Friday, 14 December 2012

Disney Magic

I'm not a TV restricting parent.  They've learnt a lot of obscure things from watching television, and they've learnt a lot of important things.

I alternate when they are wanting to watch films between films that they want to watch, and films that I want them to watch.  I think all 3 of them, even the baby, can recite High School Musical 1 & 2 (less so 3 because if I am going to have these films playing in the background, they can watch the superior two) - that is a their choice thing.  Star Wars and Back to the Future they weren't given much of a choice over (although they were too young for Star Wars at the time, we need to try again).

Disney however (proper Disney - none of this Disney Channel Movie stuff) is generally a united thing.  Nemo got played so much that we had to get a second copy, Tangled is rapidly becoming a favourite (horses and frying pans - what's not to love?), Enchanted was played on repeat one Christmas...

My most often quoted one though has to be Lilo and Stitch.  I adore that film.  I saw it in the cinema pre-kids and sobbed at "I'm lost!".  One of my only Disney Store teddies is a Stitch.  Over the past two years I have found myself using "Ohana" a lot.  It is generally when I am trying to remind them that yes, I am Mum, but we are a family and I am outnumbered so we all have to pull together to look after each other.

We sat in the car earlier in the week, and Strawb mentioned Stitch - she swiped the beloved teddy a while back and sleeps with him every night.  It suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't recall her watching it... I asked her, and no, Stitch is just toy, not film.

This had to be rectified!  She was excited by the idea of Stitch having a film, all was good.

Tonight, I set her up on the sofa, and she curled up with a blanket and Stitch to watch.  She was utterly enthralled in minutes.  Dude came to join her, and the two of them were glued to it.  Even the arrival of Gran which normally brings excitement didn't make her move.

I was going back and forth doing various jobs, and she told me I had to sit with them because she was sad - they had just got past Stitch being lost and alone in the woods.  So for once in my life, I actually stopped trying to slot in jobs, and just got under the blanket with my babies.  I welled up as Stitch talked about his little broken family, and about Ohana.

Yes, we can be a bit broken, I yell too much, things don't tend to go according to plan, but we're a family, and family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Summer Holidays

I've been gone for a while I know.  Mix of a lot of things, but hopefully I am more sorted and can start this up again.

It is the summer holidays!!

Six weeks or so of no school, no routines, and freedom!!

Like most lone parents (and probably just parents in general) summer holidays fill me with a mix of joy and cold dread.

I get my babies for the good stuff.  Not just the day to day routine of going back and forth to school, and shovelling in dinner to be out of the house again in time for beavers/brownies/swimming/gym, but the actual BEING with my children, enjoying the people that they are growing into, playing, having fun.

But then again, there is no routine, no going to activities, and I get my babies all day, every day... ALL day.  EVERY day - where they can fight with each other, and with me, and not let me think for 5 mins.

I am always wary of telling them "this week we shall do x, y, z" or even "tomorrow we shall do x, y, z" because holidays are unpredictable.  With the best will in the world I can plan to go to Moors Valley (trees, play area etc) tomorrow, but then it can pour with rain/the car break down/a child be awake all night etc so I am not physically capable of tramping about Moors Valley.  Then they have their crushed little faces because Mummy failed to deliver.  So instead I decided to go with Wing It.  I like Wing It.  I wake up, look out of the window, and take their moods and my mood into account before planning things.

Alas, B needs routine.  A fortnight in to Wing It and she had turned into stroppy brat from hell taking every negative feeling in her head out on the rest of us.  Sooooooooooooo... new plan.  The rest of us are on Wing It, but after a Very Grown Up talk with B, we discussed that she doesn't cope with Wing It so she is now on the Maybe plan.  I'm not as spontaneous as I would like to be - Wing It is generally me just not telling them my plans for the next day jic (just in case), so now B knows the tentative plans on the proviso that she doesn't tell the others, and that she understands that they may change.  Turns out she is far happier with pre-warned possible change than a mass expansive of No Plan.

It is a learning curve summer, but so far, despite wanting to curl up and hide when the fighting gets too much, it is good.

I am seeing just how grown up B has become.  I am seeing the Dude blossom into himself - he's finally grasped reading!!!  Over the past few weeks I have seen Strawb get better and better at speech and even lost her lisp yesterday (ok, I am kinda crushed by that).

Been doing this lone parent thing for 2 years now, this parent thing for 9 years, and this is the summer that I finally feel like I am getting the hang of it. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Clothing Cull

I've mentioned The Mountains before.  

My dining room and kitchen are covered in mountains of clean washing.  Crapslides (like landslides, but tis the piles of crap) are a life threatening event.

This weekend I combined moping (the hairy one went away) and caffeine.  For those of you unaware of the equation:


So, in frustration at the constant mountains and never being able to find the clothes I want for the children... I decided on a clothing cull.

Clothing culls have steps.

First - go through the mountains (this involves careful mountain relocation programmes) and remove all clothing that children have grown out of (mine will squeeze into much loved tops, and have pjs that finish by their knees for as long as I will let them) and put into bags.  All clothes are recycled to friends, so B clothes go in one bag to be passed to Beau and Trinity, and the other two go in a bag together because I have friends with matching genders to pass on to, or people who are happy to split the bag up and pass on to the other gender.

Second - Pick a child (I went with the Dude first as he is the hardest) and pull out all of their clothes from the mountains (again, more relocating happens).  Also grab any of their clothes actually in their rooms.

Third - Divide the clothes into types (tops, pjs etc)

Fourth - Go through each type and decide roughly how many they actually NEED to have and keep the ones you like (do NOT let children help with this task - it turns into the classic "TEDDY!!!" moment like when they find a toy they have barely glanced at in 3 years, but desperate love and need when it is being thrown out).  I am not totally heartless - I do keep the tops that they adore even if I hate them.

Fifth - Put away greatly reduced pile of clothes

Sixth - Bag up the remaining clothes to send to Daddy's house (we've spent the past 2 years shuffling clothes back and forth every weekend - sending the stack of clothes to live there makes sense).

Repeat steps 2-6 for each child.

My children have an obscene amount of clothes it turns out.  Not bought by me I should add!  In the same way that I have the bag for Beau etc, I have bags passed to me from several different people.

The boy child had 26 pj tops?!!?  And that isn't including any that are probably still lurking in beds or waiting to be washed.  Plus - he tends to sleep naked!!!

Strawb had 12 cardigans, and she is my least passed down to child!!!

Dude loves it.  He got up and got himself dressed this morning because his clothes were easy to find.  He's not queried where they have gone, he's fairly used to me doing it to be fair.

Strawb however realised what was happening as I was sorting through her stuff.

She came running over, gathered up armfuls of clothes screaming "No!!!  Mine favourite!!!!" and went and sat in a little heap of rescued clothes.

I am Good and Kind Mummy.  I let her keep everything she had rescued.

The fact that she was rescuing everything that was staying anyway as she had missed Stage 4 and I was on Stage 5 has nothing to do with it.  (annoyingly I didn't get a photo...)

Let's try this again shall we?

Sorry, my brain was utterly against blogging for a few weeks.  It's annoying as I had birthday and stuff to blog about but it has completely escaped me.

Potty Training!

We've attempted this half heartedly a few times now (generally with both of us deciding it is too much effort to continue).  Saturday though, the small child was anti-nappies, we were in for the day, so I decided to let her get on with it... and she had no accidents!?!?!

Sunday we went with the nappies as we were going back and forth in the car lots.

Monday was bare bum at home, nappy out.

Yesterday though, we went for it and put on knickers.  Always the fun part.

Everyone has different methods for potty training.  With B we went with pull ups, found that she was lazy if she had them on, so gave up and had bare bum for a few days, and then putting knickers on and pretty much start from scratch whilst she worked out that knickers don't work the same way as pull ups.  Oh, and refuse point blank to use the potty for anything other than wee - that took producing a baby to sort (don't ask me how, but the child who would scream and hold it in until she had a night nappy on came to see her new baby brother, announced she needed to poo, sat on the potty and was fine ever since).

Dude, I did nothing.  He decided he was done with nappies and just did it.  I approve of this method.

Strawb, I have gone with a similar style to B.  Dresses, so no fiddling pulling stuff down, bare bum to begin with so that the "I must go NOW!" is easy, and now getting used to having knickers in the way.

So, anyway - yesterday we bit the bullet and went for knickers.  With the exception of the very first wee, she did it!  No accidents!

Not entirely sure how today is going to be, as we are going out and she is going to be more distracted, but she is ready this time, and I don't want to mess about and miss the opportunity.

(not the most exciting of posts for my return, I accept that, but what needed to be written about right now.  So there.)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chats with Baby Girl

Chats with Baby Girl (aka Strawb) rock.  We get to about 6.30pm and she comes to join me (that is my hiding at the computer time remember).  She tends to come in to tell me about Very Important Events occurring.  Usually involving frimples or Peppa Pig.

Tonight I heard her come upstairs and start playing in the bathroom sink.  There isn't a great deal of damage she can do there, and she was singing happily, so I let her get on with it.

I then heard and whingy sound.

She came through saying:

"I wet I wet I wet I wet!!!"

She wasn't wrong... her dress was indeed a smidge soggy.

"Really?"  {deadly serious face}

"My dress WET!!!!"

I descended into giggles...

"Not this one FUFFY!!!!"   {stamps foot and gives me her best Angry Face}

"Not funny?"


{stomps off slamming the door behind her}

Possibly laughing at a frustrated 2 yr old is wrong, but she is soooooooooooo funny at this time of day!

Monday, 21 May 2012

A reminiscey one

What?  That's a word!!

Zombie B in April '12

In two days my baby girl turns 9.  Obviously, it is the same with each of them on each birthday, that feeling of "Wow, when did that happen?"

Last night watching Glee
I sat there with her yesterday evening watching Glee, discussing things like "You never let ANYONE hit you, even if you love them or they say they love you" trying to work out when she became old enough to understand those conversations.

This time 9 years ago I was in full on stroppy bitch mode.  I feel sure you are shocked and horrified by such a notion, but alas, it is true.  I knew my conception date.  The scan date was a month different, and nothing I said would make them agree that I knew when things had happened with my body.

About 18 months old I think?
Which left me a month overdue and ready to kill the world.  I sat sobbing watching Charmed because the entire season had been very accurate for pregnancy progression (which is surprising for tv), and "Even Piper has had her baby and I still don't have mine!!!".

But eventually, she did bother to appear.

Probably about 2 1/2
She's my quirky little girl.  Not quite like the other children she knows, but I kinda like that in some ways.  Where they seem to have grown in and out of Disney and be on Twilight back packs now, she is only just starting on Wizards of Waverley Place.  She will sit and chatter on about Buffy despite no-one at school having any idea what she is talking about.
Her 2nd Birthday

She adores Bon Jovi because Auntie Suzie likes them.

She's just come running in from outside very concerned because a boy wants to be friends with them, but she's not sure it is a good idea because he is telling them to keep it a secret that his friend stole £2000 and now has the police looking for him (!?!??!)  I am with her on this...

First day of school
Yes, she can be a struggle with change, loud noises, and making things orderly (not her room of course, but shopping trips when she was younger and kept neatening the shelves took forever!), but in general she is an incredibly sweet, intelligent, very serious little girl, with an awesome sense of humour.

It hasn't been the most stable couple of years, but she has come out of the other side a child that I am proud of.  I swear that she did most of it without my assistance, but I am still claiming credit!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

And added to things I never wanted to say to people...

Remember how awesome Strawb was at swimming last week?

Well, it was either Stray or Adam that told me I would have one good week, one horrendous, and then it even out.  Damn whichever one of you it was for being right. {glare}

So she was tired from the beginning, due to having insisted on walking everywhere for the entire day and not having had a nap.  She decided she wanted to climb in and out of the "baby cot" (playpen) next to the pool, which got us told off by the lifeguard due to her preference for landing in it head first.  This is apparently dangerous.  Me promising not to sue if she hurt herself was met with the same stony stare as when I tried to have the conversation with them explaining that I couldn't take photos with my kindle.

So, she was banished to sit next to me at the side of the pool and Watch Nicely.

That lasted 2 mins before announcing she was bored (in the way of saying "No watch!!!").

So, she wanted to do drawing on the phone app.

That lasted one drawing before we got The Look from the lifeguard due to my clearly paedophile toddler taking photos... I accept I may have a few issues over the swimming pool rules.  My kindle is banned as it might possibly maybe be a tablet and therefore Take Photos of children swimming.  My phone is banned for the same reasons.  I offered to cover up the camera bit with a plaster once, but they said no.  Yes, I am flippant.  I am probably a Terrible Person for not being convinced there is a dude in a trench coat waiting on each corner ready to take photos of my children.

Anyway, that was when I remembered the keyring of awesome (thank you Stray!!), which has on it............... a Sharpie!!!!

So, I handed it to her, and said she could draw on my leg.  Which she did happily.  She then drew on her own leg.  Then I had to draw on her other leg so she had a butterfly too (as you can tell from the photo, I let an actual artist draw my tattoo on me rather than creating it myself...).

All was good, we were happy and joyous.  I have decided swimming shall henceforth take place with a pack of washable felt tips.  No, don't suggest pen and paper!  She will draw on paper for 10 mins, but limbs amuse her for 30.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway.  Not desperately hellish you may think...

Let me continue...

Big two went to have showers, I took photos of her legs as she demanded.  She then decided to amuse herself by hiding in lockers whilst I went to yank the other two out of the showers to get dry.

I had to tell her not to whack the door open so hard as she nearly knocked some woman off her feet, but all was good - amused baby, big ones now getting dry.

So, I head round the corner to start blow drying hair.

That was when I heard Strawb's little voice say "Poo mummy!!!"

Followed by:

"Mummy!!!  Carys has pooed everywhere!!!"

She had decided that she was bored wearing the nappy.  Or that she was potty training. Who knows?  So took it off.  In the locker.

She then proceeded to poo in said locker.

I suspect looking at it that she has had more milk than she should have this week...

Sooooooooooooooooooo, I stripped off her dress (thankfully only slightly "got"), showered off her foot (also only slightly got), and wiped her bum.

Then dragged the nappy bin over to the locker where I set about cleaning it out with toilet paper.  I accept, that had I been a smidge more organised and had babywipes with me, it may have been easier, but we were running late, and due to my general distractedness, they were in the car.  Finally got it all cleared out, there was no sign of it other than the lingering smell.

But I then had to go to reception and utter one of the most mortifying phrases I have ever said...

"I'm really sorry, but my baby has pooed in one of the lockers.  I have cleaned it all out, but it is going to need some disinfectant...."  (I did offer to do it if they would give it to me, but they refused)

The woman just paled completely.  They muttered about how disgusting I was to have "let" her do it as I walked away.

I will lay odds on none of them having children, or if they do, only one!


After her eventful trip, she fell asleep in the car and is now out cold in my hoodie which was made into an emergency dress.

One of those nights where I would kill for a glass of wine, but I am not drinking, therefore I get to just enjoy a friend coming round instead.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Dude

Gonna write a bit about my baby boy now.

One of my favourite photos of him

He has always been diddy.  Actually, I lie, he was fairly standard sized until about 6 months old when he decided to give up on growing.  Now, he is a solid little thing of pure muscle, but still only coming up to his best friend's shoulder (to be fair, Jamie is tall, but still...).

This was his first birthday... he was small enough to fit in a standard sized gift bag
He is the first of the children to have been bitten by the radioactive spider.  We had to put two stair gates on the bedroom door to stop him escaping and he would still climb over the top.
Looking at the date this was added to Facebook - he was about 24 months old

My little dude, when the others would settle to some sort of rock, if we flicked through music channels when he was crying, he would calm to Boyzone.  He was always this little bouncy, flamboyant thing with a love of glitter, and nail varnish, and musicals.  He would sit in the back of the car getting all excited when "his" part of HSM Status Quo would come on ("Coat and tie!") at about Strawb's age.  He would squabble with Trin over having the pink cutlery.

Then, he started school and became A Boy.

He no longer liked girls.  He no longer liked sparkles.  He was too boyish for HSM and just wanted Ben 10 and Bakugan.

He does love Dr Who though so he channelled his need to dress up into that instead, and went through a phase of wanting to wear bow ties lots.

This last 6 months though, MY Dude seems to be suddenly coming back.  It started with "Can I have nail varnish on my toes too please...?  Black or blue though!!" (when he was about 2 he first painted his toe nails with my red nail varnish, and loved them).  It then moved on to "Can I have some of my glitter powder too?" (they each have their own pot of "frimples").  Then a couple of weeks ago he made a request to watch HSM2 and was bouncing round the lounge to it.

Last weekend, B was painting her and Strawb's toenails, and he now sports silver toenails. 

Today was my biggest moment though of feeling like I have my little boy back, not what school and growing up turned him into... We went to the park with Grumps, and he came over to where I was making Strawb daisy caterpillars and asked me if I would make him a daisy chain to go on his hair.

He did however make me promise not to put the photo on Facebook.  This obviously isn't Facebook. ;)

Then he sat himself down with Grumps and told him that he likes to watch football but he never gets to (damn having a mum who isn't into sports, and a dad who is only into rugby).  It was really nice seeing them there together.

I love my little boy to bits in all forms, but seeing the old him emerging out of the cookie cutter BOY is amazing.  I hope he can keep hold to himself as much as possible.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

That morning thing

I may have mentioned this before {innocent}, but I am sooooooooooooo not a morning person.  The children are lucky to get random grunts from me on a weekday (in amongst the yelling to get ready), and at weekends I tend to burrow under my duvet until I have woken properly enough to be a vaguely functioning human being.  Lately the latter version is accompanied by "Do you want tea Mummy???  Mummy do you want tea?!?!?!"

Today I would have actually killed for tea, but none of the children absolutely didn't fiddle with the setting on the fridge to turn it off (that is a double negative and doesn't actually make sense when I read it, but writing it properly doesn't sound the same, what with it being different, so I am leaving it.  Grammar be damned!), so the milk was off.

Anyway... on some mornings I will be attempting to hide and be grumpy, and a small child - usually Strawb - will appear next to me.  All grinning and vaguely dopey looking (from sleep, not just generally dopey), and nudge me to let them crawl in next to me.  If it is too early I will growl (I will feel guilt, but still growl).

On mornings like today though, the sun is streaming in through my window, the small dopey looking child comes and asks for frimples, and then wants to curl up next to me.  She gave me this huge beaming grin, and snuggled next to me.

She then spotted R2D2 on the floor next to the bed.  He is mine btw, children keep trying to claim him but He Is Mine.

He came into bed with us too, bleeping away merrily.

Then came Dude, who asked if he could snuggle up next to Strawb - tickling commenced, complete with the hysterical giggles that small children can produce, which in turn tends to set me off.  

Then Wash joined us too to pounce on wriggling feet, and generally be known.

I went from grumpy, hiding mummy, to laughing, tickling mummy.  I love it when my mornings start like that.  Not doing anything, just enjoying being together.

(B was lurking making toast, and playing on the computer whilst this was going on - she is at that horrible in between stage where sometimes she is Too Old to join in... soon she will hit The Age of Not Believing {sob}).

*Not entirely relevant, but I also love photos like that - They both have hair all over the place, Strawb looks all puffy from sleep, the light is all over the place, but it is real.  It is how it was and no messing about to get decent lighting.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

My little fairy

Feel like writing a bit about Strawb.  I've been evil, stroppy, hormonal mummy for the past 2 days, and it suddenly lifted earlier when it was mainly me & Strawb time, so I got to appreciate her a bit.

She's been a girly girl from the start.  Whereas B suited little shorts and floaty tops (I wasn't against dresses, she had a few but just suited other stuff more), Strawb is a dress girl.  She has been the stereotypical homing in on everything pink, and glittery, and dolls...  The doll house that has been sat there for 6 years is finally being loved.

Her birthday last year she was given this little pack with wings, a fairy and a pretty skirt.  The skirt and fairy were liked, but nothing huge bond type thing.  The wings though... 

For a full fortnight she wasn't seen without the wings.  She wore them over her coat, under her coat, over her pjs... they gradually became molded to the shape of her shoulders from sleeping with them on, and eventually (much to her dismay) just fell apart and literally fell off of her.

We have gotten new wings, but none have ever matched up to that first pair.  

She loves being a fairy though, and will suddenly rediscover her current wings and wear them for days again.

Today, she has tolerated stroppy me, she has been a fairy, she "flew" to school (which involves running down the road flapping her arms yelling "FLY!! FLY!!").  

I took her with me to the swimming lessons today.  This has been generally avoided as much as humanly possible because she just got bored and tried to join the others in the water.  She's grown up a lot though, so I turned down the offer of help and took her with me.

She was so, so lovely.  Nothing like Dude was when B was first having lessons (I would leave ready to sob and disown him).  She flew up and down the seats, she waved to the others, she pleaded with me to "fwim fwim!!" (I have promised we will go soon).  She then announced that she wanted to go in "baby cot" (poolside playpen thing), and happily sat there watching the others for the rest of the lesson!?

Ok, so I could have done without her suddenly deciding that we were starting potty training now and removing her nappy and stomping off to the toilets, but I guess they tell you when they are ready?  {wibble}

We got home, and she played with frimples (glitter sprinkles), made herself sparkly, insisted on a princess bowl for dinner, and then curled up tucked in next to both Minnie Mouses (Minnie Mice?) having insisted on me kiss and hug all three of them before tucking them in.
Adding Frimples this evening

She can be a stroppy fairy who tends to wrap me round her finger, but she is incredibly cute too.

Phrases you never thought you would say

When you start out in this, there are certain phrases you know will come with the territory.  The basics of "That is hot",  "Look!  Cow!!"  (no-one mentions that you will do that when you have only adults in the car too), and "Because I said so" you already know you will say.  Obviously there are also the less wholesome of "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about" (don't look at me like that, you know you have said similar!) and "I wish the goblins would come and take you away..."  (I can't ever bring myself to add "right now").  But some are just completely unexpected.

When the Dude was little I had the fun of "No, you don't wee out of the cat flap!!  I don't care if it was closer and you really needed to and the cat wasn't using it at the time!".

Today was another one where I heard myself and thought "You just said that!?!?" and it seemed perfectly normal at the time...

"All good fairies hold hands to cross the road."

It was said in a very knowing voice.

I was totally convincing, I even convinced myself, that good fairies did hold hands to cross the road.  I have no idea what bad fairies do.  You would think they would all just fly over the cars anyway tbh.

It worked though.  Strawb went from "NO!!  MINE FLY!!"  to taking my hand and happily toddling across the road.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

A few of my favourite things...

Actually, sleepy hugs, poppadums, and sunny weather are more accurate but you get the gist.

As Mum there are certain things that are meant to be joyous and wonderful.  I know that it is pretty much 50/50 with my friends on if this is the case with the following things though.  

The first would be crafts.  Lovely creations of wonder with the children expressing themselves and much laughter.

This was good.  This was a timed craft challenge.  I like this - a light at the end of the tunnel.  It was also working with others so I didn't have to twitch as much about things going "wrong".  Plus I like competition.  I don't mind not winning, but I will fight my hardest.

Yes, I may be a leeeeetle bit of a control freak about crafts.  Add into that the child who needs to use everything provided rather than just what looks good, and it all goes a bit awry and I am hunting out wine.

I love them making stuff.  Just not if I am involved.  I possibly need to relax more.

The second however, would be The Park.

I know that some of my friends look at me confused when I say I hate outings to the park.  Others give me that knowing nod.

It may be different if you aren't blessed with children that have clearly been bitten by a radioactive spider at some point in their lives, but I go to the park and there is this huge expanse of space to run in three different directions.  There are towering walls for any other child to climb when they are of an appropriate age... or for mine from the time they can walk.
Spider-bite baby... she was only 22 months in this photo and climbed the lot alone

Things are better if I go with someone, because it is more of a case of juggling children, and having someone to chat to as you spend your time turning round mentally counting up to three every few minutes.  Less good if I go after school as I have totally sucked at the whole school run bonding thing, and none of the parents talk to me - so I am stood turning round counting alone whilst they sit in little groups laughing.

But, I still go.  The children love it.  They don't know that it is hell for me, and to be honest, they are children and even if they did know, they wouldn't and shouldn't care!

Today was a bonus day off school.  Woohoo they think, til they realise that all their friends that we see outside of school times go to different schools, and as a result aren't about to play with.  So, after a boring morning stuck at home, I realised just how nice the weather was and took them out.

There is an awesome park near us, but it does have one vital drawback.

Look at this picture:

See that fence running through the climbing side...?  That is the park enclosure.  The side Strawb is on... that is outside of the park enclosure and has climbing bits to get down from there.  Who in their right mind designs a park where the children can GET OUT as part of a climbing section!?!?!?  The bit they get out into is field one side, road the other!!  

Oh, and a quick look at the height of it... Strawb climbed a rope ladder to get up there.  Without assistance.  See - part spider.

But anyway, I did my parental duty.  They ran, they laughed, they climbed (as evidenced by the pictures).

I love trips out like that - it wasn't long, but it is stuff that I always end up remembering happily.  I block out the dealing with Strawb stuck up a 6 ft ladder (not this occasion, but it has happened), and Dude falling headfirst from a slide not much bigger than Strawb, and of course B's broken arm, and just end up remembering stuff like this - the boy hanging by his knees, B randomly popping up in photos but pretty much disappearing, and Strawb in pretty party dresses climbing for all she is worth.

So, although taking children to parks is my own personal hell, the rest of it kinda makes up for that in the end.

As an aside, I should probably mention that the nice sunny park trip was cut short due to me spinning this roundabout swing thing for Dude, and not spotting Strawb walking over to see us, and me kind of possibly maybe hitting her in the head with the other swing...

The rest of the players

Kirsty complained that I started introductions but got distracted by shiny things.

So, who are the other players likely to crop up?

Kirsty - Also called "Other Mummy".  Looked at with suspicion by the cats.  Looked at with awe by Strawb on account of her being a Tattooed Priestess (Strawb is in huge support of tattoos).  Big two are in favour of her due to her coming complete with Ozzy (Dude's age and a great match), Rocky (Strawb's "best friend" according to her), and MJ who "gets" B.  Oh and Cody who rocks as babysitter...  I have no clue what her favourite song is or if I approve, but I know she does appreciate parodies such as One Guitar.

Stray - She had a brief intro earlier.  Comes complete with Ty and Trin who are pretty much the equivalent of cousins for the short people.  Again, no clue on her favourite song, but I do know that she likes Pointing and Shouting

Adam - Hairy goth who puts up with us all :)  Most often quoted song would be Confessions

If any of you have issue with your descriptions, feel free to complain.  I may change them.  Depending on how obedient I am being.

Thems listed are the people I see most often, so likely to crop up.

Bedtime Fun!

This isn't the post it was meant to be.  I shall probably do that one later.  Plus another for good measure because I don't have my PC, and I am hormonal so channeling into writing random stuff helps.

So, we're back onto foxes.

It is bedtime, and chaos ensues.  I feel sure other families have these lovely little relaxing sessions where they all sit and read stories and brush each others hair whilst singing Kum Ba Yah(?sp) and sharing about their day.

*this is said lovely family.  Clearly not mine as the boy has no curls and they appear to all be very clean

Here it is a bit different.

On a good day, we finish dinner, get cleaned up, go up and find pjs.  Then the big two go downstairs to watch tv or something, whilst I take Strawb to bed with her bottle and a book, we cuddle and then she sleeps.

30 mins later, she is properly asleep, I read a story to the big two, and then they go to bed - Dude to sleep, B to read from the light in the hallway.  Remember her being Sheldon-esque?  Her bed is perfectly positioned to get the draft from the window in the summer, and the light from the hallway to read by.  

They go to bed in happy harmony and all is well with the world.

Yeah, as with the description of my lounge... that kind of bedtime is few and far between.  More often than not, they are like tonight.  

We randomly hit overtired an hour earlier than expected (this can be triggered by any number of things from late night the night before, shoddy quality food for a few days, a north-easterly breeze catching the cat's tail on the night of a full moon.... y'know, normal stuff).  So then what should be a nice calming soothing activity is already shot to pieces.

It is worse if I am hungry (which turns into Hangry), so I try to make sure I have eaten something by about 6pm as I tend to not have an evening meal until later.

We get in, and it is time for pjs to go on.  B "can't find them".  Dude wants to "wear what I have on" (my response to that varies based on what he is wearing and what the next day is - I am firmly of the opinion that some battles aren't worth fighting, and as long as he sleeps, I don't care in the slightest what he wears).  Strawb wants to "leep on soa" so goes to find a blanket to curl up on the settee as a bed.

I point B in the direction of her pjs and make the call on what Dude is wearing, then drag Strawb upstairs, usually waving a bottle in front of her, hiding the pjs and nappy behind my back.  I take her to her room, get her sorted and plonked into bed.  No story is good enough as she didn't want to go to bed, so it is invariably "That's not my teddy" as it is 5 seconds long and I have learnt that 5 second story kicks off less than no story.

I give her kisses and cuddles, and the bear of favour, and then leave her to sleep whilst she hurls a toddler version of abuse at me "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!   BO'L!!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!".

I then tell the other two to "GET YOUR PYJAMAS ON!!" and tell them they have 30 mins to do as they please downstairs or in Dude's room.

I hide with the computer at this point or do dishes, depending on if Adam is here.

I then spend the next 30 mins interceding squabbles about channels, bakugan, xbox controllers...

It is then bedtime.  We must yell at me some more about teeth or some such thing.  Something will happen, usually rudeness or refusal to tidy anything that they have trashed during that 30 mins, and the bedtime story will be lost.  This is generally for their safety as much as mine as they have me wound up and Monkey Puzzle will not be such a happy story when I finish it by explaining that Mummy was gone because the hunters shot her (or some other such ending).

Logically, not letting tired children stay up the extra half hour would make sense, but if they went to bed before, the baby wouldn't sleep.

So, they then go to bed.  Dude hates me because he cannot possibly ever sleep without a story and he has just remembered 100000 things he had to do for school that he promised Mrs Kersey he would do.

B "goes to bed well" but somehow manages to magically have Strawb wake up.  Funny how she only wakes with B going to bed on stroppy nights.

Dude will yell for a bit until he remembers he is tired and gives up.  B will whinge that Strawb and Dude are keeping her awake.  Strawb will yell for a bottle for about 2 mins before she remembers she was asleep and passes out.

I give them all a kiss, tell them I love them, and walk away.  Preferably to be handed a glass of wine and given a hug on those nights when I am not playing this game alone.

My lack of bedtime tolerance is another reason for guilt, but I guess some of us just aren't cut out for it.  Bedtime is bedtime, I am done then.  Some parents enjoy evenings with their children.  For us though a) They need a lot of sleep - they will sleep about 11 hours most nights, and b) I need that gap of the day where I am not being asked a million questions.  I need a couple of hours switched off.

I love the nights when bedtimes work, but at the end of the day, I kiss my babies every night and tell them I love them, even if they are screaming at me... that is what matters.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Period pains mummy is a bitch...

We discovered this today.

The short ones have been gone since Friday evening.  A day longer than the normal "longer" weekends.  By yesterday evening I was starting to miss them.  (Go me with the maternal instinct).

So today, I was curled up on my bed waiting for them.  I got very little sleep the night before due to nightmares, my stomach was hurting, but I was still looking forward to seeing them.  We would spend time together, we would Walk To The Shop (a much requested activity).  It would be good.

5 mins after they got home....

"I'm hungry!"

"I'm bored!"

"I don't want to WTTS because I am dying of starvation and my legs are so underused that I can't make it 5 paces without asking for the car!"

Mummy didn't take it very well.  They had been fed lunch prior to coming home.  I had downloaded a pile of xbox demos to be a Nice Mummy and they were !@#$%^&* at me about being bored.

We decided to give up on bonding and went to see Stray instead.

Some days there is what you want to be as a mum.  Other days there is what you are capable of.

Today was option B.

I did however become slightly nicer mummy when we got back (pains eased).  Strawb got her "shoopinnacup" that she wanted for dinner (she's all rashy so is 100% dairy free again this week - booooo), and then appeared completely naked asking for frimples (glitter dust "sprinkles").  I convinced her that a bath was a better move instead.

So, she was in quite happily, I turn my back for 5 seconds to deal with stuff, and turn back to her splashing on her front in the water.  I did the classic panic, and dove towards her asking if she was ok... turns out she was fine, not drowning...

"I memmay!"


"Yes!!!"  {beaming grin}

I have no idea when my baby girl turned into a proper little child who plays at being a mermaid in the bath.  Choked me up a little bit because my baby baby is gone, but there is a whole person who can actually interact who is emerging, and they are way more fun.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Guilt... and the teeny tiny thumbprint on my forehead

Guilt comes with the job.

You get your Mum badge.  You get handed a pack of babywipes (that you realise will clean ANYTHING and you have no clue what that must be doing to your skin as you merrily wipe off your make up with them - you block out what they may also be doing to the child's skin), and you get the big old backpack to carry around the guilt in.

Strawb is lactose intolerant.  Or something.  She's not had tests, but when we tried cutting out all dairy and putting her onto soya milk at about 10 months old, she stopped waking with screaming pain every night, and started sleeping through.  Not to mention dramatic snot reduction.

As she's gotten older, I've slackened off a bit.  She has butter, she has the odd slice of pizza, a bit of chocolate, when she is really lucky she gets her beloved lasagne.  (Poor little thing was just weaned, had a firm favourite food... and then had to lose it due to dairy).  Anyway, she has a bit here and there, too much and she goes excessively snotty so I know she's had too much and we back off.  I tend to give pizza on weeks when there has been very little of anything else.  

She's still 100% soya milk though to drink and on cereal.  When I buy them, she is on soya yoghurts.

Yesterday on The Shopping Trip the Dude gave me the big blue eyes and wanted the yoghurt in the shape of strawberries.  I went to get the Phineas and Ferb jellies (dairy free frube type jelly goodness), but they didn't have any.  Then I spotted the Peppa Pig fromage frais.

Yes, I know, I know, I know... But she adores Peppa Pig and I knew it would create the bouncy face.  You don't get characters on soya yoghurt because allergy kids must suffer.  And yes, I am very much inclined to do stuff to make the bouncy face.  More so with her than the other two.

So, I added it up, and decided it was worth a shot.  She hadn't had that much dairy during the week (yes, I was forgetting that I had picked up pizza for dinner), and she's been tolerating it much better...

Turns out she still can't handle yoghurt.

Poor little thing was sick to get rid of it in the night, and has spent the day just curled up looking miserable, clutching a bottle and wanting cuddles.

Immense guilt about "poisoning" my baby and putting her in pain.  She is currently curled up asleep in my bed where I found her at dinner time.

But y'know what, yes she's been hurty today, but you should have seen the beam as she ate the yoghurt.  She is gradually tolerating more, which will make life easier for her in the future, but I guess we're a little way off Peppa Pig yoghurt for the time.

Fun with hair!

The best thing about having a girl, is that I can play with all the pretty hair things that I could never achieve on my own hair.  (Adam is mean and won't let me do pretty styles with his...)

Today is the start of our 5 day weekend.  Strawb is curled up with Peppa Pig after my whole "she's not had much dairy" theory backfired and she was sick.  She's absolutely fine now, just feeling a bit sorry for herself.  She wants noodle shoop.  In a cup.  Must go to the shop in a bit to buy that...  The shoop, not the cup.  We have cups.  Doubtful that they are clean but still...

Anyway... Hair!

Good old Pinterest has had me "liking" different fancy hair pics for months, and today I finally had the patience and time to play.  B was willing to be my guinea pig, so we looked at the pictures and this one won.

So, with me turning my head and trying to figure out how it would work, we armed ourselves with brush and hair stuff pot, and got started...

All went well, until we got to the bottom and then B had to have her face into the bed with me climbing over her back to get to the right position whilst still grasping a half done plait.  It then got closer to the centre and started to pinch, so our fun bonding turned into sobs of "It hurts Mummy!" with me saying "We're nearly done, I promise!! Then you can have some of my special chocolate!"

I then realised that she has more hair than scalp and had no clue what I was going to do with the middle bit that was still left over.  But never fear! I decided carry on plaiting, then sort of loop it into itself so the end was hidden underneath!  A plan with no drawbacks you would think!!  

You would of course be wrong.  Hair grips get eaten in the same way that socks do.  I found a grand total of ONE in that pot.  So I ended up having to use big silver hair slides to hold the centre in place, which didn't exactly give the effect I was going for... Still... Final results...?

 (that photo was post pinching, but pre chocolate....)

 Stupid slide...

 This photo I like!  

Fifteen minutes to do, probably won't happen again until she forgets that it hurt, but still... Mission accomplished!