Monday, 30 March 2009

Lots of fun

It's been a busy, fun week. I've made every effort to get out of the house and make the most of the people around me. On Friday evening we had my bellydancing friend Jools and her husband Andrew round for a curry. It was a good evening. It was the first time we had properly met Andrew, despite going to their wedding in the summer, and I must say that I found him most entertaining! Barney had us drawing pictures for his pretend post box outside his bedroom door. So we had a little colouring competition. Poor Jools and her lovely flower picture came last, but I think a lot of cupboard love was involved.

On Saturday evening I went up to Mums house for a girlie pampering night. Maddi, Jenny, Hannah, Emma, and one of Hannah's work friends were there. Mum cooked an awesome feast of lamb curry (except it wasn't curry, it had some other fancy name that I can't remember!) People sat around having massages, spa baths, facials etc. It was good night, but I didn't stay overnight like the rest of them did.

Then today, Sunday, we took the kids out to Lurgan Park, where we are carried on like fools and big kids ourselves. Rosie sat up in her buggy for the first time and looked wildly at all the ducks, birds, trees, and park equipment. Then we all went to McDonald's for lunch, which I don't think we've done since we were in America. Rosie didn't know what to look at first in the restaurant. Her eyes were wildly darting from one thing to the next.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The best parts of every day

Every day has so much to offer as a mother. At any moment the unexpected can happen. And every day is filled with joy, adventure, excitement, achievement, pride, sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger. Being a mother is like being on an emotional roller-coaster sometimes. From highs to lows, with scary moments and exciting moments in between. In reading the book 'Buddhism for Mothers' I am learning to take stock of every moment. To live in the present instead of languishing in the past or racing into the future. As a parent it is often so easy to be so busy racing around, trying to get everything done, that instead of enjoying every moment with our children we are so busy thinking about whats next and racing ahead with life. Every mother knows that when we don't take enough time out of chores to enjoy our children, we feel guilty; but if we do take time to sit and enjoy our children we chastise ourselves for not getting things done! Mothers can be so hard on themselves!

A young child is not aware of time. They don't feel the desperation to get everything done as we do. And so they can take as long as they like to do anything. A short walk for a toddler can be spread over a full morning as they examine every leaf, every bug, every flower or twig. They are filled with so much wonder, and so much time. What a shame that we lose this timeless ability to enjoy life as we get older!

So taking note of the advise in my mothering book (which I am only about a third of the way through reading) I am trying to be mindful of every moment. Taking time to see the joy in every moment. Taking time to watch and enjoy each of my children. Living in the present. As the book says, "watching our children more closely affords us a more satisfying experience of motherhood."

The best parts of every day, for me, are the mornings when little Rosie opens her eyes and immediately gives me a big smile through the bars of her cot. If it is the weekend this is followed by a boisterous Barney who loves to clamber up into the bed for 'mummy snuggles' with me. But also last thing at night, as Rosie starts to get tired and grizzly. She has a certain grizzle about her when it's time for her night sleep. I change her nappy, put on her babygro, and hold her close in my arms against my chest. She looks at me with a tired face, turns her head in towards me to snuggle close, and goes to sleep. She looks so content, and trusting, and peaceful, to just be in the arms of her mother. And this moment always gives me great joy.

If you are a busy mother who would like to learn how to experience more calm in her life, I'd really recommend giving the book 'Buddhism for Mothers' a go. You don't need to be a Buddhist to read it. It is not a religious book. It simply shows how the Buddhist teachings can promote equanimity in the life of Mums. (And Equanimity, as I have learned today, is the ability to keep calm no matter what is happening!)

Rosie says 'Hiya'

Steve took this video this evening of Rosie in her high chair having a little chat with him. It sounds as if she's trying to say 'Hiya' back to him. She is such a Daddy's girl.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Mother's Day Thoughts

Today I was awoken by a very excited young Barney. Rosie had long been taken downstairs for a bottle by her Daddy. The school uniforms had been ironed by Marty (my regular Sunday job) and I was presented with a cup of tea, a plate of pancakes with strawberries and cream, and a big vase of daffodils.

I am now also the proud owner of a heap of drawings, paintings and general cutting & sticking from Barney, plus a book of vouchers from Badger, and a mass of vouchers from everyone which must be used today. That includes one 24 hour voucher for as many cups of tea as I can manage, a voucher for one hours guaranteed reading time, and many others. I also got a new camera to replace the one that got dropped and broken last week. I was already missing my little camera. I love Marty's big swanky camera but it's not possible to slip it into ones handbag!

Today I have been thinking about how blessed I am to have such an adoring, wonderful, happy family. My children mean the world to me, each of them with their own special characters.

Badger is a very loving, thoughtful teenager. He always gives me a hug if he thinks I am down, and manages to keep a smile on my face, even if we argue. He is a dramatic, creative, loud, entertaining and humorous young man. Life is never dull with a Badger in the house and I thank him for all the laughs, and all the loud, boisterous and fabulously entertaining times we have shared.

Tarja is a quiet, peaceful, sensitive and loving girl. She always thinks of others, whether they be people or animals. She likes to read and listen to music in her room. Sometimes I forget she is even here. Tarja makes a good friend and I know that she will be treasured by the people who win her friendship along the way. I am always happy when she notices that I am alone in my bedroom and pops in for a little chat.

Barney is my baby boy. A big baby boy now, and getting so independent. Barney is a huge character, always full of chatter. He is very perceptive - nothing gets past him! Creative and expressive, he loves to make things for people. Paintings, drawings, collages. His little smile and his big eyes melt my heart and when he hugs me I feel that my heart will explode with all the love it feels. He is my little rotter.

Even little Rosie has her own character already. She is calm, relaxed, laid back and very happy. She is very like me in a lot of ways. As long as she has eaten and slept, she likes some good company. Every day she accomplishes something new - a smile, a giggle, using her hands, rolling over. I feel such pride watching her grow and thrive.

I am very thankful for my family. Every single one of them brings something special into our lives, and we would never be complete without each other. Thank you guys for making Mothers Day so special.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

All in all it's been a pretty ok week. I've made a real effort to get out of the house a bit, which has perked me up. The doctor gave me 10 days worth of sleeping tablets, and I think that after just 3 nights of good sleep I feel so much better. It's nice to be able to sleep and dream instead of laying thinking things over and being anxious. Hopefully the sleep will remain after the pills are gone!

I have started a new photo blog, as mentioned before, 365 self portraits. A blog of introspection where I plan to take a photo a day for a year and make note of something good that has happened during the day, or something I am glad for. If you want to see that blog leave a comment here to let me know and I shall invite you.

One of the books I ordered has turned up. Buddhism for Mothers...

"Parenthood can be a time of great inner turmoil for a woman, yet parenting books invariably focus on nurturing children rather than the mothers who struggle to raise them. This book is different. It is a book for mothers. "Buddhism for Mothers" explores the potential to be with your children in the all-important present moment; to gain the most joy out of being with them. How can this be done calmly and with a minimum of anger, worry and negative thinking? How can mothers negotiate the changed conditions of their relationships with partners, family and even with friends? Using Buddhist practices, Sarah Napthali offers ways of coping with the day-to-day challenges of motherhood. Ways that also allow space for the deeper reflections about who we are and what makes us happy. By acknowledging the sorrows as well as the joys of mothering, the book can help you shift your perspective so that your mind actually helps you through your day rather than dragging you down. This is Buddhism at its most accessible, applied to the daily realities of ordinary parents."

I'm really looking forward to reading it, although I'm still reading 'Dear Fatty', Dawn French's autobiography which is both hilarious and heartbreaking in places. Definitely worth the read to anyone who appreciates her.

The health visitor came out to see me this week. She was watching me play with Rosie whilst giving her a nappy change and she told me that Rosie and I are very in tune with each other. I don't know what other parents are like. I thought it was normal to talk to the baby and cuddle and tickle her. Lol. She also told me that I should consider becoming a counselor as she thinks I'd be very good at it. Blimey. I wonder how she could tell that in an hour of watching me play with Rosie.

Anyway, yesterday was a good day. We were invited very last minute to a BBQ at a friends house in Lurgan. We took just the two little kids with us as the bigger kids weren't yet home from school. I was pleased to see that an old friend of ours was at the BBQ too. We hadn't seen him since the summer and it was lovely to catch up. He was sitting next to me poking Rosie's little feet so I took that as a sign that he secretly wanted to give her a cuddle. Now this is the man who has always insisted to me that he would never be having children! I shoved Rosie into his arms and left them together. Haha. He seemed slightly shocked but in no time he was making her laugh. I'm proud to say that he admitted little Rosie was so cute that she was making him re-think his stance on never having children! Good girl Rosie.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hokey Pokey

Last night we had Hannah and David round for dinner. Well, when I say we had them round for dinner; they actually came round and bought us chinese food. Yum!

Marty did a cookery demonstration of how to make honeycomb. This is the photo I took of them all learning how to mix golden syrup and sugar to make a sweet, deathly concoction. It's far too sweet for me to eat. But simple to make.

Barney is out playing on our 14ft trampoline with one of the neighbouring children that is only here at weekends. He just thrives in the company of other children. It's lovely to see him outside playing and making friends.

This week he had his first play date. His best friend from school came over with his Mum to meet us and get used to us all. On Wednesday he is coming over for a proper play, and Barney is very excited about this. I am still friends with my best friend from primary school, who I met at age 4 or 5. It's exciting to see him on the same journey.

Friday, 13 March 2009

365 photos

In a further attempt to occupy my mind and produce some creativity I've been thinking about trying out one of those 365 photos projects. (See some of the links in my list of websites that I find interesting). It's a popular craze now and so many people are doing or have done it. But it might be very interesting to look back on in time. So I'm thinking of starting a new blog, on the side, for a 365 self portrait project. The idea being that I take and post one self portrait photo every day for a year. The self portrait project seems popular, although people seem to have completed the 365 projects with a range of subjects. 365 self portrait projects sounds very self absorbed, but I'm going through a faze with a lot of inner thoughts and I'm using it as a form of expression and release.

So watch out for a new link to my 365 photos project, if I do indeed start it. I'm not a good photographer either so maybe it will help develop some photography skills!

Oh btw there are 2 new videos of Rosie on youtube.
Video 1
Video 2
And if you haven't already seen it, check out the romantic soppy video my hubby made of me over on his blog.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Cute Factor

Little Rosie is three months old today! And to celebrate it, here are some photos of her. Just because, to be honest, she's darn cute!

Today was her first time trying out her bumbo seat, which Barney used to love when he was a wee nipper. And also her first time in the baby bouncer. She enjoyed going round in circles for about 5 minutes, before being totally exhausted. It's amazing how much babies dribble when upright!

There is a video of Rosie in the baby bouncer which you can watch if you click here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

So many options!

Phew! What a busy day it's been! This evening I spent the evening up at Badger's school talking to various teachers about GCSE options. Apart from his maths teacher, everyone said Badger was doing very well! I was so pleased, and a little surprised. Ok, so to be honest, I didn't speak to the teachers of subjects he is not considering for his options (French, History etc) so maybe they wouldn't have been so positive. But the ones I did speak to were pretty happy.
He could do better in maths, but as I tried to explain to the teacher, he is in a maths class that is too easy for him, and is totally bored. She agreed but won't move him up until he proves himself worthy. Lol.
His science teacher (who I thought was a complete idiot, personally - one of these people who likes to think they know my kids better than I do) said he should get at least a B in GCSE double award science, and that he could definitely manage an A if he knuckles down. I was impressed as I failed terribly in the sciences at school.
His English teacher said that he is extremely creative, very intelligent but not at all academic. Which I already knew. She wants him to take Eng Lit GCSE, which is only offered to a few children, as she thinks he has a natural talent for English. But shes worried about whether he will put the effort into doing it or not. He seems pretty keen when I talk to him about it. I think the fact that the teacher likes him and believes in him has spurred him on.
His drama teacher said he's a fantastic student and was delighted that he's planning on taking drama GCSE. She said the drama GCSE course is always over subscribed and she has to turn students away, but she guaranteed me that Badger would have a place on the course because he has remained dedicated to the subject through-out the years, attending drama club and taking part in school productions.
The ICT teacher said he shows talent in the subject but the ICT course is over subscribed and he may not get a place on it. I told him that if he doesn't get into ICT the only other option for him is child studies, which he is not at all keen on (no boy has ever done that course in his school before!) He put a question mark next to his name saying he was possible for a place. I saw in his list of names that he had one tick, about 6 question marks, and a lot of crosses. So I batted my eyelids at him and told him that he spends a lot of time at home doing ICT type projects. I managed to get him to turn that question mark into a half question mark/half tick. Lol. He's still not guaranteed a place though.
(equivalent of 2 I also spoke to the teachers of business studies, and media BTEC. Both of them are in the same option category. Badger wanted to take both of them but can only pick one, which is unfortunate. So I spoke in depth to both teachers and we have decided that media BTECGCSE's) is more suited towards him. It's completely practical, no written exams at all, and they do things like make movies. They learn how to direct, produce, edit, and how to film. Just his cup of tea I think.
He was very excited to talk to me about it all when I got home.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

My answers to the Proust Questionnaire...

I originally saw this over on Darwi's blog and thought I would answer it too, one day, when I get time. Well, today Rosie was unwell and so she slept all evening, which means now, at 1am, she is lying in her moses basket totally wide awake! So I'm going to answer some of this. It may take me more than one visit to blogger to get it finished.

"Since July 1993, the back page of Vanity Fair has been devoted to the Proust Questionnaire, in which a noteworthy person answers a series of personal questions. The questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust (1871–1922), the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Click on the archived questionnaires below and decide for yourself." To see the answers of famous people who has completed this questionnaire on Vanity Fair click here.

Answer the Proust Questionnaire!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness doesn't exist!
I guess perfect happiness is something akin to the feeling a mother has when she has been through nine months of pregnancy, a painful labour, and then she is handed her new born child for the first time. That moment of intense happiness and relief is something you never experience any other way.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Undoubtedly my greatest fear is losing my children and husband in some tragic pain filled accident. I find it too painful to even think of a life without them. But to think that their last moments would be terrifying and painful is too horrific to contemplate. How does anyone carry on after something like that? This is for sure, my greatest fear.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My sensitivity. I am far too sensitive to make it through this world without a lot of heartache and pain. I take negative comments very badly and feel awful if someone doesn't like me. I wish I had thicker skin. I'm not just sensitive about myself, but others too. I can't watch the news at times because all the human suffering and evil upsets me. If I watch a film about the holocaust I can't sleep for weeks and cry a lot about it. I wish so much that I wasn't as sensitive, as life would be so much easier. But at the same time I believe it makes me a better person in some aspects.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I have two traits that I deeply deplore in other people. Selfishness and lying. I can not comprehend nor forgive either of these traits. Dishonesty is a close third. Although that's close to lying. But outward lying is just wrong. Full stop. And selfishness is an ugly characteristic in anyone.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

I don't need to think about this for a second. It has to be my husband. I have never met another person like him. He is truly kind, unselfish, thoughtful, helpful and always thinks of everyone before himself. I have never met a less selfish person. He works so hard to keep others happy that he often goes without himself. He is everything that I aspire to be, and so much more. If more people were like him, the world was undoubtedly be a much better place to live.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

I'm not a very extravagant person. But I have spent a fair bit of money over the years on books. Not novels, but educational books about nutrition, gardening, self sufficiency, international adoption, cooking, un-cooking and more.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Severely depressed. Deeply saddened and numbed of any other feelings or emotions. Occasionally angry. But this is not the norm for me. Just a passing phase I hope. I'm usually pretty upbeat and strong.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Beauty. Is that a virtue? Lol. Perhaps not. I think most virtues are worth having.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

I would lie to my kids if it would save them hurt or heartbreak.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I'd like a nice long neck and better facial bone structure. Weight is easily changeable, but bone structure, well that's tougher!

11. Which living person do you most despise?

I don't despise anyone that I know personally. The person I like least at the moment is the woman who made up lies about me and turned my dear friend against me.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Respect for women. I like men to treat women as equals, whilst also maintaining respect for them. There is nothing worse for me than when I need to use a mans services for something I know nothing about, say a plumber, electrician or mechanic, and he treats me as if I am just a stupid woman and wouldn't know any better. For a man to treat a women as equal is important, but with care and respect as well. I like men who open doors for me!

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The ability to remain calm and patient when everything around her is in chaos.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"Have you done that yet???"
"I'm sick of telling you this over and over!"
"I love you"

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Steve of course! (And Ville Valo a close second!) I new I'd spend the rest of my life with Steve within moments of meeting him. If, however, I ever meet Ville Valo, Steve's history!

16. When and where were you happiest?

White Sands Desert of New Mexico, March 2008. I felt a moment sitting on the pure white sand dunes, watching the sun go down, of pure peace, contentment and happiness. Marty had gone for a walk, the kids were playing in the sand, and we were half way through the trip of a lifetime. I've never felt such serenity or pure fulfillment. I believe that was my happiest moment. I had everything I ever wanted, and more.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

I'd love to be an amazingly talented singer. Wouldn't anyone? Either that or the ability to get myself out of bed at a reasonable time!

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My slowness. I'd like to be able to complete more in a 24 hour period. Actually, scrap that... I'd like to change my right inner ear and swap it for one that doesn't have pulsatile tinnitus. Then I could enjoy a moment of silence.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Giving birth.
Or the trip across America.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A tree. One of those big old redwoods or some sort of huge tree that lives for centuries. Just think of all the things you'd see.

21. Where would you most like to live?

In a forest, with a stream near by. I love forests. There's something magical about them. I love the way they smell, and all the wildlife. Perhaps a huge forest in Canada or New Zealand. As a child I was addicted to the Enid Blyton books about The Enchanted Forest. Perhaps that's where my love of the woodlands came from?

22. What is your most treasured possession?
Gosh, tough one. My most treasured things are my family, but I guess that's not a possession. I'm not a very materialistic person. But I guess I'd be heartbroken if I lost my re-engagement ring. The ring Marty re-proposed to me with a few years ago. I do treasure that. There's a blog post about that here.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being suicidal. Being in so much physical or emotional pain that one can bare life no more.

24. What is your favorite occupation?

I'm not sure if by occupation it means something to pass time, or a career?
For passing time my favourite occupation is writing. Couldn't you tell?
As a career I've always wanted to be either a midwife or a paramedic.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

Caring for others.

26. What do you most value in your friends?


27. Who are your favorite writers?

Maya Angelou , Edgar Allen Poe, Jeanette Winterson, Virginia Andrews

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Hmm, pretty sure I don't have one.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I dont think I have an answer to this one. I dont really identify with anyone from history.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Anyone who devotes their lives to helping others. Doctors who work with orphans in Africa when they could instead be earning large amounts of money at home.

31. What are your favorite names?

Timeless names. I don't like these stupid new-fan-dangled names after cars or cities.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

That's a pretty broad question. I could answer it with anything from 'having the runs after a really hot curry', to 'people who abuse children'. I guess the thing I dislike most in the whole world is pedophilia? But I also don't like it when my kids are sick and suffering. This is just too broad to answer.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Introducing my dear friend to that woman. No, honestly, it is. I don't have many regrets. Maybe growing up in the church, but that wasn't my fault. Or some of the hurtful things I've said to people I love over the years. But introducing her to him was definitely my biggest mistake.

34. How would you like to die?

Doesn't everyone want to die peacefully in their sleep at a good age? I don't want to drag on till a ripe old age, living every day in pain. I'd rather go before it gets too bad. As long as I don't burn to death. I'd quite like to just walk into a warm sea and drift off into the sunset. Actually I think dying whilst under anesthetic has got to be the most peaceful way to go. I've been anesthetized twice now and I can honestly say that if I'd died during the operations, I wouldn't have known a thing about it!

35. What is your motto?

"You only live once"
I'm a real advocate for doing the things you want to do with your life. What is the point of missing out on your dreams just because you don't have enough courage or gumption??

Monday, 9 March 2009


It's time to get myself a bit motivated about something. I am trying to get back into nutrition again. As readers of my old blog will know I have been very interested in sprouting and raw foods for many years now. When we ate a lot of sprouts, sunflower greens and raw foods I felt on top of the world and full of energy. I need to start feeling that way again. Instead of sluggish, slow, recently pregnant and tired. If you're not sure what sprouting is, you can read my blog post all about it on my old blog by clicking here. And for a little about eating raw read this blog post.

So today we had our first fresh batch of sprouts which were a detox mix including mung bean, broccoli, clover, beetroot, alfalfa, radish and a few others. Today I've set a jar of clover sprouts to germinate and they will be ready in about 3 days. I love sprouting. It's so refreshing and rejuvenating, and just full of life giving goodness. I got out of the way of it when we were travelling across America, and I really must get into it again. I always feel so much happier when I'm producing good healthy nutrition for my family.

So I've been thinking a lot about what to do to benefit my health at the moment. I want to get back into making my own flour and bread again too. I don't think I have the get-up-and-go this year to get the vegetable garden back in working order. Not with a small baby to look after. Which is a shame because I enjoy the fresh air and I get a real buzz in the summer from spending time in the vegetable garden. It was one of the most beneficial projects I have ever under-taken. I felt so at peace, yet so alive when sitting out in the vegetable garden, pulling up weeds in the summer time. Here is one of my vegetable gardening blog posts, from the good old days! My vegetable garden is now 4 ft tall with weeds. But that's what happens when you leave it all behind to go travelling, and I don't regret that for a second!

So I have ordered two vegan cookbooks. I do like my meat, but I don't like to eat a lot of it. I'm much happier with a mostly vegetarian diet, and I think it's more natural. I have a lot of cool raw food books, but thought a couple of vegan books might inspire me to get back into the kitchen. My kitchen has been taken over by a man. Lol. A man who likes to cook, but likes to eat a lot of meat, and not a lot of veg! It has been nice not having to cook while he's been off work, but I do miss my creativity in the kitchen. I think I will let him cook the main meals while I fiddle around with the raw foods.

So there you have it, I am trying to think positively and to do things to fulfill my life again. I am very cross that I let myself be so affected by someone who obviously didn't give a damn about me in the long run. I must try not to get so hurt by people. But it's never easy. I am what I am. Too caring for my own good half the time. But I am trying to perk myself up before I go into a depression. I have a few good days and then I just feel totally wrecked and sad. I feel sorry for my family when I'm like that. But it's hard to just get out of it.

I have also started a music blog. Well, its just something silly for myself really. A sort of music diary. I tend to use music as therapy and so I've started to document that a bit. Not sure how long I will keep it up for.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Another week over and out of the way

Another week is over thankfully. At the moment I feel as though I am just passing time. Although at the same time I'm sad time is passing, as every week Rosie gets older and less newborn-like. It's amazing to see her grow and develop, but I know how short this time lasts for and I want to enjoy it while I can. But right now I feel so blooming miserable most of the time that I'm barely enjoying anything.

At least I can sleep now, which is a blessing. For many weeks I just lay staring at the ceiling, totally frustrated at my lack of sleep-ability. Now I could literally sleep my life away, if allowed to.

We had to take Rosie to the on-call doctor up at Craigavon Hospital today. She's had weepy eyes since she was born but they'd got infected with full-on conjunctivitis and were horribly stuck together. She now has some antibiotic eye drops to use for a few days, so hopefully that will clear it up.

I've been trying to find something to distract my mind a bit. I've been thinking on and off about all sorts of ventures but have no motivation for anything other than sleep. There are two OCA courses that I'm interested in, and the points for them can count towards the OU degree that I started a few years ago. I like the look of this Creative Writing course, and this digital photography course. But at almost 600 quid per course I can't really afford to do them, so I have applied to the college for a bursary. They have a fund set aside each year for students that they feel show a talent in a certain area. I doubt they will fund me for both courses, but maybe one. I had to formally apply for the bursary with proof that I'm a pauper, and with evidence of my talents! I should hear back from them within three weeks.

Our oven has totally died. It needed replacing five years ago, and we have made do. But now the door has fallen off and the whole thing is kaput. Today we went out to buy a new one, discovered that built in ovens with a grill cost about 700 quid each and came home without one. So it's stir fries for us for the foreseeable future!

Rosie plays with Daddy, aged 3 months old

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Baby talk

A short video clip of baby Rosie having a chat with me. She likes to talk now. Isn't she adorable? She's going to be a right little chatterbox I think.

Almost 3 months old already.

Where does the time go? 5th March 09, Rosie looks so cute in her big girl clothes. She's almost 3 months old already.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


I'm in denial about the fact that I have a child who is taking his GCSE options next week! How did that happen? I went to sleep one day and woke up with a teenage son! So here I am, still trying to work out what I want to do with my life, whilst trying to guide my son in the right direction for his career opportunities!

I'm rather miffed that RE GCSE is a compulsory exam. Er, why? When do any of us ever use anything we learn in RE again?? What a total waste of study. I'm rather cross about it to be honest. Badger (it's going to take me a while getting used to that new blog name!) will have to miss out on a subject such as ICT that might be of some use to him in life, to take RE instead! So next week I have to go to a parents evening to meet all the teachers in an attempt to work out what options he should take. I don't remember any parental involvement when I chose mine. I think I just chose them and no one really showed much interest.

He has to take English Language, Double Science, Maths and RE (!?!?!??!?!?!) then 4 other subjects. He wants to do Media Studies BTEC which is equivalent to 2 GCSE's as far as I'm aware, plus Drama, Engligh Literature and ICT. Which is one exam too many. So he's going to have to drop ICT I think. He could do 10 exams but I really don't think he'd cope with that amount of work. I struggled to do ten GCSE's myself, and I don't mind hard work. Badger, on the other hand, is often work shy. Lol.

I am also thinking myself about what to do this year. I am not someone who is generally content to just get up, do the housework, feed the kids, and sleep. I need more than that in my life. I do enjoy being a Mum, don't get me wrong, but I need an outlet other than that or I start to go a bit stir crazy. And right now I need something to occupy my mind more than ever. Months of thinking about the same problem has almost totally squished my brain of any motivation or desire!

But what to do? I want to get back into Bellydance, but that only takes up one evening a week. I need something that requires a lot of thinking and brain exercise. Any ideas? I could do some volunteer work, find a part time job (although I'm supposed to be on maternity leave so that's probably not really an option), write the book I've been meaning to write for years? I don't know. I kind of want to start writing this book, but the fact that it might be a monumental waste of precious time kind of puts me off.

We have been thinking a bit about moving back to England and Marty saw some properties advertised on the web that were actually cheap enough to leave us mortgage free if we moved to them. They had enough bedrooms and were near to our friends. OK, they weren't palaces, but at least they were affordable. It's just getting the time together to really talk about it. I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to do anything, let alone something so huge.

Two days of using the new asthma medication the doctor gave me and I feel so much better. I've stopped waking up choking, my throat is no longer sore, and I am not choking anywhere near as much during the day. Maybe twice a day as opposed to 20 times a day. The doctor said it might take 2 weeks to work (if it did work) so I'm very pleased with the result!

I joined twitter this week but found it so boring that I deleted it straight away. Lol. There is a funny video about twittering on youtube called 'Twitter Ruined My Life'. I found the video hilarious, but sadly true of some people!

So, it seems that I changed my blog address to this new one, changed all our names and info yet the woman I was getting away from seems to have been reading the blog all along. I don't know who gave her the address or how she found it. She is using a cloaking program to try to hide her identity, but all that does is hide how she gets to my blog and how she leaves. Her IP address, ISP provider and location all remain the same, so I can plainly see when she reads it. I do wonder why she felt the need to track me down and keep reading. Bit sad isn't it?

Good morning Mummy!

How does Rosie know when it's 7am? No matter what time she goes to bed, she always wakes at 7am on the dot! She's such a little star. Sleeping all night in her little moses basket next to my bed. She won't fit in that for much longer though. Every morning I am greeted by a huge smile from her, as I peek over the edge of the moses basket. What a lovely little face to wake up to every day. She is such a happy, content baby, for which we are both very grateful! Keep up the good work Rosie!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

England, Part 2...

I've been sitting here for 15 minutes looking over the England photos and trying to work out what to write about. I just don't know quite where to start. Rosie and I spent 10 days visiting friends and family from around Kent. I have to say that Rosie was an absolute angel the entire time. I think in 10 days she only cried once, which was when I gave her a bath on the last day when all she really wanted was a bottle. Apart from that she was a dream to travel with. I made it there and back through the airports with Rosie in a sling, and she never complained once. What a little star.

We did a lot of visiting. It was great to see so many old faces. One afternoon we had lunch with V from school and her daughter R. R was besotted with Rosie, and was happy to help me feed her, cuddle her and kiss her. Rosie was delighted with the attention and plied little R with plenty of smiles. It was great to see V after 16 years, and I must say she hasn't aged a day! She still looks exactly the same!

Another afternoon we met L (also an old friend from school) and her daughter. Her two year old little girl was delightful and full of adventure. We had a chat about our kids and her son sounds very similar to my Barney in a lot of ways.

It was also great to meet Miss S again. Her and Mrs T were two of my bridesmaids, 15 long years ago. We met at T's house, ate pizza, and drank wine. I think I went a bit over the top with some of the old school days anecdotes, but it was all good fun. When we all get together it's like we are 15 years old again. I don't feel a day older anyway, with or without wrinkles and grey hair.

I was sad to hear that my friend K's father is very ill with lung cancer, but was pleased to be able to spend an evening with her. She's moved to Maidstone now so it's easier to meet up when I'm over.

My Aunty Claire organised a family afternoon at her house on the Saturday. It was the first time I've seen that side of the family for years. My cousin Ben was there, as well as my Dad and my Grandparents. We shared lots of stories about various ancestors and talked about where our family came from. I was pleased to see Grandma again and glad that she seemed well.

That evening Mrs T, Miss C and CR (plus little Rosie) all went out for a meal to the White Rabbit in Maidstone. It was just like old times again. The food and company were both lovely. T came back to C's house with us and we spent an hour taking hilarious photos. Poor T hadn't enjoyed the wine that C and I had indulged in, but she was a great sport and put up with our silly antics. I had such a great laugh that night and it really cheered me up no end.

I could be writing all evening if I mentioned every story from our trip, like the time I lost my mobile phone and C drove me all over Kent looking for it at 2am, or the time we came 4th at the Langley Village Hall quiz night, or how the airport security metal detector went off every time they scanned my stomach! But all in all great fun was had by all and I am ever more grateful for my gorgeous, thoughtful and precious friends.

Here are a selection of photos from the trip...

Precious people

It's almost 1am and I'm not in bed yet, despite Rosie being tucked up fast asleep in her moses basket. After Rosie and I got home from our trip to England yesterday, I went to bed and didn't get up for 14 hours! I was shattered. I will write another blog post tomorrow all about the rest of our trip. But right now it's a bit too late to start all that.

Rosie has slept almost constantly since we got home. I gave her some Calpol this evening as I think she's feeling a bit under the weather. It's not like her to sleep so much, and she sounds a bit hoarse when she's awake, so I think she might have that sore throat that's going round at the moment. (I've had it for almost 3 weeks now!)

Well the trip to England certainly took my mind off of things for a while. But now that I'm home I'm thinking about what to do next. I need to start something that's going to occupy my brain somewhat. But I'm not sure what yet. A course? A job? Volunteer work? Write a book?

I went to the doctors today. I've been feeling like I did in America just before I ended up in hospital. Although I'm not as bad as I was then, it's certainly progressing that way. I've been choking, coughing, struggling to breath and feeling tight in the neck area. I do get that way at night often, I wake up struggling to breath. But not during the day so much. Lately though it's been happening up to about 30 times in a 24 hour period. So a trip to the doctor was in order. She did the puffer test thing on me to see how good my breath was, and it was dismal. She said I should be reaching about 550 and I was only reaching around 340. So I have new inhalers, powder ones this time, and I have to go back in a month to see if there is any improvement. I do hope it works. My blood pressure was through the roof again though and she's talking about putting me back on medication for that.

After talking to my Mum about it all this evening I'm wondering if it's all anxiety related. No doubt about it, the things that have been happening lately have left me extremely upset and anxious, so maybe she is right. I do have a severe dust allergy and it makes sense that it could also cause asthma, but perhaps it gets worse when I am anxious. I keep dreaming that I can't breath and then wake up feeling like my throats closed over and I'm suffocating. Then I start choking. All rather unpleasant. I do hope it's not anxiety related. I've never been an anxious person before.

Well, as I said I shall write a post tomorrow about the trip. I have some truly precious friends in England and I desperately miss them. Miss C has been a good friend to me through thick and thin for many, many years. And Mrs T never fails to make me laugh and cheer me up. I treasure them both with all my heart and I hope that they know this. I think they do. Thanks for everything girls. I do miss you both so much. xxx
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