black bags, go check on her!” (Note to self: ban Himself from any and all future episodes of CSI).

Me: She’ll have got drunk and is now sleeping off a hangover, leave her alone!

Them: She ASKED to be woken. PLEASE check on her. Otherwise WE will.

Me: (Mentally running rapidly through more realistic scenarios and deciding I was the least of the bad options*). Fine, I’ll go. Sigh.

So I go and knock on her door. No answer. I get a key from Babcia’s flat down the hall, and unlock Silly’s door, shouting her name from the doorstep. No answer. I enter and turn the music down. Shout again. No answer. I knock loudly on her bedroom door. No answer. Oh for goodness sake. Don’t make me do this, I really don’t want to.

I open the bedroom door. Waves of alcohol fumes waft past me, tearing my eyes and choking me. There is a lump, snoring on the bed. A filthy foot has flopped out from under the duvet. I tap the foot with my foot (ok fine, I kicked it. Gently. -Ish). A groan and then a tousled head emerges from the duvet.

Not SILLY’S tousled head. Cute gym guy blinks at me in genuine confusion. Ah. The devil in me takes over. I perch on the bed.

“Hello!” I chirp. “I’m a complete stranger arrived to transport you to your personal hell. It’s nice to meet you!” Then I bounce on the bed a little, just enough to watch his face turn green.

Another tousled head emerges – Silly’s this time – and the waves of alcohol fumes lift slightly for me to see various... uh… “accoutrements” scattered around the room. Various “novelties” if you will. Silly glances at her phone. “FIFTY ONE missed calls?!”

Laughing like a hyena, I retreat and lock myself out, making a note to one day blog about Silly and her Naked Boyfriend.

(*Considering the actual scenario, Silly is very very grateful that I went to wake her and not Himself or their Mother. So is Naked Boyfriend. Bwah-ha-ha!)

Naked Boyfriend bought breakfast for everyone at work as an apology, and made rueful jokes so…  we are keeping him. He’s cool. But he is now, and will forever be, Naked Boyfriend!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The One where I Lose My Mind

I lost my phone! Actually that isn’t as dramatic as it sounds because I lose my phone several times a day. The usual place it’s found is in the car, between the two front seats.

So, I lost my phone just now, had a quick look in the usual places and couldn’t find it. Not in the car. Not on “the side” (1), not in the car, not in my bag. Hmm. Not in the kitchen, not inside The Babe’s push along car or her play handbag. Hmm. Not in the fridge, nor the breadbin. Not in the bathroom cabinet.

Grump. Around this point I lose the will to continue looking. Himself is out so I shout Thing One to ask what my phone number is (2). And I called myself. As you do.

Straight away I heard the phone jingling away (Kate Nash “Foundations” since you ask. And yes, I do ignore the phone calls to sing along sometimes). Oh relief. It’s on my desk! I lift all the paperwork and… no phone. Hmm. Maybe it fell down the back? No. Inside my chair? On the windowsill? Behind the curtain? No? For goodness sake, the phone is really loud, it must be here somewhere.

Oh, you know where it was? You caught on quicker than me then.

Yes. In my pocket. Grrr.

(1) Himself thinks “the side” is hilarious. It refers to absolutely any surface in any room, and could refer to the mantle, a worktop or even a window sill. And yet *I* always know which “side” I mean, as does anyone else who puts things “on the side”. Do you put things “on the side” or do you actually NAME the surfaces?

(2) Oh come on, NO-ONE knows their own mobile telephone number. Most people don’t even know their home number!

P.S. Obnoxious Child (formerly known as Thing One) is smirking and calling me a doofus since I didn’t realise the phone was in my pocket. So I won’t tell you that as she was reading this she asked me “How do you call your own phone?”

Uh. On the landline? Doofus.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

OK, enough

I’ve about had it, ok? Just stop now. Really. There are limits. In no particular order;

1. Diagnosing Himself’s father with inoperable, terminal cancer was bad.

2. That cancer being far more aggressive than anyone could guess was bad too. We only found out a couple of weeks ago, and already he is going into a hospice? That’s just crap.

3. Lil Sis ending up in end stage renal failure is bad.

4. Taking her sight too? That’s crap.

5. Good friend turning up on my doorstep telling she has just had her first bout of chemo? Bad again.

6. In addition, minor things like a three week bout of conjunctivitis – for god’s sake this is ridiculous just un-stick your bloody eyes already -and a ten day stomach flu thing affecting us all… well that is pretty shitty too.

amy 7. But really, this too? Finding our beloved cat fallen and unable to rise. Calling the girls to her while we hold her, and stroke her and tell her how much we love her. And she purrs and curls her paw in my hand. And then Himself lifts her gently into her basket and takes her to the vet. And stays with her while she receives that injection because the fall was a stroke.

That is the shittiest of all.

See you on the Rainbow Bridge.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Interview with a Toddler

(BlogRoll)

Hey Babe, can I ask you a question? “In a minute.………. hang on……. yeah?” (Hmm. This lack of respect thing is starting younger and younger).

Ready? What is something Mummy says to you? “Hug ME!” (Well. OK.)

What makes Mummy happy? “Me” (Awww! No false modesty this one.)

What makes Mummy sad? “Me” (Oh.)

Can Mummy make you laugh? How? “Not be horrible a me.” (Hurrumph)

How old is Mummy? “Years! A’ you finished?” (No pocket money for 5 years!)

How big is Mummy? “Bigger than me” (Ten years!)

What does Mummy want to do? (Wanders away, picks up some Top Trumps). “Play cards.”

What is my job? “Cleaning up mess” (Grrr.)

What is my favourite food? “Red” (Guess she is distracted now?)

What do we do together? “Dance” (That’s a yes then).

Are we the same? “Yes. I playing”

Are we different? “No. You playing”

Do you know I love you? “Yes”

What do you want us to do together? “Turn the TV on! Come on, mum, come on.” (I guess she has had enough.)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Um

The thing with regular blogging is that quite often you have absolutely nothing to say, because your life is either just that CRAP or you just have that much crap going on which is too depressing to write down. And the funny runs away and quivers under the bed lest you flog it and churn out even more crappy not funny jokes and the punctuation and grammar join it and become this huge Monster-Under-The-Bed with flailing furry arms that is called Snortimer. But Snortimer is afraid of the light so you can't even haul him out and use him as a teddy bear so what use is he?

But, you know. It's a BLOG. You have to write it.

So. Write, write, write. Type, tip tap type. Insert thoughts from my head here. My tummy is full from my dinner but I still need to eat one wafer thin after dinner mint. I wonder if the girls did their homework? I wonder where Himself has gone? COME BACK! I didn't REALLY eat that wafer thin mint. Yet.

The sun is out which is typical because it was piddling down this afternoon but now that the shops are shut the sun comes out, which is no bloody good because I can't go out shopping now can I?? Not that I enjoy shopping that much but it's my birthday/anniversary this week so Himself and the Rabble need to go buy me a card. If they know what is good for them.

It's the 16th Anniversary of my 21st Birthday, in case you were interested.

Oh and I didn't mention that the dog got sick and had an operation, but he is fine now anyway, thanks for asking. Stitches are out now and he is behaving as usual - lolling around as if even breathing is too much effort interspersed with periods of insane manic activity.

I still have nothing to say so will shut up now and go away before you notice that I am talking crap and oh why am I still typing just stop now please. Ok.

(Inspired post.)

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

MEN!!!

Men are useless. Can I get a Hell Yeah, or will anyone dissent? {Counts hands} Motion carried!

I've never actually left my children before, apart from a single night when my father was dying and a brief two night stay giving birth to The Babe. They have left me, many times, to go to camps or sleepovers or whatever. Himself has gone on business trips and holidays without us. But me? No. So escaping with Posh and Ally was a surreal feeling.

I cooked meals and froze them, ensured there were enough clean undies, helped the girls plan their social lives ("What do you mean you are going away and leaving us with Dad? Right, I'm staying with my friends, you can collect me on your way home!").

And what did he do?

He went out on Friday and bought enough disposable plates bowls and cutlery to last the weekend.

He ordered takeout for every meal that he had to cook (read defrost and re-heat. I'd already cooked!). Even breakfast was at McDonald's!

He roped in his sister to help him on the only day he actually HAD the girls.

He neglected to do any laundry - in fact there was some unsorted clean laundry in our room which he covered with a duvet cover "to stop the animals getting on it". Why he didn't just fold it and put it away I don't know.

Oh, and he forgot to ensure the girls did their homework until I was actually driving home.

Grrr.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My Holiers!

We’ve had the most amazingly relaxing weekend! Even the children were perfectly behaved, adorable and entertaining. Of course, I didn’t give birth to 2/3rds of them which may account for that.

Posh, Ally and I – and our toddlers – had managed to sneak away sans husbands and older kids. We spent a blissful four days secluded in a secret cabin in the middle of nowhere, drowning our woes in copious glasses of alcohol and mopping up the remains with some wonderful food - and occasionally dunking ourselves in a steaming hot tub.

The Babe opened her eyes our first morning there and gazed around. “This is not my home.” she stated matter-of-factly.

“No, Babe.. we’re on our holidays,” I told her - whereupon she flung herself out of bed to find “my fwends, mummy” and the toddlers never stopped playing until they dropped, exhausted, into their beds each night, leaving us adults to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.

madslivia

Our last night there we were immersed in the hot tub, having reached that particular state of squiffiness that leads to intellectual  conversations – to whit, the difference between chauvinism and chivalry. I quote “Well, ya know.. wor ah mean is.. well.. yeah…” to which we nodded sagely, thinking the speaker profound. You know what that’s like.

I popped out to check on The Babe, patting a particular lump in the bed… that wasn’t her. Just bundled up duvet. Hmm. Is she here, pat pat? Here, pat pat? I turned on the lights – no Babe! I flew into the sitting room “There’s no baby in my bed!” I gasped. The other two looked at me – and we collapsed in giggles. Pushing and shoving we all ran back to my room, snorting and shoving hands into our mouths to stop the explosive laughter, as we found The Babe face down, snoring beside the bed, having rolled out in her sleep and not woken.

It was bliss. I highly recommend a girlie weekend away to make you lose your blues, at least for a bit!

diandem 

Oh, the high life….

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Lists

I need lists. I thrive on post-its. I have memo upon memo piled on my desktop. It’s a complete pigsty that looks like pure chaos but I know what is there. Unless people move things. Please don’t tidy my desktop because I’ll end up too confused. I can’t function without lists.

For example. At Christmas I write lists of people to send cards to. Lists of people I need to buy gifts for. Lists of the lists that the children have written. Lists of menus. Lists of groceries. Lists of decorations. Lists of the lists so I don’t lose a list.

Wait. You know this, I think. Oh yes. Maybe I should write a list of the things I have already written here?

{Gets sidetracked…}

 

 

 

Oh, are you still here? My point here was going to be that I’m going away tomorrow, for a long weekend with some friends. And I haven’t started writing my lists yet. And subsequently I have absolutely no idea of what I am doing and am internally panicking while externally procrastinating my sitting here.

I really need to start making my lists or I’m going to have to pull a sickie.

Memo to self: list of clothes, medicines, toiletries, food, activities, days out, telephone numbers….

 

 

Are you STILL here???

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dilemma Redux

So the previous entry turned out to be a bit of a non-event. Thing One and Thing Two bickered so much that they are both grounded. No sleepovers. All that angst for nothing.

This week I had an interview to volunteer with Home-Start, which is something I am ridiculously excited about! I even decided to treat myself to some non-denim trousers for this special occasion. I live in jeans, you see. I opened my purse to find that Himself had placed some cash and a little note in there as a surprise for me.. so I think I shall keep him. Even though he is really getting on my nerves otherwise.

With my extra cash I hit the shops, and I bought.. umm…. two school dresses for Thing Two, two school skirts for Thing One, some T-shirts and shorts for The Babe, and a baby Hello Kitty for The Babe. And, uh… nothing for me. Typical.

The interview went very well regardless, even wearing last year’s trousers.

Thursday, The Babe was sleeping late. I kept checking on her, making noise and leaving the lights on, but she lay in bed, eyes closed. Finally I ran my hand over her tummy “Morning Babe, wake up”.

“I am awake!” Came the indignant reply “My eyes are stuck!” Uh-oh. Sure enough her eyes were glued shut and we have been fighting conjunctivitis ever since. This is the bane of all nurseries, as you probably know, so I scored a day off work. Always a silver lining, huh?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Dilemma

Let’s just establish this now. I am a helicopter parent. I hover over my children. I do. I know I do. I can’t help it. When they were born they tried to get Himself to cut the umbilical cords with a pair of scissors but I rugby tackled him and stayed connected to my babies. The umbilical cord doesn’t stretch very far and I know eventually the girls are going to have to yank and chew it to get the hell away from me. I know that.

Having said that. Thing One came home today and mentioned in an off-hand manner that she was away this weekend.

Because this is how it works nowadays, don’t cha know? No nice handwritten (or even computer printed) invitations, with addresses and phone numbers. Oh no. At most she’ll get a text “ma bday satdy u cmng?.

The dilemma I have is... I have no idea who this girl is. Or where she lives. Or her surname. Or if her parents have have criminal records checks. Or anything in fact. I barely know her name. How can I stalk them to see if they are suitable people to look after my precious if I can’t google them???

However Posh is telling me to let her go. She is says she understands my reluctance, my trepidation, my paranoia, my outright stifling omg will you let those children go already… She says “at some point, you are going to have to say yes to something you don’t want her to do”. At which point I blocked her on MSN because come on already. I let her leave the house to go to school don’t I?

Thing One is telling me that Posh is young and cool, and remembers what it was like, whereas I am old and decrepit and want her to have no life. At which point I reminded her that she was asking a favour from me, and she threw her arms around my neck, crying that I was the best mum ever!! Sarky madam that she is.

So! Would you allow your children to go to a sleepover where you don’t know the family? Were you allowed to sleep at friends’ homes if your parents hadn’t interviewed met the friend?

My daughter’s social life is relying on you.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

My Unexpected Life

(BlogRoll)

When a girl is little, most of us will have a dream of a man with no face and no name, a man who will sweep us off our feet. A white wedding, and a happy ever after with the requisite sprog output. Bad things will happen but to other people, and the rest of our future will stretch before us, unknown but secure. The end.

Our dreams may vary as we develop an awareness of equality, but the happy ever after bit, and the security, that doesn’t change.

Maybe it is the first step to growing up when we realise that we are “other people” too, and that bad stuff can indeed happen to us.

For starters, our children aren’t born perfect. Not all of them. They make look perfect but have little personal quirks that develop over time, until you have to face the fact that .. yes.. you do have an autistic child.

Then you find that not all of us gets a future at all. Some of us get dealt the joker in our hand, and our happy ever after stops before we hit middle age. Before adulthood, even.

What is strange to discover – and it can take years for you to realise this – is that even without the security and the guaranteed future, your unexpected life can still lead to a happy ever now.

Who’d have thought that I could live with a part of my life missing - not only live, but live and be happy? Who’d have thought that I would find joy in my “disabled” child? And yet every day I find reason to laugh and to thank God for the blessings I have in my life.

Unexpected, maybe. Beautiful still, definitely.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Happy Easter!

Naturally, on this the happiest and most holy of Christianity, my day went to Hell in a handbasket.

It started by being woken insanely early since we had to drive two hours away to meet Himself’s family for breakfast. Two hour drive. Nothing to eat first. You can guess what happened, huh? We only got a little lost, and arrived for breakfast just before lunch time.

Thing Two began to feel unwell shortly after we arrived. I’m not blaming the boiled sausage and boiled egg breakfast soup. (Seriously). I can’t blame it since the British half of us took one look and revolted. We are NOT eating THAT.

Thing Two was so ill we had to leave to drive home. Without eating. Having had no breakfast. Not even a sniff of chocolate.

We pulled into a village shop to buy meds to bring Thing Two’s temperature down, and a car reversed into us. (Are you keeping up? Got lost, poorly kid, and now a car bump. What kind of sick joke is this?). No particular harm done, so we limped home and ordered takeout from a wonderful place that was open Easter Sunday. I tipped the delivery chap a fiver, just out of fatigue and gratitude.

Thing Two ended up being seen by a doctor, with a temperature of over 40c. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

(Thing Two seems much better today, thanks!)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

No Foolin’

Happy April First! Inspiration failed me this year, but a last minute rallying of the brain cells helped inspire me to, if I say so myself, the pinnacle of silliness.

meatloaf-cupcakes

 

No, I didn’t put ex-lax or tabasco in the cupcakes! I went way better than that. Those cupcakes are an assortment of icky green “snot” cake topped with green “slime”…. and meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes. Mwah ha ha!

 

Himself’s face was an absolute picture. He picked up a cake and weighed it his hand in surprise. “Bit heavy” he said. “Oh, it’s a fruitcake fairy cake.” I improvised (I know!). So when he took the wrapper off, the dark bitty surface of the meatloaf didn’t quite have time to give the game away as he shoved it, almost whole, into his gaping maw mouth. As the unexpected taste hit him his mouth dropped open and an expression of disgust crept over his features. I laughed, and told him it was only meatloaf. Relief washed over his face as he chewed thoughtfully. “It’s not bad actually,” he said, “once your tastebuds know what to expect.” And then he reached for another.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Sickie

I’m SICK. I’m POORLY. I not feel well no more. I have a cold, or a sore throat and a fuzzy head and a cough and the sniffles so it’s as close to a cold as any other virus. It’s okay, I’m not asking for sympathy or attention. I shall stiffen my upper lip and square my shoulders and carry on goddammit!

Not that I have a choice because The Babe had the cold first and she is demanding attention, and fussing constantly. No British fortitude, her. She’s whinging like a baby all the time. Wait. Oh. Yeah. She is a…. Right.

She’s been pouring snot all week. I’m sorry for the bluntness there. I’ve been skirting prettily around it all week “oh she’s a bit sniffly, she has a streaming nose, she’s under the weather.” Enough. She is a snot machine and she is disgusting! I can’t get a hair brush through her hair because she keeps smearing runny bogies across her cheeks and into her hairline. Complete strangers are stopping me in the street to discuss the comparative properties of the differing shades of snot - apparently green snot isn’t good, it is a sign of illness. As far as I’m concerned no snot is good, it’s all nasty and you only get snot when you are ill so of course green snot is a sign of illness. Like duh. I haven’t said that yet, I’m the queen of tact, but one more sleepless night this week and I’m likely to crack.

Gosh. Sorry. Bit of a rant there.

Anyway, so I’m sick and I’m tired and just for today I’m letting my upper lip quiver. Sniffle.

And I still don’t have a new car.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Car-ma

Sometimes you actually see Karma working right in front of you. Isn’t it sweet when that happens? Today I continued on my dull and dreary job of finding a new car. I drove to a garage, and pulled in to park. Their customer parking was packed.  No spaces anywhere. I had to turn and go back out. It took me, oooh, say 30 seconds to do that?

Impatient chap decided that 30 seconds was far too long. He watched me carefully reversing, trying not to hit anything, and he turned purple with rage. “Move your f’ing arse! Stupid f’ing b*tch. F off, F that, F the other.” I can’t give you verbatim, I do know that the, oh, say 10 seconds it took me to reverse out of his way he turned the air blue. And stayed blue as he cursed all the way past me. And me with The Babe in the car. Luckily she didn’t repeat anything.

I was steaming by the time I parked and walked into the showroom. I took a seat in the customer area. Impatient chap walked in. Impatient chap was the salesman. He saw me, and his face fell to his knees. “Hello”, I said pleasantly. “Did you get to wherever you were going in such a rush?” He sneered a little in bravado and tried to swagger away.

So I smirked, and sing-songed “I’d like to buy a new 7-seater car, please. But. Not. From. You. Can I see your manager, please?”

Damn. That was sweet.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

up, down, up… down

Crappy grotty irritating nasty life. Things chug along nicely and then something annoying happens just over your left shoulder and you glance over to see what it is and BAM. Life derailed.

Ok, so I’m being melodramatic. It’s just a car. Only my car. Nothing majorly important, just my LIFE which will come to a STANDSTILL without my car! My poor car which is terminally kaput. Ol’ faithful. Sob.

(God I love hormones don’t you? LEAVE ME ALONE MY CAR IS BROKEN).

On the slightly more positive side. Hey! Guess what? I’m getting a new car!

Any recommendations? I shall tell you my requirements and you can tell me what you think.
1. It needs to have 7 seats
2. The three seat bench needs to be at the back not in the middle.
3. It needs sliding doors.
4. Ideally, it needs to be made in the States by a company called Chrysler.

What’s that? A Voyager? Why yes, I rather thought so too! Except I have one of those and now it’s BROKEN.

After the fabulous party this weekend, this is such a downer. (The party which, depending on where you read this, is making you either nod sagely and say “Yeah, man, that was a BLAST” or leave you are scratching your heads and going “Huh? Party? "I wasn’t invited to a party.” Because I play favourites with Blog entries too and some of them stay on Blogspot alone.)

I want my CAR… wail, sniff, stomp!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I am AMAZING

Party Planner Extraordinaire, at your service. Available for hire for all your party planning needs*. Let me open my portfolio and show you some examples. Ah, here we go. Birthday Party. Thing One. Twelve years old.

Background. She and her friends adore virtual pets. And real pets but we limit those, they can have as many virtual ones as they like. Typical twelve year olds really. If it has fur - even just pixels of fur - it is automatically the cutest thing on the planet. So her party was based on a virtual pet site she likes.

Activities. Scavenger Hunt, following the clues from one to the next. Example of clue:

"Snow White and Rose Red
The owner of me wants them dead."

Answers in comments below. Other activities include various games from the site including a balloon popping extravaganza (2 hours to blow up two hundred balloons. 40 seconds for a horde of kids to bust the lot. Huh.), making crowns for the "pets" and a fabulous nail art boutique. Well - Silly and I, several pots of varnish and a few brushes. And boy did we do FAB. Thing One has her nails painted black with orange lettering, spelling her name on her nails, with flames on her thumbnail. Thing Two has blue nails, with black French tips and white hearts. Impressive, wot?

A friend from the States, the home of the virtual pet site, sent us a huge parcel of assorted pet paraphernalia - very grateful to friend! To decide who got what for their party bags we set up a rainbow wheel with numbered segments. Bit like a fancy dartboard. But I had no darts so instead the girls threw handfuls of cooked spaghetti at the wheel. The dog LOVED this game and sat under the wheel, jumping up at their badly aimed starches and wolfing them down. The girls enjoyed it too, best bit of the party. Flinging cooked pasta at my wall. What isn't to like?

Which is nice except I spent HOURS the day before baking and decorating and organising a banquet of gastronomic proportions. Humph. So I shall show you all my amazing food instead. I'm sure you'll appreciate it.

webkinz-food Look! Nachos, meatballs, GREEN pasta salad, devilled eggs, pigs in blankets, THREE different types of cupcakes. I spoil them kids, I really do.


I did good, I did.

Still shop bought the cake though.

*Not really.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Mean, funny, mean

I fell out with Thing One again. She's stroppy and selfish and I'm mean and horrible and I only gave her life to ruin it and she hopes I am happy now. Yeah I know you've heard that before. Believe me, so have I. MANY times.

Mum antenna at work: "Mum, I hate Miss at school, she is always picking on me, asking me questions to catch me out!". Mum antenna... zooms in on pertinent part of that sentence. "She's trying to catch you out? So she thinks you aren't listening? So you are doing something in class to show you're not listening... Why are you talking in class??!" And that's how I show how mean I am, taking "Miss's" side and not listening to what Thing One considers important. "She's picking on me". My logic - "if you weren't talking, she wouldn't pick on you" is brushed aside as irrelevant. Oh to be twelve and omniscient again.

The Babe and her best friend Flower (God I am so original in my pseudonyms) have had us in stitches this week. Yesterday they crept off quietly and dolled themselves up in bracelets, high heeled shoes, wings, and grown-up skirts then came staggering in to surprise us. "Cheese me, Mummy" demanded Flower. Her mother quirked her eyebrow at me. "She wants you to take a photograph." I translated. And all today I've been saying "Cheese me, Mummy!" I think it's become my new slogan.

When Flower is naughty her mother gives her two choices, do Thing A or Thing B will be done to you. It's very cute "Alright Mummy," Flower sighs. The Babe refused to put her coat on today. Flower wagged her finger. "Choices, Babe. One, Two!" I collapsed in giggles which undermined Flower's authority "Oh, Mydonna. Not learn." (Mydonna. Heh.)

Thing Two came out of school today with not one, not two but THREE commendations. Woohoo! Which doesn't take away the fact that she kicked a boy in the goolies! Poor boy. I marched her over to apologise to his mother, which - to give her credit - she did, but she was in tears while she did it. So was the boy. Ouch. As we walked away she sent me a baleful look from under her lashes. A look which said I am ruining her life. Wait. Isn't that where we came in?

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Addition to the Family!

And he is so cute and so tiny... he's beautiful. I'm in love. And I don't even like rodents that much. Oh yes, the new addition? A hamster.

smudge And yes he IS a hamster, not a guinea pig, regardless of how close-up I took the shot, Posh! Isn't he cute? Only five weeks old, so we haven't handled him much, but when we do he is extremely hand tame and even affectionate. I think I'll keep him...

He belongs to Thing One. It is her birthday today! Happy Birthday, Poppet. She is twelve and I'm not even going to admit to any of the clichés or tired phrases. Just sob a little inside.

jess-12-bday

Oh, and a brag. The Babe learned to hop today! "Watch me mummy, I's popping!" So cute.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Kiss Better. Or Lie. Whatever.

Wheeeee! "I frow the ball up, look mummy, ball... ooh look it's getting bigger". BAM. The football that was thrown straight up obeys gravity, and lands on her upturned staring face.

Of course I wipe the blood away and kiss her better but inside? Inside I'm just giggling and calling her a numpty. Because I'm just that mean. Oh well. Split lip and a quick lesson in Newton's theories.

Just now, she's sprawling on a chair. Then she somehow somersaults off it, and lands on her head. She cries and says "The chair hurt my lips. I wanna go home and make my lips better."

I say, "Sweetie we are home. Are your lips better?"

"Oh. OK. No my lips not better. I wanna go doctor."

"You know, you hurt your lips earlier and they are better now? Your lips are fine."

"Oh. My lips ok? I fall down?"

"No, you never fell down. You're fine."

"Oh. OK. I go play now then."

I am so going to Hell.

alex-juliet-2009In other news, Thing Two made a beautiful Juliet for World Book Day. Awwww.

 

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Diary

I only did this because for some reason MissMoore wanted to know the particulars of my day, like "6am, roll over in bed and refuse to get up. 6.30am Ditto. 7am Ditto. 7.30am ditto". Actually, that could get repetitive so I'll just touch on the highlights...

Monday: Babe to doc first thing. No need for referral to hospital, even though she's had a few UTIs now, so yay. Then playgroup. Organise whip around and card sign for sick leader. Run to the village to organise birthday present for daughter. Have guest for dinner, so organise and start cooking, run to school to attend parents evening. Glow with pride when Thing Two's teacher gives a good report. Return home, eat, take guest home. More probably happened but it was two days ago, give me a break.

Tuesday: The Babe wakes in night again. I haven't had a full night's sleep in three weeks. Quote from email: Then she was awake again at 2am. EVERY night this is happening. I'm ok, I put her in with me and we go straight back to sleep, but I have no idea why she is doing it..... oh. Wait. Yes I do. I am sooo stupid. As I was writing "I have no idea" I ran through ideas in my head quickly, eg hungry, thirsty, warm, cold.. and suddenly got caught on cold. I put her in summer pjs while she was ill every night, thinking her fleece was overheating her and hence the cause of the fever. I have left her in summer pjs ever since. Like duh. No central heating at night, she won't sleep with covers and she is wearing summer pjs. I shall slap myself and save you the bother. Went to friend's for coffee then on to school run. Except it rained and I had no coat. Thing One called me, can I collect her from school. Collect her. She has a fever and a sore red throat. Fab.

Wednesday: Dose Thing One, send her to school. Wave Himself off to work, and revel in peace and quiet. How come on the days I am alone I am ready so early I get to sit down and read my email? And on the days he is here we are invariably running around like headless chickens at 8.45? Watch a little scene played out by Thing two and The Babe. Babe asked Two for her dummy.. not THAT dummy, the orange dummy. Two contorted herself into all sorts of positions to find it and ended up half way under the sofa. Babe just grinned evilly, picked up a cushion and said "oh there it is" and popped orange dummy into her mouth....

too-many-kids

Take Thing Two to school and return with Babe and extra toddler. Entertain toddlers while toddler parent is at dentist. Buy biscuits and milk. Fill biscuit tin. Collect Horde of Raveners from school. Watch biscuit tin empty as if by magic. Think I'll start charging entrance fees at the front door. I'm currently typing, blowing up modelling balloons and fixing the eye on a broken teddy. I am woman, I can multi-task! I need to go to work tonight, leaving Himself to tidy up from the invaders. Life is sweet sometimes.

Thursday: Ok, so the rest of the week hasn't happened yet. Planning ahead we have World Book Day tomorrow. Need a costume for school, heroine or villain. Help. There's a book swap and a book fair.
Friday: we have a friend after school again, and youth club. Next week is Thing One's birthday, and Comic Relief (needing - oh what a surprise, a costume for school. The third one in as many weeks. Why did I bother buying uniform?).
Saturday: Sleep in, refuse to get dressed and order takeout to be delivered.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Time Marches On

Pinch and punch the first of the month!

I had to get that in there because I'm just that immature.

How is it March already? That snuck up so fast that I've been caught on the hop. (Hop.. heh. Geddit? March hare, hop? Oh fergedit). It's Thing One's birthday next week, and have I so much as thought about it, never mind planned anything? Have I heck as like. So, what do twelve year olds like to do? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (Actually, don't ask him. I'm sure he'd have too many fine ideas that mothers shouldn't approve of.)

It's also Mother's Day this month - I'm getting (have gotten!) a new camera to replace that one that someone broke. No idea whatsoever about what my mum or my mother-in-law will be receiving though. Inspiration gratefully received about that too.

The Babe is still refusing to answer to her name, and is insisting we all call her Rhubarb. Don't ask, because I don't know. Still, it makes people's heads turn when I scream at gently call her in the supermarket.

(I just won two EBay auctions, so now Thing One has birthday presents! Go me!!)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Mystery of the Broken Camera

Two things. Maybe three. Four. No more than four, honest.

1. I broke my camera. Noooooooooooooo. I need my camera. Actually I didn't break it but someone did... <peers suspiciously at The Babe>.

alex-saxon-092. Thing Two made a fabulous Viking, and I made her a fabulous costume, even if I do say so myself. Here's a pic from broken camera. Ignore halo effect. Broken camera lens. Sniffle.

 

 

 

 

3. I'm blaming The Babe since I attempted to take photos of her handiwork yesterday, when she had found a permanent marker. Permanent. Marker. Permanent. Can I just say face, arms, clothes, floor, and leave the rest to your imagination? And yet the photographic evidence is mysteriously absent, since.. you know. Broken camera and all that.

4. I know I had something to say, but everything has just been wiped from my mind with the tragedy of the broken camera. I'll probably come by again later with a "oh, forgot to tell you this!" post. See you then!

PS Did I mention my camera is kaput?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Lent

I decided to give up sex, but Himself decided that he would become Pagan and wouldn't have to observe Lent if I tried that.

Thing One thought I should give up MSN, but I tried that and within 5 minutes I was shaking, snappy and panic-stricken. I craved adult conversation, I needed to talk with someone intelligent and sophisticated. So I signed in and substituted intelligent and sophisticated with Posh and Ally which helped a bit...

Actually I do know what I am giving up - I'm giving up pancakes! After last year's feeding frenzy, I got clever this year and actually cooked the pancakes and put them in the oven to stay warm so that I would get a pancake or two to myself. I also made the girls some dinner beforehand rather than just eating pancakes for tea, so I thought I wouldn't have to make 30-odd pancakes. Clever me, you know. Instead I made 24. Sigh.

(Tell me, by the way - do YOU have to make shaped pancakes? I made individual letters, animals, and people. Why do I do this?? I have no idea.)

Thing One is giving up spending money (no idea how she thinks she'll be going swimming tomorrow without paying to get in...) She is saving to go to Spain next term (damn but school trips are way cooler now than they used to be)*.

Thing Two is giving up... making decisions. Ask her what she is giving up, go on, I dare you. "I DON'T KNOW!!!" she cries, fed up with being asked.

Thing Three, aka The Babe, should give up Peppa Pig and Barney just because I am so sick of them. Please. A blanket forty day ban on Cbeebies, Disney, Nick Jr and Cartoonito sounds idyllic to me.

What are YOU giving up?

(*Do you think I ought to give up using parentheses and footnotes?)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Catch up!

Poke... poke... are you there? Poke. Sorry, were you sleeping? I was busy, I didn't forget you or nothing.

'Twas half term. I have no idea why children can't go to school year-round. Thing One went to Geek Camp, and came home so muddy that I had to actually throw away half of her suitcase. She enjoyed it so much she wants to go again. Big change from the morning she left when she cuddled up and didn't want to go... She was so full of "abseiling, quad biking, climbing, night hiking" and a whole bunch of other stuff that I had to nap just after listening to her.

My mother planned a visit to coincide with Thing One's arrival home, which was nice. Except she couldn't find her tickets to tell me when she was arriving... and her text failed to arrive to tell me when to collect her.. and she ended up getting a cab from the station. Great. Guilt induced apologies queue up in my mouth - except it was her fault so why do I feel bad?? She arrived at my door, with a grin - I brought you a surprise she declares - and my sister and my nieces poke their heads around the corner. Yay! And all day I suddenly came out with "so that is why you couldn't find your ticket, didn't text me to collect you from the train...". Because I'm just that quick.

We also met up with Posh before school re-started, who decided she didn't like my boots. Well there must be some reason she decided to walk the soles off them! Everything we wanted to do was "oh, that's just across town". We arrived and mooched, but the shops we wanted were "just across town". The restaurant she wanted was "just across town". The park for the children to play in was... you get the idea. I walked past a certain beloved bookstore SIX times - and I didn't go in once, aren't you proud of me?? I think next time I shall bring roller skates.

So now you're up to date with me. How have you been? Did you get that nasty wart looked at? Hold on while I find a comfy chair and you can tell me all about it...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Blah

Good Morning!!! Happy Sunday! It is.. checks clock... 05.48 exactly. GMT of course. None of the namby pamby BST here yet. I have been up for exactly 2 hours. Hurrah for me! I am a bit punch drunk I think, so am coming to share my hilarity with you.

Of course, now I actually turned the computer on, all my one liners have drained away. All the clever and witty little bon mots I had composed in my head? Gone. Must have been .. words... gone... bugger.

I'm hungry.

Oh! Guess what I had! Malt loaf, yummy. On Friday I think. I blame Posh and Ally for all my bad food choices, by the way. If they hadn't continually tempted me all week I should have been wiser. If I take up an ENTIRE hot tub all my lonesome it'll be their fault.

Oh! Her majesty calls. One sec.

Oh. Yeah. I'm not up with insomnia. Hell no. I could sleep on a washing line today. Tonight? Whatever. No, The Babe is poorly. She's been a bit funny all week and finally tonight (this morning??) her fever came out. She's 38.1 after appropriate cooling measures. She can't sleep so I'm up. In exactly 4 minutes I can wake Himself up, the night shift will officially be over. Hurray. (It's 05.57 now. No I didn't take that long to type (Heh, I just typed "typeo". Heh.) I'm entertaining Madam too.

05.58.

Counting down to 6am when I can wake him.

Wonder what time McDonalds does breakfast?

Come ON clock.

05.59....

Shall I gently call him? Or jump on the bed with the lights on, screeching like a baboon? You KNOW which I'm going to do don't you???

Yay. 6.00. Night night xxx

PS. This was copied from an email, because I am so tired (and lazy). The babe's fever broke and she is much better now.

PPS We had pizza for dinner. Far to tired to cook. Blame Posh and Ally for me choosing pizza too.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bossy Britches

I'm getting slightly fed up by the constant fighting of my children.

"I'm sitting there!"
"Huh?"
"I'm sitting there. MOVE!"
"What?"
"MOVE!!!"
"Hurrumph... Muuuum."

Oh, for Goodness' sake. Babe, STOP PICKING ON YOUR SISTERS. Now the little madam has the prime seat in the house and the older two are sitting on the floor. There is something not quite right here...

mads-danish

She's also eating a Danish pastry bigger than her face.

Oh! And this morning decided her name was Rhubarb and she wouldn't answer to anything else. I was Orange. And she got stroppy when I didn't reply. So the school run was fun this morning - "Rhubarb, hold Orange's hand darling!"

I think we did something wrong. She's turning into a proper Bossy Britches. And Himself promised me it would be Third Time Lucky and we'd get a nice kid this time around. Sigh.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Hide and Seek

With a twist... The children have turned out all the lights (and yes, I am typing by the ambient glow from my screen. Aren't you impressed??). They each have a torch. They are taking turns to find a place to hide in the dark and to seek with a torch. It appears to be fun, in the screechy way that girls have.

However, The Babe doesn't quite get it. She stands in the middle of the room and stuffs the lit torch down her top - what? It's dark. You can't see me.... Failing that, all you have to do is say "Where are you...?" and she pops up - "I here!".

Her turn to seek is fun too. I take her away and we count...
One... wun.
Two.... too.
Three... I go find now?
Not yet. Three... feee.
Four... For, I coming!"
Not yet sweetie. Five... Ready not, come!

OK, fine, go.

(Oops. Interrupted there when Himself walked in, hitting the child who was hiding by the front door. He thinks we had a power cut. With me sitting by the ambient computer screen. Power cut.)

The Babe runs wildly, waving her torch into each and every corner. Ceiling corner. If they were hanging like bats she'd have them every time. The idea of shining the torch down? Not filtering through yet.

It's a good job the Things and their friends are tolerant!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Why?

Please tell me why... just look at this picture. Every time. Every bloody time.

finger 
WHY can't I open the red food colouring without spilling it on myself??

In other news, this was just so cute that you have to share it with me. You can't see but Wendy and Peter Pan both have their own plates and cups too. Ah, bless.

picnic