Monday, 30 June 2014

Every Dog Has His Day

This weekend I had big plans for a lot of housework. I often have these kind of silly pipe dreams then something else far more interesting pops up, like taking the dog and the kids to the park. Or, like this weekend, a dog show.

I only found out about it late on Friday night having a coffee with my friend. The weather forecast wasn't great but we thought we may as well go.

Saturday morning I gave puppy a bit of a groom, he's in between puppy and adult fur and also moulting so is a bit of a scruff at the moment.  As usual for our family we were running late and only just made registration. We entered puppy in the following categories "Waggiest Tail", "Best Puppy" and "Dog The Judge Would Most Like To Take Home".   

"Waggiest Tail" was about to start so the four year old joined me in the arena. She had the most important job of holding up our number as we paraded round the ring smiling like a "round card girl" in a boxing match.  Puppy was most interested in all of the audience and decided to jump up at one of the judges.  We lined up and waited anxiously for the results.  There had been some very waggy competition so when the dog next to us was given 3rd place I lost some expectation as I'd been watching that tail.. it wagged... lots.  Second place was called from somewhere down the line, I hadn't seen their tail.  I held my breath, I waited for what seemed like an eternity.  Good job I'm not a contestant on any kind of TV show that makes you wait an excruciating amount of time to know if you've won, I'd pass out before an announcement was made.  Finally they called out number 10. It was us! We'd done it! The Puppy, four year old and I all made it to the centre of the arena to collect the prize, a 1st place rosette and a packet of doggy Dentastix.  Woohoo! 

Rolling off the high of our win we entered the "Best Puppy" category. Competition was high, next to us was the cutest shith-tzu who was very well behaved.  Puppy was good but let himself down by turning his back on his audience to sit facing me.  I think he was still showing everyone his waggy tail.  No surprise we didn't win that one.

We wondered around the tents and entered the "guess the total" for the amount of doggy biscuits in a jar.  The prize was the biscuits and a rather lovely doggy hamper.  

The heavens opened, thunder and lightening started so we decided to give the last category a miss and headed home triumphant.

That evening we had a phone call from the ladies at UK Romanian Dog Rescue who'd run the "guess the biscuit" competition.  We'd only gone and won that too!  We were one biscuit out.  Puppy was on a roll. 

Now to get him choosing our lottery numbers.

Friday, 27 June 2014

What's Your Childrens Legacy?

What do your children give you?  Grey hair? Definitely!  Unconditional love (sometimes debatable with the four year old and has been told no or she wants something) laughter, tears, frustration and a huge helping of pride.  But what about other things?  

I have two unusual things and both were given to me when I was pregnant. Prior to the nine year old being with me, I suffered from a bad back.  It ached, it pained, I couldn't bend, it hurt to walk and was an excellent excuse not to do any hoovering and have a few days off work. I saw my GP, I saw an osteopath, I was given exercises and pain killers.  Strong pain killers.  

As I got bigger with my first pregnancy I waddled (apparently). I was huge, the weight was everywhere.  Seeing as the nine year old was only 4lb 2oz it was water and not the copious amounts of cake I ate. I wasn't eating for two I promise!  After his entry into the world; I slowly got back to "normal" I realised the back ache had gone. No aches, pains, twinges, I can bend and flex. Yay! I can hoover. Not so yay!  Obviously the extra weight shifted something or strengthened some muscles but the nine year old is pretty pleased with himself he cured my bad back.

Onto the four year olds gift.  I have never been able to burp. I'm told as a baby I took hours and hours of winding for a small gurgle to arrive. I have always suffered from this. My brother always thought it was funny, my hubs thought it was odd and surely it all needed to get out.  I would gurgle and could feel it in my throat and chest but it never went anywhere, until the four year old arrived.  Now I can burp with great gusto, loud and proud.  Apparently this isn't the thing to do, I should be discreet but I'm at the four year olds stage, I haven't learnt how to do that yet and I quite like I can do it.

Now how to learn how to burp on demand or belch the alphabet!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

I'm Not The Mum I thought I Was Going To Be.

When I was pregnant with the nine year old I had visions of being a homely, mother nature type with all sorts of arts and crafts on offer, making school dress-up costumes being generally fantastic.

I'm not sure what hit me. First off nine year old was a prem baby so that was a bit of a shock.  Because of spending time in SCBU he was in a routine from the day he came home and he slept fairly well at night.  So why couldn't I get manage to get dressed before midday? 

Four and a half years later along came the now four year old.  Although not premature, she was  high risk and also spent time in SCBU. Hello baby in a routine, I quite liked this!

The four year old has never played with play-doh at home. I learnt from when the nine year old was a toddler that it gets mushed into balls of hard stuff that have turned khaki green and get trodden into the carpet where I have to get on my hands and knees to scrape it up and pick at it for hours.  We don't paint, (too messy), we rarely bake, (too messy).  Felt tips are smuggled out of the house like I'm a Colombian drug dealer.  I "re-cycle" the reams of artwork produced at nursery. I mean I keep the best bits but the rest is hidden under a newspaper in the recycling box.

I made one costume for World Book Day when nine year old was in reception..
note I was on maternity leave then.  

He's only had two other proper dress up days, one I sent him in as George from Roald Dahl's book "George's Marvellous Medicine"  (red jumper and jeans). The other he went as Harry Hill, bald head wig & glasses from joke shop, a school blazer from eBay and a few badges and pens. 
Can you see how much effort I put in?  

I'm definitely not the Mum I thought I was going to be, hopefully the kids haven't noticed and are happy with the Mum I am.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Babying The Dog?

We have a puppy.  Well I say puppy; he's ten months old now and the equivalent of a naughty teenager in dog years.  He was 9 weeks old when we got him and apart from him immediately coming down with kennel cough and not being able to have his vaccinations for weeks and weeks, he is one of the best things we have done for our family.

So what if I now have to buy  ALL my bags and shoes in Primark, I've got through three purses in two months and he chomped up my bank card! 

He is my baby. Seriously; I probably treat him better than my own two little devils.  He comes onto our bed in the mornings and snuggles up yawning in my face, whacking hubs with his fluff tail. He's my little shadow.

In the summer puppy is going to spend a week at my friends house with her 11 year old (big) dog.  To get them used to each other and for puppy to be in big dogs territory I drop him at my friends house in the morning. It's about half an hour drive away and when we get there puppy is super excited and drags me up to the front door only to be barked at madly.  

Last week I drop puppy off and race off to get back to the four year olds nursery to help prepare for the up coming summer fair.  I get half way back when my mobile starts to ring.  It's my friend.  Puppy has enjoyed the use of her garden and produced the largest poo a small dog can do.  So large he yelped. Unfortunately he is a fluffy thing and some ... stuck to him. He proceeded to run into the house, sit on her kitchen floor and scoot around.  He wouldn't let her near him and my friend didn't know what to do.  I turned the car around and raced back.  Puppy and friend greeted me fairly enthusiastically in the garden.  Puppy was lifted onto a rickety old garden table (not used for eating purposes!). Nail scissors were produced and I cut the stuck turd off, trimmed up his extra furry bum, wiped him with wet-wipes and released him back to the garden whilst apologising profusely to my friend for the mess and embarrassment.

When I had my babies I expected to be wiping bums but it's not quite what I expected when I bought the dog.

I still wouldn't change him for all the world although I often threaten to give the kids away!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Who Are These People And Where Do They Find The Time?

I'm new to blogging and am trying to find some other blogs to read for inspiration, writing styles and humour.

I've registered with BritMums and just waiting to be approved.  It's their conference tomorrow so I'm guessing they don't have much time on their hands at the moment.  I've also just found the Parent Bloggers Network.  Whilst having a skim through I found this :

 "I'm a part time working mum of 5. I love to make things for my home and crafting in general. My blog posts include topics such as crafts, gardening, furniture updates, cooking, living in a budget."

How does this woman find the time to work, herd up 5 children, craft, garden,cook and then write about it?  I work and have two children and can barely wave a duster in the general direction of the house on a good week!  

I get the impression a lot of bloggers are "yummy mummies". I have images of perfect children (like the one's you see on television adverts) and mummies in Cath Kidston aprons having just made an apple pie whilst cooking a six course meal for the dinner party she is hosting later that evening.

My house is a bit of a mess, the puppy chews most stuff so it's all balanced on the dining table, the sheets I washed at the weekend are bundled on a chair in the conservatory which by the way looks like a bomb has hit it with some of four year olds larger toys out there and the shoes hiding from said destructive dog.  Last night's dishes are soaking in the sink. 

Will I ever be able to compete in the blog world? 

This blog post comes courtesy of my boss taking half a day holiday.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Am I Wrong To Not Tell?

I've started this blog but I haven't told my husband.  The main reason being I know he would probably complain.  He would say "why do you want to write about our life and tell everyone our personal stuff?"    

When my four year old was a baby coming into toddler-ship, she was a handful.  I was back at work and struggling. I vented on Facebook, frequently.  This didn't go down too well with himself; it "hurt" his feelings that I felt so aggrieved with my own child.  He wasn't there dealing with a screaming one year old and a hyper five year old having just come in from a full day at work and started cooking a family meal.

He has previously accused me of going behind his back when I haven’t agreed with his decision over something and gone and done my own thing.  Not that he’s one to lay down the law over our lives but he is a great debater arguer and will verbally beat me into submission. It’s not just me, he’s pretty good at it with anyone and it can work brilliantly if you are after a bargain!

Funnily enough, his Mum has joined Facebook and it’s quickly become a family joke that she will reply to every post we put and private message us (then phone to check we got the message).  I need a space to occasionally vent and for me to write without fear of recrimination.
So with the wilfulness of a teenager; I have decided it’s just best not to tell him. I won’t post my blog on Facebook but you can find me on Twitter

Monday, 16 June 2014

Touring On The Segway

Three friends and I had a grown-up girls day out. We had a Friday off work and luckily with some glorious June sun we went off for a Segway ride. 
We'd booked with Bershire 4x4 Segway Tours over at Dinton Pastures for an hours session.

I'd never been before and was quite apprehensive as I've been known to fall over from just standing still.  We listened to a safety drill making sure we had no drink or drugs and signed our life away to say we were in possession of our own faculties and ready to roll.

There were seven of us in the group and we were all given cycle helmets although you are quite welcome to bring your own. We met James over in the demonstration area where we learnt how to get on without wobbling too much and trundle off a little round track at a snails pace.  There's no accelerator or brakes so although in theory your are in control as it's all done by leaning forwards and backwards it's a little harder than it looks.  After a few laps we practised going up and down a little slope then onto going up and down the slope and turning on the spot.  Now we were ready to face the public, and their children and dogs and all other wildlife.

James kindly put us into single file with the less confident right behind him.  I was second which cheered me a bit as that meant someone was a bit worse than me (my friend Michele!).  I was still nervous and wobbly but not scared enough to not want to do it.  He led us off and it was amazing!  The top speed of the Segway was around 10mph but I doubt we reached much more than 6mph.  It's surprising how quickly I gained confidence once we were off round the lake. 

I have never been to Dinton Pastures but the ride around the lake and through small woody bolt holes was beautiful.  We passed what looked like the most fantastic playground (note to self, bring kids one day). People were so kind to stop and wait for us to pass or hold onto their dogs whilst we meandered through.  We stopped about half way through our tour for James to take some pictures of us to be posted onto Facebook where we can download them for ourselves.

Before we knew it we were back at the Activity Centre where we'd started.  I had a fantastic time and would recommend it to anyone who can to have a go.

We booked with

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

What's Your Coffee Shop Name?

I am a confirmed tea drinker, yet somewhere along the way I started enjoying coffee, particularly coffee shop coffee.  I use the term coffee quite loosely as I like it milky with only one shot, but that's beside the point.  

I can't pin-point when this addiction started. my four year old and I have a little Saturday morning routine where we go food shopping and pop upstairs to the coffee shop (sneaking in bakery or confectionery items as I can't afford coffee & cakes!) and enjoy a coffee and a babycino.  It's "our" thing.   I also found myself getting an earlier train for my morning commute so I could stop and have a coffee at the train station.  Pure bliss.

One of the large chains now ask for your name so you don't get the wrong drink.  Some people object to this, I even saw a Facebook request for everyone to use the name Bob.  Is it so hard to give your name?  Apparently so when you have a name no-one pronounces or spells correctly.  I now have a coffee shop name, it's fairly similar to my real one but only has three letters. Easy.  If you use the same shop they get to know your pseudonym.  A couple of days ago I bought some raffle tickets from the coffee shop, I had a slight panic about what name to put down so I gave my coffee shop name with my number.  Now I'm wondering; if I win and I answer my mobile and they ask for the person with my alter ego, will I remember it's me? And will I get my free coffee and soft toy?

Friday, 6 June 2014

Technology Is Passing Me By

I hate to say it but it's true... I am officially old and technology is passing me by.  This is my first blog post and even working out how to set up the blog spot was traumatic.

I have an (almost) nine year old. He's desperate for an X-Box, his friends all have them, I don't particularly want him to have one but he doesn't know he is getting one for his birthday.   One of the reasons I was/am against it is because of the whole being able to go on-line and play against other people.  It's not just playing, it's wearing a headset and chatting to them.  How can I be sure of who he is speaking to and how can I keep him safe?

He has previous; you see.  He was addicted to Minecraft, the computer "lego" type game.  I allowed him to play a MPRPG - multi player role play game (see I can be down with the kids!).  He. Gave. Out. Our. Address!! Thankfully I saw, pulled the plug on the pc, whipped him off of it (permanently) and no-one has ever turned up on our doorstep.  I then attended a internet security meeting at his school.  They say one of the worst things you can do is step back and say "I don't understand the technology these days".  

I'm lost but I am making the most effort to make sure I am behind him every step, keeping an eye on what he's doing, learning how to use what he is using and keeping my kids internet safe.