Thursday, 31 December 2009

Wasted - 'fraid not


Last time Tasha at Wham-Bam set me homework I failed - but I will write the post about Isobel's name at some point, promise.

But here she set me the task of writing my highlights of 2009 and as it is New Years Eve it is appropriate that I take this assignment.

Ok, so it has been a funny old year but, in no particular order, other than as they come to me, here are my highlights:

1. I have a job. Yipee for me. When I asked the universe to provide me with a three or four day a week job, flexible enough to allow me to care for my daughter, who knew I would get it. Ok, so I'm not paid as much as I once was, but I have a fantastic boss and colleagues amongst whom I have found some very very good new friends.

2. I have made fantastic new friends who's wisdom has relieved me of a great burden; I know I chose to have Isobel but PD CHOSE to be a part of it - I haven't derailed his life. While we are on the subject of friends, I have been lucky enough to have some great ones, old and new. These people have stood by me even in my year in which I have been neglectful. So if you are reading this I am so grateful and so happy to have you in my world.

3. Stripping off in public to be a life model has to be a highlight - doesn't it? Hey it was brave if nothing else.

4. My cousin Verity's wedding was certainly one of Isobel and my highpoints. It served to illuminate all that is fantastic about my family, gave me an opportunity to be twirled and to feel loved. Not to mention the fact that it was probably the last time my Grandparents danced together.

5. Getting to know my little girl as she grows and blossoms I am sure will be a major part of every year for many more to come. Her walking and now her talking give me fantastic pleasure. She is a constant (if not consistent!) source of joy.

So all in all I have lots to count my blessings for: my family close and slightly less close; my friends old, new and revisited (and virtual!).

I had a New Years bath earlier ( I promise I do bathe more than once a year) but the idea was to wash away all that was less than good in 2009, and actually found myself reminding me of how far I have come in a decade. Now for my own benefit, a quick synopsis for when ever I need it:


I have married and left a man whose love I underestimated; I have travelled around the world; achieved the peak in job titles and probably (unfortunately) my earning potential;I have bought and made a beautiful home; I have loved with all my heart and been loved back equally, only to have to watch him die; I have trekked and travelled independently in South America; I have achieved my ambition of speaking in public; and I guess my ambition of writing, with this blog; and I have stripped off in public; and I have given birth to a beautiful baby girl.


Not a wasted decade that's for sure.

In passing

As my mummy said 'it's that time of year'.

It is indeed, my stepfather's mother passed away this evening.

God bless 'more nanna', you will be missed.

Love to you Mike.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A grandad less grandad grandma, or another reason to love sprouts.

My Grandma may have lost the man with whom she has spent more than 65 years.

She may be slightly losing her marbles: she may repeat herself; not remember names; she may even have to have a note in her glasses case to remind her Grandad has gone.

Indeed she does cry a bit, quite a bit and her hearing aid will whistle as you hug her tight.

But, she is still Grandma and she can still have fun.













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Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Love in

What better thing could there be on Christmas day than to hear your daughter say 'I love you' for the very first time.

Yes, this morning Isobel was heard, by witnesses, saying 'byebyeloveyou' *kiss*.

Ah it melts a mother's heart.

Well, it would do if she hadn't said it to a bloomin' toy Isle of Wight Squirrell.

Nope, I haven't heard it since.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Has your Grandad ridden on Elephants?

This post is about my Grandad, my Grandad who I lost last night (no he hasn't rolled under the settee). My Grandad is gone.


In his words 'that's it and all about it'. But that isn't it, it's not all about it although I'm not really sure what is all about it.

I just know I have a great big Grandad shaped hole in my world and no body can fill it, certainly not unless the have ridden on elephantswith Bashatampi and been called the old man at 22, or taught me to use chopsticks using bic biros to demonstrate.


Oh Grandad, watching you shrink was hard enough but now you are gone...


Grandad wasn't just my Grandad, there are plenty of us Grand and great grand children about. But I like to think of myself as the longest serving Granddaughter and I have the first Great-Grandchild to bear the family name. It is because of Grandad that I have always been so proud of my family name, and indeed my family. Anyway, Grandad has been the biggest and most consistent male figure in my life.


He taught me to drink whisky, and I'm sure it was a test for suitors when he poured them one of his 4 finger measures, I also think i got my gin habit from him, always believing 'you shouldn't have too much blood in your alcohol stream'.


I failed at journalism (well, I only ever tried Reuters and then gave up)but I know my Grandad was always proud of me. In fact that was the thing Grandad was always proud of everybody, whatever they did.

His / the family (well RAF) toast, he always recited is:

Here's to it and from it,
And to it again.
Those who get to it,
And don't do it,
will never get to it,
To try and do it again.

Grandad was a storyteller and I like to think that if we all remember a little of those stories than we will come close to something that resembles him.

While I close my eyes to hear his voice, and try to remember that 'to live in the hearts of those you love most, is not to die,' here are some pictures:



















Friday, 18 December 2009

Science Homework

The only way I can think about Dark Matter is that it is like the nylon tights type fabric that looks bare but holds sequins in place on a dancer’s costume.

Strictly meets science!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A sucky Pantomime Dame

There are times when I liken my self to Cinderella. No I’m not waiting for my prince to come, though it would be nice. I don’t spend my days engaged in drudgery by those less lovely than me, though hang on a minute maybe…

My slippers aren’t glass. But, I do always have to be home by midnight.

No spontaneous drinking and dancing until the wee hours of the morning. No spontaneity AT ALL; there is always a babysitter to relieve.

I know, as PD will always be quick to point out, that I chose to have my baby and therefore I should have expected this. But I suspect sometimes even those who planned and tried for years to get a baby sometimes feel the same way.

I mean you KNOW it will be the case; and you KNOW it will be worth it; but sometimes it sucks.

Monday, 14 December 2009

It's my age you know..

This morning it dawned on me that I am in fact as near to 40 as my sister is to 20.

Armed with this knowledge I am aim to set forth into the world today and buy a copy of the Christmas Radio Times.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The rewards of motherhood

There are many joys that motherhood brings with it:

Your daughters first smile; first word; first time she says mummy; first steps...

The list is endless.

And then there is the first time you find yourself pulling a worm out of your daughter's bottom.


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Friday, 11 December 2009

More jingly stuff

Last moth I really enjoyed reading about everyone's Christmases in their John Lewis posts. In fact I was so excited I'm sure I wrote essays in everyone's comments.

Now I wasn't lucky enough to be sponsored to write this post, but hey I thought I'd like to write my post anyway.

Not so much rules but more how I like my Christmas to be.

It's pretty much always been the same but some of the major players have turned into bit parts in my life, but heigh ho - Christmas is still Christmas.

I've always been very lucky in love and have never had to divide my Christmas between mine and someone elses family. My first love lived around the corner so we could still be together on the day, and the only Christmas I wasn't at home , he wasn't either because we were in OZ. My longest relationship was with a guy who was half danish, his maternal half. This very conveniently meant his family celebrated on Christmas Eve.

PD, well PD and I are making a new family tradition just for our little family. We spend Christmas eve together. This year Isobel and I will go to his place for lunch so Isobel can open her pressies in situ and they will become the toys at Daddy's house. He's already planning his menu after which we will return to mine for cheese and port and little girl will open her presents from me.

Otherwise you may still find me own the pub with my school friends Christmas eve - yes nigh on 20 years on that kind of gathering still takes place.

So, that's Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day, it's up bright and early and in the car to catch the one Christmas morning ferry to the Isle of Wight. I actually love this ferry trip. No one is grumpy, everyone is sparkly and it get's me out of Christmas lunch preparation.

In fact we will arrive at Mummy's just in time to open the fizz.

This year we have decided to limit the amount of time we expect little ones to sit at the table by swapping a seated started for canapes that can be eaten as the children open the one present they are allowed from under the tree, the one that is meant to keep them amused until after lunch.

This does mean I am redundant as chief starter-prettier-upperer, but I'm sure I'll cope. It will also allow a space between this and lunch, more room for turkey and sprouts.

My mum will make a fantastic Christmas lunch with more stuffings than you could possibly imagine, including apple and celery for me.

And then, and only then it is presents! Presents dished out by Hayley probably, presents we all open one at a time, thus filling pretty much the rest of the day.

Boxing day lunch is bubble and squeak and a cheese board that lasts ALL day.

Oh and the bestest and newest thing Mummy and I have come up with this year - the children can wear fancy dress!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Not a daddy's girl

This evening my daughter has been her usual angel self.

We had a small tussle over getting in her pushchair at nursery, but that was forgotten before we got out the gate.

Isobel sung and kicked her boots all the way home. We got in and snuggled up on the sofa to watch tele. We paused to dance to the Nick Jr children in need song, and then resumed snuggling.

At bathtime, the telly was switched off and off up the stairs we went. Isobel pretended to do a wee on the loo, brushed her teeth and climbed into her bath to play.

Out of the bath, a snuggle, some milk, a book or two and Elmo and Andrea Bocelli and then bed.

Not a murmer, just a 'bye mummy' and she's asleep.

Contrast this to last evening when PD was here. I don't really know what happens when he is around, we love him dearly but...

Maybe I'm so intent on being a good mum I tense up, maybe Isobel get's confused by having both parents around, perhaps PD is just stricter than I am, I just choose my battles.

But, when I most like her to be the angel child she more often than not is, when I want her daddy to see what a great little team we make, Isobel can be a bit of a madam.

It's a shame because one of my favourite things is when Isobel takes both our hands.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Jingle bells

Actually this post has nothing to do with jingling but as it's everything to do with Christmas I used it anyway... Laughing all the way...

Isobel and I have crammed all our Christmas entertaining into one weekend so I thought I'd let you know our tips.

For half a dozen under twos (yes I am a little loopy and no I didn't get snaps, nearly took some of aftermath) you need 50 cocktail sausages. Oh actually it was 49, I found an ember of an escapee two days later. Feed the mums, and dad, fizz and pomegranate juice, scatter party with a liberal sprinking of chocolate coins and all will be absolutely lovely.




Sunday was lunch for 8 at mine. Isobel being the only tea-totaler.
Our secret this time, those homemade truffles and racing brussel sprouts.

Other than that today we did Christmas wrapping. Combine my tasteful brown paper with my pet elf's finger painting skills and we finally have things to put under the tree!


Here are our paperchains, no idea why I took it at the jaunty angle (I was sober).




Truffles: 225g plain chocolate, 175 ml double cream. Heat the cream to a rolling boil and pour over the chocolate (already broken up of course). Allow to set a little in the bowl then scoop out with a teaspoon, with icing flour dusted hands roll into balls and then into cocoa or nuts. If you fancy a tipsy truffle add about 50ml of booze, but these truffles will be messier to roll. If you like the ginger idea you can wizz in stem ginger, or cheap and use a ginger chocolate bar as part of the recipe.

Enjoy.


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Monday, 7 December 2009

Maybe not quite grown up

I'm always amazed at how grown up my little girl is.

But for 5 minutes, once a day, she still looks like my baby:




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Sunday, 6 December 2009

A truffle of a post

While you have been enjoying your lie-in this morning, we have been making 'tocolate balls'









Funny how the smallest hands make the biggest truffles!


(dark ones are Ginger, the rest rum)


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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Strictly come night-night

This evening was my favourite strictly.

It wasn't the sparkly, pretty costumes that too my breath away.

Nope, it was a little known dancer wearing peppa pig pjs who took me by the hand and danced me around the sitting room.

No pause for judges comments for us, the ba-ba black sheep of the musical shape sorter kept us swirling and twirling.

I love being a mum.


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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Chains that bind us

Our second day of Christmas saw me licking over 200 strips of silver paper to make paperchains.

Next year I may get inventive with the pinking shears.

And next year little girl better be more interested and get her own tongue out, rather than just eating the strips, dragging the chains around and refusing to let Mummy up the steps.

Today is the third day and I will be drinking in the festive spirit.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Park life

All the people, so many people...













... because everybody loves jumping in muddy puddles...

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Our first day of Christmas

This is an unsponsored post.

I wasn't lucky enough to be rewarded for writing about Christmas rules but I have enjoyed reading all the posts.

In fact I think I have nearly given away all of mine in the comments boxes, but I thought I'd write this post anyway!

Today is the first so the tree has gone up. I started this tradition in the grim days of my accounting exams, they were the last week in November so the tree was my treat. This year Isobel helped, I think I may need to secure the tree.




I have also realised I need more decorations, the subtle balls in the dining room just don't cut it when you are 1 and 3/4s.




Tomorrow I begin the hunt for good old fashioned silver paperchains.

I will let you know the rest of the rules tomorrow.

A spoiler for you though - I love brussel sprouts!


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Monday, 30 November 2009

Blogger's Zoo

Ever since Isobel returned early from PD's on Saturday she has kept me on a very short rein.

In fact it's about a 5 second one, as in if I leave the room it is, at most, 5 seconds before I hear 'Mummy' followed by the patter of tiny feet as she rushes to check I have not left the building.

My hand is held firmly, just in case I decide to wander off again. You know a little like James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree.

This can be a little limiting but on Sunday afternoon it turned out to be quite enabling.

We popped along to London Zoo courtesy of SuperSavvyMe to meet other Mummy bloggers. The two hours before the meet looked something like this:








Lots of big eyes and 'oohs' from a little girl.

In the afternoon it was this somewhat larger girl (me)) who had the big eyes as she struggled to pluck up the courage to chat to anyone.

But Isobel saved the day: she got us thrust to the celeb filled middle of the group photo and thanks to her firm hand holding she led me around the room whereby I was forced to bump into people and mingle.

I really am rubbish at networking so I missed so many people, but I enjoyed all my chats with those I did speak to.

Thanks A modern Mother for organising, you are a star.

And yes, we will be going back 'to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow' (Well, maybe the London Aquarium is better suited to our current climate!)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Home sweet home

The lying in bit this morning was very easy, not like the saying goodbye bit.

If I was a dog, which I'm not, you would have seen my right ear, the ear nearest the door, permenantly pricked listening out for chattering come from little girls room.

It was easy to do this and doze between 6 and 8 and the the mummy guilt started. It went something like this:

This is nice... This is easy... Should I be missing isobel more... Does that mean I'm not missing her enough... Am I enjoying this too much... Does that make me a bad mummy...

Anyway, I made myself a bacon sarnie and went back to bed.

At 9:30 the phone rang. It was PD, isobel had been asking for mummy and home all morning.

20 minutes later my limpet arrived home.


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Friday, 27 November 2009

From one Daddy to another





If you were in the park this afternoon and you saw a crazy lady crying and then walking away from her beautiful child, it was me.
I wasn't supposed to have to walk away. I was supposed to drop her nursery, go to work then go out with my friend and I would have a lie-in in the morning, go to yoga and simply come back at lunchtime and there she would be.
Less painful that way. Why it's so painful I don't know, but it is.
Instead Isobel was poorly this morning, too poorly for nursery, I had to take the day off work and wonder if this evening was such a good idea.
But she slept well at lunchtime, the Park is near PD's house, so it seemed the ideal handover spot.
Her case was packed, we took it with us and went to have fun.
Isobel was so pleased to see her Daddy, we all had so much fun.
It hurt to walk away. More than I thought it would.
Now I have to put my glad rags on and go for a drink. Believe me it's just as well that I have plan. I think sitting here would kill me. Not literally of course.
Hey, ho, she will always be mummy's girl won't she?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Me and my Daddy


This is a picture of me and my Daddy. I think I am about four here and I think my parents are already divorced.

If you look in the background you can see an orange hat from my Paddington Bear that Daddy gave me. I'm not sure if this started my Paddington fixation or was because of it, but when the sign on my bedroom door read Paddington Bear's best friend is Zoe Louise, it was true - well at least the other way round.

To say Daddy and I have a distant relationship would probably be very apt. It's not my Daddy doesn't love me, I know that, it's just that it has been a long time since he was part of my daily life.

Distance itself didn't help: he worked abroad in Nigeria, lived in Yorkshire, and he had another family, even complete with it's own Zoe.

I'm not bitter about it, yes I have my issues, but I'm not harbouring any resentment towards my Daddy, it just is the way it is. (But, I would be lying if I said this isn't part of the reason I feel so bad that I haven't given my little girl a traditional family)

All that said it was really lovely to introduce him to my beautiful little girl, his first grandchild to bear his name and his chin dimple (yes me too).



And even though he said little people didn't like him, by the end of the visit she didn't want him to let her go.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Wordless Wednesay - Colouring

Isobel and her cousins love colouring at the table in Grandma's sitting room


I don't have room for a table in mine, so I bought this fab tray on eBay:


Sunday, 22 November 2009

One of the most satisfying good mummy jobs

... has to be sewing mittens onto elastic.




And yes that is a mod-esq parka, fab isn't it.

Goes with the target on the roof of my mini, but she may have to wait for the Vespa.


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Friday, 20 November 2009

Mary, Mary part two

Mummy and Daddy you may not want to read this


Little girl has returned from nursery with yet another sore bum. I don't know what it is they do, I suppose I know what they don't do - change her quick enough. Anyway I'm not here to rant about that. Her poor little bum bum is so sore she didn't even want to have a bath.

As a Mummy I obviously know best and I was sure that a bath with some tea-tree oil would do her a world of good. Well her bottom anyway.

While She loves having her ducks in her bed, the one thing she loves best in her bath is her Mum.

So I stripped off and climbed in.

My lady garden is always EXTREMELY well tended, even when pregnant.

Being my own gardener of late I decided to let things grow a little to invest in some professional pruning.

It seemed my undergrowth (I haven't let it become over growth) was fascinating to Little girl. 'Oh mummy' was said more than once. She compared mine to hers; when I drew my knees up because at this point I was self-conscious (yes me), she stood up to look over my knees.

And then, she tried to wash it away!

Hmm teenage tendencies continue

Right now my daughter is in her cot, head on her precious 'lillow' and is refusing to get up.


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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Saturday, 14 November 2009

So that was then

The picture below was taken this morning.

It was taken before we drove down a blowy and very wet M3.

It was taken long before we boarded the ferry.

And, way before we set sail on a VERY choppy Solent.

It was taken when I didn't even imagine that at any point in the day I would be so covered in Isobel vomit that it would even soak through to my knickers.

Hmm nice.

My teenage one-and-not-quite-three-quarter year old

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Dipping pennies in rola-cola

It's no secret, nor is it something peculiar to us, but we are a little strapped for cash.

OK so this isn't a great way to be but it isn't all bad.

It has provoked a further de-cluttering of the house as I scour it for things I can sell on eBay - don't stand still too long I may list you.

I'm also finally working through the drawers full of stockpiled free samples. I always thought I was keeping them for guests who may have forgotten something. But now I have no spare room and it's my skin that is becoming the pampered guest.

I shop in Iceland for frozen veg, I must say I do pack it all in a Waitrose bag and I am sure I have muttered more than once: 'Come on Isobel let's go to Waitrose now'.

I take a packed breakfast and lunch to work which obviously will have me at supermodel proportions very soon, so even I will take up less space at home.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Heartbreaking

Click here to see PD's Heartbreaking post.

So if that breaks my heart what would this do to me:

Social networkers are being urged to get involved in a new online campaign to find Madeleine McCann by spreading a video appeal around the world. The video shows pictures of Madeleine and what she would look like two years after her disappearance, aged six.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Moral Dilema

OK, so imagine this:

You get back from a lovely afternoon with friends; an afternoon in which your daughter has been so friendly, so good at sharing her toys and generally delightful.

As you unpack the pushchair you are reminded of last weeks trip to the Chemist where your daughter danced around the shop while you waited for your prescription

How are you reminded?

You find a baby sponge in the basket that you didn't pay for.

Your angel girl is a SHOPLIFTER and you are the unwitting getaway driver!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Celebrations!

I still struggle with the fact that people's lives continue when I'm not with them.

I mean if I'm not on the stage then surely the curtain is down?

Anyway, it's funny to think that as I type one of my very dearest friends is getting married. She is undoubtedly looking stunning and radiant and marrying a lovely man.

But, as the wedding is a very intimate one and as we are NCT friends and inviting us all would add 50% to the number of guests, we can only imagine what a lovely time they are having and wish them well.

CONGRATULATIONS Mine and Hugh!!!!!

All that said, we did make sure she had a good pre-wedding evening.

Firstly she had me grappling with her ample bosom in the bathroom of her lovely hotel room. No it was a last minute fling, get your minds out of the gutter please.

I was simply anointing her with nail varnish remover.

No, again this isn't some strange fetish - I was helping reduce the dodgy streaks from her spray tan. Yes, ladies (and boys) it works. This is my handy hint of the day.

Then the rest of the gang came for burgers and champagne while watching the fireworks across London from the balcony of Mine's Richmond Hill hotel room.

A fabulous evening spent with some people I now count as my dearest friends.




Mine, you are beautiful in so many ways, and our daily chats mean the world to me. May you all be happy and the deepest depths only be those you dive to. xx


Pictures taken by Leela

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Hmm a little disturbing

This evening as I put the washing away I left my knicker drawer open.

Nothing new there.

Isobel was dancing around the room in one of my bras, as she does - so, nothing new there either.

Unfortunately Isobel's arms have grown a bit longer than they were and she managed to rummage at the back of the drawer and found one of mummy's 'toys' *blush*.

Then she proceeded, while wearing my bra, to use said toy as a microphone *blush deep deep beetroot red*.

Hmm, I won't disturb you posting a picture, I don't want to be judged on size!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Porcine me

No this isn't a diet post (though heaven knows it should be).

This is a completely different, but equally as sinful a post.

You see I always swore to myself that my child wouldn't constantly watch tele. She would draw, paint, cook, play, and go on the swings.

In short she would be 'stimulated'.

Unfortunately, Isobel has discovered the delights (loosest sense of the word)of Peppa Pig. Yes, the pink, eyes on one side of the head, puddle jumping, Peppa Pig. She whose whole family falls on the floor with laughter.

PD has taken to drawing characters from the show for her, he's got quite good at it.

And not only do we now have it on the sky plus - oh yes it's gone beyond the 5:30, after nursery showing - I'm ashamed to say I have it on my iPhone.

Wait it gets worse...

I have it on my iPhone and when Isobel gets up at 6:30 ish, we lie in bed and watch it.

Oh no, you haven't heard the worst of it...

I have even been known, in the interest of sane adult conversation (i.e. conversation where all parties are at the table not one adult guarding the stairs), to put on Peppa pig during a Sunday pub lunch.

Isobel does do all the other things I mentioned at the beginning of the post, but I, I mean we, have succumbed to the charms of this red dressed porcine lovely. In fact it often feels like we have 'Peppa pig until you die from it', but without the ensung bacon sarnies. Oh no, hang on a minute, that would be if she died from it.

Not only that, I am actually quite excited that at last Nick Jr is putting on new episodes.

Maybe excited is too strong a word, perhaps relieved is more appropriate.

Friday, 30 October 2009

If in doubt get your weeny boppers out

I am such a neglectful mother, I only noticed the Halloween party sign
at nursery yesterday.

No time to make a costume like last year.

Luckily, as a seasoned festival goer, Isobel owns a tutu and a pair of
weeny boppers.

What more does a girl need?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Horn

No, I'm not in lust with a gorgous lover, I haven't dusted off my sauciest undies, they are still languishing at the bottom of my drawer. (If you happen to have a spare toy boy loittering around, do feel free to send him my way.)

I haven't GOT the horn; what it really is, is that I am ON the horns of a dilema.

A schooling dilema - yes already. But no, not about actual schools. Just about nursery. I say just, but it has me perturbed.

A few months ago they wanted Isobel to move up to the next class, but I didn't want her to go without her friends.

I was assured they would move Isobel with at least one of her gang - Elif. Perfect, as Elif is 2 days younger, Elif who we have known since she was days old and Elif whose mum is one of my very dearest friends.

But now it transpires that there is only place and I have been asked to move Isobel alone. So, I hear you say, say no again.

I can't.

If I say no, they will ask Mine to let Elif go, if Mine says no it will be Charlotte who is asked to move. So ultimately one of the gang has to go it alone.

It terrifies me and I have no idea why.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Foiled or snubbed?

I used to love this weekend. In the grand scheme of things it has to
be one of the best: the clocks go back, an hours extra sleep. Yay for
that in itself, but that means a lie-in AND time to prep lunch for
friends, two of my favourite Sunday activities.

Well, that was life before my little girl. Now, I have no idea what a
lie-in is. And unfortunately babies do not come with a mass update
function like mobile phones.

Last year we really had no issue, we carried on as usual and Isobel
adjusted perfectly.

This year, I thought I'd hedge my bets, especially with the 6 am get
ups we've had lately. 5 am get up? No thank you!

So, last night Isobel and I bathed and put on our pjs. Yes, I do mean
we, Isobel was in fetching peppa pig ( post yet to come) and me in a
glorious pair of GAP checked ones.

As a treat we headed back down stairs to snuggle on the settee with
milk and In The Night Garden. So far so good.

As an extra special treat (or cunning ploy) I thought we girlies would
have an extra half an hour and watch the pretty ladies in their swirly
dressses trip the light fantastic...

At 7:10 Isobel got up from the settee and said 'bye-bye mummy, night
night' and proceeded to take herself off up the stairs to bed.

Yep, we were up at 5:30 this morning. Well, by up I mean in my bed
watching Peppa Pig on the iPhone.


Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Etiquette or no etiquette, it's still theft

The pleases and thank yous barely compensated for Isobel eating most
of the smoked salmon with our scrambled eggs this morning.

But, how could I resist the 'more pees, ta too' s that came at me from
across the table.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Hmm, a couple of truths

The fourth bottle of wine is ALWAYS a mistake.

It is worth spending a couple of extra bob on your leggings to avoid
the whole world being able to see what you had for breakfast - this I
dedicate to the lady who was rummaging around in hers as she walked in
front of me this morning.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Not so out of touch then

For the last year I have kind of felt a little, well maybe a lot, out of touch with the real world.

But, this morning another commuter chat showed actually how in touch I am:

  1. I do Twitter - Ok it's sporadic and as I socialise less in real life I seem to be even worse at virtual socialising
  2. I am on Facebook - haven't updated my staus in years but I am there.
  3. I know about Etsy, Notonthehighstreet, and folksy.
  4. I am wearing v. fashionable red brogues
  5. Not only have I manged to read a Guardian news story in the last few weeks, I have retained enough knowledge and understanding to discuss it!.

Maybe I might be more than one dimensional after all.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Who's your Mummy

There are moments when I wish my daughter had never learnt the word 'Mummy'. Normally this is the case at it's 156th uttering in the space of 30 seconds. Or when it is 4am and it's a 'Muuuummmmmmyyyyy'; it's far easier to ignore a plain normal angry cry than the personal, heart wrenching cry aimed solely at me.

Generally I am actually quite pleased to hear myself being called Mummy.

A while ago I read somewhere that parents who start to call each other Mum and Dad will find their sex lives waining.

As PD and I are meant to be reducing that kind of activity, the fact that we seem to have slipped into the habit of refering to each other as Mum and Daddy doesn't really matter. Now I come to think of it he calls me Mum more than I him Dad, but, we won't go there.

Yes, I did think it was something I would never do, but what did I know. I promise we only do it when talking to or around Isobel, not in the pub over a pint or anything.

As this is the case, I was really surprised when Isobel knew what my name is. I mean my real name.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Happy birthday Grandma

Many happy returns grandma.

I'm sorry you are feeling poorly; I'm sorry I forgot your pink fizz
and lost your card; and in a way I'm even sorrier I put my back out
(bloomin painful and entirely impractical).

But I am very happy that my angel child ( yes,I mean angel, it always
happens that I write something about her being a madam and the next
day she reminds me that she is 99 % a star ) and I are here with you.

How we get home tomorrow is anyone's guess, but we are here and we
love it.

Lots of love xx

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 16 October 2009

Hmmm

To say my daughter is a mummy's girl is an understatement of such epic proportions it could shift tectonic plates and change the shape of our world.

To say my daughter can be a bit of a madam is not an understatement, she is a bit, but it feels me with epic proportions of dread.

It is something I am keen to nip in the bud. Well a little bit.

The last thing I want is to raise a brat. But a little mischief is OK, in fact it is desirable.

And confidence, well that I'd like to give her in spades.

So, while I am in this frame of mind, imagine how I felt to be pulled aside by Isobel's nursery teacher to be told she had bitten, yes I said bitten, twice that day.

She wasn't the initiator but she did retaliate, and then in shock she cried. It's a bit of a double edge sword isn't it: you don't want her to bite but you want her to stand up for herself.

Now I get to bit all parents get to, I have the excuses...

She is having problem with her final molars, the way she gnaws on her own fingers is somewhat of a clue; she's only 1 1/2 how do you discipline a 1 1/2 year old; it's just a phase, all toddlers go through it.....

But really, I wanted to cry (completely out of proportion), I looked at her differently and I didn't know what to do.

I just wanted to do better for both of us, hey ho we'll get there. She'll train me soon enough.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday explained.

Rye because we were staying in Rye.

Hood because that s her Daddy's surname (Isobel has mine)

And Little Red Riding Hood - well that's pretty self explantory me thinks.

(Oh, and btw, I bought that a coat in a GAP sale for £5.99 6 months ago, gotta love the GAP sale.)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Cluckless

Today Isobel and I went to visit Clare and her little Karl.

Karl is six weeks old but was three weeks early, so he is perfectly formed and little.

But you'll just have to take my word for it because I didn't take any pics (Duh?!).

Little Karl was lovely and sleepy, sleepy because he'd kept his Mum up during the night. Little Karl was lovely and cuddly and snuggly and had ickle tiny weeny hands with even littler nails.

Isobel only complained a little when I held him, and with them both closeI found it dfficult to imagine her being that little.

But you know what, as much as I loved her being a little baby, I wouldn't swap where she is now for then...

and I didn't feel broody at all.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Pretty evil?

The more Isobel's development progresses, which it is doing in leaps and bounds, the more I start to have some wicked wonderings.

Are we genetically programmed to appreciate and prefer pretty things? Who teaches us what is pretty and what isn't?

Could you tell your child that things that are ugly are actually pretty? When I teach Isobel that it's a 'pretty flower' how does she then know which people that word can apply to?

If you were hiring a nanny would you hire a pretty one so your child was surrounded by beauty or an ugly one to boost your ego?

What if you taught them the wrong names for things, how old would they be when they found out (and how much would they HATE you for it)?

Isobel is learning new words and understanding more and more each day, while most of this is imparted without effort, what if you applied yourself to teach them the wrong way?

Don't panic, I'm not using my daughter as some kind of social experiment, but one could couldn't one, if one really wanted to?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Good bye Granny

Isobel's Granny is at present boarding a big tin can to fly away back to sunnier climes, to her home (and PD's) in South Africa.

Just as she had become part of our furniture and our daily lives; just as we were getting to know her and her to know us; and just as she was getting used to the amount of walking we do here (lots) compared to in Jo'burg (none).

I must confess I was worried at first, I mean it's hard enough when you want to impress your Mother out of law, but you really don't want her instantly seeing why her son left!

But I don't think it turned out that way.

Isobel fell in love, Nanny is now included in the morning roll call.

Granny in SA, you will be missed. x

(At this point I'd like to post a picture of them drying their hair together, or playing peek-a-boo, but I'm ashamed to say I don't have one. Hopefully PD will post one soon; it is after all it is he who will miss his Mum most of all.)

Friday, 9 October 2009

It's not all bad; it's not bad at all

Sometimes a day comes along and gives you everything you could hope for. The sun shines and you get just what you need.

Yesterday was one of those days; one of those days that leaves you smiling all the way through to the next day.

I’m still smiling; I’m still feeling the love.

Thank you everyone, thank you indeed.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Birthday resolutions

Today is my birthday and I have a surprise day off.

The last year has not been my finest and far too many tears have been shed.

So, my birthday resoultion is to party more and cry less, a lot less.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Because I've left my phone at home.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cold, blinkin cold Camber Seas

Camber Sands

We are away for the weekend.

Sun (a little, though not in this picture); sea (more than you would
expect, picture to come); sand (check)....

When it's not your mother-in-law because you aren't married and it's
not really an outlaw because you aren't even together anymore, how do
I refer to PD's mum?

I guess I'll leave it to Isobel who calls her Nanny.

Yep, we are an extended disfunctional family this weekend; it
functions quite well, we are having a good time.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I feel that I have been neglecting you of late and I thought I'd drop you a note to apologise.

You haven't received the attention you deserve and for that I am sorry. I'm afraid my thoughts have been elsewhere for a while, and while much of I would like to have blogged about, I haven't.

But, it's OK the nice man at The Priory has given me more little white pills and once the nausea and fog that they bring with them clears I am sure I will be back to my usual bloggy self.

Indeed, we have an award ceremony to attend.

Anyway, so much to say but so little motivation right now.

Catch you later.

Me.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A little light reading

I wouldn't say Isobel's been clingy since I went away but...

I must confess to being partial to a little reading while spending time on the loo. Normally this involves Grazia or Living magazines, and at present the book Sum.

Well, I say at present.

But, most recently it's been the Gruffalo and has involved a little girl sitting on my lap at the same time.

I've heard what they say about the family that plays together...

Monday, 28 September 2009

Night night games

I had a good weekend on a hen do.

So good infact that, on my return to mummydom yesterday afternoon, I
invented a whole load of new games that involved me being horizontal.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Who is SHE?

Sunday morning I found myself being exactly the kind if Mum I never EVER want to be.

It seems that in the last three months I have developed PMTNCS - Pre-menstrual Total Nutcase Syndrome.

My anxiety levels soar beyond the unfriendly knot I carry in my stomach most days; my general fearfulness and depression deepens. I feel like I'm drowning and am overwhelmed by, well by absolutely everything.

I cope and I put one foot in front of the other. I fix a smile on my face and keep repeating in the style of an old steam train 'I know I can, I'm sure I can'.

Meanwhile I pluck up courage and cry down the phone to my Mum, because I just can't cope with feeling that way; because I feel like I am going completely and utterly insane.

Anyway, back to Sunday. Isobel was riding her trike; Isobel was wearing her blue shoes as she didn't want to wear her Converse; Isobel was refusing to put her feet on the pedals, choosing instead to drag her toes across the ground.

I could hear myself 'Pick your feet up Isobel, good girl.'

Nothing wrong there. But try hearing it over and OVER again in the space in a very short journey.

Isobel, funnily enough had enough, and I had enough, not of her but of me.

It wasn't so much the nagging, but being an ineffective nagging parent. You know the type, the type where the parent's ineffective nagging is far more annoying than the child's behaviour.

Anyway, at this point I dispatched PD and Isobel to the park while I went and wept into a cup of coffee.

Monday, 21 September 2009

The same but completely totally different.

Our babies are very, very, scarily clever people.

I know that at this point in her life Isobel is learning more things at a quicker pace than she will at any other time.

(Even more scary as I seem to unlearning things at an alarming pace too)

We don't make it easy for our babas:

First we tell them that this yellow plastic thing is a duck

Then we expect them to know that this green-brown feathered thing is also a duck



And they do it.

Then we teach them colours:

That this is blue

But so is this.

It really is abso-bloomin-amazing.



Ps. Isobel has taken to sleeping with a plastic duck. I think it is because she can say it, I understand it and therefore she gets it, rather than any early fetish on her part.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Now you see it...

Isobel is developing her tricksy side.

She has quite literally started deliberately performing slight of hand
tricks. Ok, so Derren Brown doesn't need to worry, yet.

But...

Isobel takes her fork, shows it to you.

She carefully places it under her bum ( her high chair is her stage
for this trick).

She shows you that her hand is empty.

The audience enquires as to the whereabouts of said fork.

Da dah!

The fork is produced, waved and applause garnered.

Ok, so the magic circle aren't beating down our door, but....

if this is her at 18 months what tricksiness do I have to look forward
to!

I'm sure it will be magic!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 18 September 2009

Festival Friday

It feels too late and too big to write much about last weekend, but to let it pass without discussion would be unfair.

It was FAB!

Do I need to say more?

Ok, so I do.

Mostly I need to thank Grandma and Grandpa for allowing me three evenings in a row of being more than a mum, three evenings of it actually feeling odd to think that I was a mum. For three nights in a row it wasn't me who fed, bathed and night- nighted my little girl. This practically doubled the amount of times I haven't done that.

Saturday and Sunday we both festivaled and then the only tears shed when she was whisked of by Grandpa were mine!


video

I soon recovered enough to dance like an old school raver, bop like a princess and generally shake my bum. See my favourite surprise act of the weekend - Orkestra Del Sol - here on You tube. Loved it.

I had great fun with my friend Sue, loved my bro's handmade fancy dress costume - yes that's what the ears were in aid of - a token gesture, caught up with old friends, and generally hung out in a field.


I'm already looking forward to next year! I just have to do a bit of begging to convince my mummy to have Isobel again for me.

Say yes mummy, say yes?!

Mind you, she may be potty trained by then, so what about the portaloos?!

It's indication of how much fun we both had that I'm looking forward to next year and Isobel has asked for mandma, mampa, islaa, ayley and jack every morning since we've been home.

Pretty please can we do it again?!

(This post could also have been festival Friday, great fields of fire

Hot from the flames and heated by the collective energy. Fab, fab, fab
. Oh, I said that already.)






(Yes, I did go down the helter skelter and, no the fire brigade did not have to come to free my ample child baring hips.)