Monday, October 06, 2008

So so rubbish at blogging

yadda yadda yadda - said it all before.

But... this is a record of the life I am leading right now - and even the little I blog is good for me to read back on. I read the pregnancy stuff last week and it was lovely!

I ahve however made a bit of a decision not to use the internet as much as I did - Beckie wrote a great post about packing in using it so much and prioritising life things, and she is (as usual) very right. But I do want to keep the blog up, it's a document of my life - and it's lasted longer than any paper diary I have ever kept!

Things are.. busy, to say the least. Take tonight for example. Picked up the boys, but before I went for T, put a toad in the hole into the oven. Never made it beofre, and usually I never put something in the oven and leave the house, but I was going to be out for twenty mins tops, and it took 30 to cook. No problem! So at nursery discussing Ted's bad mood (teeth, tiredness, cold) - suddenly realised we had a long standing dentist appointment at 5.15. Current time? 5pm. Oven on. £30 fine if we don't go to dentist.

So, we had to go to the dentist via our house for me to run in and switch off the oven, which is a HUGE no-no for yorkshire pudding, dash to dentist. No one had brushed their teeth and A was, for want of a better description, quite grubby. Had to apologise to the dentist who was really nice about it. Three sets of teeth checked and back to the house, heat up the oven again, deal with wingy baby, get A changed for Beavers. He is going through a real phase of being a Johnny head in the air, and taking hours to do anything, answering back... *sigh*. Both boys did at least scoff a huge plate of tea (abeit rather flat yorkshire) and T had a banana. T whinged all the way through tea. Then I had to get T ready for bed, and administer some precautionary inhaler, as well as calpol. Then we had to wait for A's lift, and then get T milked up and in bed. Oh, and did I mention that dh is in Reading? And that during this lovely evening, I had dirty hair, itchy excema and knickers constantly falling down? And that I had also been to Asda and corrected a load of work as well?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Book blog

What you do is, look at the list below, and then:
bold the ones you’ve read;
[bracket] the ones you love
italicise the ones you intend to read.

1 [Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen]
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 [Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte]
4 [Harry Potter series - JK Rowling]
5 [To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee]
6 The Bible - lots of it, but not all, so I've part bolded
7 [Wuthering Heights] - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 [Little Women - Louisa M Alcott]
12 [Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy]
13 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I’ve read the bulk of them)
15 [Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier]
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks - I really struggled with this one, and could not finish it
18 [Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger] (I really loved Franny and Zooey, and also Raise High the Roof Beams Carpenters)
19 [The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger]
20 [Middlemarch - George Eliot]
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - my second favourite Dickens after Our Mutual Friend
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll]
30 [The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - I loved the film as well, the David Jason/Michael Hordern one]
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 [Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis]
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 [Persuasion - Jane Austen]
36 [The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis]
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini- this is in the pile by the bed to be read - Loved a Thousand Splendid Suns
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres - no no no NO!!!
39 [Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden]
40 [Winnie-the-Pooh - AA Milne]
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - I like the idea of his books, but never quite get the thought to read them
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon]
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 [The Secret History - Donna Tartt]
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy I haven't bracketed this, but I was really moved by it, loved isn't the right word
68 [Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding]
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 [The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett]

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - oh dear God...
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 [Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome]
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A. S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 [The Color Purple - Alice Walker]
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 [The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton]
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 [Hamlet - William Shakespeare]
99 [Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl]
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
I am just so crap. I know no one reads it anyway, but this isn't for anyone else, it's for me in years to come.

It's so long since I wrote that we're now three weeks into the holidays. We've been to Devon for a week and the boys and I have just come back from a little break in Wales with my friend G and her boys in a caravan on a lovely site - spoiled only by torrential, and I mean torrential rain - it's in the mountains which made it worse. I feel great taht I've done this - taken the two of them away, done swimming and stuff, all alone - G and I are like Thelma and Louise (just without Brad Pitt and the driving off a cliff at the end). G and I have been friends since the first day at University, her boys are 3 and 5. It's been so great to go away with her, it's been years since we spent such a concentrated time in each others company, and it was so... easy. We have lots in common, and we are completely honest with each other - always have been. And that is so good.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ugh. Haven't had time to blog - well, technically I have but have been doing other things or not able to summon up the energy to type, merely to read. It's been so busy, it's report time at school, my class had their holy communions, I have ahd all sorts of shit to deal with at school which I am not at liberty to print out in this blog, just in case, as stressful as working at my school is, it still keeps me in childcare and shoes. My eyes are all scabbed up again, after a discussion with my mother, I suspect I may be allergic to lanolin. She is, and she developed it in the summer of 1986 when she was *gasp* ...nearly 37. And I am *double gasp*...nearly 37. How wierd is that? I have googled the item I suspect is causing the scabbiness, and ker-ching - it contains lanolin. Been to the pharmacist today, who has given me piriton and suggested daktacort. She initally suggested E45 cream, but I bought that yesterday, and whilst it moisturised the very dry area, made the itching and redness worse. And what is E45 full of? You guessed correctly, dear reader - lanolin.

I am going out with my friend tonight, so God help anyone in the fancy schmancy restaurant who has to look at my beautiful eyes! If nothing else, my social life has taken off recently, and I have lots lined up for the next few weeks, necessitating some creative accounting and regular fake tanning. Meals with friends, dinners out - lots to do, which is really nice. On Tuesday I can turn the calendar to the page that has "end of term" written on it, which is fantastic.

M went to Reading yesterday at some god forsaken time 3.55am. I was vaguely aware of him leaving, so when there was a huge crash downstairs and a rattling of the front door at 4.30am, I shot out of bed like a bat out of hell, and (bravely, but most likely because of still being fast asleep) pelted downstairs to investigate. Nothing. Silence. Had the children fallen out of bed? No sound. Then, I heard a car starting outside so rushed to the window. M leaving? How did that happen???

Turns out he had got about 15 miles and had to turn back as he had forgotten a vital piece of large equipment - which he then dropped at the front door, hence my rude awakening. Needless to say, I could not get back to sleep at all, ended up getting up and watching TV till 6.30 and then going back to bed and reading until the boys deigned to wake at 8am. Humph.

Ted is still not walking which is very normal for a child his age, but wierd as Alfie was trotting around by ten months. I think he is happy pootling about on his hands and knees and letting everyone else do the running around.

Had a manicure today for the first time in my life. My nails look short, but nice.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I went to see the Sex and the City film yesterday evening with my friend. We are both big fans and have been since the beginning, so we went with great anticipation.

And I did enjoy it, it was good, but...

it was too long, even though there were many strands of the story that were barely investigated - Miranda and Steve for example, and Charlotte's sudden fertility. I know it has to be Carrie-centric, I would much preferred to have had a new series or three hour long specials or something. I love it so much, but I feel slightly let down. We also went to a nightclub that we used to frequent back in the day, and that was good too, but didn't quite hit the spot either. Had a good night with a dear friend though.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Boy with a Lizard!

Big smiley boy!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I am not Mary Whitehouse, but....

It is 10.30am on a Bank Holiday Monday, and my six year old and I are in our pyjamas browsing the TV. We've watched "I'd do Anything" from last night (taped because it was Ted's Birthday party yesterday - more on that later). We have flicked through for some music - I had to turn off E4 because there was a song with an accompanying video portraying a busty lady in her sexy underwear walking through a desert (I think it's called "Flashlight" but then I'm not with the kids anymore), flicked to another channel and immediately switched over as it was "The Thong song" and then on the third was faux lesbian kissing with Tatu's "All the Things She Said" (who interestingly DH and I were only talking about on Saturday as he remembered they once represented Russia in the Eurovision. But I digress)

My question is - how can this be the choice on a Monday at 10.30? Why should my six year old be exposed to that??? I realise I only have the three free music channels but I have no reason to believe that it is any different on the paying ones. Am I a prude????

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If you were going to the SATC Premiere

...would you dress like this woman behind Cynthia Nixon?

I don't even claim to be any kind of style icon, but I mean, really???? It just goes to show that all black is rarely a good look.

If this goes right it means that I have finally worked out how to do something fancy with my blog, and you'll never hear the end of it. And if it does work then it was piss easy and I don't know why I haven't done it before

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Here comes the Sun!

There's something about sunshine and summer that makes the world seem a better place. In my younger years I used to say I preferred winter - could cover up in more clothes, I liked cold, crisp days, my birthday, and Christmas. Of course, I still like cold, crisp days, my birthday and Christmas, and there is a certain cosiness in winter clothes, but the reality is that Christmas is one day, my birthday's somewhat lost it's edge as I get older, cold and crisp days are few and far between - more like damp and grey days - and clothes are all well and good but you need to strip off once you get indoors. You know where you are on a bright sunny day, you can get a t-shirt out, linen trousers, silver birkenstocks (I love them...), hold back bad hair with sunglasses, and spray on a quick tan. The air is fresh, people have barbeques (we had one yesterday) and you feel more like talking with your husband over a glass of wine. Next weekend we get our garden done and I cannot wait!

Ted now has seven teeth, and a few words "ma-ma", "bye" "yeah" - he's finding the heat a bit much though

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Monday. My hands smell of bleach. My eyes are scab-tastic thanks to some sort of weird allergic reaction to something I'm not sure. I have a mildly sciatic pain in my lower right back area. But I do have two rather marvellous sons fast asleep in bed, Brothers and Sisters on the V+ and a small (ish) glass of red wine on the go. Everything is tiring and I live for Thursdays.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Had such a lovely break

Had a lovely Easter holidays - today is the last day for me because I would be off tomorrow anyway because it's Friday. I made a conscious effort to fill our days with some different things to do, and it's worked really well. We've been to the park, the cinema (Ted went to nursery that day) and for lunch, been to see four lots of friends, been to a farm, today we are going to school for me this morning (Ted in nursery again) and then for a quick bite before going to see some friends, we've been to Blue Planet aquarium, an Easter Egg hunt, seen my Mum, Dad, sister, Mike's sister... it's been fab. We've had time at home too, and the housework is OK, we've done some activities, watched some TV and started a huge jigsaw. I managed fine when Mike was away Monday/Tuesday. Which bodes well as he's away all week.

I do feel a bit odd about Ted going into nursery. He's only gone in two full days in the last two weeks (and by full I mean 9.30-3.30) and also he's gone in this morning so I can go into work for a couple of hours. Alfie can entertain himself for that time, Ted, not so much... It's also so that he doesn't forget about nursery, because with Mike being away next week, I don't want the trauma of having to settle him back in, he doesn't like me dropping him off at the best of times. I do need to do stuff with Alfie as well, as he is such a great and patient big brother, but he does need his time with me, and the things he enjoys (cinema, Blue Planet) are better without a 10 month old in tow. In addition, I looked after a friend's two children on the Blue Planet day, so it was easier not to have him with me, although it would have been manageable. I suppose I'm lucky to have the option, my sister would say, but hey, we PAY for that privelidge, and plenty of money for it, and there's no reduction if you don't go in the holidays. I suppose using it as an occasional babysitter in the holidays is useful, but I still feel slightly odd about it. I'm sitting here in my PJs, Alfie is watching Scooby Doo and we have had our breakfast and the back of my mind is wondering if he is ok. It's guilt I suppose, in spades. I AM going to work in a little while though.

Parenting - a stick to beat women with.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I was in my local Co-Op today

waiting patiently whilst DS1 decided which of the many children's comics/magazines I was going to fork out for him, and was perusing the titles available for grown ups (rather than "adults" which is a whole different genre) and noticed that they had a bout eight copies of Harpers Bazaar. Now, it's a nice enough Co-Op and everything but I wonder if they really sell EIGHT copies of that particular magazine a month? Bearing in mind I am a magazine whore and I have never ever read it, it's quite posh really.

Anyway, a meme stolen from the lovely Beege

1. Do you like blue cheese?
I love blue cheese, especially Roquefort which i didn't realise counted as an unpasturised cheese until so late in my pregnancy as to make no difference

2. Have you ever smoked?
Yes, on occasion. I smoked regularly at University, although never enough to wake up in the morning and want one, but enough. I cut back a lot about eleven years ago, but have sporadically indulged since. Of course, during that time, the number of people I socialise with who smoke (because it tends to be when I am *ahem* socialising that I smoke) has reduced considerably. I am also in the fortunate position to be able to smoke and then not smoke for ages. The last time I had a cigarette was before I found out I was pregnant with Ted. then I had one the other week along with a lot of red wine, and was sick. I'm not expecting to have one again forever now, as the sickness was hideous.

3. Do you own a gun?
No, and I never want to, nor do I want to shoot one, in fact I'm not sure if I've ever even SEEN one

4. What flavour do you add to your drink at Sonic?
We don't have this in the UK

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Not usually. I did when I was younger because I thought that they would always give me a hard time about my weight, whereas now, well, if they do they can stick it, I know I am a big girl, and I don't need someone with a medical degree to tell me that. Having worked with GPs for years I have a slight contempt for them rather than an awe

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
I would eat one in an emergency

7. Favourite Christmas movie?
It's a Wonderful Life

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee. I love it, and need about three within an hour of waking.

9. Can you do push ups?
A few.

10. Do you know the secret to a happy life?
Sunshine should feature. Children also. Pinot Grigio, friends, music...

11. What’s your favourite piece of jewelry?
The only things I wear all the time are my wedding and engagement rings which are not actually the original ones in either case. I have lots of necklaces that I like a lot. My least favourite piece of jewellery is the earrings my husband bought me for Christmas, but that's a whole other story

12. Favourite hobby?
Reading, socialising

13. Song you’re listening to right now?
None - there's a bit of background music on Grand Designs on the TV and Radio 4 on in the kitchen upstairs

14. Do you have A.D.D.?

15. What’s one trait you do not like about yourself?
Bitching about people in my head although not so much out loud

16. Middle name?
Elizabeth. I like it and it goes well with my first name

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
1. What shall I make for my dinner?
2. If I have a glass of wine tonght by myself am I am alchie?.
3. Alfie needs to go to bed soon.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Nothing at all

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Coffee, water, wine

20. Current worry?
That it's a mistake to send Ted to nursery, even though he is perfectly happy there

21. Current hate right now?
Some stuff at work

22. Favourite place to be?
Where my children are. In the sunshine. Bed with a good book

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
Grumpily because Mike insisted on going to bed before midnight on purpose because he hates New Year. I hate the whole "party like it's 1999" thing too, but going to bed mardily at 11.50pm pissed me off.

24. Where would you like to go?
France on holiday in our own little house with aircon and a pool.

25. Name four people who will complete this:
Nobody reads this blog!

26. Do you own slippers?
Yes, and I wear them sometimes, but I find them too flat for me and I feel slobby. I'm so with Flylady on this one

27. Last magazine you read:
Saturday Times magazine. I am about to read this month's Red and Marie Claire when I achieve 17.2) and 3) above

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I never have but I don't imagine it to be a nice experience

29. Can you whistle?

30. Favourite colour?
To wear: Black, brown, white, green. In sweets I always like the green ones

31. Would you be a pirate?
No, I get seasick

32. What songs do you sing in the shower in the morning?
I don't sing in the shower as a rule although I sing everywhere else. Lately I've been singing snippets from High School Musical 2 because we are watching it a LOT.

33. Favourite girl’s name?
You see, we never really got there with girls names, we had Helena for Alfie and six for Ted: Amelie, Anya, Annie, Maya, Tess and Francesca. I suspect he would have been Francesca
34. Favourite boy’s name?
A tie: Ted and Alfie
35. What’s in your pocket right now?
They are empty but there have been: an earring, a mobile phone, a pair of Ted's socks, my front door key and a tube of Daktacort at various times today

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
Ted and Alfie

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
*sobs* we didn't have fancy ones, but I did like my green and white gingham check

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
Broken arm, broken leg

39. Do you love where you live?
I love my house, I would like it if there were some jobs done on it that need doing - new kitchen, bathroom, hall stairs and landing decorated, garden remodelled etc.I like the area too, near to amenities, leafy suburb

40. Cat lover or dog lover?
Neither really although I do own two cats

41. Who is your loudest friend?
I am probably everyone's loudest friend, but mine is probably Bob

42. How many fish do you have?

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
Don't think so

44. What is your favourite television show?
Hmmm. Well, the Sopranos has finished. I love Brothers and Sisters, ER, Desperate Housewives, and I am enjoying Dirty Sexy Money and Mad Men. I like Gavin and Stacey, The Apprentice, Ashes to Ashes

45. What is your favourite book(s)?
I love loads of books. Anything by Adriana Trigiani, Marian Keyes. I loved A thousand Splendid Suns. Time Travellers Wife. Anything by Laurie Graham and Lorna Landvik

46. What is your favourite candy?
I love white chocolate.

47. Favourite Sports TEAM?
Liverpool Football Club

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I quite fancy the guitar bit in Evita, and everyone crying and wearing mantillas. I hope that if I ever have to choose that stuff I will choose something that epitomises me whilst making everyone smile. Something like "In These Shoes?" by Kirsty McColl.

50. What was the first thing you thought when you woke up?
What time is it? God I need a wee!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I am naughty

My SIL and BIL are here with my nephew. They are lovely, but quite quiet and reserved. So I have sent everyone to the park whilst I Cook Sunday Lunch*

*watch an episode of ER on V+ whilst surfing the internet, as I prepared most of the vegetables this morning. I have made a cheese sauce for the cauliflower, and parboiled the spuds though

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I've been tagged by Rio, the beautiful Clover. Here's the rules:

The rules: Link to your tagger and post these 3 rules on your blog.
1. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
2. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
3. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


1. I am growing my hair. Two reasons: one, my hairdresser has moved to Spain, and I am noturiously bad at trusting anyone with my tresses. Not that they are fabulous or anything, but they're all I got. Two: My sis is getting married in October, and I fancy having an "up-do" for the occasion.

2. I had a mojito last night for the first time. Then I had one for the second time. Me likey....

3. I have given up buying crappy Celeb magazines for 2008. Thids does not mean that if I come across one in the dentist or at my Mum's house I can't read it, but that I can't actually pay good money for one. So far, I have not found this a wrench at all.

4. I developed a skin tag on the side of my right boob when I was pregnant with Ted and I have had enough of it, but I am not sure if I can be arsed to have anything done about it

5. I play the guitar. And the clarinet, but the latter not for a number of years

6. I very rarely watch films. I have to really want to watch it, I would never go to the cinema on a whim. This does not include the children's films I am sporadically obliged to watch, such as Horton Hears a Who on Thursday. Therefore, I am never able to contribute to discussions on such gems as Pretty Woman/Spinal Tap/Lord of the Rings/Forrest Gump etc etc, as I have never seen them, or indeed many other alleged "Classics". However, when I do love a film, I love it passionately (Some Like It Hot, It's a Wonderful Life, Crash, etc) I have films still in cellophane wrappers that people have bought me on DVD and I have never watched (Girl with a Pearl Earring/The English Patient)I just don't want to waste two hours of my life on them (although I can happily channel surf/internet surf for two hours)

7. I have a passion for unsuitable men. Current favourite: Tony Soprano. I fear it is a deep rooted need to rebel against the good girl that I really am.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Sixteen Years Ago Today

I started "going out" with Mike. Well, by that, I mean we got together at a college party, spent the night together (no, we did not have sex!) and parted on excellent terms. It was the 4th March when we finally began to officially be "boyfriend/girlfriend". But, we like to think of the 29th February as our actual anniversary, partly becuse it's a more interesting date to have as an anniversary. When we got married, we married on the closest Saturday to the 29th February, four years later. We wanted to get married on the 29th, but it was a Thursday. So, Sunday is our twelth wedding anniversary. Two years ago, we had a party for our tenth anniversary at a bar in town. Last year I was pregnant, and we agreed not to have presents. It was miserable, and I never want to have that again.

So, this year, we are going out to dinner, and I have bought Mike a nice present (it's a bag, a Kickers one, so he can put his lunch, iPod, papers and everything he needs for work or if he goes for an overnight) and a card. It's also Mothers Day on Sunday, so I hope that he has made an effort.

I had such a nice week off with my boys last week. I really still don't know what I'm going to do about working - I like it and Ted's happy enough, but it's not all that's important.

I'm thinking of starting another blog, a project one, like "what I wore everyday" or ate every day or similar. Not sure which

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Feeling a bit better

Thanks Beckie...

The sun is shining and I've had a talk with my husband, because I started writing something in my Valentine to him and once I started I couldn't stop... anyway it was cathartic, it's half term, we've got quite a bit planned and I'm just generally feeling better. There are people I am fed up with but heigh ho.

It's Sunday morning, we're all in our PJs watching Primeval, there are friends coming for dinner later, and I feel more in control of things. Good.

To celebrate: a meme ;)

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, I was 26, about to celebrate my 2nd wedding anniversary. We had gone to London for my first one, but I can't remember what we did for the second. Probably went out for a meal. We were living in Knutsford, and getting ready to move into this house in the April. We had my friend living with us. I was working at the Doctors' practice and we were building new premises, which was really stressful. I was also wondering what was going to happen to my job under the new political regime.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Being pregnant, counting the days until maternity leave started at Easter, feeling fed up and poorly. I had had a horrible January, been ill with the flu and Mike had worked away for the whole month as he had just started at Microsoft. I had just interviewed for my management job and been appointed to it. I was panicking that I wasn't in any way shape or form ready for having another baby.

Five snacks you enjoy:

Crisps - either salt and vinegar or ready salted
crackers and cheese
toast with butter
eat natural apricot and almond bars

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
- I know loads!
Wonderwall - Oasis
Yes- McAlmont and Butler
Groovejet - Spiller
Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
Your love alone is not enough - Manic Street Preachers

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

Pay off mortgage
Pay off Mum's mortgage so she can stay in her house
Take the children to Eurodisney
Invest enough to give up work
Get a personal trsiner to MAKE me exercise
Have the house remodelled

Five bad habits:

Eating when not hungry
biting nails
Putting pens in my hair
Losing things and not looking in the obvious places for them
Mindlessly watching TV

Five things you like doing:

Spending time with my boys
Hanging out with good friends
Listening to music

Five things you would never wear again:

Jogging bottoms or sportswear in general
a Bouffant hairdo
a non-underwired bra

Five favorite toys:

Interactive Whiteboard at work
Ted ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008

I think I might be hitting a wall. There's nothing huge, but I'm at a bit of a place where I feel excessively tired, somewhat PMT-y, a bit cross with my friends and family because I feel a bit unsupported... and none of it is really very justified. I've been here before, about 8 months after Alfie was born. Bingo.

There's something about going back to work and all that that entails. In actual fact, it's been okay - I like being myself for a while, Ted is happy at nursery (when he's not picking up a bug) I'm popular at work and good at my job - it's the whole just not feeling like I'm doing anything properly - being a mum, a teacher, a friend... and I am a dreadful wife. It's like that Kirsty MaColl song: "I've been an awful woman all my life/A dreadful daughter and a hopeless wife" - I KNOW that I'm not an awful woman - I just FEEL like one.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Year Of Non-Extraneous Spending

One thing I haven't mentioned is that 2008 is supposed to be my year of not buying anything extraneous. Reason: well, going back to work four days clearly means that I will have less money - plus, the money we need to spend on nursery means I have even less (see: was it worth it? above) and also, because I think that I have a tendency to spend a bit recklessly at times - not huge amounts of money, but even so...

So, as January is over, I can report that I have purchased nothing but a tube of Benefit ThatGal! which I did think about really hard before I bought, and wasn't extraneous. However, the tube I bought has all gone, so I won't be buying it again, because it doesn't last long enough. I have clothes coming out of my ears and a load of maternity stuff I need to put on ebay, because I really fancy getting myself a pair of TummyTuck jeans (£80!! - but if I'm not buying anything else...) It really hasn't been that hard - I haven't really been anywhere to buy anything, although I did go to the Trafford Centre on Friday and bought my goddaughter Emily books for her birthday (not extraneous - a gift) and books for the boys, and trousers for them both as they are both growing hugely (also necessities). I've only bought one lunch at work. I needed a tub of moisturiser and actually USED one of those £5 off coupons you incessantly get in Boots. I have bought two magazines, but have completley avoided the Now/Closer/First (who have helped me immensely in my quest to buy no more celeb mags by employing Ulrika Jonsson as their agony aunt - I mean as IF!!!)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is it all worth it?

So as I was piling my kids into my car at 7.45am, being pelted to death by a massive hail storm that had started the minute I locked the front door, having been up since 6 getting myself and them ready for work and school, dealing with the fact that the dishwasher has packed in and there's going to be a dilemma about whether to mend it again, or to buy a new one, and the above thought cheerily popped into my mind. Yes, the kids are worth it obviously, and mostly the job is worth it, but is the whole thing worth it? At least Ted went back into nursery so that was something.

The thing is, I had a really good day at work today, I really felt like I achieved loads, but really is it worth it????? Answers on a postcard to Quite Frankly....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Feminism rules ok?

So today I am having my first ever day off teaching to take care of a sick child. Believe it or not, A has only had one day off sick since I began teaching, and Mike took the day off then. So far, since he started nursery, Ted has had conjunctivitis and *supposed* diarrhea (he didn't) and Mike has taken a day to take care of him. He's also been called to pick him up early once for another bout of conjunctivitis that he got laughed out of the doctor's surgery for as it was a bit of mucus in the corner of his eye *sigh*. So anyway, today he is off because he keeps being a bit sick when he eats - I've had him at the doctors (I should get a season ticket) and there isn't anything wrong with him, he's perfectly okay, playing and happy. But they made me feel like a criminal yesterday when I went to pick him up, so I don't really have any choice. And then I feel bad because I feel like I'm putting work before my baby - and I'm not. If he was really sick, then I wouldn't think twice.

Having said that, now I'm off, I've had a really nice day with T - got stuff done at home, played with him (I've just been giving him weetabix, there's been a couple of mouthfuls of sick but nothing spectacular) tidied both the boys bedrooms, caught up with my V+ watching - it's been nice.

On Saturday I wrote myself a big pros and cons list for work and not working - I have to say that my list for cons of working was longer - but then it's not an exact science as the weighting for each reason isn't the same. Mike and I talked about it this morning in bed, we both agreed that domestically life would be easier if I were at home. And today reminds me that it would be. It's a tough decision to take - I want there to be some kind of sign for what is the right thing to do. I was saying to Mike this morning, I know what will happen; I'll resign, and then whilst I'm working my notice, T will never get sick, I will love being at work, the weather will improve, my social life will pick up, my weight will go down by a stone... and I'll think I've made the wrong choices!!

It's the everlasting quandry for women - it's all my friends are talking about whenever we get together, the balance between home life and work life. It's like feminism shot us in the foot, we're now allowed to do everything- work hard all day, come home and run a house, manage the kids and feel guilty about everything, oh and at the same time, look fabulous, cook from scratch, not drink too much and read worthy books. I don't think I check any of those boxes.

In other, more frivolous news; I am delighted to announce that I fit back into three pairs of trousers that I haven't for a year. There are still another six or seven pairs in the wardrobe however.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New things I like so far in 2008

1. Benetint by Benefit - where has this been all my life? I love it! It's a revelation in a bottle and smells yum. I am a bit of a fan of Benefit - I love their BadGal, concealer, Oohlalalift and Lemonaid as well.

2. Mistresses on BBC1. A bit predictable but fairly engrossing

3. Not a new thing, but back onto Radio 2 in the mornings as a compromise between Radio 1 (DH; I think it is crap, far too much self-congratulatory bollocks from Chris Moyles) and Xfm (me; DH thinks Jason Mamford is boorish and hates the adverts)

4. Ipod stereo systems - how fab

5. Littlewoods Direct catalogue - everything I have had is fab

Come Dine With Me

Is mine and dh's secret pleasure. In case you haven't seen it, five people who are strangers cook dinner parties for each other on five consecutive nights and give each other marks out of ten for the food/hosting/experience. It's on on a weekday on Channel 4, but we v+ it off More4 on a Sunday where they play the five episodes back to back, then we watch it altogether on a Sunday night, skipping the adverts. It is an ace programme, and the only reality TV programme I would ever consider being on, not particularly because I consider myself to be anything like a good cook, but because I love the idea of five strangers living in each others' pockets for a week and scoffing loads of different foods. Either they get on really well, or there is one nutter (a la every series of Big Brother since 2003 )who everyone hates and is quite mad.

Friday, January 11, 2008

And the first week is over

The title says it all.

We, as a family, have survived the first week of Mummy being back at work. And, it's been okay, as okay as I might have dared to think it might be. Ted has settled down so well in nursery, the girls seem to be looking after him really well, he's happy and smiley, eating and sleeping, which must indicate contentment. He's also very very pleased to see me when I come to get him, which is important. Back at work, I'm doing okay, getting into the swing of things, and I do love being in front of a class and having fun with them. The days are so busy that they do fly by and not too much of a chance be sad. The hardest bit is the end of the day, when I have to get everything ready for the next day, collect two children from various places, get home, get Alfie's tea ready and entertain Ted all at the same time. It's helped by the fact that Ted is quite keen to have another tea (he eats about 4ish at nursery when he gets him, so we all sit down together whilst the boys eat. The only permutation of a day we haven't done yet is me doing the whole shebang because Mike is away. That's on Monday, when I will have to drop off and pick up both boys and do bedtime alone. I think Alfie will be having a special treat of McDonalds on Monday night, so this will help a bit! For the first time, I think I need to be cut a little slack... or maybe I'll get a pizza. Mike will be at home late in the evening and it will give me the chance to catch up on some Sopranos, I am only on the episode that More4 put on on the 27th December!

Today is my first day of not working (because now I work 4 days a week) and although it's only 10am, I am already loving it. It's so nice to be back being a Mum, taking Alfie to school and then getting Ted into bed, looking forward to getting him up and spending the day together - and of course, getting the Friday feeling on a Thursday!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The new regime

Oh dear God, I had forgotten how exhausting the job is - particularly when you insist on wearing high heels. Well, I will not succuumb! I need the three inch support!

It;s going OK - Ted is doing fantastically and I am so very very proud of him. He seems happy and content at nursery, although very pleased to see me when I come to collect him. Last night, Alfie started Beavers, and he was fine about going, and me leaving him there; I went home and ruminated on the achievement that is having confident, well adjusted children. I don't often congratulate myself on my parenting, who does, but I do feel like this is something to celebrate.

In terms of going back to work; well, it's okay really. I do love being in the classroom, it's something I feel that I can be good at end enjoy. I love being with children and so far, I'm enjoying the new age group (7-8 rather than 5-6) - thier independence is refreshing. I'm busy, but that's ok. I am just about managing the whole 'getting two kids home and sorting them out' situation, so far without resorting to convenience teas, I'm constantly thinking about speedy, nutritious meals that preferably let me hold a small baby whilst preparing. I'm also finding a cup of coffee very invigorating at 5pm, which I wouldn't normally do in fear of it keeping me awake, but at the moment, the minute my head hits the pillow...

I cannot WAIT for Friday, and my chance to be a Mummy again for the day, it can't come to soon. Well, in 48 hours, my working week is over, so heigh-ho! Onwards!

Friday, January 04, 2008

2007 In The Beginning...
Where did you bring in the New Year? In bed, I think as I was 17 weeks pregnant
Who were you with? Mike, Alfie and the soon to arrive Ted inside!
Did you kiss anyone at midnight? I was probably asleep, but if I did it was Mike
Did you make any resolutions? I will check back in the blog, but they would be most likely to be about being a good mother/wife/daughter/friend etc

2007 Your Love Life...
Did you break up with anyone? No
Did you get anything for Valentine's Day? A card
Did you meet anyone? The lovely Ted!
Did you fall in love? Only Ted!
Are you still in love? Yes, more each day I think

2007 Friends and Enemies...
Did you meet any new friends this year? I met some new Mums, and also someone who I think is going to be a great friend who I met in hospital when we were having our babies. A couple of new work colleagues
Did any of your friendships end? I think I've come to the end of the road with one person although we did exchange Christmas cards - we've become too different. A dear friend passed on right at the end of 2007
Did you dislike anyone? I'm not a fan of someone who I'm supposed to respect
Did you make any new enemies? I hope not although I expect I'm not everyone's cup of tea
Did you resolve any fights? No
Who was your closest friend? Colette, Karen, Gail, Nicola
Who did you grow apart from? my Dad sadly as he's emigrated - inevitable I suppose
Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships? There's someone who i should have cut out years ago and didn't until about seven years ago.

2007 Your BIRTHDAY!!!
How old did you turn? 36
Did you have a cake? No
What did you do for your birthday? Went for a posh meal with some mates
Did you have a party? No
Did you get any presents? The pictures I posted here on canvas. Perfume. Cosmetics
If so what was the best thing you got? Perfume I think, the photos are nice, but I don;t think that they are really a present for me alone

2007 All about YOU...
Did you change at all this year? I'm more family orientated than ever because I've got more family1
Did you dye your hair? Yes, chocolate and caramel highlights
Did you get your hair cut? Yes. about four times
Did you change your style? Went a bit shorter but essentially the same curly bob
Were you in school? Teaching in one1
Did you get good grades? N/A
Did you have a job? Yes, but on mat leave April - Dec
Did you drive? Yes
Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Me!
Did you move at all? No
Did you go on any vacations? Devon
Did you leave the country at all? No
Would you change anything about yourself now? I'd like to get back to my pre-baby weight

2007 Wrap Up...
Was 2007 a good year? yes. I've loved being a Mum of two, and adored being at home.
Did 2007 bring any new insights? The importance of family
Do you think 2008 will top 2007? not sure. I hope so
Do you have any goals for 2008? To get thinner and healthier. To achieve a decent work/life balance
If you could go back and change any moment which would you choose from 2007? I would have spent more time with Pam the last time I saw her, at a friend's wedding in August


All this week I have expected not to be able to sleep. Noise on New Year's Eve. Anxiety for Ted's first day at nursery. Anxiety for my first day back at work. But I have actually slept. Even when I had to get up with T in the night the other day, I still managed to get back to sleep straight away. But, he woke up at 3.30am and took a while to settle - I think because of the new nursery thing, he's just a bit off kilter - it should soon get back on track. But I could not get back to sleep, and have eventually given up trying, so I'm up at 5.30am, doing laundry and trying to catch up on The Sopranos, I have about ten episodes v+. It's Pam's funeral today and I could really do with not being up. I wasn't sleeping well anyway, restless and complex dreams.

I can't do staying in bed in the night whilst I'm awake, it's the only real time in my life that I can get myself really stressed about stuff that doesn't usually bother me - mostly stuff about work, even when I was off I worried about work...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Baby snogs

There is nothing in this world that is more gorgeous than your baby reaching for you and grabbing you and snogging you for about five minutes when you have been separated from him all day. It's almost worth being separated from him. But not quite.

He's doing brilliantly at nursery and I am really proud of him.

I went back to work today, which was wierd but ok. I had forgotten just how ridiculously tiring it is - you are on your feet all day literally, and have to be on your toes figuratively. Kids were good, I fell back to it quite quickly.

Just Pam's funeral to get through tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I watched Mary Poppins yesterday

...and it struck me how much easier it was to be a parent in 1918, at least for the Banks'.

Mrs Banks can prioritise her Suffragette activities without wondering who is taking Jane to Rainbows or Michael to swimming. And on Mary Poppins' day off, she simply palms the children off on a passing chimney sweep, who, I suspect, may not even be a REAL cockney!

Ted is in nursery and I am beside myself. I arranged for him to start today as I thought I would be in school today and I'm not. So, I decided to still put him in so that I wasn't working on his first day, which is probably better for him, but not for me. I've been at a colleague's this morning working, but now I am home, and despite Alfie and Mike being here I cannot settle, it is the longest day in the world. I've spoken to them twice and he is okay. I am counting down the minutes until I can legitimately fetch him - I want him to have his tea there so he's had the experience of both meals - so it will be about 4pm which is earlier than he will be picked up usually. Why am I finding it so hard to do this this time, when I have already done it once?? Would a Mary Poppins be better?? I've always thought that leaving one person in charge of your child is risky because no one is supervising that person, also, the child becoming more attached to them than they are to you... shudder. But I'm not sure now.

Oh well, that's ten minutes killed

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy new Year!!!

I've just spent a few minutes reading over last years blogs- didn't actually take very long as I barely blogged, my excuse being that I was pregnant and had a little baby. What it did show me was that it is good to blog - even the little that I had written took me back to times I had thought I had forgotten.

So 2008 -- well, it was seen in in a very low key way here - M hates New Year, so we watched The Queen (absolutely fab film) on v+, M made some lamb and pistachio kebabs from Jamie at Home and we had some wine. I rang my Mum and kissed the boys at midnight and that was that - except I popped up the road at 9.30 for a glass of red with Colette. We have had a low key Christmas too, at our friends on Christmas Eve, my Mum's on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, where I had D and V on Christmas Night and spent Boxing Day feeling mainly wretched. We went to the in-laws on the 27th (highlight - taking Alfie through the Mersey Tunnel) and had Colette and John and the kids round on the 28th. The weekend was quiet although we had a bimble out to Dunham Massey and lunch. I went to the Sales on Saturday and got some great bargains. Alfie and I went to soft play yesterday morning with his friend, and I had a coffee and a chat with his mum. I took Ted into Sale yesterday afternoon to do some shopping and met up with my friend Tony for a coffee. Actually, when you write it down, it's been quite busy.

Today, I think we're going into Manchester to see what's going on, and then tomorrow Ted starts at nursery. *gulp* and Thursday I go back to work. And Friday is my friend Pam's funeral.

I want to pay a quick tribute to Pam. She was my friend from work, a Teaching Assistant. She has had cancer as long as I've known her, but got worse in the last four months. She died on the Thursday before Christmas. Pam was funny, irreverent, caring and kind. I am going to miss her lots. She was the first one at the bar and the last one to let her illness get her down. God Bless You Pam G, you touched lots of lives and will be missed

New Years' Resolutions
  1. To get back to work and make it work - to make sure I spend time with both boys, and to keep my work/life balance in perspective
  2. To get back to my pre-baby weight. This means to get back to my pre-baby eating patterns. Goddammit there are clothes hanging uselessly in the wardrobe!!!!
  3. I am giving up alcohol for January. If/when I recommence in February I need to change the pattern - less wine, more shorter drinks with mixers
  4. I am not going to buy any more cheesy celeb magazines - they are rubbish, and I could spend the money on other things.
  5. In fact I am going to try not to buy anything in January - no clothes/make up etc. Just essentials - food, deodorant etc. I want to keep a record of my spending and see where it all goes!
  6. To find some kid of exercise that suits me and do it. I'm a real couch potato, and I only really like swimming, dancing and walking. The gym bores me and I don't like any participation sport.
  7. Cut back on my laptop use - 1 hour a day
  8. Obviously to be the best mother/wife/daughter/friend/sister I can be

------and to update my blog a LOT more!

Happy New Year readers, if you have a blog I will promise to comment more!