30 November 2006

Poff Snubs Santa in Grotto Shocko

Nothing gives Glam-Nan greater pleasure than discovering a revolutionary new product for the home. Whether it be kitchen utensil, magic duster, whizzy little hoover or antibacterial wipe, she’s in her element when unearthing any new entries to the domestic market.

Once a product has passed Glam-Nan’s rigorous five point assessment (value, ease of use, durability, usefulness and performance), it’s ready to be purchased in duplicate and proudly bestowed upon both daughters. The product in daughters’ houses is then monitored closely to ensure it’s being used to it’s full potential and, most importantly, appreciated for the fabulous little time/labour/money saving gizmo that it is. Daughters will be required to regularly praise gizmo and answer all of Glam-Nan’s probing questions regarding gizmo, speedily and accurately. Hesitation is unacceptable and would prove that gizmo isn’t foremost in your thoughts.

As you would expect, Glam-Nan disapproves strongly of anything she views as impractical. Unfortunately, my old potato peeler fell into this category. As such, Glam-Nan replaced it. Her replacement is excellent and does make my vegetable-peeling life much easier. However, most of my left thumb is now missing thanks to this peeler which has now risen to the number one spot for the thing in my house that I most hurt myself on. Every day, a little more of my thumb ends up in the bin with the veggie scrapings and today has been no exception. It is currently being held together by a very big plaster.

Went to Brighton today with LucyWucy who I’ve graciously decided to forgive for her scandalous conduct yesterday. It was a big day for The Poff and The Chick as they met Santa and his Elves for the first time in their lives. Whilst we waited to take them into Santa’s Grotto, one of the Elves did a little dance to keep them amused. Chickie just stared disapprovingly at the bizarre, dancing hobbit and Poff let out a piercing scream and then sobbed uncontrollably.

Meeting Santa wasn’t the touching, “Miracle on 34th Street” moment I’d imagined either. Chick continued to look disgusted by the freak show his mummy had paid £4 for him to see and Poff’s screaming gained serious momentum when she was followed into the dark tent by the scary Elf. Only dogs could hear her when Santa finally made his introduction.

29 November 2006

Lucy-Wucy, What Have You Done?

I had the whole blog for today planned and then at 18:18 an email arrived from LucyWucy. She’s done something unspeakable. It literally took my breath away when I read it. Her email started, “can you confirm that you are not going to kill me for this ????!!!!!!” That wasn’t a comforting introduction. I scrolled down a little further, and that’s when I saw it, “Thank you so much for your interest in taking part in the next series of Trinny and Susannah Undress…”

Oh, Dear Lord above, have mercy on my flabby little body that has been offered up by one of my closest friends to appear naked on national television for the whole country to laugh at.

To counter the sad news that LucyWucy will no longer be featuring in this blog, I have some good news. A major breakthrough has occurred today. I almost don’t want to write it down for fear it may jinx it.

The Chick has started drinking. Fret not, Social Services, he’s not sat in his ballpit sipping a Stella. I’m talking smoothies. Before today, he’s never really drunk more than 1fl oz a day of anything other than formula milk and the whiff of his morning nappies was telling me that it wasn’t a good thing.

It all started when I bought a new cup with straw device yesterday. This, coupled with Apple and Blackberry fruit smoothie, seems to have sent Chick into a straw-sucking frenzie. It’s a miracle. I’d like to thank Tommee Tippee and the Innocent Drinks Range – I love you both. My nostrils await the sweet scent of winter berries in Chickie’s overnight offering tomorrow morning.

Vicster S and her two lovely girlies came round this afternoon. Vicster S is the one who makes the cakes. I thoroughly recommend friends who bake. If you haven’t got one, you should pop out and get one next time you’re out. Every time she appears on my doorstep, she’s clutching something highly calorific and completely scrumdiddlyumcious. I’ve never hidden behind my front door pretending to be out when Vicster comes round.

To my other non-baking friends, naturally, I have never done this to you either! That’s not to say that, if you brought baked goods, the door wouldn’t open that little bit quicker. For information, I really love chocolate rice krispie cakes made with Mars Bars x

Today’s treat was banana and caramel cupcakes. MMMMmmmm. To show my appreciation, I gave the girls a party bag each on their way out. They trotted off with big smiles on their faces, clutching a dirty nappy bag each.

28 November 2006

That's Chickie NOT Chuckie...

Chimp came round to play today. I’ve known Chimp since I was five years old. We grew up in the same village, went to the same schools, did the same college course and we even lived together (in a strictly platonic way).

He struggles like Glam-Nan when it comes to the spoken word. He’s called Chickie “Chuckie” all day and has mispronounced my sister’s name for the last 30 years.

When we were at college, Chimp used to have the highly irritating habit of reading out loud whatever the tutor wrote on the board to his fellow classmates. He would have done well to have kept quiet on the occasion he chose to pronounce “monopoly” - “MOE – NO – POE – LY”. Unfortunately, it got worse for Chimp when he did a talk on office equipment and referred to “facsimiles” as “FAX-SMILIES” for the entire presentation.

Other fun memories of Chimp include the time he nearly set fire to my flat by trying to light kitchen roll using my electric hob as he couldn’t find matches. I staggered out of my smoke-filled room at 1am to find a drunk Chimp loitering at the scene of the crime. I showed incredible restraint by not killing him when he denied any involvement.

Then there’s the time we went skiing and he put me down a red run on ski blades. I should mention, I can’t ski. I went down that slope faster than a bullet out a gun. People in overhead cable cars were pointing. The only way I could stop was to throw myself to the ground and pray that God would have mercy on my soul. Thankfully, God did, and I miraculously survived.

Gave Chickie a bath this evening and had a freak accident with his bubblebath. I flipped down the lid and a massive blob flew straight into my left eye. No tears formula my big, fat bottom. It happened 2 hours ago and my eye's still watering.

A compromise has been reached in the spare room. (See Spot the Difference below if confused!)

27 November 2006

I'm sure it shouldn't look like that Sweetheart

Skipped Sing and Sign this morning as didn’t have the energy or inclination necessary to get us both ready for 10am. I don’t anticipate it affecting Chickie’s signing abilities as, after £108 investment and 6 months of regular attendance, he knows and regularly uses a total of no signs whatsoever.

The Chick went to meet his friends this afternoon round ”Six-Pack Simmie's” House. Six-Pack Simmie reports to “The Sydders” who is like the baby equivalent of “The Fonz". Sydders has her own Harley. Well, it’s actually a trike, but she rides it like a Hells Angel.

Six-Pack Simmie is not someone you want to meet when you’re pregnant or still looking pregnant despite having had the baby a year ago. I met her, in the latter stages of our pregnancies, at antenatal classes, at the point where I could just about rustle up enough energy to turn over in bed. At the same point in her pregnancy, SP Sim was going jogging. Her husband, who we lovingly call Sportacus, is equally bouncy. SP Sim doesn’t drive or even walk round to our houses. Nope, she runs, usually miles, and arrives looking refreshed and perky.

On the way round to see everyone this afternoon, I went past the Mini Cooper garage where two young, carefree girls were eyeing up the motors. “B.C.” (Before Chickie), I had a mini, called Maurice. I loved him. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew Maurice would have to go, along with my figure, my money, my independence and my orderly house. He was replaced by, what I see now, was a slight over-reaction on my part.

A 5 seater minibus or “people carrier” as they’re commonly referred to. I don’t know what I was thinking but it seemed like a very practical choice at the time. It got to the point where I was so embarrassed driving it, I took to walking everywhere. It’s gone now, thank God!

Whilst thinking about the minibus, which Accountant loved, it reminded me of when we brought The Chick home from the hospital for the first time.

As previously mentioned, Accountant isn’t the most practical of men. We had been given a car seat from some friends who showed him how to fit it as there were no written instructions available. It’s clear to me now that the only thing Accountant remembered from this exchange was that there was a gauge on the seat that indicated when it was level.

On our discharge from the hospital, Accountant went off ahead with newborn Chick and I crawled out after him on my hands and knees. When reunited at the car, Accountant had already got The Chick in his seat all buckled up and ready to go.

When I looked in the car to check all was well, my precious 3 day old baby was hanging upside down by his car seat straps. It's a rear facing car seat, the part where the baby’s head goes was on the seat where your bum sits and his feet were along the bit where your back goes.

Accountant would not be told that something had gone badly wrong with the fitting and all he would say was, “the gauge is level, the gauge is level”. I tried reasoning with him, “I know it’s level, sweetheart, but look at him, he’s upside down, that can’t be right”.

“The gauge is level” came the response.

Chickie travelled home that way as Accountant was adamant. The doctor says that with the right treatment and heavy use of a neck brace for the next 5 years, Chickie should be just fine!

26 November 2006

Are My Eyelids Supposed To Be Burning?

You won’t believe this, but I've enjoyed another day of freedom. Yes, for those green-eyed mummies amongst you who are counting, that's 3 days in a row. Accountant took Chickie to his parents.

I went to a Craft Fair in Brighton with LucyWucy. It felt slightly strange to be carrying a handbag during daylight hours as opposed to lugging my usual "Santa" style sack of nappies, baby wipes, spare clothes, food, drink, blanket, dummy, toys etc... Ho Ho Ho.

There were lots of nice things to see but my favourite was the woman in the black lycra cat suit with orange stripes down each side but, alas, it wasn’t for sale. I bet my sister would have loved it. It looked very, very snug. We also saw some rather lovely paper mache meerkats and, I wanted to buy one for our beloved pet Meerkat (see picture below right) so he could have a little friend to play with. Unfortunately, the glorified lumps of painted paper and glue were priced at £35 so he'll remain lonely this Christmas.

I then got a make-over in the Body Shop. I didn’t mean to but I made the mistake of asking the Sales girl a question. Next thing I knew, I was perched on a stool being coloured in. When my eyelids started burning, I asked the girl if that was normal. That sent her into a mild panic but then the burning eased so she relaxed. I then explained that mascara might be difficult as my eyelashes were going through one of their falling out phases, which they’ve done on and off for years now. This really weirded her out. I was off the stool quicker than you could say, “What do you mean your eyelashes are falling out, you freak?”

Dressed the Poff up in a black curly wig and my day was complete.

25 November 2006

There's Something About Lizzie

Another cushy day. The nephews were packed off first thing and Accountant assumed Chickie maintenance duties whilst I lay in. Glam-Nan and Snowy then took out The Chick whilst I went out for lunch with Gammy and Accountant went off to watch the footie.

Gammy has requested a name change and has pre-approved “Gambogini” as she thinks Gammy sounds horrible despite my calling her it for the last 5 years.

The photo has come through from the photographer for the paper. I showed it to Gambogini and she said my hair looked like Cameron Diaz’s. I thought that was rather nice, until she added, “in that film, There’s Something About Mary”. Yes, thanks GAMMY.

Talking of hair. Whilst sipping our cappuccinos this afternoon, Gambogini started staring at my neck and then kindly informed me that I had a really long hair growing out of it. She then spent half an hour pointing to her neck to show me where it was in relation to my own neck. I then spent the same half an hour going, "Here? Where? Got it, no. Here?" It was a bit of a Jason Donavan / David Gest moment where they plucked each others nose hairs after knowing each other a day. After five years of friendship, I was left to fend for myself.

We got soaked on the way home and my 5ft 10” friend is now sat wearing my 5ft 4” trousers. She looks lovely.

Have to go now as X-Factor and I'm a Celebrity await. Yippee.

24 November 2006

A Ratty Fatty

Today was a day I had been looking forward to. It was the day Chickie was going to his Aunties for 8 whole hours.

I first had to see a man about a loft as I’m still plotting to get the house extended to get Chick’s giant inflatable ball pit out of my living room. I’ll delicately approach the subject with Accountant once the quotes are in!

The rest of the day was to be spent clothes shopping as I hadn’t been “proper” shopping for quite some time as I’ve been waiting to drop a stone in weight.

Unfortunately, as the whole “losing weight” thing hadn't happened for me, I decided it was time to make the best of my new “Post-Chickie” shape. The main features of which include new go-faster saggy boobs and five rolls of blubber attached to my stomach.

I started by making sure I had the right undies as instructed on “What Not to Wear”. Padded lift-them-up bra – check. Magic knickers – check. I was ready to rumble.

I trotted off, pathetically eager, imagining myself looking just like Jennifer Aniston by the end of the day. By the time I had eliminated the dry clean only, the hand wash only, anything itchy, anything expensive and selected the extra short leg, non-clingy, non-iron, machine washable, laminated garments - reality dawned. I reappraised my expectations of how this day would end. Jenny was out – Nanny McPhee was in.

That scared me enough that I decided the clothes would have to wait, I had something else far more important to purchase.

I asked the assistant where I could find the exercise videos and was told they wouldn’t have any until after Christmas. I explained it was an emergency and that I was fat NOW and, after a Christmas spent at my Sisters, I would probably have crossed the line into morbid obesity.

I am currently writing this as the only woman in a house with four males (one husband, one baby and two nephews). One of them is upstairs screaming, two are kicking around a football in my living room, the other is constantly whining that he needs his dinner whilst dabbing at a stain on the cushion caused by the two kicking the football.

The only perky points to my day was laughing at the couple in the jam packed, very big car park who had “misplaced” their car. They were trying to stay calm and cool but I could hear the panic in the lady's voice, “Oh, darling, where’s the car, WHERE IS IT?”

The second high was watching the fully grown man who had managed to ride a tricycle into Woolworths and proudly just sat there staring at everyone astride his lean, mean, three-wheeled machine.

23 November 2006

Celebrity Chickie

Nothing says “Welcome to My Home” better than the sweet, putrid aroma of four dirty nappy bags on your doormat. I think it represents our household quite well. I did, however, dispose of them for the photographer who was coming round today to take our photo. Yes, it’s true, we are teetering on the brink of international stardom. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but this very blog (or “pod” as Glam-Nan calls it) is, rather surreally, going to be promoted by the local newspaper. I didn’t really see the need for the photographer as I already had so many lovely photos of myself available but apparently, these weren’t quite the look they were going for. I'm wearing my chin implant in the second photo and you'd never even know! I'm wearing my chicken fillets in the first and, unfortunately, you wouldn't know it either.

After that, I took Chickie out for a spin in his mobile throne and went promenading down the very windy seafront up to Macari’s (Glam-Nan calls it “Mascaras”). Another mum walked past me pushing her baby and I thought it sad how few of us acknowledge each other, especially fellow mums. We suffer the same torments and yet can’t raise our eyes from the ground to give a glance of sympathy to each other. May be that’s because half of us are so depressed. Well not me, not today. I had a spring in my step and a grin on my face because Sweet Chickie was back in town.

I gave the old boy walking towards me a big smile. Gramps responded by speaking to me. I instantly regretted the whole smiley thing and thought, as usual, I had managed to encourage interaction with the local nutter. I’m pleased to say though that, on this occasion, I was wrong. He was a nice man, on the run from a shopping trip with his wife.

The horrible weather and earache I developed during my walk made me wonder if Ear Muffs were really that bad. It also reminded me of an amusing conversation with my sister the other day where she had described herself as an “Outdoor Girl”. I kept a straight face whilst I asked my Very-Indoor-Sister how she’d reached this conclusion. She explained, straight faced herself, how she walked the dog everyday and watched the boys play sports every weekend but she didn’t like it in the winter because her hands got cold. Now that’s a woman at one with the elements!

Chickie said "Bub Bye" today. Well, actually, it was "Bab Baa" but I knew what he meant.

22 November 2006

Chick's First Kiss

Sweet Chickie is almost back. Bad Chickie still lingers at nap times but today has been so much better with only 10% of the day spent crying as opposed to 80%. Seeing the return of Sweet Chickie has made me feel guilty that I didn't constantly cuddle Bad Chickie and question whether I was fluffy enough during his 5 day Scream-a-Thon?

I've seen so many tv programmes, read so many books and listened to so much advice telling me how to be a good mother that I'm constantly analysing everything I do for fear that I'm doing it wrong.

When he was ill, he wanted to be cuddled all the time. If I'd never taken any notice of all the above, I would just have cuddled him as much as I practically could and done what I felt was right as I went along. Instead, I just worried "Am I cuddling him too much? Not enough? Am I creating a bad habit that will last forever? Will he feel abandoned if I don't cuddle him to sleep? Will he never sleep in his cot again if I do cuddle him to sleep or let him sleep on the sofa?"

I don't know if I'm the only mother that's obsessed like this but I've decided, it's stopping today. I see now that I got it wrong trying to be a "Textbook" Mummy. I'm going to give myself and my little boy a break by taking each day as it comes and cuddling him wholeheartedly whenever he reaches his arms up to me. Our precious time will be gone all too soon so I'm not going to waste it by scrutinising every second.

On a lighter note, The Chick had a playdate today with my gorgeous little Goddaughter, "The Wu". They had a lovely time and this photo captured the touching moment when she got him in a headlock! She later give him his first kiss (after the rather vigorous cuddle!)

Talking of firsts, Chickie added a few more words to his repertoire today. In addition to "Daddy and Uh-oh" he is trying to say "Tick Tock and Good Girl". Bless him.

21 November 2006

Big Pants, Bananas and A Parrot called Lucy

I think The Chick is on his way to recovery. There are brief moments when he’s smiley, cute and yummy but he’s still prone to meltdowns due to excessive tiredness, brought on by his newly enforced nap strike. This photo is how Chickie now looks taking a nap.

There are also a few other post-bug features. He has a new rise and shine time of 6am as opposed to, my personal preference, of 8am. I am not so risey and shiny at 6am. Naps are now an utter nightmare as above. He will no longer go straight to sleep without a 1hour lullaby recital and nose strokies. Something has shifted in Chickie’s Cosmoverse as he ate a banana this morning which is unheard of.

God, if you’re reading this, as grateful as I am that he willingly ate something nutritious, I’ve always loved and secretly been quite smug that my baby has always slept well. Would you mind awfully if I swapped the banana thing for the sleeping? I don’t know how good a mummy I can be without it. Please?

Spoke to Gammy last night. There’s a new addition to the family. Her name is Lucy (not Lucy Wucy) and she’s an African Grey Parrot from an animal sanctuary. Gammy explained Lucy’s sad tale about how she was in the sanctuary as her previous owner didn’t like the way she kept plucking her own feathers out and was starting to look like a ready-cooked chicken on a perch. I asked Gammy if Lucy could speak. “Oh yes” came the enthusiastic reply, “She does the Crazy Frog Theme tune”.

My dear, sweet friend, call me cynical but I have a suspicion that the sanctuary may have been less than honest with you. You are effectively now the proud owner of the Crazy Frog incarnate. The only difference being this frog has no off switch and no requirement for batteries.

I have visions of a padded cell, the previous owner of a parrot called Lucy huddled in the middle, gently rocking to the theme tune in his head. DING DING DING DING DING…..

On a non-parrot related note, this amused me. Accountant never really comments about anything I wear. I could go out dressed as Chubacca and doubt he’d notice. Last night though, I got his attention.

I firstly need to explain that, following 3 days and nights of labour, the Hospital finally realised that the Sumo baby wedged inside my 5ft 4” frame was unlikely to be making a natural entrance. They duly provided an alternate exit and this is where my story begins.

My very practical mummy didn’t want my scar being aggravated so presented me with a purchase she’d made on my behalf. She offered me the bag and inside were the biggest pants you’ve ever seen. Due to my near death experience, I didn’t really care what I wore so put them on like a good girl.

I became rather attached to my giant pants over the coming months and have kept a secret stash in my knicker drawer for those times when I need a bit of extra comfort. Yesterday evening, following my day from hell, was one such time.

I got into bed, vest tucked into oversized pants (not that I really needed a vest as the pants are so big they kind of do both jobs). I asked Accountant a question about something and he took a long time to respond. He had a concerned expression on his face and then finally said, “Are they your mum’s pants?” “No sweetheart, they’re all mine" I replied.

20 November 2006

A Cot Full of Snot

There are currently three things that mystify me about my son.

1. How he knows the difference between something yummy and something non-yummy without having tasted it before.

2. How he knows when he's unconscious and snoring in my arms that he's being lowered into his cot and immediately wakes up screaming.

3. How, despite our house now being a mini version of Toys'r'us, he would always rather play with this laptop whilst I'm trying to use it.

I know a lot of people have it a lot worse so I'm sorry to whinge but today I'm pooped and fed up. It seems that his cold has left my previously sleeping and napping son, unwilling to go for a nap in his cot. He's also permanently attached to my side and cries whenever I put him down.

He woke up super early this morning. So early, I thought it was night-time. I stumbled into his room with my eyes shut and lifted him out of his cot in the dark. Have you ever seen that film with the big St Bernard dog, Beethoven, where he shakes his head and slobber coats everything? That's what Chickie did to me, except it wasn't slobber, it was snot.

After sponging us both down, I thought I'd sneak him into bed, which I never ever do but thought I could justify an exception as he was ill and I was so tired. Instead of the touching mother/son cuddlefest you imagine, he just repeatedly slapped me and pulled out big clumps of my hair. Chickie was deposited back into his cot where he cried. I lay in my bed, pillow over head, where I cried.

Good Mummy etiquette dictates that when your child is one big germ, you isolate him and don't attend any events where he will come into contact with nice, healthy children. This meant no Sing and Sign and no afternoon playtime with his friends. This also meant, a day in quarantine with Chickie.

I thought a spot of shopping might cheer me up and would give Chickie an opportunity to sleep. I wrapped him up in what turned out to be far too many layers as I later realised he was a bright shade of crimson and there was condensation forming on the plastic raincover on his pram. Poor little chap. Shopping made me even more miserable as I really don't have a clue how to dress now I have five bellies instead of one. Chick didn't sleep either.

Today will go down as the one when I did everything wrong - brought him into bed, cuddled him to sleep and gave him pudding for tea as he wouldn't eat anything else. I used to judge mothers before I was one myself thinking that I would never do things for an easy life. I'd like to issue a public apology and say that until you're a mum yourself trying to cope with a non-stop screaming baby, you may just make a few mistakes along the way in your attempt to get through the day!

19 November 2006

Sneezy, Wheezy and Squeezy

This morning followed a very long night which began just before "X-Factor - The Results!" I made the mistake of checking Chick. As soon as I entered his room, I knew he had made a deposit in the Botty Bank. The Fluffy Mummy in me said, "Arrrgh, you'll have to wake him up and change him. He can't spend all night in a dirty nappy - he'll get a rash". The Bad Mummy said "You'll regret it. You know he'll be a nightmare, he won't go back to sleep and, most importantly, you're going to miss X-Factor".

Bad Mummy was right. He was a nightmare, he didn't go back to sleep, I missed X-Factor and he ended up sat on my lap watching "I'm a Celebrity" wide, wide awake. It got progressively worse from there and overall, we probably got 4 hours sleep all night. I've been subsequently knackered all day and Chickie is still not a happy chappie. I plucked 6 grey hairs out of my head this morning - what does that tell you?

We went to visit our friends, Bri and Anne-Marie, this afternoon in Tunbridge Wells. I worked with Bri, ten years ago, at my first job in London, before I started going grey! Accountant was a bit snuffly during the car journey. Chickie was Calpol'd to the max and we thought a change of scenery might lift his spirits. We were wrong.

Bri kindly enquired if Chickie really had had all the Calpol legally allowed and suggested a stronger version used on farm animals, "COWpol" might be more effective? I politely declined and apologised for the zillioneth time, explaining that he was usually a very sweet natured little boy and not the screaming minion of the anti-christ they saw before them.

During all this, I did remember looking up at my husband and thinking he didn't look particularly well but I was too stressed to care. First the sneezing started, then the wheezy request to our hosts for an inhaler. At this point, I did look up and noticed his eyes were swelling and he had a red, blotchy rash covering the top half of his face.

As he's asthmatic and allergic to most things, we assumed it was their cat which had caused him to have an allergic reaction so the cat's bed was moved out of the living room. However, Accountant seemed to be getting worse and worse. His eyes started streaming, the sneezing stepped up a notch and he was doing the really long blinking thing he does when his eyes are stinging. I mentioned to him that he was sneezing on the way up in the car and that maybe it wasn't the cat. This is when he asked me if it could have anything to do with his jumper as he had got it out of the other wardrobe which I had moved his "winter-wear" too. Then it dawned on me - that was the wardrobe all my horseriding gear was in and he's really, really allergic to horses! When we were in New England, I persuaded him to come to a horse stud with me and exactly the same thing happened there. That photo is him sneezing his little heart out in the waiting room. Whoops. I didn't even think when I moved all his jumpers to the horsey wardrobe. Now I've got to wash them all - damnation, which in turn means more ironing. The swelling seems to be subsiding now he's taken an anti-histamine. Sorry darlin' x

The finale to our fun-filled outing was my suffering with stomach pains all the way home. I can't go into detail as my parents won't allow it but let's just say I'm never missing another bowl of All-Bran again. It's just not worth it

Chickie seems a bit happier now and went to bed without any crying so fingers crossed he'll have a lovely sleep and wake up feeling better tomorrow. Us too.

18 November 2006

A Sick Chick

It's not been the most relaxing of days. Chickie's cold is now fully developed and, like all sick males, he's demanding sympathy and complete attention. Being left on his own for a second is unacceptable - put down in his cot for a nap, an outrage. He's howled his way through 50% of the day. The promise of X-Factor, I'm a Celebrity and a take-away are keeping me going.

I begged Accountant to take him out for a walk in the hope he may go to sleep. Praise the Lord, he did! Only problem being, we couldn't make a sound for fear of waking the Snot Monster who was snoring in his pushchair in the dining room. We turned the heating off so he couldn't wake from overheating, switched the phone off too, a note was left on the door to warn visitors, the nephews banished upstairs (they were going to footie with Accountant) and no-one was permitted to speak unless it was an emergency and, only then, in a whisper. I didn't even make a cup of tea in case the kettle was too loud. It worked though, one whole hour of blissful peace.

Accountant wanted to go and watch football this afternoon and had told my Sister that he would take my nephews without actually asking me. I sensed an opportunity, which I used to maximum advantage and struck a sweet, sweet deal. I don't much care for ironing and, whilst being a domestic goddess, this is an "Area for Development". I leave it until it's waist height and then spend 5 hours doing it all in one go which makes me hate it even more. Anyway, my current pile included a complete washing basket full, a duvet cover and 17 shirts! Post-deal, that pile is now 17 shirts lighter. The best bit being that I didn't mind him going to the football in the first place

Went food shopping today which is another one of my duties I don't particularly enjoy. Especially on a Saturday. Anyway, I was brave and I went. Two things happened which made it slightly better than usual.

The first was that I discovered you can buy a token on a keyring for the trolleys. Why has no-one told me this before? I always get to the supermarket, realise I haven't got a £1 or usually any money at all, I'm carrying Chickie and he weighs a ton, I then have to queue at Customer Services and explain I have no money, go back out into the trolley park and then half an hour and a dead-arm later, I get my trolley.

The second thing that happened to brighten my day was finding the "Free Chocolate Sample Stand" in the naughty aisle. "Would you like to try some free chocolate truffle madame?" - if ever there was such a thing as the perfect question, that would be it. "Well, if you insist" - scoff, scoff, scoff.

If anyone who works for a supermarket ever reads this, I have something for your suggestion box. Complimentary trolley tokens and free chocolate samples make stressed, tired mummies happy.

17 November 2006

Calpol - I LOVE YOU x

This morning started with a lip injury. The Chick nutted me one. This was followed by a nose wound, also administered by Chickie. He's not on top form today so is being Calpol'd at regular intervals to stabilise his mood. Without Calpol = screaming and violent, with Calpol = smiley and sweet.

Glam-Nan, Sister, The Chick and I were blown to the cafe this morning by Hurricane Hilda. Glam-Nan still managed to look impeccable despite the gale force winds. I didn't.

Sister commented on my pushing Chickie into the curb the other day whilst playing Peekaboo through the Jack-Flap. She made me feel slightly better by telling me how she had caused a 4 car pile up whilst coo-ing at her second born when he was a baby.

Sister and Brother-in-Law are coming round for din dins tonight. I'm hoping to cook a roastie, Chickie willing.

Talking of food, look what my friend Vicky made for Children in Need (not previous Vicster (T), this is Vicster (S)!) She's a culinary star and makes the yummiest things. She's also the reason that Chickie was the weight of a 3 year old when he was born. I've always had a sweet tooth and had a real thing for strawberries when I was pregnant. Vic makes delicious meringues with chocolate-dipped strawberries and rice krispie cakes, caramel slices - all that sort of stuff. Unfortunately, being a kind soul, she would comply with my constant demands for more. Had I known then what I know now about giving birth to a 10lb 1.5oz baby, I would have wired my jaw shut.

I made a discovery today. An Accountant based discovery. I don't know what he was thinking when he replaced the gift from my mother that I keep on top of the guest wardrobe with darts (yes, darts) but did he really think that the woman who follows him around all weekend with a duster and hoover muttering "A Place for Everything and Everything in it's Place" wasn't going to notice?

Spot the Difference.

Stain of the Day: Big splat of Cheesy Veggie Bake mixed with Egg Custard on Dining Room rug. Carrots are mushed right in there.

16 November 2006

Glam-Nan and Anusol Man

This is what I'm dealing with every day. As soon as his bum hits the highchair he's off. Chickie's still not eating properly and doesn't really drink either. I'm having to give him water off a spoon which he laps at like a furry pet as it's the only way he'll drink anything. It's taking a long time.

I have, however, devised a cunning plan, it's bordering on genius actually. Glam-Nan and Snowy usually drop round a couple of times a week, usually around lunchtime. I've noticed they've been coming round later which I suspect is to make sure they miss the Chickie lunchtime fandango. Well, not today and not yesterday either. I've moved Chickie's lunch just that little bit later to make it unavoidable! I must point out, when you're feeding a non-eating, spoon slapping child, everyone watching you, whoever they are, secretly thinks that they will be able to get the child to eat. Glam-Nan is no exception so I knew she would be unable to resist taking over. I was right!

Further desecration has occurred to my home today. In addition to the bouncy castle in my dining room, a playpen full of hideously coloured toys that clash with my lovingly chosen New England colour scheme and the big metal fireguard that's big enough to house a family of chimps, we now have a stairgate where my panelled glass door used to be. Snowy had to put it up as Accountant is incapable of doing anything of a practical nature. He's blessed with brains but not common sense. I did actually check his University certificates as I found it inconceivable, based on his performance of everyday tasks, that he really had a degree. Love you sweetheart if you're reading this and you've def. improved recently. xxxx.

I've now started interviewing my family rather than having conversations with them and have been fishing for funny stories today. This is a beauty.

A bit of background to set the scene. Glam-Nan sometimes doesn't grasp things for a few minutes and then the penny drops. Sometimes she get her words in a bit of a muddle e.g. "volumptuous" instead of "voluptuous". Names can be tricky too, especially if they're unusual. Celine Dion becomes Colleen Zeon, that sort of thing.

She's also very kind and helps out lots of people. On this occasion, she was helping an old boy in the village out with some shopping. He required the usual bits and pieces and also, something of a more personal nature. It involved a trip to the chemist for Glam-Nan who was quite embarrassed about this particular purchase at her very local pharmacy. She waited for the shop to empty and approached the lady behind the counter. "I'd like some Anusol please" she whispered to the poker-faced assistant. "What size would you like?" came the reply. This threw her completely as she hadn't expected the question. She stopped to think for a moment before saying "Oh, I don't know what size he is". The assistant tried her best to remain professional whilst explaining to my mother that she wasn't asking what size "he" was but what size pack she wanted.

Other news, Sarah (ex-flat mate) has informed me that her and Annabelly wear winciette pyjamas and there's no shame in it!

15 November 2006

Spandex Pyjamas

All is not well. Chickie has been vile this afternoon. He is still holding his poo in. He was screaming earlier and I thought he just didn't want his nap but he was actually having one of his mega poos where a week's worth comes out in one sitting. Poor Chickie. I only realised when I walked into his room to check him, and it smelt less than minty fresh. I then attempted again to put him down for his nap and he just screamed and screamed. 10 minutes worth of cuddling later and his little eyes were closed so went to put him in his cot - WWWAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Another 10 minutes cuddling, put down in cot, WWAHHHHHHHHHH so ended up leaving him to WWWWWWAAAAHHH and it did go quiet after a few minutes. Foolishly, I thought I would just go up and check he was okay. He was asleep - hooray. His blanket had come off though so I stood at the door weighing up how bad a mummy I would be if I left his little legs exposed to the elements. I decided I better put the blankie over him and tiptoed in. Unfortunately, I'm as soft footed as a baby hippo, so didn't get further than half a metre before - WWWAAAAHHHHHH! He's now sat on my lap deleting this post as fast as I can write it. The prospect of a tired Chickie for the next 3 hours is not filling me with joy.

After yesterday's post, I have to issue a retraction. My sister would like it noted that her pyjamas are actually NOT winciette and that I was embellishing a little. They are actually spandex! Okay, not really, but she assures me they are really very stylish pyjamas.

Sister is very excited as she is at the start of her dream day. A dream day being one where the kids don't require collection until 4.50pm, giving her a whole day of "her" time. She has sent both boys to the cinema. The youngest was eager to go and see "The Shaggy Dog" but the eldest was less than pleased as it was the film club for the younger kids and none of his friends were going because they were going to the cool film for children their own age but at a time which didn't suit my sister. She tried the encouragement route, showing him clips of the film and enthusiastically pointing out how "absolutely brilliant" it looked! He remained unconvinced. Sister could feel her dream slipping away. Luckily, there was bribery and exploitation to fall back on. Her eldest has a computer game addiction, one which they're trying to manage by only allowing him to play his games 3 days a week. Do you know what sister did to secure herself a day of peace? She negotiated the following deal: one night at the cinema for one extra night on the computer. Naughty, naughty sister... what would SuperNanny have to say about that?

Went to a free business seminar today at the Library with LucyWucy as we have a dream of opening a cafe. We learnt that 50% of all businesses fail within the first 3 years so that was encouraging!

Glam-Nan and Snowy had Chickie and took him for a stroll into town. We then had a nice cuppa together after and then Chickie spilt the entire cup all over the rug so I spent half an hour dabbing the stain (seems to be a daily occurrence doesn't it!). Whilst I dealt with the rug, Snowy was ordered to take a now wailing Chickie for a nappy change and nap. I fully trained Snowy when Chickie was weeny (not that Chickie was ever weeny to be fair. He nearly killed me when he tried to make his big entrance weighing in at 10lb 1.5oz) to ensure he was useful in situations such as this. It paid off!

I'm going to have to go now as Chickie-No-Nap is doing my head in. Every little thing is sending him into meltdown. He can now climb on the sofa which in turn means he climbs on the laptop! Here he comes..

14 November 2006

Wet Winciette

I am so clumsy that the Accountant calls me Calamity Liz. Some days are like a scene from Home Alone. That bit where the burglars burn their hand on the door handle, get an iron slammed into their face, skate over the marbles on the floor, fall down a flight of stairs and kasplat at the bottom! I injure myself on a regular basis as I attempt to do everything too quickly and always have a vast selection of bruises in a whole range of colours . In my efforts to get onto my sofa to watch Trinny and Susannah (it's scummy mummy to yummy mummy makeover night and I need to pay close attention!), I managed to drop my spoon on the floor, which was covered with chocolate mousse, which then splatted all over the rug so I ended up tending a lovely poo coloured stain and trying to watch my programme at the same time. Rats.

Spoke to sister, who had just been pelted with a wet sponge by her fun-loving angels who had snuck out of their bath especially! She was trying her best to be relaxed and fun-loving about it all but deep down was a bit miffed the snuggy cosiness of her winciette pyjamas had been compromised. The hairdryer came on during our conversation as she attempted to dry them off! Sister has also commented that she wants a nickname as she thinks that "The Sister" is boring and doesn't do her sparkling personality justice. She reminded me that she is the star of the show and without her, I'd have nothing to talk about.

Chickie and I went into town today to meet my friend who I had lost contact with (see humble pie in previous post). Anyway, I was slightly apprehensive as I hadn't seen her for such a long time but we both said sorry and that was that. We spent two hours catching up on each other's lives and I'm really glad that we're in contact again.

On the way back, played Peekaboo with Chickie through the "Jackflap" (a transparent panel where I can see into his pram whilst pushing him). As I wasn't watching where I was going, I pushed the pram straight into the curb and gave us both whiplash. Very embarassing! I do it all the time though, as after a year, I still can't seem to get all 4 wheels going in the same direction at the same time.

Chickie and Poff had a date this afternoon and had a lovely time. Chickie particularly enjoyed throwing balls at Poff's head and watching them bounce off. Poff had to stop play time for a few minutes to take a very important phonecall. Playtime then resumed and Lucy Wucy was especially pleased to discover the contents of her nappy bag all over the floor.

13 November 2006

I'm a Housewife, Get Me Out of Here!

I hate getting up, always have. I confess that I have been known to lie in bed in the mornings with all the pillows and duvet over my head, my fingers shoved in my ears so far they meet in the middle in a bid to block out the wails of my child so I can have an extra 5 minutes in bed. This morning, I did a particularly good job and slept in until 9am!

Unfortunately, we had Sing and Sign at 10am. I changed his nappy, changed his clothes, gave him his milk, gave him his breakfast, had my morning All-Bran to keep things moving, had a wash, got dressed, did make up and hair and changed another nappy, put his coat on and strapped him in the car, all in 1 hour - just call me Wonder Mummy! Chickie was super sweet today and for the first time, seemed a little independent. He's a sensitive soul and usually takes a little while to adapt to a new situation but this morning he was off, smiling and happy.

Met up with my mummy friends this afternoon. We all met at antenatal class where we were led to believe that labour was an empowering, planable experience. We've continued to meet weekly, post-birth, to counsel each other. Anyway, Chickie had a nice play with his girlfriends (he's always surrounded by women!) There's usually 8 of us but today only 4.

Other news.. spent half an hour trying to explain to my, less than computer literate, sister how to type in my web address. It transpired, 25 minutes later, she didn't know what a hyphen was!

Gammy checked out my new blog and has kindly informed me that warm water on cotton wool applied to botty area is something they do to kittens to stimulate pooing if they are motherless, as mummy cats normally lick this area (in that case, I think we'll stick with the prunes!)

I have to go now as I'm very, very excited as, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" has started. Must watch, love, love, love it.

Other images from today: Sydney Smoking her Breadstick and Poff ensuring no other baby gets a look in on the breadstick front

12 November 2006

Fish Poo Shampoo

Saw my old flat mate, Sarah and her fiance, Darren, today with their little girl, Annabelle, and their 4 month old baby boy, Alexander. I'm not quite sure what it is that makes me dress defenceless babies up like teddy bears and reindeers but look how cute!!!! That reminds me, check out Christmas Chickie from last year when he was only 2 months old!

Sister cleaned out the fish today using a milk bottle to scoop out the fish poo and other dirty fish bits. She then left it by the bath. Whilst on the phone to me she realised the boys had then filled it up and used it to wash the shampoo out of their hair. Bet they smell nice.

Decided I need a makeover today as have become a scummy mummy. I wear jeans everyday and am bored. Have been waiting a year since having Chickie for my pot belly to recede, my boobs to reinflate and my legs to grow 10 inches but for some reason, my non-dieting, non-exercising approach hasn't yielded results. When I mentioned this to my sister, she readily agreed that I did, indeed, need a makeover. I appreciate my sister's honesty although this may be a good time to mention that the above fishy mishap would never have happened at my house as I'm an excellent housekeeper and the old, stinky, fish poo filled milk bottle would have been disinfected, wrapped in a plastic bag and disposed of immediately.

Spoke to my friend Clare today. Clare is my comedy genius buddy (see above). She has many names as her surname is Gambriel. Names to date include Gammy (appointed by me), Gambo, Gambogini, Cappucino (where we used to work together, someone actually thought her name was Clare Cappucino!) and Lambrusco. From this point on, we'll refer to her as Gammy.

Also spoke to my friend, Vicster, who I also used to work with. She had a baby girl 6 weeks ago so discussed the usual - feeding, sleeping, puking and pooing. She's advised that a hot bit of cotton wool applied to the exit point makes babies poop so will try with Chickie tomorrow. Not too hot mind as don't want to add a third degree burn to his list of botty woes!

11 November 2006

A Housewife's Home is her Bouncy Castle

My nephews are here for the night. Accountant is upstairs now telling them to be quiet. After revelling in my sister's misery yesterday, God got me back. I told the boys to go upstairs and clean their teeth, something that you'd think would only take 5 minutes but they managed to draw it out to 15. Anyway, pyjama clad nephew appears before me, and there it is - Compound W and emery board. As I watched him filing away, sprinkling wart dust all over my rug, I knew what was coming. "Auntie Liz, will you do my warts for me!". Oh deep, deep joy.

Non-nephew related news - I got sprung today. My darling husband has never had the best taste, apart from when he bagged me (naturally). Christmas and birthdays have always been disappointing. I picture diamond earrings, a weekend in Paris, beautiful handbags. He buys me a duck trinket box and a book on dog breeding. One Christmas, he outdid himself and bought me a set of, wait for it.... coasters! Not just any coasters, like tasteful leather or marble ones, no, he gets me coasters with photos of odd little dogs on!. His reasoning being that I like dogs and I drink tea. I like dogs as much as the next person but this was going too far. Look at the pic and I think you'll understand. Anyway, I didn't have the heart to throw away such a thoughtful offering but was too proud to put them on display where people would actually see them and, god forbid, think that I liked them! So they became handly little coasters for under the wheels of my sofa to protect my floor where they've lived happily ever since. Until today... which brings me on to my next dilemma.

I bought a ballpit for Chickie last week as it was such a bargain and he really loves it. Unfortunately, once inflated, it is the size of a small car. My immediate thought was to extend the house. Lucy Wucy thought it might be a slight over reaction. Accountant said it was an unaffordable reaction. So I decided to swap the living and dining rooms around to accommodate the new giant inflatable submarine. Upon moving the sofa, accountant made the shocking discovery that his loving gift had not been as appreciated as my oscar winning performance upon receiving them had led him to believe. Oops.

Anyway, I really don't know what to do about this ballpit. A trivial matter I know but my home really is my castle (now a bouncy one!) and anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm obsessively tidy. My carefully controlled and organised house v my child's happiness? Hmmmm.....

10 November 2006

Remember you've got to file my warts!

Friday coffee morning today! Me, sister, Glam-Nan and Chickie frequent our favourite cafe. Glam-Nan always has a large cappucino with LOTS of chocolate sprinkles and a cheese scone, sister always has a Moccachino with a fruit scone and I, being a little more daring by nature, decide on the day what I feel like. Chickie throws whatever we give him back at our heads. He's still not eating but still alive so that's encouraging.

Sister updated us on her eldest's warts. Hands are still firmly attached and, following my advice, treatment has been stepped up to include nightly filing down of the warts. Yesterday she was knackered and her husband kindly offered to do all the clearing up so she could relax. Just as her bum hovered inches above the soft, padded comfort of her sofa, a voice shouts from upstairs, "mum, don't forget you've got to file my warts!". It's moments like that which make parenthood so very special.

I decided it would be a nice touch to make my christmas cards this year, despite, buying loads in the sale last year. As such, I felt Chickie should be the central theme and that he would look good as a reindeer. A set of antlers, a flashing red nose and photoshoot later and voila.

Gave Chickie a bath this evening. Within a minute, I looked down to see a small, brown submarine drifting from a botterly direction. I tried to convince myself it was a toy. Deep down I knew it wasn't, especially as he didn't have a submarine, and he had, as feared, deposited a little something special for me in the bath. This presented me with a dilemma as I had just run the bath and put him in it but now it was soiled and kind of defeated the purpose. However, I couldn't face having to get him out, keep him toasty and re-run another bath at just the right, non-baby-burning/freezing temperature using the little whale bath thermometer, so I did what any other mummy would do when faced with less than spring fresh water and scooped the poo out with my bare hands? I don't know when barehand poo touching became acceptable but I've crossed a line where I don't gag or so much as turn my nose in disgust. Poo is just a big part of my life.

Technorati Profile

09 November 2006

Egg and Chicks

This is shameful, but the most interesting thing I've done today is fry an egg. It's interesting in so far that it's the first egg I've ever fried. Come to think of it, I've never even boiled an egg - that could be something to look forward to tomorrow. Who says being a housewife is boring?

Not a good day for Chickie's eating. Lunch was particularly bad and he had a full-on howling tantrum which turned him all red and blotchy! Lunch was subsequently abandoned and Glam-Nan and Snowy (the Grandad) came round to take blotchy baby out by which time he was all smiley and peachy coloured and clearly incapable of ever being temperamental.

Actually made some phone calls today (hate being on the phone) so quite proud of myself. Feel all social and fluffy as a result.

Spoke to sister - she's stressed out again. Eldest child related.

08 November 2006

The Accountant, The Hypochondriac and The Chick

A Chick, Some Fluff and A Chimp

8 November 2006

Injection Day for Chick! I looked into his beautiful little face, smiling back at me feeling the guilt that all mothers feel when they’re unable to stop the inevitable unpleasantness that lies in wait.

He cried briefly then all was well. He chilled out with the other perforated babies in the waiting area afterwards to ensure that, should he swell to twice his normal size, medical assistance to deflate him was readily available.

Chimp came round in the afternoon. Chimp is an old friend of mine and I have many stories to tell about him but will save those for another day. He’s particularly hairy and unhygienic so the name fits! We chilled out drinking tea and watched Countdown whilst deciding what he should do with the rest of his life, and what I should do with mine. He came off better as I researched all his options and he scurried off later that afternoon with an action plan and objectives for the rest of the year.

I did something fairly virtuous today. I ate some humble pie. I’d fallen out of contact with an old friend following the birth of the Chick. I decided today, following an encounter at the doctors, that life was too short and I should offer the proverbial olive branch. I did, and she accepted, so that’s progress.

Chickie's reign of culinary terror continued at teatime. Everything was objectionable, even his favourite rice crackers. He spotted that they looked different. I’d put jam on them. The jam apparently rendered the cracker inedible and strops followed! The rice crackers can now be found, stuck jam-side down, on my lounge rug if there are any babies out there interested? Fig jam as well (in a bid to keep him regular!!)

Other interesting points for 8 November, the accountant has choked again! He has a long, colourful history of choking as he eats like a pig at a trough. This is due to his shoving the maximum amount of food possible into his mouth. Predictably, he chokes regularly, some more near death than others. I’m tired of trying to instil some manners and, at the end of the day, he’s insured.

Multicoloured Warts and All

Chickie’s on hunger strike. Although only one year old, he’s confident that all food offered to him is repellent and, as such, a lip clamping / spoon slapping policy is currently in force. Exception to the rule is anything that looks or smells like cake, biscuits, yoghurt or sweets, then entrance can be granted at the discretion of mini-management.

Chickie’s girlfriend, The Poff, is also on hunger strike. Her approved food list does, however, contain cheese biscuits. She proudly stuffed seven in her mouth today and somehow managed to suck them into submission and still breathe. All other food offered was treated with the appropriate level of disdain, as was the mummy (Lucy Wucy) who provided it, and subsequently converted into missiles and launched at said mummy’s head.

Good news from the docs, my blood tests are all normal. Well, actually, the term used was ‘satisfactory’ which makes me feel like an underachiever. Why not excellent? I want excellent blood. Anyway, that really leaves me very little to worry about on the health front which in turn makes me worry.

Accountant is asleep on sofa. Accountant has just woken up! Nope, asleep again!

Other news… rang my sister. Her greeting was, “Hi, oh hell”. Call me intuitive but I somehow knew this would be child related making me reminisce about her dream that having a family would be like the Waltons. She has two boys. One– 10. One– 7. They’re not exactly akin to John Boy and Jim Bob but one's ginger like Ben if that counts?

My sister’s less than sunny disposition had been brought on by a conversation with her eldest. He had just announced that he has a dream, a dream to chop his hands off and grow new ones. Disturbing, some might think. I did advise her that counselling may be best started earlier rather than after he actually does take a carving knife to his hands although I guess once one hand was off, he’d struggle to do the other?

There was a reason behind the severing of the hands. He has warts. Big ones. He coloured them all in the other day.

Her youngest was also being less than co-operative. It was food related. Apparently, neither cereal or toast are acceptable breakfast meals anymore and he demanded alternatives. My sister was all out of alternatives (and patience) and had taken Supernanny’s advice when he reacted badly to this news and had his tantrum. He spent 14 minutes on the “naughty step”. It’s a minute for every year of his age but as he’d had two fits, she considerately doubled the time.

He had another episode of “temper” at school the other day. His menu concerns had extended to his lunchbox. He’d happily been eating peanut butter sandwiches for years but this week he’d decided, enough! So bread and butter was the replacement but, this particular day, my sister had decided, fearing a case of scurvy, that something more nutritious should be made available - tuna. She’d also made the controversial decision to not mention this to him. She did, however, kindly write him a note, explaining that he’d eaten tuna before and that he would like the sandwich if he tried it.

When my sister collected him from school later that day, he mentioned that his teacher would like a word. His teacher told her that he hadn’t had a very good day. It had begun when he had opened his lunchbox.

He hadn’t been particularly pleased to discover his tuna sandwiches or my sister’s thoughtful note. His teacher explained how he broke down into tears upon reading the note and this had descended into uncontrollable sobbing. The rest of the day had not been great. His teacher was sure that something deeper must be troubling him due to his severe reaction. He later assured his mum that the problem was indeed his sandwich and he wasn’t too impressed with the note either!