27 February 2015

Girly night

OMG had the best night. Got the boys into bed without any upset and skipped off out to see the new house for the second time. It is frightening how easily you can spend that amount of money and not know where the blinkin' fridge is!
Was slightly anxious that I'd see faults this time or come away feeling disappointed but quite the opposite, came away feeling thrilled and excited. It is still everything we were looking for and just feels so right. This warm fuzzy feeling quickly turned into fear of losing it of course, but we're trying really hard to ignore negative angst. Everything will be fine and go swimmingly. That's what we're chanting like mentalists!!
It was farcical though, I looked like a right plonker. Kept walking into rooms and exclaiming, oh there's a window!, or actually walking far enough into a room this time to be able to turn around properly and say 'oh gosh, there's a whole unit behind the door!' Honestly, how ridiculous! Was really good to see everything for the second time though. Walls in places are longer than I thought, some windows are bigger than I thought, the utility is twice as big as I remembered, there's a stunningly beautiful fireplace in the dining room I hadn't properly looked at...it goes on and on. 
Obviously we clocked a few little things. The master bedroom is crying out for a lick of paint and new carpet but that's the only room I don't like really and it will be nice to focus on our own space for a change; you always seem to be decorating the living spaces or boys' rooms when you have a family I find? Since they're all perfect blank canvasses then there will be no need. Hazzah!
I am so anxious something will go wrong. I can see us there, living there, growing in the space and being so happy. The thought of it slipping away makes me go all sweaty and wobbly 😞
Everything will be fine and go swimmingly. Everything will be fine and go swimmingly!!
When we left the house (reluctantly, backing out of the door stroking the walls!) Husband dropped me at the pub to meet the girls for supper. Just the tonic I have needed this week. Laughter, gossip, ranting and the most amazing Malaysian curry I've had in a long time. Brilliant! Came home feeling happy and content. How nice to have such wonderful friends that you forget all about your worries for a few blissful hours. I also forgot about my potentially broken foot (Toddler plus full juice cup, ouch!) which was an added bonus. 
Everything will be fine and go swimmingly! It will. It will!

24 February 2015

Being crazy

In April 2012 my Dad died. It was unexpected, fast, traumatic, horrific...we literally went through a whirlwind 8 weeks of a diagnosis, blind denial, frantic research, one horrendous round of what turned out to be utterly pointless chemo, hitting an absolute dead end and then bringing him home for what little time he had left. 
Husband and I packed up the bare essentials and took Toddler (then Baby) to live at my parents' house to help Nana in the day when she'd been awake all night. He still had to work obviously so I was running the house, walking 3 dogs, looking after Baby, sitting with my Dad while Nana got an hour's sleep, dealing with shitty relatives who crawled out from underneath rocks, liaising with hospice nurses, collecting morphine at all hours of the night... It was hell. Sheer hell. Don't get me wrong. I know my Dad was the one in agony, he was the one facing death, and for him 8 weeks was 8 weeks too long. And I know everyone else found the whole ordeal awful, Husband was the one who confirmed my Dad had stopped breathing for Christ's sake.  
But the entire thing broke me. I have always been a Daddy's girl and suddenly, my world was upside down and cracked right down the centre. 
Once the funeral was over and the well wishers had left and the phone calls had all been made I just couldn't function. I snapped all the time, I cried, I panicked, I shouted. I wasn't being the Mama I wanted to be, nowhere near in fact, and not only was I mourning my beloved father but now I felt like I was mourning the loss of my previous self. The carefree Mama who knew that things would be OK no matter what because she had an invincible father to come to her aid 24/7. The stress free Mama who didn't wake up 5 or 6 times a night dreaming that Baby had died infront of me as I watched, totally immobile and impotent. The happy Mama who got so much joy from watching her 'difficult' Dad and his little namesake sharing books and toys, beaming at each other. I used to be so calm watching Toddler at the park, trusting him implicitly when he chose to climb higher than I thought he should...suddenly the thought of just leaving the house with him felt too dangerous, like he would be snatched out of my hands too. 
I felt, and still feel, like my heart had been ripped apart. Some days it is a tangible pain in my chest. Songs will make my eyes fill with tears and older men in baseball caps walking down the street make me raise my voice to shout out for them to stop. I've woken Husband multiple times yelling out in my sleep for my Dad to stop walking away from me as I race after him. 
I struggled for a long time before I saw my GP and asked for anti-depressants. And I procrastinated for a long time when we were thinking of trying for another baby, worrying that I wouldn't be strong enough to not take the medication for an entire pregnancy. But I did, and I managed quite well on the whole. Maybe pregnancy balanced those particular hormones out somehow? Who knows. 
When Baby was weaned off me at around 4 months I started the pills again. I felt quite stable but had noticed the first signs of slipping and didn't want to get too far down that path before intervening. And that was all fine. 
But lately I've been feeling broken again. Instead of my funk being directed solely around the loss of my Dad, this time it's centred around failure. Failure as a Mama who can't do this without anti-depressants. Failure as an individual who just can't cope with the loss of her parent like everyone else does. The thing I don't understand is how other people get up in a morning and carry on in such a strong and normal manner. What is wrong with me that I seem to be feeling everything so keenly? Why can other friends handle their grief when mine makes me feel like I'm drowning at random moments? And this is WITH chemical help. 
Anyway, I have taken decisive action. It might be perceived as stupid or reckless but I have stopped taking my medication. I've had the nausea and the dizziness, but then that coincided with vom-gate last week so it went almost undetected. I am slightly more anxious, but we're in the process of buying a new house so have put it down to that. 
I need to be healthy and fit and strong. I can't be dependent on these drugs any longer. They help me feel 'even' but they are a constant reminder every morning that I am broken. 
We shall see how it goes. The new running regime is helping. I'm not stupid enough to get too close to the edge, not with two precious little ones depending on me, but I guess I just want to find a different glue? 

23 February 2015

The burbs

Headed out for a Starbucks this morning with a friend. Not only is a Starbucks coffee a 20min drive away (God damn I miss city living!) but I had to follow a cow in a horse box all the way there. Slowly. 
That's country living for you!
Then my phone apparently froze but kept it a secret so I carried on using it happy as a clam not realising that none of my messages or emails were sending and no phonecalls were getting through to me. When I got home and investigated the uncommon silence it suddenly pinged back into life and went crazy. So I spent Baby's naptime on the phone returning calls to solicitors and mortgage brokers. Whilst packing up some more of the playroom. And trying to log on to HMRC to pay our tax bill. 
As an aside, for a company who get so incredibly pissy when you miss a payment they don't half make it difficult for you to send them any cash do they?!
Other than that, Monday has been calm and happy. Off running tonight and seeing Art Mum tomorrow at the farm. Am trying not to flip out about the fact the Baby has just cracked his 2hr nap and the farm will disrupt him totally and utterly...Gah!
Only 4 days to go!

22 February 2015

Gee whizz, what a week!

Wait for it, you won't believe this one.

So basically, we found the house, I mentioned the house to the outside world and promptly THE JINX jumped up and bit me in the ass. Horrid next door neighbours who we have never really spoken to but never really had an issue with randomly decided to fence over our only point of rear access because (and I quote) 'you're moving'. Well yes, hillbillies, yes we are, but it's still our gate and we still use it every day which is our God given/legal right and we're assuming our buyers will want to also... Bloody incompetents. Anyway, that was Saturday last weekend. We asked them to stop and they did...
Sunday was fairly uneventful, in comparison. So uneventful, infact, that I have no recollection of what we did at all. Stellar!
Monday afternoon, I arrived at nursery to find Toddler being stripped off and changed as he had sat down in the comfy corner, cried, coughed and thrown up everywhere. Like, everywhere. For someone who has only ever had one stomach bug in his entire (albeit short) life, he did an impressive job. Even his well-seasoned staff looked a little shaken by his exorcist attempts. Therefore, our early evening was mainly me holding a bucket while he retched sadly into it, then carrying him to the loo in a rush. At one point we just hung out in the main bathroom for an hour, all 3 of us, like sad little vomit-ridden refugees. Fun times. By the time I popped both of them into bed I felt like sobbing but had made plans to begin running again which turned out to be just the release I needed.
Tuesday, again, we spent a chilled out normal day with Toddler at home. He had a slightly dodgy tummy but nothing to write home about after the day before. I had stomach cramp but put it down to impending period (groan) and mainly celebrated the fact that our foray into vomit-ville had been incredibly short-lived and was now over. Made pancakes, ate 4 too many and decided to give up wine for Lent (because essentially it would appear that I am a sado-masochist with very low self-esteem and a love of setting unachievable goals??)
Then Wednesday came. Toddler was still at home for the rest of his 48hr ban from nursery and woah nelly was I sick. I may have, just may have, cursed those pancakes to hell and back (sorry innocent pancakes, you were not at fault here, my bad). Had to admit defeat before 8am and ring Nana in an emergency head-down-loo-while-Baby-takes-full-advantage-and-sticks-fingers-into-plug-socket situation. Hellish. Luckily, Nana arrived shortly afterwards and took both boys out for the day so I could lie around feeling rank, worry about the wankers next door, sip some water, throw up and then feel rank again. God love her, she's a star.
Thursday was better but Nana stayed just incase. The day after a stomach bug is almost just as bad I always find as you have literally nothing left inside you but the thought of food or drink still makes you feel a bit 'ooh no, best not, could anger the bug...' so instead you sit around feeling ravenous but too scared to eat. Sigh, middle class problems. Went to collect Toddler from nursery and the manager stopped me to say, slight fuck-up on our part but it would appear that we've not charged you for 14weeks of care since last February... Err ok? Cue immediate panic attack and guilty feelings of fee-avoidance and inadvertent criminal behaviour EVEN THOUGH HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG (other than not check the invoices properly it would seem, but really not my responsibility surely?) So now have to sit down with them on Monday and cross-reference my transactions with their records. Ooh fun, Baby will love that I'm sure. Groan.
Got home from stressful trip to nursery to be accosted on my own drive by neighbour (urgh) who claimed her (imaginary!) solicitor had reviewed their deeds and advised her to go ahead and do as she pleased. So that was fun. Stress levels here were around 12. Out of 5.
Friday was meant to be a visit to the soft play with Art Mum but she chickened out because we'd had the bug so we found ourselves at a loose end. Managed to run some errands in town with both boys and no-one cried or stomped their feet. (Disclaimer: Toddler was bribed with a Krispy Kreme. Baby was restrained at all times in Bugaboo) Then we had an impromptu play at BFF's house which is always a bonus.
Saturday came again, as it tends to do, and we woke up feeling rather 'tense'. Would we look up at any random moment and find that the idiots next door had decided to go ahead again... I did what I always do in shitty situations and went out for a run. Hazzah for a bonafide reason to avoid confrontation, love it! In the end, mid garage-sorting, they came over and spoke to Husband who managed to explain to them in easy-to-understand words that they couldn't do what they wished (you no fence there, fence bad, me sad, you go home now...that kind of thing) and they've changed their minds. It could have been something to do with the fact that I'd threatened them with mediation of course but Husband likes to think it was his speech. I let him have it!
Then some packing boxes arrived from Amazon which was nice, and I stupidly got all excited about the process before quickly realising that a) Husband is quite a precise packer and for someone who isn't going to be around for most of the damn process he has an awful lot of wisdom and suggestions and criticisms to share and b) packing is a bore. I have spent the last 24 hours bemoaning all our 'shit' and throwing yet more bits and bobs into ikea bags for the charity shops in town. Practically half our belongings will soon be for sale on our local high street. Awkward!
And today was Sunday which consisted of paperwork, soft play with Toddler and swimming for Baby and Husband. I wouldn't say no stress, but definitely LESS stress than the rest of the week and DEF less vomit. Woo!
I know it's not necessarily plain-sailing from here on out, but I am beginning to see it. I am beginning to believe that it will happen. Number 5 will be ours. I shall say my prayers, and make a LOT of phonecalls tomorrow!
Here's hoping the week ahead is kinder, to all of us. Hope you've got nice things planned? If I can keep my wits about me until Thursday I am treating myself to supper with Posh Mama and her friend. Fingers crossed!

21 February 2015

This month's 7 little loves

1. Am crushing over my new shampoo, the organix Kukui oil that comes in a classy black bottle. Literally, it is like pouring liquid silk onto your hair and makes me look forward to the chore I normally avoid at all costs (God I hate washing my hair!!) Try it, you will LOVE it!

2. It's nothing new but I'm loving Amazon this week for their speedy delivery of our many, many packing boxes. If only they shipped out little Thai guys to actually pack for me too!

3. Husband bought me a shiny new bracelet from Pandora for 'love-day' as Toddler has renamed it. It's a solid bangle as opposed to the classic loose chain style I already had but all my existing charms would fit on it as normal if I wished. Something about it just gives it a whole different look, terribly grown up, love it!

4. Silver Linings Playbook. Randomly found it on Sky movies this evening while doing laundry and adored it. So so odd and raw and wonderful. I really enjoyed the characters, their flaws/quirks and their honesty. Watch it, it's beautiful x

5. Fairy lights. Coz you know, they make everything and anything look wonderful and cosy. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you put fairy lights on a dog poo and it made people go 'Ohhh, pretty'. Honestly!

6. Toddler. He is just breaking my heart open every day at the minute. Can't decide if he's doing something out of the ordinary or if it's my hormones but man, he's a crackerjack. He woke me at 6.45 with a toy hammer the other day fixing my knee. Ok then?! He makes me laugh every single hour I'm with him and frankly that's priceless!

7. And finally, I'm crushing on the details and floorplan of OUR NEW HOME!! It has been a totally insane and confuddling week (shall post details tomorrow but be warned, it's a totally ballache even to read, let alone live!) but yes. We have found the one and had our offer accepted. I know it's premature but we are all smiley and happy over here today. Woo!! Shall update you properly tomorrow, when I've waded my way through some more packing and dealt with yet another drama at nursery. I really don't know how other Mamas fit in going to work?

What are your favourite little loves this week? And did you make any sacrifices/disciplines for Lent? My goddaughter has given up gravy. We're raising her devout 😉

17 February 2015

Yummy Mummy

Yummy Mummy is one of Toddler's godparents and one of my absolute besties. She is not particularly religious in the traditional sense but she is kind and patient and lovely, which came top of our list when deciding! She raises her three girls in such a zen manner, believing that they are gifts that she has merely been loaned for a short time and that her job is to raise them to be individuals who fly. I'm more of a stressed out helicopter parent who tries hard to hang back so she complements me perfectly!
I worked with her an age ago and love watching her in the classroom. She is totally dedicated and inspirational. She throws her heart and soul into lessons and genuinely enjoys her job. 
When I'm ranting about random issues over wine she always plays devil's advocate which drives me insane. I'm a big fan of friends blindly taking your side instantly with great passion so when she calms me down and empathises with the other party she makes me want to scream! Thing is, half the time she's right, of course, which is probably what makes it so infuriating!!
She's the wildest friend I have. Her life story could be the script for a movie with babies born oversees, drug lords staying the night, leaving countries in a rush, aeroplanes held together with duct tape. Her family is old money, they've lived in our town forever so she knows everyone and everyone knows her. She's always the last one off the dance floor and is often found behind the bar serving herself if the queue was too long!
Yummy Mummy's real gift is cooking. She can make any four random ingredients from her cupboard into an amazing meal for five. It's quite extraordinary. She gifts me roast dinner tokens for birthdays and Christmas and quite frankly, I'd like nothing better. She also is in charge of making the boys' birthday cakes each year. I adore that she contributes something so personal and unique for their celebrations. 
Yummy Mummy is a constant. She is often too busy to even return a phonecall for a month or two but whenever we see each other we are caught up instantly. I convinced her to start running when she was in a dark place a few years ago and now she's done the same for me after my baby-break. I know there is no greater cure for depression than physically running it away (for me at least) and the fact that she knows it too, acknowledges my funk, finds time to come over and drag me out the door...she is an absolute darling. I love her a lot!

16 February 2015

Running Mama

I like the concept of running. I like the idea that you run out the door, run away from your responsibilities, run off all the stress and tension of your long, hard day with the tiddlers...in my mind I'm that woman who just bounces out the door, runs for 5 miles without passing out or looking like shit and then bounces home, revitalised and ready to do it all over again tomorrow. 
In my mind. 
In real life, I have a pair of trainers in my closet that look practically brand new, don't particularly like the way I look in my running gear, get sore ears when it's cold and have this weird itchy thing that happens when I exert any energy (something to do with not enough water?) which freaks me out.
Anyway. I am well past signing up to fancy, enticing, expensive gyms and besides which the nearest one with childcare is 30mins drive away. And I am also well past being lethargic, depressed, wibbly and 'lost' being 'Mama'. I desprately need to carve out some 'me-time', for my mind and my body. So out come the trainers, and she's off! Tonight was the inaugural run. Baby is 9 months old so it seemed fitting (9 months to fall apart, 9 months to recover etc etc...)
Managed 2.87 miles with Yummy Mummy trundling along beside me at my snail's pace for moral support. But I didn't pass out and didn't pee my pants. So, winner!!

14 February 2015


Aargh what did I say? I should have bloody known better. Fucking jinx. 
Woke up this morning to find our chavvy neighbours erecting a fence down the boundary line which effectively runs straight across our back gate and is the only rear access we have for our garden. Err...awkward. 
Husband had conveniently buggered off to swimming with Toddler so after 30mins of procrastinating and chuntering into the mirror willing him to come home faster and deal with it all I finally marched round and asked them the polite version of 'what the fucking fuck of FUCK do you think you're doing???'
Basically, lots of legally inaccurate chuntering later, I got them to take down said fence panel as I'm quite fond of using my own back gate and didn't think a 6cm gap would suffice for myself, Baby in a Bugaboo AND Dog and said I'd get back to them when I'd spoken to our solicitors about the deeds etc...
Solicitors of course are not available until Monday so have called Posh Mama who is currently debating random issues much more complex with her own house sale and then called Architect who says they're idiots, we have 'established' or 'implied right of access' (dependent on timings) and also need physical access to both the side of house and our own garden so the fence can't be erected there anyway. Basically, our house was there first so no matter how close it is to the boundary line, it wins. So it all seems quite simple and quite easy. Phew. 
Thing is, if it turns into a ruckus then we have to tell our solicitor who will tell our buyers because it's an open dispute. And they could decide to withdraw. If we can keep the bloody neighbours calm until it's all signed on the dotted line then it's not our problem as 'technically' it's not an open dispute, it's merely some crazy woman trying to put up a fence and we've asked her not to. But then what if it IS our problem in the end?
Aargh why can't chavs just be normal like the rest of us. Worried about people banging into your 03 plate Mini shouldn't be her concern. She should be focussed on her horrific 70s hairdo and the fact she's living with someone else's husband. 
But then that would be un-Christian of me to point out!!
Give. Me. Wine!

13 February 2015


OK. Don't want to jinx things, and as much as I don't believe in jinxes because they're total bollocks in this instance I am extremely (extremely) reluctant to anger the Gods of jinx...so I shall whisper the following...
*we have found and bought a house!*
Clearly, I am announcing this in a totally staid manner, not at all excited and completely aware of the fact that nothing is set in stone until moving day. Inside I am jumping up and down like Toddler on a sugar-high shrieking with glee and shaking my arms above my head! It's a small cottage nearer the town centre that has been extended and renovated, with log fires and a tiny staircase, a quirky kitchen and a huge garden that we both gaped at. Having been to so many bloody properties that were clearly photographed with a panoramic lens from across the street while the estate agent lay in the gutter, this was better than the pictures online even hinted at. By the time we got into the master bedroom we were squeezing each other on the arm and grinning like idiots.
As the rules of house-buying go, we shat all over them and stood in the kitchen making an offer directly to the vendors because we loved it so much and couldn't bear the thought of another bugger even stepping over the threshold. I tried my hardest to channel everything Kirstie has taught me, asking if they had a price in mind that would secure it...but wound up saying a figure first. Luckily, they accepted immediately and we skipped home happy.
The only fly in the ointment, as they say in films of the olden days, was our buyers and this imaginary asbestos. As soon as we got home we deflated completely and started angsting over what Friday would bring... Would they lower their offer? Would they walk away from the entire sale? Neither of us slept very much at all and I spent all morning at Eco-Mum's pacing up and down her kitchen like a mental patient staring at my phone. New baby must have thought I was the most boring visitor in the world.
Luckily, Nana has a direct line to God so we'd called in some favours and ta-da, they came to inspect the 'issues' brought to their attention by the incompetent surveyor and decided not one of them was of concern and everything is hunky-dory, tra la la, off we go. Thank Christ for that!
I then enjoyed a manic afternoon of phone calls to mortgage brokers and emails to and from the estate agent and we are currently sat refreshing Rightmove on our phones to see it get marked up as 'sold'. I have also downloaded the floor plan and am busy making Pinterest boards for each space. Husband is on Grand Designs-esque websites looking at glass and steel extensions. Never the twain shall meet but there you have it. Our marriage is essentially built on tension!!
Am off to look on Amazon for moving books for Toddler. I am conscious that this will be a huge change in his life and I want to equip him as much as possible beforehand. September is looming and starting school is more than enough for one little man, no matter how confident he appears on the outside. On the way home from Eco-Mum's today he asked if we were going straight to our new house and if he could take Simba (his stuffed bunny) with him so I definitely think we need some clarification and assurances if we're going to avoid another Santa situation. I try so hard to raise strong, caring, resilient boys but at the end of the day Toddler is only 3 and his spirit is still so fragile. Here's hoping Mama can prepare him for this next big, exciting adventure.

12 February 2015

The lurg

I've been quiet this week as we got hit by the dreaded vomiting bug that's been doing the rounds. Is there anything worse with two small children? Let's not talk about it. It's too horrific!
In other news, our buyers are being arseholes and reckon their surveyor has found asbestos?? I would really love to know where as it never came up on OUR comprehensive survey 8 years ago and we've been living here happily ever since. So anyway, they've decided to come back tomorrow to assess the situation? Whatever they decide, I'm out all day seeing Eco-Mum (finally, hopefully, please God...!!) so the estate agent can deal with it. Our weekend roller-coasted between renting, not renting because of Dog, buying one we'd seen already, not buying that one after all, maybe spending 50k less and compromising so we can move again in 5 years? I was literally reeling. In the end I sat Husband down last night and demanded we make a decision once and for all before we both go insane and/or stab each other in the eye. The final decision was...I'm not quite sure as today he sent me the particulars for another one over 300k. The man is nothing if not confusing!
Vomit aside, the week has been quite uneventful. Baby enjoyed the sweetest Valentine's themed Baby Sensory class this morning, lots of red and cuddling and floaty music, bless, and Toddler had a Valentine's Disco at school for 30mins (20mins longer than needed if you ask me!) which was a totally different affair of bouncing up and down manically to loud music, sliding across the floor and grabbing your friends and shrieking?
Speaking of which, how do boys know how to do that random slide-across-dancefloors-on-knees thing? I'm fairly confident (like 80-90% confident, can't be sure obviously, he does drink a lot after all) that Husband has never shown him how to do it? And as far as I'm aware he's not been watching Footloose on the iPad (mental note, check iPad for Footloose downloads) But yeah, there he was, sliding on the floor like a pro. Then there was a small breakdancing moment. Again, not a regular fixture in Husband's repertoire? Bizarre!
But either way, a jolly time was had by all so that's the main thing. Home we came to find a Valentine's card on the mat from '?'. Addressed to both the boys obviously as I haven't sent Husband the requisite link to what I would like from Amazon yet (thank God the man pays for Amazon Prime or he'd be in a WORLD of trouble. Or you know, he could buy me another kilo of fudge...true story!)
Tomorrow we're at Eco-Mum's for the day, finally squidging her little madam for the first time who is by now, you know, 4 years old! And then our weekend is swimming lessons, another bloody house viewing, supper at Posh Mama's and then getting supplies in for the hell that is the week of half term as every damn supermarket and playbarn around will be heaving and therefore must be avoided at all costs! I do hope you have slightly more exciting plans, enjoy!

9 February 2015

Well I never!

Now, I thought about writing a post over the weekend but it was all going so well and I didn't want to jinx anything, so here it is on Monday instead!
As you may be aware, our weekend family time is usually a super fun mix of hyperactive Toddler and short-fused Husband with essentially me in the middle using a sing-song Julie Andrews voice and acting as some sort of middle-class pandering ref. They are far too similar in their personalities (read: both stubborn and intelligent and determined and keen on the last word) and as such clash quite frequently. This makes for many grumps, many nighttime discussions about parenting approaches and many disagreements about how many times it's acceptable to ask for a drink of squash while your parent is visibly busy before they yell at you and ban you from the kitchen 'for life'. Cue yet another discussion about how our discipline needs to be in line with the behaviour and primarily be something we have a shot in hell's chance at following through with. 
But...this weekend was different. It was like the pair of them had stolen my happy pills and washed them down with a love potion. Friday night saw them doing bedtime without crazy ass threats or desperate bargaining (how Husband gets anything achieved at work is beyond me when he gets so repeatedly ass-whupped by a tired 3 yr old in pyjamas??) Saturday was swimming with no tears or shouts of 'hurry up or I'm driving off without you...right that's IT you're on your own...will you COME ON???' Then we enjoyed an argument-free trip into the big city, a tantrum-free birthday party, a second delightful swimming lesson, a grump-free dinner and another tear-free bedtime. Actually, now I write it all down in a list I'm starting to worry they've been swopped out by aliens...?
Saturday was a lot of fun actually. We drove south to meet some Bristol friends who drove north. The aquarium was what you might call 'manic' but Toddler had a great time racing around like a lunatic and our friends' little boy had a wonderful time waddling around after him hero-worship style! Baby just sat in the Bugaboo looking confused, eating a rice cake and generally ignoring the chaos that is his day-to-day life. 
Husband is normally the one who flips out in busy places but this time it was me who kept losing her breath and having small moments of 'HOLY CRAP WHERE'S TODDLER? Oh ok he's there. Fine. SHIT WHERE'S HE GONE NOW? oh ok he's still there. CAN ANYONE SEE...oh ok I've got him...' and on and on it continued for the entire 90mins we were inside. I had performed my traditional 'this is someone who works here, look at their tshirt...'speech, he had his ID band on his wrist and had been practising screaming my Christian name in a crowd and yet I still didn't feel at ease. My mama-radar was twitching and something just didn't sit right. Who knows, maybe there was a potential paedo in the crowds, maybe it was just me being odd, but I am normally quite relaxed and confident when we're out and about and something just made me feel a bit stressy? It didn't last long though. Soon we were out in the fresh air again and the boys enjoyed running around the fountains in the square before we took them for waffles and milkshakes. I came away feeling that my Bristol friend and I hadn't really had a chance to talk at all. I guess that's what happens when you have children and live so far apart. Your priorities change, albeit temporarily, you only get to see each other once in a blue moon and when you DO get to see each other you're catching up whilst wrestling Baby into a HIGHCHAIR to eat scrambled eggs and picking Toddler out of a fountain where he's dived fully dressed!! True story. 
We could meet without the babies of course, but they're such firm friends and the husbands also enjoy each other's company so it would almost be a shame. A joy for us but of course, us Mamas are always foolishly selfless like that. When will we learn?!

6 February 2015

French Mama

French Mama is a conundrum. Wrapped in an enigma. I suspect she's quite shy and unsure really but sometimes, when you're first getting to know her it comes across as opinionated and defensive. 
I like her a lot. We're very different. She's probably the mother friend I'm least similar too? But this makes for many interesting conversations and discussions over terribly boring parenting topics such as poop and weaning! I would fiercely defend her right to co-sleep or use gentle parenting just as she would, albeit with a wry smile on her face, support my decision to use time-out!
Her youngest baby is under consultant care at the moment for a genetic abnormality. French Mama's poise and serenity throughout this entire process has been something to behold. Honestly, I would have been sobbing at doctors, shouting at receptionists, calling in favours from everyone and anyone we know. The uncertainty must be unbearable yet she never shows it. Maybe it's self preservation? Pretend it's all ok and it will be? God knows it's a tired and tested method. Got me through the spring of 2012. Didn't work but...
French Mama has a real naughty side. She'll tap you on the butt as she skips by, drops really random titbits of gossip into conversation then refuse to elaborate, suddenly mention the summer she was living abroad that you never knew about before. 
She's just given up her job, a decision she came to rather abruptly after learning of Baby's issues, and is beginning her new life as a full time Mama. I think she's finding it all a bit daunting, like it's happened without her full attention? I'm excited to have her 'on board' though. She's always got the kettle on in her beautifully haphazard country kitchen and makes the most incredible brownies I've ever eaten. 
That sounds like our friendship is based on cake. Which isn't strictly true. But it ain't lies either!!

4 February 2015

Such a fun day

Inability to breathe through nose continues so took the wise decision to cancel the dental hygienist appointment that I had scheduled for midday. Distinct possibility I would have drowned or suffocated with someone's hands stuck inside my mouth and since I have no desire to do either at the moment (yay anti-depressants!) I re-booked it for another time. 
Nana was here to babysit for me and Toddler was at nursery so instead we decided to hit up the retail park for a bit of therapy and 'mooching' (it's a family sport, we rock at it!) Decided to be all maverick and carefree and go out for the day without a packed lunch for now-fully-weaned Baby. This was inevitably a disaster. Got all the way to the shops before realising that the Pizza Express I had visualised in my mind was the one 15 miles away at a DIFFERENT retail park and therefore my Baby-friendly lunch of lasagne/pasta/risotto that I was relying on to avoid a screaming meltdown was unavailable. 
Cue small panic attack outside JJB sport (I'm nothing if not classy!) but in the end it was all OK as Nana had a moment of clarity and ran off to buy an Ella's Kitchen pouch in Boots. This was excellent thinking on two counts as Baby loves those and Mama was breathing heavily into a brown paper bag by this point. 
Anyway, food crisis over the rest of the trip was delightful. He napped like a pro in the Bugaboo and we took our sweet time in TKMaxx (no crazed Toddler running up and down announcing his sudden love of teal spandex or revolting wall art)
Didn't buy a damn thing. Which is odd. Maybe I'm sicker than I thought?!

3 February 2015

Birthday plans

Eeeeeeek Baby is turning 1. Granted, it's in another 3 months but still, it'll be here before I know it. Blink and it'll be one whole year since I rang Husband who was a busy little worker bee on Canary Wharf and told him I had a bad back. One whole year since I dropped Toddler off at BFF's house unannounced and she had to rub my back on the drive. One whole year since my mother had to step up and drive me to hospital/squeeze my hand/cut the cord...(she was secretly delighted!!)
To tell the truth, the celebrations are already all sorted. The whole shebang. Venue, entertainment, food, cake, birthday tshirt, invites, decorations...you name it, I've pinned/etsy'd/googled the crap out of it. Am quite excited!! And actually quite sad now I've written it down and realised I have feck all else to do. Bugger!!
Quickly though, house update, have found THE ONE but Husband hasn't seen it and I'm too bunged up with this friggin cold to sway his opinion (if you know what I mean...!!) Well, I could. But I'd probably pass out. Not ideal.
So have had to back down and agree to a second viewing on Thursday. Le sigh! Fingers crossed he loves it too!!

Sniffy Mama

The life of a stay-at-home Mama has many pros but also many cons. Some are insignificant (spending much time in Converse that you walk like Bambi as soon as you look at some heels) and some are unimportant (wankery people at dinner parties who hear what you do and promptly walk off to speak to someone infinitely more interesting because you clearly have no brain or worth) But I feel that the biggest 'fuck you' life throws my way is the whole 'nurse small whingy sick person through a horrid vommy snotty pooey illness and then bam, the milisecond they are healthy again you get sick'. 
I mean, I ask you. If that doesn't prove that God is male/a bastard/both then I don't know what would. 
And just to be clear, I am currently typing this post lying in a prone position on the sofa while Toddler builds a fort ON MY HEAD and Baby empties the book box with gay abandon. I have a banging head, a sore throat, a streaming nose, an upset stomach and the chills. But it's OK. Because I'm a stay-at-home Mama. So this is a piece of piss for me 😡

1 February 2015

Well, that was interesting...

My God. Husband must be having some kind of mid-life crisis, which is worrying in itself as he's only 35. He has been out drinking so many times in the last 6 months I have lost count. This is not casual 'pint down the local' drinking, by the way, this is 'teenage-style inebriated, can't remember what happened to my shoe' drinking. You know, the sort of drinking we used to get away with at university when we could lose 4 days of our life recovering then get fun flashbacks of all the crazy stuff we got up to. It's getting quite worrying.
At first I thought, what an arse. Then I thought, clearly he has an issue at work that he's stressed about, I shall just keep schtum, let him blow off steam and see what occurs. Next time it happened I moved onto 'maybe he's having an affair and is drinking away the guilt...' and now I'm back on, what an arse.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not being totally unsympathetic to a developing alcohol problem. If I thought for one moment that we were in serious uh-oh territory we would be staging interventions left, right and centre (a reason to organise a gathering with invites and a guest list, just say the word!) In actual fact, after much thought and discussion with both Husband and various girlfriends I think it's merely a case of tolerance levels dropping drastically due to less frequent drinking and increasing age and him not taking that into account when he's out with friends. He seems genuinely confused every time it happens as he swears blind he's not had excessive amounts to drink. Initially, I put this down to plain lies because normally as he mumbles it he's got his head down the toilet, is sitting on the end of our bed sobbing or is clutching his head after smacking it into the car door. But clearly it's true. His alcohol tolerance has reduced but so has his ability to retain any pertinent information as soon as his being crosses the threshold of an establishment selling Grolsch?!
So in the end we have come to various conclusions. Clearly, men are shit at telling the truth about anything, not least the amount they've had to drink and also they have definite trouble remembering the last time they went out drinking, thought they hadn't had that much and yet wound up vomming into their jeans as they sat on the loo at 3am sobbing (not a true story, of course, just completely fabricated for comedy purposes)
There were many reasons why the whole thing riled me. For starters Husband was out socialising with friends, something I choose to do once in a blue moon. Then there was the fact that, attentive and loving father that he is, I am fairly confident that the children didn't cross his mind once while he was out. Follow that up with the fact that childcare the following morning had not been discussed or arranged, he just assumed that I would take the lead while he lay around groaning.
But obvious issues aside, the whole scenario made me quite cross at myself really. I never go out for the night, get trollied and stumble home singing loudly and out of tune. This is not Husband's fault. I did all my wild nights out drinking in the years we were first a couple and, truth be told, I really have no interest in repeating them. I love going out with friends for a meal and a few cocktails, but the fear of the dreaded hangover means that I know my limit and rarely cross it. For me, it's just not worth the (literal) pain.
I was mad too that I initially excused his behaviour due to him being busy at work, working hard, needing time to relax and unwind. Thing is, I work hard too and don't expect him to carry me upstairs when I come home from the pub!
As for the children, maybe I can't really be cross at him about not worrying about them? Maybe it's testament to his faith in my abilities as their mother, their primary caregiver? Also, it must be so different being a Dad. My heart literally hurts when I think of my children being hurt in any way, it is crippling at times. And while I have no doubt that Husband loves them and wouldn't hesitate to put himself in harm's way should the need arise to rescue them, maybe a father's love is different somehow? I angst about them sleeping, about their routine...I admit it must be nice to be able to go out for the evening and not have those worries bouncing around your brain constantly!
As for the morning after the night before, I know I am a rod for my own back. I pack every bag, make every lunch, write down detailed instructions if I leave the house for however short a time...I do get up with the children every day and on the whole I'm happy to do so. I like things done the way I like things done. And while I'm sure he takes advantage of that fact when he's feeling less than amazing, maybe I need to be less regimented and more flexible. Imagine his face the next time someone woke in the night if I rolled over and just mumbled 'you go darling, do what you think is best...' God the thought of it brings me out in chills!
But I must try to be more relaxed and maybe make more of a concerted effort to go out and let my hair down too. I am going to book a weekend at the spa and NOT prescribe every single waking second for the boys while I'm gone. I shall also be posting photographic evidence the next time Husband decides to let himself down in such an epic and embarrassing way. Coz you know, that's just fair!!