Friday, 24 December 2010

The One with the Alternative Christmas Message

It's been quite a week! So firstly sorry I've been neglecting you all. When things straighten out in the New year please look forward to many blogs on the trials of credit card fraud, upset tums, squity bums, hubbies flu and for god sake please will someone tell me where to take my son's poo sample!

In the meantime this is my gift to you all this Christmas time, as a thank you for reading the randomness, for all your support in 2010 and hopefully continued support in 2011.

My alternative Christmas song.. to the tune of Walking in a Winter Wonderland (and not for the easily offended)

Sleigh Bells ring, are you listening
Down the lane, someone's pissing
A beautiful sight, I stepped in some shite
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Gone away is the blue bird,
But he's left us a big turd,
It's covered in ice
And doesn't smell nice
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Making him a hat from a sock.
Two eyes made out of black coal,
And a massive carrot for a cock!

Later on, we'll perspire,
Having nook by the fire,
We'll have lots of fun
And you'll burn your bum
Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

Merry Christmas and (as Dave Allen used to say) may your God be with you..

Friday, 17 December 2010

The One with the Tipsy Shopping Trip

I went late night Christmas shopping last night!

Myself and my lemon cake friend had been planning this trip since her birthday in the middle of November when late night shopping started!

On that occasion we were thwarted by upset tums from the boy and hubby!

The following week we went on holiday.

Then the next week we were all set to go when the snow came in great traffic grinding to a halt flurries and once again we fell at the last hurdle.

So last night, a month later than planned, we went into town, wrapped up against the cold and sleet and wind and had a potter around the shops (it was amazingly quiet) as by this time pretty much all of our Christmas shopping had been done and, snow, dusted!

Apart from the shopping we were also going for a meal and a couple of festive tipples. Well it is Christmas and this time last year I was heavily pregnant and she had a 3 month old and was breast feeding so neither of us could partake.

This year it was different!

Tipsy shopping is the best! I'd forgotten how much fun it can be.

The snow was falling but not laying and I had Italian wine central heating to keep me warm so finally I started to feel a bit festive.

Now I not saying it was a right old boozy do reminiscent of back in the day BIBAM (before I became a mum) but half a bottle of Prosecco and a shot of Limoncello, even balanced with a three course meal, makes for a very interesting hat trying on session in Debenhams!

I really fancied a new hat too to keep me warm with all this snow forecast but I was reliably informed they all looked a "bugger"! In fact at one point a particularly pointy one with an enormous bobble on the top made us both laugh so hard I snorted!

And this morning my head didn't hurt which was also a bonus.

It's still cold, but it didn't hurt.....

Friday, 10 December 2010

The One with the Time on My Moisturised Hands

You could grate cheese on my knuckles!

It's all the plunging my hands into hot water that having a baby makes you do. I'm constantly washing them, or washing up bottles, or poking about in Milton Steriliser fluid. Even using rubber gloves one way or another my hands are suffering.

So last night I went to a Body Shop party in search of Christmas presents and something to soothe my poor old palms!

There was lots to try. Fruity, floral and nut based. Each product was passed round, slathered on and sniffed enthusiastically.

While I was there the conversation turned to blogs. Another party goer has one about her photographic business and we were swapping stories and ideas, when someone else asked how I found time to write it.

This got me thinking. How do we have time to do anything? Not just because we have children but in general. How do we make the decision to find the time to do the things we do?

I guess we can never understand how anyone has the time to do something we don't do because we can't imagine fitting anything else into our day. But of course people do things we don't do each day and we do things they don't do.

When faced with the question last night I found myself making a glib and slightly defensive comment about not doing much housework, which to a certain extent is true. The boy is having a nap right now and I really ought to clean the kitchen but I'd rather do this.

And that's the key. It's a question of priorities. Some people must have a walk everyday or watch a certain TV programme or read the paper or go to the gym. Everyone's day is made up of different priorities. This is mine. It's what I'd rather do.

So what did I come away with last night?

That I shouldn't feel guilty for never ironing so I can be a writer.

Oh and hands that smelt like a fruit salad, but boy were they soft.....

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The One with the Names of All the Toys

You have the strangest conversations with your other half when you become parents!

Quite apart from chatting quite openly about nappy contents, nipple soreness and loss of bladder control a whole new topic of conversation comes into play and becomes an integral part of your everyday life.

Names of toys!

And not just toys but also names of cartoon characters, children's TV presenters and general assorted critters!

It's a whole new language that only you, as a couple, understand and somehow it makes sense.

I'll give you an example and it was at this point I knew we were lost to the joys of parenthood forever.

We have some animal finger puppets the boy loves and to amuse him, and us, we play The Apprentice with them. I know it sounds strange but bear with me caller.

I put five on one hand as the candidates and then three on the other as Nick, Karen and most importantly the main man himself, Lord Alan Sugar! The variety of animals can change depending upon what I can lay my hands on but Lord Sugar is always the rather grand and imposing tiger finger puppet that, quite frankly, looks a bit like him! As Lord "Tiger" Sugar fires each candidate the finger puppet flies off my hand and into the air inducing fits of giggles from the boy.

Are you still with me? (get some from Ikea and give it a try, it's great fun I promise).

So the boy had gone to bed and hubby was tidying away the toys for the day (all the time searching for the STFU button!). He turns to tidy the finger puppets but there's no tiger.

"Where's Alan Sugar?" he asks as I recline on the sofa.

"Just there between Barbara and Dee Li " I say pointing to where Sir Alan was snuggled between a white lamb and a pink pussy cat from Waybuloo.

And it made perfect sense. No one else would've had a clue what we were on about.

But then thinking about it that's nothing new?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The One with All the Toys!

My lounge looks like Toys R Us!

And that's this side of Christmas.

Lord alone knows if I'll have any floor space left in my living room come 25th December?

It's the sheer amount of kit you acquire that frightens and fascinates me in turn.

Stuffs and fluffs, plastic "tat", cups, bricks, balls and books. Things with bells and buttons and whistles galore. When they all go off together the noise is deafening. 

I hear some of them in my sleep. Either that or they are going off at night of their own volition? Scary! My friend did have a walker that had so much dribble in the keyboard that it went off on it's own after they had gone to bed!

I swear "Roll, roll, roll the ball, gently as can be. Watch it spin round and round, it's fun to play you'll see. Roll me!" will haunt me to my grave. 

The worse bit is clearing them away after the boy has gone to bed and remembering to switch them all off as you do it so they don't suddenly chime out throughout the house and wake him up!

Some of the toys have a volume control at least but what they really need at the end of a long day is a STFU (shut the f*ck up) button! 

Maybe I should suggest that to Vtech for that damn ball. I could be on to something here....

Monday, 6 December 2010

The One with the Cheaty Teas

I normally cook pretty much everything we eat from scratch. If it doesn't start with chopping an onion I don't want to know.

Don't get me wrong I'm not the food police. I'll buy things to help me, like ready made pastry, but on the whole I pride myself as a good and above all, enthusiastic cook. 

But lately (looks round nervously incase anyone's listening)... shhhhh (whispers)  I've taken to buying pre prepared things for supper!

Good quality stuff you understand, Salmon en Croute and Taste the Difference Cottage Pie. None of your microwave ready meal rubbish. But even so I can't help feeling a tea cheat.

I can make both of these quite easily. Sadly I just don't have the time to make them anymore. The afternoon nap now is either non existent or en route to or from a trip out in either car or buggy and if I start making a dinner from scratch once the boy has gone to bed we'd eat about midnight!

I did roast beef yesterday but with pre made roast potatoes and Yorkshire puds! Scandalous! I feel a fraud. I bought roast potatoes for heavens sake! I did!!! What next? ready grated cheese? 

So it's not so much ping and ding more roast without boast. I'm getting no sense of achievement out of cooking this way but it is taking a lot of stress out of meal times and with bedtime a battle again it's anything for an easy life.... 

Just, please, don't tell anyone!

Friday, 3 December 2010

The One with all the Snow

I've had 8 inches!

Now that's a rarity!

Ha,ha... ohh err missus and all that. Despite the Carry On overtones we have indeed had 8 inches here over the last two days.

Snow that is!

Looking at the news and weather forecasts we seem to have come off reasonably lightly in our little corner of the UK. Some people have copped a whole lot more!

Lucky devils!! Waa hay....

Although the lack or luck of snow depends on your point of view. When I was at work snow meant scraping the ice off the car, early starts and even later arrivals, travel chaos and having to listen to local radio instead of Sir Terry! We just haven't got the hang of it here in Britain. Lets face it last time we had major snowfall last January and February the country ran out of salt and grit! Rubbish!

So I thought, now that I'm at home and don't have to venture out, I could laugh at the world and their travel updates!

Instead I find frustration in being snowed in with an energetic and increasing frustrated baby. There's only so much crawling from one room to the other and watching CBeebies you can take before toys are, literally, thrown out of the pram!

So it would seem when it comes to weather we are never satisfied. They do say it's all the British can talk about!

I think what they mean is it's all the British can moan about!

Having said all that - pretty isn't it?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The One with the Play Place

The boy is standing!

He has been for a few weeks now. It all started with the crawling which itself started with a commando slide then once he'd got his knees into play he saw two of his little friends pull themselves up from kneeling and thought ,

"I'll have some of that please."

And off he went.

Now there's no stopping him. Crawl and stand. Crawl and stand. Crawl and twist back to sitting and up on the knees to kneeling and stand again.

And so it goes. All day long. If he's awake he's on the move. If either I or hubby are in lounge when he makes a beeline for the dining room we've taken to shouting out,


As a consequence the boy needs space and lots of it to fuel these new found skills. Space is not something we have in abundance in our little terraced house. So today we went to one of those play places.

It's only at the end of our road and some of the other NCT mums and babies were going too so it would be fantastic to see them all, catch up, try it out and wear him out!

So wrapped up against the snow I bundled him in the buggy and we took the 3 minute stroll down to see what it was like.

It was good. Lovely to see the girls and the babies. Illnesses and holiday has meant I've missed the last few meet ups and my how those babies change in just those weeks. Each time you see them they can do new and exciting things. They are all pretty much crawling and certainly all pulling themselves up and standing. We chatted about Christmas and impending 1st birthdays for the group, which will start mid January, and how this year has been a whirl and a wonder.

It was so good to be able to relax knowing he could move anywhere without my having to pull him away from the fireplace, TV, front door every five seconds. It's frustrating for me having to do that but what must it be like for him now he's discovered this amazing new land of movement?

It was £5.50 to get in though! Which does seem a bit steep given there is only so much he can do at this stage and most of the equipment is beyond him but hey ho! We did have the place to ourselves.

Still now I've signed up the sixth visit is free! I'll have spent £27.50 to get it but it will be free!!

Lets just hope he sleeps through tonight and then it'll definitely be worth it....

Monday, 29 November 2010

The One with the Holiday

A combination of illnesses and trying to pack for our first holiday away with the boy means I've been away from you for two weeks now. Sorry about that.

The run up to our week away last week was fraught with hassle. So much so my stress levels were off the chart and I was very close to going to the doctors for something to calm my nerves.

First the boy got sickness and diarrhoea, then it seemed to clear up but his appetite wasn't back and he wasn't sleeping so neither were we.

Then hubby got the D&V bug from the boy.

Then the boys diarrhoea came back.

With a vengeance!

In the middle of the night!!

All the time I was trying to pack and sort out everything we needed for a short, four night, self catering break to the coast with my parents.

Now I love holidays. Once I'm there. But the thought of them always makes me nervous. Will everything be ok? Will the accommodation be clean, comfortable, in a nice quiet area. Will we all be well enough to travel there and back? What if this? What if that? What if everything? I get myself in such a stew it hardly seems worth going. This could be one of the main reasons why we always return to the same little seaside town on the coast, only 2 hours drive away, year on year.

I know the shops, I know the good pubs, restaurants and take away's. I know the streets, the walk to the sea, the amusement arcade and the town in general like the back of my hand. Hubby and I spent our very first holiday together there and we've returned every year since. It might only be for a few days break in a B&B. It might not always be our main holiday that year. But we always go back. It's our second home.

I also hate leaving Oscar and I can't stand packing!

So packing for me and a 9 month old baby was a nightmare.

Especially as I thought I should pack extra of everything for the boy in case we had a repeat of our little midnight incident!

Then of course I started to panic about the boy. I know this place but he doesn't. He's never slept away from home before, or even in his travel cot. What if he has the screaming ab dabs for four days and goes crazy? Whose idea was this anyway? Oh yes mine wasn't it, well best keep quiet and hope he and his bum settle down as quickly as possible.

Nanny P and Granddad G were there when we arrived so the cottage was lit and warm and had familiar faces in so the boy just had a good look round and started playing.

He wasn't fazed at all.

It seems I totally underestimated my son.

He had a ball. And as a consequence so did we. Nanny and Granddad loved being with the boy and he loved being with them. So hubby and I got to spend quality time with him and, more importantly, each other. We even got lie ins and to go out for dinner, just us two, twice. He even slept through the night twice. So much for me thinking he wouldn't like the travel cot.

God bless Nanny and Granddad and god bless holidays I say!

Just what the doctor would've ordered had I called him!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The One with the Dry Toast and the Washing Machine

I have a poorly boy on my hands! 

Infact on Sunday night I had a poorly boy all over me. And all over poor old Daddy too! 

Least said about that the better.

We are now left with nasty nappies the kind of which I haven't seen since before we went on to weaning.

I'm not good with illness, as you know, but we're doing ok.

It's just difficult to know what to give him. It's all dry toast and mashed banana. I currently have some apples stewing on the stove for him lunch!

What can you do?

Personally I've been worried sick about him.

The boy on the other hand is in fine form wanting to play, climb, bounce and generally develop his new crawling skills!! Not conducive to a runny bottom situation! 

The washing machine being on constantly is testament to that!

I'm laying out towels on the lounge floor ready for when he wakes up from his nap and checking I've got enough anti-bac wipes in to last me to the weekend.

It's all glamour here guys.....

Friday, 12 November 2010

The One with the New Look

I've had a makeover!

I felt these dark Winter days were in need of a splash of orange and some swirly patterns. Much more Random Woman's style than the drab brown.

I feel cheerier already!

I hope you like the bright new look?  Let me know what you think?

Now if only I could re-vamp my wardrobe, post natal body and skin so easily I'd be laughing!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The One with the Big Chicken and the Left Over Stuffing

I did a big chicken on Sunday!

By "did" I mean roast of course (although given the current slang for that expression it still sounds dodgy but you know what I mean).

We are still eating the left overs. (and so is Oscar).

This, of course, was the point. My maternity pay has now ended and the economy drive begins.

So we had a roast dinner on Sunday, I minced some up for the boy to store in the freezer, I've made stock from the chicken carcass, we've had sandwiches for lunch on Monday,chicken salad, fajitas and now a pot of curry is bubbling on the stove.

All in all very good value.

But this leftovers lark has given rise to two questions.

What do you do with left over stuffing? I can't think of anything. As yummy as it is I didn't think it was appropriate to put it in with the boys roast dinner mix. It was Aunt Bessies and she may be the patron saint of the fuss free easy roast dinner but I'm sure it's not suitable for an 8 month old child!  

I've taken to slicing bits off and topping it with the left over guacamole from the fajitas! Now I read that back it sounds disgusting but in truth it is alarmingly good. Try it! I dare you!

Which brings me to my other dilemma.

What do you do with the leftovers of the leftovers?

I've used left over veg and chicken for this curry and I have a pot the size of a small manhole cover cooking away. We'll never eat all that in one sitting. They'll be leftovers. Of the leftovers.

If this carries on I may never cook a meal from scratch again. Everything will be traced back to that one big roast chicken and if I can do that now imagine what I can do with a Christmas lunch!

That's dinners for January sorted then....

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The One with All the Cakes

The boy has had his first taste of cake this week.

And it's been quite a week for cakes!

Monday saw a lovely walk in the park with a friend and her baby girl. We stopped at a cafe  for a cuppa and big slice of carrot cake. It was huge and came with whipped cream and chocolate sauce on the side ( a bit random that but never mind). Even I couldn't finish it! The boy woke up in his buggy, had his milk and then a few crumbs of cake fed from my fingers.

It was good!

After that we seem to have unleashed a monster!

Wednesday I made a lemon drizzle cake for a friend's birthday. He swears it was this cake that got him and his wife through a horrendous early night of feeding when their baby was first born and he has loved it ever since. I saved a bit for me to try (quality control you understand) so the boy had some of that for his afternoon snack too.

It was good!

Thursday we went to a NCT Halloween party for all the babies (at one point I resembled a pumpkin patch as I had three bubs clambering over me all dressed in their orange outfits). There was cake. Well it was a party! It was vanilla and sweet and very soft and yummy with thick icing and dolly mixtures adorning the top! 

He liked that one too!

Friday, and we visited the lemon cake friends where I was offered some with a cup of tea. By now the boy was recognising the afternoon pattern of plate and cup being presented to me and made a grab for the cake. So I let him have some again.

Well it was popular before so what can you do?

Saturday saw Nanny P's birthday. So I made my Mum a cake to celebrate. Victoria sponge, filled with strawberry jam and topped with chocolate frosting and shaved chocolate from a bar of milk and white.

You know the rest don't you....

Cake was licked greedily from my fingers and lips were smacked against the sweet crumbs left around his chops.

He had another little bit of it today!

Well we had left overs!

Now you understand it's only the soft, squashy cakey bit I'm giving him. I'm careful to not offer any filling, icing or frosting for fear I'd have to scrape him off the walls with hyperactive excitement.

I'm feeling a bit bad that I've let my 8 month old son have cake 6 days out of 7 this week but you see two things are true here.

One, I love making cakes. It soothes me. Even more so than eating them actually. Although that can have a calming effect given the right mood. If I need to have a think I go into the kitchen and I make a cake.

Two, the boy has a very sweet tooth.

So I can see the future six or seven years from now. He comes in from school with half a dozen mates:

"Any cake mum? We're all starving!"

And of course there will be. 

Let them eat cake I say!

Friday, 5 November 2010

The One with the Smell of the Greasepaint...

..and the roar of the crowd.

That's how the saying goes.

I prefer to turn it on it's head and say the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd.

And believe me I've smelt some pretty hostile crowds in my day.

You see in my BIBAM days  (Before I became a Mum), I used to do quite a lot of the old am dram.

I was your actual thespian.

Obviously pregnancy and the arrival of the boy put pay to that for a while but now I'm making a come back worthy of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (without the scary manic overtones you understand).

Given my current malaise I knew I needed something back for me and that something turns out to be my acting.

I went along to visit my Theatre group this week for a read through of their next production and find myself with a good part, my old friends around me, laughs, a challenge and the green light from hubby that he'll watch the boy a couple of evenings a week.

I'm like a new person. Quite literally.

And the play we're doing?

Blood Brothers by Willy Russell.

And my part?

My character is simply referred to as The Mother!

The irony isn't lost on me .....

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The One with the Down Days

I'm not myself at the moment!

Who I am, seems to be question most mothers are asking themselves at this stage, judging by the conversations I've been having with my NCT girlfriends. We are all at a loss personally. Feeling tired and lacking a sense of "ourselves" and what we used to be.

Maybe it's that old thing that we have stopped being seen as us and we're now "just Mum"?

So I don't know if 8 months is a typical watershed, or it's the onslaught of Winter and darker days, or the prospect of a very wonderful, but very different Christmas approaching or what it is?

But I am not myself!

If my dear Nana was alive today she'd tell me I needed a "tonic". And she didn't mean the stuff Schweppes sell!

It seems to me to be a parenting paradox that just as this Mum needs to find herself and a little of her independence back, the boy is becoming clingy, and a little whingy and has the screaming ab- dabs when I leave the room!

In some ways it's amazing to be wanted. When he puts his arms up for a cuddle, or gives me that first smile of the day I melt. I truly do.  I wish I could bottle that rush of emotion and keep it for when he's moaning and frustrated and I'm on the edge. Like an elixir of love to keep me going.

So really the boy is the tonic my Nana would've prescribed.

Only when he's laughing though....

Friday, 29 October 2010

The One with the Lippy and the Mascara

So last night I had a few girlfriends over for a home cosmetics party.

You know the sort of thing. Someone comes to demonstrate the products, you all sit there with a glass of wine and some crisps and get tempted to buy pretty, girlie make up and bubble bath and glitter on a wand and so on.

So with sausage casserole consumed from the slow cooker for tea and the boy safely dispatched to bed, proceedings commenced!

Now before I start I must explain that I used to do this. Indeed I used to do this for the exact same company represented last night. So, most unlike me, I'm not in the market to take the mick. I genuinely love and use the products. The thing is I've had a few really bleak days, where I've questioned my ability as a mother and feared my old adversary, depression, was rearing it's ugly head again so basically I was apprehensive about facing people. I'm usually an "entertainer" and I just wasn't in that place. But having done the job myself there was no way I was going to cancel at short notice. The show must go on.

But something happened yesterday afternoon. Suddenly I was "up for it"!  I got a cheeky glass of rose and a few Pringles (other salty snacks are available but seriously once I pop I can not stop) and I went into "performance" mode.

I was larking about with blusher making my cheeks look like Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge.

I was sharing intimate details of how difficult it is to get up from the floor since having the boy, without a little... hmm,hmmm ... leakage...

I was popping on creams and gloss and glitter and cracking jokes and gags left, right and centre.

For someone who has spent the best part of last week in tears and borderline depressed, last night wasn't just about lotions and potions.

It was actually a tonic!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The One with the Floater!

Tonight we had another parental rite of passage.

We have a downstairs bathroom separated from our kitchen only by a small back lobby and we can chat quite easily between the rooms. So hubby was bathing the boy and I was boiling the kettle for his last bottle of the day and making dinner (Thai prawn and butternut squash curry - Jamie Oliver would be proud of me).

I hear a commotion.

"Oh no! What's that floating in the water?"

It could only mean one thing. The inevitable had happened. The boy had had a number two in his bath.

The reason hubby wasn't alerted and lifted him out in time was because it wasn't accompanied by the usual red faced grunting that signals a poo poo. The boy was quite serene, gazing into space and playing with his ducks! We can only surmise that the warm water had "relaxed" him!

"What do I do now?" asked hubby, trying not to laugh and holding the boy aloft, dripping over the offending bath tub.

"Well he's only just done it. Lift him out and dry him off. He wasn't wallowing in "it" that long, and it is  solid"

Parenthood doesn't half take all the romance out of your conversations with your other half!

We are now both trying not to laugh.

The boy, to his credit, is cracking up and has a very pleased with himself smile.

I go back to making dinner (yes I did wash my hands) and hubby carries on. With the boy now dry and nappy on, hubby proceeds to "fish" the offending items out (the water having broken it up a bit) with wads of loo roll. This is actually more successful than I thought it would be but we still have some "bits" to deal with.

"I'll do it" I volunteer "I've had experience of this."

The experience I refer to is from a weekend spent with friends and their two little girls when their youngest poo'd in the bath and I helped my friend fish it out with a jug!

Hubby takes the boy through to the lounge for his bottle and "In the Night Garden."

I get a plastic jug and proceed to chase my sons poo around a baby bath and flush the soapy, excremental water down the loo. Everything gets a good dose of disinfectant!

There was a time when something like that would have put us both off but we must be getting the hang of this parenting lark.

The boy went to bed and we tucked into our Thai!

Done job! If you pardon the expression......

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The One with the Sausage Song

We've been going to a a children's music class!

It's about 45 minutes long and just before the boys lunch so in the first few weeks his attention span waned towards the end but each week he's getting a bit more into it. 

We play musical instruments and learn about movement, sound and rhythm. You should see how the boy has taken to a maraca! I've had to get him one for home he loves it so much. It's like Mardi Gras in my house most days!

We also sing songs.

Some of the songs have visual aids.

One of the songs involves sausages!

Now at this point I will add a few bits of information you may need to get the best out of this story. One, I go along to this class with my mate and her little boy. Two, I like making my mate giggle inappropriately if something strikes me as funny. Three, the teacher is a bit "children's TV presenter", infact she reminds me of Playaway Circa 1977 (that shows my age). She also takes the class very, very seriously and sings the songs very,very high!

So this week we get to the sausage song. Join in if you know the words....

5 fat sausages, sizzling in a pan, all of a sudden, 1 (pause for effect) went bang!

So the teacher got out a large piece of red lycra, that we all had to hold and stretch, and then she produced, from one of her many tubs, the sausages for the song.

They looked like turds!

Hand made, knitted, brown, long, fat, sausage shaped, turds!

And we didn't have just 5. There were millions of the little things. All jumping about on the piece of lycra like big bouncing poo's!

Well I got the giggles!

My mate could tell I'd got the giggles and couldn't look at me! She later said it was like being back at school, when the person you sit next to is trying to make you laugh so you'll get in trouble with the teacher, and you know if you look at them you'll just burst with laughter and get told off.

And it's not just the dancing poo's that makes me laugh. There's a man's deep voice on the last song of the class that sounds like he's going to offer me sweeties or ask if I want to see some puppies any moment and I smirk at that too.

I'm lucky the boy is having a great time and doesn't realise his naughty mummy is taking the p!

I'm also very lucky not to get detention.....

Repeat 100 times. I must not muck about in class.....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The One with the Poorly Baby

The boy had had his first proper illnesses since he arrived!

It's not been pleasant!

Let me explain first that I am petrified of people being sick (I'm not keen if i do it myself but I can just about cope) but anyone else and I'm out of here. It's a proper phobia and has on occasions stopped me doing things or staying in situations where I feel vulnerable (like out and about after the pubs have closed for example). I manage but it's sometimes hard for hubby to understand being a big old rough, tough, hulk of a fella who doesn't flinch at such things.

I was concerned when I knew I was becoming a mum about how I'd cope when the inevitable sickness struck. I was always worried I'd be rubbish at looking after him and what if instinct didn't kick in and what if it wasn't "different when it's your own flesh and blood"?

On Sunday afternoon I found out!

The boy went down for his nap after lunch, seemingly with not a care in his baby world. When he woke up, 2 and a 1/4 hours later (the length of nap being most out of the ordinary and really I should've been alerted to what might happen next by it) he was grisly, pale and out of sorts.

Nanny P and Granddad G had arrived for a cuppa by this point and the boy smiled bravely at them but I could tell something was up.

What was "up" was the milk he'd downed moments earlier, plus most of his lunch, all over me and Granddad G!

As I've said before the boy is not a sickly baby, for which I am grateful, so this was a rite of mummy passage to be projectile vomited on with such force. Twice!

My concern was completely for my boy. We cleaned him up then hubby took him for cuddles and bed while I stripped off the sick clothes, put on a dressing gown and bunged everything in the wash. I didn't flinch. I didn't care about me. I was just worried about my darling boy, all poorly sick and listless lying on his Dad's lap sleeping again.

Maybe it's a bit silly but I was proud of myself. He's never been properly ill before, not like this so I didn't know how I'd cope until now.

The thing is I coped.

I know so many of you all do cope all the time and don't think a thing of it but for me this was a big thing.

On Sunday I didn't think about my phobia, or flashbacks, or reoccurring dreams or any of the usual problems I encounter if someone is sick.

On Sunday I became a mum!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The One with Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.

I love a cookery programme!

So I've been watching the new Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals on Channel 4 every night at 5.30pm. There's the obligatory book to accompany the series too. Christmas present anyone?

Unlike the traditional "here's one I made earlier" style, the premise is that Jamie cooks the food in real time and you can replicate this at home, making everything he does in just under 30 minutes. Perfect for midweek teas after a long day at work. Pukka as the boy Oliver would say!

So far this week everything has looked delicious so last night I thought I'd give the pasta dish from Fridays show a try.

Now Jamie's menu included frangipane and raspberry jam tarts too but I dispensed with this as Hubby hates almonds.

I'm glad I did!

30 minutes! 30 minutes!!!

You are having a laugh!!!

Granted once I got going with my "30 minute meals head on" as Jamie would say then yes the cooking did only take about 20 or so minutes to do. The problem was finding all the stuff I needed to cut down on the preparation time.

You had to start by chopping very, very finely some spring onion, celery, carrot and chilli in a food processor. I couldn't get spring onions and we don't like celery so I improvised and used a normal white onion and a leek. I thought I'd save time too and whack the garlic in with this lot as I don't have a crusher.

Right start the clock...

"Darling, where's that food processor you bought me for Christmas?"

"What food processor?"

"You know the one you bought me last... no... two Christmas's ago."

Not to worry I'll use the attachment on the little blender I use for the boys puree, that's more to hand. Roughly chopped veg goes into the bowl and I switch it on. About 3 minutes gone at this point.

"It's not chopping it. I think I've got too much in here."

Hubby arrives in the kitchen

"What are you doing?"

"Making that Jamie Oliver pasta thing, I've got to chop all this really finely but it's not working. "

About 10 minutes are now wasted trying to get the chopper attachment to click properly so it will cut effectively. No joy! The various bits of the small chopper are tossed in the washing up bowl for later. We need the big processor.

"I think it's at the back of that cupboard"

"That cupboard" is systematically emptied. Baking tins and jugs and long forgotten bit of plastic that I don't know what they do anymore are dumped onto the kitchen floor.

"Found it! Christ, it's 20 past. X factor starts in 10 minutes!"

I could've chopped all this by hand by now by never mind, I carry on. Big processor found I fit it to the base which also is my food mixer. You have to get the angle just right or the top won't press down properly and you can't switch it on.

Another 6 minutes gone! By this time the water has boiled and re-boiled ready for it's pasta but we are not ready for it!

Yeah! I've switched it on. Veg is being chopped. Although it is sticking to the sides of the bowl and I have to keep stopping and using a spatula to scrape it back to the middle.

X Factor is on sob story singer number 1 now. Thank the lord for Sky +.

Veg now sizzling in a pan with olive oil. Food processor discarded to the washing up bowl. Contents of the cupboard still on the floor. We are getting somewhere.

"Babe, I've got the recipe on the computer screen tell me what do I have to do next?"

"Put the sausages in the food processor and mince them up."

Oh bum! The processor is covered in hot soapy water. I start putting everything back in the cupboard while the veg fries. Putting it back the way in went in is a game worthy of the Krypton Factor!

Hubby calls from the computer:

"Have you put fennel seeds in it? It says to put fennel seeds in it."

With my head in the cupboard:

"No. I don't like aniseed. I've left them out and put thyme in instead."

"You're not making the tarts as well are you?"

"No, You don't like almond. I've enough on my plate with this pasta."

"It says here you're supposed to be able to make this all in 30 minutes!"

I swear to god!!!

I skin the sausages and break them up in the pan. This of course takes longer but so far this 30 minute meal has taken about 40 minutes just to chop an onion so I'm past caring.

"You're supposed to present it on a big platter"

"Where's the one we use at Christmas time for the turkey?"

"In the loft!"

Hubby is by this time so hungry and has waited so long for dinner he's gnawing off his own arm so I take an executive decision and whack it straight into bowls with a flourish of fresh basil and parmesan.

So I have learnt three valuable lessons about me, TV cookery and chefs here.

I'm a luddite. Give me a chopping board and a knife any day of the week.

TV chefs have F off great kitchens with powerful gadgets that work and enough free work surface so that everything is to hand all the time and doesn't languish at the back of cupboards.

They don't keep their serving platters in the loft!

And the result? Well see for yourself.

So after all that it was delicious and one of the tastiest things we've had for a long time.

And how was I after all that stress?

Well, I still want the book for Christmas!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The One with the Self Service Till

Another trip to the supermarket yesterday and this time I had the boy with me. I was in a bit of a hurry to get back for teatime so I went to one of those self service tills. That'll save some time I thought, there's no queue there!

I now understand why!

They are the most frustrating thing known to man.

Anything alcoholic, sharp or medical has to be verified by a member of staff so they can see you're over 21 (you can buy all these things at 18 so why it's 21, and in some shops I notice 25, I don't know?)

Anything loose that needing to be weighed has to be found on the screen.

And anything on special offer just blows it's mind!

Twice I had to "wait for assistance" because it didn't scan my butter properly and then didn't understand the price of my chicken!

Then to cap it all I put my handbag down to get my purse out to pay, with nowhere specific to rest it I placed it on the conveyor belt, this set the motion off and it sailed down towards my shopping which was bunched up and squashed at the end with no one to pack it. Of course my handbag wasn't scanned and the electronic voice went completely berserk

"Unexpected item in bagging area. Please remove. Please remove."

I thought for one terrible moment I was in an episode of Doctor Who and she was going to turn into a Dalek and exterminate me!

With my handbag retrieved she started shouting at me again,

"Please scan your loyalty card"

"Yeah alright love, let me get it out first"

I was talking back to her!

They say the first sign of madness is talking to yourself.

It's not!

It's not even talking to the machine.

The first sign of madness is even contemplating using one...

Monday, 11 October 2010

The One Where the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

I managed to use 4 bowls and 5 spoons for tonight!

This never happens and it was only now as I was clearing away, that I noticed the sheer amount of plastic cutlery and crockery consumed!

I had "encouraged the child to sit in the highchair as I cleared away" as per Gina Ford. Now I don't normally subscribe to Gina's mantra's but this does seem sense and she makes it sound so idyllic doesn't she? In reality bits of food are getting chucked on the floor, the boy is screaming to get out and a plastic flower that is supposed to stick to the tray table but clearly doesn't, goes whistling past my ear at alarming speed and velocity!

So the trouble tonight lay with my trying to introduce lumps!

The boy is 7 and a half months now and I feel I should be getting to grips with stage 2 but he's more of a smoothly does it kind of a guy.

I'd given him some of my Bolognese with little pasta stars mixed with a cube of pureed peas and some cheese. The Bolognese and pasta had been previously whizzed but it still had more texture than the lads gag reflex would allow. After 4 or 5 spoonfuls the spoon was pushed away and most of my hard work was being spat out.

I'll pass it through a sieve I thought! Genius! That'll smooth it out!

So one bowl of food was passed to another via a sieve. Still no good! That's two bowls and two spoons down.

So I opened a jar of sweet squash and chicken.

I decanted some into a third bowl using yet another spoon, thinking he won't want it all, he's had some of the Bolognese (well the bits he didn't spit back). This was received with much more success so I went back to the kitchen and spooned a bit more out into the bowl. Obviously he'd used spoon number three so incase we didn't want it all and I could save some for tomorrow I used spoon number four.

But he did want it all so spoon number four wasn't technically needed.

After all that bowl number four and spoon number five were for dessert, Mummy's special apple and pear with cinnamon and vanilla which thankfully always goes down, and stays down, a treat.

So tell me, should I have persevered with the first dinner or would you have done what I did and give him something you know he likes, so he's full and happy and more likely to sleep through?

Does it simply come down to that old choice, like it? or lump it?

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The One with the Good Winter Telly

This weekend it all begins!

It's the return of what was always known in our house as "Good Winter Telly"!

I know the shows in question have actually been back a few weeks so that's not strictly (how apt) true but what I mean is the preliminary stages are over with. We're onto live shows and elimination's now. The partners have been picked and the first dance, danced (or in some cases dragged round) and on the other side the ones that need to "work on their vocals" have left, the disillusioned, dishevelled and downright wrong have packed up and gone home and the clip of the friend who punch her other friend in the face can mercifully stopped being played!

Yes tonight's the night!

Order the curry, chill the wine, sit back and relax.

Only there's two major problems with this!

As horribly addictive as Strictly and X Factor are, they're no Jim'll Fix it, Generation Game or Two Ronnies are they? They're not a patch on the good winter telly of my youth in the 70's , often referred too as the "Golden Age of Television" when summers were longer and Wagon Wheels were bigger and you could play in the street until half past ten and it was still light (my friend has a theory that everything was black and white back then too but she wasn't born until 1983 so what does she know)!

And secondly they are on all night!

Literally, ALL NIGHT!

Strictly starts at 5.45pm and when that finishes X Factor starts and goes on until ten past ten! Then if your eyes, stomach and constitution can stand it, Piers Morgan is doing a poor man's Parky with a new series of his Life Stories show.

Hubby will freak when he realises he's got to put up with that lot! (I'll break it to him gently that there's another hour and a half of results shows on tomorrow) And the boy has to have bath, bottle and bed during all this too.

Whatever your thoughts on these reality shows, my reality is that Saturday night TV and parenthood just don't mix. On a rough estimate I'll be running about two hours behind the rest of the world tonight.

You can buy new parents all the gadgets, gizmos, travel systems, clothes and toys in the world but I'll give you a tip.

The most useful thing you can get anyone expecting a baby is Sky+!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The One with the Inappropriate Comment

This bog carries a warning! If you embarrass easily, look away now! 

I did the weekly shop this morning. Hubby looked after the boy  and I visited a leading supermarket that was offering 25% off all it's clothes this weekend!

Needless to say I stocked up on the next size up for the boy to see him through the winter. 

Job done!

I got my other shopping which included some cartons of formula and jars and pouches of baby food for days out when he can't have something from my extensive range of "cubes" from the freezer! So the contents of my trolley left no doubt I had a little one but it also contained plenty of other things, food, cleaning products etc and a.. hum, hum.. (clears throat)  packet of condoms!

Unable to decide on our future contraceptive needs we are currently using, what my friend delightfully calls "ski-masks"! It's a straight choice it would seem between the coil for me or the snip for him! Or to put it another way (which would also work as a contraceptive) a bit of metal in me or something maybe a bit too permanent! for us to contemplate at this stage!

Hubby is insistent he doesn't want anymore children but apparently is reluctant to get the job done because "it hurts"! So does carrying another person inside you for 9 months and then spending 12 hours trying to push them out again but hey ho! 

I went to the till and was being served by a guy,  aged about 50 or so. The baby clothes, food and formula went through first, followed by my other items, including "something for the weekend" (probably next weekend now but even so).

The man had been chatting about my having a baby, how old was he, does he sleep through the night, the usual, when the condoms "beeped" through.

"Bit late now for these isn't it?" he said.

I was flabbergasted!

I don't embarrass easily. I'm fairly unflappable and I pride myself on my quick wit but even I was lost for words.

The cheek of it!

25% or no 25% off I was peed off I can tell you!

Their advertising may want me to "Taste something different" but this was one shopping trip that left a distinctively nasty taste in my mouth....

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The One with the Online Conference

Motherhood has brought about a whole new set of events in my life. 

Blogging being one of them and with blogging has come my association with British Mummy Bloggers (known furthermore as BMB - even though I blog I'm not the worlds most natural typist!)

So with an eye to increase my "traffic" (get me with the jargon), improve my content and make a bit of cash from this writing lark, I put my name down for an online conference, arranged through BMB, with a media company called Glam all about advertising on your blog.

Advised to log on 10 to 15 minutes before the conference started I duly clicked the link on the e-mail and from then on I was transported to a world I had no comprehension of before.

Various screens flickered in front of me. I clicked where I needed to click. Agreed where I needed to agree. Then I was taken to the screens of the presentation.

There was a small box showing volume and microphone and I remembered the e-mail said to un-click mute before the session started.

Now call me naïve but I thought that was so we could hear the presentation. I also thought it would be a recorded voice track to go along with the slides.

But I was wrong!

It was live. Completely live. All singing, all dancing live. I could hear Clare from Glam and all the other attendees and they could hear me. I just had to talk at the screen.

You may be reading this thinking “Duh woman I use this kind of technology everyday in my glamorous world” but this bit of kit was a revelation to me.

Of course being heard had its pitfalls!

For a start I was chomping through a huge portion of leftover spinach and ricotta cannelloni, which didn’t go unnoticed.

Then the boy woke up and wanted his lunch, so as proceedings got underway I was feeding him chicken and sweet potato gratin (if it’s got a cheese sauce on it, it’s a gratin).

Then Oscar rose from his slumber and miaowed constantly at me until I managed to secure his silence with a dish of milk!

The boy, now fed and watered wanted to play, so was pacified with a bright plastic toy and then the quietening miracle that is fromage frais!

Still through all this, I managed to make notes, follow what was going on, ask questions and generally get enthused about the whole project. And importantly it made me feel human again and not just Mum. This was proper grown up stuff. We learnt about Leaderboards, MPU’s and Skyscrapers. We talked about niche content, budgets and the difference between a PR agency and an Advertising agency. For a whole hour I didn’t think about nappies, baby food, formula or the best highchairs to buy!

Whether anyone noticed the pestering cat, slurping baby, Italian food munching chaos that is lunchtime in my house I don’t know. Maybe they were too polite to say?

Or maybe, just maybe, I can now do all these things whilst also maintaining a reasonable air of professionalism?

It seems motherhood has brought about a whole new set of skills with it too!

Monday, 20 September 2010

The One with the Home Cooking - part 2

I love to cook. My ample figure is testimony to that!

I love everything about cooking. From reading recipe books and food magazines, to the sourcing and buying of ingredients, to the preparing, chopping, stirring, mixing, cooking and finally eating of the fruits of my labours.

I love to cook for people. Nothing, to me, shows more you care about someone than to take the time and trouble to cook them a meal. Or a cake. Or a batch of biscuits. Or scones.So it won't surprise you to learn that in previous years I have made edible gifts for Christmas.

Tomorrow is the first official day of Autumn and with it's "mists and mellow fruitfulness" (that's your actual poetry you know - I believe it's Keats) comes the glut of tomatoes, apples, plums and squashes that cry out for chutney and pickle making. September usually heralds the start of my Christmas present  surge culminating in a mad rush of shortbread, biscotti and savoury nibbles a few days before Christmas Eve. Tuck in there somewhere a bottle or two of home made limoncello liqueur (shaken, not stirred, every time you walk past) and you pretty much have my Christmas all wrapped up (pun intended).

Only this year I have the boy!

And by the boy, this time, I mean hubby!

I have been told in no uncertain terms that while the lad is little I will be too tired and too stressed to start feeding the five thousand and to make the festive season as simple as possible. That means no home made gifts!

So strongly does he feel about this, my normally mild mannered husband has threatened divorce if I so much as pick up my preserving pan!

So the jars are gathering dust on top of my kitchen cupboards, the cellophane gift bags have been put away and the labels and twine stay in the drawer. No apricot and cranberry chutney on Boxing day, no rum truffles after Christmas lunch, no home made mincemeat for my mince pies (without the candid peel - it's evil stuff) and no tin of rustic (and by rustic I mean misshapen) cinnamon and ginger biscuits for guests!

So it's going to be a Boots 3 for 2 Christmas in this household. Speed, convenience and value for money!

Only that's not the spirit of Christmas. the spirit of Christmas is my limoncello!

Im having withdrawal symptoms already!

Friday, 17 September 2010

The One with the Home Cooking

Carrot stains!

So does sweet potato!

So does butternut squash!

In fact my life is pretty much orange now. And by life I mean my floor, my walls, the boys highchair, clothes, bibs, bowls and spoons! Oh and his face and hair too.

Babies have a remarkable aim when it comes to flicking. I thought I'd got all the stray bits of parsnip and apple the other day only to find a huge splodge on the back of the boys head about an hour after lunch! Dislodging dried parsnip from baby fine hair without inducing tears is a skill I never thought I'd acquire. 

If you want to ruin a top get a baby to spit carrot back at you. It's up there with turmeric for sheer staining staying power. My hubby says broccoli is evil but to my mind it's carrot who is the vegetable genius behind it all. Carrot is Goldfinger to broccoli's Scaramanga! I expect you to die Mr. Bond. Dyed orange! 

I've been trying to be a model mummy and give him all my home cooking. I love cooking so all the peeling, chopping and pureeing hasn't been a hardship, honest. I have neat little freezer bags, carefully labelled and chock full of individual mashed and mushed vegetables to mix, match and defrost as required. They've been going down reasonably well too which makes it all worth while. Although in the last couple of days I can see boredom setting in. I've had this combination before Mummy, next! And certain veg like swede has been greeted with a pulled "face".

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not some kind of Annabel Karmel saint. When we're out and about the boy will have ready made meals. So with this in mind and an all day event coming up soon I thought I'd test out a jar for tea last night. Not as good as mummy makes surely?

He wolfed down the whole lot! Not a "face" or a grimace in sight.

The Delia in me was deflated I can tell you.

Maybe I've been approaching this all wrong? It's not carrot that wants to take over the world. 

It's Heinz!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The One with the Tail of Oscar

Three years ago today we took Oscar in for the first time! In lieu of any other date to go by we count 14th September as his birthday so give or take Oscar is 13 today!

The tail (pun intended) of how he came to us is the stuff of legends!

Oscar turned up one day and started sleeping outside our house on an old bookcase that was waiting to go to the dump (it's like Steptoes yard my back garden!). We assumed that he belonged to a family who moved into the area but due to the hot weather was kipping alfresco.

Meanwhile, our neighbour was feeding him (well he was nipping in through her cat flap and nicking her cats food) but she had no idea where he was sleeping.

This went on for two weeks until one day hubby was working from home and realised that Oscar (or Chatty as we had named him due to the constant miaowing) wasn't going "home" or anywhere for food and seemed increasing desperate to come into our house. By chance we spoke to the neighbour and realising he was a stray took him in.

One tin of tuna later and he and we were in love.

We took him to the vets and discovered he was a neutered male, possibly about 8 years old, covered in fleas and most importantly he had a chip with his name and owners details enclosed.

We called them and discovered he'd travelled about 3/4 mile and had been "on the road" for 6 weeks.

The original owners had split up and with Mrs moving out of the family home with the kids, Mr had struggled to look after Oscar due to travel for work and stays in hospital so with a spirit of adventure and a red and white knotted hankie over his shoulder (not really but indulge the panto story teller in me) Oscar set off and found himself at ours.

Mr offered to come and get him even though he'd given him up as a "goner", we said that was his call but we had grown very fond of Osc. Mr said he had been struggling to take care of him so us having him could make sense but would like to come and see him so 30 mins later he arrived for a cuppa bringing feeding bowls and tins of food with him.

We found out that Oscar had a mate called Chelsea who had died earlier that year and coupled with this and the other changes at home and Mr not being around much he'd stopped coming into the house and only showed up for meals then disappeared altogether. They had got him from a rescue centre 7 years ago and guessed he was about 3 years old then, making him 10.

Happy that Oscar was being well loved and cared for with us he wished him well in his new life and said he was ours with his blessing.

The extraordinary way Oscar arrived in our lives is typical of this extraordinary cat!

He truly is a one off and we wouldn't be without him. He's brought us love and giggles and endless black fluff everyday now for three years and we love him with all our hearts.

Given how he arrived I'm thankful each day that he doesn't just take off like he did from his last home but I think he's come to us for a bit of comfort in his old age. He certainly has his paws under the table!

13 is a good age for a cat but there's life in the old moggy yet and given we are his third owners I'm hoping there's at least 6 more lives in him.....

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The One with the Words

The boy has found his voice in the last week or so. Gurgles and coos have turned to sounds and chatter. It's amazing and another clue to his personality.

Now given he's our son he was never going to follow a conventional path but I guess I thought his first word would be Dadda, Mumma or Bubba. Something fairly standard. No!

It was Barbara!

Now it could be we've been watching too much of "The Good Life" on UK Gold or it could be I've shown him too many Carry On films (although Ms Windsor was only in 9 of them - good thing to know for pub quizzes that). He certainly hasn't got his fixation for Babs from watching Eastenders thank goodness - especially now as Peggy (get outta my pub) Mitchell has just gone up in flames!

No, the Barbara love stems from a toy sheep sent too him from good friends in America. A soft, white toy sheep all the way from California. A Hollywood Lamb if you like. We named her Barbara ( Baa- bara - get it?) and the lad fell instantly in love with her. His face lights up when he sees her. I now daren't leave the house without her.

It's all about the Barbara!

His second attempt at a word was Dadda...

I'd assume I'm coming in a poor third after Dad and a stuffed cuddly lamb but there's Oscar the cat and whole shelf of other teddies to come before me.

Mumma, Mumma..... repeat after me darling. You know you want too......

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The One with the Sweet Potato

I've given up on breakfast.

Lunch has been going well but the boy doesn't seem too keen on porridge, so we have decided to introduce tea next instead.

This has proved a hit!

5pm was always an odd time. Too early for a bath, too late for a walk. So now we have butternut squash and fromage frais to occupy us.

He's lapping it up and the result is we have dropped a bottle of milk today and bedtime and come forward a full 20 mins.

This all seems to good to be true.

I'm worried! I'm sure the boy will wake up in the night and think "Hang on! I'm 7oz down here! Where's me milk?"

Only time and pear puree will tell.......

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The One with What to Wear?

I've just finished writing the wording for the Naming Day ceremony on Saturday, 130 sausage rolls are made and safely stored in the freezer and two cakes that improve with a day or two in the tin are baked and getting sticky. The sandwiches are ordered, the bar is booked and the Prosecco on ice (ever since I found out my great great grandparents on my Father's side were Italian I've gone all Sophia Loren on everyone)

I have a final shopping list to get but all in all it's pretty much done.

Just one small problem that I hadn't even considered before now!

What am I going to wear?

I have an outfit for the boy and I've told everyone it's causal and not too dressy as I want people to be comfortable but as the mother of the boy I suppose I should float around looking fabulous!

I'm just not in a very fabulous place body wise at the moment. I'm having one of those "It's a pity Millets in the town closed otherwise I'd buy a tent to wear." days.

The "Next" delivery lady has just dropped off a parcel and I'm almost too scared to open it. It contains a pair of back up trousers (accidents happen when you're 6 months old) for the boy, a new winter coat for him I couldn't resist oh and a top for me.

This is the trouble, once you become a mum you stop looking at clothes for yourself and go instantly to the baby section. It's partly guilt about spending money on anything other than your child, partly what's the point in buying new stuff it only gets covered in unmentionable substances anyway and partly nothing fits your post natal body.

Don't get me wrong I've shifted my baby weight. It's the extra weight I was carrying before I got pregnant I need to work on now. Also my whole body shape has changed.

I used to hold a lot of weight on my stomach, now the tummy isn't too bad but the flab has all travelled kind of up to produce a set of spare tyres even The Stig would have trouble wearing out on the track!

It doesn't spell effortless glamour I can assure you.

So I'm off to open the parcel before nap time ends and see what it has in store for me.

If it the top is ok I have some perennial black trousers for it to go with. Oh and some tummy control pants.

Although magic knickers may not be enough. On these tyres I may need a full MOT.....

Friday, 27 August 2010

The One with the Nice Words

The boy is 6 months old today. Quite a milestone! So to mark his coming into the world we are having a Naming Day for him next weekend.

Naming Days or Ceremonies are quite a recent phenomenon and an alternative to Christenings. Both Christenings and Naming Days have their place and I think it's great you can now choose what you want and what's suitable for your family. If the lad wants to choose a religion later in life then he can make a, hopefully, informed decision then, but for now we just want to celebrate his being here.

I'm all for having options! But with options comes choice!

The first choice was whether to have a Christening (too traditional and restrictive for our needs and beliefs) or a Naming Ceremony with a humanist celebrant (more up my street but a little too alternative for hubby's tastes)? So in the end we opted for a Naming Day that we plan, write and conduct ourselves.

Then there's choosing the "Godparents" or "Fairy Godparents" as my friend has aptly and charmingly "christened" (pun intended) them.

Most people choose family but for me I don't see the point. Family are already there for the baby. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents all have recognised titles and roles already but as an only child, I have no blood aunts or uncles to bring into the lads life so by nominating dear friends as godparents it's a way of extending my limited family and enriching his circle of significant adults.

My friends are very important to me. They have become my surrogate brothers and sisters. They are my extended family of my own choosing. I have known the four people we have chosen between 12 and 19 years which is a significant time (and hubby has known one of them since secondary school) so these people are very much in our lives and mean a great deal to us.

So I wanted to say a little bit about what each of them means to us and therefore hopefully what they will come to mean to the boy.

And here's another choice! 

How "emotional" do I get with this? After all it's a joyous, fun filled occasion with tea, cake, wine and balloons not a soap opera weepy. I've made a start on writing it but it's all gone a bit Hallmark Cards on me (you know the ones - padded on the front, in white boxes instead of envelopes, usually with cartoon elephants holding roses in their trunks on the front and "nice" words inside).

Do I cut the crap, just raise my glass to them all and say "Cheers all the best" in my best Peter Kay voice or do I go for the all out blub fest?

I'll let you know how the speech turns out but I'm beginning to think I should have put "the wearing of waterproof mascara is advisable" on the invitations......