Archive for November, 2009

Guilty, Your Honour.

mister maker cbeebies arts craftsWHAT a day.

It started so well – LD slept through till 7am without a peep. Awesome. We had breakfast, we played, we sang, we read, we had lunch, we watched Makka Pakka be all OCD-like with his stones. All good.

LD went down for a nap at about 1 ish. Woke up screaming at about 1.03.  Yep, seems tooth no.3 is finally on the way – right at the back, can just feel it starting to poke through. Every time he tries to sleep, it kicks off.  Poor little dude 😦  He finally crashed about an hour ago. I don’t have high hopes for a restful night.

But enough whiney stuff, let’s talk guilt.  But the good kind.  The pleasurable kind.  That’s right lovely blog readers – we’re talking Guilty Pleasures.

For you see lovely @porridgebrain asked on twitter yesterday for writing workshop prompt suggestions, and she only went with my idea – woo! Given my big love for the workshop, I am super flattered!  Of course now, I must play the game & confess to my own guilty pleasures.  So, here we go:

1. Cult Teen Movies.  Honestly, I don’t really consider myself a grown-up.  Even now with my 30th birthday & a seven month old son under my belt, my brain still thinks I’m 20.  And so every now & then I indulge myself and watch Heathers or The Lost Boys and imagine what life would be like if Christian Slater or Corey Haim were my boyfriend. *wistful sigh*…

2. Trashy chick-lit.  I got an A for A Level English Literature. I can converse about Shakespeare and Hardy & Austen with the best of them, and I truly do love proper novels – both of the old and modern variety.  But sometimes, I do rather enjoy just switching my brain off & reading a vacuous of tale of love and betrayal and shopping.

3. Biscuits for lunch.  At least once a month (yes, often when mother nature is a house guest), I will secretly skip anything of nutritional value at lunchtime, in favour of sitting with a big mug of tea (and perhaps one of those fluffy novels mentioned above), and work my way through a whole packet of biscuits.  Shameful? Probably.  But SO good.

4. Facebook Stalking.  There are SO many people on my friends list who are only there out of politeness. Who I rarely see, only know through friends, or just don’t really care about (don’t judge me – bet you have some too!), but I do quite enjoy checking up on their statuses and the like – particularly when they’re bitching about other pseudo-friends they don’t realise you know. It’s like a little real-life soap opera 🙂

5. Inappropriate crushes. I’ll happily tell anyone who cares to listen about my deep love for Johnny Depp and David Tennant and Robbie Williams… … … sorry – got distracted 😉 – but I also have several less high-profile crushes that I tend to keep to myself – Andrew Castle on GMTV is probably old enough to be my dad, but he’s everso dishy.  Mister Maker on cBeebies – the LD is a long way off cutting and sticking, yet we watch every single day.  And Simon Cowell.  Yes, even with that hair and those trousers.

I could go on, but I think 5 guilty confessions will do for now.

As always, all of the prompts over at Sleep is for the Weak are brilliant, so go have a peek. I may still have a go at some of the others myself, but for now, there’s a little boy starting to stir who needs my attention.

While I do that – consider the comment box a confession booth – what are your guilty pleasures?


Children’s Birthday Parties are *hard!*

Toy Story Alien Fancy DressAnd it wasn’t even my little monster’s birthday!

Today we’ve been to a friend’s little boy’s 3rd birthday party – the LD’s fourth proper party, first of the fancy dress variety, and also the first one that Mummy has done solo as Daddy was at work.

It was lovely, and my chum had put in SO much effort – there were tables for colouring, sticking & play doh-ing, (all a bit advanced for the LD, but the older kids were having a ball!), plus music, loads of toys and books, and some great baby-friendly party food.  The little dude (dressed as an alien from toy story – he has been chosen – the claw is his master, oh yes!), had lots of fun, being admired and cooed over by all the grown ups, chasing balloons, commando-crawling under chairs & tables, munching tasty noms – and he was good as gold, didn’t cry once!

The mummy on the other hand, spent the whole 2 hours getting increasingly frazzled – making small talk with other mummys (who all have older children, and all want to have the ‘oh, when {insert their child’s name here} was that age…’ conversation, which is nice the first couple of times, but the novelty soon wears off whn you’re distractd by trying to make sure your own little monster isn’t getting into something he shouldn’t be!), running interference between balloons and newly aquired teeth for fear of LD being left with a crippling fear of loud bangs, untangling him from chair legs and other people’s legs, and trying to teach him it’s not polite to grab mini sausage rolls off other people’s plates.  Phew. 

Plus, solo party-going means no Daddy to take a turn at baby-entertaining while mummy scoffs a plate of party food & some pop- so not only was I exhausted when we left, I was starving too!

Other than that though, it really was a lovely party.  I love watching the LD learn to interact with other little people – he & the birthday boy’s little sister are good chums, so they enjoyed a bit of quality time too 🙂

Shattered now though – and the LD is crashed out next to me too. Dread to think how tired we’ll be when it’s his turn for a birthday. Less than 5 months till we find out. Eek!

Not exactly wordless Wednesday…

This is me multi-tasking like a proper mummy – you’re impressed, right?

The photo, counts as a Wordless Wednesday, but by cheating, and adding a few words, it’s going to magically turn into my entry to this week’s writing workshop over at Sleep is for the weak.  Clever eh?

I was all up for doing No.1 this week & treating you to a bit of a photo walk, but the weather had other ideas. So, I’ll save that for another day & go with No.4: Tell me about something precious you gave away.

First up, here’s the photo:

tiny newborn babygrow meets seven month size babygrow

scary how fast time flies when you're a mummy!

The one on the bottom, is one of the LD’s current sleepsuits.  The one on top, is one of his very first.

Despite being 10 days late, and weighing in at a pretty respectable 7lb, none of the newborn or 0-3 month variety we’d stocked up on fitted him – he was so skinny, the daddy had to do a mothercare run to pick up some ‘tiny baby’ ones so that he wasn’t swamped.  Looking at those tiny little suits now fills me with a mixture of emotions – amazement that my now 18lb monster ever fitted in them, nostalgia for those early days where all I could day was stare in wonder at the wrinkly and gorgeous baby I’d just had and heartache when I dwell too long on the memory of a traumatic birth & the hard bits of those first few weeks- breast feeding tribulations, LD’s trouble gaining weight, having to take him back into hospital… *shudder*.

Mostly though, it’s happy memories of what seems like a lifetime ago despite being just seven short months.

As I mentioned in this post, I’m a terrible clutterbug, and too sentimental for my own good. I hadn’t got rid of a single piece of outgrown clothing before this week. Now, I’ve made a start. I sorted through & pulled out all the tiny baby sleepsuits, vests & babygrows, threw them in the wash, and ironed the lot. I bundled them all up with a few soft toys and blankies, and donated them to our local SCBU.  Because as precious as they are to me, they’ll be far more useful to the next mummy who’s baby makes an early appearance & is in need of something tiny to keep them warm.

I let myself keep the one in the picture though.  Well, it’s not as though it takes up much room 😉

T’was the De-clutter before Christmas…

…and all through the house, not a single space lay empty, no space for a mouse.

Okay, so I’m no poet, but there’s no search for the hidden meaning here, in short: my house is FULL.  Full of stuff and things and bits and pieces that have accumulated over the years.  And, the stuff:space ratio is at an all time level of crammed since the arrival of a certain Little Dude and his many, many toys and books and clothes and other essential chunks of baby paraphernalia.

It wasn’t until this morning, while reading this post over at the lovely Violet Posy blog, it really dawned on me that this Christmas (The Little Dude’s firstEXCITING!) is going to bring a whole lot more stuff into the house. Forget the presents WE buy the little monkey, his grandparents are bound to go loopy overboard, plus aunties, uncles, godparents, friends… you get the idea.  LOTS of lovely presents that will need somewhere to live long after the turkey is eaten.

So, I have decided I need to take action. A pre-emptive strike if you will. Borrow a leaf from Liz’s book, and embark on: Mission De-clutter.

William Morris once said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I think that’s a great rule of thumb, and I’d love to say I live by it, but I’d be telling great big junk-filled pork pies.  You see, I have a confession.  I am a hoarder.  Complete Clutterbug.  I’m a sentimental old fool & I hate to throw things away. I have a passion for fashion & HATE getting rid of clothes.  I am arty-crafty by nature and stockpile supplies. (plus bits of stuff that *could* be supplies.)  My baby is SEVEN months old and I haven’t parted with a single item of outgrown clothing yet.  I am a SUCKER for pretty things and fanciful bits and pieces – my home is choc-full of things I believe to be beautiful, yet am fully aware are utterly pointless.

So you see,Mission De-clutter is no easy task.

But, it DOES need to be done.  So, I’m going to be focused, and ruthless.  My target, is to be fully de-cluttered by December 12th, that being the day the Christmas tree goes up (the daddy is a traditionalist – I’d have it up on December 1st if it were up to me, but I have to let him win now and then ;D)  I hope to be motivated by having publicly shamed myself on my blog, and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Hey, maybe I’ll even giveaway some of my clutter on here? That could be fun. Stay tuned!

Enough of the Gloom!!

So, this week has been, how to put it eloquently – lacking in joy – devoid of merit – snap & crackle without the pop… oh you know, what I’m saying – a bit shit.

But tomorrow, sees the start of a brand new week – a fresh start, bursting with potential. See that positive mental attitude at work? Glowing like the readybrek man – grrrrreat! like Tony the Tiger.  Apparently sleep deprivation sends me into a spiral of breakfast cereal slogan-ing.  Who knew.

The point I was trying to make, is that tomorrow is a new day, a new week, and it’s going to be good.

And in that spirit, and as my little boy is now SEVEN months old (meep!), I’m going to start as I mean to go on, by sharing with you 7 of my favourite things about my little 7 month old man…

1. The big gummy grin he gives me when I pick him up in the morning or after a nap.

2. The funny little noises & cute little half smiles he makes when he’s sleeping.  Wonder if I’ll ever get bored of watching him sleep? Doubt it.

3. His throaty little chuckle when me or his daddy make silly faces or blow raspberries on his tummy.

4. His already excellent music taste, which I fully take credit for.  He lights up at the sound of The Monkeys (as in Arctic, not Hey Hey we’re the), ELO, Maximo Park, allsorts of good stuff – I love & look forward to our daily rock-out sessions.

5. Watching him ‘play’ with the dog. By which I mean, grabbing her & hanging on for dear life (he hasn’t quite got ‘petting’ yet), and his little giggles when she snuggles up & tickles his nose.  I reckon they’re going to be best chums as he gets older.

6. The way he holds on so tight when I cuddle him when he’s upset. I hate seeing him cry, but love that burying his face into me & clinging his arms round my neck makes him feel better.  Magic mummy cuddles 🙂

7. Watching him learn something new everyday. He truly amazes me. I love to watch him playing – methodically bashing and squishing and gumming and thinking.  I’d love to know exactly what’s going on in that gorgeous little head.  I’m sure he’s planning something.

Here’s to a fabulous week for mummys (and their little monsters) everywhere xx

Why you’ll never hear me mention my mother…

Earlier this week, I read a very brave, incredibly honest post over at New Mummy – all about how her greatest fear is turning into her mother, and  the reasons why.  You may or may not have noticed, I never mention my mother, and inspired by New Mummy, I’m going to tell you why…

On Thursday 25th August 2005, I got a phone call at work from my mother. Which was weird in itself, as she had never phoned me at work before.  She said she needed to see me, she had something important to tell me that she couldn’t say over the phone.  I arranged to meet her for a drink when I finished work, and on my way to the bar, I prepared myself for the worst – either my Nana had died, or she’d left my Dad.  It was the latter.  She’d walked out on him on the Monday, and got round to telling me on the Thursday. (My parents house was about 10 minutes away from my flat at the time.)

It hit me hard. My parents had always had a volatile relationship, but I figured after nearly 26 years together, they’d decided they loved eachother enough to see it out till death did they part. Wrong.

She’d been having an affair, for 3 months she said, the truth later came out to be nearer 18.  The bloke was a tosser.  My Dad’s far from perfect, but this idiot had 4 kids by 3 women, 2 of whom he’d been married to, he’d been inside, and declared bankruptcy twice.  Quite a catch eh?  Apparently, he made her ‘happier than she’d ever been’.  So, she had left her beautiful 5 bedroom home & husband of over 2 decades, to go shack up with a loser in a scummy one bedroom flat. Fair enough.  I tried to be a grown-up about it.  I told her there was no way I was going to be even civil to her new beau, but as long as she made sure I never had to be in the same room as him, I’d do my best to maintain a relationship with her.

After dropping her bombshell, she didn’t get in touch with me for nearly 4 months. I called, left messages, texted, nothing.  Not even on my birthday.  I was spending all my time trying to get my dad back on his feet – he took it all very badly – It transpired she’d been stealing money from their joint & business accounts for over a year.  She had been planning the whole thing.  He was broken.  I didn’t know what to do.  Dad made me promise not to mention it to her, or my sister.

Christmas day, I got a text. “Merry Xmas, Love Mum xxx”. Classy.

I soon realised I was no longer a priority, and to be honest, though it started off hurting like nothing I’d ever known before, I soon got over it. I sure as hell wasn’t going to keep chasing her & begging to have a relationship.

On the 9th April 2006, it aaaaall kicked off.  Friends of ours were moving to France, & had a going away party – the Mr & I went along, it was all lovely, until my mother showed up.  Pissed out of her head.  With scumbag boyfriend in tow.  Somehow, I kept my cool, and just avoided them, despite being all too aware she was making a complete show of herself & completely disrespecting me – the only thing I ever asked, was that she didn’t put me in the same room as the loser who had trashed my family.

After the party, we left, quickly, and got home. I was fuming.  Then she phoned me, still drunk, looking for a row. And oh did she get one. We screamed & shouted at eachother for over an hour. She bad mouthed my dad, my other half and me. The last straw was when she told me it was my fault she’d been ‘stuck with him (my dad) so long anyway’ (She was 8 months pregnant with me when they got married).  I told her that was she was a cold hearted bitch & I had nothing more to say to her until she was sober & ready to apologise, and hung up.

I have never spoken to or seen her since.  Despite living in the same small town.

My Dad received his copy of their decree absolute in August 2007.  I heard from a friend that she re-married TEN days later.

The way I see it, she made her choice. She got her shiney new ‘happy’ life, and I wasn’t part of it.  It took me a long time to get over it, but I did, and I’ll never go back.

I didn’t get in touch with her when I fell pregnant, or when I gave birth. I have no doubt she knows about the little dude (My sister is still in contact with her), but she has never contacted me, and has never met him, and as far as I’m concerned, she never will.  She has caused so much pain to the people I love, and left me feeling betrayed, hurt and confused.  There’s NO way I’m risking her causing my little boy any heartache.  No way.

He has three grandparents who absolutely dote on him.  He’s not missing out on anything.  The only person who is, is her.

And that’s why you’ll never hear me mention my mother.

(Sorry, that got way longer than it was supposed to!!)


Teething Traumas

Yes, the teething gremlins have arrived chez Little Dude.

Technically, they arrived about a month ago, bringing with them great excitement at the first sighting of a tiny white sliver of tooth (bottom middle right if you’re interested).  It was quickly followed by its neighbour – and a tear or two was shed about my baby boy growing up.  I was also super impressed that his first two toothypegs had made an appearance with little more than a hefty portion of drool.  Oh how naive I was.

At the risk of sounding smug & making you all hate me – I’ve been blessed with a really chilled out, happy little baby, who rarely cries, certainly not for more than 5 minutes.  He grumbles if he’s hungry, has a full nappy, or gets overtired.  That’s about it.  Or at least it was.

Yesterday, he cried for Three. Hours. Solid.  And I don’t mean grumbled.  I mean properly, really cried.  Horrible painful screaming, utterly inconsolable. 

Calpol, Bickipegs, gel, teething ring, frozen carrot stick. 

Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail. 

I felt like the worst mummy in the world, there was absolutely nothing I could do but cuddle him, pace around, and cuddle him some more.  I was so not prepared for so much crying!

He finally gave into sleep just after 10pm, and then was up & grouchy on and off during the night.  I chalked up about 2 hours of sleep made out of 20 minute bursts here and there.  I’m sure I did better than that when he was a newborn!

Thankfully, today has been a breath of fresh air by comparison.  My smiley little boy is back.  For now at least.

And oh I have heeded the warning!

Some of my lovely twitter chums were on hand last night with lots of good advice, so now we are fully prepared for the next onslaught.  There’s a flannel in the freezer (thank you @violetposy), we have powders & homeopathic deelies at the ready (muchos gracias @suzypink & @Wendymal), a little pot of carrot & cucumber sticks in the fridge (which if nothing else, will make a good snack for mummy when she’s tearing her hair out at 2am), and as a last resort (because I prefer not to medicate if I can possibly help it) there’s Calpol & Chidren’s Ibuprofen (ta muchly @cafebebe & @ilovemonty).  So, hopefully, we can avoid another three hour scream-fest any time soon.  And if not, I shall try to remember the kind words of @porridgebrain & @kellyfairy & @InsomniacMummy – I’m not a rubbish mummy, teething just sucks.  Or words to that effect.

Still, I can’t wait till that gummy little mouth is filled with pearly whites & we can move on to whatever’s next.

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