Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Resolution - intro

Really quick one as we are going out in a minute. Once I've checked my work emails. The kids are with the Grandparents and I have on my new clothes. Mostly fitted me (ordered from La Redoute).  Will have to send back a bra and possibly a dress but its just around the hips it won't fit me and I intend to be smaller around the hips very soon.

After 2nd January (possibly 1st January depending on hangover...) I will be following Carol Vorderman's detox diet. This will mean giving up:
  • Alcohol (I had intended on going a month without booze in January anyway so that's good)
  • Caffeine (no tea or coffee - this is going to be hard as I LOVE my lattes and my earl grey)
  • I haven't finished reading the book yet but I think it involves no wheat, no dairy, not sure about red meat. Assume not. Maybe no meat at all. 
I will do another blog post when I know exactly what the plan is, but for now I'm going to go out to lunch with hubby (late lunch) and then to the cinema and gorge myself with food and wine. Taxi back.

See y'all later. 

Back to work, forgot handbag, not getting house....

I'm back at work today. So not in the mood at all, although it was nice to get out of the house. Hubby is at home with the kids again. I think he got a raw deal this Christmas! lol. He decided to take "time off" and got lumbered looking after the kids (his kids, so guess he should just lump it). It has made me giggle a bit though when I was hiding in my office working (I was allowed to work from home over the Christmas week) that he got a bit of a flavour as to why I used to pull my hair out on the days when I was at home with them when I was working full time.

I'm rather disappointed to find out that today is apparently not a half day like Christmas Eve was. But I think I'll go home and work from home at about midday (ie make sure I am logged onto the chat thing and check the emails every so often).

My parents are back from their cruise that they went on over Christmas. We saw them on Saturday at my sister's house. We took the kids with us and just put them to bed on my sister's spare bed. They were really good. Lala, bless her, went to bed about 6.30pm, while Joshua stayed up until gone 9pm, but he was very good. We didn't make a fuss as to be honest I don't think its fair. It was the first time he'd seen his Granny & Grandad in a few weeks and same for my sister and her husband. He was such a sweet boy the entire evening. I almost wish we could always be visiting someone. No fighting, no crying, no wetting himself (he only does that at home). He also said some really funny things. We were talking about who he would marry when he got older. Expecting him to say something like a girl from nursery or maybe even Mummy (cos they don't really understand the concept at 4) and he said he wanted to marry Daddy. LOL. It would kind of make sense though. He does love dressing up in girls clothes and wearing Mummy's makeup. As hubby said, as long as we get some Grandkids we don't care who he marries (man or woman). The other funny thing he said was "Growing up is hard". We all laughed. Out of the mouths of babes. Isn't it just!!!!

I'm going to go down to the Starbucks at the other end of the building now and get myself a latte. Back in a minute.......


Am back. Look what I got:





Just couldn't resist really. I forgot my handbag this morning. I'm so out of practice of going into work that I had my laptop bag (the one I really really need) and forgot my handbag which has my purse and therefore my money. However, I put an email out to anyone that might be in the building to ask if I could borrow a couple of quid, and someone came back - in fact quite a few people came back. I was very impressed. I also found a pound coin in my coat so that was good. Meant I could afford to buy the chocky croissant.

So my parents are having the kids from this afternoon until tomorrow morning. On New Years Eve. Can you believe it? This all came about because I had asked them if they could have them on Wednesday as they seemed pretty keen to have them (not seen them in a while - that'll soon wear off lol) and my sister in law who is now working as our childminder has been ill all Christmas. However, yesterday she (the SIL) rang me and said she is on the mend (she's had a seriously nasty bout of flu which turned into a head cold) and she'd like to have them on Wednesday. So I told my parents they weren't needed. They actually sounded quite disappointed!!! Anyway, so yesterday afternoon we had been having a discussion about this house that we want to buy and we have both come to the conclusion that maybe its not the right house or time for us. Which is extremely disappointing for both of us as we both want to move. A fresh start, neighbours who don't bang on the wall just because your toddler is crying. However, the more we both thought about it, the more we were having second thoughts.... I'll carry on with this in a minute.

So we were talking about it and my parents rang about something to do with my dad's phone. I solved it by telling him to shut it down and restart it. That worked. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe we could have a bit of a break as we really feel like we need it. And they HAD said to let them know when they want the kids. So I asked if they would have them the next afternoon (this afternoon now) and they said yes, and they kind of suggested that they could perhaps have them over night too. Which was just amazing. The relief I felt at the idea of having some time off. I know I've been at home working but its not the same as being off work and being able to sort the house out without having sticky little fingers undo all the hard work you have just done.

So anyway, back to the house. The main reason we think it is not going to work is the internet situation. My husband works from home and really needs to have internet access. I also intend to find a job one day where I can work from home. So to have a house where we are going to get extremely bad to no internet connection is just not an option. Also the house is not on mains sewerage or gas supply. Also it is right next door to a pub. Its not actually attached as its a detached house (YAY!) but it is very close. Now while this wouldn't ordinarily be a problem but having been there a few times (lovely landlady, lovely people) its a metallers, biker type pub. I have no problem with that fact. Its just the fact that they have metally type live music on a regular basis. I guess I wouldn't be worried about less noisy music maybe. But by the sounds of it it can get quite loud. Now I love live music but I really don't like thrash metal and if I can't even escape the house to actually enjoy the music properly then what is the point! So I've really been having second thoughts about that. So we have decided to withdraw our offer, tell the people that want to do a survey on our house (and yet have not made an offer yet) that we are taking our house off the market. I feel quite depressed about the whole thing. We have decided that we are not going to look for another house. We are just going to stay put until after September when Joshua goes to school. Save up, pay off debts, then when we are ready again maybe we might be able to afford the big house with big rooms AND decent location WITHOUT the sewerage/gas/pub issues. I was SO sure that this house was meant for us though. I feel so disappointed.

I'm feeling decidedly glum. I feel like I want to go out and buy myself lots of things to make myself feel better. Sadly I forgot my handbag today. So that's not going to happen. I was actually thinking of going to the Apple store in Basingstoke to go buy myself the Apple laptop (Macbook Air) that I have been hankering after for so long. I get like this when I'm down. Just want to go buy lots of things. It makes me feel better if only for a while.

I will leave you with a photo of my Dad with the two kiddies round my sister's house.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Post Christmas Blues

I'm feeling a little lost.

Hubby is worried about new house and the feasibility of it - bad internet, no mains gas or sewerage....

I think I am suffering from post christmas blues (as opposed to the pre-christmas stress that I also suffered from - as I do every year).

I just feel like the house is such a tip. I feel like I need to completely reorganise myself. I need a new start, a new me. I need to get fit, detox, eat healthily, teach the kids to tidy up after myself.

I've been looking on some organising blogs that I used to follow when I was doing my own organising blogs and I love some of the ideas that I see but I feel like I just lack the motivation to do anything with them. I feel so sluggish and slow. Its so depressing and frustrating because I really am at that point where if my life gets anymore stressful, messy or chaotic I may just explode.

The other day, can't remember which day it was, Ben took both kids out and I decided that instead of sitting on the sofa watching TV enjoying the time to myself, I would whizz round, making the most of the lack of distracting small children, and tidy up the sitting room - the main area of concern in my house. When hubby came back, shortly followed by a friend of ours, they both mentioned how great it looked. Sadly about an hour later the kids had undone most of my hard work. They couldn't exactly unsweep and unmop it (so at least it stayed clean-ish) - although I reckon they'd probably give it a go, but they certainly got everything out again and threw all their toys everywhere. I just wanted to sink my head into my hands and cry. I yearn to live a tidy organised existance but I'm just not the type of person who is able/willing to spend every single minute of every single day picking up, wiping, mopping, tidying..... I lose the will to live. Secretly, I want someone to do it all while I'm sleeping, but as that's unlikely to happen..... Not sure what to do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Super Sweet Blog Award

Mum Turned Mom has very kindly awarded me with the Super Sweet Blog Award for some reason I can't quite fathom. Still find it surprising people like reading my blurb. Oh well, don't knock it, I say to myself (in true nutter, talking to self stylee).






There it is. My award. Above (first one I've got - I think...). Yay! Thank you so much Mum Turned Mom. So, here I go:

The rules for the award:

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who gave you the award and link back to their blog (done above)
  2. Nominate other blogs for this award and let them know (will do below)
  3. Post the award on your blog (done above)
  4. Answer 5 questions:
Cookies or Cake?
Probably cake. Cupcakes in particular with lovely frosting. Particularly like chocolate cupcakes or muffins with the rich chocolatey gooeyness in the middle. The best cupcake I have had was in a shopping centre in London when I was on a day out with a friend of mine. It was actually a Zuccini & Chocolate cupcake (zuccini is basically courgette for us British people and you wouldn't expect it to make a good cupcake but then again carrots are nice in cake so why shouldn't courgettes be good. Hmmmmm Choooooocccooolllllaaaatteeeeeee.

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Are we talking about ice cream here? Cos I am not that fussed about icecream. I prefer actual chocolate over most anything - including sex. Just give me a box of Guylians anyday (Belgian Seashell shaped chocs).

Favourite sweet treat?
If its morning then a chocolate croissant. Also love Guylian chocs as mentioned above. Chocolate cup cakes. Any other kind of cupcakes. Or cake of any kind. Also like triple chocolate cookies. The big ones. That come in bags of 4. I almost always eat all 4.

When do you crave sweet things the most?
Erm, let me see.... when I'm bored. When I'm feeling down. When I'm hungover, fed up. Basically my food intake (not just sweet - I love cheese and fatty bready/pasta-ey things too) is related to my emotions.

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
Don't really know how to answer this one. My hubby has lots of nicknames for me. One of them is the nickname one of my teachers at primary school gave me - Snail. Cos I was always a little bit slow - not in a stupid way, I hasten to add, but in a "in her own little dream world" kind of a way. Not really very sweet is it?

My nominees:
  1. Anecdotes of a manic mum - I cannot avoid nominating this lady who I like to think I have almost become friends with. I feel like I know her from reading all her blog post (sorry if that sounds stalkery... I'm really not like that!) and I just think she is a very special lady. The love she has for her husband who has had life-changing surgery is palpable from her posts. She inspires me to write, to look at my life through new eyes - because anything could happen and it could all change in the blink of an eye and she gives me faith that if something terrible did happen to me, perhaps I could, like her, be brave and strong. I really cannot express how much I respect her.  
  2. Dear Beautiful Boy - I am nominating Lucy at Dear Beautiful because I love reading her posts. The photos of her little ones, particularly her new baby make me OH SO CLUCKY. But I'm resisting. 2 is enough for me thank you very much!!!! I love the simplistic beautiful style of her blog and the posts are written like prose or poetry. Centred on the page. Makes me feel calm (AND CLUCKY) reading her posts. 
  3. The Distressed Housewife - Because she makes me laugh and I can relate to her in many ways.
  4. Forgetting Mess, Pausing Time - I love the way Melissa writes. Particularly how honest and candid she is about her past on her Flashback Friday series of posts. She has me sitting on the edge of my seat during these posts. I feel lucky I had a relatively normal childhood. 
Thats all for now as I need to log off as we have a guest.  Thanks again Mum Turned Mom for nominating me. xxxxx

Christmas day, Boxing day and 27th....and the rest

Am going to start writing this now (12pm on Boxing day) but I will probably have to come back later and finish it so will do what I can. As I type, hubby is reading the kids a story that they got for Christmas while I'm downloading the first 3 Starwars films. They've already watched the original 2. I've just downloading the Return of the Jedi and the new 3 so we're going to go down and carry on watching them.

Yesterday was fab. Not your typical Christmas day (if you believe that the adverts by M&S and Asda are typical). We opened the kids stockings with them first thing, then went down for breakfast which was mostly made up of chocolate and did more present opening. We all stayed in our PJs all day. Nanny & Grandpa (hubby's parents) came round at 10am and stayed for a glass of bubbly and we opened their presents. Then they went and the kids had lunch (nuggets and chips - this is what they asked for as its their very favourite thing - hubby bought the most expensive nuggets and curly slightly spiced fries) and we sat down and snacked on cheese and crackers at the kitchen table with them. Oh and they opened crackers too. They love crackers.

Now sat on sofa (12.53pm Boxing day) watching the first Star Wars movie (the first one with Ewan McGregor - yum!).

So after lunch of cheese, and a few glasses of bubbly I came over all knackered. It might have been due to a late-ish night (we went out to the pub) so I had a bit of a nap but not much of one as everytime I seemed to drift off, I got woken up by a child or hubby asking me for something. Still, can't complain. I think it was just the stress of new job, all that commuting, everything just compounded at the one day I managed to be able to relax. This is exactly what happened when I had a girls weekend away. They all lived it up drinking tonnes and I just went to bed for the whole weekend.

We didn't eat OUR Christmas dinner until after the kids were in bed and it took a lot longer than hubby thought (he does pretty much all the cooking in our house) and we didn't eat until about 9.45pm. We had our pudding before our dinner - we had it before the kids went to bed. Sticky Toffee Pudding. My mum's recipe. It was lovely.

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I'm so rubbish. I never got around to finishing this yesterday. So, summary. Xmas day: movies, cheese for us, nuggets and chips for kids, Sticky toffee pudding, followed by roast beef for us in the evening.

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Boxing day was another lazy day. Movies and snacks all day.

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Today I'm working from home. There isn't much to do to be honest but its a great excuse to have a bit of peace and quiet. Am currently running a bath which I'm going to have (I like my baths mega-hot) and then will have some kiddy time while hubby gets in the bath.

I'm very much looking forward to the post. I'm hoping my pandora beads will come. I ordered them yesterday and according to the DHL site they are out for delivery today. I also ordered a load of clothes off Redoute (and also bought myself a few things in Sainsburies this morning when I nipped out to get myself a Starbucks latte). So soon I should not be complaining about not having any clothes to wear (that fit me).

I'm getting a personal trainer in the new year. So hoping he will help me to get motivated to get fit and lose some weight. Will need it after all the crap I've eaten this holiday.

Have also decided (hope I don't regret telling you this) that I am going to give up alcohol for January. I did it once four years ago (actually 5 I guess as it was just before I got pregnant with Joshua) and it made me feel quite good. I feel the need for a purge. Oh, talking of purges, yesterday I also found some time to go through my wardrobe. I moved all my fancy dresses (ball dresses, cocktail dresses, party dresses) to the spare bedroom wardrobe. I don't need them taking up space when I only ever wear them once in a blue moon. I also took out anything that I knew didn't fit me, tried on anything that I wasn't sure about and also took out anything that was too summery. No point having my wardrobe full of strappy summer dresses when all it does is rain. I pulled out all my tops from the cupboard and hung up any nice ones and also jumpers. I know some people may think its silly to hang up jumpers but I want to be able to see at a glass what my options are to wear for work in the morning when I want to get ready. So in one side of the wardrobe I have my shoes (on one of those hangy canvas shelf things) and trousers, skirts and dresses (work type dresses). On the other side (which is shared between myself and hubby (he has the bottom rail and I have the top one)) I have put all my tops, cardigans, jumpers and at the end at the back (cos I don't wear them very often) suits. I'm very pleased about how this looks. I will try to load a few pics on here later.

Am going to publish this now as its getting silly. Its now the 28th. I've been a bit distracted as have found a rather addictive game online called Cultures. 

Stockings mostly unopened

One VERY happy boy


Opening her first Christmas present


My beautiful charm bracelet


Christmas lunch


Light saver battles (they call them light savers, not sabres)


Monday, December 24, 2012

Day out and housework-related hissy fit

Wasn't going to blog tonight. But I can't sleep so I may as well tell you what I've been up to this evening. I have myself a brandy (was going to have tea but thought brandy might actually aid my terrible indigestion a bit more - well, and it tastes yummy) and will tell you about my evening. Are you sitting comfortably? Actually its not really that interesting so don't get your hopes up.

And tonight I'm going to work backwards. Just to confuse you. Well, just before bed I had a bit of a mega-strop at the husband. Well, it wasn't EXACTLY AIMED at him but he was the only one in the house/room (that was awake) so I guess it was probably fair for him to assume that he was the target. I'd come to bed. Hubby came up about an hour previously and said he was going to tidy the bedroom before going to bed. He hadn't and, now I often say I'm going to do things and then don't so not sure why I took this so personally, it suddenly hit me what an untidy tip our house is. Actually, that's not when it hit me. It hit me when I tried to dig through my knicker drawer to find some cotton normal (ie non-frilly non-lacy) comfy knickers - I sleep in knickers. Always have. Can't go nude in bed. Not sure why. Probably some deep seated issues I have related to my lack of being comfortable with my own body! Anyway, none to be found. Only lacy ones that I'd recently bought and regretted buying as they seemed to not actually have a gusset. Just lace. All lace. Really handy. Not very comfy either. Is all very well feeling sexy but why can't we be sexy AND comfy at the same time? Eh? Tell me. Anyway, after getting no joy out of knicker drawer I then searched the laundry room (by this I mean the floor of the spare bedroom where all our clean stuff gets dumped after its been dried). No knickers of any sort there. I went down to the washing machine as I knew there was a wash in there. Couldn't get the door open. Shouted at husband and world in general. Slammed a few doors (hoping desperately I wouldn't wake the kids - but I just HAD to do a bit of door-slamming - you know that feeling???). Hubby tried to open washing machine door and started doing some cursory putting away of stuff although 10pm really isn't the time or the place. I was frustrated as I had planned to get loads done today. This is how earlier in the day went:

I got up with kids at about 8am. Lala had slept in our bed. She likes to spread out a lot so hubby (who didn't go to bed until around 5am anyway as he was watching movies) slept in the spare bedroom. I made them breakfast and tried to get away with a few more minutes in bed while they ate their toast and watched Charlie & Lola in their room. That didn't last long though so I got up in the end and we all went downstairs. I started tidying the kitchen which had been messified by hubby the previous day (I hate it when I clean things and they get messy again) while he was making bread. It was scrummy bread though so I can't really complain. Took me more or less all morning to sort out the kitchen. I made a start on the sitting room but the kids always seem to mess it up quicker than I can tidy and I hate that. I cannot get any satisfaction from doing a job that is unending and you get nothing out of. Call me selfish.

When hubs got up eventually. I say eventually.... It was only 10am that he got up. I got more of a lie in than that yesterday. So I shouldn't really grumble. I suppose I just resent him for being brave enough (or stupid enough) to stay up that late enjoying himself. I know I would feel utterly awful so I would never do that myself unless I knew that I had the entire day to myself with no kids & the freedom to do nothing but eat and watch grownup TV all day the following day. He got up all bouncy and full of the joys of.... er christmas I guess. And said "Lets go out and do something christmassy". He was so insistent I didn't really get a choice. I kind of had planned to do nothing (ie not go out anywhere) and have a day of doing things (to get the house ready for xmas) but he was so insistent that we should go and have "family fun" so I agreed as long as we could get Life Juice (Starbucks) on the way. Mummy's a bit grumpy in the morning. And in the afternoon. And in the evening. And sometimes at night too! I have to say I didn't get any LESS grumpy when I pulled my scab off my hand when trying to attach the car seat into my car. Good start.

So off we went. After Starbucks, we went to Winchester as there was a Christmas market type thing thing there. It was nice. Bit stressful if I'm honest. Lala is not very well and I'm not sure if its just that she burst a blood vessel or that she'd fallen over and banged her nose but her rather snotty nose started dribbling blood at one point and kept slowly dribbling more bloody snot. So I was worried that she'd somehow managed to break her nose. Also she got very grumpy about holding my hand and was insistent on walking by herself so I either had to push people out of my way to stay with her or have her screaming cos she didn't want to hold my hand or I had to carry her. They did enjoy seeing the little nativity scene with a real live Mary and Joseph & a live cow, sheep, goat & donkey. They spent ages there. I had to carry her away in the end as both her and Josh were climbing up on the fence thingy and Mary had to tell us to get them to climb down a couple of times. After that and a bit of shop meandering.... oh yes and we got Lala a nice wooden necklace and Joshua a wooden sword although I think we should have done it the other way round as Joshua quite liked the necklace and Lala definitely preferred the sword. We were going to find a nice pub and have a nice lunch but the 2 places we tried (pizza restaurant and the Slug & Lettuce) were both fully booked so we ended up taking the kids to McDonalds. Still, they were happy about it. And hubs and I had some chips. And then a hot dog each on the way back to the car park.

On the way back I suggested that maybe we drive to the place where this house is that we're hoping to buy. And maybe stop at the pub if the kids go to sleep. Which they did. The drive there was GORGEOUS. All country lanes and hills. I love the country side. It makes me feel peaceful. We got to the pub. Had a quick look at the outside of the house then went to the pub next door. The kids were asleep in the car. We parked right where we could see them. As we walked in, hubby said, isn't this the pub you played in with your old band (the one I was in when I first met him). I said it might be. and the more I thought about it the more I realised that it was the place. We met 18 years ago. 1994. I ignored him mostly. Cos I had my eyes on someone else at the time who wasn't paying me back the attention so I kind of blew hubby off.

Isn't that amazing though. The house that we love and really hope we are going to get (if they ever come back to us with an answer to our 2nd offer) is right next door to the place where we first met. I'd say that was fate.

We had a drink. Hubs had a coke as was feeling a bit rough. I had a red wine and then had another red wine as hubs agreed to drive. Joshua woke up. Came and sat on a bar stool and chatted with us. We bought raffle tickets for their meat raffle. Chatted to the landlady and told her our story. And chatted to some of the locals. Then Lala woke up and she was not too happy so we had to leave fairly sharpish. Got that stab of guilt for not having her tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle (not that she would have stayed there!).

Came home. I went and had a bath as had found it a pretty shattering day & hubs fed the kids dinner. I fell asleep on bed for a bit after bath. Hubs came to get me and asked if he could get in my bath and have a nap so I went to chill with the kids for a bit. Got no housework done.

By the time hubs came back down was bedtime for kids which he does generally and I was quite tired so left him to it and tucked self up in duvet which he had brought down to the sitting room earlier.

This is why we got nothing done. Was a good day really but I had envisaged me being able to get tonnes done because hubby could entertain the kids and keep them downstairs so I could, at my own pace, start dealing with the mess room by room. Or he could even take them out for an hour or two (OK if he had I'd probably just have sat down with some TV and a cuppa)....

I'm too much of a perfectionist and I like to see the result of what I'm doing and I like to be doing it when I'm at my best. ie: not when I've just woken up, not when I'm just about to go to bed and I don't like to be doing it while I have toddlers shouting at me to help them with puzzles and MUMMY WANT TO DO PAINTING! and that kind of thing. I know, its unrealistic. I should just stop wishing I could have peace and quiet to do housework and just settle with doing a little bit as and when I can. But it just doesn't come naturally to me!!!

Anyway, so that was our day. Day out, fun, stress, food, drive, pub, home, TV, bed, row, bed, brandy, blog. In a nutshell.

Should go to bed now as its nearly midnight now. So much for my early night.

Some pics of the day:

Babychinos on the way

Candy floss!

Walking together - yes, I know I look awful and fat. Personal Trainer in Jan

The sword

Chilling in sofa/bed later with toast

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last minute stocking filler shopping, painting & finally BATH!!!!

So. Hubby is back from his monster shopping trip. Strangely he didn't come back with that much. Benefit of being an impulse buyer is it doesn't take me long to get what I need/want. He, however, is NOT an impulse buyer. Which is why he spent a good 3 hours out today shopping. Also he seemed to go to lots of different places. I would probably have gone somewhere that I could get most of the things that I needed in one fell swoop. I hate shopping. I love shopping for fun things for me and for the kids but I hate the pressure that Christmas and Birthdays put on you to get something perfect.

So, what has my day been like?

Well, I had a bit of a lie in this morning. Didn't feel like that much of a lie in as the kids woke up late (8.15am) and then my hubby got up. I often feel like I've been cheated if he gets nearly as much of a lie in as me when its my turn! lol. I know that isn't logical but I'm competitive like that and I feel that he should be up at 6am and I should get all that time in bed on my own (spreading out all over the bed, sleeping on his pillow - which invariably always seems more comfy than mine even if I've swapped mine for his the previous night!!!). Anyway, Lala came up to see me in bed in the morning. I thought it was 10am but I guess it must have been a bit later as it was 11am by the time I actually got out of bed. She chilled in bed with me and played with her iPhone (my old one).


Then I got up and hubby decided that before I went out to do my shopping (for his christmas stocking and Lala's) he was going to nip to the supermarket to get some bread flour to make some fresh bread with (he's a bit Jamie Oliver like that). However, Joshua insisted on going with him and Lala saw Joshua put his shoes on and wanted to go too and I didn't think it was fair to make Ben take them both. Not for xmas shopping so I said I'd take her to do my shopping (she probably wouldn't remember the presents I'd bought her). So I chucked her in her Peppa Pig wellies (no socks. I'm a terrible mother) and threw her in the car. I didn't REALLY throw her in the car. I secured her gently without whacking her head on the way in.

We went to Enchanted Wood which is a LOVELY toy shop. She was quite excited about going in but I think I might have been a tad MORE excited than she was. Especially as they have a WHOLE WALL of Sylvanian Families stuff. I used to love those little figures when I was a little girl. So I have taken it upon myself to make sure she does not miss out on that joy!!! lol. Nothing like living vicariously through your kids!!! Here she is trying to figure out the little stools at the Lego station in the shop:






This is what I bought her.... I can tell you cos I know you won't tell her:


I also got her a little Hello Kitty toy which she demanded as soon as we'd paid for it. Well, technically, she got it before I'd typed in my pin but the shop assistant didn't seem to mind. Here it is before and after she got home and painted it blue!!!

Actually the photos were taken the other way around. I hadn't got a photo of it before she painted it but I thought it would sound silly to say "here is the picture of Kitty painted blue" and "Here is kitty after Mummy made her all clean again in the sink". Not that you care... Will stop rambling now.

Here is a picture of my darling daughter.... this is why I normally hide the paints from her:


Joshua did some painting too. In fact, he was painting first as she was in bed and I thought I'd be safe. But then she woke up and found them before I'd had a chance to put them away. Here is Joshua painting Darth Vader. Yes, I know it doesn't look much like Darth Vader but he was happy and painting something without screaming about it being rubbish so I just let him get on with it.


Oh, forgot to mention that after Enchanted Wood me and Lala went to Sainsburies. I got a big trolly which she sat in for about 5 minutes and then insisted on walking in front of the trolly - basically leading me. It was very funny. I got much less than I probably would have because I had to run after her. All I got was some chocolate croissants for me (and hubs...) some chocolate donuts for her (and her brother) and.... a Radio Times. Got to get the red marker pen out and circle what I'm going to watch this Christmas. Its my tradition. Wonder how many other people have that tradition. Here is Lala leading me around the shops:


She was very funny and almost got run over several times by manic xmas food buyers (anyone would think the world was going to end - oh no, that was yesterday!).

I got her back to the car and realised that she no longer had her little Kitty that I'd just bought her. So I had to race back with her to trawl the aisles. Thankfully I found it by the chocolate croissants. She must have seen the donuts and lost control of her limbs. Happens to the best of us!

Well, I'm now going to take my glass of wine.



And go relax in the bath as I feel I deserve it. Can hear a bit of screaming going on downstairs, but its not my problem. My childcaring ended when hubby got back!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Highs and lows

Honestly, I am so annoyed and frustrated tonight.

I feel so low. I feel like my "status" at work has been shattered - not that I had any status as such but I did have a clean slate and then I went and had an "episode and ruinned it. I was so tired and down this evening that I got hubby to pick up the kids because I couldn't face anymore driving. Yes, I am down and finding my emotions hard to deal with but I don't think I'm an exceptional case. I just need a bit of fucking support.

This evening, once the kids got home, after cuddles with them both I went and found my pandora bracelet which is my Christmas present this year from hubby. I felt like I need a little something to focus on. A little pretty thing to look at and think, in true Golem style, "my precious". He noticed me wearing it and said that he thinks I'm getting more and more like my dad - who is an alcoholic. He's not talking about my drinking (I don't think so anyway - I hope not as I don't think its that bad). He's talking about my mood swings. I can go from chipper and happy one part of the day (like this morning - I had found out I was paid £400 more than expected - probably due to being taxed at the emergency rate up until this month) to thoroughly depresses (this afternoon - offer on house turned down and hubby generally putting a downer on the whole house-buying thing by trying to remind me of all the downsides of buying this house).

Why am I like this? I'm not really sure. Things make me happy. The idea of a fresh start. Moving to a new house. I really like this one that we have made an offer on. I can see us living there. I fantasize about my new Pandora bracelet and all the beads I'm going to put on it (I know they are expensive so after I know what I will get for xmas I will go on ebay - don't really mind if they are fakes if they are cheap but still look nice). I often think about buying a new laptop - has to be an apple one. I haven't ever had my own laptop and the work one is so heavy and rubbish and I'm doing so much blogging now I really want to have my own laptop. But I do rather obsess about these things. Its like material things make me happy.

Is that really so abnormal? Am I really that strange? I thought tonnes of women around the world made themselves better by fantasizing over and buying shoes and things like that.

But then again I am a bit worried about me. I'm so up and down its silly. I don't know what to do. I mean, shopping won't really make me feel better, will it? I'm crying as I'm writing this last bit as I am realising that I have to do something. I guess I need to go back to my doctor or something.

Christmas tree is up now

Can I be bothered to blog tonight.... I don't know if I can or not. I am actually typing this into a new post on Blogger while watching Elementary. I'm going to have an early night tonight. But not too early. Not like 8 or anything.

Felt very disturbed about the school shooting. Why would anyone do something like that? I mean if you have that much rage that you have to go kill someone, go find a room full of lawyers or something (joke). Or maybe a maximum security prison full of other murderers. OK, can see smuggling a gun into a max security prison might not be that easy. Maybe why they chose an elementary school. No, I don't want to think about it. Not after seeing my 4 year old doing his nativity play at nursery today. The thought of any kind of violence carried out on children (especially little ones - or ones the same ages as my kids) just makes me sick to my stomach.

..................................................

Joshua got up just as I was getting into my stride just then. So am going to change my tact as he reminded me what Christmas is all about. What life is all about really. Love. Kids. Fun. Love. He got up and wanted to put the Christmas tree up. I had promised him this afternoon that we'd do it when he woke up from the nap. So, we got the Christmas Tree down from the loft, me and daddy that is. Then after putting it together (its a big fake one), once I had spread all the branches out (Joshua refused to do that bit), he helped me decorate it. It looks lovely.





Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ramblings of a tired person

Thinking to myself I should probably do a blog post. Not quite sure how to start. That's often how I start one though. Don't know where its going to take me when I start.

Hubs is out getting some shopping. He seems to like that. Going out. Being useful. Being on the move. I myself would rather be in front of the TV with a glass of wine or in the bath. I'm supposed to be walking the dog tonight (obviously I can't do it while he's out as the kids are in bed but I might have to if hubby mentions it when he gets home). I suppose it might not be that bad to get out in the fresh air for 10 minutes. Depends if its raining or not of course. If its raining I'm not going to go.

I tried to download an episode of Homelands season 2 that I missed on the sky box but its a zip file and a text file and the text file tells you that to get the password to unzip the zip file to get to the avi (or whatever) file you have to go to a website.... I can't be bothered with that. Its probably going to be dodgy anyway. If you are going to upload files, at least just make them available to download without having to go through hoops. And before anyone tells me off for downloading illegally, I pay for my sky viewing. Not my fault that there were weather issues/failed to record/clashed with something (ok that WOULD be my fault). Its just the odd episode that I've missed. Cos I'm a bit OCD about TV. I can't miss an episode. I know technically I could figure out where I was and fill in the gaps from the last episode but I DON'T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING!!! Hmmm issues?

Be right back. Going to top up my wine and come back up here to blog.

Am back. Wine filled up. Dog knocked my (plastic) popcorn bowl off the table (obviously to lick the contents) but I don't really give a crap. Past caring at this point.

So, what's going on? Oh yeah. Work. Well, I mentioned in my last post I think that my boss had given me a bollocking for skipping out. Well, I was reassured by the HR woman at the agency I work for that yes I could have gone to the wellbeing centre (yes, we have one of those) first and maybe if this happens again, go there, but if I was unwell (be it physical, mental whatever) there is nothing unreasonable about me going home. I saw the HR lady in person today. She was lovely. She seems very understanding and nice. I wanted to impress on her that I really do want to do a good job. Told her my strategy for the next month or so was to:
  1. Do any work that comes in IMMEDIATELY. I had got a little bit lazy with this. My workload has been very low and that does kind of lead to laziness. I know its not an excuse but I guess on Friday I had been a bit lazy and then I came in monday in a foul mood that turned into a rather deep depression/panic mode. I guess being bored is not really good for me at all. Rather have too much to do than not enough. In work anyway. At home I like to do bugger all!!! 
  2. Ask on regular intervals if anyone needs anything doing.
  3. (this was the agency lady's suggestion) Drop boss an email every now and then (maybe every day) to let her know how my workload is and what I've been up to
  4. In a month or so after hopefully proving that I'm coping with my (small) workload fine and am able to do everything in my current task list, I will go to her and ask for more work, more responsibility, something more challenging. 
I also mentioned to this lady that I had considered (given my interest in and love for organising) that I might like to become a project manager (or look into training so that one day I can get there). I asked her about Prince 2 training and asked if she thought it was necessary. She said that its not always necessary and SOMETIMES the company prefers you NOT to have it particularly if, like at this company I currently work for, the company has its own ways of thinking and doing things.

So that was good. I also met up with flirty bossesboss. Just for a coffee and a chat. And I wanted to ask him about the project management thing too. Not too much flirting going on lately. Very mild flirting on chat. But I'm fine with that. To be honest, I have too much going on and if it got too heavy I would back off totally. Cos I love my hubby (particularly if he's reading this. No really. Love you xxxx). I told hubs about the whole chat flirt thing. He is okay with it. Or seems to be. I usually know when he is pissed off. Its quite easy to tell. Plus I figure if I tell him about it, if he is unhappy with anything I can stop it. Not that there is anything really to stop. It cheers me up sometimes (the flirting) which is nice but I value my husband and my kids much more than to make stupid mistakes. I'm over that stage in my life!!!!

Anyway, dog is barking in the sitting room. You would think she would be happy to be in the sitting room. Better than locked in their cold dog room. Stop bloody barking already!!!! I'm trying to type!!!! Might have to finish this up.... Ooooh I could save it and carry on on hubby's laptop in front of the TV. Yes, that's what I'll do.

Yay. Back in the sitting room. Stolen the hubby's machine and the dog is sat next to me watching Grey's Anatomy with me.

Silly woggy

Aw. Int she cute. I'm also going all gooey over a lovey dovey moment in Greys. Love it.

So what else is going on? Apart from job shit and the usual I-am-almost-but-not-quite-a-lunatic. Well, we made an offer on another house. I love it. We went to see it yesterday. I had the day off and we went to see it in the afternoon. Lala went to Aunty Ema's for the day and Joshua was poorly but didnt seem too unhappy about the possibility of going to see our possible next house. In fact he was quite excited. When we got there, we went into the kitchen. Which is AMAZING by the way. Joshua said "I like the kitchen, mummy, its very tidy" (it was empty as there is no-one living there). It has a HUGE sitting room, the master bedroom is massive. It has an ensuite bathroom and also.... DEEP BREATH... it has a dressing room. HYPERVENTILATES..... calm down.... deep breath. A dressing room.

Hubby's sat next to me now and says that if I blog about it I might jynx it. But I don't believe that. If its meant to be, its meant to be. Which it probably isn't. Anyway, we made a silly low offer. They are going to call us back tomorrow and let us know if they accept it or not.

Hubby stolen his laptop back so am back on my iphone. Thought I might finish this post off with some pickies.






Should dogs really sit like this?


See, self, you are pretty! (see last post)


My boy as Joseph in the Nativity


Me in my dress before my xmas party


Celebrating a little bit tonight - celebrating the fact that we are going to buy another house (even if its not this one that we've just put an offer in on)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My fight with my self esteem - a poem

Dear self,

What is all this commotion
Going on in your head
Why the constant wringing
And questioning instead

Of sitting back, enjoying
The life you're lucky to have
The letting go of pain and stress
Please don't feel so sad

But self I don't know how to
Lord knows I really try
I see the faces of my children
And I laugh instead of cry

I have these fleeting moments
But then darkness creeps back in
Id locked the doors & shut the blinds
Id never invite it in

Self, you just need to be strong
Like the moon the sun and star
Stop beating you up & calling you names
You're perfect as you are

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All mixed up

I don't know where to start tonight. But I feel like if I don't, I'll just bottle it up inside.

I am feeling so many mixed emotions. I hate work. I hate the long commute and having to rush around every morning getting the kids ready to go wherever they are going (this changes week on week and depends on which grandparent is on holiday and which nursery is having half term), I hate feeling like I'm the office lacky (getting a lot of the rubbish boring jobs because I'm a) new and b) have much less work than the others), I hate feeling like I am capable of so much more, I hate feeling bored, I hate feeling like I'm not good enough, I hate the clothes that I wear when I'm in a hurry because I don't feel like anyhting "nice" will fit me. I hate leaving at 5pm when I'm really supposed to work until 5.30pm but I have to leave at 5pm cos of my kids (I have agreed to take half hour lunchbreak so this hopefully is not an issue). I hate being away from my kids especially when they are poorly. I hate having to pass them from pillar to post (or nursery to childminder to grandparent). I hate feeling like the only one in the office that has mental health issues. I hated (today) to be made to feel like having a panic attack is not acceptable (actually what wasn't acceptable was running out of the office with no notice, and I suppose that is fair enough, but then if I had broken a bone and had to go to the hospital or had a bad migraine.... but I guess that's different). I hate feeling like a pariah. But is it just ME that makes me feel like that.

I feel like there is a better life out there for me but I just don't know what it is. I feel like if only I could figure out what I could do, to be my own boss. To run my own business. To decide my own working hours.

But now I have the new car. I have a pretty high salary and a "good job" if I walk away from that what if it all fails. I can't walk away anyway because I have bills to pay (including a brand new car to pay for). If I started my own business I'd have to do it on the side. I don't even know where to start with that. Maybe I'm not capable. Maybe it would all be too much.

Maybe I should just accept things the way they are. Accept that my life will be hectic. That I will spend 2 hours driving a day. Arrive into work in a rush. Leave work in a rush. I was enjoying it, wasn't I? What changed. I got a stupid panic attack (and I was bored and last friday left a few things undone in the inbox because I was bored and thought they could wait until Monday). I ran out of the office and when I came back (dressed smart and with makeup on so I felt the part), I was sat down by boss and told that what happened yesterday wasn't acceptable. She said she understands that maybe I have health (mental health) issues. I was completely honest about panic attack and depression history. And she said do I really want to be doing this. The long commute, the office. Was basically told that can't go around getting all upset in an office like this. Told her it was nothing to do with work but apparently that doesn't matter. Crying in the office is a no-no. Left her office in tears (feel like failure again for showing "weakness"). Ran into J (colleague) in bathroom. Explained what happened. Once stopped hyperventilating. Went out for "fresh air" blagged a ciggie off a guy out there. Brief chat about things (without going into too much detail).

Feel like everything has gone from pretty good to really fucking awful in the blink of an eye. I quite enjoy my job. I wish I was busier. Was so depressed on Monday. Felt like I am meant for higher purpose (not higher as in holy or anything). Just like.... I so desperately want to work for myself. Don't like being told I have to be in a particular place even though I can do the work just as well from home. Would like at least to be able to work from home guilt free. That is now apparently being taken away from me. Boss told me that from now on I'm to work from office all the time (apart from over xmas thankfully). And that I'm on a months probation (that's not exactly how she put it - she said on a performance review or something). But apparently, that has to come from my agency as technically I'm employed by them, not her. When I spoke to lady in agency, she was very sympathetic. Seemed to understand my issues and seemed to be understanding of the fact that I needed encouragement and support, not just a damn good telling off. What is it with women bosses, eh? Every one I've had has felt the need to assert their dominance. Like some kind of pissing contest.

Guess I just have to get on with it. Was going to book some time off in January but I'm not even sure I should do that yet as it was mentioned (in meeting with boss) that I haven't been in a full week since I started - there were a few instances. I was ill, my kids were ill, I took a days leave and I worked from home a couple of days. Its not like its busy. Not sure I exactly get the problem. I guess that's just me. Mrs Unreliable. Colleague said maybe wait until end of January when you've "given her a full month" that I should request some time off. But what is wrong with taking time off if I've got it allocated. Surely better book the time off than to fall over cos I'm just too fucking stressed to cope anymore. I dunno.

Going to try to find the reason I went back full time and the things I enjoy about working:
  • Like having money
  • Like new car (OK, love)
  • Like getting away from house and (if honest) kids (a bit)
  • Like feeling like I serve a purpose (although workload been that shit have felt a bit like that purpose was to sit surfing the net all day)
  • Like being able to walk down the hall to get a starbucks
  • Like being able to sit at my desk and concentrate at doing a task (no cBeebies in the background, no barking dog, no kids bickering or constantly pulling me away)
  • Like wearing nice clothes (need to work on that. my wardrobe is shit & need to lose some weight)
That's all I can come up with right. Still not really feeling the love. Just feeling low. Unmotivated. Tired. Guilty. Sad. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Today

Very quick one as I'm very tired and my eyes are all puffy from crying.

The weekend's successful lunch made me think a lot about what I wanted to do and I guess no matter how fancy the office I am working in or the fact that because of all the driving I do I get to buy myself a new car - none of it really takes away from the fact that, deep down, its not what I want to do.

The problem is I don't really KNOW what I want to do. For now this will have to do.

But I got myself all worked up today. It probably didn't help that we probably won't be able to buy our house that we had our hearts set on. I didn't think I was that bothered but then after about lunch I just felt so low and then when I started crying I couldn't stop. And that made me paranoid that people would look at me and see me upset and then I got more upset over the thought of that.

I left early to work from home but then had so many issues with the connectivity and the fact that my laptop is a PIECE OF SHIT that I didn't get much work done even though I found that being at home made me calmer. No-one to judge me (although to be fair I'm probably the worst cuprit at that).

I requested that I take tomorrow off as holiday. I got an email back from my new boss saying OK but in future that kind of notice is not acceptable. I went to have a bath. I felt a bit better after that, and I knew that I would worry all day if I was at home so I emailed my boss and copied my two colleagues to say that I would be in afterall. Hubs is going to deal with the kids. I'm going to just get myself sorted and leave early. I need to get some sense of calm.

I am so grateful to @mummylovesdressup on Twitter (her blog is here) for all her chat tonight about clothes.

One of my issues is that I am lazy in the mornings. I feel tired most mornings. I'm a terrible morning person so a lot of the time I just throw something on. And right now as I can't seem to stop comfort eating those clothes are not particularly attractive as comfort takes priority over style (this is not really an issue in the office as the dress code in my area in particular is quite casual) but its affecting me. I feel a mess. I feel unattractive and fat. I need a boost. I need to buy some new clothes that make me feel good.

Gonna stop now as am really shattered and my eyes hurt. Good night all. xxx

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blogging Mastermind Group

Right, very quick one as I want to go to bed. Heavy weekend its been.

Anyway, so I was reading one of my favourite blogs - Blogging With Amy - which is an invaluable source of information if, like me, you are new to blogging or you just want some tips along the way.

And I came across a recent post of hers called Why You Should Be Part of a Mastermind Group and also A Simple Way to Run a Mastermind Group. WTF is a Mastermind Group I thought? In fact, I almost didn't read it as I thought it couldn't be useful - sounded like something for clever people!!!??? But I had no other blog posts to read in my RSS app on my iPhone so I opened it up to have a quick peruse.

This is my interpretation of it.

A Mastermind Group is a group of likeminded bloggers (the purpose can by anything but in this case I want to set it up for blogger support). I have started to make some really good connections through blogs and Twitter but it still feels a bit like shouting in a stadium full of people (forget the room) its more like a festival! And I saw this post about Mastermind Groups and I thought. Hey, that could be really useful. A group of probably no more than 5 like-minded bloggers - I have picked bloggers that are mummy bloggers like me.... mostly newish to the blogging game. Although probably good to add a couple of seasoned bloggers to the mix for a bit of experience. So we can all suck you like a vampire. haha. Only kidding.

So, back to the general idea (I do have a tendency to ramble, don't i). So, its a group of likeminded bloggers (max 5 probably) that would like to meet up (skype probably - call or chat - whatever is most comfortable for everyone) once a week. I reckon an hour once a week. Depending on schedules. Not compulsory. Want this to be fun and useful for all involved.

So, what thinks you all? I must go now as I need to make tea and go to bed as I'm still feeling decidedly wooly from my hangover!

Tag, you're it.... A Christmas Meme (sorry its late)

I have been tagged by Happiness is Homemade in her post. Sorry I'm late in doing this. I've not been feeling amazingly Christmassy to be honest. We've been waiting to receive an offer on our house and its been taking ages and so I've been thinking that there would be a tiny chance that we would move before xmas. Stupid idea really. Well, a few weeks ago I guess it could have been a possibility but now is looking less and less likely that we'll be moving at all let alone before Xmas.

So, here is my take on the Christmas Meme (what is a Meme? Can someone tell me?).

1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

This UNDOUBTEDLY has to be the excitement of my kids. As I grown up I've got less and less keen on Christmas. In fact before I had my kids I was even starting to get to the point that I'd get depressed at Christmas. I never felt like I bought good enough presents or spent enough (maybe I didn't but what is the point in bankrupting yourself for one day). I would often request something from my husband that I would get before the day so would get very disappointed about the lack of actual presents on the day. I guess when I was a kid all our presents seemed pretty amazing. Then something happened. My parents seem to have continued in the theme of buying large numbers of gifts but they are often (please don't think me ungrateful here) but they would often be silly jokey or ornamental gifts or things that maybe THEY would like. I hate that. Although I do sometimes do it myself. I think: how could they NOT like that gift. I love it. I have to catch myself out sometimes. Anyway, now I have kids of my own, Christmas is about them. Not me. Although I have learnt from my own past behaviours and started requesting an actual physical gift from my husband and even if I know what it is he still has to wrap it up and present it to me on Christmas day. I still have a child within that I need to keep happy!!!

2. What is your favourite makeup look for the season?

I don't really bother with makeup massively. I do love makeup and love to collect it and play with it but I am rather lazy when it comes to day to day wearing of it. I wear the same eyeshadows all the time. Pale shell colour and a brown (dark sparkly type if going out and more matt lighter brown for daytime) - assuming I can be bothered. I would like to think that for a Christmas event I would get some glitter and glam it up a bit but I seem to have cleared out a lot of my old sparkley makeup. Maybe its time to go shopping!!!

3. Real or fake tree?

Ah. I was actually going to talk about this issue in a blog but you have saved me from bothering. I was actually thinking about this a few weeks ago. Quite a lot of people I know have a ritual of going to pick out a (real) tree with their families. We have had a massive fake tree which we have had for years. Its huge and really realistic. This year I thought, maybe for the sake of the kids we should start a tradition like those other people where we take the kids to pick a tree. I mentioned this to Joshua and he said "but mummy isn't our tree in the loft". Gotta love kids. So I decided... what is wrong with our tradition of bringing the tree down from the loft. My son (and daughter when a bit older) can remember one of us ushering it down and the other one heaving it onto the stairs and then guiding it while it slides down the stairs. Nothing wrong with that tradition, is there? And its a lot easier. And less messy.

4. Giving or receiving presents?

Erm. Giving. Of course. Only kidding. I'd be lying if I said I preferred giving over receiving. I do love to see the kids open their presents and I like it when I have picked something special for a loved one but I am often wracking myself with guilt that I didn't spend enough money, they wanted something else, I didn't spend enough money..... So yeah, receiving is much better. I love having new stuff. Shopaholic side coming out here!

5. What is your favourite Christmas film?

I think this is going to have to be Santa Claus the Movie. I love the way the movie depicts the changing of toys over the years from the hand crafted lovingly made wooden gifts to the plastic crap of the 80's. I thought Santa was brilliant and I LOVED Dudley Moore as the elf. Oh and you can't forget the guy that plays the bad guy. Although I HAVE forgotten his name. Doh. I am hungover you know.

6. What is your favourite Christmas food?

Horribly predictable but it has to be chocolate. Guilt-free chocolate (cos everyone knows chocolate calories on xmas day don't count) by the shed load. I will have a box or two of Guylian sea shells. Oh and cheese. A big cheese and biscuit plate. And bubbly and wine. Yay. So glad we're not going anywhere this christmas.

That's my lot. I am tagging:

1. Super Amazing Mum
2. Just a Normal Mummy
3. Pressies by Pebbles
4. New Mum Online
5. Anecdotes of a Manic Mum

Successful lunch for 25 and my residual desire to be self-employed

So yesterday went well. I am still recovering. Yesterday was our annual Christmas Lunch with our friends. We started doing it a few years ago - I think it might have been after my first child, Joshua, was born. We had not been able to keep up with many of our friends socially as we had a baby and you kind of have to save the occasions when Grandparents babysit to the essentials - overnight jobs for weddings or special occasion type parties, that kind of thing. So we didn't often just go out for lunch or dinner with friends as that would use up a much needed babysitting voucher. So that first year we invited a few friends for dinner or lunch. There tended to be between 8 and 14 people roughly, including me and hubby. However, after putting the invite on Facebook this year and expecting the usual 8 or so people to be available, I got an amazing response. So many that I was actually starting to worry about pulling it off and have to admit I wasn't too upset when a few people cancelled on us. It ended up being about 25 people in the end. And a few last minute cancellations meant we had 22 or 23 in the end. I first of all booked our favourite local pub. I do love this place. It is comfortable, has a nice atmosphere, lovely staff and on the whole good food. But I have a couple of bones to pick. It has annoyed me that they seem to regularly take my favourite food off the menu (baked camembert). What reason would they have to serve that in the summer and then take it off the menu in the winter? Surely you need (or maybe crave is a better word) food like that in the winter more than in the summer. Anyway, I also wasn't particularly impressed with their Christmas menu. They would not allow us to order A La Carte and their xmas menu was fairly standard typical Christmas food. Turkey, beef, roast.... and I didn't fancy a single one of the options they had. Plus the menu worked out at around £25 per head which is quite expensive. I ended up opting for a Zizzi's in town. I love Italian food. Can't get enough of it. Love goats cheese and mozzarella and dough sticks and pizza. Plus they allowed us to choose the A La Carte menu (in the end only myself and two other people chose that option) and their Christmas menus varied from £16.95 to £24.95 and had plenty of choice and very yummy options. I'm so glad I changed my choice of restaurant. Although to be fair the main issue was that the pub did not have wheelchair access and one of my friends is in a wheelchair so that really sinched (is that a word - it sounds like I mean) the decision for me (I mean that it really made up my mind for me).

So with that decision made, I sent out the invitation by email and facebook (also an initial text message too for those that don't check their emails or FB very often). Then a few weeks before the event, I started chasing people for their final RSVP and also their deposits.

I had a spreadsheet that tracked everything for me. It evolved as the time went on. First of all it was just to track who I had invited and whether they responded. I am a very visual person so I had it so that anyone who had said "yes" was highlighted in Green, no's were in Red and maybes in Orange. Then it evolved and I had columns for number of adults, number of children, total people (then another set of columns to show total numbers accepted), columns to track meal option choices, actual course choices, whether I'd received the deposit or not, special dietary requirements, then price of their meals, minus deposit so I had value of what they would owe at the end of the meal. I also did a summary tab which pulled the menu options into one simple table, listing name, starter, main course and desert. I printed off this sheet for each person. I did another table (a pivot table to be exact) that pulled the amount owed per individual (before deposit and then after deposit), another one that showed per couple how much was owed (for those parties of more than one). I printed a copy each for each person or couple/family. Wrote their names on the front, highlighted that individuals data for ease of use and stapled it all together.

The restaurant had already shown me in emails that they were impressed with my organisation so far but when I handed them a copy of this pack that I had made for everyone they were just amazed and seemed also very grateful. The lady in charge told me that I could come back and do other parties for her. I think she was joking but it really made me think. The guests all seemed pretty impressed too. I just wanted to make the paying mallarcky a lot simpler. Everyone would know what they had at least for what they ate. They would have to sort out cost of drinks and tips among themselves but at least knowing what each person owed was a little easier and I think they appreciated that.

I so enjoyed organising it. The truth is when I have a project to organise, a spreadsheet to manage, is when I am at my happiest.

This little experience also made me think more about my desire to work for myself. I often fantasised about working for myself when I was working part time in a job/company that I didn't really enjoy working for and where I always felt unappreciated and unhappy. However, then I was made redundant and I found this job and decided to go full time. I am happier than I was. The drive is long but I'm enjoying my little bug Florence (my car). I'm not as busy as I'd have liked and I spend a lot of my time at the moment reading blogs, organising my personal life. I would rather have the sense of achieving something (in work) but I am hoping that will come. But that need to be my own boss, to run a business that is my baby... .has not gone away. Its still there. I have tried my hand at being self-employed in the past. I used to be in a Blondie Tribute act. We were pretty good and fairly successful. I fantasised about doing that full time - about declaring the money we were earning. Doing everything by the book. I could be in charge of the paperwork, the running of the business, the running of the diary.... Sadly it was not to be. I got a new very demanding job and after a few months of feeling like I was being pulled from pillar to post, I quit the band. I tried making hand made cards. I loved the feeling that I got when someone praised me for the lovely card I'd sent them or sold them. But the money was never anything more than pocket money. In fact it was more a way of feeding my habit so I could buy MORE and more craft supplies (a lot of which just sat in a cupboard). Then I tried bath bomb making. My hubby got me a kit one year before I had my son. I loved making them. I experimented with different styles and smell and ended up selling them. I set up a page on Facebook and a website and got quite a lot of business through word of mouth. I started doing Christmas stalls. I put in a huge amount of effort into making all the bath bombs, presenting them nicely, making sure I had flyers and business cards. I wanted to do it professionally. I had dreams of having a shop, or even a warehouse where I would maybe even employ some people to make them for me when I got too busy to do it myself. Sadly the amount of time needed to turn it into a successful business wasn't time I had and I was not able to take a break from working to focus on it. Then I went through a phase of going crazy about organising things. Encouraged by feedback of my organising exploits that I'd detailed on Facebook to some of my friends, I set up a blog about Organising. I got very good feedback. Someone commented that I should become a professional organiser. I didn't even know such a thing existed. I looked into it and realised that there were professional organisers and that they actually did pretty well for themselves. I had business cards done. I helped a friend (for free) to completely organise her play room (took photos so I could start up a "portfolio"). I was so sure that this was the thing that would get me out of being an "employee" and give me the freedom to be my own person. Then I was made redundant and after a few weeks of staying home with the kids (not full time but about 3 days a week), I found that I couldn't manage to organise ANYTHING. I completely lost confidence. I spent a lot of time job hunting, going to interviews, doing housework (and worrying about what an absolutely SHITE housewife and stay at home mother I was), and I lost that buzz for that idea. I guess I just completely lost my confidence to organise things. I got this job and started working full time (started Mid October) and have been too busy really to even think about organising and blogging about it.

Then I decided to start a Twitter account so that I could "micro-blog" anonymously. So that some judgemental people that I have had issues with in the past could not see me and I could use this avenue to express myself without fear of judgement (sometimes the worst judgement can come from people you actually know!! - and that kind hurts more). But then I started this blog as I realised that I had more to say than I could fit in 140 characters and I don't think I'm going to look back. I realised also (after getting carried away on my organising blog with advertising and trying to earn money from blogging) - I've since been spending a lot more time reading other blogs and I've learnt that I prefer the blogs that don't have advertising and afterall, why do I do this? Its because I enjoy it. Its a space for me to be me and talk and discuss things that interest me. Although I did decide when I created it that it would not be my moaning spot. That's something I have been criticised about on Facebook that I use it as a place to take out my frustrations - although I thought that it was for expressing yourself - whether that meant good or bad thoughts - but this space, my blog, I decided that (apart from the odd bit of expessing something that's bothered me) mostly it will be for me to focus on the good stuff. But I like to keep it honest and true. I'm not going to only tell you the good stuff that happens as I don't want anyone to think I'm perfect in anyway, cos I'm not.

Anyway, back to the business thing. The way I successfully pulled off this lunch really made me think again. I had previously considered the idea of running an event planning business. In fact, I had got very excited about the idea. At this point I was inbetween jobs. I'd not yet been offered the job I'm now in and I guess I was clutching at straws. Desperate to find a way to get out of this cycle of interviews, trying to pump myself up, not getting the job, finding myself fall into a depressed state, feeling worthless, having to pump myself back up for another interview, etc etc. I even tentatively discussed the idea with my dad. Who discussed it with my mum. Who texted me the following text:

Hi xxxx! I just wanted to say that I agree with Daddy
that your greatest asset is your ability to speak Spanish
and you could be a very good teacher if you set your mind
to it. Forget all these other ideas. You have no experience
of party planning. There's a lot more to it than you may
realise. Stick to what you are really good at. Love Mummy. 

I get that she is just wanting to protect me from failure. She is right, I am good at spanish and was not a terrible teacher when I was giving spanish lessons for a bit of spare cash, but I didn't enjoy it that much in the end. I found the pressure to prepare for the lessons rather hard and felt rather put on the spot. Also I did apply to do a teacher training course. I even went as far as sitting in on lessons in a school. But the teachers at the school seemed so jaded and didn't really seem to enjoy it that much. I realised that maybe I didn't have it in me to go through with it. And then when I was turned down for the course as I didn't speak French (for a course to teach Spanish - why would I need french too>????) that really closed the deal for me. I wrote off that idea. So I suppose my my parents (and indeed my husband's too probably) minds I am a flitter. I flit from one idea to the next. Get really excited about the prospect and then drop it when it becomes apparent that its not quite going to be what I hoped it would be.  But I really feel like party planning could be something I could do very successfully in the future. My parents don't seem to realise that I have been a PA for over 10 years. I have planned conferences with 50+ people. I also arranged a surprise babyshower for my best friend. I have organised more parties than I care to remember. 

I felt quite hurt receiving that message. I felt like my feelings, thoughts, aspirations were being dismissed. 

I don't want to be a private spanish teacher. I want to run my own business. A business. Not just me doing a service. I want a business that could potentially grow. That could expand and evolve. 

Anyway, I think I've rambled on long enough. I may look into how much party planners charge and start doing a bit of research. 

Just a Normal Mummy

Pimp A Post Sunday #PAPS

Hi there. If you don't know what PAPS is all about its a blog hop started by Super Amazing Mum - check out her post.

I was actually going to put a different post up. One that really relayed my own feelings about the shooting this week in the school in Connecticut. However, I can't remember where I put that blog. I thought I'd favourited it or starred it on Google Reader.... and in my search for that post that I had really connected with I found another post which I read earlier this week, which made me laugh as I also connected with it but it made me laugh rather than feel sad, and after such awful news I thought maybe other people might appreciate it too.

The post I have chosen is by Just A Normal Mummy and is called 1st Birthday Survival Club. I'm sure anyone who has kids can remember getting to that point. That first year. Read the post. She says it much better than I can in my hungover state!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 days of Christmas - my take


Firstly I shamelessly ripped this blog post idea off this post from the lovely Domestic Goddesque. Hope she doesn't mind.

Here is my version: 
 
On the first day of Christmas, motherhood brought to me.....
My toddler climbing into our bed.

On the second day of Christmas, motherhood brought to me....
Porridge kisses from 2 year old
and a toddler in my bed at 3am



On the third day of Christmas, motherhood brought to me...
Dog puking on the rug,
Porridge stains on top before work run
and a toddler in my bed at 3am

On the fourth day of Christmas, motherhood brought to me...
A sheep costume to make for son's nativity,
Dog puke on the rug,
Porridge stains on my shirt
and a toddler refusing to vacate my bed at 3am

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, motherhood sent to me,
A list of obscure hard to find gifts that my relatives seem to require
Sheep costume to make (I can't sew)
Dog puke on the rug (make hubby clean it up)
Porridge stains on my shirt
and how nice would it be to NOT have a toddler in my bed at 3 fucking AM!

On the sixth day of christmas, life in general sent to me,
A general hate of christmas and all the stress that comes with it
List of obscure gifts (always MY family)
sheep ccostume to ask my mum to make
Dog puke on the rug (quick before other dog eats it - yuck!)
Porridge on my shirt (why can't you kiss me AFTER you've been changed)
and a toddler that is definitely NOT allowed in my bed at 3am anymore!!!

On the 7th day of xmas (can you tell I'm bored of typing the same line again and again), life sent to me,
4 sets of childcare providers to pay
A general hatred of christmas
list of pointless crap to buy
sheep costume done by grandma
dog puke on the rug
porridge on my shirt
and a toddler who attempts to get into my bed regardless of threats of violence towards his soft toys

On the 8th day of xmas, life sent to me
An empty bank account (due to general xmas overspending on crap that we are SUPPOSED to have and food that we probably won't eat)
3 childminders and one nursery to settle up with
general hatred of xmas
pointless crap to purchase
sheep costume (thank fuck for granny!)
a dog who eats plastic bags and then hubby has to assist on pulling them out of her arse as she shits them out (true story!!!)
porridge on my shirt
and a toddler who might as well come in with us as its the only way we're going to get any sleep tonight!

ON the 9th day of xmas
A stomach bloated from all the chocolate I've eaten
an empty bank account (overdrawn in fact)
too many people to pay
Is it over yet?
pointless crap that people can take back to shop
Sheep costume for nativity (basicaly a bath matt over the shoulders, white hat with flaps and nose painted black)
dog who shits plastic bags (and socks)
porridge on my shirt (can't think of anything else funny to say about that)
and a toddler who may as well just clamp himself back on my boob sometimes even though I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months....

On the 10th day of xmas
.....Really?

Isn't it over yet?

I'm off to crawl into a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates - sod the rest of you!!!