Friday, 29 April 2011

Facebook Friday Bloghop

If, like me, you're avoiding the impending royal nuptials, come join in with Facebook Friday over at Ghostwritermummy's page. It gives us all a chance to promote our blogs via her Linky tool and make new friends on Facebook.


The blog will be pretty quiet for the next week and so I'll reply to comments after that. Thanks to a lovely couple, we're off on holiday tomorrow to Norfolk.

I'm avoiding the pap on TV by watching Baking Mad on catch up and I have a new love, the lovely Eric Lanlard! He can bake and he has awesome hair! Oh Daddy better watch his back...




Have a great week.
XoXo

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I don't know about you but...we party like it's 1999...

Ha! Did I fool you into thinking that I actually have a social life? 



Well think again, the parties I am referring to are in fact the utterly delightful experience that is a kids party.

Now as an adult you arrange a birthday night out which loosely involves choosing a venue, choosing your victims, telling people to turn up to said venue at a certain time, a time that is promptly ignored by the attendees and you drink yourself into oblivion with your girlfriends insisting that you do not look a day over 25 and your boyfriends patting you on the back and shaking their heads. Then you spend your first official day of being a year old nursing the most awful hangover and feeling like shit, the obvious sign of a good night.


So kids parties. Bloody hell, there's one sure fire way to give you an ulcer without imbibing any alcohol what-so-ever.








A's 12th birthday is coming up soon and I will be charged with making the necessary arrangements for the big day. We always make a big deal about his birthday as he finds it hard to make and keep friends, never really being able to read the cues of others and being absorbed in his own world. I have to admit now before I recant the tales of parties past, that I do have a tendency to go overboard, each year getting bigger and bigger or more outrageous. Last year was a fairly sedate affair after the previous year which saw me, with SPD and five months pregnant taking 15 boys on an hour long bus trip into the city to go to four separate events. I had the kids for 7 hours on an unseasonally hot day. This was the event that caused Oh Daddy to shake his head and say no more! This year will be a strange year though. 12. 12 years old. What do 12 year old boys do? They're too big for soft play and too young for paintballing, have done LaserQuest, Cinema, Go Karting etc etc in previous years and so I've run out of ideas.



Any suggestions are welcome!

I used to like kids parties. I actually like mini sandwiches, sausage rolls and Top Hats (little marshmallows with chocolate and smarties on top) and it's the only time I get to indulge. In seven months time, B will be two and I will probably go mental then too. I don; stress too much about the organisational aspect of it, I quite an organised bod and relish the challenge because, well frankly, I'm a weirdo. I live in a fantasy land where I am THE child's party planner extrodinaire! So as B-Day D-Day approaches I always have everything well in hand and sleep soundly until the night before when the awful realisation dawns on me that I will have to deal with the parents of the kids who are invited!


Now based on precious experiences of dealing with the parents of A's classmates I thought I had come prepared last year but oh, how wrong was I? I invite the kids from his class and you would think that I would end up with just the kids in his class but no, a motley crew of stragglers and hangers on appear every year. Now given that the majority of A's friends have siblings, these extras are usually three years younger than the rest and so don't have anything in common with the group and look decidedly uncomfortable. These kids are always brought with their invited sibling and then stand in my doorway looking pathetic/uncomfortable while their Mother wangles an invite with all her might. After a few years, word must have gotten round that I was a soft touch and so more and more of these hangers on appeared.

I prepared myself, gritted my teeth and sweetly smiled through my utterances of "Och, it's no bother" and "yes, he's very welcome to join us". I physically prepared by making sure each venue knew that my numbers were approximates and not exact figures and that I would phone them as soon as I had final numbers. Given that these things are usually a pay per head affair, I tried my hardest not to get angry about it. I always orders and made up extra numbers of my awesome party bags (the stuff of legend, you know). I went over and above every year and so did the piss takers.

Last year topped it off. We ended up with a five year old sibling of one of the boys at an eleven year old's party! We started at a restaurant. I had to pay for a couple of extra bods and ordered him the same as everyone else. He wasn't hungry he cried and so I adjusted the numbers again. Then he might eat something he said so I added another head, he then promptly piled his plate high and sat staring at it for the next hour until we left. He then proceeded to cause a riot, fighting with his brother and crying for his mum for the next hour.

He then peed his pants.
Then he cried because he peed his pants.
All the while I am frantically phoning his mother whilst sitting in the disabled toilet breastfeeding Miss B. All I got was her answering machine.
Then I offered to dry his trousers at the hand dryer. He refused to take his trousers off because I was a stranger and so I picked him up by the waistband and aimed the dryer at the wet patch.
Then he said I was trying to burn him.
I gave him his party bag early to shut him up.
He ate all of the sweeties and went a bit mental
He fell asleep in Miss B's buggy.

After two hours all of the boys were ready to go home and gradually they all piled into their parents cars apart from this boy and his big brother. I phoned the mother but no answer and I proceeded to phone her for the next forty minutes until she eventually rolled up in her 4x4. She flung the passengers door open, looked at me over the top of her Gucci sunglasses and said "Sorry, I was getting my nails done. I hope I haven't kept you". Shut the door and drove away with the boys in the back.

I muttered expletives all the way home.


                                                            BRASS NECK!!

Q & A Time with Oh Mammy!

Wayhey! I've been tagged by the glorious Hannah at Metal Mummy and my task is thus:

I have to answer a series of questions and let you know more about my little ol' self. So here goes...

                                                    
                                                      Factoid #1:  I'm a bit glaikit'

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My boy A. For coping with living in a world built for NT people and for being an awesome little dude.

When were you happiest?
Yesterday, now, tomorrow and the next day. I'm very seldom unhappy and if I detect that I might be, I rectify the situation straight away.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
There have been quite a few. Far too many to mention. I remember walking home through Princes' Street gardens from a rather riotous party the night before with someone's (female) discarded knickers stuck to my handbag. A rather elderly gentleman pointed this out and walked away chuckling as I tried to explain they weren't mine!

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
I don't own any property unless Monopoly counts...

What is your most treasured possession?
My wee family. The rest is just stuff.


Where would you like to live?
Other than where I am now, Stockbridge. If I were really dreaming I would say Rome.


What’s your favourite smell?
Freesia. Oh and babies. Bacon and bread.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Winona Ryder. I used to like her and wished I looked like her. If she were unavailable (off out on another pilfering spree), I'd invent a time machine and either get Mae West to add a bit of cheekiness to the tale or get Gloria Swanson to do a dramatic reading of my life. I'm ready for my close up Mr DeMille...



What is your favourite book?
Ah...shit! On the Road by Kerouac. No! Wait... Oh, alright I'll pick just one. The First Man by Albert Camus. I don't know why really but I am always drawn to this book. I like Camus' works but this one is odd and probably why it fascinates me. An unfinished manuscript of this book was found amongst the wreckage of the car crash that killed the writer in 1960 so the book when it was published is not in essence pure Camus, nevertheless I think it's the most revealing.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Biting my nails, swearing, being a grumpy bastard.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
1950's American housewife. Or Wyatt Earp. Dunno why really just the first things that popped into my head. See I'm very strange!


What is your earliest memory?
I think its being given a book as a present from my newly birthed baby sister. I remember being confused...

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I rarely feel guilty about my pleasures. Ha!

What do you owe your parents?
Money and some slack.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Like Hannah, I don’t think there is anyone to be honest. I know I’ve upset people in the past, just like people have upset me, but everything happens for a reason, and other than apologising at the time, there’s not much else you can do.



What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My little family.
And food.

What does love feel like?
That's a tough one and there are many types of love.

What was the best kiss of your life?
My babies' first kisses.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Alfie!!! Yes, love? Yes, love. Have you had your tea? Awesome! Aye! Och!

What is the worst job you’ve done?
A PA for rude posh family. I only signed up as it was for a ridiculously huge amount of money. They were so rude and so rich that they no comprehension of what I should be paid so I made up a figure and they accepted. I lasted a month.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Nothing. Everything happens for a reason!

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Not that close really. There's been many a time I thought I was going to die and then I just realised it was a hangover and that I really shouldn't drink like a youngster any more!


What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My kids although they are a work in progress.

When did you last cry, and why?
Erm...I don't know! I usually cry at sad things on the TV but seeing as I no longer watch any TV it has been a while. I did fill up a few weeks ago when Miss B gave A a big squeezy cuddle and then patted him on the back.

How do you relax?
It used to be watching TV but nowadays I just fall asleep if I put it on. So watching the kids play in the Meadows makes me feel peaceful.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
More money. Then I spend all of my time with my kids and possibly pop out a few more. Better still if I were rich I'd get someone else to do it for me. Pregnancy doesn't agree with me. I'm a size 10 and I'm 5ft 2" and I have huge long babies!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Most people are dicks. You have to wade through some serious amount shite before you appreciate what you have and who you love/loves you.

I'm tagging three other ace bloggers and charging them with the task of telling us lot's more about themselves:

http://insaniacsanon.blogspot.com/

http://stephstwogirls.blogspot.com/

Herding Cats

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

NEW MEME - I Don't Know About You But...

I love a good meme, I do. If I'm stuck for inspiration or simply want to dust off the cobwebs that accumulate when you spend your entire day with lovely little people I indulge myself in a few memes.

I'm so lucky to have found so many great ones. To indulge my orderly compulsive behaviours I take part in the beautiful KareTakes5's Listography most weeks. To make me feel great and for a little bit of self reflection I do Michelle's Reasons to be Cheerful meme. Michelle writes the Mummy from the Heart blog, has the most adorable set of twins and is such a positive soul. I'm yet to take part in Metal Mummy Hannah's Movie Meme. A woman after my own heart, our shared passions mean that I have to think long and hard about my picks as she always picks them first! So whatever your mood you are always guaranteed to find a theme to suit. Well, not every mood...

These memes are fun and now I propose another. Some of these memes are short lived and some don't take off at all. This could be one of those or it could tap into a feeling that we all experience most weeks. I am prone to grumpy moments (really? quelle surprise!) and one of the ways in which I use my blog is to get these things off my chest sometimes.



So my meme is thus: a little meme for everyone to link up to to express those little niggles that life or people in your life put in your way. It's called I don't know about you but I...


Now the rules are simple. Take five minutes to write a little post detailing a little niggle or opinion that you have. It could be something that secretly bugs you about people, society, life. 


So it can be something as banal as I don't know about you but I...hate shaving my legs!

You can elaborate this with a little ditty relating to this pet hate or muttering. Some thing like: I hate shaving my legs so much that I leave it weeks between doing it. Sometimes I even wear pyjama bottoms in bed so that Oh Daddy doesn't rub his feet over my fortnightly
growth and catch me out!



Or it could be something along the lines of I don't know about you but I... don't take criticism well.


Or I don't know about you but I... cry at the beginning of Disney's Tarzan.

Or I don't know about you but I... get pissed off by teenagers playing crappy techno music from their phones on public transport.

Or I don't know about you but I... wonder how that mother standing across from me at the school gate manages to wear a full face of make up at that time in the morning.

What I'm looking to generate is just general mutterings about life and to make us feel better by either getting something off your chest or just by laughing when the comments flood in detailing the experiences of others. I'm learning how to make a button and will revise it as we go along.


Once you have written your post please add it to the linky list below and please mention my blog along with a link to this post in your own post, thanks.


Last weeks trial run saw some amazing entries:

Hannah over at Metal Mummy told us how she hates toast crumbs left in the butter!

JoJo was getting a bit pissed off with all of the meme's floating around the internet these days.

EmVi is sick of football in her house!

Anna at Dummy Mummy despairs at people's inability to read signs.

Steph wonders why man can walk on the moon but ignore huge piles of crap lying about the floor.

Jules who needs curtains for the windows in her head also needs some personal space.

ChunkyBums
hates being kept waiting.


So I don't know about you but this might actually work...


THE LINKY IS HERE


Getting older - Miss B's milestones.

Narrator: And now, we come to the next chapter in which…
Winnie the Pooh: But I haven’t finished yet.
Narrator: But Pooh, you’re in the next chapter.
Winnie the Pooh: Oh. Well, what happens to me?
Narrator: Well, let’s turn the page and find out.
~ The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh





Gosh...where has the time gone?

I started this blogging malarky when B was just days old. Times were rough and her feeding was not going well. So rather than spend my days Googling possible symptoms and solutions and driving myself nuts, I thought I'd distract myself from it all by starting this thing. I haven't really written much about Miss B as it is hard to articulate a post about her without coming over all obnoxious 'ooh look at my wonderful baby'.



In the early days she was a baby, a potato headed lump who dribbled, farted, ate, giggled and pooed. Now she has blossomed into a beautiful toddler she's far more interesting! I say this with the deepest love but admit now that have neglected to write about her because I know I would bore everyone to death.

Yes, I am one of those obnoxious parents who think that their children are the most wonderful in the world. Not one of those competitive mothers who measure everyone else's kids progress/manners/appearance against her own kids but one that fails to register ALL other children as she is so bedazzled by her own! So do you see now why I haven't posted about her yet? My Facebook friends must roll their eyes every time I add photos of B to my profile as there are hundreds and hundreds of them.

Having a baby again is exciting and watching all the little development milestones and all of the first and little folables they have is very entertaining. She's a cheeky monkey with the most adorable smile and is very strong willed. She knows what she wants and how to get it. She loves to be sung to, to dance and draw and hasn't shown much of an interest in TV yet! She loves books and not only the ones designed for her but proper story books.

She loves animals, despite the fact I do not and likes animal noises. She loves to eat out and try new foods and most of all to have all eyes on her at all times.


We have ruined her as they say, along with her brother she is at the centre of our universe and she knows it...



The Facebook 30 Day Song Challenge. Days 16 to 20

Day Sixteen - A song you used to love but now you hate.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside

I used to love this band, pretty much since they started producing songs. However, so does A and this coupled with his ASD means that he obsesses over things. He went through a RHCP phase and played their songs constantly, for months.

Day Seventeen - A song you hear often on the radio.


Bruno Mars - Grenade Song Thingy

I listen to digital radio or to Last.fm so I don't have to listen to crap music but every Sunday we go out to my Mum and Dad's for Sunday lunch and hear this dreadful song often. As much as I despise it, it was funny when Oh Daddy decided to serenade me with it whilst grocery shopping.

Day Eighteen - A song that you wished you heard on the radio.

The Small Faces - Rene

Who doesn't want to hear a song about a dockyard prostitute?

Day Nineteen - A song from your favourite album

Erm...


Cream - White Room from Disraeli Gears.

If I had to pick just one favourite album it might be this. But then I will probably change my mind in an hour or two...

Day Twenty - A song that you listen to when you're angry. 

Easy peasy...




Pearl Jam - Porch. 

Just singing this song through gritted teeth releases some major tension!

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Facebook 30 Day Song Challenge. Days 10 to 15

Day Eleven - A song from your favourite band.


The Small Faces - Song of a Baker.

Excellent band. Reminds me of clubbing at the Art School in my slightly more hedonistic days.

Day Twelve - A song from a band you hate.

I refuse to sully my post with rubbish music so assume it something by a reality TV star or band (except the Monkees).

Day Thirteen - A song that is a guilty pleasure.

MadCon - Beggin'

I rationalise this by telling myself it is a Frankie Valli song. A likes to breakdance to this and so I hear it constantly!

Day Fourteen - A song no one would expect you to like.


Sepultura - Roots Bloody Roots.

Depends how well you know me really...

Day Fifteen - A song that describes you.

Donovan - Barabajagal.

My handle for all of my social networking sites and emails has always been a misspelling of this Donovan song, Barrabajagal. It has to be one of my favourite songs and I've kept it for this day. It also applies to songs you can dance to, songs that make you happy and many more. I don't know why I love this song so much but I suspect it has something to do with the awesome guitar riff courtesy of Jeff Beck. I think Donovan is a bit mental but a genius with it.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mads 2011 - Oooh I've been nominated! part 2

You may have (or not!) noticed that all has been quiet on this blog for the last fortnight. This has mainly been due to the Easter holidays, having two kids on the rampage and I've been far too exhausted to write anything for the last two weeks.


It's my own doing of course. Instead of enjoying the break from school and A's million and one after school activities, I filled everyday with adventures and dates and as I rest my weary bones on the sofa right now I am beginning to regret it! I can't believe there is one day left of the holidays here in Edinburgh and although I vowed not to cross the threshold of the door at all tomorrow, I am in fact Googling events as I write this post. I must be mental! or Hyperactive...

So anyway, much has happened during my absence. I've missed a few great memes and I even attempted to start my own. Word to the wise: never start up a meme and then bugger off for a fortnight. I'm going to catch up with the meme as soon as I can, I promise and many thanks to those who've taken part already.

One notable thing is that the annual MADS award nominations have taken place and I have been nominated. Since I'm new to blogging and new to networking as a parent blogger, I knew nothing of these awards and what they entail and mean. I really didn't think that they were a big deal until I explained to Oh Daddy what had happened and he was taken aback (he takes this whole blogging thing less seriously than I do) and congratulated me on being nominated. His reaction drove me to find out more about the awards. The MADS was set up to acknowledge the many thousands of parenting blogs floating around the world wide web and has a few categories in which an individuals blog can be nominated for, the nominees are then shortlisted and then the finals are judged by a panel of esteemed writers and oarenting gurus. There are huge prizes to be won and the obvious publicity and exposure for your blog ensues. Sound good? It does, doesn't it?

Erm...I'm not sure about it all. While I am enormously grateful for the nominations and I am especially touched by the two categories of awards in which I was nominated for (best family life blog and most inspiring blog), I know at this point that I don't deserve to win. There are fantastic bloggers out there who put their heart and soul in to it and who share their entire life with their readers. They are proud of their blogs and rightly so. I, on the other hand am embarrassed by mine! I write posts late at night when I'm too tired to focus and I ramble on and disappear off on tangents. I also rant quite a bit, using it as a personal space to vent frustrations and so I don't invite comments or give opportunities for my readers to engage with a topic. All of these things make for poorly written and poorly thought out posts from a writer who should and could do better so I don't promote my blog or share it out with my closest circle of friends. I get embarrassed attempting the degree of self promotion required to gain a bigger readership and often post things that I later retract, lest someone read my grumpy opinions and take offence.

What the nominations have done for me is this. I have recognised that I need to be a better blogger, I need to take this a bit more seriously than I previously have and I need to take care and attention over my individual posts. I enjoy writing and need to stop feeling guilty about putting energy in to a thing like this. I have very little time for myself these days which is no fault of Antibes, it just reflects my parenting style. I am full on with the kids and A requires more work than a normal kid. Between the house, the kids, Oh Daddy and work I have very little free time and so to blog more intensively something has to be neglected (it's always the ironing!) for me to find the time but then I do need time to myself.

Aside from the nominations the MAD awards run their own blog, discussing blogs of note and I was mentioned in one of their posts!

Time to turn over a new leaf.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Listography - The Laminated List... ;P

I'm mega busy at the moment with the school holidays and had vowed to lay off the blog this week but while Miss B plays with her stuffed animals I had to jump on the laptop and indulge in this weeks Listography.

My usual shy and retiring self doesn't talk about men much. Given that I have the perfect guy at home and quite frankly, I am far too old to drool over men in front of people, I haven't indulged in this type of behaviour for quite some time...

This weeks list is inspired by that episode of Friends where Ross reveals his laminated list of fantasy females he wouldn't say no to if the opportunity ever arose.

So here is mine (and no, on principle I won't be adding Johnny Depp, True Blood men, Twilight boys as every other list has them). Feel free to poke fun/agree with me in the comments box below.

1) Paul Rogers



Okay this is wrong on so many levels. One: he is old enough to be my Dad. Two: in his Free heyday he was mysteriously really ugly! Three: he is orange. Four: he wears sleeveless tops. But his voice...that voice! Oh Daddy knows that he is the only man I would ever leave him for on sight.

2) John Corbett


*Melts... The good guy in all his rom-coms and I don't think there is a woman out there who didn't utter "why Carrie, why pick Big over Aiden?" I should also confess that the only other reason I like him is because he looks exactly like Oh Daddy.

3) Viggo Mortensen



He's yummy. That's all I can say but it would help if he brought his Aragon outfit...

4) Argh!!! Now I that I have actually thought about it there is only only these three as definite choices. But a whole host of other possibilities (Jensen Ackles, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keanu Reeves, Steven Dorff, Jared Leto, Andy Garcia, Al Pacino) I only have two choices left and couldn't possibly decide so I'll leave it at that. I'm not greedy or am I and that's why it's so hard to choose these two...

I'm off for a lie down!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I don't know about you but I...

Right then here goes...

I don't know about you but I... eat pickled onions straight from the jar with a spoon.


I eat them any time day or night usually at the same time as making a cup of tea. I keep my pickles, chutneys etc in the same cupboard as the tea making stuff. I crave them the instant I see them. Oh Daddy wonders why I'm a bit on the windy side...

PREVIEW: A Band Spanking New Meme Coming Your Way...

I love a good meme, I do. If I'm stuck for inspiration or simply want to dust off the cobwebs that accumulate when you spend your entire day with lovely little people I indulge myself in a few memes.

I'm so lucky to have found so many great ones. To indulge my orderly compulsive behaviours I take part in the beautiful KareTakes5's Listography most weeks. To make me feel great and for a little bit of self reflection I do Michelle's Reasons to be Cheerful meme. Michelle writes the Mummy from the Heart blog, has the most adorable set of twins and is such a positive soul. I'm yet to take part in Metal Mummy Hannah's Movie Meme. A woman after my own heart, our shared passions mean that I have to think long and hard about my picks as she always picks them first! So whatever your mood you are always guaranteed to find a theme to suit. Well, not every mood...

These memes are fun and now I propose another. Some of these memes are short lived and some don't take off at all. This could be one of those or it could tap into a feeling that we all experience most weeks. I am prone to grumpy moments (really? quelle surprise!) and one of the ways in which I use my blog is to get these things off my chest sometimes.


So my meme is thus: a little meme for everyone to link up to to express those little niggles that life or people in your life put in your way. It's called I don't know about you but I...


Now the rules are simple. Take five minutes to write a little post detailing a little niggle or opinion that you have. It could be something that secretly bugs you about people, society, life. 


So it can be something as banal as I don't know about you but I...hate shaving my legs!

You can elaborate this with a little ditty relating to this pet hate or muttering. Some thing like: I hate shaving my legs so much that I leave it weeks between doing it. Sometimes I even wear pyjama bottoms in bed so that Oh Daddy doesn't rub his feet over my fortnightly
growth and catch me out!



Or it could be something along the lines of I don't know about you but I... don't take criticism well.


Or I don't know about you but I... cry at the beginning of Disney's Tarzan.

Or I don't know about you but I... get pissed off by teenagers playing crappy techno music from their phones on public transport.

Or I don't know about you but I... wonder how that mother standing across from me at the school gate manages to wear a full face of make up at that time in the morning.


(*NB these may or may not be simply illustrative examples!)


What I'm looking to generate is just general mutterings about life and to make us feel better by either getting something off your chest or just by laughing when the comments flood in detailing the experiences of others. I'm learning how to make a button and will revise it as we go along. Once you have written your post please add it to the linky list below and please mention my blog along with a link to this post in your own post, thanks.

Try to keep it as clean as possible folks!


Have a think and have a go! I'll use this week as a trial as I know we're all busy.








Mads 2011 - Oooh I've been nominated!

MAD Blog Awards 2011

Wow! I don't know what to say really...

I've been nominated for an award in the category Best Family Life blog as part of the annual MADS parent blogger awards! The Best Family Life category celebrates blogs  that may not fit into a specific niche like crafting or cooking – they’re just about families in all their glory. I had been on the site to vote for a few of my friends last week (Metal Mummy, GhostWriterMummy, Soft Thistle, Babyrambles), those who deserve it more than I and who put real energy into this blogging malarky. I've no idea who voted for me but thank you! This means though that I will be launching a hardcore campaign for votes from now on so beware, I will be in full pain in the bum mode! You can nominate me here and the list is finalised down to a shortlist of 15 writers.


I'll be updating the blog properly in a few days time and will have a very exciting product review from an amazingly cool company called Spin Collective. Unusually, the sun is blazing here in Edinburgh and I'm soaking up the rays with the kids during the Easter holidays. A is taking part in a Samba drumming camp for the next two days and I'm very much looking forward to the show on Wednesday and Miss B is becoming partial to a babyccino in the sun. I hope you all have a lovely week.

Much love. xx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The end of an era. Tales of my Boddler.

Does anyone else have a Boddler?


Miss B has stopped breastfeeding. All by herself.


Once again, she has proved that she is an awesome and independent baby! I breastfed A until he was two and he stopped no problem too. I had to, however, instigate that process and worried night and day about how he would take to it and how (given that I was already going through the diagnosis process that would uncover A's ASD a few months later) he would take to the routine change. I was prepared to go through that rigmarole again and my worries were probably intensified by the fact that she wasn't an easy baby to feed without complications. I never questioned breast feeding and would never have considered another option. I enjoyed feeding A and because he was a greedy guts dread to think how many bottles I would have had to make! Sterilising at 2am, no thanks! The specialists at the hospital have even remarked that the close bond we shared facilitated by the feeding has helped him emotionally. Children with ASD who have extended breastfeeding are shown to have a greater capacity for empathy than their bottle-fed ASD peers. It isn't always easy but then what is?

In her early weeks, she had to have her tongue snipped as she was officially tongue-tied. There was far too much skin attaching her tongue to the bottom of her mouth and so couldn't feed properly. She was so thin and fragile looking but quickly plumped up after having it snipped. Then we discovered that she had reflux. Once she was able to take larger amounts of milk, she would spend most of the day bringing it back up again. We had to keep her elevated at all times, she slept on a giant foam wedge and never failed to throw up everywhere when we changed her nappy. She has never, ever been a chubby baby though and given that A was rather portly, this worried me. I took her to get weighed every week and obsessed about her feeding pattern for awhile until I calmed myself down. This period of calm however coincided with the now fashionable weaning age and so we had to start again with a new routine, her fatty milk feeds becoming replaced by mushy veg and so I worried again. The introduction of solids seemed to calm down the reflux and she eats everything in sight. Already at the age of 16 months, she enjoys lunching with the ladies and really will eat anything you put in front of her. So now she has replaced her night feed with a cuddle and has never once broke her routine. So comes the end of an era. My baby is growing up, becoming more independent and it's just fascinating watching her personality develop.

Well she really isn't a baby any more but neither, in my opinion, is she a toddler. We attend a few toddler groups and she is always (unless a baby sibling of a toddler comes along) the youngest by far. She doesn't exhibit the kind of abandon that toddlers do. She is still inquisitive and watches everything that is going on. Toddlers are really self centred, crashing their way through the crowd, intensively playing with a single toy before stealing a new one off of someone else. In my mind a toddler is a little people from 18 months to 3 years until they are officially a pre-schooler. She is for at least the next two months, my Boddler. But on second thought, she really always has been a it of a boddler, neither a baby or a toddler.


I suppose the term boddler might ring a bell with a few of you out there. Some people have babies who are babies from day one, that look like drooling potatoes that look like neither parent and who it takes until approximately a year or so for them to stretch and grown into a little person. There is a group of babies we hang around with that are either a month older or younger than B and she is completely different to them. Two of the gang are not walking yet and a few are still quite bald. A few of the mothers were quite taken aback but in full agreement when I pointed out last week that when B does something marvellous or new, the group don't make a huge fuss of her because she looks different, older so more is expected of her when the gang are all at the same developmental stage.

I seem to have had two kids who are full of personality from the beginning and have stood out from the crowd for a few reasons. With A, it was his height. He was a huge baby and chubby so although he looked much younger than B at their respective ages, he was very tall and so was constantly mistaken for a toddler when only a boddler. I remember one outing to a soft play in Edinburgh whereby the mother of another child actually approached me to ask me to remove my child from the toddler ball pool as clearly he was in contravention of the age limit of three years old. A was at this point a mere 18 months old! Another incident was where I was lectured by a middle aged woman in John Lewis' for having put such a big boy in a pushchair and that I was a bad mother for encouraging laziness. In fairness, aged 18 months in a Maclaren buggy, A did look a bit like Fred Flintstone, powering the buggy with his long legs!

So with B, I have another child who does things earlier than others (walking at 9 months so at 16 months, she is running about the place with confidence), who has masses of hair (which really needs cut!) and who generally exhibits a demeanour of a worldly person. Her hair is really long yet I am putting off getting it cut as I am convinced a proper hair cut will make her look older still!

Miss B at 15 months! Very Deep Purple hair...

What type of mother are you? Mother's Day 2011

Inspired by Babyrambles, I decided it was time for a bit of self reflection again.


Spurned on by Mothers Day and the realisation that now A is hurtling towards the first year of High School where, ASD aside and no matter how cool I think I am, I will no longer be a school gate mother.


I had a lovely Mother's Day as usual. I'm very lucky that the guys show their appreciation every year despite Oh Daddy in theory being a grumpy tight git. He moans about the cost of everything and yet for Mother's Day I got an ipad from him!


 what I expected....

 what I got...



From the kids I always ask for the same thing, a mug. This sounds extremely daft but I really like my Mother's Day mugs! In the same way that pre-children, I used to covet handbags, now it's mugs (oh how the tables have turned!) that are my constant accessory! Given the amount of coffee I drink in a day, they get well used and only I am allowed to use them!




So, now to the pointless later night ponderings of Oh Mammy. What type of school gate mother am I? The competitive hell of the school gate mother club is well documented and we've all experienced or have been part of the cliques that congregate to pick up their little cherubs/demons. A survey conducted by Vauxhall concluded the following:



  • Pushy parents are unpopular
  • Over-dressed parents irritate others
  • 19% parents feel under pressure to organise more activities for children
  • 3% parents say they have flirted with parents or teachers
  • 7% parents have not had time to give children breakfast
  • 5% say they have driven children to school in pyjamas
  • A mother claimed to send her child to bed in his uniform to save time the next morning
The survey has identified four types of school gate mothers, ranging from the networkers, the no-hopers and the pushy parents determined to get everything they can for their children.
"Scatty Sandra" is caricatured as always "fighting a losing battle with time", arriving at the last minute having dressed in a hurry, with younger children still in their pyjamas.


In contrast, "Flirty Fiona" uses the school gate as a social opportunity, dressing to impress and chatting up the fathers. This type of parent can become unpopular, with the survey finding hostility towards parents who are over-dressed or wearing too much make-up.
There were also accusations against "mothers who care more about fashion than their kids".


"Pushy Pauline" is the parent who makes sure that their children are involved in every extra-curricular activity available. This high-powered parent brings a business-like attitude to their dealings with the school.
But this does not always impress other parents, who do not like the parents who always seem to be pushing their children to the front of every queue.


"Serious Sue" is a more sympathetic figure, worried about her own children's education, but still ready to help others at the school. She is also a fallible, ordinary parent, who is unlikely to have time to dress up to drop off the children.
This parent also strikes a balance between supporting her children and making time for herself.



The truth is I'm not really a stereotype nor would I like to be. Sometimes I feel a bit of pressure to be like others, to look like others, to act like others and it can get to me. Unlike the village I came from where the pinnacle of stereotypes was the Cheryl Cole lookalike, dyed dark hair, all fake tan, fake nails and high street fashions, here in the middle class suburbs of Edinburgh it is the Mulberry bag wielding, Barbour jackets, big shades, giant off road vehicles, subtle highlights, real manicured professional women who exude an air of calm, having it all and having other to do it for them. I love anthropology and people watching here is fascinating.






But then, if I really did care about this, I would do it. I would stop biting my nails, I would cover up the bleach in my hair. I would get up an hour earlier to straighten my hair and make sure I would leave the house free from all evidence of boddlerhood smeared all over my clothes.


Society has always liked people to fall in to boxes. The media has done it's best to support this, telling people that they should own a certain thing, they should look a certain way and should aspire to be like certain celebrities (why else would anyone in their right minds think people like Jordan and Kerry Catona are good mothers?).


I live by the philosophy where an effort must be made to get to know people. To discover what truly lies underneath. I'm quite perceptive about people and for me, I'm not so busy and self obsessed that this whole process doesn't take me long. A new friend from the 'burbs here remarked the other day that I know so many different types of people from all sections of society and countries and this probably because I don't fit into a stereotype so I have to make the effort to get to know people in order that they get to know me.


Not fitting into a box can be quite scary but my little man does it particularly well...

The Move.

No, I am not referring to the band but to our move.



Nearly a month ago, we moved flats again. We finally have broadband! While our previous place was full of character and had a charm all of its own, we needed a bigger place. We were also having issues getting A into the school we wanted him to go to. We picked our previous place based on it's proximity to certain things like schools, Oh Daddy's work and certain other amenities. However a recent change of plans again meant that I would now be working from home and would need a bigger place to facilitate this.

Newington Station

We found the most amazing place for a great price and although it meant that we would have a grand total of two weeks in which we had to move, it was worth it! It was in the catchment area for the school and in a weird bonus twist, all of A's friends live within a two street radius giving him more freedom (we hope) when he's older. Miss B would also benefit from it's location(near the Meadows, Blackford Hill, plenty of Toddler groups and cafe's) and the space now that she is running about all over the place.




We're all settled in now and enjoying exploring the area.

Oh and I forgot to mention that it is situated next to an organic food market, a deli and a French bakery... nom nom nom!