Why My Blog is on Hold

You may have noticed that it is some time since I last posted on my blog.

This is for a number of reasons… And I intend to come back with a fresh start at some point in the future.

I realised a few things about my content. It was not what I wanted to write about, it was not what I had intended to write about, and it ended up being just writings about whatever was going on in my life at the time (generally my children).

I started the blog because I felt at a complete loss as to how to get on top of not only the housework, and general organisation in my life, but also how to find the motivation and energy to get off the sofa and do something about it.

I ended up looking to build my following by following parenting blogs in the hope that there were other stay at home parents who felt similar to me. And I spent a lot of time reading lots of parenting blogs. They were a great read. They inspired a lot of my content. Many of them were parents writing about the harsh realities of parenting… I could definitely relate! Others were clearly “organised” and not only ran their homes and families efficiently, but found time to be creative with food or activities. Great to read about, but in reality I can only ever dream of being organised enough to do any of that stuff.

It was only more recently that I started to find a few blogs and a different strand of bloggers, who blogged about home organisation, decluttering, and finding motivation. I love reading about how to be the perfect “homemaker”, and how to make costumes, or themed cakes for my children, but I NEED to read blogs about getting back to basics.

I therefore realised that the focus of my content had become quite skewed, from my initial intention of becoming more motivated and organised in maintaining my home, to the struggles of day to day life with children. There is some cross-over between the two, but I had definitely lost focus.

I also found that writing a blog, and reading blogs, and doing all of the other work involved in maintaining a blog, and pushing the social media, was taking up a lot of my time. Time that I really needed to be spending on organising my home and life. It was yet another procrastination tool.

And finally I found that I did not have time to work on my blog as I would have liked. Why not? Because my organisation and time-management is shocking! I was finding 5 minutes here, and 5 minutes there, but not actually having the time to sit down and focus.

I have to thank Kerry-Ann at ourchildren.today who commented on my blog and recommended a book which I have just finished reading, and am now half-way through reading for a second time… “Get your Act Together” by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, has already changed my life! I already feel more organised. I prioritise my tasks differently. I’m no longer struggling to keep on top of the day to day stuff, and never getting round to the less frequent jobs. They are all scheduled in using the fantastic Index Card organisation system, and I now know where I stand, and have found that keeping on top of certain tasks definitely makes them more manageable. All theory that we all know, but I have never found a system which actually made it a reality. This one has been going strong for over a month now! The best I ever managed with any other system was 3-4 days. Lets hope I can keep it up.

So, the plan, is that once I feel that my life is more organised (it’s definitely better, but I’ve taken the first of many small steps), I hope to be able to schedule time into my life for blogging. I’m not sure when that will be, but for now, blogging has been just one more task to fit into my already disorganised and over-full life, and defeated the purpose with which I started it. I look forward to coming back in the future.

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Thai Food Tuesday begins – Delicious and easy to make Tom Yum Goong

Those who have read my Liebster/Sisterhood of World Bloggers posts, may have picked up my slight obsession with Thai food! A very long time ago (1998-1999), I spent my gap year living in Thailand, and fell in love with not only the country and it’s wonderful people, but massively with the Thai food! I’m a bit of a foodie anyway (my husband is a chef trained in Michelin star restaurants – there may have been an ulterior motive to marrying him!), but Thai is definitely my favourite. My birthday present from my husband for the last 2 years (while we have been very short on money) has been a Thai takeaway, and this has been what I have asked for and been VERY happy with. And of course, the food of Thailand is one thing that I could bring home (or at least replicate) from my time in Thailand.

Whilst there, I was teaching English, and struck what was a great deal for me, with one of the home economics teachers at the school where I worked. I went to her house at weekends to teach her two University aged children English, and afterwards we cooked a Thai feast together with her teaching me and giving me responsibility for a different dish every time. I quickly learned, that once you become familiar with the ingredients, flavours and techniques of Thai cookery, most of the dishes are actually very simple, but full of flavour!

I had no intentions of writing about my own cooking on my blog, as I am not a confident cook. Yes, I love food! But I prefer if it is cooked by someone else. And yes, I have a husband who is an amazing chef! But sadly rather than learning from him, I struggle to put what he teaches me into practice. However, Thai cookery is one area that I am fairly confident in, as I love the flavours, and having spent some time in Thailand, and explored some very obscure dishes in my local market there, and on my travels within the country, feel that I have a good grasp of the authentic Thai dishes and cookery. I have to confess, that despite my husbands amazing cooking skills, I can still pull of a Thai dish better than him. His may taste better (to the British palate), but mine taste more like the real Thai thing!

My last post was my Sisterhood of the World Bloggers post, and one of the questions was “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” If you haven’t already guessed, my answer was Thai food. And alongside this I included 2 photographs from someone who was a very good friend of mine during the time I spent in Thailand, and who’s photos of his cooking and eating, I regularly salivate over, on Facebook. On asking permission to use his beautiful photographs of his own cookery for my post, he assumed that my blog was related to Thai food, at which point I thought… why not?? I CAN cook Thai food, and it is amazing and easy enough for anyone to cook. I mean, if I can cook it, ANYONE can! So here it is!

I am starting with one of the dishes that I have made most frequently over the last few years. Tom Yum Goong is often considered to be the most traditional dish of Thailand! It’s English name is Hot and Sour King Prawn Soup. It is one dish that really brings back amazing memories for me. It was one of the first dishes that I was given when I arrived in Thailand, and my first memory is of tears running down my face, as it was so spicy! It took me a few weeks to adapt to the spicy food of Thailand, but I quickly did adapt and learned to love it. I couldn’t handle a chicken Korma before I went, and now can eat spicy food hotter than most people I know. But the joy of cooking Thai food yourself is that you can make it as spicy as you like (or even leave out the chilli altogether if hot food is not your thing). Tom Yum can also be made as a vegetarian dish, without the prawns, and with a vegetable stock, or with meat (chicken works well) instead of the prawns, again substituting the appropriate meat stock.

I have used recipes from various websites and cookery books, and adapted to include the bits I like, and leave out the bits I dislike. I confess, that I have left out a major, key ingredient, due to personal choice. I hate, and I mean really HATE mushrooms, which are an important part of the flavour combinations here, but I prefer it without, so my version is without. However, feel free to add mushrooms into the dish, alongside the tomatoes.

Here it is: Tom Yum Goong

  

Ingredients:

1 Fish Stock Cube

1 Litre Boiling Water

3 stalks of Lemongrass (split by bashing it with a meat hammer of heavy utensil such as a rolling pin)

3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed

3 Birds eye Chilli, Finely chopped (remove the seeds to remove some heat)

500g King Prawns, raw

16 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

2 Teaspoons Palm Sugar

3 tablespoons Fish Sauce

Juice of 5 Limes

Large Handful of Coriander, roughly chopped

Serve with Steamed Jasmine Rice

Method:

  1. Stir the stock cube into the boiling water until dissolved.

  2. Add in the lemongrass stalks, garlic, and chilli.

  3. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Add the Prawns and Tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes, until the prawns have turned from grey to pink.

  5. Add the palm sugar and fish sauce. Taste

  6. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and coriander.

  7. Taste again, and add more sugar, fish sauce or lime juice to adjust the flavour to your liking.

  8. Serve in a bowl alongside some steamed rice.

  9. An additional step, my husband prefers it if I use some tongs to pick out the lemongrass stalk before serving, rather than having to push them aside in the bowl, or pick them out of his mouth.
ENJOY!  And please let me know what you think.
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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

 

A big thank you to Kristen who blogs at Mustache and Princess Mom who has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. This is an award passed from one new blogger to another to help make connections. It’s only taken me 2 months to carry this forward but I got there eventually.

Rules:

Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.

Answer the 10 questions given to you.

Nominate 7 bloggers for the award.

Write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Display the award on you blog or post.

My answers to Kristen’s 10 questions:

1. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up and who were they?

Yes. In fact, although I really only had one imaginary friend, Abby- Katherine, she had tag alongs. Her friend Mary, and Mary’s husband (my parents or I do not have any memory of whether he had a name, but I suspect not, as we all remember his as “Mary’s husband”. There were often times when my parents were not allowed to sit in certain places because, Abby-Katherine, Mary or her husband were sitting there.

2. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmmm, this question doesn’t specify item or style of food, so I am going to say, the one thing (style) of food would be Thai food. I used to live there, loved the food there, and still eat out at Thai restaurants, get Thai take-away or cook Thai at home as often as possible (and as often as my husband can tolerate).  Living in Thailand was one of the happiest food times of my life.

   

Beautiful Thai food photos courtesy of my lovely friend Niti Beckett!

3. What is your favourite part of the day?

I have 3 favourite times… 1) (on the days when I manage to drag myself out of bed before anyone else) the hour or so that I get to myself first thing in the morning before the husband or either of the children wake up, immediately followed by the beaming smiles of baby when I wake him, or the excited greeting I get from my little Monkey!. 2) When the children have gone to bed and the husband is not yet home from work (more time to myself, even if it is just time to catch up with housework/chores!) 3) After the husband is home from work, we have had dinner and I fall asleep on his lap on the sofa.

4. What is the best part about being a Mom?

Easy!!!! The smiles, songs and cuddles!

  

5. What kids movie do you love but would never tell anyone?

As my daughter doesn’t yet have the attention span to sit through a 20 minute TV show, let alone a movie, I have not yet watched any kids movies, with or without her. That said, I’ve always liked Wall-e and the incredibles, although I’m sure that they are just as much animated adult movies as they are kids movies.

6. How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for just under 5 months. I started off on a bit of a roll (by my standards) managing to post about once a week, but then found that a post that I was working on (the last one I posted) just took forever to type up and edit, and I was particularly busy only finding a few minutes here or there to work on it, so it took me about 5 weeks to get the post written and posted. Likewise, this post has taken me a lot longer than I would have liked, as time has been a real issue, however I am determined to plan my time better and get back to my weekly schedule. But still don’t really feel that I am committed/frequent enough on my blog to call myself a blogger.

7. What is your favourite type of wine or beer?

Errrr. Not sure I have a favourite! I like to mix it up. I’m not a great beer fan, but occasionally fancy one. I suppose my go to drink is white wine. But I like red or sparkly too!

  

8. Who is your role model?

It would have to be my parents, both of them! For very different reasons. My Mother is everything I aspire to be as a housewife, but never will be. She is on the go, all the time, never relaxes (doesn’t know how), and always has a tidy (and beautiful) home, parties, guests, is the perfect hostess, as well as keeping a really good life balance with sport, social activities, family time etc. I struggle to keep up with basic housework, let alone the rest. My Father is successful in business, has a great attitude to life, and has never been anything but supportive as a Father. He’s the one I always go to for advice. If I can be where they are in life (beautiful home, great lifestyle, regular holidays and meals out) by the age they are, I will be very happy.

9. If you change one parenting mistake that you made, what would it be?

I don’t really believe in changing mistakes. They happen for a reason, and for us to learn from. But I guess that if I had to chose one, I’d maybe control myself better on the occasions where I have shouted at my daughter.  Unfortunately these occasions seem to be happening more frequently, and despite the fact that I am aware that I am reinforcing a pattern (that she gets attention – albeit negative – when she doesn’t behave), I react and am already doing it before I have time to control myself.  She is at an age where she copies a lot of what I say, and amusingly parrots some of my negative statements to me, which can be very funny but also makes me realise what I sound like sometimes.  A favourite recent one was (when told off for playing with Mummy’s college folder) she told me “Mummy! I’m looking at it FOR A REASON!!” 

10. What would you change about the world to make it a better place?

Difficult. There were so many I thought of when I saw this question. None are the right or wrong answer, or more or less important than the others, as they all affect different people differently. I think I would probably make sure that everyone in the world had an inbuilt sense of respect for everyone else. So many of the other things I would change, would actually already be half way to being changed if there was mutual respect between everyone.

My Nominees are:

Yummy, Slummy and Everything in Between

Being a Mom to Tiggy

Our Next Few Steps

Lo Loves 

Pickles and Pords 

Purfylle 

My Crazy Motherhood 

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What is your favourite household chore?

  2. What trait most annoys you in others?

  3. Favourite book of all time?

  4. What do you find most challenging about blogging?

  5. How do you relax?

  6. How do you manage your time (best time management tip)?

  7. Where is your favourite place for a last minute day out?

  8. Where is your dream holiday destination?

  9. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

10. If you could be an animal which one would you choose to be?

And a final thanks again to Kristen for nominating me. Hers is a great blog, and well worth a visit (Mustache & Princess Mom). I’m sorry that it took me so long to get it done. I’m looking forward to picking up some time-management and blogging tips from my nominees!!!

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How the seemingly achievable becomes completely unachievable

First of all, sorry for the absence over the last month… despite being determined to get more consistent with the frequency of my blog posts, life has just been really busy and exhausting and I have struggled to find the time, but I’m back and hope to do better from now on!!!

On to the current post!

I get fed up! Totally and utterly fed up! Every day, my house is a mess, my husband moans at me when he comes home, because he’s come home to a house that is a mess, and I have been here for the WHOLE day, or at least most of it, and it is in a worse state than when he left for work in the morning. The most annoying thing is that he is right. I somehow manage to achieve nothing, every day. Less than nothing most days! And I don’t understand how the seemingly achievable list of jobs that I need to get done, just to get the house looking acceptable… not even tidy and clean… just acceptable, by the end of the day has become so unachievable.

I have good days, where I get a little more done, and bad days where I get a lot less done, but most are bad days.

So I decided to note on my phone, everything that I did during the day yesterday from getting up, to going to bed. Now, this in itself could be a time consuming exercise, but I actually found that having the “notes” app open on my phone, and making a quick note as I moved from one task to another, added little or no time to my day. It was an interesting exercise, so I thought that I would share the results. I started by referring only to the nearest 5 mins, but quickly realised that it’s all the little 2 minute jobs that cause so many interruptions in the day, so the times became a little more specific. The post looks longer than it is, as most points are short.

My list of things I planned to do and jobs that I wanted to get done were very small & achievable. I simply planned to be at my parents house by 3pm to drop off the children so that I could go to the gym. Otherwise, I wanted to iron a (chef’s) jacket for the husband to wear to work, hang out the washing and put on another load, empty the bathroom, kitchen, recycling and food bins, and finish the washing up from the night before as well as keep on top of any washing up that I generated. If at all possible, I could maybe get all of this done before the children wake up….

Here it is

6.30am – Alarm went off – snoozed

6.45am – Got up. Put breast pump in steriliser and ran sterilising cycle. Ironed a work jacket for the husband.

7.30am – Made a coffee for the husband and woke him up. Finished ironing his jacket.

7.40am – Expressed milk

8.20am – Monkey woke up. Changed her nappy (MUST empty the bathroom bin, as the lid now wouldn’t close with all the nappies). Made her a bottle of milk. Continued expressing. Made breakfast for Monkey.

8.30am – Husband left for work, having walked the Dog.

8.45am – Woke up baby. Changed his nappy (MUST empty bathroom bin). Got pee’d on. Changed out of my PJ trousers into actual trousers. Changed baby.

9.00am – Fed baby. Took away Monkey’s breakfast things (while still feeding baby – to stop her from throwing food). Cleaned both Monkey & her High chair of breakfast food. Gave her some Duplo to play with in the high chair while I finished feeding baby. Then got into a game of her dropping her Duplo on the floor and me picking it up with my feet. This descended into chaos with her dropping pieces out of my reach and then having a mini tantrum in the high chair when I couldn’t reach to pass the pieces.

10am – ALREADY!! and baby was STILL feeding. And farting! Lots!

10.10am – The Dog started a barking competition with next doors dog! Gave Monkey a local tradesmens guide to ‘read’… got a “wow” reaction. She then resorted to singing “twinkle twinkle”.

10.40am – Monkey started getting restless and crying “Get Monkey Out”.

10.41am – Baby finished his morning feed (AT LAST). Settled him in his chair.

10.43am – Got Monkey out of her high chair and changed her nappy (MUST empty bin, as nappies were now having to be put next to bin as they won’t fit in).

10.45am – Got Monkey dressed. This took a while as she fought me for her socks, culminating in a tickle fight and then her climbing over my back.

10.55am – Changed Baby’s nappy (MUST EMPTY BIN – whole bathroom was now smelling of nappies) and outfit as he’d been sick. This included fascination with his tummy button by Monkey. Monkey then played on her scooter while I dressed Baby, and she ran over the dog’s feet, resulting in lots of barking.

11.05am – Cleaned high chair and put this and rug (an old blanket used underneath high chair to catch food) are put away.

11.06am – Finished getting dressed. No… Found a top, and then getting dressed was interrupted by Monkey bringing me her potty and saying that she needed a piddle. Sat her on the potty for about 3 minutes… No piddle…

11.12am – Finish getting dressed. Mainly…

11.14am – Received a phonecall from my Father-in-Law in Australia. Whilst on the phone to him, Monkey threw Duplo all over the living room, then emptied all of the clean nappies from their bags onto the bathroom floor. She then tried to put nappies on the Duplo children (they were slightly engulfed).

11.30am – Put socks and jumper on… dressed at last!!!

11.34am – Changed Baby’s nappy (MUST EMPTY BIN!!!!!) and outfit (AGAIN!) Interrupted by Monkey needing the potty again. Yet another false alarm. Finished re-dressing Baby.

11.46am – Let the dog out into the garden. Deal with Monkey’s tantrum because she isn’t allowed in the garden (it’s raining).

11.50am – Picked up and soothed grizzling baby. Whilst rocking baby, also physically restrained Monkey from opening a bag of balls (we have recently collapsed the playpen, which was used as a ball pit, to make room for a cot for baby when he grows out of his Moses basket). The refusal to allow her to open the bag of balls (and spread them all over the floor), resulted in another mini-tantrum and continuous whining of “open the balls now” repeatedly for about 2 minutes. She was soon distracted by trying to strap her Peppa Pig toy into her brothers car seat. The dog also attempted to have a fight through the fence with next doors dog (a regular occurrence whenever they are both in their respective gardens at the same time), with me running out into the garden to drag him away from the fence, which weakens by the day. Baby just about settled despite dog and child tantrums, so put him down in his chair.

12.00midday – Put Baby’s bottle in Steriliser and put kettle on to boil for his next feed. Stopped Monkey from ramming a dummy down Baby’s throat. Got a drink for Monkey. Replaced items in the recycling bin that the dog has removed and was walking around with in his mouth…Twice. Picked up Baby who was now fully crying. Monkey was playing on her rocking horse.

12.12pm – Put crying baby down to make up bottle feed. Put this in bowl to cool. Made Monkey’s lunch, and put her into her high chair with lunch. Ran cold water over bottle to try to get it to cool quicker, as baby was still crying and clearly hungry. Got some Dorito’s & dip out for me to eat. Balanced these on the arm of the sofa.

12.25pm – Fed Baby while Monkey ate her lunch.

12.42pm – Burped Baby. He still seemed hungry so put him on the boob for a top up. By now, Monkey had decided that my Doritos looked much more appetising than her lunch so I was now sharing these with her, as all of her food has been thrown on the floor for the dog.

12.53pm – Burped Baby again. By now he was in a cycle of drifting off to sleep only to wake again a little while later crying and arching his back. He appeared to have tummy ache. Thinking about it, this was probably my fault for making onion gravy with last nights dinner.

1.04pm – Baby was now asleep. Carefully put him in his chair trying not to wake him.

1.05pm – Phonecall from my Mum (to say that she was home and I could drop children to her any point from now so I could go to the gym).

1.07pm – Cleared up lunch things.

1.09pm – Finally made it to the loo. I had been bursting for ages!!

1.12pm – The Baby was now sleeping. I gave Monkey some fruit. While she ate this I started packing the going out bag. While getting nappies I also tidied up the nappies that Monkey had emptied all over the bathroom floor, and also put Duplo away in it’s box.

1.20pm – Took a video of Monkey to send to my brother in law (her favourite Uncle and flavour of the month/year) of Monkey “making” a present for him (from an old envelope, to which she adds some sticky banana finger marks). Sent video clip to him.

1.25pm – I realised that I had only had Doritos and salsa for lunch, which was probably not great when about to go to the gym… Had a piece of fruit followed by some cheese and then Ice Cream. During this time, Monkey was STILL eating her fruit. We eventually played a segment counting game with her tangerine, to get her to eat rather than squish the segments.

1.42pm – We had a battle over the appropriate use of cutlery when eating a Petit Filous. This ended up with Petit Filous EVERYWHERE!

1.45pm – I walked away in frustration and ate yet MORE ice cream,

1.50pm – Tidied up the lunch stuff and emptied the food bin. Looked for the 2nd baby bottle. Could not find it anywhere, so washed up the last one I used. How is it possible to lose a baby’s bottle???

2.00pm – Cleaned Monkey and the High Chair. This took a while, as she was rolling on the floor, resisting being cleaned.

2.05pm – Stripped Monkey. Again, this took a while and included some actions that resembled Yoga positions, squealing, and removing and replacing of socks.

2.10pm – Changed Monkey’s nappy again (MUST EMPTY BATHROOM BIN!!). More physical resistance from her, as she was much more interested in playing in the sink.

2.12pm – We (Monkey & I) both finally get round to our “morning” tooth brush. Once teeth are brushed, I needed to prise the toothbrush away from her, and a mini-tantrum ensues, including potty kicking.

2.15pm – Got Monkey dressed.

2.20pm – Put the steriliser on and dummy’s in the microwave. Finished packing the baby bag for my Mum’s.

2.23pm – FINALLY Emptied the bathroom bin.

2.26pm – The neighbours man they had trimming their hedge came into our front garden to collect all of the hedge trimmings, sending the dog into a mad barking frenzy which woke up Baby.

2.27pm – Just managed to get a load of washing into the machine before Baby started grizzling.

2.30pm – Packed my gym bag. Looked everywhere for my trainers…Finally found them in a bag I used ages ago.

2.45pm – Put Monkey’s shoes on. Take bottle and dummy out of steriliser and microwave. Realise that I haven’t packed a hairbrush. Look for hairbrush…

2.52pm – Realised that I hadn’t packed my gym card or £1 for the locker. Found those.

2.53pm – Got water bottle out.

2.54pm – Stopped for a chat with Baby who was busy coo’ing.

2.55pm – Monkey had now removed her shoes and unpacked half of my gym bag. She had put her shoes and some Duplo into the bag in place of my things. Removed these, checked for anything missing that I might not have seen, and re-packed the missing items.

2.57pm – Monkey had a tantrum because she wanted to put her shoes in my gym bag, and refused to put them on. Dog has now been barking for about 10 minutes solidly and I am starting to lose patience!!!

2.59pm – Put Baby in his car seat, but quickly realised he’d filled his nappy. Took him back out of car seat, and to the bathroom for a nappy change. Realised that when I emptied the bathroom bin, I had not replaced the bin bag. Went to kitchen to get replacement bin bag, and put this in the bin. Changed nappy, which was a shocker!!! Full outfit change was also required as a result.

3.05pm – Looked for car keys. Found them in my handbag after the 3rd time of looking (it was also the 1st place I looked), having also looked in all of the obvious places in the house.

3.10pm – Monkey had taken her shoes off again! The dog was STILL barking! Put Baby in his car seat.

3.12pm – Monkey is now sitting on her scooter pushing this around the room while wearing Daddy’s shoes. Have to chase her into the kitchen to get her and find that she had taken my purse into the kitchen and emptied the contents onto the kitchen floor.

3.14pm – Replace items in purse and have a battle with Monkey to get her shoes on, with her continuing to fight me off.

3.16pm – We were finally ready to go out of the door. Got both children into the car.

3.21pm – We are off the drive…

3.34pm – Arrived at my parents. Gave my Mum instructions on feeding etc. Had a brief chat.

3.43pm – Leave my parents to go to town

3.55pm – Searched for parking.

4.01pm – Parked car, got money from cashpoint. Went to 2 shops neither of whom had the item I needed to make my husbands anniversary present.

4.14pm – Left the town centre to drive to the gym.

4.18pm – Arrived at the gym. Booked in and went to get changed.

4.34pm – Finally MADE IT into the Gym, and onto a machine. Went on the running machine, the bike, and the arm bike for 10 minutes each (I actually gave up on the arm bike after just over 5 minutes… this was my 1st trip back to the gym since Baby was born, so struggled somewhat).

5.08pm – Went back to the changing rooms to shower and change. Despite the showers being tepid, weak and having to push the button every 30 seconds to re-start it, they were free of child disturbance (or even the constant anticipation of disturbance), so I took the opportunity for a full hair & body wash & took my time! Also did a full cleanse, tone and moisturise routine, then dressed.

5.33pm – Got in the car.

5.43pm – Arrived at my parents to pick up the children.

6.14pm – Left my parents after gathering up all belonging, hearing about all the fun that had been had and having yet another chat with my parents.

6.18pm – Arrived at the supermarket (as I realised that I had no milk or bread, and there were a few other things that I needed that I might as well get whilst here).

6.40pm – queued to pay.

7.00pm – Drove out of the car park. Monkey was now 2 hours late for dinner, and it was already her bedtime – I didn’t plan my day well at all!!!

7.09pm – Arrived at home and unloaded children, shopping & gym stuff from the car. Unpacked shopping that needed to go in the fridge.

7.15pm – Gave Monkey her dinner.

7.46pm – Cleared up dinner things.

7.47pm – Cleaned Monkey & High Chair.

7.51pm – Started the battle to get Monkey undressed and into her Pyjamas, with her fighting me the whole time.

7.55pm – Brushed Monkey’s teeth. While I used the loo, she removed her own nappy (a first). Put new nappy on her, warmed her milk and she drank this while I read her a story. During this, baby woke and started crying. Tucked Monkey into bed.

8.05pm – Started feeing baby, and almost immediately realised that I had forgotten to give Monkey her inhaler before bed. As she was still awake and singing to herself, I went in and gave her the inhaler.

8.10pm – Continued feeding Baby. Watched Hollyoaks (recorded – my post baby bedtime half an hour when I don’t need to think…).

8.30pm – Having sung to herself since going to bed, Monkey was now crying at the bedroom door. Went to get her. As I was still feeding Baby I allowed her to come and sit on the sofa with me. She tried to bring all of her cuddly toys and a few books with her and had a mini-tantrum that she couldn’t carry them all.

8.38pm – Monkey emptied a box of Duplo all over the living room floor. Suggestions of return to bed were being met with lots of crying.

8.50pm – Changed Baby’s nappy and put him to bed. Monkey was playing with her Duplo on her scooter.

8.54pm – Tried to encourage Monkey to go back to bed. No chance!

8.55pm – Unpack remaining shopping.

9.00pm – Wrote birthday card for next door neighbour, and then played with Monkey to try to tire her out a bit. She then wandered off and I heard her through the monitor talking to Baby! Got her out of my bedroom where Baby sleeps.

9.20pm – Monkey continued to play while I unpacked the baby changing bag and my gym bag.

9.27pm – Monkey finally agreed to go to bed, and trotted off to her room. Kissed her goodnight.

9.29pm – Replaced food bin bag. Started to put away the washing up from last night.

9.32pm – The Dog started barking. This woke Monkey up, and she started crying. I left her for a minute to see if she would go back to sleep and she did. Continued to put away washing up from last night.

9.38pm – Looked up recipe that I had planned for tonights dinner.

9.40pm – Fed the Dog, poured myself a glass of wine, and started cooking dinner.

10.20pm – Husband got home from work.

10.33pm – Dinner was ready (only 3 minutes late – success!!!). Sat down to eat.

10.47pm – Cleared plates and got yoghurts.

10.59pm – Cleared yoghurt pots and wine glass.

11.00pm – Husband & I both collapsed on sofa, exhausted from our days while he channel surfs

11.45pm – Got ready for bed, and woke up baby for night feed.

12.30am – Put baby back to bed and set my alarm for 6am.

12.37am – Monkey woke up. Changed her nappy, and tried to get her to go back to bed. She was crying and determined not to go to bed, so took her to the sofa for a cup of warm milk before trying to talk her into going to bed. Fail!

12.58am – I finally gave in and allowed her into our bed. I have done this on a few occasions, so know that she will be there for a maximum of about 10 minutes before getting fidgetty and wanting to go back to her own bed. However, tonight for the first time, she fell asleep. I then had a restless night until I managed to get her back to her own bed at about 4.30am.

And the whole cycle starts again.

So, in summary, I succeeded in getting to the gym, ironing the husbands work jacket, and putting out 2 of the 4 bins I intended to.

Although I failed to get one washing load hung out, I did manage to get it into the washing basket and get another load into the machine. The kitchen and recycling bins did not get emptied. Yesterdays, or todays washing up did not get done. All the more to get done tomorrow. Despite having seen that I literally filled every minute of my day, I still find it hard to comprehend how I managed to get so little housework done, especially when my targets were so simple and are less than the minimum that I should be doing daily as a housewife. However, I will be showing the husband this post, so he can see that I don’t just sit on my backside doing nothing all day!!!

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The Liebster Award – round 2


This is my 2nd nomination for the Liebster Award, and as the blogger who nominated me has gone to the effort of coming up with the questions (and I know from last time, that for me, that was the hardest bit), I will happily participate again.

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by @Pumpkinellababy at pumpkinella.com who’s blog I have been following for a couple of months now.  For those who do not know about the Liebster Award, it is an award that is passed on from one new blogger to other new bloggers that they like.  It is a great way to introduce new bloggers to each other, and get new blogs out there for others to see.

The rules are as follows!

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Post the Liebster Award badge on your blog.

3. Write 11 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 4-11 bloggers who you feel deserve the award.

5. Answer the 11 questions posted by the blogger that nominated you.

6. Write 11 new questions for your nominees.

So here goes with answering the questions set for me by Fola at pumpkinella.com

1. Do you go to blog conferences and why?

I haven’t been to any… Yet.  I haven’t felt that I have enough experience or committed myself enough to my blog (timewise) to call myself a “blogger”, and I didn’t really know about the conferences until it was too late to think about it.  I probably won’t go to any for another few months, as I have a lot going on alongside my toddler and baby, but I would love to go, especially after reading about what a great time was had by all at BritMums Live.

2. What’s one moment in your life you wish you could do over again?

This question could be interpreted in a couple of ways.  My first thought when I read it was which moment I would like to do again, so that I could do it differently, but then I also thought that the question could be asking which moment I would like to repeat as it was so good I would want to experience it all over again.  In the first instance, there is no particular moment that springs to mind that I would like to do again and change.  I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and we learn from the bad times as well as the good.  I don’t believe in regrets, as the bad times have made me the person that I am, and that is a person that I am happy with.  In my second interpretation, I know it’s a cliché, but I’d have to go with my wedding day.  It flew by, and I’d love to do it all over again just so I can soak it all in a little better.

3. If you were a superhero, which would you be?

I am not a great superhero fan…I have watched most of the superhero films (mainly because the husband had them on, although I have probably slept through most of them), but couldn’t relate myself to or aspire to any, so I cheated on this question, and googled “Which superhero am I”, and took a quiz.  It told me that I am superman.

4. If someone where to ask you right this minute, who are you, what would you say?

I am a Mummy of a Toddler and a Baby, a Wife, and a Lazy Housewife, a great people person, but completely disorganised and failed in business.

5. Whats your favourite movie of all time?

I’m going to copy my answer from my previous Liebster post … I’ve got 2.  Love Actually, for the cheesy romantic in me, and Crash (the 2004 one with Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon, not the wierd one from a few years before about people finding car crashes sexual), because the “moral” of the story totally sums up my view on life, you shouldn’t judge people based on skin colour or what they look like as you have no idea of what are they really like and what has gone on/is going on in their life.

6. How has your week been (the last 7 days)?

Busy, Stressful, Hot, Fun.

7. Do you ever wish career-wise you’d chosen a different path? If so, what?

I’ve always been torn between 2 very similar yet very different career paths both of which I am passionate about, and I wish I had chosen one and stuck to it, rather than switching between the 2, and not getting very far in either.  They are both “people” jobs… I worked in drug counselling and support in prisons for a number of years, which I loved, miss and am about to start some further education to go back to (although probably not in the prison setting as it was too emotionally draining) and have also worked in hospitality, doing bar and waitressing work during my evenings and weekends since I was old enough, eventually leaving my day job, to run the front of house side of a pub/restaurant that I had with my husband (a chef), before giving that up to be at home with my babies.

8. Do you have enough time to devote to your blog or do you struggle to find the time?

I would love to commit a couple of hours a day to my blog, but in reality I usually manage half an hour a couple of times a week, and try to keep up with the social media side while baby feeding.  As I gradually organise my life better, I am hoping to be able to commit more time each day.  We will see how well that works…

9. Have you made meaningful friendships through blogging?

I have some bloggers who I interact with and relate to more than others on social media, and have found some, no, make that most blogger in the “parent blogger” community to be very helpful, friendly and willing to help each other along the way, but would not say that I have made any friendships yet.  I would like to think that friendships may develop through my blogging.

10. 3 things you hope to achieve this year, blogging or non-blogging related?

Erm…. 1. Clear out all the junk & empty the boxes in the spare room before baby grows out of his Moses basket.   2. Start my counselling course and allocate time each week to study.   3. Improve my blog and post more regularly and consistently (again, by allocating time each week to blogging).  I have quite a long list of things I need to do on my blog to make it what I want.

11. Do you believe in man-made traditions like mothers and fathers days?

Some of them, but I do believe that so many of them have become really commercialised.  I try to keep Mothers & Fathers day, Valentines day etc to a card, and maybe some small personalised or home made gift rather than grand gestures.  Flowers, meals etc are always double the usual price just because it is a “specific” day.  And as my husband is a chef he always has to work hard on those days, so we can never celebrate as a family (and as my Birthday is a couple of days before Valentines we don’t celebrate twice in one week).

So, 11 Facts about me and I’ll try to come up with 11 different ones to the last time I did this (and it was hard enough the first time around):

1. I’m a secret Big Brother addict!

2. I get regularly recurring periods of depression (usually related to friendships/family relationships/romantic relationships), but like many who suffer from depression am good at hiding it.

3. I fully expect to win the lottery every week, and end up feeling really disappointed every weekend that it’s not my turn yet.

4. I don’t drink milk.  It’s not an allergy but the taste makes me sick.  I’m sure it’s psychological now as I’ve been like that since age 4.

5. I love the concept of healthy eating and have a cupboard full of healthy ingredients but always opt for the junk option instead if it means actually cooking for myself.  I am happy to cook proper food for the husband or others though.

6. I love washing and ironing. The only chores I actually enjoy.  But never get round to the ironing bit.  I have the biggest ironing pile you have ever seen!

7. Only ever celebrity crush … Andrew Lincoln

8. I competed at school European level rowing as a teenager (I’m not sporty at all – I was the Cox), and travelled to Belgium to compete.

9. I love spicy food that is so hot it makes me cry.  I prefer chilli spice to curry spice.

10.  I sing to myself all the time, and often don’t care who hears me.  Unfortunately my 2 year old doesn’t like my singing and always shouts at me to stop.

11. I love cats but can’t have one as the husband is severely allergic (and hates them)!

So now I need to come up with 11 questions to set for my nominees!  Here goes…

1. What is your guilty pleasure TV show?

2. Do you have any lifelong ambitions?

3. If you could visit any part of the world, where would it be?

4. What is your most embarrassing habit?

5. What is your favourite Food?

6. What do you find hardest about being a parent?

7. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

8. What is the best/most interesting job you have ever had (other than being a parent)?

9. Who is your celebrity hero?

10. Do you have any pets?

11. What is your best housework shortcut?

My nominations go to:

@mumshideout

@MumClueless

@everythingisap

@mumofabean

@Mummuddlingthru

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The best and worst of a 2 year old!

My oldest child is now 2!  2 and a quarter to be more precise!  And don’t I know it!!!

The very short paragraph above took me about 5 minutes to type simply because said 2 year old started throwing clean, ironed muslins from a pile on the coffee table, onto the floor. As quickly as I picked them up/took them from her and refolded and stacked them, she was grabbing more. She thought it was a great game. I was just getting more and more annoyed.

There are many lovely things about having a 2 year old.  You can have proper conversations… No, rephrase… Conversations.  And some quite funny ones as she makes mistakes in her vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar!  Her favourite reply to anything at the moment is “yes I am!”  This is particularly funny when it is completely out of context or the answer means the opposite to what she clearly does mean!

She also copies (which is not so great when a swear word slips out). When she hurled dinner at me last night, I used the phrase “For God’s Sake!!!” only to have it parroted back at me (which set me off laughing, and ruined my attempt to be angry).

She has come out with some highly amusing comments, as 2 year olds do. One of my favourites was when the midwife was visiting in the first few days after the birth of Baby.  Monkey had attended most of my midwife appointments with me so was fairly familiar with Vicky.  As we sat chatting about whatever needed discussing at that stage, an unpleasant smell started to become quite apparent.  I asked Monkey if she had poo’d.  She responded with “No Mummy! Vicky’s Poo’d”!  What a way to treat our guest!  Blame her for the poo smell!  (She usually blames Daddy, whether he is home or not).

Today we have also had “Leave me in peace Dog”, to the dog who was hovering under her high chair. She is also going through a phase of singing Happy Birthday to not only anyone, but also anything, and I caught her singing “Happy Birthday to Monkey’s nappies” the other day. And she is very sweet when she bumps her head and wants to 12 week old brother to kiss it better for her (the poor boy gets a mouth full of hair)! She then usually runs off to find the dog to get him to kiss it better too (Yuck!) and yesterday threw a mini tantrum as the dog came in from the garden while she was putting her shoes on to go out and find him. “IN THE GARDEN DOG!! IN THE GARDEN AND KISS IT BETTER” I felt so mean laughing, but I don’t think she saw me.

There are a lot of random comments too. “Mummy’s knee’s broken”. No idea why she thought this, or what she meant. And telling me that the duck (the rubber ones that live in the bath) are going on holiday. She refers to the milk warming in the microwave as the “7, 8, 9” and likes to do the countdown from 10 seconds. Neither my husband or I can figure our why she calls this the “7, 8, 9”, why she picked those 3 numbers, and why she doesn’t refer to it as the “9, 8, 7”

She is a very loving child, and there is nothing better than waking her up and being greeted with a big smile and “Hello Mummy” (I can’t really describe the particularly cute tone of voice she uses for this, but it is quite lilting and sounds almost pleasantly surprised to see me).  She also regularly demands “big cuddles”, and has started to stroke or pat the back of the person she is cuddling.

There are so many more delightful things about 2 year olds that I could go on boring you forever with stories about mine. There are, however, some not so great bits about dealing with the “terrible two’s”.

The food throwing! Having learned to feed herself and use cutlery (getting about 80% in her mouth) she has regressed to refusing cutlery, removing all food from her plate onto any and every other surface around her (High chair tray, dining table, her own clothes, body and hair, the floor, the dog, me and her brother and anything else within smearing or throwing distance). She seems to find it particularly amusing to aim for her baby brother’s head if I am feeding him at the same time that she is eating (jealousy I’m sure, but if that is as bad as jealousy is going to get for now, then that’s fine). Today has had a new food behaviour, as I am typing this. She was asked which fruit she would like for her lunch. Having asked for a tangerine, she proceeded to squeeze the juice from each segment onto her plate, put all of the juiceless segments on the high chair tray, and then tipped the juice from the plate into her mouth (and then threw the plate across the table).

There is also the kicking and hitting. Mainly just thrashing around when having a tantrum, but also in defiance when told not to do it, she frequently repeats the kick/hit to see what reaction it will get. She has taken herself to the naughty step a couple of times now after kicking me, or her brother.

One factor of this two year old (and I am led to believe that this is fairly normal), that I find very difficult to remain patient with, is the constant “crying”. I am not referring to her getting genuinely upset! No, I am pretty good at being the loving, comforting Mum when it’s needed. I am talking about the mini-tantrums with foot stamping, screwing up of face, crying noises, but no actual tears. These currently happen about 20 times a day, usually accompanied by a whine of “Monkey do it, Monkey do it”, or “Monkey sit HERE, Monkey sit HERE”. The reason that it is particularly annoying, is because in the main, it is over something that I am more than willing to allow her to do, or was about to ask her to do, or even is something that she always does anyway (and I haven’t told her that this time is any different), so why she is having a mini tantrum about wanting to do it, is beyond me, as she hasn’t been told that she can’t. The few occasions that it is not something that I will let her do, is usually something which she genuinely cannot do, like when she has a tantrum as we set off on a journey in the car, with her strapped into her car seat in the back, because she wants to drive the car! Not happening for many years yet I’m afraid!

She is also going through a super fragile phase. This is yet another reason for very frequent but insincere crying. She brushes against something and starts “crying”. Today, she clapped (just 3 normal claps, not particularly hard) along to a song, and then cried because one hand hitting the other had hurt!

I also find the refusal to listen to (or maybe it’s just refusal to acknowledge) anything that I say, absolutely infuriating!! I can ask her 10 times to pick up her pencils or not to touch something, and she just acts as though she hasn’t heard me. When my hands are full with a feeding baby, I can’t always guide her to listen as I’d like to. It’s definitely selective hearing! If I open a chocolate bar in the kitchen she hears it from anywhere in the house and comes running demanding a piece.

She always knows the right time to play up (or maybe that’s the wrong time). She seems to be able to tell when I am reaching the end of my tether, and then does everything that I tell her not to. A regular favourite is if her brother is crying while I get her ready for bed. She sees this as the perfect opportunity to take as long as is humanly possible to do everything needed to get ready. This includes refusing to let me put her PJs on, rolling around on the floor or running away, messing about when she should be brushing her teeth, lying down in the dogs bed when she should be going to her own, taking her nappy off, and the list goes on. She loves going to bed, and often asks to go before her bedtime, but plays up when she can see that her brother needs my attention.

She pushes me to my limits, and challenges me to be more patient every day, but whenever I look at her, I still feel amazed at what a wonderful, polite, full of character, delightful little girl we have. My husband & I both have strong personalities and some difficult characteristics, so for her to be as lovely as she is, really is a miracle. And I really miss her when she goes to pre-school or for a day out with Grandparents or Auntie.

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I’m still here

I thought I should just post to say that I am still here.  I have had a very busy couple of weeks arranging a surprise birthday party for the husband.  I couldn’t post about it in advance as the husband now knows about this blog and may have read it.

I do have a post that I am writing and have been working on over the last couple of weeks but without much time I am struggling to sit down and put some proper structure to it. 

But next week I will find some time to focus on completing the next post.

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