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.


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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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