Thursday, December 31, 2009
Two television programmes have made a big impact on my brain this week - first one was lighthearted - Electric Dreams on BBC4 - a family was taken back to the 70's, 80's and 90's - they decorated their house, moved them forward a year every day and gave them the technology of the year -from a teasmade to a sinclair C5 to the first mobile phone.....it made me SO nostalgic and so bloody aware of how far, in my lifetime, we've come. I'm sitting in a house with a flatscreen tv, 2 game consoles, 2 PCs and a laptop, wireless internet, mobile phones and an ipod and I take it all totally for granted. At Oscar's age I had playschool on once a day and that was about it. I can remember our Betamax video system. I can remember getting a computer game - Toshiba I think - and playing pong. I remember my ZX81......
It was fab - great programme- it's on iplayer so watch it if you have time.....And suddenly being without my online access made me appreciate it so much - couldn't do what that family did!
It's made me wonder how much will change in this decade. At the end of 2019 I will be 48... the boys will be 15 and 13....teenagers....this last decade seems to have flown - I wonder if the next one will be even faster. And what will have changed....
And so on to the next programme - Channel 4 showed a documentary last night - Tsunami, caught on camera....following holiday makers who had filmed their experiences - footage not seen before. And personal stories which you became so involved in, and it was heartbreaking. I remember the Tsunami - had some friends who were caught in it in the Maldives and who had a horrific time. But I hadn't really grasped the whole picture. And that documentary made me weep for the families who were literally ripped apart from eachother. To see how initially it was eerie and fascinating to see a tide disappear...only for the realisation to hit and the devastation to unfold. Children dying. Parents having to save a child, only to lose the others as they couldn't hold on to three of them.....the huge force of such a natural disaster - how powerful and deadly nature can be.
Heartbreaking. I immediately went upstairs to be with my boys. I even woke Oscar up stroking his head.....sometimes, especially the last few days, I get so exasperated with them - they've been behaving really badly over the Christmas period - a combination of being indoors a lot, being over excited and just generally boisterous. It's made me lose my temper a lot. And Rob has too. They haven't been exactly much fun to be with...there have been moments of loveliness but that's all it's been - momentary.
Then you start to imagine yourself losing them.....and you feel so bloody guilty for not counting your blessings. Your perspective pulls back and you suddenly think of people who have lost children, people who can't have children, people with children who are sick or poor or....you could keep going for ages and I know it's unrealistic to imagine you can live your life constantly unselfishly......
A young couple who were on their honeymoon were talking about how they now try to live better lives, more worthwhile lives, on behalf of the nearly quarter of a million people whose lives were taken....and I admire them for it.
Maybe my resolution this New Year is to try and concentrate on the good - try and be more patient. Try and understand that despite the frustrations, headaches, broken nights and bodily fluids, I am so blessed to have my boys, my husband, my home, my family, my (erratic) health, food to eat, technology to be amazed by, friends, a job.....all of it.
Saying that of course, I have no plans for tonight! Without a babysitter we're kind of stuck at home. We could go to a friends house but I'd have to drive and the boys would be a pain....so I'll gratefully put them to bed early and then stay at home with hubby.
However you celebrate your New Year I hope you have a blast. I look forward to next year...first milestone is Toby's third birthday on the 8th.....
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm doing Christmas theme in teaching this week. And giving out chocolates after class so I'm very popular. And I also got given chocolates - twice! Which made me feel very loved and special! My first proper "teacher" presents.....totally bad for the diet but hey - it's Christmas!
Someone stole the Comic Relief Red Nose off my car today. Now I know - Comic Relief was ages ago - and I'm quite amazed no one has stolen it before- but I miss it. And so does Oscar.
Toby is Mr Contrary Pants today. Everything I say is the opposite. "I don' wanna" is the continuous whine. I told him to put his coat on "don wanna put coat on" so I said he'd get cold "don wanna get cold" SO PUT THE FRICKIN COAT ON!!! ARGHHHHHHH
I got loads of Christmas cards in the post today which makes me feel immensely guilty as I haven't sent any for about 2 years. I assumed that would take me OFF people's lists but no - they are still much nicer people than I am and continue to send festive cheer through the Royal Mail.....and I'm ever so grateful. Will try harder next year I promise.....
I got a new sofa today. A while ago Rob was taking the piss out of the Cosmic Ordering System - a la Noel Edmonds. Regular readers may remember I experimented with the Ordering system a while ago and asked for a healthy baby and a new car. I got both. And the new car was so not on the cards at the time I asked for it. It's consistently the post that gets googled the most on my blog!
And so I told Rob I'd try again and I wanted a new sofa. I have wanted one for ages - a leather one - but there's no point buying one as the boys will only wreck it..but I still watch those DFS adverts and wish....
And last night, on Facebook, a Netmum who I met for the first time on Saturday (and got on with immediately) was asking if anyone wanted a black leather sofa in excellent condition. I got on the phone, found a man and van round the corner who could pick it up for £50. They did so - we couldn't get it in the house but after they removed the banisters we got my lovely new sofa in! In the meantime I put my old sofa on Freecycle and half an hour after the new one was in, the old one was gone.
Love it. All fell into place (although the banister is now even more rickety than it was but it needed replacing anyway....) with remarkable ease....and the universe answered my request again...
I almost don't want to push it by asking for anything else! I also don't really NEED anything else.....but try it - really do - even if you feel silly! In my original request I made up a poem. For the sofa I just asked out loud in my kitchen. I did say please. Maybe that helped...Let me know if it works for you!!!
What else....I had loads of things in my head when I started.....
I am very grateful to Starbucks UK for not scrimping on Eggnog this year - last year you couldn't get a Nog Latte for love nor money - this year you can and I have been indulging a bit...my weight has stayed the same for the last two weeks (sort of....I put on a pound and a half then took it off a week later) and I'm not going to WW this week as I'm singing at Toby's preschool party......and I have been given choccies twice! Ah well....it's Christmas.
Rob has the week off next week and we've got lots of festive fun planned. On Monday Oz and I are going to my friend Pearl's christmas do at her office (we're pretending Oz is her Godson so he can get in!) and I hope to grab some sushi while in town....Tuesday I'm hoping to see my dear dear chum Red who lives in Dubai - we must have been related in a previous life as I am so attached to her it must be sisterhood. Wednesday we are going to Selfridges to see Santa and the Christmas lights and Thursday we're off to the panto at Greenwich. Then it's Christmas! Lovely!
How many times have I said Christmas in this post....I'll stop waffling now - go order something cosmically and tell me how you get on!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
It's looking pretty festive at the moment round at ours! And I've been counting my blessings recently as there seems so much sadness and stress around with my friends - trying to be as supportive as I can but I'm run ragged at the moment......
No time to post more but just wanted to say a slightly belated WELCOME to the beautiful Yoshabelle Giselle - daughter to Moxie who birthed her in record time - 9lbs 11!!! Nearly as big as Oz and I'm twice the size of Mox! The sweetest bits of this week so far have been watching that beautiful baby on webcam....
Monday, November 30, 2009
The shopping arrived tonight at 6.30 so not much time - I did the easiest recipe I found - Granola muffins.
I used Jordan's Superfoods granola with blueberries and strawberries (dried) in it. And Betty Crocker Bisquick as that is what they had at Tesco. I used choc chips and left out the nuts
Here's the recipe...
2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup granola, your favorite
2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat with a wooden spoon until well blended, about 30 to 45 seconds. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 granola muffins.
It took 5 minutes to measure out and mix, then whacked in the oven! Using the cups is much easier than faffing with scales. And using the bisquick made it easy. They're quite dense - not like the muffins in Starbucks - and they're not too sweet - which is what i wanted as, even with the chocolate chips, I don't want to sugar-rush the boys (especially Oscar) first thing in the morning. I like them - let's see if the boys eat a couple in the morning - I'll let you know!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"I tell you a story. Once upon a time.....there was Me! I lost my present in the water. The end"
"Anuvver story. Once upon a time there was a house. Me was in the house. There was a rooster who ate grass and there was egg. Rooster sat on egg to make it hatch. Look! A hand! Look! A baby hamster"
I went to a lovely open house where some friends and others were selling home-made crafts - I was showing Rob what I'd bought as presents for christmas for friends (not the boys) and Toby was in tears because he didn't have a present. "I is sad" was the wail.....
He's so cute!!!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This morning....Oscar wakes up in tears saying his neck hurts. Rob said he felt some glands but now Oscar has his chin glued to his chest, refuses to raise his head and says it hurts too much. He's got a bit of a "honky cough" (his words) and I've no doubt he feels a bit rubbish - but he really is milking it. When he thought I wasn't looking his head pops up to see the telly.....
Because I love him, and I'm a sucker, I'm up to my eyes in grated carrot. I was inspired by my stonecutter chum Annie to make breakfast muffins at some point over the weekend and had made the mistake of telling the boys about it- Oz and Toby are rubbish at eating breakfast and Annie came up with this fab recipe and I thought it was a great idea - cake for breakfast!
Now I'm not a great cook and also a lot of Annie's ingredients were complicated (flax seed meal?) and not the sort of thing I have in my cupboards. I found this one instead on the Waitrose website and we happened to have everything in the house....
300g plain wholemeal flour
50g rolled porridge oats, plus extra for decoration
3 heaped tsp baking powder
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g dried apricots, chopped
50g pecans, chopped
50g caster sugar
100ml sunflower oil
150ml natural yogurt
1 medium egg, beaten
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 small apples, grated
1 medium carrot (100g peeled weight), coarsely grated Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.
Lightly oil a non-stick muffin pan with 12 large cups (or two six-cup pans).
Combine the first nine ingredients (the dry ingredients) in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the remaining (wet) ingredients well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.
Spoon into the prepared pans. Sprinkle with oats and bake for 20 minutes or till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then cool on a rack. Eat when still warm.
You can prepare the dry and wet ingredients the night before. Combine the two in the morning and you'll have a fresh-baked breakfast.
So, before I even had a cup of tea this morning, I was grating apples and carrots and combining ingredients. They are in the oven now. I can smell them and they smell lush.....
Oz is coughing, Toby is whining.....hurry up cakes!!!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I've stretched myself a bit thin this month - Governor and PTA school stuff has eaten my life! I've been doing training at weekends, meetings in evenings, meetings inbetween work and picking up boys......a bit TOO much in a way - I'm hoping it will die down....
Rob has had to work late most evenings in the past two weeks and the evenings he wasn't, I seemed to be out. I haven't even watched House this week!
We had some stuff to deal with too that I'm not quite ready to blog about but am processing - all fine but just a bit of a headfuck.
Toby was in A&E with croup - ambulance and everything - he really couldn't breathe and it was all a bit scary but he's fine now - just got a horrid cough....
Fine. It's a word I keep writing. A few weeks ago I remember thinking how content I was with my life - how things seemed to be settling down with the boys, how Rob and I were happy and reconnected.....and then look what happened - topsy turvy again. It's not bad at the moment - just chaotic.
I have a great analogy I have always used - rowboat moments. Most of the time I feel like the QE2 - blazing through the sea, twinkly lights, big bold ship - no idea where I'm going but forging on ahead....then suddenly I'll find myself in a leaky rowboat with one oar in the middle of the ocean with no idea what to do.....
It took me years to admit I had rowboat moments - I used to pretend everything was wonderful all the time and not allow myself to have weak spots. Now I freely admit it, even plaster it all over the worldwide web when I'm having a crap day.
This doesn't feel like a rowboat moment. I'm still a big ship, I've just lost my compass and there's stormy weather around. I'm sure I'll sail through it but it won't be easy.
Ok I'm analogising myself a little bit too much now. I'm just trying to explain whilst still keeping a bit of privacy.....(why am I writing a blog again?)
Enough. On the upside....I'm getting all Christmassy. I bloody love Christmas and I love that Toby will really get it this year. We're going to Selfridges to see Santa, going to pantomimes and I've been online shopping and have got some fab presents for the boys. My sister is coming over to England for February Half Term which will be fab. My lovely bestest mate Moxie is about to pop her third baby into the world - any day now - and I can't wait to meet him/her.....
Things could be a hell of a lot worse. Some things could be better. ...can't say it any better than this:
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In 2 days I'm going to be flying up to Scotland to see my bestest bud Moxie, her adorable children and her hunk of a husband. I can't wait!
And today, after the party, I was feeling a tad creative in the culinary department so I made what I have now called Autumn Pie.....
I fried 2 onions, a green pepper, a packet of turkey mince, 1 green pepper and 1 courgette (zuchini to my American readers) in a little olive oil. I added a little sprinkle of herby good with everything salt and let it fry for a while until the mince was brown (or as brown as turkey mince gets). I added a tin of Heinz Beans and a tin of Heinz Tomato soup. I also added some flour to thicken it up and let it bubble on the hob for a while and I added a splish of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce too. In the meantime I boiled some swede carrot and potato cut into chunks, then mashed it with a little milk and some butter. Once the turkey mix had thickened and the veg softened I spooned the orange mash on top and popped it in the oven.
It was VERY orange. Hence the name. I really wasn't sure how it would turn out...but Oscar LOVED it. He is currently eating his second bowlful. He asked if he could have Autumn Pie every weekend from now on. Even Rob liked it - he didn't add Tony's Creole Seasoning to it either (which he often does to my cooking). Toby refuses to try it. His loss as Oscar is eating his portion!
Oscar, as I type this, has told me he's too full to finish his second helping, but asked if he did a poo, and pooed all his food out, would there be room for some more? Love it.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I remember at the beginning of the school term I saw an article somewhere (probably the evil Daily Mail) warning new mums at the school gates about etiquette and cliques. If I'd have read it a few years ago, I'd have disregarded it.
But it's true.
Mums do gossip. We don't have a lot else to talk about when we're full time mummies. I understand that. It's unavoidable. I do it myself but I hope not maliciously. But it can get so nasty. Ganging up on other women....commenting on their parenting or their home......making other women feel uncomfortable because they haven't got a full face of makeup on at drop off time......
There are lots of examples. I've found out today that someone I thought was a friend has been talking about me behind my back. Most of it I'd disregard but one of the things she said was that a group of friends (who I consider close friends) didn't actually like me at all. Which pressed my ex-public school hang up button.
When I was at school I didn't ever feel secure in my friendships. I was the ultimate people pleaser - desperate to make friends. This usually came from the fact that I moved schools every two years or so due to Dad's job so was often in a class with established long term friendships, sometimes mid-term, and I'd do anything to have some friends. But I never really felt like I belonged with people and always imagined they'd run off and leave me. In fact that did literally happen in one school - a gang of girls invited me into town at lunch time then ran away on the way to town (and because I was the fat kid I couldn't keep up). Nasty. Schoolgirl nasty.
And in my twenties I thought I'd dealt with all this crap. I had a friend who was walking all over me, who I was people pleasing with, who I finally said enough to. And I realised that people did actually like me - just for being me. And I didn't have to buy or cajole their friendship. And if I did, then they weren't actually good friends at all, or worth being friends with. It was a big lesson for me. And I thought I'd got it.
But all it took was one gossip and I was back in the street on the way to town again. Paranoid that this group of friends I'd made and spend a lot of time with, would really rather I fucked off and left them alone......
Why do we do it? Why do we, as grown women, do this to other women? To women we call "friends". Or to other mums who we don't even know.....
I had a lot of this last year from one particular mum whose kid didn't get on with Oscar at school and accused Oscar of bullying her son. And screamed at me across a classroom. And was always whispering about my kid in the school yard with another mum. Who had me in tears in the Head teacher's office. And I thought that had finished now. And here I am again today. Stressed. Upset. Paranoid.
I wish I could rise above it all and ignore it. That's why I'm splarging all this out on "paper" and getting it out of my system. And reminding myself. And resolving to try and not gossip or comment on anyone. Unrealistic? Probably. But I'm going to try and think before I speak so I'm not doing to some other woman, what this woman has done to me today.
Sheesh! Rant over. Watch this and laugh instead....
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I loved the ballet. My sister started lessons and I was desperate to join in, even though the teacher wouldn't take anyone under 4 or 5 I think (Mum will correct me). I danced in the corner until the teacher let me join in properly at age 3.
From then on I was obsessed. I had all the ballet books, danced as often as I could and I was good. I was en pointe almost at 7 (well we were in Russia and that was normal there!). I dreamed of dancing at the Bolshoi and took classes with the junior company.
Then I got osteomyelitis in my left ankle. We were in Moscow and no one knew what it was for ages. I was eventually flown out emergency to London and was in hospital for a long time, learning how to walk again and very very ill. I was also very angry and hurting and quite obnoxious to be with (God, how I understand now how AWFUL this must have been for mum who had come with me, leaving Dad and Kirsti in Moscow - sorry Mum...).
Anyway - the doctor said one day to his colleagues "we have to get this little girl better, she's a dancer". And I said through gritted teeth "I WILL NEVER DANCE AGAIN"
And I never did.
I went with my lovely friend Hannah to the London Theatre School which happens to be just round the corner. And they do adult ballet classes. And Hannah has been going for a year and loves it so I decided to try it.
It was wierd. I was so nervous. And excited. And there I was again, in a studio with a barre. And we began - there were only three others in the class, all of whom had been going for nearly a year. And we did some basic warm ups and barre work. And the teacher asked me if I was sure I hadn't danced since I was 7.....and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I'm not flexible obviously - and I'm not fit. And my left ankle - where I had the osteo - isn't strong and mobile anymore and I can't full pointe with it.
But I remembered. My arms naturally assumed positions, and my feet followed. I felt graceful! All 17 stone of me! And I felt like I was good at it. And I almost wanted to cry.
In a way I saved myself heartache by stopping ballet at 7. I would have wanted to go all the way and even if I never got heavy, I would have been too tall and would have had my dreams dashed. I was a stubborn little kid. And I stuck to my guns. But I'm really happy that I danced tonight. And I was GOOD!! And I am so indescribably warm and fuzzy and happy inside now. And on the brink of tears.
My childhood love is re-awakened. I've still watched a lot of ballet over the years (and had Moxie and Rob SERIOUSLY take the piss out of me for it). And deep down inside I'd like to be Darcey Bussell.
But for now, I'm going to go sew elastic on my new ballet slippers. And dance every Tuesday night in a little studio in Catford. And love it all over again.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I love Lingfield - both the boys went there for a year prior to going to preschool and it is such a fantastic nursery. I can remember looking at lots of different ones when Oscar was little and I was teaching Monkey Music. I read Ofsted reports and visited about 4 different ones. I knew the minute I walked in that Lingfield was right for us. As well as a great Ofsted, it had such a lovely atmosphere. Lisa showed me round and I really liked her, her caring manner, her knowledge of what I'd be looking for - she answered all my questions before I even asked them.
Oscar loved it there and Toby has too. I've just been reading the profile they give you when your child leaves - I've still got Oscar's and now I can keep Toby's as well. The thing that strikes me is how accurate it is - you really feel that Michelle, Toby's keyworker, knows him really well, understands him and loves him. Michelle has taught Toby "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and how to pout. And they share a love of chocolate.....
Toby isn't the easiest of kids - I'm sure the nursery will be a lot quieter now he's gone! He's loved all his time there though, and we will both miss the Lingfield Ladies....So here is a very public and heartfelt thank you to all the Lingfield staff, past and present, Sam, Lisa, Michelle, Clare, Sarah, Zara, Emma, Steph - I know I'm forgetting people and I'm sorry...but THANK YOU!!!! My boys are the better for being in your care. As am I cos it gave me some time to myself!
If you're looking for a nursery in Grove Park you can't go wrong with this one....
Monday, September 14, 2009
There were tears....but it was Toby complaining that the door wasn't open when we got there. He couldn't wait to get in! As soon as the door opened he was off!!!
I didn't take a picture....I'm remiss....but he enjoyed himself thoroughly.
I had my first Bouncing Beats class - only 4 people came but then again they haven't started publicising it. It went really well - class structure was ok - bit short - it'll be better next week.
And on a great lovely thank you note - Scrummy Cakes ran a competition as part of National Cupcake Week to win cakes for your workplace. I won! I had to explain why I thought my workplace deserved a treat and once I explained the great work the Limelight Centre and Preschool do, I was a shoe-in! So THANK YOU to Lynda and Scrummy Cake Company who made our Monday absolutely sweet. I highly recommend their cupcakes - an indulgent and delicious treat at any time! And they also do AMAZING occasion cakes. Go check em out.
Happy National CupCake Week!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I've been totally neglecting this blog and it isn't as if nothing has been happening! Oscar started school.....Year One!! Hoorah! He's loving it actually and I'm really liking his new teacher. She's strict. But I think he needs that.
Toby has got a place at the Limelight Preschool which I'm so pleased about - Oz went there for a year and he loved it. Toby used to be desperate to get in the door when Oz was in there and will love the drawers full of plastic animals. He starts on Monday.
I briefly lost my job at the Limelight teaching preschool music - I was covering for their regular teacher over the summer due to illness - then they offered me my own class on a Monday....then asked me to continue to cover the Friday class....and now the teacher isn't coming back until at least October so I'm teaching the Tuesday class too! 3 times a week! I love it - it's been such fun coming back to teaching after Monkey Music pre-Toby. I get to write my own lesson plans, develop ideas and now I even have a small budget so we can order some instruments.
Toby is getting better as far as tantrums go - still has them but not for long. He's also incredibly whiny in the mornings....and he can't share. He's SO possesive at the moment - everything is "MINE" - as in "mine biscuit" "mine dinosaur" - it's like having a mini German in the house!
I read a really interesting article in the Daily Mail (shocking I know) that I wanted to share too - read it here - my favourite quote was "I believe rigid baby behavioural programmes, such as Gina Ford's Contented Baby regime, do not work. Human babies are not like dishwashers that you can switch on and off." I agree! Hoorah!
Now what else....I started writing this post yesterday, full of ideas and information now my brain is blank. We entered a competition at the Goose Green Fair an age ago with a photographer called Nousha - we "won" a free photo session and a framed print. I won a similar draw with Snappy Snaps - we had the session and the photos were SO bad I didn't pick up the free one. I also once tried to take the boys to Pixifoto studios in Bromley and they behaved so atrociously that I swore never to go again...
However - Nousha's website looks amazing so we thought we'd have a go - Rob had the day off and we haven't got a single nice picture of the four of us. Lionel, the photographer and owner of Nousha is amazing. He was a royal photographer for 20 years and you can tell - his pictures are breathtaking. He sent Rob and I out of the room while he photographed the boys and the results are amazing. Oscar had better shots than Toby for obvious reasons but it was SO hard to pick the ones when it came to our free picture. We ended up buying another large frame with 4 pictures in it too. Nousha don't do digital prints or CDs or anything but honestly - forget Venture or Snappy Snaps - if you want some amazing family photographs (or any other kind), I highly recomment Nousha. Here are a few of the shots I screengrabbed from our online catalogue - these are the ones we rejected so imagine how good the ones we chose are! I'll post a pic of the framed ones when we get them.
What else.....I'm looking forward to Autumn - it's my favourite time of year - darker evenings, crunchy leaves, halloween, gorgeous colours....all of it - love it. I like the sunshine but prefer the colder weather - I know it's wierd but I can easily get warmer when I'm cold, I find it harder to get cool if I'm too hot. And I'm always too hot in the summer.
I'm quite content at the moment. Which I'm glad about - feel like I winge too much sometimes - especially on my status updates on FB and sometimes on this blog. But things are good.
Oh except on Monday Rob flies to Utah for a week for his annual astronomy laser type thingy conference. So I'm a single mum from Monday to Monday - a weekend on my own! ARGH!!!! So I may be wingy next week but I have a good reason. If anyone wants to come over and play/take my children out for the day/send me valium I'll be very grateful. I've always said I have the utmost admiration for single parents and I bloody mean it. Until your other half goes away for a while you don't realise just how much they do - even when we complain that they don't do enough!!!
So I'll be on my own and lonely in the evenings next week. Might mean more blogging.....or might mean I expand my farm on FB and try and breed rare mountain gorillas in my FB zoo.........
Friday, August 07, 2009
So on Monday we left at 10 and arrived at Butlins at around 12. Greeted at the gate by very friendly redcoats - we parked and left our stuff in the car as we couldn't get into our flat until 4. Went into the Skyline Pavilion - the hub of the park really - checked in and had fish and chips. Discovered the free fairground rides for the boys which were fab, and the soft play centre nicely opposite the Costa Coffee! Had great fun exploring and got into our flat which was so much better than I'd imagined. A little kitchen and table, 2 little sofas (more like large armchairs), a small bathroom with shower and 2 bedrooms. All clean and nice. The oven door was broken and hanging off so I used the text service they have to send an sms with the details. In about 3 minutes there was a man at the door to fix it - excellent service.
We saw from our in"fun"mation guide that the show Oz really wanted to see - the Cartoon Network one - was on that night at 7pm in the main Centre Stage entertainment arena. We headed off there and Oz was in raptures watching 4 arms and a load of other characters he'd never seen up on stage. He refused to join in when asked by redcoats so when all the other kids stood up he stayed sitting down etc...but he loved it. Toby sat with us and insisted on a double parent headlock - as seen below - an arm around each neck and our faces squished together...We didn't realise how long the show would go on for. Both boys wanted drinks but the only non-fizzy ones I could find at the bar (aside from exorbitant J20 drinks) was a slush puppy. I stupidly bought them both one - pure sugar.
By the time we got back to our apartment at 9.30 they were over-tired, over-excited and hopped up on bright blue slush.....I thought they'd go to bed.....oh no......
We had a 2 bedroom apartment - I thought it would be nice for them to share for the first time. I also didn't think about the fact that Toby was going to be in a bed for the first time too. What the hell was I thinking? A night from hell ensued. We tried to get Toby down first. He was too giggly. Oscar joined him, we tucked them in, turned off the lights.....2 seconds later Oscar is urging Toby to get out of bed and open the door. Which he then happily did about 20 times. Threats, shouting, cajoling...begging.....nothing worked. Eventually we put Oscar in our bed. It's now 11.30pm.
I had to wait for Oz to drop off, then Rob put him back in the twin bedroom and we went to bed. Rob snored. So loudly it woke me up. I couldn't get back to sleep no matter which way I poked him to turn over. I even made him put a nose strip on and it didn't make a jot of difference. I ended up on the 2ft baby leather sofa with a cricked neck and legs hanging off from the knees over the edge. The seagulls then started up. So I got about 4 hours sleep in total that night.
Rob, bless him, took the kids straight out in the morning to the beach so I could have a couple of hours sleep but I was still a zombie all day. Both boys were tired and whiny....we stayed on the park playing on the fair rides and the climbing frames and then they were in the creche for 2 hours which they seemed to like.
When we got them we hit the pool. We had to queue for 20 minutes to get in and then wait for a changing room. It was insanely busy - I stayed with Toby who was obsessed with a baby waterslide and was going up and down it constantly. There were rapids, multiple slides, a whole construction of slides and sprays in the middle. It was noisy pandemonium. Then Rob shouted me and I turned to see him on the side with a bleeding Oscar.
Oz had run away from him, through the floor level rapids and fallen and gashed his head on the water pipe. The lifeguard took us into a faintly grubby first aid room and dabbed at it with a tissue while asking me to fill in a complicated form. I told her I wanted a butterfly stitch or bandage on it as it was a rip in his skin and wouldn't stop bleeding. She offered me a plaster and assured me she was first aid trained. Well so am I babe and I know that he needed a butterfly to hold it closed. All through this conversation, Toby was sat on Rob's lap shouting "bugger it" - words he's never said before.....strange.....
We had to get dressed - Oscar was in floods of tears because he didn't want to get out of the pool - Toby still screaming "bugger" at the top of his voice - walk over to Guest Services while they found someone who was a "a bit more first aid trained than our life guards"....the security girl they found was brilliant - taped shut the cut but then I had to fill out another A4 form. I was furious.
We went back to the flat where Toby started playing with his dinosaurs screaming "fuck you" as he bashed them into the sofa.
Now I'm quite proud of the fact that I control my potty mouth in front of my kids. I've NEVER said the f word in their earshot which is a fucking acheivement in 5 years. And after 2 hours in a Butlin's nursery, my son is fing and buggering all over the place.
I wasn't amused. We decided to skip any evening entertainment and chuck the kids in bed normal time (7pm).
Luckily they both slept through till 7am. Rob and I were in bed by 9 and did the same so Wednesday was a much better day!
We realised there was an under-6 only session every morning in the pool between 8 and 9. They didn't turn on any slides or jets so it was much nicer. No queuing, no waiting for a changing room - just swimming with the boys.
As we were walking back through the skyline we found the "opening ceremony" happening which is redcoats and some characters doing a sing session and then meeting and greeting the kids. Toby fell in love with Dino (of course) who was wonderful with him afterwards, bending down to cuddle him and patting him on the head, giving him high 5's and lots of attention. It made Toby's day!
So this became our routine from then on. Do LOADS in the day - swim first thing, meet the characters, do the shows, but forget the evening entertainment - be back at the flat by 7 for bed.
And it worked perfectly. We explored the seafront of Bognor to get away from the resort for a while.
We went to a local park and Oz had a go on a pedalo (he sat....Rob pedalled!)
We spent time in the excellent funfair - all rides free! I loved the carousel best but Oz convinced me to get on a tugboat ride....it was scarier than I imagined! He loved it though.Happy Mummy!Happy Oz and slightly queasy Mummy....
On the last day Oz worked out that there were people inside the character suits as he spotted a zip on Daisy Cow! Innocence lost!
Toby was still enchanted....
The boys and Bob!
Oscar's choice of going home present....
All in all a fun holiday - more for the kids than the adults. At Center Parcs there's more for the adults I think - and not as much stuff, certainly not FREE stuff for the children.
Next time I'd either like to go just for the weekend, or go with another family so the grown ups have eachother for entertainment and company. (I'm not being pervy with that statement - I meant conversationally).
It was brilliant. The Redcoats are amazing - they never stop smiling. Incredibly helpful staff (apart from the thick lifeguard) and fantastic facilities.
We nearly left on Thursday night - I had ideas that we'd stay as late as possible on our last day, meet up with some friends who were arriving for the weekend for lunch perhaps....said friend had warned me we'd be scarpering as early as possible and she was right! We were on the road by 9.30. In fact, Rob said, just as we were putting the boys to bed on Thursday night, that we should have left that evening and I almost wish we had.
I loved the holiday but it was bloody bliss to be back home - especially a spotlessly clean home since Milla had been after we'd left on Monday. Can't wait to have a bath and sleep in my own lovely bed with lovely clean sheets and my cuddly duvet. And my earplugs.
Monday, July 27, 2009
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Your children get only one childhood.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
Every time I re-read them another one jumps out at me. Love it. Thanks Tracy B....
Up until today we've been having a blast. School broke up on Wednesday, on Thursday we went to Worthing. Well Oz and I did! With Claire and her two girls - Toby was in the nursery all day. I didn't feel like driving so by only having 1 kid we could all go in the one car and it was a lot less hassle than having Toby along too. Oscar is much easier on his own! And it was lovely - we had some time just the two of us when Claire and family went to visit her grandma. So Oz and I played on the beach - flew a kite, threw stones, balanced on the wooden thingies that run up the beach (what are they called?), had cuddles as we were very windblown. All lovely. I can't show you the pics as I'm in the library but will upload them soon (though most, if not all the people who read this are on FBook so you can see them there).
Friday we hung out with Claire again and the lovely Tracy and her two girls. Went to Gambado which was quite insane but with good company and cappuccino we coped! I love going there now as both boys just disappear for most of it. Toby did throw a mother of a tantrum and got tutted by another woman (I don't believe she was a mother, think she was an auntie who hadn't got a clue what 2 year olds are like). It was fun. We had Claire's girls round on Saturday too which meant Oz was amused and ecstatic all day.
Sunday we went down to Whitstable which was excellent. My friend Julie lives near in Canterbury and I hadn't seen her for ages. Her daughter Georgia came too and as she's a couple of years older than Oz, he fell in love instantly. He spent most of the day following her around and talking talking talking like a madchild. We arrived at Tankerton and got out of the car though and Toby threw up. Bless him for waiting till we got OUT of the car....he was very pale (though it's hard to tell with my kids) and not himself. He perked up a bit, had some apple juice and we met up with Julie and Georgie. We went to Tesco to get picnic food and Toby was in the buggy - he pulled the hood down over his face which he often does and then when we got to the beach and I pulled it up, he'd puked again and was just sat listlessly in it. He hadn't cried or anything.
We got him cleaned up, sat on the pebbles and he started to eat Doritos with a passion. He perked up again.....he seemed fine after that - went paddling happily, ate an ice cream and jelly snakes. Oscar swam on his own in the sea (following Georgie's example) which was a huge achievement - he usually wears a swim flotation jacket but I hadn't brought it with us. He was so proud of himself!
We had to leave a bit early to get home for a shopping delivery but we'll definitely do it again. Absolutely fab day. (Apart from the puking).
Toby has been fine since though. And slept fine. So now it's today and we woke up to stormy weather. Nearly all my friends are gone for the week- Claire went to France, my school mum gang are all visiting relatives, Clare and James are in Oslo......so the creche is a godsend. And it's given me time to update this blog!
Our summer holiday plans begin on Saturday - my birthday! I'm escaping and having afternoon tea at the posh hotel in Marylebone we went to for Lee's hen do. Then on the Monday we're off to Butlins for a week - the boys will be in heaven - I might need valium! Then on the Sunday after we get back we're off to see (courtesy of Mum and Dad) Walking With Dinosaurs at the O2.
I can't imagine how excited (and scared) the boys will be! It looks amazing from what I've seen on Youtube and the website. The dinos are life size. They will both believe they're real. How cool is that? To come face to face with your favourite extinct thing? It would be like me having tea with the fairies.....I will take pics and share I promise.
Talking of pics - anyone know anything about digital cameras? The camera on my phone is taking washed out pictures - almost sepia - and I've reset all the settings. It's like something is burned out or something....anyone got any ideas? I'll have to phone 3 and see if they'll replace it.
Ok - off for coffee and guilty pleasure of Nora Roberts.....
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Here are some extracts
"Oscar is sometimes involved in small disputes and now needs to develop his skills of cooperation and negotiation to overcome these difficulties appropriately. He will need to consider the consequences of his words and actions for others much more and I feel sure, as he matures, he can achieve this".
"Oscar has the potential to do very well in school"
"Oscar's communication skills are very good....he is very good at reciting stories and experiences brought from outside the setting. "
"Oscar shows a keen interest in mathematical activities"
"He takes part in whole class singing and music sessions with enthusiasm. Oscar has enjoyed using musical instruments and moves expressively and rhythmically and enjoys movement lessons"
"Oscar is always enthusiastic to partipate in physical activity and eagerly awaits our weekly PE sessions."
Oscar also contributed to his report. When asked what he liked at school he says
"I like playing Hide and Seek. I like to write and I like to build with lego blocks. That's all I can think of. I can't think of anything else."
When asked what he was good at he said "Running. Hiding. Counting up to ten. That's all I can think of".
Supposedly when he leaves school he wants to be a builder. Which was news to me. But better than an alien which is what he usually says he wants to be when he grows up.
There are areas to work on, but he's done well this year. The most important one for me is the first line "Oscar separates from his parents in the mornings with confidence and is keen to enter the class". Can't ask for more than that! He's also got 100% attendance with no lateness.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I wish it was real!
Well I don't really. But anyway. Today I got my usual nudge from the NCT Broodsheet editor asking me for another column. Always nice! It made me write and it made me realise how long it was since I wrote anything apart from a status update.
So here I am!
News....I got a job. Well a temporary that might become permanent job. The local community centre runs singing classes but their main teacher is ill - long term - so they need cover. And I'm it! I get to plan my own lessons - 45 minutes twice a week - and it's great. I love the centre - Oscar went to preschool there and Toby has been to playgroups and things so I know the staff really well. I had 22 kids in my class today so it's popular too. They're getting used to me- I teach a very different class to the previous teacher - she was sitting the whole time and sang along to CDs whereas I'm either acapella or use an instrumental track and do a movement section and an instrument section.
I was seriously over-heated today though. After doing Mulberry bush and Hokey Cokey I looked like I'd been in a shower - totally soaked in sweat! The kids liked it though and I'm getting great feedback. I should be there all summer and then they'll re-evaluate the position after that. Toby should be starting at the preschool there in September so it would be perfect.
I'm hoping to start doing some admin for my friend's company too soon so that will be two little part time jobs. I'm very happy about that.
What else...Rob's back is a lot better - he started cycling again this week which is a relief as I was chief Chauffeur which was a pain.
Had my first Governors meeting just after I got back from the States. One thing made me chuckle inwardly - for some reason I imagined they'd all be older than me - really old and grey and wearing dark suits and sat round a table. And that I'd be the young one/ Of course they're all the same or similar ages to me - the Chair is probably younger than me. Rob reminded me that I AM actually a grown up...I do forget sometimes....
Mum is in South Africa - Cape Town - to get her toes operated on. I've joked that she'll come back looking like Jordan with fake tits and a facelift....I do miss her already though and she's only been gone since Saturday.
I'm still feeling the benefits of my week off. Though I have been longing to go back! It was such a great week - so many wonderful friends, food, experiences and cocktails! Toby's behaviour is getting a lot better - he's very clingy since I got back and his speech is coming along in leaps and bounds. He's sitting next to me here demanding Kerwhizz on the computer and then saying his favourite phrase "I don' like it " but shouting NO! if I try and put something else on! Crazy over-heated child. Oh now it's changed to Poetry Pie (again). No...Kerwhizz....ah how fickle can a 2 year old be.
Michael Jackson - suppose I'd better mention him since there is apparently no other news of note this week - I had bought tickets if you remember, then sold them for double the price on Ebay. I've since spent the double bit in America. So I have the dilemma of the refund for my buyer. I want to refund him but I can only refund him the price I paid for the tickets - the price I'll (hopefully) get back from Ticketmaster. Legally I don't have to give him anything since he isn't really protected but I want to do the right thing....karma and all.....supposedly there's an option to not get the refund and get the tickets as a souvenir/memorabilia - hopefully he'll take that option and then maybe he can sell THEM on Ebay himself and make all his money back! That's what I'm hoping for anyway.
What else....can't think. It's a heatwave here in London - 30 today (don't ask me what that is in American, I can't work it out). I'm quite proud of the fact that despite having glow in the dark pale skin, neither of my boys has got sunburn yet. Yay me and sunblock.
Right I'm off to babysit now for my friend Liz who is going to see Kings of Leon - she's so hip. Glad I got a post in...will try and post again before August!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Kirsti uploaded the pics I took in St Louis so here follows some of my faves....this is a Ballistic Elvis sammwich. Peanut butter, banana (of course) with bacon, melted cheese, strawberry jam and red pepper flakes. Every bite makes your brain go "WTF!!! This should be disgusting" but your mouth go "mmmmmmmmmmm"
Thanks again to the lovely Robin for the trip. It was phenomenal and I'm still on a high remembering it a week later....
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I also was generously flown to St Louis to hang with Poppy and you can read all about it here - she's an amazing hostess and I'm eternally grateful for the introduction to the Ballistic Elvis sammich!
HOWEVER....while I was away, disaster struck the Edwards Household....Rob slipped a disc in his back and was immobile and in agony. At first he panicked and thought Oz would have to stay off school all week and he'd crawl around the house.....Mum swooped in and I also liaised with her and suggested friends who could help - and thank god for Hayley, Anja, Hubert and Katharine who did the school run and my angel of a mother who was basically ME for the week. Even worse - on Thursday night (as I was in a plane) Oz announced to Rob that he'd been looking at the sun through binoculars.....so they spent the night at Casualty - until 2am....again Mum holding the fort at home.
Luckily Oz hasn't burnt his retinas out but it was bloody frightening for Rob and for me when I heard about it. Mum is exhausted. Rob is walking around like Mr Magoo with his pants full....he's got a crutch and everything....
So I hit the ground running when I got back - no time for jetlag - back to it! However I'm rested and still have a sparkly inner glow from my week away. I have shortshort hair and some funky new tops in my wardrobe. The boys got great pressies which have gone down a treat. In my time away Toby's speech has come on leaps and bounds - his six word sentence today? "Daddy look, I found a chair!". Oz seems even ganglier than before....
His behaviour at school has deteriorated though - I think the mum of a certain boy is going to be waiting for me at the gates tomorrow as supposedly her son is too scared to come to school because of Oscar's behaviour. I'm going to suggest she speaks to me with the teacher present as I don't plan on getting into a slanging match. She's had it in for us for a while.....her son is no angel by any means.....It's my first Governors meeting tomorrow night as well so I don't want to start the day on a bad note!
So - that's a brief update.....we had a lovely barbeque this evening and I introduced the boys to the joy of toasting marshmallows - Oz said that was his favourite bit of the weekend! Let's hope the sun lasts eh?
Monday, May 25, 2009
We took a picnic...
And the boys couldn't resist the water for long...
There's a lovely train that takes you back to the car park from the play area
And a roundabout too...!
A lovely day out - home by 2.30. Rob and Toby are napping upstairs and Oz and I are on the computers. When the other two get up it's paddling pool time again - this timein the garden as it's blazing sunshine now! I'm off to hang my washing up. Hope you're all having a nice bank holiday/memorial day weekend!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I agree to send a lovely little something (or somethings) in the mail to the first three bloggers who post a comment on this entry. In turn, those three will post this Pay It Forward project on their blog, pick three people to send something to, and so on.
You have to promise you will post about this on your blog and link to mine.
Make sure to include your email address in the comment (if I don't have it already) so I can email you to request your shipping address.
If you don't have a blog...I don't want you to be excluded. Just make sure you leave your email address in the comments, and we'll agree to skip over the blog posting part. But you still have to pay it forward to three others!
If you are reading but not posting, now might be a fun time to de-lurk. :)
Ok now Clover (and Beege who is also playing) are doing home made crafty type thingies....I am not so gifted. I can't make ANYTHING (apart from noisy children) so I may be a bit flexible on the goodie front - I will attempt to get Oscar and Toby to help me do a little home made art, but I will also include something lovely too.....and British if I'm shipping abroad.....
So go on! Play with me!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Toby got chicken pox over the Bank Holiday weekend. I was quite relieved as I wanted to get it out of the way. He was covered, poor mite, with one on his eyelid and a huge one on the end of his nose. Most of them though were on his undercarriage....
So I wasa quarantined for a week. My lovely friend Claire helped me out one morning which meant I could escape to Weight watchers. I've started again....and lost 8lbs in the first week (and put 1/2 lb back on again this week....)
Toby has also got a really nasty mouth ulcer - probably sparked by the pox. Had a really rough night last night - he was up every 2 hours or so and the whole house gave up by 5.30 and we all got up. I was wasted. Had to have a root canal this morning. Joy! Thank god for Mum who came over and let me sleep, she picked Oz up from school and got Toby an appointment at the doctors. She took Oz to gymnastics too. Wouldn't have managed today at all if it wasn't for her - Rob is out at a conference till late....
So what else....is there anything else? Erm.....Oz is fine - his behaviour at school has improved. He has his good days and bad days - main problem is still his inability to keep still for more than 2 seconds at a time! I've only had one phone call from the Deputy Head and that was to tell me someone had hit Oscar - I was so relieved that it wasn't Oz who had done the hitting, that I said "oh good" when she told me. I think she understood what I was getting at though! Oz was fine - the girl had hit him with a knife in her hand and had been sent home but it was a plastic knife and I know she didn't really mean it - she has autism. I think the Deputy was just relieved I wasn't making a fuss.
I am now officially a Parent Governor for Oscar's school which is fab. I'm really pleased. I may have to pull back from the PTA a bit as it's a lot to take on. I am a bit nervous about my first meeting but I'm sure I'll be fine.
I go to Detroit on 4th June and I can't bloody wait. A week off! I'm doing a boot sale this weekend to get spending money and have a couple of things on Ebay too. I'll sell anything I can get my hands on! I'm not above mugging my friends' charity shop bags too.
Ok that's all I can think of. Hope that's ok with you Sue!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Oscar is now officially obsessed with the word "Poo". He asked if we were having poo juice for dinner. He keeps chasing his brother round the house and saying "run poopoo run". Tonight he and Rob were making up songs in the bath - "twinkle twinkle little poo", "Baa baa black sheep have you any poo? Yes sir, yes sir, two bags, two. One for the Master, One for the Dame, the rest of the poo I do I do down the lane".
Rob then started singing "oh yes, I'm the great pootender...." but Oz didn't get that one.
I know it's a stage all little boys go through. I just kinda hoped we'd missed it....
In other language news - Toby's speech is coming on leaps and bounds. He greeted my Mum today with "hello gaga. I got an apple". And everything is "my" - my apple, my balloon, my toy....he's easily understood which is cool. He still tants a bit - not as much as before and usually when he wakes up from his nap - 7 times out of ten he freaks out and screams for about twenty minutes. You just have to ignore him, try and distract him and then it's like flicking a switch and he stops and is cheerful.
Easter has been a bit gloomy and boring. Toby got a horrid cough and we ended up in Casualty last Saturday - since he had bronchiolitis as a baby I am super-careful about his chest. He was fine and by Sunday morning was like a different child - total overnight recovery. Easter Sunday was nice - Mum came round and I did a leg of lamb (she bought it, I cooked it!) and it was nice to sit down all together. Toby only ate roast potatoes but at least we all ate together. And I've never cooked a leg of lamb before as Rob doesn't really do any meat but chicken - but even he liked it. Helped that it cost a bomb from Waitrose. I think Rob only likes good cuts of lean meat - fair enough - we just can't usually afford them! Mum was so impressed with my dinner though that she's offered to supply the joint any time I want to cook it for her! Hoorah!
Back to school next week - I'm quite looking forward to it! And on Tuesday I have a meeting with the Head and the other candidate for Governor to see what's going to happen - it was a dead heat and I have no idea what the protocol is - I still want to stand though so we'll see what the Head suggests.
No other news I can think of....erm...just some pics - most of you will have seen them on Facebook but just in case here they are again.....my beautiful boys....