Tuesday, 31 March 2015

I Could Rule The World

14 -  I met my first love

16 -  I left school and went to work.

18  - My parents died within 5 months of each other. I found the courage to walk away from the destructive relationship.

22 - I miscarried at 12 weeks.

23 - I had pre-cancerous cells in my cervix and had laser treatment.

24 - I met my true love.

27  - We married.

31 - I became a Mother.

35 - I became a Mother again.

40 - I got a puppy.

I have found love, suffered loss and grief, spent one day as the centre of attention and had the proudest moments and achievements of my life.  I am middle aged and I can rule the world.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Itsy Bitsy Artsy Crafty Inspiration

When I was a little girl I liked to do things that are synonymous with little girls, dancing, twirling a ribbon around like Olga Corbett (one for the over 40's gang there), drawing and making things. I was never happier than when I was sitting at the kitchen table with my pens & pencils, making Christmas decorations or Easter pom-pom chicks. 

As I grew older, I grew out of making things. Life took over and I found pleasure in books and television. After concentrating at work all day; I didn't want to come home and concentrate more. 

When the 9yo was coming up to being one, I made a lovely birthday card of the Teletubbies in Teletubby land. I had great intentions of sending it off to CBeebies but ran out of time.  I finished the card and it's still in the box of "stuff" I keep to embarrass the 9yo with when he's a big burly man.

This was probably one of the only projects I did actually complete.  I am a "giver upper".  I start all enthusiastic then the initial excitement wears off. The "project" isn't finished as quickly as I thought it would, it's not "perfect" and I run out of steam. I abandon projects and move on, usually to a good book which I know I can finish and fulfils my sense of accomplishment.

Yesterday, I went to the Arts & Craft show at the Excel Centre in London.  To say I was inspired was an understatement. There were so many things to make and do.  I was particularly fascinated by the marbling, the cushions with lots of buttons on and the advent calendars with little pockets.  Now I'm thinking I should maybe invest in a 2nd hand sewing machine and join Etsy and make my fortune selling shabby chic furniture on FaceBook. 

On the other hand, I'll keep my secret stash of felt tips away from the 5yo and just do some secret colouring in.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Weekend Of Pain

This weekend has been one of "those" weekends where basically everything goes tits up.

In the week, the 5yo had ulcers, large nasty buggers on her tongue. After 92 redials, and an hours wait in the surgery to see the doctor, we were packed off to buy Anbesol. I swiped it over her sore tongue and promptly sent her through the roof. If she'd have remembered the expletives Mummy sometimes uses I could have forgiven her for using them. That's £4.50 I won't see again.

Fast forward to Friday evening, her tongue now has a white coating with what looks like a pink blister. By Saturday morning she doesn't want to eat and drink. Well she does, she's hungry but it all hurts her mouth.

Unfortunately she has a huge aversion to medicine. Calpol, Nurofen, you name it. I've tried putting it in drinks and yogurts, begging, cuddling, cajoling, shouting, threatening hospital stays with big injections but nothing can convince her to take them.

I decided to take her to a walk in clinic. We were triaged quickly and then waited another hour & half to see the GP. The 5yo has strep throat & strawberry tongue which may or may not turn into Scarlet Fever. Apparently the strawberry tongue is a massive symptom of Scarlet Fever along with fever and a rash which luckily she doesn't have.  We may have caught this just in time but she is highly contagious.

We're prescribed an aggressive 10 day course of antibiotics. How am I going to get them into her? I know from previous experience that you can get other flavours of amoxicillin apart from the regular banana. Finding an actual chemist that stocks it is another thing! I deposited miserable child with the Grandparents and went in search. I found lemon flavour at a local Superdrug store.  Unfortunately they didn't have a 10 day supply so I have taken what I can and have to go back in the week.

After an up and down night, Sunday heralded the part of my weekend that makes me want to climb under the duvet covers and hide. Sunday means HOMEWORK.  Now its the 9yo turn. Again we end up with lots of screaming (me) crying (9yo) and all over spellings, grammar and other literary based things.It doesn't help that the literacy grammar homework sheets sent home have at least two grammatical errors which make reading the sentences harder.   Finally we compromise on the 9yo doing at least half.  It should be pretty basic stuff; a sentence with a word missing and he has the choice of four or five words to put in there.  The problem is my 9yo cannot grasp past tense or construct a sentence without the word "like" in it like 49 times.   Still we trudge on whilst I repeat the Mum's Mantra "This Too Shall Pass"

The 5 yo is still in pain, she is taking the antibiotics (she loves Doctors and will do everything they say) but is still fighting me over actual pain killers. Daddy went on a shop run for jelly & ice cream. I went on a shop run for different flavoured pain killers.  We managed to get her to take some Calpol mixed in with ice cream. It seemed to work for about an hour but at least we saw a glimpse of her back to her old self.
Dr Raj - Cbeebies "Get Well Soon"

Friday, 20 March 2015

5 Things I can't live Without

There are things people can't live without. Apart from the obvious of food & water there are other things that sometimes keep us sane or just downright happy.

1) Tea. Nothing special. No fancy schmancy pretenders. No fruit tea shit. Just a plain cup of tea. Milk no sugar thank you very much. It gets me on the move in the morning and soothes me in times of high stress and has the magical ability to help me block out the kids noise.  I keep hinting I'd like a teas-made but no-ones got it yet.

2) Books. I love sitting down with a good book. It gives me a bit of "me time" I'm happy with a thriller, historical fiction, a horror story or a chic-lit romcom type.

3) Television. I am an avid viewer.  If I'm not reading; I'm watching TV.  I love a period drama, a good detective story, a comedy.. hmm see my book taste.

4) Sugar. No I don't eat cubes of sugar. To be a bit more precise, I need biscuits, cake & sweets. Preferably in that order.  Oh and Krispy Kremes.

5) Slippers. What can I say. There is no experience better than after a long day out than sinking your feet into your comfy slippers that make you feel like you are walking on clouds.

In no particular order, although tea should be number one.. ALWAYS


Monday, 16 March 2015

I'm Proud To Turn Into My Mum

I was the child of older parents, I was born in 1973 when my Mum was two months away from turning 42 and my Dad was 50.  So my parents were pre-war babies, 1924 and 1932. 

I lost my parents when I was 18.

Looking back now, with my own children they seem quite disinterested about dead people they never knew which is so sad. There is no relevance for them to the people they should have known and loved. It's like looking at someone else's family photos and being polite.

Mothering Sunday was yesterday and for me whilst I have a lovely day with my family, my children and my parents in law who I love dearly; it's also a time for reflection.

I was a truly precocious nine year old and turned into a bratty teenager.  My Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when I was just 14.  It's such an impressionable age, torn between thinking you are grown up enough to make decisions for yourself in some respect but being child enough to need your Mum and Dad.

I always had a better relationship with my Dad than my Mum. He was more relaxed, joked with my friends; always had a smile.  Mum was more stern, stricter and in control.  Now I see she was the glue that held us all together and had to be the one to keep everything running smoothly.  How much pain had she gone through and just gritted her teeth and got on with it?

Mum went through chemotherapy and radio therapy. She spent weeks in hospital and at Trinity Hospice in Clapham.  I couldn't visit.  I couldn't face it.  I buried my head in the sand. If I ignored it, it would go away.  I was jealous of my brother, who; when Mum was home would lie next to her on her bed and talk to her for hours and hours. 

School was a safe haven. I was naughty but a cheeky naughty, not nasty.  I was too distracted to really apply myself and failed most of my GCSE's.  By then Dad had retired at 65 having been a civil servant. My older brother and I had to go to work to help pay the bills. So at 16 I was in the big wide world of employment. 

It was a tough couple of years. I really thought I was grown up, earning money, paying for driving lessons; I had a boyfriend and felt quite independent.  My relationship with my Mum at this time was still rather strained. She could see my relationship wasn't great but being the stubborn bugger I was I dug my heels in and refused to listen. 

A month after my 18th birthday at the age of 59, my Mum passed away in Trinity Hospice. I wasn't there and whilst it was expected, it was unexpected.  I felt so lost without my Mum.

I have now spent more of my lifetime without my Mum than I had with her.  When I am with my children and I am speaking to them or telling them off. If we are having fun and creating lasting memories. I realise I am proud to say:

I am turning into my Mum.

Friday, 13 March 2015

She'll Go Far That One

The 5year old aka mini Kim Jong-un hasn't earned that name for nothing.

She will argue black is white, she is never wrong and although only in reception at school she knows more than me already. (Apparently).

She is highly competitive, and will try to be first, the best, the leader, numero uno.  All great qualities if you want to be a world leader or top athlete. What she isn’t; is bossy.  She watches quietly, you can see the cogs ticking as she thinks about how to turn a situation to her advantage.  If she thinks she can't win at something then she will point blank refuse to do it. Never play the memory game or snakes & ladders against her. She wins far more often than she loses and I'm not one to let a child win for the sake of it! She will make a great Machiavellian politician.

But what if your only competition is your family? Your older brother, parents and dog?  Seriously, she cannot even let the dog win in a game of tug!

She will bite off her nose to spite her face. To get her to do what you want in any way you have to use a bit of reverse psychology. “I prefer the red dress to the pink one; I really want the plain biscuit and not the chocolate one”.  She is going to suss this very soon!

Already at five she completely out classes her 9 year old brother in the sneaky stakes, she can manipulate him into probably doing anything for her.  He knows he is being used and apart from being frustrated, he is powerless to change anything. The only argument and tool he can use against her is that he was born first and she was second. That hits her where it hurts and can never be changed.

So now the challenge is on to channel that desire to be best into something positive. We are enrolling in gymnastics to start with and see how that goes.

I’ll not be surprised if she doesn’t become the next Beth Tweddle, Rebecca Adlington or Maggie Thatcher.

Move over J is on her way!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

My Dog, My Baby

We have a gorgeous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

He's 19 months old and my kids will tell you I treat him better than them. Maybe I do, he smothers me with unconditional love, looks contrite when he's been naughty and doesn't answer back when he's sent to bed.

Recently I came home from work and although given my enthusiastic greeting, it was interspersed with cries of pain and whimpering. He could move but every step was agony.

Off we tripped to the vets , he was given an anti-inflammatory injection (queue more screaming) and tablets plus pain killers to take home.

After a few days it was apparent there was no improvement. He was banned from walks and only allowed in the garden, on the lead to stop him running around. Even stepping over the threshold from the garden had him screaming.  We were carrying him in his basket up and down stairs, not having crate trained as a puppy.

Back to the vets, stronger anti-inflammatory drugs and tramadol pain killers. It should have enough to knock him out but the pain must have been unbearable.

We arranged x-rays and it showed he had a condition called hip displaysia. The ball doesn't sit flush in the socket.  The vet referred us to the surgical vets featured in the Channel 4 series; The Supervet.  They confirmed the diagnoses but felt he was too young for surgery and if possible we should wait.  If he does need surgery, it could be a full hip replacement at a cost of £6,000. We are insured but have a two thousand pound limit. We would be looking at finding the other £4,000 ourselves.  

In my distressed state I said I would pay anything for him to be better but Mr.M didn't quite see it so clearly.  I said I would get a loan, use a credit card, do anything.  I was threatening divorce before my beloved puppy was written off. But what if we couldn't pay for it?  I couldn't give him away because he's not perfect.  

I spent a lot of my time crying, it did feel like one of my children was going through a horrible trauma.

Thankfully, over the weeks the puppy started to get better and we managed to wean him off the all the anti-inflammatories and pain killers.  We are back to trips to the park but if he runs too much he is sore and stiff for a couple of days. He's like a little old man.

One day he will need a full hip replacement but whilst I can keep him pain free and mainly medication free, I can save up my pennies for that day.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Wicked Wednesday, Red Nose Day


Food For Thought

In our house is a combination of fussy eaters (5yo), normal eaters (me), non fruit eaters (9yo) & hot food scoffer (Mr.M).

Every week I try to precision plan a menu to suit everyone but I rarely succeed in feeding us all what we would like.  I refuse to cook lots of different meals.

5yo loves roast but not potatoes, I like pies but 5yo wont entertain pastry or pizza or peas. Maybe it's a "P" thing? 9yo will eat most dinners but has texture issues and Mr.M more or less put up with what's in front of him but will moan.

Mr.M also watches an awful lot of cookery shows but can barely boil an egg. He wanders into the kitchen gives something a stir, gets in the way and if I'm making a curry; tries to convince me to put diced apple in it.

It doesn't help that I don't enjoy cooking and can often be found watching pans with one eye and Netflix or a book with the other. I am woman. I can multitask!

However, we all have one thing in common: pudding!

 Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Monday, 2 March 2015

10 Embarrassing Mistakes & Life Lessons I've Learned

We all make mistakes, sometimes they are huge f**k ups, sometimes they are silly things and sometimes they are just downright embarrassing.  Often, they help us learn a life lesson.

Here's some of my mine:

1. If you are going to wear trousers two days in a row, check there aren't a pair of knickers bulging out the back of your leg like a terrible case of varicose veins or falling out the bottom of your trouser leg in the middle of a packed pub.

2. It is nigh on impossible for a girl to wee crouching down behind a bush.

3. If someone "thinks" you are pregnant in a queue or on public transport, don't be offended. Style it out and go to the front of the queue or take the seat offered.

4. If you have to gossip about someone you know on public transport, make sure one of their close family members isn't sitting behind you first.

5. Don't send that email moaning about someone... to them cc'd by mistake

6. Always carry a packet of tissues, a handful of snot is not a good winter accessory and they are often useful for the time a public toilet has no paper.

7. Never use butter to try and help you get a ring off your finger.

8. Climbing a tree doesn't mean you can get back down again.

9. Falling downstairs isn't a good look when you are wearing your period knickers. (yes you know the ones, the bigger, the older, the comfier the better)

10. Never believe a word your neighbours say after bumping in to them at the same hotel abroad in your swimming cossie.  They said they were going to Cornwall!