Friday, 25 November 2011

Fluffy Bunnies as promised

I haven't got long so don't get settled - this is a quickie. Ted is temporarily placated with Toy Story after a very destructive and vicious psycho rampage which occurred after we had to return a pair of Spiderman Slippers as we left a friend's house and I gave him a bag of chocolate buttons in compensation. By the time we walked through our front door I could tell he was on a mission to destroy. He has knocked over small tables, thrown toys to the four corners of the living room and pulled out multiple jigsaw puzzles so that they are all jumbled up on the floor in a puzzle puddle - he has also threateningly put his hand down his nappy in a way that suggests at any moment he might whip it out and pee on the floor (this is a worrying new turn in his behaviour - but now is not the time to go into detail). Naturally, rather than set about rectifying the Spiderman Slipper Rampage I am sitting here looking at it as I write to you instead. The great news is that I am off to my mother's in a few hours so I am wilfully ignoring all housework before I leave so that K can spend the evening sorting it out before the cleaner comes tomorrow. I know - more decadence but it is K's bday on Sunday so, being the loving and generous wife I am, I have said he can have the weekend to himself and a cleaner as his present - he wasn't that keen on the cleaner part but it was a non-negotiable part of the gift so he has had to get over it.

So, I promised you joy and unbridled happiness, and here it is. As per usual money has changed my life and I am now back to my smiley and cheery self. Not only does Ted have some fabulous new winter boots thanks to my monthly income plopping into my account (I find joy in all shopping - even children's shoes - it boils down to the fact that I just like spending money - but don't tell my mother as I have been denying her persistent accusation of such for 30 years) but last night K and I also discovered that we had £118 of unclaimed Tesco reward vouchers AND they are still doing their reward exchange which means that after a few hours working it all out online, I am currently awaiting £220 (I have left a bit for the new year) in vouchers in the post so that I can go and spend them all on toys with NO GUILT. Can you imagine my joy. It was a little like getting four numbers on the lottery.  £220 of toys FOR FREE. Nada. Niente. Nothing. Muchos Happios. Now, as much as I would like to say that that would pay for all of their Christmas presents, in the real world even the most average of toys seems to be £20 so really it will buy around 10 presents. But still, split between three children it is a most appreciated start to the proceedings and it has put me in an alarmingly festive mood. I am actually excited about advent. Even K has started taking an interest in my toy research now he knows it is free.  As if the evening couldn't get any better Boden then emailed me to say they would like to give me 25% off and free p&p so I got G's winter coat for £36. Things like this can keep me happy for weeks. Although I ordered it in yellow as I am so OVER navy blue and I am absolutely sure G will deem it horrid due to the bright colour. I am hoping that wrapping it up and saying that the big FC and his Elves made it for him will make it more appealing. I wonder if I should cover the Boden label with a home made north pole looking one. Is that too much attention to detail? Would G even notice? Unlikely. It might be fun though. I'll let you know.

I must race off and pack up so that I can snatch the children from school early and away to Suffolk before the rest of the world joins me on the road.  A huge traffic jam could majorly ruin my joyous mood - although even a trip to the dentist's this morning was enjoyable in my new altered state. I was so happy to be able to register with an NHS dentist near my home and to also discover that they are going to perform my root canal surgery next week for only £47, I almost broke into a skip as I walked out the door. All my other root canal (turns out flossing is actually quite vital for good teeth but I still can't get into the habit) has been prohibitively expensive and courtesy of a wealthy private dentist, so to me this seems like very good fortune indeed and combined with my Tesco extravaganza I can't help but feel the Gods are on my side. So, before I get too sickening with my unbridled happiness and joy, I shall leave you to your weekends - enjoy, enjoy - it is the last weekend in November, K's Bday and a sign that advent is imminent. Joy to the world.  Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Ted just pissed on the carpet... la la la la la la la la etc. Adios amigos xxxxx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


NOTHING has happened. Nothing good or interesting anyway.

Just a series of petty irritations and annoyances that have taken place in the last 48 hours. Monday morning arrived with another sizeable fox shit outside the front door for me to clean up, I have put on five pounds in ten days (I know I am shocked and also slightly in awe of myself), I spent an hour and a half tidying their stupid bedroom (Bea and G) so that they could play in there with their afterschool friends (one each - it was too much and I admit it was a bit over excitable of me) only for them to make the same amount of mess for me to tidy up all over again, my new iphone didn't arrive when it was meant to (that really is petty - it did turn up eventually - the only brightness on my bleak horizon), I washed a nappy which was mixed in with the washing and now there are millions of little gel crystal things all over my washing machine and the floor (I am too angry to hoover it up), I now can't get my iPad due to budget restrictions, Ted wee'd on the carpet two minutes before we were meant to be out of the door for the school run, Woody has been decapitated (the toy, not a child) and on Sunday the young girl in the beautician's at the end of my road told me that my cheap (in her opinion) moisturiser was no longer good enough because 'when we age' (OUCH) our skin becomes thinner, less elastic and drier.

To be honest that alone was enough to ruin my week. The problem with hanging around with people who are older than you on a day to day basis is that you become quite convinced that you are eternally young. It is only when faced with some spotty faced young skinned bitch at the end of the road that I realise that I am in fact, not a teenager or in my twenties anymore and that I am in fact properly ageing. Not that that Caroline Flack seems to mind - even if you don't know who she is or who Harry from One Direction is, the fact that she is 32 and he is 17 should be enough to make you feel queasy. It might seem ok if you don't know a teenage boy but I do - that is the same age gap as between me and my nephew and the very idea of going anywhere near any of his immature friends makes me feel exceptionally ill. I can only imagine that she is totally deluded over her birth age and in her mind she is a perpetual 18 year old, in which case it wouldn't seem that weird to be dating a person only a year younger than her. It is still totes G-R-O-S-S. Although oddly, not as freaky if he was a girl and she was a man. Although people weren't that keen on Billie Piper and Chris Evans when they married so maybe it still would be - but definitely less odd. Boys reach maturity at around 40+ and girls at about 17 so it makes more sense that way round.

I know all about Caroline and Harry because I have bought an obscene number of stupid 'celebrity' magazines in an effort to cheer myself up (The 'ageing' thing and me sacrificing my iPad for stupid arse Christmas has not had a positive effect on my mood). I also know Martine McCutcheon has put on two stone (BOTHERED), that Mark and Lauren are likely to get back together once a-bloody-gain when Mark gets out of the jungle and that poor old mad Fatima Whitbread had an incredibly horrific childhood. All of this is pointless trivia and is potentially rotting my brain - and I have evidence to back this up - today I forgot how to write my name. What the hell is that about? It might not be a brain tumour (my instant assumption) and it could just be because I had to actually write my name manually with a pen. I tend to do most things on my phone or my computer so I don't write my name a lot. I hope that's what made me ponder how many 'i's there were in my name and not a brain tumour or yet another side affect from being the wrong side of 30 to go with my thin and dry skin.

I am wallowing. I must stop. It is an unattractive quality and I don't need any more to go with my five-pounds heavier stomach and my thin and ageing skin. I apologise for my self indulgent wallowing. I shall make sure my next post is full of joy and glad tidings and fluffy bunnies.

(the spell check isn't working - if there are any mistakes just live with them)

I'm off. laters xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

Parroting Festivities

Well after all that excitement, things are back to normal. I am massively disappointed that my iphone is yet to arrive and obviously neither has the ipad. It is a tad spoilt I admit, but it doesn't stop me feeling sad. Florence is still helping me through the pain and yes, thanks to my sister, approximately 10 seconds after the last post went up, I am now very aware that there is only one machine with her. Although G still calls the great JB, Justin Beaver which always makes me laugh so I like mis-pronunciations.

The cleaner is long gone and I am trying to stay on top of the housework in an effort to keep her good work (and my present) going for longer. I haven't been able to write anything for the last few nights as I've been sorting out the piles of washing from my bedroom. Just thought you'd like to know that so you don't have to worry about the mess at my house anymore. Feel free to relax - there is only one recently washed pile in the basket at the moment. A household record. I have also been thinking that any minute now I will be ill, so I was keen to rest in preparation for it. For some reason I have yet to actually be ill but I am quite sure that I have been on the cusp of illness all week. I even sneezed a number of times yesterday but still nothing. I don't understand where my illness is. Fascinating information for you all. It can't be my birthday every week so you will have to take the rough with the smooth.

Wednesday saw some interest. I took Ted to the Horniman museum (I know it is an amusing name for a children's museum) to see the fish in their aquarium. The aquarium is in the basement of the museum and is very child sized and arranged in a circle with a centre display so that it is exceptionally easy to navigate. Ted and his little friend were very smitten with the frogs, fish and jellyfish and me and my friend were very taken with the giant lobster. All was well. Then we found the tropical fish tank empty and a man with a tube in one of the smaller tanks which Ted and quite a few children were fighting to get to see (it was a man's arm, a tube and some very murky water but clearly more fascinating than a giant lobster). Then as I turned around and said - 'come and look at these blue frogs Ted' - Ted was nowhere to be seen. I literally do not know what happened. It was like something from that hideous show, Without a Trace. I did not panic, Ted is always disappearing. I did a few circuits of the aquarium (which is quite dark) and double checked all the nooks and crannies. My friend was being very helpful and was also searching. I am SURE I heard him say that he knew where his daughter was so he would help look for Ted.  He covered the stairs and I asked the surly man on the entrance if he had seen a small boy with a blue jumper. The surly man was incredibly surly and informed me he was far too busy to see where children had gone (DICK HEAD). Lots of other parents were at this point being helpful and I felt terrible that everyone was being so concerned about Ted who really didn't deserve it. As the friend and I went up the first flight of stairs to the bottom level of the museum I was concerned my friend was being a little too helpful and should return to his daughter in the basement, so I said, 'Don't you want to find her?' And he looked at me as if I was mad and said, 'Yes of Course I do'. It transpires that his daughter had in fact, gone missing too. Ted and his little friend were awol together. Suddenly it became obvious as to why he was being so helpful with my search - because he had a personal interest. From his point of view, I must have looked a little odd, as he ran up the stairs with me in hot pursuit of two missing two year olds, asking him if he fancied looking for his lost daughter. Unfortunately we didn't have time to discuss my misunderstanding as we split up. I checked the lifts, he went up another level to cover the main exit/entrance. I carried on around some of the parts of the museum we had already visited yelling their names and was beginning to lose all hope when I was on my way back to the main entrance/exit and discovered Ted's friend walking towards me with a large stuffed parrot. I pounced, shoved her under my arm and asked a little frantically where Ted was. He turned out to be on his way back down the first flight of stairs with his large, stuffed parrot. They had, in their two year old wisdom, made it up two flights of stairs and in to the gift shop next to the exit and stolen a parrot each. They were clearly on their way back to show us their new toys. They take each step of the stairs two feet at a time so it must have taken absolutely ages - I'm almost totally convinced they must have used the lift to achieve all they did in the time. Ted is an advanced evil genius and I'm quite sure he could use two lifts. (There is a separate one down to the aquarium). Anyway, Ted was elated to see me and ran straight back to the shop and threw the parrot on to the counter, clearly thrilled to have found his paying person. My friend, who found us on the way to the shop, said it was incredibly bad parenting to reward Ted for his behaviour by buying the parrot but it was only £10 and I was sorely tempted. I didn't buy it as it would have been unfair to his daughter. (I'm going to sneak back and get one for his Christmas present though). Ted threw an almighty tantrum about not being allowed the parrot and what with all the hoo ha surrounding their disappearance and our obviously negligent parenting, we left. I didn't time it, but I think they had been gone for around up to ten minutes on their own. That is a very long time when you are two. It is an exceedingly long time when you are an adult minus a child.

Still, all's well that ends well. I now have something to get Ted for Christmas and I know that in the event of another disappearance he is more likely to go to the shop than the main road. Actually I am getting slightly worried about Christmas now. It is getting ever closer. If I had a huge stash of cash I could quite easily get on the case and start ordering things to appease my growing panic, but I don't. It would appear that an awful lot of our Christmas budget was spent on my birthday. I still think it's money well spent, but it does mean I'm going to have to be slightly more creative with how I manage to sort a suitable number of Christmas gifts for the children and our families. I don't mean creative in a Kirsty Smugface Allsopp way, I mean, creative with my accounting. I need to work out which bills not to pay next month in order to allow us 'spare' money for toys and bubble bath. That reminds me, I am losing all patience with Kirsty. All her brilliant craft ideas are expensive, both monetarily and time wise. I know I could spend my evenings cutting up old plates and tiles so that I can stick them down on MDF to make a hideous mosaic mirror for some poor unsuspecting relative but I choose to get in to debt the old fashioned way by simply buying things that people might actually want in a shop. Plus, according to her latest hideous smug-fest article in Easy Living (I know - but I love it - I am sooo not Vogue or Living Etc material - I know my place in life, I have no ridiculous illusions of grandeur - my favourite magazine of choice when I was young was Take a Break) she is clearly of the same opinion - one of her 'Crafty tips for having THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS' is 'A little thought goes a long way' - ahh you might think, here comes the mosaic mirror - but no, she goes on to say, 'My best, most special presents have always been from Ben [her husband - GAG]. The other week, he gave me a vintage gold Rolex watch because he said, "you've been working really hard and I thought you deserved a present".  He clearly hadn't been watching her programme.

That's another thing, 'The Perfect Christmas' - I know Grumpy Old Women and many more eloquent people before me have maligned this ridiculous oxymoron but seriously - I am over it. This year we are aiming for a middling type of Christmas where the children are happy-ish, K and I have enough to eat and drink, we don't spend too long in the car saying 'not much further now' and maybe in January I am not looking at every toy Father Christmas gave them with a wistful look in my eye about what it could have bought me/the house/food instead. I like Christmas as much as the next person (obviously I liked it far more when I was a child and I got a huge pile of gifts without having to worry about money) but it is most definitely not the highlight of my year or the best thing to ever happen to me.  Let's all be totally honest - it is a nice end to the year where children get loads of new toys and my mother in law gets me something I like from Cath Kidston. (I told you - I'm no Living Etc person). It is a fabulous excuse to spend hideous amounts of money you would never ordinarily think was a good idea and it's ok to put on weight because, much like being pregnant, Christmas is a 'gloves off' eating event where you can eat until you are almost sick all in the name of religion, family togetherness and it being once a year.

Also, I have three official Christmas social events and two of them are happening in January due to everyone else being so busy in the lead up to the hallowed day. I have every single weekend and 99% of my evenings free up until Christmas so not only do I feel like Norma No Mates but it means that my Christmas this year will last the same amount of time as an entire Season would normally last. I am already feeling bad that the children haven't been to see Father Christmas yet. We are still very much in November but the fact that I haven't pre-booked to visit a grotto is making me feel like a meany. Things have gone too far now. I think I might try leaving everything to the last minute this year and see how it goes. I am also going to let the children believe the Father Christmas at their school fair is as good as it gets - I think it would be foolish to set a high standard at this stage and as well as being very cheap, the fair is at least in December so as far as I'm concerned it ticks all the boxes.

And with that, I must away - it is the middle of the day and Ted could awaken at any moment. Plus I am going out tonight on a non-Christmas jolly - I need to keep my wits about me in order to stay awake. Also Doctors is distracting me. Ted is going to have to stop sleeping in the day soon so that I can wean myself of daytime TV. I know far too much about the plotline to Doctors and the lives of the Loose Women for my own sanity.

Ta Ta for now xxxxxxxx

Monday, 14 November 2011

High Waisted Headiness

Hello and welcome from my new 33 year old view point. I am WAY more mature now which should make life a lot easier from this point forward.

Firstly, I must tell you about my exciting new and mature jeans. I had forgotten the pure and unadulterated joy of a high waist band. I have, for the last 48 hours, been enjoying the extreme comfort of a pair of high waisted, skinny, black, 'proper' (i.e not from a supermarket) jeans. They safely enclose all wobbly tummy fat and leave you with a great feeling of security - my stomach is not about to spill out anywhere and there is nothing moving when I walk. I love that feeling.  These are making me very happy and I intend to live in them from now on.

The jeans are as a result of my exciting birthday shopping trip to Bromley on Saturday. Yes people, my birthday was an overwhelming success. I would go so far as to say it was totally fabulous. It began with hilarious stage whispers from the children and K as they decided how long I should be left to 'rest for a bit longer' in bed and then continued on to the opening of several beautifully wrapped gifts from K, a stunning home made card from Bea, blowing out the candle on my K iced cake, breakfast in bed and some napping until I eventually emerged from bed at 10am to have a bath and get ready for the hairdresser's. My hair took a joyous three and a half hours and was directly followed by a three hour shopping trip in Bromley with my lovely friend who drove us there and back - oddly we only seemed to manage three shops in that time, H&M, Zara and Primark. Miserably I didn't manage to find much I liked so I settled for styling K and bought him some amazing new outfits, myself a top and of course the perfect skinny jeans and then came home in time to put the children to bed and get ready to go out. Another very kind and generous friend then arrived to babysit before K (dressed head to toe in his new outfit and I in mine) took me to a lovely place in Crystal Palace where I ate a huge amount of food and drank cocktails for the first time in ages and we even took a cab there and back. Such decadence. Oh, and the best, most decadent part of the entire day was that whilst I was sitting on my big birthday bottom for hours at the hairdresser's, a wonderfully thorough cleaner was tearing through the house tidying and cleaning it. She even did the inside of my microwave! Can you now see why it was the best birthday ever? I can feel your birthday envy from here.

I don't know about the man, but money definitely maketh the marriage. I am not sure why the millionaire Beatles told us that all you need is love because that is a pile of poo. Love without money is like putting a seed on a concrete slab and hoping it grows. Call me materialistic (I am) but even the most basic of lives needs money to sustain it. My first birthday with disposable income has made me feel incredibly happy, lucky, loved and spoilt and as a result, a hell of a lot nicer, both to K and to the children. Yes, K could have spent many hours learning to crochet and then made me a hat with his new found skill, or, like he did last year, recycle a large photo frame with very stinky magnet paint to produce a new magnet board for my kitchen but actually, nothing says I love you like giving you a wad of cash to spend, lots of pretty pink presents, having your hair done and a cleaner cleaning your house. Plus, one of his gifts has made me ever so slightly cooler - it was the Florence and the Machines CD and it contains the best song ever - Shake it Out. It is highly unlike me (as some of you already know) to like music that isn't from a soundtrack or playing in the background to a very sad scene from Grey's Anatomy, but I am totally in love with Florence and her machines. The whole album is amazing and even G has grown to love Shake it Out played very loudly in the kitchen. As a direct result of K spending money I am happier and possibly a bit cooler - now isn't that better than a crocheted hat which would have just made me hot and messed up my hair?

Oh, I must also mention Friday's lovely birthday celebrations with my friends which was, as expected, perfect. A very kind friend let us descend on her house for lunch and I was presented with a cake, candles, cava and cards. And smoked salmon and toasted panini but they don't begin with c. They also very kindly gave me a gift voucher for the beautician's at the end of my road. I am overwhelmed with the possibilities of exciting treatments now at my disposal. It was seriously the best birthday I've had in an incredibly long time - potentially since my 21st birthday party. Or when Dad was alive and used to give us a lovely fat cheque on our birthday. They were great days.

Anyway, I am still recovering from the lack of sleep on Saturday and the drinks on Friday night (I forgot to mention them) so I need to get going and get some more sleep to try and catch up. After all I am not as young as I used to be. Although I will now be enjoying my sleep an awful lot more as a 33 year old as I shall be enjoying it in my new comfy pyjamas after bathing in my new bubble bath and reading my new book. Oh, and I still have the excitement of my new iphone and ipad arriving this week. These are incredibly heady times. I may faint with all the excitement. 

Shake it Out, Shake it Out, Shake it Out, it's alwasy darkest before the dawn, etc etc etc (Just be grateful you're not K - I have been singing this non stop)

I shall catch you on the flip side. Laters. Innit. (I am a bit cool)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

32 and counting

G has come up with a brand new insult. It is genius. Tonight, angry that he couldn't take Ted's end of the bath and then disillusioned by the whole bath experience the 'wrong' end of the bath, he was particularly angry as I attempted to dry him and said, "Mum, you are worthless".  He then used it as my name when answering questions, 'yes, worthless', combined with a particularly scathing tone.  As an insult, being worthless is one of the very worst if not the very worst. Far worse than him saying he hates me or that I have a fat tummy or that I smell of poo or that he is not my 'fwend' anymore. I am hoping he got it from the cartoons he watches and didn't just come up with it all by his five year old self. I have always assumed Ted was the evil genius, it would throw me totally if he had learnt it all from his big brother.

As I am imminently about to turn a year older his insult hit a nerve. Yesterday someone asked me for a brief biog of my life in bullet points. All I could come up with was that I am married, have three children, their ages and where I live. I did not include my morning of work once a week as a WW leader. That is the only other thing I could think to say about me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling sorry for myself in the slightest, it's just that on paper there isn't an awful lot more to me. I am 'just' a housewife. It doesn't help that I am not particularly good at being a housewife. I am very good at being at home and caring for children without going crazy but I have never mastered the art of actual housewifery - I think I could charitably be called slovenly at best. A new friend and their child popped round unexpectedly on Wednesday and I was particularly ashamed by the state of the house they encountered. Luckily there were no used nappies laying around or piles of washing with sick lurking within but that was more by luck than design. From now on when the house is particularly disgusting I am going to leave the hoover out, the dishwasher open and the bleach by the loo. That means that if anyone turns up unexpectedly it will look like I am imminently about to tackle the mess and they caught me mid-clean. The bleach will mean I can excuse myself and throw bleach around the loo to give the illusion of a recent clean. I think other people must just live in tidy houses because I have popped round to friends without warning and discovered shining examples of housewifery excellence inside. Their bathrooms are even clean. I just don't know how they do it. They must clean and tidy constantly. That is the only thing I can come up with.

I also hate putting washing away. It is soooo dull. I am very good at getting dirty washing in the washing machine and turning it on, and on a good day I manage to get it into the tumble dryer within 24 hours, and I can also usually allocate time in the day to take the dry clothes out of the tumble dryer but then I stop being productive. The idea of sorting all the clothes in to piles and then putting them away in the correct places leaves me cold, so I usually just dump them in my room and wait until I feel the urge to tidy. This means that for six days out of seven there are clothes mountains in my already tiny room making it feel even more claustrophobic and untidy. If, or should I say when, I win the lottery I would not pay for a small entourage of nannies or anything silly, one of the first things I would do would be to hire a housekeeper. I'm pretty sure the luxury of not having to put my own clothes away would be enough to keep me happy forever.  Oh and a chef, to cook for K. I don't do that either. A true 50s housewife would strip me of my title in disgust which would mean I am totally profession-less other than being a mother. I am going to have to either get good at housewifery or find something else to use as my label.

Actually as a mother I am not that brilliant at the moment. My patience has hit an all time low, my throat hurts from shouting at Ted so much and I spent most of Wednesday in the pub. The last part was actually an activity for Ted. The new friend and I went along to the playgroup held at the local pub. It is a genius concept - the playgroup runs from 10 -12 and from 11am you are able to order booze and should you wish to look really bad, you can even smoke outside in the beer garden. There are no other playgroups like it. Oh and there is cake - home made - lots of it. I'm not making it sound that great for Ted but he also had fun. They have a great number of rabbits in an impressively large hut and run in the beer garden which he loved and there are fishes in a tank and birds in a cage when inside the pub - Ted loves all animals and I never take him anywhere to see them so this was almost like a petting zoo for him. Not to mention the toys that had been laid out inside for the playgroup element of it all - he was very taken with a stuffed frog. However the bit I liked the best was at noon when the tables were put back out, the many, many, many small babies disappeared and the pub reverted back to its primary purpose. We stayed for lunch - although the friend is as poor as me which meant that we ordered a kids meal (£3.50) for the children and ate it ourselves - whilst the children watched the Disney film showing on the kids TV provided. Ted fell asleep on his Ikea kids chair in front of Aladdin whilst I enjoyed his very good hand made fish fingers and chunky chips and it was all in the name of childcare. It really is a truly genius concept. I'm not sure how long Ted will find the animals and frog toy fascinating but I'm hoping I'll get at least one more week out of it.

I must go, I need my beauty sleep. Tomorrow is my birthday party with my mummy friends and my last day of being officially 32. I am planning to make the most of it. Cava, conversation and good food. Can't wait. Saturday is the big day when I shall officially be 33. I don't like the age. It's not that I don't like the idea of getting older, it's just that two odd numbers together sound wrong. I have mistakenly been telling people I am 34 such is my dislike of the age 33. I can't believe I have been ageing myself unnecessarily.  I think I might stay 32 for the next two years to make up for it. Chin chin people and happy birthday to me.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Thrills, spills, quizzes and squitty poo.

Gadzooks what a week. Halloween, Birthday, two nights out and a birthday party. For me that is epic.

I can't believe I totally forgot to tell you about Halloween last time. How very remiss of me and how very worried you all must have been wondering if my children trick or treated or not. They did. Even though Monday had begun at 4am included a WW meeting and the final preparations for G's Birthday the next day, I diligently carried out my Halloween duties on All Hallows' Eve. 

The elderly neighbours returned home from their weekend away after we got home from school on Monday and brought with them three more pumpkins which we duly carved on the kitchen table and then added them to the two already out the front of the house. Bea had seen my sister do a vomiting pumpkin over half term so we did the same - she drew a puking face on to the pumpkin, I carved and then we emptied the insides and used them to spill out of the mouth  - we put it on our front wall with the 'sick' spilling down on to the pavement and it was particularly effective even if I do say so myself. We had people stopping and taking pictures of it which I saw as a ringing endorsement. As there was going to be no one at home to answer the door to other trick or treaters we left a bowl on our doorstep with cold pasta and macaroni all mixed in with the treats and Bea knocked up a sign which said 'Grab one if you dare' which we put over the top to conceal the cold carbs underneath - combined with the numerous glowing pumpkins the whole effect was very pleasing. Unfortunately all this preparation meant that the children were ridiculously over excited by the time we got to leave in full costume and I was already dreading Ted's first Trick or Treat experience as they ran screaming with excitement onto the pavement. Ted refused to go in the buggy which meant he was loose on the streets dressed as part spider, part spiderman and high on sugar and the thrill of being out at night. However, my fears were unfounded as it turns out that we have inadvertently discovered Ted's calling in life - he was made for trick or treating. He looks so cute and cuddly on the outside - particularly dressed as a spider - and yet he has a heart of darkness and fearlessness which is required for roaming the cold, dark streets of London and eliciting sweets from strangers. It was genius. The bigger two were often too afraid to approach a dark doorway for fear of people jumping out at them (for the last two years I have mistakenly taken them to some very over enthusiastic places where people had rigged microphones and falling spiders and people jumping out from behind dustbins etc so it's not that they are particular scaredy cats but just wary) - whereas Ted, who by now had got the gist of what was happening, would run straight up to the door and bang particularly loudly and if they didn't open quickly enough would then shout 'ayoooooooooooo' (hello) to see if he could hurry them along. When they did open the door he would dutifully hand over the sweet/chocolate he was in the middle of eating from the last house to the poor homeowner or me and then dive in with whatever was on offer at the present house. Or, if they had a pet or something particularly interesting inside, he would push past the homeowner and have a good walk around their hall or kitchen to see what was going on. He was also very polite saying goodbye and thank you to each house we visited and was declared by nearly all of them to be 'adorable' - an evil genius in the making. He never once got tired on the walk around which must have been at least an hour and a half ,whereas G had to go in the buggy after an hour and by the time we got home and in the bath, Bea was in tears with tiredness. I wanted to cry too but as soon as they were in bed K and I got on the case with preparing for G's birthday and setting up the kitchen. I'm not sure what other people do for Bdays but in our house I take a fanfare approach so there are always helium balloons, a number helium balloon, some sort of cake, bunting and a table full of presents and cards. I also like the kitchen to be clean for the photos so that in future years I might look back and think - hmmmm I wasn't as slovenly as I thought - or the children might look back and say - I don't remember the kitchen ever looking like that. Either way, it's how I like it done and now we've started we can't just stop so we are going to have to do birthdays like this until they are 18 or something. It all seemed such a good idea when Bea was 3 and G was 1 - I didn't realise what I was starting.

I told you about G's bday already so I'll move on to my two nights out. I know TWO in a row. I am soooo cool. Wednesday night I was out 'in town' - I made it to Bond Street in very quick time (40 mins in case you were wondering) and was utterly thrilled to realise that 'in town' clothes shops stay open ridiculously late. H & M looked particularly shiny so I ran in there and told the friend I was meeting to come and find me. 7.30 pm and I was out and shopping. The rush was pretty heady. I grabbed armfuls of clothes, totally ignored the friend I hadn't seen in three years and went to the changing rooms before they closed.  I think the mirrors in their changing rooms are doctored as I looked good in everything which never happens and having seen a picture of the dress I bought and then wore to G's party yesterday, I definitely do not look as good as I had hoped. Anyway, I didn't know that at the time and assumed I looked amazing so I dutifully queued up at the till with my chosen items. I was particularly scared about my card being refused and as we inched forward I practised what I would say on being told my card had been declined and desperately tried to remember what might be left in my account. But miracle of miracle the £70 purchase went through and the clothes were mine! Such elation - I don't think anyone who has never had to worry about their card being declined can ever imagine the unbridled joy you feel when the till clicks open and the card machine says, take your card. It  makes the purchase even more special. However in the thrill of the chase of new clothing I had tactfully avoided thinking about how I was going to pay for the meal out I was about to enjoy with this poor friend I had so far ignored and forced to sit outside a changing room for fifteen minutes. Mercifully I had battery in my phone and had recently paid the bill so I was able to text K who immediately resolved the situation and transferred funds - the joy of modern technology and a recent payday. Then I went on to enjoy a grown up Italian meal with a bottle of wine and a lovely friend. It is hard to imagine a better Wednesday night all in all.

Thursday was harder work than usual though, as I didn't get in til 11.30pm which, as you know, is way past my bedtime and Ted was still adjusting to the clock change so I was awake again at 5am. The fun did not stop there though - Thursday evening was curry and quiz night at the school. I know, I know. try to contain your jealousy.  It was BYO so I stole the bottle of Cava K had been given by a client and toddled back down to the school again.  (The journey home from school that afternoon had been slightly fraught with a scootering accident, buggy crash and packed lunch bag dropped in a squitty animal poo on the pavement and me losing all kinds of patience trying to push an injured 7 yr old one handed in a recalcitrant buggy whilst pulling a crying 5 yr old on a scooter beside me and holding out the squitty poo lunch bag which I was very tempted to just bin but couldn't quite bring myself to go through with it as I didn't want to have to go to Sainsbury's specifically to replace it. Plus they cost almost £10 so I clung on with gritted teeth and anger in my heart until we got home where once again the dettol came in desperately handy.) With all that in mind, I was particularly joyous to be out of the house and on my way to drink alcohol and eat curry leaving K in charge of tired children and the remainder of the bedtime routine. The quiz part was incidental. I had already made my position clear - I was on the team to sit there and look pretty and answer any questions on Girls Aloud and all geography questions with 'Kazakhstan' (none of the geography questions required that answer which was a shame as I would have looked very clever if it had).  I was secretly hoping for some Celebrity pictures so I could be of some use, however aside from the celebrity baby pictures where you had to match the celeb with their baby picture - I correctly identified Brad Pitt due to his likeness to daughter Shiloh, but they ignored me and wrote the incorrect answer which cost us the quiz (we came joint first but lost at tie break) - the only other celebrity question was on our local resident and everyone knows that - it's Timothy Spall of whom all SE23 are justifiably proud so I was totally useless to our team and took to drinking to accompany my sitting and looking pretty. It turns out that I am incapable of drinking sensibly out of a plastic tumbler whilst sitting slightly uncomfortably on a child's chair at a child's school table and I was incredibly merry incredibly quickly. Even though I couldn't answer any questions and I wasn't that keen on the curry, overall the evening was ridiculously good fun (although I think it got more fun the more I drank and I am really hoping I didn't make too big a tit out of myself). I do know that by the time I got home and collapsed into my bed with contact lenses in and make up still very much on, the world was spinning scarily and I yelled for K to hold my hand as I was scared. I was actually scared I was going to be sick but I didn't want to tell him that in case he left my side and stopped reassuring me.

Friday was naturally a disaster of a day but I had nothing on so I spent it at home with Ted who, it turns out, is much easier to look after on his own, at home. I am going to do it more often. It is only when he is mixed with other children or outside of our home that he becomes a true liability. I would say I almost enjoyed our time together, even with a raging hangover.

Saturday was the party day, and due to the hangover of Friday and lack of Tesco delivery slots, I had to get to The Big Shop pretty early to prepare for the 2pm kick off. I won't go in to too much boring detail but the party was fabulous - The Magician who I set up with the Godmother came to entertain and was particularly brilliant. The superhero cake I ordered from the extra child's mother was AWESOME in extreme although rather stupidly I had asked for it to have spiderman on which meant that for almost the entire two hour party Ted was determined to have the spiderman from the cake and would not take no for an answer - there was a lot of annoying screaming from Ted and sighing from K (can't remember if I mentioned Teds total obsession with Spidey and spiders - it is overwhelming and all consuming). (look i have added a picture! Exciting)

I am a little sad that some of G's close friends failed to show up but there were plenty of others (an awful lot of girls which led to speculation of G being something of a stud) and he didn't really notice amongst all the madness of the 24 over excited children so it was just me that felt the pang of rejection.  The extra child was there which was all that mattered to G and the fact that he got to be the Magician's helper and do some magic, so all in all, a great success.

I am particularly jubilant as that now makes three for three on the birthdays and parties front. Yippeee! Just mine to go now. It's going to be an amazing birthday to make up for the last seven years where all money and effort has gone into the children's birthdays, or where I have been 11 days postpartum and still in agony when I sat down thanks to G's enormous head. I am rightfully hoping to be very spoilt. There is money in the bank and on the gas card and K is promising to sort out all the scary bills for me after my dazzling display of girly silliness at being too scared to speak to any of them in case they tell me off. If I could just lose this extra half a stone I have rather stupidly agreed to carry around then things would actually be perfect. But then I'd worry that everything was too perfect and something bad was going to happen so it's lucky there is something wrong.

I feel this particularly keenly after I saw the pictures of that horrific motorway pile up in Somerset. It is unlike me to be too serious, but suffice to say that when I see things like that it puts money and weight worries rightfully into perspective and makes me ridiculously grateful that my children are safe and well and asleep in their beds. So, as Sunday draws to a close, as does Downton Abbey, I can safely announce that M&O is happy, warm and loving her new clothes - except the dress which makes me look huge - and I am not even that tired as I was in bed until 11am this morning. It is a whole new world people. It's hard to imagine but things may even get better as my birthday celebrations begin in earnest. I don't want to tempt fate but at this precise moment in time I am happy. But still not smug. If you ever feel me veering that way do let me know. It is a hideous thing.

Must dash, X Factor is on and I still need to write my talk for tomorrow morning's meeting. I shall leave you reeling with my declaration of happiness and prepare the tissues for Downton. Spanish Flu is on its way.....


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Half term and Birthday naughtiness

I haven't got long, and really, I should be using the next valuable hour to race around the house like a blue arsed fly trying to get some order back to our clothing piles and I also really wanted to sort all of G's new toys out in the playroom so he could return from school to find them all pristine and set up and ready to play with, but, as you can see I chose to sit on my arse in front of The Mentalist and tell you all about my fascinatingly interesting life.  The sacrifices I make for you people.

Half Term - nothing too unusual. Very long journey down to mum's on the Saturday with Ted awake for almost all of the two and a half hours which was absolutely hideous - especially as I have never ever come so close to wetting myself on a journey - the pain was immense. Sunday saw much debate over who was going to the village table top sale, what time we should get there in preparation for the opening of the doors, what money to take, who was in charge of looking for what, briefing on what Ben 10 characters looked like and eventual last minute change of plan over who was going to go and who was looking after the children which meant the little sister and I were eventually the ones to walk up there half an hour before it was due to start only to discover that we were in fact, a month and half an hour early. Three adults had seen the advert in the Parish News and misread the part about it being in November and not October. Still, when the rest of the party broke rank and followed us up there we decided to cut our losses and hang out for an hour on the slide, roundabout and two swings with Bea's dolls Rosy and KJ who she had diligently walked up to the village hall in a double buggy so that she might buy them baby clothes at the table top sale. Luckily she was very forgiving of our mistake.

The beginning of the week was spent with cousins, shopping, dentist (for me - I need half a tooth removed and refilled - joy) and park visits - nothing interesting to report.  Thursday saw mum and I being adventurous and attempting to find a pumpkin patch and maize maze the other side of Mildenhall. We had no fixed address of where it was and all we were going on was the postcode we had gleaned from the few signs we had seen on various roundabouts about the place. After an hour of driving around and taking various wrong turns we eventually arrived at the destination the postcode had taken us to. There was no sign of anything but a lot of farms and tractors. I took this as an excellent sign as it would be the natural stomping ground for a maize maze however there were no signs or any indication whatsoever of any of the farms being specifically involved with the maize maze business. We returned to the main road and eventually found another sign advertising the maize maze at a T Junction so this time we were able to read all of the information available and finally discover that it was only open at the weekends. The children were not exceptionally thrilled with the news and Mother and I were a little anxious as Mildenhall is only famous for its American Air base and from the looks of it, being one of the dullest places on the planet, so after an hour of sitting still and waiting for us to find something to do, we felt sure a fairly serious revolt was about to take place. I remembered that we had seen an Anglo Saxon village half an hour ago so we set off in the vain hope that that would make up for the lack of mazes and pumpkins. Luckily as we didn't take any wrong turns it took half the time expected and there was an amazing play area next to the car park which far outstripped the dull Anglo Saxon mud huts in a field mum had generously paid £21 for us to look around, so whilst she grumbled on about the cost, they set about making dens, throwing sand and flying down slides with mazes and pumpkins long forgotten. It filled in a day nicely.

Friday was a trip to the cinema sans Ted to watch A Dolphin's tale. Mothers are exceptionally useful for looking after small uncontrollable children so that you can do stuff with the easier children. To make up I took one of my sister's children who is 12. Which was lucky as she was the only child able to cope with the trailers the cinema saw fit to inflict upon my two much smaller children. At first, I thought maybe it was just me that was a Mary Whitehouse follower and that everyone else was fine with their children watching a vampire child being conceived and then slowly killing its mother, or people committing suicide after the time on their arm ran out or men bursting into doors and being shot in the head at point blank range, but when the 12a film wrongly started to play it soon became apparent that a great number of other parents also thought it was horrifying. I ran out and complained - being the fastest, bossiest and noisiest of all the parents present - and managed to get the film stopped before any more trauma passed before their innocent eyes.  As compensation we all got free tickets for our next trip so all in all it worked out ok. Although by the time we got out we had been in our seats for two and a half hours with the delay at the start and I wasn't entirely sure it was worth all the hassle when ten minutes from the end with the Dolphin finally accepting his fake tail, G turned to me and asked 'what is this film about?'.  I was in tears, naturally, so I just mumbled through the tears and pointed at the bloody great dophin in front of him. When it all got very sad I put my arm around Bea as I assumed she was as sensitive as me but she took my arm off her, looked at me and said, "mum, you don't need to worry about me anymore, I'm seven" as if I had two heads. Hey ho.

Oh, I must just fill you in on the cashmere loo roll situation. Even though I have been expressly told not to, I must tell you that the last rolls from the offer were used in the Halloween game where you mummify children with loo roll. It was quite heart breaking. I was tempted to stash the discarded tissue into bags to take home but it would have been a tad impractical with Ted around who would have thought everyday was Christmas when he flung it aruond the bathroom. So, there endeth the excitement of cashmere loo trips.

We came back on Sunday in time for Bea to attend a halloween party and for me to prepare for my Wibblies meeting. I do hate the fact that Sunday evenings are no longer indulgent and slovenly but now in preparation for Monday morning. Lucky I did prepare the day before as Monday morning started with a 4 for me. YES A FOUR. Thanks to the very stupid clock change and the change in accommodation Ted slept fitfully and finally gave up trying at 4.40am. I cannot get over the injustice of it all. Just as I get the stupid children to sleep until nearly 7am - the holy grail in terms of sleep for me - they put the clocks back so that they are now waking between 5.30 and 5.45am. Sorry, I appreciate this is muchos dullos but it is the most important thing in my life. Lack of sleep makes me a hideously unpleasant person to live with - for the children, naturally K wouldn't notice much of a change, I am under no illusion that he deems me easy to live with. I can only be patient with the stupid ins and outs of children's wants and needs if I have had a good sleep.  It's nights like that which makes me wonder whether I should have gone with the She-Devil that is Gina Ford and programmed them to sleep for twelve hours regardless of any outside factors. If only they didn't make babies so small and sweet so I didn't worry about leaving them to scream for hours on end I might look at least five years younger and have a much happier husband. Luckily I am pretty sure K is going to die before the children and there is always make up and plastic surgery to I took the risky decision to let them set their own sleep patterns.

Anyway the meeting was my most successful yet and I even managed to get a 5 Balloon on the way to school for afternoon pick up for in time for G's birthday on Tuesday. Yipppeee! His Birthday was a fantastic success - G was ridiculsouly happy which makes me happy, and I took the risky and inappropriate decision to skive him off school so he could enjoy his toys at home and I could spend the day with my new five year old. I am unashamed. It seemed immensely unfair to send such a happy child to school and rip him from all his new and shiny plastic. It would appear that taking him to the park on his new scooter, in his new outfit and with a massive 5 on his top and returning as all the children were coming out of school, was a mistake. Several of them asked why he hadn't been in school and rather than sticking to our lie about his cough (which he had gone along with when I phoned the school in the morning, he even coughed convincingly in the background to add credence to the lie) he told them all very proudly that his mummy had said he could because it was his Birthday. There was much talk about it in the school line this morning as they waited to go in. I did feel guilty then. I don't want to cause problems for other parents but in our family G was going to be the only person who had his Birthday on a school day as even mine and K's are at the weekend and Ted's was during the summer holidays, so it seemed as if he was being punished coupled with the fact that he's not a massive fan of going to school at the best of times - so I selfishly did what was best for him and me.  I hope the party on Saturday will help everyone forget my wrong doing.

Ping! The hour is up. I must go and prepare for the school run and wake up a filthy Ted. I spent three hours in the park this morning and Ted and his friend spent about half an hour rolling around in the piles of autumn leaves which looked fun to start with but we soon realised that there was a huge amount of dirt that had been blown into the piles along with the leaves. At least I hope it was all dirt and not dried dog poo or anything revolting. I wish Dettol would bring out a bubble bath - it would be immensely helpful. I will send them an email to let them know there is a demand for post park and poo children's bubble bath. I'm sure it will catch on.

Must dash. Toodlepip. x