Monday, 31 January 2011

Gainful Employment.

While my current bosses, Miss B and Master A are a pleasure to work for I am in need of some readies to put toward my self-employment dream.


So while I had set a date to start looking for work, days before a lovely woman contacted ME to find out if I'd like a job! Huh?! So I did a telephone interview, met up with the boss today and have a job! Not some ad hoc, one time contract but a proper regular job working from home!

A proper job!*

*excuse the over-excited use of exclamation marks. I'm still recovering from shock...

P.S You know that post I wrote regarding flat hunting. Have just had three Twitter messages from Letting Agents with properties that meet our criteria. SPOOKY!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Getting older - A's milestones AKA I'm not ready to be a Grandmother!!!!

When your little ones are small you count the various milestones and changes throughout their various stages. Sometimes we forget that when they get older, the milestones continue. For us the milestones in A's life have always been a little obscured due to his ASD. We were worried about what would happen we he reached puberty but had forgotten about that little phase called pre-puberty. He's all hormonal and gangly and has developed the most annoying sigh in history. Usually aimed at me, he lifts his shoulders and lets out this long exaggeration breath when asked to wash his hand, tidy his room and in general had adopted the demeanour of Kevin the Teenager despite being 11.


This year has an will be a big one for us as it's the last year of primary school and the first half of S1. Bigger kids go through phases where not an awful lot changes and so this stage seems to be an accelerated process. Last year in P6 he had a fantastic teacher but one who wasn't overly keen on masses of homework. This year however, his teacher is hardcore and is charged with the task of getting these kids ready to finish primary school and mature enough to handle the start of a new phase in their lives, high school. There has been a few things that have made me gasp this year already and I am sitting here at the kitchen table preparing another one.

He has already had his first visit to high school. This is all part of the year long transition process of, I suppose, weaning them off of primary school. The visit made me nervous as it was coupled with an event that asked local employers to come into the school to demonstrate to the kids that already they need to think about life after high school. My first thoughts were something along the lines of "whoa!" and "slow down!". They're there for two minutes and then they have a bunch of strangers lecturing them about careers! Gulp! It went as I thought it would go. All the information about their prospective careers went right over their heads.

This year has really put the pressure on him to catch up to his peers which has made for a stressful time at school. He copes better some days than others and is enjoying his breakdancing as an outlet for his frustrations. At some point on Friday night he saw fit to inform me that he was starting a new project at school and I would need to go and buy the stuff that he needed this weekend to have ready for Monday. My reaction to this was quickly overshadowed by my astonishment at what the project actually involved: a flour baby!

Yes, you read that correctly. A flour baby. For the next two weeks, A (aged 11) must care for and look after a flour baby. This involves arranging babysitting, taking it to school, not leaving it on the bus, keeping it dry and keeping a journal for the duration. The flour baby will be weighed three times a week to ensure it is still alive and well. While I suspect that the nuances of this task will be completely lost on A it will be interesting to see how this pans out. I was sorely tempted to print out a template face so replacements could be bought for when the baby is left on the bus, dropped in the canal, dropped at break time. He has also been warned that he will not be attending any after school activities unless he has arranged a baby sitter beforehand. It was at this point in our discussion of the rules that he first referred to me as Granny when he presumed that as it's Granny I would automatically babysit the thing given five minutes notice. Think on buddy! Welcome to parenthood. I will try not to get carried away with the task. Oh Daddy wondered if I was joking when I threatened to burst into A's room at 3:15 AM with a recording of B screaming to simulate real parenting.

I joke about the task but really it concerns me. All of a sudden, the kids in A's year seem to be propelled into some sort of faux adulthood. This experiment is meant to demonstrate the responsibility involved in looking after a baby The only time I have ever seen or heard of this type of exercise was on some TV show that tried to convince teenage delinquents that it really isn't clever impregnating/or being impregnated at such a young age. The show's participants were under the illusion that upon leaving school at 16 there are no other options than getting pregnant and getting a Cooncil Hoose! Now if we lived in an area where the rates of teenage pregnancy were high, then I could see the point and given that we live in an area where if you have a child before you're 35 is frowned upon, I think this exercise is ridiculous. If it were to happen during their high school years, then I would see the point. Yet everyone I have spoken to has no problem with this...



Do you think he's far too young? Have you done this experiment?

Dear So and So...

Well I've gone a bit mad and started looking for new flats.

I've always kept an eye on what comes up on the market but had ignored the emails lately focusing on other things. Whilst discussing moving house with a friend who like us needs a bigger place, three fanastic places dropped into my inbox. Seeing as I'm a kind of strike while the iron's still hot kinda gal, I arranged viewing for this week and have been to see a few. Given that we live near the City Centre in Edinburgh and we're clearly not millionaires, wherever we go next there will need to be some degree of compromise. But where exactly this compromise will be, I have no idea. I've been to view a house and a flat so far. The house was very exciting as it's quite near the centre and has a garden but the layout of the house has been tampered with to make the property a three bedroom one. Since the viewing we have ruled it out as it's only really comfortable as a two bedroom property. I've seen one that is very exciting but it has a few niggles and niggles that concern me. It is quite possibly the biggest flat I've every seen in our price range and it has some beautiful original features but is further out the centre than I would've liked. Despite me reminding the mothers of Edinburgh that this city really is a tiny place, moving here would mean moving Toddler groups and mixing with a completely new and different set of mothers. Also because I'm apparently a fussy bugger, I'm finding it hard to get past the horrible carpets and bogging light fittings. Seeing as we're renting, I can't get around the faults. So do we sacrifice space for a garden and our own front door or so I look past the navy blue and gold carpets and faux brass chandeliers for masses of space? Hmm...

Anyway, the point of this post was supposedly to do another meme. I had thought that I'd discovered pretty much most of the parent bloggers out there but while Googling three bedroom bungalow, I found another fab read. Kat over at (funily enough) Three Bedroom Bungalow blows off a little steam each week by writing a post entitled Dear So and So... Given that I like to vent via the glorious medium of blogging I thought that I'd join in.



****************************

Dear Pinot Grigio,

I'm sorry that I didn't get to enjoy more of your company last night but after one glass together, I fell asleep.

Yours,

Lightweight.

****************************

Dear Flat,

Why oh why can't you magically grow another bedroom. I like you very much and wanted to be friends for longer.

Yours,

The person who doesn't hoover enough.

*****************************

Dear BBC,

Can you remind me please why I pay my license fee? If I see one more celebrity dancing, I may just throw our television out of the window and then you can't prosecute me for not having one.

Sincerely,

Reality TV Hater.

*******************************

Dear Christmas Sweeties,

I know that Santa brought you for our lovely children and that you expected to be enjoyed by someone with fingers far smaller than mine. I'm really sorry for taking you out of the packet and eating you very late at night.

With Regret,

Greedy Mummy

*******************************
Dear Readers,

Thanks for being here.

Yours,

Oh Mammy. xxx

Friday, 28 January 2011

Facebook Friday Week 4 Bloghop

Huzzah, It's Friday again!

So for the uninitiated it's my turn to host Facebook Friday.



What happens is you click on the linky tool below and submit the link to your Facebook Fan page. A bloghop of sorts...

It's a chance for us to share our blogs with each other and boost our readership but also a chance to view  those personal little messages that we might post on our pages. The link will be active for a week and then next week it's the turn again of the utterly fabulous GhostWriterMummy. If you're new here,please take a minute to stop and have a browse at my blog and also my Facebook Page.

Submit your link

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3.

I adore this meme by Mich at Mummy from the heart. It helps me reflect on the past week whilst looking forward to the week ahead. I was reminded that it was time to do this when others' posts started appearing on my newsfeed and thought "Urgh!" I'm too tired to do this...

I've had a great week as usual and we're not poorly for a change I'm just a little tired and despite four cups of coffee and a Milkybar (stolen from the kids stash!) still feel zombie-like. Still, I have plenty of reasons to be cheerful and here they are:


1. Team Oh Mammy. I love these guys. Even now after all these years, I'm sitting in my kitchen, concocting recipes for tonight dinner, writing this and thinking about Oh Daddy coming home and I'm really excited. Things are calm for the moment as Miss B is having a very late nap and A is doing his homework but the place will erupt with a new energy when Daddy comes home and we'll be having a blether over dinner.

2. Weekends. For the first time in a very long time we have made very little plans for this weekend which either leaves a world of possibilities or the prospect of doing nothing. Absolutely nothing at all, I might stay in my Pyjamas...

3. Weather. It has been mild this week and we haven't had to leave the house wearing forty million layers and it hasn't taken us 20 minutes to get out the door. I'm all about the simple pleasures, me...

What's yours?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

IHEARTME Week 3

This is actually quite a hard meme to do.

I seem to be so focused on my family (through my own choice, cos' that's how I roll...) that it's hard to stop and think about myself sometimes. That and the fact that I didn't understand the question this week:

What Mummy/Parenting behaviour ignores “you”, making you want to laugh, scream or cry?

I think the purpose of this was to answer the question what part of parenting or being a parent ignores the real you or at least goes against the grain of something that embodies you. Something that you have to do as a parent that otherwise you wouldn't do. Hmm...

Marylin at Soft Thistle wrote about the lack of sleep that we all experience, to varying degrees, as a parent. Notes to Self wrote about the horrors of having to go to Centre Parcs on Holiday.

Erm....

.....



This IS hard! I suppose I just suppress all of those little things we do for our kids that our much younger and far cooler selves would have gasped in horror if we even suggested being like this, acting like this. Like Marylin, I cannot survive and/or function without sleep. I am useless if I don't get enough sleep and I'm one of those people who never get enough sleep whether it's five or fifteen hours! I am all too aware that at times I sound like my mother and while I try and keep a check on this, there is part of me that my mother sounded like every other mother out there who'd had enough of their child's behaviour and general messy demeanour. Unlike Notes, we've never had the funds because of my studies or as children to go to Center Parcs. I did visit a Butlin's holiday camp in the early 1980's which was horrendous and very sedate due to my mother having one too many, climbing onto a mechanical Bucking Broncho and putting out her back for the duration of our prison camp holiday.

I suppose the one thing that makes me laugh, cry and makes me cringe is kids kulture. By this I mean media marketing at kids, kids TV, kids music, kids character clothing. I'm a complete snob about it and I wish I wasn't (cringe). While I don't subscribe to exposing them to the high arts and only that, all of this nonsense on the CBBC can't be good for them despite being devised by a panel of so called experts. Things have changed so much since I was wee that I detest most of these in their current incarnation. Even when A was small and Teletubbies were all the rage, I gave him Sesame Street videos to watch. His favourite film was Toy Story so I bought him all of the toys and the books associated with the film but never bought him Toy Story trainers or clothing because they're tacky. I draw the line at character pyjamas but then I've never really shopped for clothes in a place that sells character clothing. A never exhibited a desire to wear Ben 10 trainers or pick out clothing based on what was on the front of it. I have a feeling that B will be different though....damn! I think kids should play with developmentally stimulating creative toys and not act like Mummy's with dolls so my snobbery is bound up in what I buy for the kids. When discussing this view with a friend she laughed and said "let kids be kids" but really is that what it is all about? Are children being children if they are demanding clothing emblazoned with the latest Disney film character on it. Or having a tantrum in a shoe shop because you wont buy the light up CBeebies trainers? My mother didn't buy us character clothing and I remember going into a gigantic huff about this. That is the laughable part...

To vaccinate or not?

The MMR-autism link has been in the press again. The doctor whose research 12 years ago sparked the MMR vaccine controversy, Andrew Wakefield, faced what some called his "judgement day" at the General Medical Council(GMC) on Thursday afternoon. In February 1998, The Lancet published a paper written by British physician Andrew Wakefield and 12 co-authors that linked autism to the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella in eight of 12 children they had studied. Since then, the Lancet, a British medical journal that originally published the study in 1998, retracted it after questions about its accuracy. Another publication, the British Medical Journal, recently reported that the research behind the study was tainted. The Wakefield case raises fresh questions. How rigorous are ethical checks on medical research? Who pays for the science we all read about? And again, questions over peer review, and just how robust this process is, given its aim of questioning new science before it is published.


After the Wakefield publication, panic ensued and vaccine rates in the UK plummeted. By the time it came to vaccinating three years later, the panic had calmed. Subsequent media campaigns from the NHS followed and charged parents with recklessness and implored them to vaccinate their child lest a measles epidemic spread again. The decision to immunise children, in my view is influenced by three things: the parents' willingness, the doctor/health visitor’s attitude and input toward guiding the decision, and the vaccine's availability. Since there was no supply shortage during the study period, the decline can only be attributed to either the parents' or the health care provider's reluctance to vaccinate. Given that the science part is complicated, I was intrigued by the public panic at the time. The study didn't state that the vaccine caused autism but that in 8 of the 12 children studies post vaccination had exhibited a type of autism that was coupled with severe intestinal problems. I read the report at the time and was confused by it's findings and it's conclusion and thought nothing of it until the next day when splashed all over the newspapers and television was a report that giving your child the MMR vaccine could cause autism. The story ran in varying degrees for weeks. A public panic is never generated by one man alone, no matter how elaborate his fraud. Many factors, beyond Wakefield’s designs, contributed to the anti-MMR madness. There was the weakened state of the medical elite, battered by the Bristol and Alder Hey scandals, which felt incapable and/or unwilling to assert its authority over Wakefield’s theories. And there was media cynicism, the media’s desperate search for an anti-government hero whom they could hold up as a beautiful, principled contrast to the dark, ugly forces that govern our lives. Thus did respectable publications get all hot under the collar over Wakefield, with one describing him as a handsome, glossy-haired hero.


Today’s media assaults on Wakefield at best ignore the specific circumstances in which his theories were able to spread, and at worst represent a cynical attempt by some of those who failed to challenge his theories in the late 1990s to now cover their tracks. What I think were seeing is the flip-side of the 90's Wakefield support and it has made me distrustful. Distrustful of the fickle media and of the medical establishment. Where those journalists who fell for Wakefield’s charms tried to turn him into a symbol of Good against corrupt authority, today’s enlightened hacks turn him into a symbol of Evil who apparently set science back 10 years and brainwashed the otherwise perfectly rational middle classes. It’s a nice story. And it will allow anti-Wakefield journalists to feel puffed-up with science-tinged righteousness. But it will do nothing to challenge the political cynicism and suspicion of man’s endeavours that nurtured the MMR panic, and which still exist in different arenas today.


Right folks, I put the above question to you to vaccinate or not and would love your feedback. Whether you have normal or Neuro-Typical children, kids on the spectrum, with Aspergers or otherwise I would love to hear what you think about the MMR scare and its subsequent press. Did it influence your decision to vaccinate your children? Was it something that you ignored? We all panicked in the beginning and then shook our heads as the findings were discredited and the offending scientist struck off but I want to know what you REALLY think. This is something that I've been meaning to post about for a while but I was propelled into writing by a BBC programme last night that asked the question 'do we trust science any more?'. While this question is potentially misleading and it really should have been do we trust the scientists, the MMR debate is only one of a number of recent scares that has weakened the general public's faith in the medical establishment. 







Wordless Wednesdays - Flashmob

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Listography - Top 5 things I wish I could do.



Right, it's that time again. I've taken quite a shine to these blogging meme's. For the uninitiated a meme is an idea, challenges, or games that circulate around blogs of differing genres. You can pick and choose at will if you are not tagged.


Given that I must have a touch of OCD (either that or early onset OldTimers as my memory is shockingly bad!)and love to make lists on a daily basis, what better than to make lists about a theme set by another each week?

So the theme for this week is five things that I wish that I could do:

1) Speak a foreign language fluently. Saying that, I barely have a grip on the English language...

2) See. Seriously, I am still wearing the wrong strength contact lenses! To regain the power of full sight I would have to traipse up the hill and go to the opticians and order the proper strength because "oh ho ho ho, no we don't stock THAT strength in store we have to order them SPECIALLY..." and then traipse back down the hill, wait for 3 to 5 working days and then traipse back up the hill... You get the idea. I should mention that the opticians is beside A's school so the fact I havent done this is just pure laziness.




3) Be more tolerant of people. People piss me off far too easily.
Far too easily...









4) Bugger off!  There is a bit of nomad in me and feel claustrophobic sometimes being tied down to one place. Yes, I know that kids need stability etc etc blah blah blah but sometimes I wish that we could all grab a pair of clean knickers, a toothbrush and a passport and just bugger off. Somewhere, anywhere and anyhow. Please note, this comes from a person who has only ever been glamping because the thought of living in a tent without some sort of exoticism attached to it is just too boggin'.


5) Make things. Alright, this I can actually do and in fact I am very good at being creative and making things.I severely lack the time, the money and the patience to do this at the moment. I had thought about buying a sewing machine at Christmas and making B some dresses but then I priced up nice fabric and I could just go and buy a lovely dress for the same price and not have to faff about threading needles with my big sausage fingers...



That's my listography done. What's yours?

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties...

Happy Burns day!


To celebrate Scotland's favourite son, Team Oh Mammy have a packed day and night planned.


We're off to the wonderful Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile to hear Tiny Tales. Tiny Tales is a fantastic storytelling session for babies six month plus and today's event is hosted by none other than Burns himself and his moose!

Then after a spot of lunch we are congregating outside St Giles' Church for a Burns flashmob! Organised by the Scottish Poetry Library, we'll be belting out A Man's a Man.

Is there for honest Poverty 
That hings his head, an' a' that; 
The coward slave-we pass him by, 
We dare be poor for a' that! 
For a' that, an' a' that. 
Our toils obscure an' a' that, 
The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The Man's the gowd for a' that. 

What though on hamely fare we dine, 
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that; 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine; 
A Man's a Man for a' that: 
For a' that, and a' that, 
Their tinsel show, an' a' that; 
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, 
Is king o' men for a' that. 

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord, 
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that; 
Tho' hundreds worship at his word, 
He's but a coof for a' that: 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
His ribband, star, an' a' that: 
The man o' independent mind 
He looks an' laughs at a' that. 

A prince can mak a belted knight, 
A marquis, duke, an' a' that; 
But an honest man's abon his might, 
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that! 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
Their dignities an' a' that; 
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, 
Are higher rank than a' that. 

Then let us pray that come it may, 
(As come it will for a' that,) 
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth, 
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that. 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
It's coming yet for a' that, 
That Man to Man, the world o'er, 
Shall brothers be for a' that.


I would imagine we'll sound nothing like this:



We can but try though!



After that we'll be getting ready to go to a fabulous Burns supper and a wee dram at a dear friends house.


Have a guid yin!

xx

Friday, 21 January 2011

Foo' to the Gunwales...

I've just realised that in my post festive season/start of term frenzy I haven't talked about food for a while (unless you count slagging off Marco Pierre White that is). This is perhaps due to the food circuit being largely uninspiring during the post festive excess lull that usually happens in January. Boring, boring, boring recipes appear and everyone, everywhere talks of slimmer soups and fat free fun free food. Not me though...

Now the one thing I fail to feel guilty about is eating. It's just too damned good. The house being a mess, not washing my hair everyday, fobbing off A's requests for a packed lunch and giving him dinner money, hiding the ironing in the boxroom - these are all things I feel guilty about constantly. Stuffing my face with delicious treats, gourmet foods and eating out more times than we can afford -do not really register with me. I don't drink, I don't smoke and so bugger it, I eat!


 Szechuan pork 

             Ingredients

  1. 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  2. 2 shallots
  3. 2.5cm piece fresh ginger
  4. 1 red chilli
  5. 500g pork mince
  6. 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  7. 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  8. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  9. 1 tbsp honey
  10. 1 lime
  11. 350g basmati rice
  12. 165ml can coconut milk
  13. 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a pan or wok and fry 2 shallots, finely sliced, with 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, sliced, and 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add 500g pork mince and quickly brown, then stir in 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (Sainsbury’s, Tesco or oriental grocers), crushed, and 1 tsp Chinese five-spice and cook for a couple of minutes. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey and the juice of 1 lime and cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook 350g basmati rice in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and return to the pan over a low heat with a 165ml can coconut milk until it is absorbed.
  4. Stir 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander into the mince and serve on a bed of coconut rice. Garnish with some finely sliced spring onions, chilli and fresh ginger. 
Oriental Roast Chicken with Coconut Gravy

             Ingredients

  1. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  2. 2 tsp Thai spice blend or Chinese five-spice powder
  3. ½ tsp coarse salt
  4. Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra 1 lime, halved
  5. 1.5kg whole free-range chicken
  6. 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  7. 4 thick slices fresh ginger
  8. 2 lime leaves (look for Bart Spices dried lime leaves, from major supermarkets)
  9. 200g carton coconut cream
  10. 200ml chicken stock, hot
  11. 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste (we like Thai Taste, from most major supermarkets)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Mix together the oil, spice blend, salt and lime zest and juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture evenly onto the chicken skin.
  2. Pop the lime halves into the body cavity, along with the lemongrass, ginger and lime leaves. Sit in a roasting tin and roast for 1½ hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Tip any juices inside the body cavity into the tin, then lift the chicken onto a plate and rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour off the fat, then stir the coconut cream, stock and curry paste into the juices left in the tin, and cook in the oven for a further 5 minutes, until hot. Carve the chicken and serve with the coconut gravy and some steamed greens, such as pak choi, and rice.

 Moroccan spiced soup with jewelled couscous 

     

             Ingredients

  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 450g beef rump or sirloin, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-size pieces
  3. 2 small onions, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1 carrot, cut into small dice
  6. 2 celery sticks, diced
  7. 1 heaped tbsp harissa paste (try Bart Spices Harissa Paste or Belazu Rose Harissa, from the spice and condiment section in supermarkets), plus extra to serve
  8. 2 tsp plain flour
  9. 1.2 litres vegetable stock, hot
  10. 400g can chopped tomatoes
  11. 75g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  12. 900g butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and cut into small cubes

For the jewelled couscous

  1. 175g couscous
  2. 300ml vegetable stock, hot
  3. 2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  4. 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, reduce the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the carrot and celery, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened slightly. Stir in the harissa paste and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot vegetable stock.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and apricots, then bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the butternut squash and return the beef to the soup. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both the squash and beef are tender.
  5. Meanwhile, make the jewelled couscous. Put the couscous into a large bowl. Pour over the hot stock, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid. Fluff up the grains with a fork, then stir in the tomatoes and mint. Season.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Pile a spoonful of couscous in the centre and serve with extra harissa on the side. 
 

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3.

It's week three already of Mich's Linky from Mummy from the Heart's blog.

We're now recovering from all of our various bugs and getting our energy back so this week has been a better one.

So without further ado:

1) It's Friday! Which involves an early school pick up, lunch out with my big and small bubs, trip to the Speech Therapist for more assessments for big bubs, book group with wee bubs while bigger bubs goes to breakdancing. I'm making Szechuan tonight and possibly having a few ales...

2) We've got a very busy weekend ahead of us. I have just realised how mental it is so I might have to revise this one...

3) Our beautiful baby girl. She is such a joy and really blossoming into such a wonderful toddler. She makes us laugh constantly. This week she has become very concerned about our safety and warns us every time we go near something hot by touching her hand to her mouth and letting out a big gasp. It does mean however that I can't drink a cup of coffee in front of her.

What are your reasons?

xx

Facebook Friday Week 3

This weeks Facebook Friday is being held over at the wonderful GhostWriterMummy's blog.


http://ghostwritermummy.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/facebook-friday-week3/

Join in. xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Listography - Top 5 Celebrities I'd like to punch!

While Kate @KateTakesFive has a make-over, MetalMummy is hosting this weeks Listography.

Have you ever turned on the TV, picked up a trashy magazine, watched the news spotted a celebrity and thought to yourself "if you were standing in front of me right now, I'd punch you in the face!" I have. Repeatedly! This is a hard listography for me as I truly hate celebrities. I hate the cult of celebrity, reality TV and trashy magazines, so much so that for me celebrity is a dirty word. Decent actors/actresses, talented musicians, artists, dancers all get lumped in with the rest of the trash as celebrities.

I thought, at first, that I'd be facetious and say: 1) all of them with blonde hair 2) all of them with brown hair so I could include as many as possible but then that's a bit daft. I think you get my point...

So here are my five punchable celebs:

1) Jordan/Katie Price: Do I really have to explain why? *shudder...










2) Cheryl Cole: Again, do I really have to explain why? She's such a survivor isn't she?











3) James Corden: Am I the only person who doesn't think that he's funny?








4) Tom Cruise: For being an oddball and believing in the writings of a science fiction writer. For having his teeth fixed. For befriending the Beckhams. For starring in shite films.










and finally 5) Marco Pierre White: for rubbing a stock cube into a perfectly good steak. What an arsehole!

Wiggle and Giggle

Miss B and I are just back from her new activity and we're as high as kites! It's a toddler dance class and she loved every minute of it. She was excellent at being a tree and every time they started the music she let rip with her dance moves.

Sadly, we're not allowed to take photos or videos of the kids in class so I'll leave you with the sentiments of Elton John who captures perfectly what our morning was about.

xx

Wordless Wednesdays - Our Big Girl...






Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Fancy knowing 7 new things about me?

The very lovely Mich at Mummyfromtheheart has tagged me in a meme attached to a stylish blogger award. My first one! Thank you!


The only rule attached to this is that I have to tell you 7 completely new factoids about my little old self and tag other bloggers that I know. Seeing as I haven't been blogging that long or taken part in these meme's before, it should be relatively easy. Or is it?



1. I can't swim. I had hearing problems as a child and needed little plastic grommets inserted into my ear canals to allow me to hear. Back then, they weren't as sophisticated as they are now and the doctors advised me not to put my head under water. The grommets were only supposed to last a short time but were there for 6 years. During that entire time, I didn't go anywhere near beaches, pools etc. As a consequence I hate being splashed whilst being in the pool and I freak out a little if I get water in my ears whilst in the shower.

2. I have nine and a half toes. I have a freaky toe that stopped growing years ago. I Googled this to find out if there was a cause. My search returned no results...

3. I love Gossip Girl. It is my secret shame. I love American TV series and me and Oh Daddy own more and have watched more box sets than anyone we know. I had run out of things to watch while in those early breastfeeding days and discovered GG. The plot (...and I use that technical word in a very loose sense) centres around a bunch of bratty, privileged kids who whilst high on hormones, Cristal and class A drugs get up to all kind of mischief. It provides my high fashion fix now that SATC has died.

4. I am scared of pets. This is a terrible admission but I don't get them. I am severely allergic to animal fur/hair and I have such a bad reaction to it that it has made me incredibly wary of pets coming anywhere near me. For me there is no feeling equal or worse than visiting someone who has animals in the house and trying to be polite and hold a conversation whilst your throat closes up. My mother-in-law-equivalent is the only one who understands and the only house I can visit without going into Anaphylaxis. The worrying thing is people think you're overreacting or making it up and it's not until you're hospitalised that they bother to mutter "I didn't realise it was THAT bad..." I told you! So I start to sweat when they come near me.

5. I suffer from crippling stage fright. When I was at school one of my teachers entered me into Junior Masterchef but I refused to go. Also I was nominated for the BBC's Young Musician of the Year but I didn't hand over the permission for to my parents. When the 1990's Madchester scene hit I grew a long fringe and played in lots of bands. Shoegazing stopped the stage fright! For the first time in years, I have a shorter fringe than I have ever had.

6. I'm an accident waiting to happen. As a small child I was constantly recovering from one mishap or another. My little sister could swing from lamposts, climb the highest tree in the woods and avoid danger easily. When it was time for dinner I would have to go and fetch her from where she was playing. It was at this point that she would do a somersault and dismount from whatever she was climbing without a scratch and I would trip up over the pavement outside our house and knock a tooth out.

7. I feel lost without my lists. I make lists of everything I need to do,of every dinner I plan, of everything I want or plan to do. At Christmas, I had a list of my lists. I think I might have OCD...

There you go. Just in case you had you hadn't guessed that I am a bit mental, you know now.

And so I'll pass this onto:

@SusuRem
@Aresidence
@littleribbonroo
@SAHMlovingit
@northernmum1
@SuperAmazingMum
@helloitsgemma
@imperfectpages

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Music I want my children to love - Pearl Jam

I was turned on to this themed post by the lovely AlexanderResidence, HazelandBlue and GhostWriterMummy. Fantastic writers and as it turns out, all ladies with fabulous taste in music.

Fabulous of course because their tastes are to some degree reflected in my own, because my peeps, I am the WORST music snob ever! While I am open to suggestions, I tend to think that my tastes are Supreme (pardon the pun) and living with my burgeoning BBoy and a man who likes Bon Jovi, I am fully entitled to this opinion.

Music is a way of life for me. I am very serious about it. I know there are people out there who might like a catchy tune on the radio or let their musical tastes be dictated to them by the masses or what Heat magazine tells you is good. Try as I might, I simply cannot understand people who do not care about music! And by this I mean liking bands such as Boyzone and Girls Aloud people!

Music is a big part of our lives. From the mini music classes I do with B, to A's music lessons, his dancing and his collection of ipods, to dancing around the kitchen dancing and cooking and causing havoc, music is there always. When Oh Daddy and I first did the mating dance, music was there. Oooh, that's not as gross as it sounds, I mean when we were in the heady days of sizing each other up the conversation regarding musical tastes went on for days as we simultaneously poo-pooed bands or approved with raised eyebrows each others passions. He was warned well in advance that if he didn't have acceptable musical tastes, he would not have a look in.

So the theme of wanting your children to love bands that you do, once did or might do in the future, struck a familiar chord (again, apologies) with me.

So what will probably be the first in a long line of tirades about music. Here is the first band I want my children to love. Pearl Jam.


There are many, many reasons for this and nothing to do with my unspoken love for Eddie Vedder! I discovered them at the pinnacle of my plooky angst-ridden-Plath-reading teenage years. They spoke of a world that was broken, of a society that was imploding on itself and being wise men, offered an insight into the world. This is not really the Jam that I want my kids to engage with unless they reach that same stage in their adolescence. The first album is an angry album. The lyrics are snarling and mad at the injustices of the world. They tell of the wasted life of teenage suicide, of broken families. Nothing like my life and full of far more serious problems than I ever had.

The next album and the next few to follow are more mature, mellow, contemplative.

I am Mine. 
The selfish, they're all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
Me, I just figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind

The North is to South as the clock is to time
There's east and there's west and there's everywhere life
I know I was born and I know that I'll die
The in between is mine
I am mine

And the feeling, it gets left behind
All the innocence lost in one time
Significant, behind the eyes
There's no need to hide
We're safe tonight

The ocean is full 'cause everyone's crying
The full moon is looking for friends at hightide
The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow's denied
I only know my mind
I am mine

And the meaning, it gets left behind
All the innocents lost at one time
Significant, behind the eyes
There's no need to hide
We're safe tonight

And the feelings that get left behind
All the innocents broken with lies
Significance, between the lines
(We may need to hide)

And the meanings that get left behind
All the innocents lost at one time
We're all different behind the eyes
There's no need to hide

While you can read your own meaning into these lyrics, for me this song is about individuality and making the most of your life. It's about feeling secure about who you are, feeling free to be whoever you are and finally, embracing who you are.

I'm not going to start banging on about existentialism and Kierkegaard because it's boring. I implore you to hear this as Vedder's voice is truly haunting in this song and this certainly contains a message that I would want my kids to hear.


What I'd like for 2011

The wonderful blogger Notestoselfplustwo has started a link up that asks the question what do I want out of 2011 as part of her I Heart Me campaign.

The deal is that we post a wish list for the coming year and all link up. The tricky part is that it has to be about yourself. Not the kids or the other half but yourself. Hmm...

Here is my offering:

  • I want a make over at some point. I want to endure the pain of shopping for clothes for myself and actually be pleased with what I have bought.
  • Continuing on from this point, I want to actively give a shit regarding my appearance this year and not just run out of the door with a freshly scrubbed face. I want to want to look presentable. Grunge is so 90's!
  • I want to volunteer somewhere even if it's just for an hour a week. We do so many activities and receive the generosity and time of so many devoted individuals that I have to give something back. In the days before my studies took over my life, I volunteered constantly and I enjoyed it. 
  • I want to start playing an instrument again. I have always been musical and so much of my life was spent learning one instrument or another. I love the thrill of learning and music is an integral part of who I am so I need to regain that bit of me.
  • I want have a stronger voice this year. For the past year or so I have endured being treated like shit by various family members and so-called friends. I want to be able to say "you know...you're acting like an arsehole and I won't stand for it".  The old Oh Mammy wouldn't have put up with this shit. 
  • I want to start my own business. I know the current climate is dire but I need to at least find out whether it could work or not and then I'll be at peace. 
  • I want to have sometime for myself. I do not stop all day, all week. I need time to recharge my batteries.
  • I have to stop being a boob! My daily slapstick antics need to stop and if I paid more attention and didn't try to do fifty things at once then I might stop and focus on one thing, avoiding these mishaps. Examples from the last week being: wearing the wrong contact lenses in each eye and missing the bus because I couldn't read the numbers. Putting B's dirty nappy (in nappy bag) in the fridge and throwing out her new juice bottle with the rubbish. Being ten minutes late for school pick up because I put on my watch without the battery instead of the one with the new battery. There are more but I'll keep you guessing...
  • I need to spend more time with my friends. I love you guys and miss you and I know you don't care if all I talk about is the kids. 
  • I would finish by saying that I would like a holiday but my holidays are not holidays really. They are adventures and are action packed and I'm getting tired just thinking about one. 

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3.


1. My family. They might drive me mental sometimes but I am the luckiest woman in the world to have them.
2. Losing weight. Losing lots of weight by accident through illness. Time to throw out those pregnancy clothes I was still wearing.
3. We all seem to be getting over our various viruses and ailments.

Soppy old git!


Yesterday, A and B were lying on the rug playing with wooden bricks. During their little play session, Miss B leant over and gave A a big smacker and let out a little giggle. When A looked over at where I was sitting, he had noticed that my face had gone all blotchy."Are you alright, Mum?" he asked "yes, love" I answered. "Are you crying" he asked, "Just a little bit because I am very happy" I said.

"Oh for Gods sake! Mums!" he said and went off to his room rolling his eyes....