Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
- I'm just no good at this kind of thing.
- I'm no good at getting organised.
- I'm just not good enough.
- Take 5 minutes a day to sit and meditate. (Five minutes for a mum is difficult enough so I don't set silly expectations of 20 minute meditations). Be alone, be quiet. Clear my mind. Find some personal space in my head. If a thought comes into my head, I'd visualise pushing it away as if it's a fluffy white cloud. By the way, this isn't about prayer - I do that as well, but I don't confuse it with meditation.
- Write down self affirmations about being a compassionate loving person, not worrying what others think and believing in my goals. I would say these to myself every day (there is a view that these should be spoken to a mirror every day, but that makes me feel weird).
- Arrange a babysitter for a fun night out next Saturday
- Book a haircut and rely on Ricarro to look after Ellie (it's been six months).
- Update the family budget and discuss it with Ricarro.
- Arrange dates for seeing my folks.
- Get running, sit-upping, press-upping etc again. It's been too cold and windy for running lately but now I'm on a three month countdown to my next bikini moment.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
They are Asda children's chesty cough syrup, Calcough chesty and Boots chesty cough syrup one year plus.
Also, Children's chesty cough and Boots sore throat and cough linctus one year plus and Buttercup infant cough syrup.
Parents are being urged to stick to paracetamol and ibuprofen medicines, vapour rubs and simple cough syrup such as glycerol, honey or lemon.
The problem is that the packaging doesn't give clear enough guidance on the correct dosage for under twos. Apparently this is less of a problem in the US, where packaging has already been improved for this type of product.
And what about a little humility. In my day, I'm sure we never celebrated special days with such overblown gestures of love and affection.
She seems to be trying new things everyday. At this rate, how is she ever going to focus on a single task and learn to speak fluent mandarin by the age of five.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It’s a book meme.
Here are the rules:
- Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
- Open the book to page 123.
- Find the 5th sentence.
- Post the next 3 sentences.
- Tag 5 people.
Those who read Reluctant's blog will be disappointed to learn that my book is not about menstruation taboos in matrilineal versus patrilineal societies. Instead, the book I’ve picked up is She may not leave by Fay Weldon. I have not read more than the first page of this book before giving it up as a very bad job indeed.
In my single life, I used to like Fay Weldon books and enjoy their Brothers Grimm-fairy tale quality. Villains were writ large and manipulative, protaganists were puny and were compelled to toughen up if they were to survive the story.
But now I’m married and have a baby I am made emotionally uncomfortable with the plots of unhappy marriages, lost children, depression and powerlessness. I started reading Madame Bovary more than six months ago and can’t bring myself to finish it.
I was given this book by my sister-in-law who thought I’d enjoy it. Given that the book is about a new mother returning to work and seeing her husband leave her for the au pair (taking her child with her, horrors) – I was pretty appalled. She’d been handed it by her daughter-in-law – a full-time mum therefore less troubled by childcare nightmares. I was reassured to be told by the daughter-in-law that she agreed it wasn't a great book choice for me.So when I turn to page 123, 5th sentence:
'I wonder if I really want to have a baby,’ Babs says. ‘I don’t want not to have one but then I think of the reality and my heart sinks.’ Alastair has taken her back, on condition that they start a family. He has shown her pictures of himself as a child, and as a young man before his neck thickened, when he was really not so bad looking.
See. Dreadful. Gloomy. Full of unattractive people. I really have to give this to the chazza*.
On to the tagging; like Reluctant I am very shy of tagging people. But, just watch, I'm gonna do it. (I realise I'm holding my breath. How odd).
Beth at Children or Not
Mr D at The adventures of Mr D
Jakelliesmom at I invented motherhood
And for those of you just taking a look – here's a question for you. What’s the worst present (book or otherwise) that you've ever been given?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Fortunately at that challenging moment, Ellie will want me to read her a story.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
- spent time with my family over two days. They aren't hardwork, but nonetheless...
- done the weekly shopping, including buying presents for cousins, aunt and stepmum.
- driven us all to visit my aunt, uncle, cousins, dad and stepmum. And enjoyed it.
- gone to IKEA to buy Ellie a mammut table. Made the table up the same day.
- given me a heart shaped box of chocolates for Easter.
- is now cooking lunch for us and friends later. He's making up a fish stock - doing a proper job too - for a fish pie. Once the pie is done, he'll make treacle sponge for pudding and a coffee and walnut cake - because he wants to.
- is loving using his new kitchen equipment - his new sieves (one for flour etc, the other is a conical, tin man type - he was upset that Ellie had stood on the old one) and salt cellar (he calls it a 'salt pig').
- taking a break from cooking now and then to juggle for Ellie.
- wants me to let you know we are listening to Craig Charles' Funk and Soul Show on BBC6 music. He says, 'Check it in and check it out'.
- Why would anyone want to stay in control when this is what happens when you don't?
- Would you give him a medal or tell him to try harder?
- Do you think I should be suspicious?
- How many minutes will this idyll last till he goes to the pub?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
This is great news for me. She came home with a little Easter bag, stuffed full of her egg hunt finds. Since I think she's too small to eat mini-eggs, it falls to me to eat her chocolate swag. Yes, I am a selfless mother.
Apparently she'll be doing some egg rolling later today. No. I don't know what that means either. I just smiled and said 'Ooh, that sounds fun'. If she ends up rolling down Marine Parade slopes, I'm a bit worried she might pick up too much speed (velocity, that is. Not class B drugs).
But enough of my Easter enthusiasm, here's my meme response to SaraLynn at the Happy Baker. I hope you enjoy.
What I was doing 10 years ago: Aged 27. I'd 'met' my husband at the staff Christmas party and had only just gone 'public'. We'd been working together for three years.
5 Things on my To Do List today:
- Get Ellie to her childminder's house in a chilled out frame of mind - CHECK
- Chatted to - and remembered to pay - Rose, my fabulous cleaning and ironing lady. Every mum should have a Rose. - CHECK
- Met my very important work deadline for a proposal I'm writing. If I don't get this done, I should probably expect to lose my job. Can you feel the fear? - CHECK phew. I feel sooo happy to have done this.
- Collected Ellie at the earliest opportunity so that I can have loads of fun at bath and bed time with her.
- Settled the babysitter within 5 mins of her arrival - and disappeared out to Mum who's visiting this Good Friday. No room here, I get her to stay at a lovely hotel up the road - everyone's a winner!
Snacks I Enjoy:
Yours. Honestly, whatever you are eating, I'll want them. I think that's got everything covered.
Things I would do if I were a Billionaire (didn't this question used to be about millionaires - that's inflation for you):
- Pay off the credit cards
- Stop paid work and start work at home
- Give Rose a pay rise
- Buy Ricarro a boat. Not a big one. I don't want him to sail away too far.
- Buy a bigger house so that I can have three children! Yes. I want to be mad too.
3 of my Bad Habits:
- I drive too fast. I'd call it speeding, but that's such a dirty word...
- I can't leave a question unanswered. I feel compelled to find an answer to every problem - I try to at least tell people when I'm making something up!
- An open bottle of wine is an empty bottle of wine. You know what I'm saying.
The last 5 places I have lived:
- Whitstable - a brilliant seaside town
- Highgate - in fashionable north London
- Queens Park - west London. Both flatmate and I were mugged and then burgled. We moved to Highgate.
- St Albans - a lovely cathedral city
- Bahrain - the best of the Gulf states
5 Jobs I have had:
- Lane attendant at a bowling alley (ha ha. Shoe jockey!)
- Lifeguard (I was once soooo fit)
- Air stewardess (jet set while paying off student loan)
- Recruitment consultant (This was not my calling)
- Marketing and PR manager (I like this one most)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
K is very pregnant right now. Her little girl is making all the right empathy noises and is proving to be very helpful at going upstairs to get things or picking things off the floor for her mum.
The main difficulty that seems to be holding her daughter back is being left-handed. She's getting easily frustrated with the whole writing and drawing malarkey and hates trying to cut things with right-handed scissors.
She's very happy about the imminent arrival of a sibling, but I predict that any frustrations with writing/drawing/craft activities will be made worse after a few months of a small baby diverting her mum's attention.
I thought this would be a good time to try and find a pair of left handed children's scissors. Have you got any tips for where I can find these - and any other tactics for helping left handed children with writing and drawing?
Monday, March 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Check out this excellent post of how men look when they get caught.
The Mom Bomb: Client 9? Bill Clinton is Calling and He Wants His Face Back.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Excitingly, the Reluctant Housewife has tagged me for a meme. She's lovely, you should go visit her if you haven't already. I like to imagine bloggers gravitate towards people they like and share common values with - it's not just about common interests. Check out my strangely inspired list of favourite blogs.
Anyhoo, in response to RW, here are five facts about me:
1. I love to travel. As soon as I finished my A levels (aged 18), I went on very long holidays with friends. I spent 10 weeks in India, 4 weeks in western Turkey, 2 months in western Europe. After university, I was desparate to travel but despaired of saving the cash. So I put on my friendliest, bubbliest manner and became an air hostess with Gulf Air. I lived in Bahrain for 11 months and enjoyed stopovers in Sydney, Melbourne, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Paris and Athens. Since I quit stewardessing (aged 22) my travels haven't been quite so exotic, though I've managed to go to Egypt, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, France, Greece, Sicily (honeymoon), Scotland and Wales. The Ellie-effect is that we are exploring places a little closer to home... this weekend we are visiting Ricarro's goddaughter in Cornwall. We are hoping for good weather. Ha ha.
2. Did you notice the travel omission? I still haven't been to the Americas. At all. I just can't decide where to begin. Options under consideration include - west coast glamour of San Diego and San Francisco - New England for lobsters and history (yes yes, I know other places have history too) - Florida for hemingway, everglades and NASA - cowboy desert adventures - cowboy rockies adventures - Wickininnish Inn for whale watching - New York (of course) - Seattle to see my cousin and his English pub. Where do you think I should go first?
3. I can't bake cakes. I can rustle up fabulous dinners and can make even simple meals look good. I can bake apple pies, quiches, banana loaf. I can make fudge and creme brulee. Even my omelettes and tortillas are pretty fantastic. Cake defeats me. It always comes out heavy, dense and inedible. It's such a shame because I love the stuff. Happily, I have Ricarro can step in to fill the skills gap.
4. I love reading. Anything and everything. If there's a new book or a newspaper in the house, I can't rest till I've read it. Once I took 11 books on a one-week holiday and still had to borrow more from the hotel library. My reading habit drives Ricarro nuts, however post-Ellie I am inevitably reading A LOT LESS.
5. I love it when people think I'm smart. It's a very egotistical character trait. It gives me a buzz when people think I've nailed a problem and seen a solution others can't. I love pub quizzes, especially for the politics and history questions. (I have a BA Hons in politics and love political philosophy... eek, nerd alert!) This is all very well... but it gets worse. Because I can't bear leaving a question unanswered I find it hard to resist making up answers to the stuff I don't know. I can be very convincing. Shockingly, I am learning from experience that I can - sometimes - be wrong. It's proving to be a very tough lesson to learn.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
1. Waking up to cuddles with Ellie. Ricarro goes to get her up and bring her to me in bed (I harbour dreams of being cleopatra or perhaps just the queen of sheba). She's soft and cosy in her all-in-one pyjamas, drinking her morning milk on my lap.
2. Seeing a patch blue sky out of the bedroom window. After driving rain and crazy wind, it's refreshing to see lighter skies again.
3. Watching Ellie giving her daddy a kiss - on request - and waving him 'bahbye' as he goes off to work.
Monday, March 10, 2008
At number 4, the Happy Baker's recipe for fried ravioli. Cooked cheese ravioli, dipped in a pecan and cheese coating and then fried for a couple of minutes either side. Served with another sauce. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. Am I in awe at her risque, experimental approach to fine dining, or am I appalled at this brutal treatment of soft little ravioli parcels? Feedback on this would be really helpful.
Number 3, just how windy and rainy is it today? Ellie loves feeling the wind in her face, but even she reeled in shock as she was felt the full force of a northerly wind on her way to the car this morning.
2. Zimbabwe. I read in this morning's paper about mothers' fears for her to feed their children, how they hope they don't get ill - because the hospitals can do nothing to help. This should be higher than number 8 on this list. Why isn't it? Because the thought of this situation is terrifying and I freeze at thinking about it for too long. I'll have to salve my conscience with a donation - but how to donate to Zimbabwe where corruption is rife. Feedback on this would be really helpful too.
And at number 1, just how low both Ricarro and I felt yesterday. After a great morning, we were exhausted in the afternoon. He went to play golf... for the second time this weekend.... ggrrrrr... and I went for a walk with the small girl. It rained, it poured. Everyone got grumpy. (Well apart from Ellie. That's the power of a brand new Mr Potatohead for you.) We both ran out of imaginative Ellie-energy at the same time. Also our dinner plans went awry, because we hadn't bought the right ingredients. We did get ourselves back on track by evening - but it's not a great feeling when you feel you aren't working together like the well-oiled parenting machine!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
The Guardian covers the story in some detail and discusses the circumstances and experiences of those women 'having it all' right now.
One woman described herself as 'a mother who worked, rather than a career woman who happened to have children'. Which I thought accurately summed up how I feel about working.
They aren't off loading their childcare responsibilities lightly either - 'Someone has got to spend time with your children: if it isn't you, who is it going to be? Whatever your answer, you have to take a course of action that leaves you feeling that you can somehow face yourself'.
But this is where I also feel uneasy:
1. I'm uncomfortable that anyone should just 'face themselves' about their work/childcare arrangements. We should be positively happy that when our children aren't with us, they are still being cared for in a fun and loving environment.
2. Only one of the fathers in the article took care of the children - all the others hired nannies/sitters etc. Planning childcare shouldn't just be mum's decision - potentially leaving her feeling both guilty and responsible for the choices made. If both parents are going to work, why don't both parents plan childcare?
So far I have been very happy with our childcare arrangements, despite a photo of L'il Lovely giving her childminder a huge kiss and cuddle (beware the green-eyed monster). I even managed to 'expect' Love-of-my-life to take L'il Lovely to and from her childminder one day a week, but he played golf while I chose her 'minder - I tried involving him, but short of locking his golf bags up... what's a gal to do but make her mind up.
But you know what, while I'm willingly happy to see that L'il Lovely has a great time with her minder, I should also have postponed childminder interviews until her dad was prepared to be there too. Instead I found it too hard to give up that opportunity to control the decision. Perhaps that desire to control is what holds some of us back from improving our choices.
Where once women didn't work outside of the home at all, we now expect to have more choice - certainly we resent it if we don't have the choice at all. If we (so many mothers - I'm sure we can't all agree) want more happiness and choice for ourselves and our families it could mean letting go of the reins so that we can share responsibility properly... eek.