Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Ponderous posting

I have been suffering this week. Not from the dreaded lurgy this week (although lurgy, as Elvis said, you are always on my mind, hence the over washed hands), nor from some kind of pox. No, this week I have been suffering because my muse seems to have deserted me. Which is funny, because I never knew I had one.

I started blogging because secretly, a little part of me has always felt I deserved a book deal, but apparently you have to actually do some work to be offered one. Funny that. I'm not that disappointed though because that was only one little reason, mainly it was just because I needed something to do to occupy my idle mind now that I am one of the great unwashed, unemployed.

But then I became obsessed, as my poor neglected husband or child (no, not social services kind of neglect) will tell you. I had to log in every day to check whether we had any new followers, whether anyone from Outer Mongolia was reading our blog (honestly, you can check that kind of stuff - who knew?!), and whether we were ever going to get any recognition.

I was perplexed as other bloggers seemed to get mentions all the time on forum sites of note (BMB, you know who you are!), prizes and accolades for having something funny or interesting to say, and readers in the 100's or 1000's.

And I racked my brains for how to up my stats, increase my following (whoah, that sounds a little scary) and double my traffic.

So I took a week, maybe two, off and now I have perspective. So thank you to friends old and new for whom we write this blog; To Debby, the cousin who I have never met who keeps an eye on me and CK from Germany; to my good friend Elana who we will see very soon; to Rach who I know is reading; to Liska, my new bloggy mate who is on my wavelength, even if that is an old fashioned radio term from the days before internet; and to Brian who reads every post in the split second that it is published, when really he should be working. Thank you to all of you who read and who give me a reason to ramble, a motive for musing.

I promise to stop naval gazing and be more interesting. Any minute now...

The Mummatron
(ps sorry no Granny Bloggings today - the lurgy got her - poor thing!)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Listen Up Menfolk - Our Valentines Wishes

So it's Listography time again over at Kate Takes 5 and this week we are thinking about what we would like for Valentine's day so lets hope our men are checking this out (Sorry hubby - I've set you quite a task!).

Here are mine - clearly I believe that miracles can happen on St Valentines... We'll see!

1. Welcome to Jetsons world: I would like to be a Jetson. Remember the Jetson's? Like the Flintstones but set in outer space rather than prehistory. The cool thing about being a Jetson is that not only do you get a robot to do all the boring household chores, everything else gets easier too - there is no strapping Little into a car seat, oh no, not when you travel by suction tube. And meals are a doddle - just order a pill that tastes like dinner. Sounds bloody good to a lazy housewife such as myself.
2. Can I rub that for you madam? Oooh yes please: No, you haven't just stumbled into some Mills and Boon moment, my next wish is for a live in masseur. It's a little bit indulgent I guess, but 9 months of whaledom, followed by hefting around a little chubby luvva for 11 months has left me feeling as though my chakras are all out of whack. Or something.
3. Join me on the terrace for a bit of bubbly?: My own hot tub. No really, I know it is a little trailer trash of me, and no, I don't live in Essex, but I have always wanted my own hot tub. So sue me.
4. Where am I? Who am I? : I would like a Big Night Out, like I used to have, back in the days before I had responsibilities (for that read 'before baby'). But I would like to be able to have my Big Night Out without any repercussions... no headache, no 'a monkey died in my mouth' kinda feeling, no 'sh*t who did I text?!' panic, and no need to eat total rubbish for 24 hours to stop myself from hurling. Just the fun bits please.
5. Not the Jacqui Stallone thing, but close: All over plastic surgery, nip it, tuck it, lift it, suck it, tweak it, spread it, smooth it, sort it. And then a pair of those lacquered look leggings. Ooo baby.

The Mummatron

And here are hers...Five things I would like for Valentines day? I guess we are thinking romance here? ummmm....

1. I would like to wake up and find my white hair was blonde again and was going to stay that way. Oh, yes and that someone had just invented the wrinkle-iron.
2. I would like lunch out with my husband at a venue where we can sit in a sunny window and the food I eat will not go straight to my hips.
3.I would like to stay overnight in a really stunning hotel with a pool and sauna and have a facial after my swim. Then...
4. I would like to come home and sit in front of the log fire, read a good book and eat a whole box of chocolates which would not send me straight into a diabetic coma - or go straight to my hips.
5. I would like to be able to think of something on my wish list which was not so completely selfish, but hey this is fantasy right? And I think I am actually going to spend Valentines day having lunch with my daughter, her husband and the adorable little CK which, mushy as it sounds is actually the very best thing I could wish for.

Granny Bloggings

Monday, 7 February 2011

Writing Lists...

The Babyproof Bucket List

A few months ago my father in law was diagnosed with cancer. As you can imagine, my lovely hubby was having a pretty hard time of it so I suggested a treat; a yummy meal and a movie on the telly. Now to those of you who still have a life, I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for those of us who usually have just about enough energy for half (yes indeed half) an episode of ‘The Wire’ before we nod off, a whole movie is HUGE.
So I decided on something called The Bucket List which looked like an amusing diversion - Nicholson and Freeman - what could go wrong? Nicholson and Freeman with terminal cancer - what could be a worse choice (you stupid stupid cow, read the synopsis next time you idiot)?

Anyway, after recovering from that faux pas, I got to thinking about Lists (of the Bucket variety, hence the capital L) and whether you could still have one if your main priority was your newly burgeon-ed family unit... And I figured yes, you can but it need to be babyproofed. And so here goes, my Things To Do Before Ya Cark It List:

  1. The American Road Trip: Starting in Alaska and ending up in Patagonia, in a bloody great gas-guzzling palace on wheels (I’ll plant some trees as I go). Not til CK is old enough to handle being strapped in for more than 12 minutes without screaming - so probably 2020...
  2. Learn a new language: So I always make an effort to be able to ask for my egg and chips in the vernacular, but I have never been able to hold a conversation, or go beyond the basics. I suppose Spanish is the best choice to aid with List Item 1 (am already fully fluent in Yankee Twang).
  3. Become a pianist: I play the saxophone (or used to at least) and while that is lovely, no-one has ever wanted to gather around it and have a singalong. In fact most people want to get about 3 rooms away to spare their hearing - I played it for little CK the other day and she cried. So am thinking maybe piano is more versatile, more sociable? All I need now is a piano, and a teacher, and some time (and will) to practice.
  4. Bite the Bullet and eat Michelin: Anyone who knows me, knows I like my food. And I love to eat out. And I LOVE Masterchef and their obsession with stars. But I have never been able to bring myself to go to a starred restaurant - all that money for something you are, eventually, going to flush - surely that’s not moral? But I want to! I want to!
  5. Own a dog: Man's best friend, every family needs one, easier (marginally) than having another child.

That’s the start - what have I forgotten? What would you put on your Bucket List? I’ll let you know as soon as I tick anything off the list - but don’t hold your breath for too long!

The Mummatron

A Bit of A To-Do

In the days of BC (before Children) I seem to remember that I was an efficient and organised kinda gal. I found time for all sorts of jollys, I planned and threw parties; dinner parties, fancy dress parties, loud music parties, parties with games, grown-up parties with complicated guest lists and parties which featured a lot of alcohol and some less legal substances – don’t look so shocked it was the early 70’s. I baked my own bread, sifted my own lentils, made my own marmalade, and, but not at the same time - cut my own hair (yes, well that may have been a mistake but hey, money was scarce). All this, while working and being newly married. Then along came children.

From then on it seems that I needed to write lists for everything; shopping, jobs to be done, where I needed to be and when. I can remember going to the supermarket, glancing down to see why the floor seemed so slippery, and realising I was still wearing my slippers. Did I have my purse or shopping list? What do you think? Of course not. Parties? Give me a break I couldn’t have organised a pig-out in a doughnut factory!

Then, of course, when my little darlings started school they clamoured for birthday parties so I had to gird my proverbials and start making lists… And I must say that those parties were always very successful and here’s my secret: I would get a pal to help and ask her to arrive an hour before the start time, at which point we would open a bottle of white wine and drink the lot! Yeah! Boy those parties went with a swing! (Though I have to admit that there were always other mothers there to drive to the hospital if any of the little party-goers came to grief).

However, I digress… once my daughter was at school my brain seemed to become my own again, I felt lucid and efficient once more. I read the newspapers, organised trips with friends, trained the puppy, managed reasonably well-informed conversations and was able to get through a whole day without a single list to tell me who I was and what I should be wearing. Unfortunately what I didn’t know at the time was that it was merely the ‘eye of the storm’ and now at nearly 60 Lists are once again the order of the day. So if you are at home with your little ones wondering if your brain will ever work properly again, the answer is probably not, but try to think of it as the perfect training for how to make great lists to sustain you in your old age. Who am I again? Oh yes,

Granny Bloggings

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Secret Goodness...

Today on Twitter there was a crazy tweeting session/twitter party (it's a modern phenomenon apparently) on the topic of secret goodness... Or in other words; How to Hoodwinks Little Uns into Eating Something (Preferably Something Healthy). Well, I learned lots of good tips and hoped to put them to work tonight, but no, Little was having none of it. What she was having some of though was, as follows:
cheese (of course - what else would you put with the listed ingredients?

I hope no-one has a brief look and assumes this is a recipe. It isn't. However - it does create a happy meal time.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Gallery:Shapes

So this is the last photo I thought I would share, but when Tara over at Sticky Fingers announced that this weeks Gallery would be focussing on 'Shapes' I thought of this. It was taken pretty much exactly one year ago - as I was starting my maternity leave, just five weeks before CK was born. It evokes some pretty grim memories of sleepless nights and discomfort, but it also speaks of the imminent arrival of the prodigal child!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In defence of the only...

Only the Lonely
Only children are spoilt, socially inept, lonely and odd, right? Some children are spoilt, some are socially inept, some are lonely and some (take it from me, I’m a teacher) are certainly odd, but I don’t think this has anything to do with being an ‘only’. I’m sure some onlies fit into these categories, but some of the sibling-rich do too.

I grew up as an only child (technically, I wasn’t an only child til I was two when my brother died - so maybe I don’t count?!) and I had an amazing experience of childhood. I suppose I was ‘spoilt’ - I travelled with my parents, ate in proper restaurants (not just Little Chef roadside pitstops, or Wimpys while out shopping - although I secretly pined for these culinary delights!), and had the saxophone I wanted. But I wasn’t spoilt, I knew my manners, knew I was lucky, and I never expected anything. I wasn’t once lonely as I always had friends around me (who by the way I could choose, unlike siblings). I don’t think I am socially inept, and could always make believe with other kids as well as being able to chat with adults. I admit, I am probably odd, but that has nothing to do with being an only.

So I am writing this in defence of my decision to make CK a little odd, inept, spoilt, lonely only. This post is addressed to everyone who has been saying (just a tad smugly) to me for the last year “I said that, and then I went on to have another 3 children!”. No, when I say I don’t want anymore, I really mean it. I don’t want the 9 months of morning sickness, the 9 months of indigestion, the 9 months of feeling blue. I don’t want anymore stretch marks to compliment the ones I already have. I don’t want my body to be any more deformed that it already is. And I don’t want to share my time or my heart.

I have the confidence that I can make CK a rounded, happy, normal individual without providing another child, without her having someone to squabble with, without her having to share the toy/book/remote control.
And if she turns out a little odd, that is fine too - she will fit in with the rest of the human race!


Get Over It!!

Only Children are just children without siblings, it’s no big deal, get over it!

Families these days come in all shapes and sizes and their dynamics are always changing. Children can be surrounded by ‘siblings’ one day and find themselves ‘only children’ the next, sometimes swiftly joined by a bunch of new ‘siblings’, … with some of these being part time ‘siblings’. Life these days is complicated and children have to learn to live with all sorts of relationships.

I did not set out to have just one child but after our son died, we started to discover the advantages to having just one little girl to introduce to the world. We had the time, the space, and our limited budget could stretch to all sorts of things like museum visits and books, but mostly we had the time. Time to think about how to handle our daughters’ up-bringing; time to answer her questions, time to explain things to her, time to listen to her questions, time to fetch and carry her playmates to our house and her to theirs, time to educate her, time to pay attention to her development as a socially adept little person, and time to talk to her about the birds and the bees when the perfect moment came.

If this is what you call spoiling a child then I say bring it on! In my book the only way you can ‘spoil’ a child is to bring it up to be bad mannered, uncaring, rude, anti-social and selfish, and the best way to do that, is to bring it up with no guide lines or rules which will lead to a complete lack of self discipline and a false perception of their importance in the world.

Let’s face it ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’, we’re all different thank goodness, because we are all a product of our individual up-bringing, and that’s what makes the world such a wonderfully diverse place full of such wonderfully diverse people.

Granny Bloggings

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