Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Still nothing particularly interesting I'm afraid

I am back and full of vim and vigour (slight exaggeration but at least able to keep my eyes open) after my half term staycation chez mother. I was a tad concerned that the temporary lodger she has taken in (my teenage nephew) might adversely affect the service, but mercifully not - all was normal and I got to recuperate after the exhausting month that preceded the break.

This Winter has gone on for far too long. I am desperate for Spring to arrive and hopefully bring with it an end to the constant coughs and colds with which we are currently plagued.  Also C seems to be teething which is making life rather hellish. She is, at this precise moment, trying to gum her way through a Top Trump card. I am too tired to stop her as it is keeping her quiet. She managed to gum her way convincingly through an entire piece of Margarita pizza over the half term. I took Bea and G out with their cousins for a meal and after rejecting the crust C spent half an hour devouring her first taste of pizza. I have no idea what the 'official' meal plan is for a 6 month old but I heartily recommend introducing pizza from Frankie and Benny's. Far nicer than cottage cheese and papaya which I have heard is the preferred choice of the yummy mummies. I wouldn't eat that shit so I have no idea why I expect my baby to. Ditto with baby rice - what the hell is the reason for it? It is tasteless crap - you are far better off mashing potato and adding fruit and veg to it or giving them some bread. I am still unable to understand why it is peddled as the best thing to wean a baby on - it is so dull and as far as i can make out it's just a sort of cereal mush which is fortified with vitamins they don't particularly need if they are getting them elsewhere. Food is a huge love of mine and I consider it a total disservice to introduce new human beings to the amazing world of food with one of the blandest non-specific crap created by man. Sorry - I have become ranty - you get the message.

Valentine's - K surprised me with a spectacularly good looking bunch of flowers and a funny card. I was shocked. I didn't even do a card. Well we don't tend to. As I have explained before I don't really believe in it. Even so, I was so shocked and pleased with my surprise valentine that we decided to make an occasion of the evening with a Micheal McIntyre DVD, champagne and good food. It was an entirely surprising day. In recognition of his effort, when he arrived at my mum's that weekend I offered to slip in to something a bit more comfortable for him.......... I came back down from my bath  in my new, navy blue, Tesco onesie. He is such a lucky chap. I look like a developed Cabbage Patch doll in it, but I care not a jot. It is beautifully comfy and the children and I can now all wear one and they think it's hilarious. I did take a sneaky peek in the mirror and it wasn't too horrifying if you like cabbage patch dolls (which I do) but I was struck by how excess weight really does block out the light. If I look in the mirror I am stealing all lighting from behind me as there are no gaps between my arms and main body, or in between my legs, so I am just a block of light stealing, onesie wearing, 'special' looking adult. Anyhoo. It acts as a great form of contraception which can only be a good thing.

My allure wasn't much better during my teenage years. Whilst away I discovered my old diary in my bedroom and low and behold my weight was making me pretty miserable 20 years ago as well. Funnily enough my writing style was very similar and my foreign language skills were as developed. And my attempts at procuring a boyfriend were laughable. My favourite entry, alongside many moany entries about my hideous family, was the following. "Went to Center Parcs with Nell. Rang Anton to ask him out. He said No. I'm not surprised as Nell had only just dumped him. Oh well. Bibi says he thinks I'm a weirdo. That hurt." My total and utter lack of finesse with the opposite sex is quite incomprehensible. They are easy creatures - look pretty, flirt, smile and don't ring up the day after they are dumped and ask them out on a date. I was a hopeless 14 year old. The only male I regularly had contact with up until my 16th Birthday was my dad. All other information I learnt about males was from the TV or books. And for some inexplicable reason my favourite reading matter at the time was Take A Break magazine. I was a most peculiar child. It does explain why I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 17 though.

Anyway, back to the half term. I managed to make a rather fabulous costume for Bea to wear on World Book Day, thanks to mum's endless reserves of 'stuff'. She manages to pull almost anything you need out of a cupboard or a drawer - even I am impressed with the costume I managed to produce from an old skirt and a netting bed canopy, but her ability to produce the materials needed is far more impressive. I would defy anyone to arrive at the house, ask for something obscure and for her not to manage to find something that would suffice for the purpose. One evening we picked up my nieces from the station at 5.30pm for a sleepover (their half term was stupidly different to ours which meant we had to snatch their presence whenever we could) - as we neared Grandma's house, and therefore quite a few miles from my sister's house, the youngest one remembered that she had to go in to school dressed as a Tudor the following day. As they catch their train at 6.50am in the morning it didn't give us much scope for picking it up en route for her return to the station. So, within ten minutes of arriving at mum's she had managed to whip out a hat, top, apron and long skirt - et voila! A Tudor child was produced. It really is quite a skill. As is my pleasing feat of taking all four children to the cinema on my own. As the cousins were busy at school or work, we had to amuse ourselves for the week - which meant I was the only one available to take them to see Wreck It Ralph. (Oh - you may not understand that mother doesn't 'do' the cinema - the last time she entered a cinema with children was, I think, when she took Newly Married Sister, Me and two friends to see White Fang - but made us all walk out half way through as she was so angry at the dog fighting aspect of the film - oddly that embarrassment wasn't in my diary -  surely there couldn't have been anything worse?).  It actually went better than expected - the big three sat behind me and I sat with Cybs at the start and then after various kerfuffles, I ended up with G sitting behind me holding on to my neck, Bea and Ted on my lap and Cybs asleep in the travel buggy in front of me which I wiggled with my foot. Still, we all stayed for the entire film without even leaving for a wee break. The rest of the week actually turned out to be very sociable after a recent (in the last few years) influx of 'fresh blood' in to mum's village and the subsequent children they have provided, coupled with a lovely day spent with our old SE23 neighbours who chose to move to Norwich a month after we moved in. I was sorry to come home and back to the freezing school run, endless washing piles and constant food preparation.

The first school run back is always a mixed bag - horrible because you are up and dressed and cold at 8.30am but happy because you are finally going to be temporarily absolved of responsibility. Particularly welcome after a hideous night of no-sleep thanks to C and her various cough, cold, teething ailments. As I left one school on Monday morning to deliver Ted to his, I overheard a conversation from a mum who was telling another one that she had been skiing during the half term. To Val D'Isere no less. I felt momentarily lifted at how 'up and coming' our school was - only to turn around and see another mother turn her head and spitting on to the pavement whilst pushing her buggy and then I had to veer my buggy around some poo. Lesson Learnt.

Quickly before I go - my night out goal is progressing nicely. I am now in posession of an electric breast pump (still haven't had the guts to use it though) and I have managed to persuade C to sleep in her cot from 7-11pm with just a dummy for comfort. Hoorah! And I have organised a local night out as practise the week before - so if there is no serious illness issues I should finally make it out of the house sans enfants a mere 7 months in. Muchos Exctingos.

Right, I better go and get Ted and ruin my tranquil morning idyll. More fascinating news and updates will be with you as soon as possible.  Now I have my evenings clear anything is possible.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Nothing of Note

Hello World. Miniscule percentage of it anyway. I have been hidden away for what seems like an absolute age. Illness has swept through the household like Jordan through a male stripper troupe. We have had the pleasure of the sick bug and continuous coughs and colds. This all means that I have been a. stuck inside and b. wondering around in a tired haze unable to think straight. A cold means that the baby can't settle properly as she freaks out when she can't breathe through her nose. Sick means one or more are throwing up, and I am then up scrubbing the carpets or changing the sheets in the early hours of the morning. Then there are the inevitable children in the bed which means a very unsettled night as we attempt to sleep anything up to five bodies in a bed made for two.

There are times when I think, 'four children is a most agreeable number of children to have' - almost easy even. We can be walking to school for instance, baby happily asleep, boys scootering amicably beside the buggy, Bea chattering away to me about something or other and I am dressed, clean and wearing make up and I know the house I am returning to only needs a very small spruce up before it is suitable for people to visit - those moments are a total pleasure and I think it could almost be possible to add to the brood. AND then - all you need is an illness, a family drama, money worries or a succession of bad nights and BOSH, four children seems three too many to handle. I get to 6pm and feel like I am on the last mile of a marathon and pray to the motherly gods that K will arrive home incredibly early and act all 'knight in shining armour' like - scooping errant children up and throwing them in to bed as he simltanesouly brushes their teeth and reads them a story so that I might collapse in to bed. As I lay in my bed, awake, night after night at various times with various children, I wonder how on earth the woman up North who has 16 children could possibly handle it. I feel intimately acquainted with this family of 18 as it is now Bea's favourite thing to watch. It was a documentary on Channel 4 entitled '16 children and wanting more' that I happened to record and one day, as they were arguing over what to watch, I suggested it, as I thought they would find it amusing to see what a really busy house was like. It backfired because Bea and to some extent George were transfixed. Bea has watched it again at least five times since. She now wants 16 children herself and has gone about turning her room in to a small version of the busy household - complete with many various sized shoes all lined up in a row - she even knows their names and talks about Sophie from '16 children'.  Anyway, obviously when you see the mother and father shepherd around all of their brood, and even take them on a holiday to France, it does make me feel as if I'm slightly ridiculous finding four a problem. But I am at the moment. It is bloody hard work. I am still breastfeeding and sleeping with Cybs which means that on a good night with no illnesses, coughing fits or wet beds I am awoken a few times, but then Ted can still not be relied upon to wake up past 5am so some times I am surviving on a teeny tiny number of hours sleep which makes the days quite hard work. The days are not high octane but incessant.  There is the washing, the bane of my life, piles and piles of dirty washing, clean washing, ironing, etc. Then there are endless bits of paper, which need finding, recycling, putting away, picking up off the floor, signing and returning to school or learning from.  Toys are the same - thousands of them. And THEN the constant preparation of food. I am now sure that the only reason humans need food to survive is to keep them occupied at weekends. Buying, sorting, preparing, eating, clearing, cleaning up after each meal - four times a day (we eat separately from the children in the evening) - it is my life's bloody work. 

I have become ranty. Sorry. It is not to say the whole of my life is one big misery - far from it - I am generally quite a happy chappess. It's just that any happiness is hard won. And it also explains why I started three blog posts and never finished them and therefore why it's taken so long for you to hear from me.  Well that, and the fact that I have literally nothing to write about. Before now I have managed to muster a post from very little actual news but we are really now scraping the very barrel of what constitutes 'matter of interest'. Babies have been born which IS fantastic and interesting - both remaining Godmothers have delivered and there is now another baby girl and boy in the world. However I can't really elaborate too much on that - birth is birth and they weren't mine. Kent Sister had a beautiful, beautiful baby boy. The most beautiful baby in the family since the wondrous Harry was born 19 and a half years ago. (I prefer newborn boys for some reason - they really suit being newly born). Magician Godmother has also had a stunner of a baby girl and so far all is going well with both babies. Bea and I have spent the last two weekends visiting each one in turn and fighting over who gets the longest cuddle with the newborn. Other than that the most interesting thing to happen to us is that half of G's days of the week socks have mysteriously disappeared so that he can only have one warm foot a day. However even I can not spin a tale about sock disappearance. They will turn up eventually.

As for the weight loss progress - it was going well and I lost a further 3.5 pounds, pushing me to just over half a stone. Then things have stalled. So has my scraping of the barrell. Literally nothing to tell you.

There is stuff coming up though.  I am going to try and break free from Cybs in March for my first night out without her.  She will be seven months old. So far I have only accepted invitations to events where she can come along with me, but as the responses to the invitational email started to pour in to my inbox, I realised that more and more of the respondents had small babies and some were considerably smaller than mine and they were intending to join sans enfant, so it was probably about time that I got my arse in to gear and started expressing some milk so I could go it alone.
I don't tend to leave my babies when they are small. It's not like I'm a total 'attachment' parenting type it's just that I don't express milk as I a. don't like it and b. think it messes with something that nature already has totally sorted. Also the struggle I had with Bea to feed and all the 'helpful' advice I got from professional and non-professional sources telling me to express in order to stimulate my milk was just hideous. Bea was feeding every hour anyway so trying to bloody produce anything in between and get it in to a bottle was beyond stupid. I felt like a failure and every fruitless expressing attempt compounded my feelings and in the end I gave up and just sat, ate and fed and she slowly began to put on weight. How different things are with C. Whereas Bea used to slowly, so slowly, inch her way up the growth chart on the bottom line, C is in danger of coming off the top of the chart. She is 19lbs now. I am unable to hold her for long periods. Crazy. Although intensely satisfying to finish my child bearing career on a feeding high.

I probably apologise too much in life generally, but I really do apologise for this woefully inadequate posting. I thought it might be better to hear something rather than nothing but now I fear you may be wanting to get back the five minutes of time you bothered to invest in this.  I shall attempt to improve my outlook on life and get back to you with a slightly more uplifting insight next time. I shall hope that the sun comes out and gives me back my va va voom.  With a bit of sun and sleep behind me I should be more able to find something fun and vaguely interesting to say about seven missing socks. I really need to get out more.

A toute a l'heure xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx