Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

A good one - definitely! On Tuesday this week we went to see my friend Joyce's pantomime at Watford - Dick Whittington - she wrote it as well as directing and I'm so proud of her - it was brilliant! Well worth the trip up there. We even got a name check! Terry was most impressed. It made me feel all Christmassy and started the festive week off a treat.

Kirsti and Terry stayed here on Christmas Eve (since my Dad couldn't get home from Kosovo for Christmas, we decided to do it here instead of at my folks' house). We ate steak and latkes (a Reeve-Edwards tradition) and pierogis and mushroom soup (A Reeve-Gonda tradition), watched Muppet Christmas Carol and wrapped hundreds of presents - or that's what it felt like. Oz hung his stocking before bed and wrote Father Christmas the following note "I am Oscar. I have been good. Please bring me lots of presents"

And Father Christmas obliged! Toby got lots of chocolate, Nemo goodies, all sorts...
Oz even got a reply from Father Christmas as well as 2 stockings stuffed to the brim of cars, guns and a fetching pink fluffy handbag which he loves. It's only the second time I've cooked a full Christmas dinner for the whole family - instead of just Rob and I. And I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Perfect turkey -

3 kinds of stuffing (sausagemeat, country and chestnut), roast potatoes in goosefat (divine), roast parsnips, mash potatoes, sprouts and peas. Bread sauce and the best gravy I've made in years finished it off.
Kirsti even filmed it

After lunch we opened presents. I got my heart's desire - a purple Ipod nano - plus speakers to go with it. I also got a surprise from Rob - a proper expresso coffee maker with a steamer spout to make cappuccino! Hoorah! Rob got his heart's desire - an XBox 360 with Halo 3 - he'd wanted it for 2 years..... so even though there's a credit crunch we all did rather well!

Toby got a kitchen and a ton of dinosaurs.

Oscar got a variety of Lightning McQueen toys like a playmat and a customisable McQueen car plus a Leapster game console
A lovely lazy play filled afternoon, cheese board and smoked salmon for tea, much playing with Ipods and Xboxes....

Today we went to Greenwich Playhouse and saw the most AMAZING pantomime - Jack and the Beanstalk - if you can get tickets, do as it was one of the best I've seen (not including Joyce's of course!). I've been messing around with my Ipod most of the evening (rediscovering Alisha's Attic) while Rob blasts aliens into oblivion. I'm about to go have a relaxing bubble bath and an early night.

Hope you all had a wonderful marvellous sparkly Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cards.....

I could pretend it's because I want to save the planet and cards contribute to Global Warming. I could pretend I lost my address book. I could pretend I lost use of my legs or the post office burnt down.....but I'm going to be honest.

I haven't sent any cards out this year because I kept meaning to and then time ran out.

So all you wonderful people who have sent me cards - I'm so so grateful and so sorry that I'm totally crap. If it's the thought that counts I promise I have thought of each and every one of you and thought big. I promise!

All I can do now is wish you and yours a blissfully HAPPY CHRISTMAS. May worries be far away. May joy be very close. May everything be sparkly and glittery and wonderful. And lets wish for wonderfulness in the New Year.

I'm sorry. I promise I'll try harder next year. Santa will be leaving coal in my stocking.

I "heart" Will.I.Am

Just been to see Madacascar 2 with Oz - fab film...but this song was the best bit!....

I just bought it on new theme song.... methinks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Oscar officially has Christmas fever. As soon as he wakes up he wants his advent calendar (well it's chocolate...he's a kid)....We decorated the tree last weekend - I would have posted then but I lost the camera and since I lost my mobile, I can't take pics - however I just found it so taa daaaaa
It was wonderful this year - the first year that Oscar really helped decorate it - and was excited by it! Totally cool.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Toby in drag

As promised....


Stolen from Clare who stole it from someone too - this supposedly analyzed my blog and said I am the following personality type...whaddya think? Have a go here....

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tantrum city!

Toby was UNBEARABLE yesterday - I have to rant (I also have PMT so prepare yourself). We went to Peckham Park which is a place I love. It was bloody cold though and we kept moving - Oz on his bike and Toby on foot. Then we saw a puddle. One unfortunate side effect of Toby's Peppa Pig addiction, while it enables me to put the washing on in peace, it means he's obsessed with "jumping up and down in muddy puddles". Or any puddles. Or any body of water he finds. It was a small one - I didn't mind.

Move on to the playground - the biggest frickin puddle I'd ever seen was there - at least 6 foot across. And of course Toby went straight for it. I'm wearing my fakelike ugg boots (£4 from Primark - bargain!) and of course don't want to get them wet. I finally fish him out and try and distract him on the swings. SCREAMING tantrum. Oz tried to push him instead - friend Claire arrived along with pink wellies (rather fetching). Toby doesn't like wellies. Screaming tantrum - getting the idea?

Eventually (after standing next to him while he writhed on the floor for 15 minutes) I picked him up and put him in the puddle. Then he starts to have fun. Then he starts to run around like mad - watched all the while by envious wellie-less children and I was being unsubtly tutted by other parents.....

He was soaked. Drenched. He sat down in the bloody puddle. But he wasn't screaming so I didn't care!!! Claire had a spare pair of trousers - girl ones of Toby spent the rest of the afternoon in the 1 o clock club wearing pink wellies and purple stripey skin tight leggings. Hysterical. Claire has a photo - I'll post it when I get it.

Oz in the meantime was being ok but Toby was still on the edge of tantrumming all afternoon. After they both screamed the cafe down in pursuit of ice lollies (in sub zero temperatures my kids want ice...?) I gave up and headed back to the car. They both fell asleep on the way home - I drove to Savacentre petrol station, filled up the car, bought chocolate and diet coke and sat on the forecourt with the heating on full blast listening to the radio and trying to relax. It felt like my brain was knotted up in stress....

Rob, bless him, put the boys to bed - I started to cook pasta bake (PMT remember?) and managed to smash my favourite glass baking dish. The perfect end to the perfectly crap day. I snuggled on the sofa to watch Britney's big soul bearing film and was thoroughly bored and didn't learn anything about her. She's just like me is she? Bollox. Don't get me started on her....

ANYWAY! Enough rant. Today was better. Tomorrow I'm going to Bromley for Eggnog latte - thank you starbucks for FINALLY giving us the christmas coffee we wanted! I'm eating lots of chocolate as I type.

On Friday last week my lovely husband sacrificed his male pride and had the SNIP. He's still a bit tender but is putting a brave face on it. We keep telling the boys that Daddy has a poorly lap so they can't jump on him.....I'm not going into details but I want to log how proud and grateful I am that he has taken this option so I can come off the pill and stop mucking about with my body chemistry. More men should step up and do this (I'd rant some more about that but I'm spent!)

Oh and one other thing - if you're reading this cos you saw my piece in the NCT broodsheet ... Hello! Leave me a comment....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Merry (Early) Christmas!!!

Which one do you prefer?

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Or Disco?

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Don't know why but things feel better - yesterday was the first good day in a while. The boys behaved themselves which was cool. I spent the morning doing absolutely nothing - watching Lipstick Jungle and eating Pringles while Oz was at school (and ignoring the guilt over the pile of washing....). Picked Oz up and we had lunch (and I hung the washing so guilt gone). Then picked up Toby and we all went to Rascals with my lovely friend Liz and her son.

After a couple of misbehaviours (actually initiated by a brat of a little girl who was teasing and annoying Oz so he retaliated but then she left), Oscar and Sam played wonderfully together. Oz invented a game called Splat, Cap Sir Parrot where you squawk loudly, then throw yourself on the floor. No idea where that came from but they found it hysterical.

Came home and got an email saying my Icesave account had been activated so I could transfer our christmas money back into my main account - should be there on Monday. Relief! Then I realised my free gift that I should have had ages ago for taking out a subscription to HEAT magazine had arrived - £30 worth of Maybelline makeup - all in lovely colours that I will actually wear - mineral powder foundation, blusher, super lip gloss, black liquid eyeliner, super plumping mascara and beautiful bronze eyeshadow.

Then Moxie introduced me to Qype - a website where you review local businesses. It's really easy and quite fun - you accumulate points for reviews (20 for reviewing somewhere that no one else has reviewed yet and 8 for adding to other reviews). If you get 1,000 points you get an Ipod shuffle! And they've got an offer at the moment that if you review 50 things before the end of November you get £50 Amazon voucher. I joined yesterday and have done 30 reviews already and accumulated about 450 points. So that's cool! If you want to join click here and I'll get extra points for you too!

So I felt quite happy yesterday! For the first time in ages. And tonight I'm doing a market research focus group for Saros and getting £60 in cash. Which gives me ample spending money for MY DAY OFF on Friday - I can't wait! Abeno here I come - it's my favourite restaurant and if you want to know more about it - read my review on Qype!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My new theme song....

I caught the legend that is Cleo Laine singing this song on Paul o Grady last week - and loved it. I couldn't get her version on ITunes, even though as she was adamant to point out on the show, she was the first to record it. I have Diana Krall's version are the lyrics - it's how I feel at the moment! (apart from the non PETA friendly fur references of course)

Peel me a grape, crush me some ice
Skin me a peach, save the fuzz for my pillow
Talk to me nice, talk to me nice
Youve got to wine and dine me

Dont try to fool me bejewel me
Either amuse me or lose me
Im getting hungry, peel me a grape

Pop me a cork, french me a fry
Crack me a nut, bring a bowl full of bon-bons
Chill me some wine, keep standing by
Just entertain me, champagne me
Show me you love me, kid glove me
Best way to cheer me, cashmere me
Im getting hungry, peel me grape

Heres how to be an agreeable chap
Love me and leave me in luxurys lap
Hop when I holler, skip when I snap
When I say, do it, jump to it

Send out for scotch, call me a cab
Cut me a rose, make my tea with the petals
Just hang around, pick up the tab
Never out think me, just mink me
Polar bear rug me, dont bug me
New thunderbird me, you heard me
Im getting hungry, peel me a grape

Ah to have a personal slave......

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembering Adele

I went to the funeral of a wonderful woman today. Adele was a fellow mum - I hadn't known her very long - only about 6 months - but she was wonderful and she will be missed. There were so many people at her funeral today that it was standing room only. It was emotional and tragic but there were moments of laughter and hearing her sister laugh brought me to tears as it was as if Adele was in the room. She'll live on in all our hearts but especially in her daughter. I just wanted to post this poem - as part of her service. I'm not sure who wrote it but it was so beautiful and says everything I would have wanted to tell her.

No one knew the torment
that you were going through
We only kept on seeing
What we really wanted to

We saw the outward smile
But not your inner pain
We never really dreamt
That you would never smile again

Forgive us if we failed to see
What we could to to aid
Or if we failed to comprehend
How much you were afraid

We pray your mental anguish
WIll now forever cease
And that your deep anxieties
Will be replaced by peace

We'll remember all the happiness
The joy and not the tears
The assurance and the confidence
And not the hidden fears

Our lives have all been better
Because you have been there
So now we leave your memory
In God's all-loving care.

Goodbye Adele. I hope you're at peace and watching down on your little girl. You're missed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It's been a bit tough around here recently. Everything seems dark...not just the weather. A friend died by her own hand, leaving her little 2 1/2 year old daughter. That was and still is horrible. Another friend lost her father. The news is full of horror like Baby P and 2 little boys stabbed by their own mother....

At home it's not been that rosy. Rob had his bike stolen which was crap (though on the positive, the new one he bought is much better). Toby is testing me....he's had a horrible cough for the last few days so really broken nights. He's tantrumming worse than ever. Raging like nothing I've experienced.....Oz's behaviour is deteriorating to the extent that his preschool teacher asked to speak to me today to see if there has been any "change" at home that might be leading to this behaviour. Wish I could have pinpointed it. He's tearful, ignoring adults, hitting and pushing other children - and no matter how much I talk to him or time him out, it seems to continue. No idea why.

I've had little joy from my children in the last few weeks. Little joy from anything really. I've put some weight on which pisses me off but also makes me think "fuck it" and reach for the chocolate bar. I'm trying to up my exercise but things keep getting in the way - like having 4 hours sleep last night so going back to bed this morning instead of swimming.

Next week I've booked a day off - Rob has Friday off work and I'm officially OFF duty - and luckily have been chosen for a market research thing the night before where I get paid £60 cash in hand. So I'm going to spend it. On ME. That's something to look forward to.....

Argh. Doom and gloom. I'm sorry. More perkiness to follow I promise....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm not one for politics normally...

But how could I note post how happy I am that the USA has elected Barack Obama as their president. He's a man I believe in first and foremost, a man who is undoubtedly intelligent, fair, honest and a great leader. And of course, as the first man of colour to be elected to be leader of the free world it's amazing. He's a figurehead, an inspiration to everyone.

However I'm not happy about Prop 8. It seems like it's going to go through. How? Why? I can't understand the hideous unfairness of it. How can a country elect someone who spoke of "young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America." and who seems to be all about equality and then turn around and be bigoted and discriminatory.

Enough politics. It's been a bit of a hideous week here - a friend died - I don't want to go into it online out of respect for her and her family but needless to say it was a horrible shock and my heart goes out to her family and her young daughter. Another friend lost her father, suddenly through a cardiac arrest. More love to her, her son and her mother and brother. And then to cap it off, on a more trivial note, Rob got his bike stolen. All in one day.

But today I'm trying to be positive. Hoping that Obama will be able to do something about Prop 8 - my ignorance of US politics and legislation is fueling this optimism. I hate that my sister and her wife look like they'll never be recognised legally in the country they call home. I hate that she'll not be able to claim a green card even though she's been with her partner for 14 years. I can't abide it. I can't understand it. Shame on those who voted for Prop 8. Shame.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is becoming a bit more popular in England these days. We spent the day making halloween cookies and cupcakes and tonight for the first time I took the boys trick or treating with a gang of friends from school. We went out at about 4 (these are 4 and 5 year old kids...) and didn't have much luck at first...

Oz was very enthusiastic. When people did open their doors he tended to walk in - I had to keep grabbing him back!

He got quite a haul...
Toby of course travelled in style...
Oz liked the lollipops best - that's him with his friend Rosa the pink kitty!Toby was superboy - and he was quite super - Oz on the other hand experienced sugar meltdown and was very tearful for most of the evening!

I'll definitely go out again next year. By the time we got home (only about 7pm) I was ready with a huge bowl of candy for our visitors - and NO ONE has knocked on our door! So much for more popular! I saw lots of kids out as we were driving home but they must have already tried our door when we were out. Rob, needless to say, is overjoyed at the amount of sweeties he can now scoff while watching Little Britain (which I find so unfunny....).

Happy Halloween to all - BOO!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A shitty 24 hours - literally

Ok if the title wasn't enough to convince you, here's a warning - if you aren't a parent or are squeamish about children's bodily functions STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN now......

Last night Oz, bless him, had an accident - I can count on one hand the number of accidents he's had since potty training last year but this was a doozy. There's a tummy bug doing the rounds and lets say Oscar had an explosive incident on his way to the toilet. He didn't make it. The bathmat collected most of it. Grim. He was very upset. I was slightly nauseated but we cleaned it all up and it was done.

Toby has been filling his nappy about 5 times a day in the last few days - god knows with what as he has hardly been eating! He's also impossible to change at the moment - unless I'm at home where I have a change mat with over shoulder and waist restraints. He will not lie still. And at playgroup this morning changing shitty nappy No 2 of the day he wriggled so much that I obviously didn't put the nappy on securely enough. Oscar had thrown the mother of all tantrums (for a change - usually it's Toby) in the playgroup and I was stressed and frazzled. But it was a stupid thing to do as I later found out.

I usually love Tuesday afternoons - it's when I chuck them both in the creche at the Leisure Centre and sit in the library or the cafe and have an hour and a half of ME time. Just as I'd got my coffee and was walking to my table clutching Star Magazine, the creche lady came out. Now she NEVER disturbs me- my kids love the creche and the staff are amazing.....but it seems Toby was covered in poo. And they couldn't work out how. He'd managed to cover the whole creche in it much so that they were having to close it down for an hour to disinfect it.

I left my lovely steaming cappucino to go and deal with a steaming pile of something else. Toby had managed to dislodge his nappy (which was clean) and shit down his trouser leg. He was covered, his shoes were covered. It was horrid. I didn't have a change of clothes so I had to carry him out to the car in just a coat and a nappy. Oz was furious at having to leave. Toby also hadn't slept all day at this point so he was screamy and whiny.

Got home and thank god for my mother (again). She came over and babysat, giving me the escape route - I went to Sainsburys to buy nappies since I'm going through them at a rate of knots,(they're a third off at the moment - bargain). I also had a coffee there.

I feel grubby. I think my house stinks. I spent ages trying to get poo off fake suede shoes - Toby only has one pair so until I get them clean and dry we ain't going anywhere. I'm going to have a hot bubble bath and wash my kids out of my hair - probably literally.

Tomorrow Toby has his first settling in at nursery. I can't wait.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Still autumnal

Yes I'm blogging! The reason is....Oz is at sport camp today - He loves it and it's the first day of half term and I need to keep him amused....Toby is watching Baby Da Vinci (he hasn't watched half as much Baby Einstein as Oz - it taught Oscar his colours and shapes so I'm "educating" Toby now while I blog!). I know I'm a bad mummy but hey - it's giving me a chance to catch up here and YOU'RE reading it!!

So what's happening here then...

We're making the most of the mild weather - though it's turning colder and wetter now - and hanging out at the park a lot. This is Crystal Palace park where I used to play as a child - I climbed on this stone gorilla a lot and my two little monkeys love it too.
Walking with my boy...
Oz playing peekaboo in the buggy (he was being exceptionally lazy!)
Rob and Toby enjoying the dinosaurs
Oz thinks he IS a lion....
Things are ok at home - Toby starts nursery this week - HOORAH! I know, I'm an evil mummy - but I think it will be the best thing for all of us - some time for me and Oz, some time for Toby to socialise and do loads of stuff at the same nursery Oz went to, and some time for ME to....blimey, well I don't know exactly what I'll do. The first few mornings I'll probably come home and sleep. And do laundry. And be able to hang it up without Toby scattering it all over the kitchen. And have peaceful lunches where I can focus on my big boy who eats up his lunch brilliantly instead of fighting with the littlest one who throws food and won't eat.

A cute new morning tradition is happening in the house- Oz has a clock in his room now and knows not to come into our room unless it's 7am. However if his baby bruv wakes up before then, he goes into Toby's room and plays with him and reads him Dear Zoo. Toby squeals with joy so Rob and I are obviously not asleep through this - but it's nice to lie in my warm bed for 10 minutes listening to them together.

They are really developing your classic sibling love-hate relationship. Sometimes they play and laugh and have a brilliant time together. Then one will want what the other one has. I'm trying to teach Toby that he has to share but when he does, Oz invariably torments him with whatever item Toby has reluctantly been forced to give him. Which causes massive tantrums. Toby is also hitting Oz a lot more, but then again, Oz is still hitting Toby so I keep trying to explain that Toby will copy him and if he gets bashed, it's kind of his fault....while still trying to teach Toby that it's very naughty to hit....It's much harder with 2! At this age, if Oz hit I had time to explain to him, or time him out...Toby is much harder - his speech is getting so much better but no where near as good as his brother was at this age. I'm sure he's understanding a lot and he also gets frustrated when I don't understand him....oh I don't know. I'm trying to be consistent and fair as much as I can be - not always successfully but I'm doing my best.

Kirsti has booked her flight for Christmas and I can't wait. I've booked tickets to go and see the panto - at the same theatre in Greenwich where we went last year - it's a proper traditional panto with no soap stars or tv in jokes - just great fun. We're going on boxing day.

I'm still waiting to hear when we'll get our money out of Iceland - don't know if I mentioned on here but all our Christmas money was in there. Luckily my parents will cover us if we don't get it back before Christmas but it's still a pain in the arse and a horrible feeling - not being able to get MY money out of the bank. Credit crunch is starting to seriously scare me. But I don't want to go on about it......I'm still looking forward to my favourite time of year - Christmas.

This week on Halloween I'm taking the boys trick or treating for the first time. Can't wait. I've set it up with some friends - we're going to start at my house, go to their houses with a few random stops on the way (at least with the friends' houses we're guaranteed SOME chocolate!) and then have a little party at my friend Hannah's house. Oz, Toby and I will make some Halloween biscuits and cakes later in the week and I'll try and put them on here or on my other blog - The Kitchen Mirror. Not sure if I've pointed to it before but it's a cookery blog I'm a member of with my stonecutter pals - I'm the only Brit so try and bring some UK flavours to an American kitchen! Go have a look here...I just posted my sunday dinner yesterday.

Ok - will go and lavish attention on junior now (actually change his bum for the 4th time today - what is that boy eating!). Will try and blog more now I will have a bit more time on my hands....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indian Summer

I can't get my head around the weather! It's amazing - sunshine and warmth - warmer today than most of August I think. Lovely. We've been in the park a lot - and today I took this little movie...

Which reminded me of this time last year....

How bonkers - time flies....

Toby is being difficult at the moment. I (stupidly) booked a pixiphoto session on Friday afternoon in Mothercare and both boys were horrendous - wouldn't sit still, kept running off, wouldn't do anything we asked them to. I was embarrassed by their behaviour.

Toby isn't eating very well and is having tantrums over food - won't sit down, won't eat. I'm feeling bad as I'm neglecting Oz a lot a mealtimes as I fight to ignore his screaming throwing spitting brother.....

Nights are also bad - both boys are waking us up (well, ME up as Rob mostly snores through). Oz keeps coming in to the bedroom claiming a nightmare but he's totally calm and not at all frightened. It's starting to DO MY HEAD IN. And Toby is waking at 5am again and not always going back down.

Tough times. I've been socialising a lot though to compensate though I'm also feeling like crawling under a duvet and hiding from everyone. Knackered....

One social event I can't wait for though - Moxie is here tomorrow with Rox, Casanova and Captain Fantastic....I've never met either of her kids and she's only met Oz so it's going to be fantastic....I'll post about it I promise.

Here are the boys this afternoon in Manor Park - swinging away....

Friday, October 03, 2008

Holiday! Catching up and making "tibbits"

Hello - long time no blog as per here's a potted recap of the last few weeks. We went on holiday to Hastings - Combe Haven holiday park which was very cheap (and quite chav I'm afraid). It was a pre-school special and very busy. The accomodation was great - we were in a chalet rather than a caravan and it was spacious and well equipped - only problem was, when we came home after a day out it stank like wet towels.

We had lovely days out on the beach - including an afternoon at Camber Sands where BOTH boys stripped off and ran cackling round the beach - glowing in their white and ginger glory! It was hysterical. Thank God a lovely lady gave us a towel as we hadn't come prepared for paddling as it was bloody cold!
Had a fantastic day at Drusilla's Park - where Oz fell in love with an enormous giraffe statue and kept calling it his girlfriend! And they have a Thomas train to ride on which we all enjoyed....really great little zoo.

Also went to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings which was brilliant

And a soft play place called Clambers - (I don't have a picture of that!) highly recommend it if you're in the area and it's raining!

It was a really good week. But it was lovely to get home to a soft bed, no stinks (apart from Toby) and a big bath - I'm becoming a bubble bath addict!

So where else are we. Toby is still difficult - tantrums are the norm - especially when he's just woken up - he'll rage for at least 20 minutes for no apparent reason then it'll just stop....argh! His speech is coming along but he's still behind most of his little peers - he babbles a lot but some words are coming through. He's obsessed with small plastic animals

Oz is actually being generally angelic which is wonderful. He spent the afternoon with Mum and was lovely. Pre-school are saying how well he's behaving. He's starting to write his name and talk about letters a lot more, having not really been interested for ages. I was worried about the fact that a lot of his friends went to "big" school in September and left him but he's actually thriving without them. I'm hoping when he joins the school in January he'll be in a separate class because I think he learns better and behaves better. And he can still play with them at playtime and group sessions.

Rob still isn't smoking which I'm so proud of. Over a month now. He's a star and because of the money he saved us, we managed to have lots of treats on our holiday. And we'll have a great Christmas because he got a good pay rise in this month's pay packet which was back-dated from April so a lump sum has gone in our savings account and Christmas is covered. Which, in times like this when money is so tight, is such a relief. I have actually bought Rob's present for Christmas already! I'm not that organised, it's just it was on sale and he'll be so excited. I had to have it delivered to my Mum's to stop me giving it to him now - can't wait to see his face! I'll tell you what it is on Christmas Day (or whenever I blog about Christmas which will probably be February the way I'm going).

This afternoon I made biscuits with them - or Tibbits as Toby calls them - here's the result! Note on the right is a biscuit snail - Oscar's request and hand cut by me. (I'm quite proud of that) The rest of them were done mainly by Oz as Toby was having a tantrum. It's the first time we've done biscuits - usually we make cupcakes or jam tarts and I was very happy with them!

As were Oscar and Toby!

What other news....a lot of my friends who have children the same age as Oz are pregnant again for the third time. I wish them all the best and am glad Rob's appointment for his vasectomy consultation is next weekend - NO more children for us. It's great that I can coo over every one else's newborns but look forward to January when Oz will be at school and Toby at nursery for a few mornings a week and I can get some life back and possibly earn some money.

I'm loving the autumnal weather - sunny and crisp - though am terrified I'm going to have to put the heating on soon and it's so bloody expensive! I do love this time of year though - bonfire night and Halloween.....I remember the time I was in Detroit for autumn and the colours there - one day I swear I'll take both boys over for a proper American Halloween.

I've started a new gym routine this week with a trainer - I got my doctor to refer me so I get discounted sessions and a free trainer - he had me on the bouncy big ball doing sit ups and pelvic push ups and my caesarian scar is aching and I'm knackered. All good for me though since I've fallen off the Weight Watcher's wagon - I can't be ARSED at the moment! I'm still eating pretty healthily with the odd treat but don't want the weight to creep back on - hence the gym. We'll see. I can always join WW after Christmas when they have all the special offers on - at the moment it's not a priority. I need a vice and it's chocolate!

Right - can't think of anything else.......!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A fun film

Toby is hard work at the moment. Tantrums, not eating, general dangerous climbing type behaviour - the tantrums are the worst - 1 hour 15 minutes today.....all over wanting, then not wanting to eat.....

But on a lighter note - he and Oz are getting on well as you can see here - NO idea why Toby found the word "Smashing" so funny....but he did......I have to keep watching it to remind me that he doesn't scream ALL day...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Being a stay at home Mum

I've been finding it quite tough recently - Toby is really difficult - tantrums, moaning and such dangerous behaviour that I can't take my eyes off him for a minute. He spits his drinks out all over the floor and all down his clothes. He throws things. He breaks things. He climbs everything. Uproots my plants in the garden and eats dirt....he's exhausting.

Oz isn't too bad - he's 4 and being a 4 year old - wanting constant attention, pretending to be a unicorn or a dragon, wanting me to watch him playing on the computer - it's never-ending at the moment and I'm finding it hard.

I was talking to a good friend Lisa this morning - yesterday was awful - Toby had a 40 minute tantrum once he woke up from his late afternoon sleep and wouldn't eat - My Mum was here - she's often told me how bad I was as a toddler - it's what inspired my Guardian article - but she even admitted yesterday that Toby was worse than I was which is quite an achievement!

This morning I was going to go to playgroup with Toby but I'm just exhausted. So I had a cup of tea and a chat with Lisa and we both realised that it's different for us mums who stay at home full time and don't work at all. She's raised three children and also does childminding work so she kind of works but it's not the same as someone leaving the home every day and earning a wage outside.

I had a crisis recently of worrying that I never felt guilty enough leaving my children (I know -crazy isn't it - feeling guilty for NOT feeling guilty). Both my boys have been in creches since they were tiny. I need some time to myself. And it's only a couple of hours a week when I swim or have a coffee in peace. But also my trip to the States - I didn't miss them at all for that week - I revelled in rediscovering myself. And yet I've been hearing from a lot of other mothers how awful they're feeling as their children start school. How much they'll miss them. Or if they put them in a creche for an hour how guilty they feel. But the majority of them work at least part time - so they feel more guilty for having some of their off-work and therefore child time on their own.

I'm not explaining it very well. It isn't really important. I just cut myself some slack this morning thanks to Lisa and a good chat. It's a hard time at the moment. Toby is pushing me to my limits. But I'll hang in there.

As a full time mum you sometimes don't feel you achieve anything in the day apart from the mundanity of housework and stuff. When you work you have status, a job title, promotion possibilities and other responsibilities. I have the boys. And the house. And I even have a cleaner so I'm not the best housewife in the world.....And my achievement will be two wonderful young men one day - and I have to remind myself of that.

I'm just saying, I suppose, that it's a bloody hard job being a full time mother. I know it's just as hard being a working one. It's just hard being a parent! You never really understand that until you're there do you. So anyone reading this who hasn't got kids - ENJOY YOURSELF NOW!!! Go on holiday! Go for a spa break! Go buy yourself an iPod with your wages (I really really want a purple iPod Nano btw that's why). Cherish your freedoms.

All of this is a rant isn't it - I do love my kids - I'm just a bit fed up.......

On a lighter note - I've discovered Booksmart at - you can "slurp" your blog into a book and have it printed off. So I'm currently formatting it and going through the archives of this site - I've got so many entries it's quite an achievement. My memory is so bad it's like re-living Oscar's babyhood and I'm realising I also moaned a lot during that period too (I had it so easy then and didn't really know...just like life really). So in a year or so I'll look back at this post and think - BLIMEY! And smile.

Sunday, September 07, 2008 it worth it....

Last weekend I was shamed by my friend Vicky - I blogged about it here but basically I took the boys to McD's for sunday lunch while she cooked a proper sunday dinner.....I decided I'd do the works this Sunday - roast chicken with roast veg, yorkshire pud and gravy.

Now I was taught how to do roast dinners by the amazing Moxie about....eek....19 years ago when we lived together as students in Leicester. She wrote out on little cards all the timings and showed me now (if I say so myself) I do a pretty mean roast.

However.....things conspired against me. I got a chicken with my regular online shopping but they got me a HUGE one - 2.7 kilos. Which is ok - we love chicken - it will get eaten. And in a way it was lucky as I'd forgotten we had two engagements today - a birthday party from 12-2 and then going round to see a friend at 3.30 for Kaffee and Kuchen (she's German!). So we couldn't have it at lunchtime as I originally planned. I got the chicken ready in between the two events - stuffed the neck with chestnut and cranberry stuffing (my favourite) and got the oven heated - popped it in as we left (Rob stayed behind cos he's antisocial).

Rob was under instruction to baste the bird every 20 minutes or so. I only intended to stay at my friend's for an hour but you know how it I rang Rob and gave him directions to peel carrots and parsnips and set them to roast. Got home just before 5 which gave me time to put the rest on and make the gravy. I love proper gravy made with the meat juices and veg water. And I put a little bit of brown sugar in as well - tastes divine.

So I made it all, plated it all up.......Oz picked at it. Toby wouldn't eat anything except 1 yorkshire and a potato. I enjoyed mine although I ate it quite quickly with one hand while alternately blowing Oscar's dinner or trying to tempt Toby with morsels....

Now the kitchen is a mess, there's washing up and I'm sweating like a pig even though it's quite miserable and cold outside.

Rob and I could have eaten ours this evening with a bottle of wine and conversation....but I wanted us all to eat together......

But honestly - was it worth it......? I don't think so!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My new crush

Thanks to my lovely sister, Rob and I escaped to the movies on Saturday night. Rob saw Hellboy II. Funnily enough I didn't really want to spend £8.50 on that so luckily Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day was on at the same time so I went to see that instead. And I'm so glad I did! It's a charming wonderful film. I love Amy Adams to pieces and she's brilliant in this. As is the phenomenal Frances McDormand. But it was Lee Pace who grabbed my heart...

Now I've seen Pushing Daisies - watched the first 3 episodes and it didn't grab me at all - I think my dislike of Anna Friel wouldn't let me like it even though I thought I would. And he didn't impress me in that at all - too nervy and geeky. Such a consummate actor he is! In Miss P he's a piano playing, singing, slightly bad but really good boy......and I'm in LUST! So here is a pic for you to enjoy. And if you want a lightweight but great romcom then go see Miss P - loved it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oscar is 4!!!!

Yes my baby boy is now a four year old. On the 24th August - had a monster party at our house since Kirsti was here to help (thank god). About 15 kids, assorted adults, a pinata and pass the parcel - jelly rabbits, home made cupcakes - a brilliant brilliant day. K had brought all sorts of goodies from America so party bags were stuffed full (at a fraction of the cost it would have cost if we'd bought stuff here). The theme was Cars (Oz's favourite). Loads of people came, including the Jessup-Morrison clan all the way from Guildford. Photos are here

And a couple of vids from Youtube.....
Pinata joy:

You can see on this one how many kids there were:

Oz had a brilliant day so thank you to everyone for coming, thank you to the weather fairies for enabling it to be such a success - if I'd have had that many kids indoors it would have killed me (and the house)

On a sadder note, Kirsti left the next day and is sorely missed. Oscar managed to distract himself by spending his birthday money (he got £50!) at ToysRUs on a Transformer Jet and an ambulance that makes a myriad of loud obnoxious noises.

Toby had a blast at the party as you can see from the pics. He's averaging a new word every day at the moment - totally amazing. He can now say (and there is more but I can't remember)
  • egg
  • door
  • milk
  • fork
  • spoon
  • mummy
  • daddy
  • bye bye
  • ello (very Sarf London)
  • bubble
  • biscuit (though it comes out Tibbit)
  • hat
  • ball
  • balloon
  • bird
  • poo poo
  • tree
  • nummy or yummy (when eating)
  • oh dear (very funny)
  • uh oh (a la teletubby)
  • ouch
  • snack
  • drink
  • wassat
  • juice
  • moon
  • zoo
  • book
  • lolly
  • Charlie
  • Lola (guess where he got them from!)
  • star
  • up and down (in the correct context)
  • and NO (a favourite)
He also puts his finger on his lips and says shhhhhh. Amazing. In this vid you can see him having a phone conversation with his fab lolly where he demonstrates "ello" and "lolly". a lot!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More photos and vids

Yes you can tell Kirsti is here - pics galore! Too many to upload here but if you're really interested the sets are here

There's also a bonkers video

and one from a few days ago - here (to view it properly you need to click the little icon on the bottom with the triangles on it - to rotate it)

In other news....Clare had her baby! I'll leave it to her to reveal details but huge congratulations from us all. Can't wait to meet her....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How gorgeous is Oscar?

My new fave pic....

Kirsti is here - HOORAH! She took this - more to come....

Fantastic new site

Thanks to Neil Gaiman I've discovered a fab new blog - Fashionista Piranha. Wonderful name - wonderful place to discover some books with great reviews. Plus there is a competition giving away Gaiman check it out

Friday, August 08, 2008


It's a sad but true fact that it's taken me 37 years to actually make a proper batch of cookies from scratch. Before I'd buy a mix or some pre-chilled dough and bake them myself but it doesn't count. As a summer holiday activity I decided to make some with Oz. I got the most amazing recipe here and I can tell you they are EXACTLY as promised - chewy inside, crisp outside. It makes a big batch so I only cooked 6 to start with:
If you do what the recipe suggests and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make hockey puck size lumps to start with, they spread a lot and are quite massive - as you can see from Oz and Toby below - I think it was as big as Toby's head!!
Oz doesn't look happy but he is, I promise!!

Toby in cookie heaven!

I even filmed em....

So if you have some spare time and aren't worried about your cholesterol (there's a LOT of butter in these cookies!) then make them. They are the best cookies I've ever had! And I made em! Which is very satisfying indeed!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stolen in entirety from Clare

Read this on Blog my Wiki. It looked interesting, so I thought I'd have a go. (and so did I!)

“Someone” [she doesn’t say who] reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. It’s not the Big Read though — they don’t publish books, and they’ve only featured these books so far. In any event . . .

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.

I can't work out how to underline so I'm bolding and italicizing the ones I love....

1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell
25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare
33. Ulysses - James Joyce
34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
37. The Bible
38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
55. Middlemarch - George Eliot
56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
60. Emma - Jane Austen
61. Persuasion - Jane Austen
62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
65. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement - Ian McEwan
70. Dune - Frank Herbert
71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
83. Dracula - Bram Stoker
84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
87. Germinal - Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession - A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Ok so how have I done...I've read 38....and I loved 15......

Friday, August 01, 2008

Nicked from Moxie


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I'm quite relieved. Yes I have red nail polish and I use profanity and slang....and my slip is nearly always showing! Tell me how YOU did!

Happy birthday

To me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm going to be published!

In The Guardian no less - the Families section on Saturday. They ask people to send in things like recipes, snapshots and song memories about childhood. And they pay £75 if you're published.

I sent this photo

and wrote this...

This is a photo of me (in the trendy brown dungarees) and my sister (in our Dad's crash helmet) when I must have been 2 in 1974. I remember her dress as it was made of some sort of red fake leatherette - like a sofa! I'm screaming at her as I believe it was MY turn on the prized bike - and I do just love my physical position - real hand on hip beligerent "OI!!!".

My mother told me tales of my tantrums as a child - how I was stubborn, angry, fighting everyone and everything, and I never believed a 2 year old was capable of all that. I am now "blessed" with children of my own and my 18 month old son is me reincarnated, even down to the ginger sticky up hair. He's a holy terror - beating up his older brother, shouting at the top of his voice, screaming if he doesn't get his way, climbing onto furniture and constantly trying to escape out of the front door to play in the traffic.

All those stories have come back to haunt me....I now know that toddlers can be beelzebub incarnate one minute and a bundle of cuddlesome sweetness the next. This picture always reminds me that karma does exist - I tormented my mother and now I'm the tormented one. But I wouldn't have it any other way and I think she'd agree!

I never thought they'd publish it! But I got an email today saying it will be in this weekend - what a nice birthday present! So those few in the UK buy it! And those abroad there is a link here but the photos don't seem to be there - the rest of the part of the paper where they are is - but you never know - check on Saturday.

Now what shall I spend my money on....hmmmmm (it'll probably pay the gas bill.... Sad Sad )

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We love Hastings

Last week Oz's pre-school took a trip to Hastings. Even though the weather had been good, the day we went it was cold, grey and blustery. But we still had a brilliant time.

Rob had a day off today (before he goes to America AGAIN next week) so we decided to go back....

What a difference a week makes! As you can see.....
We played on the beach, ate fish and chips, paddled....buried Oscar in the stones....(How couth is my boy?)

Toby and I look a bit grumpy here - we're just pondering the endless blue sea...honest...Toby enjoyed throwing stones down his own back....and collected quite a few in his vest as you can see.....

Oz discovered Crazy Golf and loved it - he's better than his Dad (though that seriously isn't saying much).

All in all a perfect British seaside summer day. We'll probably be back again very soon when K is over at the end of August......