Thursday, April 26, 2007


Sorry you can't see pics of the car...they obviously took it off the dealer's website cos they sold it to me!

Here is the newly christened Jeremiah JoyJoy the Renault on our front drive.

The colour is Dune - it's a light sparkly green. I love it. And I love the central locking, electric windows, power steering, storage, electric sunroof, enormous boot, electric side mirror adjustors (only found those today) but most of all I love the HEIGHT. I can see so much better and for the first time in 4 months my back isn't aching from loading the boys in and out. The name? Well...I'm trying to blame Oscar but I really came up with it with his help....the reg says JO 2Y in it - Joy to.....the world....all the boys and girls...Jeremiah was a bullfrog (one of my fave songs) and Joyx2 = joyjoy. Ergo - Jeremiah JoyJoy. I really like it. I know naming your car is naff. But I don't care. My first Rover was called Duffy HotPants. (Reg was DHP). The Volvo was Sherman (the tank - and the reg was SHE) so I'm always inspired by my plate...and JJJ is what we came up with. I don't talk to my car so I'm not totally bonkers.....I do stroke this one every day though cos i LOVE it!

The nightmare journey was worth it....SO worth it.

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while - combination of Toby suddenly being a nightmare to put down at night - last night he screamed for an hour and a half and nothing we did would sooth him - and Kirsti being here. Toby's sleep is also just as bad - there have been 2 good nights in the last week when he slept until 2 and then woke up around 4, then 5, then awake proper at 6. That's a good night. Trying him on a bottle tonight again - a different teat so maybe he'll take it.

K went home today. I knew Oscar would be sad but I'm really sad too - really miss her company. We had such fun. Going to Japanese restaurants, having an adventure up in town so she could go to Bravissimo, I wouldn't have got through the weekend trip without her. And she's so generous with her time and her attention - Oscar had the best playmate...but I also had cups of tea made for me, my kitchen was sparkling. She's an angel and I miss her already and she only left this morning. I do feel quite depressed. Which is silly cos I know I've got a fab new car and all and life is generally good. But I will miss her a lot.

Rob was on telly a lot yesterday - on Sky News and CNN - talking about that planet they discovered. And he got his payrise info today - very good news- he's earnt it I tell you....I promptly went on Ebay and started bidding on this....I'm so naughty. But I bought a really nice tunic type top at Hennes this week (with Kirsti's encouragement) and it was a bit of a breakthrough for me....

I have put on weight since I had Toby. And I've been beating myself up about it, feeling guilty and eating because I felt bad and then repeating that crappy cycle - which is insane. And I've been so tired too - which makes me comfort eat. But this top from Hennes - it's gorgeous - very 70's print - but very flattering even though it's a big smock one. And I felt fantastic in it. So fuck it if I'm a size 20-22. Kirsti brought me a couple of tops from my favourite shop in the US. Which make me feel good. This top with my black jeans makes me feel good. And if I feel good I won't obsess about what I'm eating.

I joined the gym. Did 24 lengths with Clare this morning - 4 more than last week - and I've got aquafit tomorrow. I'm going to do the gym induction next week and do a session on the bike every week. So that, combined with easing up on myself and not reaching for the family sized Dairy Milk should make a difference.

So there - all caught up. Sorry for not being around or commenting or anything. I'm so tired! I keep saying that....but I am! Ursula - thank you for the vouchers and yes please - we must meet up soon (I only have 2 Tuesdays left of Oz at nursery though so get in there quick). Roxabella - thank you for Toby's postcard. He said to tell you he'll write back as soon as he can nick enough money out of my purse to buy you a beautiful card.

Big love to everyone out there. Your comments keep me going some days you know...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Part 2....the show

So - we finally get to the Used Car Roadshow and everything got better! People made us cups of tea, settled us in the Green Room. I had my makeup done (which was needed after the night I'd had). I was a bit nervous. I watched the show last Wednesday and it seemed very technical - both presenters are obviously experts on cars and the buyer of the week last time seemed very knowledgeable. I know how to open a car door and get in and drive it. And that's about it. Which is exactly why I needed to be on the show!

I met one of the presenters, the beautiful Penny Mallory in the makeup room - she was lovely! She's a Champion Rally Driver so she knows her cars! She's also a mum so I think she appreciated my situation and understood why I needed the car. Then the other presenter - Jason Dawe arrived and he was also lovely - very funny - put me at my ease. He is Mr Used Car - Sunday Times Car Critic and industry expert. So I was in safe hands!

I was getting really excited now - couldn't wait to see the cars! As usual in telly we shot the show backwards so the first bit was me looking at the 3 cars they had found for me. There was a Vauxhall Zafira, a Mitsubishi SpaceStar and a Renault Scenic. The Scenic was stunning - and everyone was pointing me at it. Since all 3 cars were SO much nicer than anything I've ever contemplated driving, choosing one to reject was hard. In the end I didn't test drive the Zafira - it was older, larger and just didn't appeal as much as the other 2. And although it had 7 seats in it, which none of the others did, I decided I didn't actually want that option - I'd end up as the local taxi service!

So off I went to test drive with a camera man next to me and one of the producers in the back asking me questions. Disconcerting but fun! I drove the Mitsubishi first, then the Scenic....

Now - I won't go into tons of details cos you can watch it! (Don't know when it's on but will post it as soon as I know).

Should I tell you which car I eventually chose? Or make you wait a few weeks for the show.....


I can't wait! This is my new car. The photo doesn't do it justice. It's a beautiful silvery green colour. I can't believe I have a car like this for the budget I have - and I didn't pay that price shown on the website - Jason negotiated for me and got me a great deal. Penny reassured me that I'd made the right choice. The dealer was wonderful - drove us to the dealership and sorted out delivery - they're driving the car down from Leeds for me and it should be delivered tomorrow!

It doesn't quite seem real - that that beautiful machine is mine. I've never fallen in love with a machine before! But wow. It's amazing. And it's mine!!!

I would HIGHLY recommend anyone thinking about buying a used car to do it through this programme. I would never have found such an amazing car - I was quite picky about what I wanted - for such a limited budget. Everyone was wonderful and it was great fun.

So the dealer dropped us at Wakefield station for the journey home...I was hoping we could drive the Renault straight away but it wasn't taxed so it would have been illegal. I was dreading getting home as the journey up had been such a nightmare. Luckily we left Oscar's car seat in the Renault so that was one less thing to carry. But our luck wasn't lasting....

The train from Wakefield to Sheffield was so crammed full we could hardly get on. People standing in the the doorways...the corridors. Toby was desperate for a I ended up travelling for the journey in the toilet. Sitting on the toilet feeding Toby while Kirsti had to straddle the buggy and hold the cabinet that was on the wall shut as the catch had gone and it would have hit me right in the head if she wasn't holding it shut. No windows. Really bumpy train. Both of us started to feel nauseous.

Got to Sheffield and it was a mad dash to make our connection. Another full train but this was a proper intercity so we had a seat. We were on 2 separate tables across the aisle as it was so full. And of course....Toby didn't want to sleep. He'd been such an angel all day I can hardly blame him. And the previous train ride had been horrible and he was all stressed. But the carriage we were in - the only one that had seats that weren't reserved - was the "quiet" carriage - no mobile phones, no uneccesary noise. And a tired baby.

I spent about an hour in the space between the carriages with Toby in a sling trying to get him to sleep. My back was aching and I was exhausted. We hadn't really eaten much and I was also dehydrated....from feeding Toby so much to keep him quiet probably! It's a bloody good job I'm not a Gina Ford mum - I would never have coped!

Luckily my WONDERFUL mother, as well as financing the car, arranged for a mini cab to pick us up at St Pancras and take us all the way home. Otherwise we were facing a tube, train and bus ride....By now it's 9pm (the train from Sheffield to London took 4 hours - stopped all the time)

It was so good to be home! It felt like we'd been away for a week. My lovely husband had run me a bath. I had a soak, settled Toby and went to bed.

So there we are. Highs and Lows of the weekend. But it was so worth it. I can't wait to get my car! We've been relying on public transport today and had to get 3 buses to get to the soft play place with Oz in one buggy and Toby in another. I need my wheels back!

HUGE thank you to the Used Car Roadshow....can't wait to see how I look on the show (they said I was the best buyer they'd ever had....*blush* cos I was so gobby on camera I think)

I'm going to do this in 2 posts....

just to keep you reading....and cos it's a LOOOOONG story! My adventures at the Used Car Roadshow by Sally Edwards aged 35 1/2....

The journey....

Left in plenty of time. Happily driving along with a great mix tape...eating Haribo and singing our heads off. Got through the Blackwall Tunnel (I hate that tunnel), went past Cambridge and were on the A14 and were debating which services to stop at (Toby fast asleep in the back) when I suddenly noticed that the acceleration didn't seem quite right...

Then we couldn't go over 70.. then 60... then 50... and there was this awful growling sound when I tried. So we pulled off at the next exit (thankfully we were on an A road ratherthan a motorway, so there were more exits and slower traffic!), found a petrol station to park at, and called the RAC. I breastfed Toby in the front seat watched by a procession of drivers pulling up and filling their cars.....very bemused. But at least there was a toilet, a shop that sold chocolate and it wasn't raining.

After about 45 minutes, the RAC mechanic showed up, took the car out for a drive while Kirsti stayed at the petrol station with Toby. He diagnosed... the gear box had gone. And he said that with the age of the Volvo, it really wasn't worth the cost to replace it.Basically, the car is scrap. I'd just had it MOTed on Tuesday and paid for it to be fully serviced. And it's scrap. The RAC guy said there was no way the garage could have forseen this or prevented it. But I was not a happy bunny.

So we were stuck in Huntingdon. This being 3pm on Saturday, no car rental places were open (that was Kirsti's first suggestion - we rent a car, driveto Leeds, then hopefully buy one of the options the show has, and drive it home). But there was a train station that was on the line towards Leeds... I was on the phone to Jaqui from the Used Car Roadshow who said the train would be the best we drove the Volvo there (it was fine if I stayed under 30) left Kirsti and Toby and the luggage while I drove the Volvo very slowly behind him to one of their garages to park it... of course, we had to take everything ofvalue out of it, including Oscar's car seat... and because we thought we were driving, we hadn't packed rolling suitcases or anything, just a lot of shoulder bags and nappy bags. *sigh*.

So I get to the station in the RAC van (he was such a nice guy) , Kirsti had bought the tickets, and we then had to haul the buggy and luggage and car seat over the over the footbridge to get to Peterborough. I had to breastfed on the platform watched by a gang of smoking punk teenagers. Fun.

Changed at Peterborough (where there was a ramp thank God) and got to Leeds. Finally. Got a cab to the hotel and had another adventure. Our hotel booking was cancelled because they hadn't paid for it. So I was on the phone again to Jaqui the amazing production person at Used Car Roadshow. Bless her - she fixed it - but the hotel was....erm....not exactly the ritz. The room was about 8 ft wide by 15ft long. One double bunkbed above the double bed....the shower and sink next to the double bed and a cupboard with a toilet in. I kept thinking someone was going to open a window in the door and look in to check we were ok - very institutional. We'd envisaged room service....they sold Pot Noodles in reception - really.

So we got Toby back in the buggy - he'd been such a good baby - and went into Leeds. We contemplated LiveBait and an Argentinian Steakhouse but I wasn't convinced the TV company would cover that (and it turned out I'd got it wrong - they don't pay for a meal for you) so we went to a very cheap and semi-nasty all you can eat chinese buffet. It was food. It was quick. Sod it.

Back to the hotel. Had a seriously uncomfortable night on a bed that felt like a rock. With Toby in the middle of it and me moving from one side to another feeding him as he woke (every hour to an hour and a half) - hoping not to wake Kirsti above us.

Morning broke. We attempted to get dressed and ready in the teeny tiny room. And to go down to breakfast which was advertised as "Pastries and butter" and coffee from the drinks machine....

BUT - the lift was broken. Both lifts were broken. And we're on the 7th floor (remember how much luggage we have) and Toby is asleep in his buggy......

Kirsti walked downstairs with half the bags to ask if anyone could help us. No. The man on reception said he was on his own and wouldn't move. So K came back up the stairs and carried Toby back down and I bumped the buggy with bags on it all the way down 14 flights of stairs. No breakfast. No time. Not even for a cup of tea.....

So we were off into a minicab - which of course didn't know where to go and had to look it up in an A-Z.......and FINALLY got to the Studio where UCR was filming....and from here, I promise, things got a LOT better! I'll write that installment in a bit....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Moxie in Americaland!

My amazing sister let me have a nap today and while she did, Mox rang from New Yawk and she was on the Time Sq webcam. And since my sister is much more websavvy than me, she managed to get screengrabs! So here is Mox - and Rox - living it up in the Sexy City of NY, NY! (I know - it's very small...but that's why I ringed her in red!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I am still here....barely...

Toby's sleep has been getting worse. There I was thinking he'd cracked it. He is now waking at 11pm - 3 hours after going down - then around once every 2 hours after that. I'm not getting any decent sleep - just what feels like a series of I'm exhausted.

And going to bed insanely early.

Kirsti arrives tomorrow - yay! More naptime for me! And funtime for the boys. We're on for filming this weekend -they're paying for a hotel so we're going to drive up on Saturday and back on Sunday after it's done. I'm so excited!

Joined the gym today too - so swimming tomorrow morning and aquafit on Friday. Hopefully goodbye to the lard soon....

Ok - off to bed at the late old hour of 9pm......

Monday, April 16, 2007

Guess what....

I'm going to Leeds on Sunday! It's a bit of a long story....but also a quick one...I'll explain.

Mum rang me yesterday and told me there was a piece in the Sunday Times about the Used Car Roadshow - a tv programme that helps you find a used car. My Volvo is due for it's MOT tomorrow and I've been asking Mum since I was pregnant with Toby if she'd lend us the money to buy a decent people mover. She's always said no - make do with the Volvo - it's knackered but it works. However it's too small, too low for us tall folks and hasn't got things like central locking or electric windows which I used to think were luxuries but actually make life with kids easier.

But she suggested I write to the show - they're looking for buyers. They don't buy the car for you - you specify the budget and stuff....and they won't sell your current car for you - they just find, with the help of the expert Jason, cars for you to buy. You don't HAVE to buy the one they find but I think you'd be nuts not to! It'll be checked and will probably be a great bargain.
So I shot an email off - thinking nothing of it....they rang me today and interviewed me over the phone. We're off to Leeds on Sunday to film!!! How funny is that! They find me 3 cars to my spec, I choose 2 to test drive (on camera - eek!) and then decide if I want to buy one.

So I specified a people mover, automatic, with central locking. They asked me for funny driving stories so I will embarrass myself by admitting I've ripped the bumper off the Volvo twice while trying to reverse...i can't reverse to save my life.

If anyone wants to come and watch the can email them from the website. We're filming the Sunday afternoon show (they do one in the morning and one in the afternoon).

I've got to take Toby with me obviously cos I'm breastfeeding but they're paying for me plus one - so my sister who is conveniently arriving on Thursday will come with me! It will be a long day but it will be a laugh!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Since Clara Jane got me hooked on the Kitty Kat

I've been looking for more Steve Ibsen....Poppy -has she seen this one? She must have....

Thought I'd post a more cheerful YouTube than yesterday. I feel better today. Knackered. But better.

Need a hug

Wierd and quite horrible day yesterday. Something I'd been looking forward to all week turned out horrible. I'm not going to go into it here but it was petty and stupid and I feel like I've lost someone I considered a friend. I was very upset last night and went straight to bed. For a while...Toby seems to have lost his ability to sleep for longer than 2 hours.......

So send me a hug. I need one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This time next week..... sister will be here!!!! Yay!

She's coming for a week and I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Poppy ROCKS!

I got the MOST AMAZING parcel today from Poppy and she's blown me away. It's perfect. It contains (and I wanted to take pics but my camera batteries are dead and I haven't any more - will get some and post later)

A stunning handmade blanket, part knitted, part quilted. It's gorgeous. Oscar was given a quilt when he was a baby and now Toby has his own heirloom blanket. The fact that Poppy made it herself makes it ultimately more precious. It's wonderful

Some fab books for Oz about baby brothers, a dinosaur sticker book (his 2 favourite things combined), some extra stickers, a mix cd for Oz, a mix cd for me (yay! Poppy has the best music taste), a cute onesie that says "party in my crib, 2am" - very appropriate (and yes it will fit him Pops), a huge stack of People Magazine (Sally's crack) and.....instead of packing materials or bubble wrap... .there's a whole bucket of Laffy Taffy in there! I think that was all the contents.

It was like christmas - I just kept pulling goodies out of there.

So all praise Poppy for her generosity, her uncanny ability to pick the BEST things for each member of the family. And even though she's selling her house, moving, looking after a 3 year old and doing every thing else she manages to do, making time for me. I feel so blessed to have you in my life Poppy. You're an angel.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If you've got a spare 8 minutes

and aren't easily bored.....go watch this

If you aren't related to me, then you may find it boring. We got a new video camera with editing software (no comments please Pearl, I'm an amateur!) and this took me most of 2 afternoons.....

Monday, April 09, 2007

Catch up

Blimey - not posted for nearly a week.....what can I say? It's been a lovely week -Rob's been off and we've been doing lots of family stuff. Swimming a lot at the leisure centre, going to the park. Weather has been glorious!

It was Rob's birthday on Friday - we went out for dinner at Sapporo on Thursday night (they don't do the cheap buffet on a Friday) which was lovely. First time we've been out on our own since Toby was born - we've both been out independently but not together. Had a really lovely meal as always and great conversation. Very important to feel like a couple again.

We woke Rob up with breakfast in bed (toast and honey and cake!) on Friday morning. Oscar ate the toast and demanded cake! I'd bought Rob some old fashioned sweeties from for him to open in the morning. His main present was to go into town with his mate Rob and hit Charing Cross Road second hand bookshops and then Waterstones by the University of London. He got some books and had a great time. Oscar slept over at my mums and we had Papa Johns pizza and watched Pan's Labyrinth on DVD in the evening - amazing, if slightly disturbing, film.

In other news - Toby's sleep is geting better. Dare I jinx it? The last four nights he's slept from going down at 7.30 until 2am, then waking again at 5. He's usually awake again at 6 but if I take him into bed he'll doze with me until 7ish which is much more civilized than waking up 6 times a night! PLEASE let it last.....

Ok - Rob's arrived with fish and chips. I'm off to scoff....

Ok I scoffed and now am back...forgot to update on the elder child...he's been his usual schizoid self - angelic one minute, satanic the next. The naughty chair is failing to have any effect today so he was sent to bed with no bath-time fun - just a shower and no toys, no story and no stickers. About the worst we can do as far as punishment goes. Rob felt wretched enforcing it but Oscar has to learn that he can't push boundaries as far as he wants. He's been hitting us all for the last few days and I hate that. He actually slapped Rob's face (Rob was behind him on the stairs). But where stern voices and time outs used to work, he now laughs and runs away. Or sits on the naughty chair and burbles happily away to himself.

Any ideas for further punishments gratefully received. We don't spank or hit btw so anything apart from that (though I have been sorely tempted today!!! Bad mummy....)

Right. Think that's us up to date. Hope you all had Happy Easters and ate lots of chocolate.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Toby the bloater...

Tobes was three months old yesterday (blimey where did that go...) and so today I trundled off to baby clinic - to think that I used to go practically every week with Oz - anyway - he had his jabs and was immensley brave - didn't even whimper! He made more fuss about lying on the weighing scale.....

He's 16lbs 13 oz!!! On the 98th Centile! I compared him with Oscar and Oz wasn't that heavy until 25 he's ahead of his bro in one thing....pure lard!

I know I'm not overfeeding him - supposedly you can't over-feed a breastfed baby and if you do feed too often, they just poo more. Toby currently poos once a week (sorry if tmi) so he's absorbing every drop almost. Of course when he does poo it's quite copious (again tmi).

He's just a big boy. Rob was a fat baby. I was a skinny baby. I became fat from 9 onwards...Rob got skinnier.....hmmmm. Oz is currently a long skinny boy - his trousers always fall down cos to get the length we need, the waist is always way too big. Toby is a little buddha.

I'm a porker myself (especially so at the moment...baaaad sally has put weight on again since birthing and I'm really pissed off about it - but comfort eating is my only...well...comfort at the moment so I'm trying to be better but slipping a lot - another post I think). Rob is tall and getting skinnier as he cycles to work. I wonder what shape our boys will end up....

We all just sat down together and ate dinner which is rare - it's because Rob is off work so I could get it all ready while he looked out for the boys, and we all ate at 6 which I really liked. Sausage, mash and courgettes. Not exactly low fat.....ah well. At least I'm eating before 8.30pm so I'm actually going to go to bed at the same time as the kids - I'm shattered.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monkey Boy

Oscar loves to climb and clamber on things....this is his latest trick - hanging around on monkey bars....I have to keep remembering he's only 2 and a half!!! He has NO fear...and very strong arms! We had a lovely time this afternoon along with every other family in the area it felt like, in Dulwich Park....
Ice cream, climbing, swinging....all jolly good fun...

Toby wasn't that impressed..

Sunday, April 01, 2007

After a swim...

One needs a bath:

Nice weekend

...for a change! Spent yesterday in Bromley in the morning eating sausages for lunch and buying stickers for Oscar. In the afternoon I "escaped" for an hour and did the shopping. How sad is my life (I'm sure I've said this before) that an hours peace in the supermarket is a treat? When doing the weekly shop used to be a chore....

Today we took Toby for his first ever swim! (I would have taken pics but we aren't allowed) They've opened a new leisure centre just up the road and it's amazing - it has a library in it and best of all, a Costa Coffee! So we all went in the pool - put Toby in a little inflatable seat - Oz in armbands. We had a blast. I got out early and had a coffee and Toby had a boob. Then we went to MaccyD's for lunch (such a good mother am I). Spent the afternoon at a friends house.

I feel remarkably relaxed for a sunday evening! Had a rough night with Tobes on Friday - from 9.30 till 1 am he wouldn't settle. I ended up in tears. But on Saturday morning I went back to bed for a couple of hours before we went to Bromley so that was cool. Last night he was great - went from 7.30 till 1 (might have something to do with the medised I gave him as his nose was so bunged up - which was the problem on Friday night). He then woke at 3 then at 6 but that was Ok - we'd both had a chunk of sleep.

He's started with real tears today - they kill you don't they - somehow eye moisture wrenches at your heart more than just wailing!

Oz's nursery is shut this coming week for Easter. Normally that would send me into a jibbering puddle of doom and dread....but Rob has the week off!! HOORAH! Or I really couldn't have coped and would have ended up in the Priory. No idea what we'll do as cos the schools are off, all my usual haunts will be full of big kids. Definitely visit the pool again. I'll keep you posted.

But I'm feeling quite chirpy at the moment and I'm determined to record it instead of just the negatives!

PS - Ursula - nice recommendation of Chardonnay. I do like Chardonnay now! I'm turning into an alky! (It takes me 3 nights to get through a bottle - if that changes I'll panic!)