Monday, 31 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011


So off the back of my psycho post and my feelings of inadequacy I have been trying to come up with some solutions.  The first one being that I have decided to dedicate Morning mornings to making (most likely a mess) with A&D. You know the usual stuff baking, sticking, painting, that sort of thing.  However the creative bones in my body are few and far between so if any of you domestic goddesses and/or supermoms out there can help me out with some simple projects that I can do with two pre-schoolers I would be most grateful for any input.

On that note, a couple of Mondays ago (my photographs tell me it was 17th) I had promised to take A&D to the park as there was no rain forecast, but typically it poured down and I felt so bad for them as they were really looking forward to it so we decided that we would bake some muffins.  Well I say we, but to be fair to A&D there was minimal supervision from Mommy.

They weren't the greatest muffins in the world, far from it in fact, but Daddy, who is easily pleased, quite enjoyed them and obviously A&D had a ball making them as well as eating them which to be honest was the whole point of our little baking session.

I did take some photos of the baking process, but they didn't come out very well so here are some of the finished products.  A&D were very impressed with their efforts and, of course, so was Mommy!

A's muffins

D's muffins

Well done guys.  Love you xx


**Warning! A bit of a woe is me ramble**

God I love my kids, but at the moment I feel like I'm making such a huge cock up of it all.  I go through waves of feeling like I'm doing ok to feeling like a complete novice.  I try so hard to take the firm, but fair approach; they aren't short of positive praise, but equally I will follow up on my warnings, however I am just struggling so much at the moment.  They seem to be going through a phase where they just do not listen to a word I say and I spend my days saying the same things over and over again so that by the time my other half is home and it is time for me to go to work I've usually lost the plot and ended up having a shouting episode which I hate and then I cry and get so cross with myself because I have shouted at them and my poor husband doesn't know whether he's coming of going what with his grouchy and/or crying wife and crying kids.

I just feel like such a crap mom. I am home all day with them, but because I work at night I have to try to squeeze in all of my jobs with them under my feet before I go (of which I seem to get very little done) so I really don't feel like we get any quality time in or do enough nice stuff together.  I'd love to sit and paint with them or make stuff with them, but I just don't know where to start or to be able to find the time and I just don't know where all my time goes.  It's not like I have a show home or anything...far from it in fact.

I'm just not the mom (or wife in fact) that I wanted to be or ever thought I would be despite how hard I try and I don't know how to fix it.  I wish I could either just do better or be content with who I am instead of feeling like this.

I feel like I need to write a whole lot more, but must be off to fix my face and sort the dinner before work.

Sorry for the self indulgence, but I suppose for me that is partly what this blog is for; to get things of my chest, but I don't expect anyone to actually read it so feel free to bypass this post and if you actually managed to get the end of my ramblings well done and thank you.


Sunday, 23 October 2011


The IT in the title of this post refers to my body.

I have PCOS you see and A&D were conceived with the help of the drug Clomid  combined with follicle tracking and blood tests because before they were born I don't remember a time when I ever knowingly ovulated on my own.  I was very lucky in that my journey on the fertility treatment road was a relatively short one in comparison to a lot of women and I didn't have to fight for referral or treatment as a lot of women do.

After A&D were born we weren't sure whether we wanted more children,  but I didn't want to pump my body full of hormones either until we were sure about what we wanted because I was keen to be able to see what (if anything) my cycles were doing so the only choice I really had contraception wise was an IUD which to be fair I got on with quite well.  After lots of talking over quite a long time I had my IUD taken out in June of this year just so that we could just see what my body was doing with a view to trying for another baby at some point in the future and just seeing what, if anything, happened. 

Well to our absolute disbelief, but sheer delight I am now 12 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  I have read of and heard of quite a few women who had fertility treatment and a tough journey first time round, but then got pregnant naturally and fairly easily second time round, but never ever dreamed that I would be one of them especially given that ironically my ovaries seem to have improved, but all of my other PCOS symptoms see to be a million times worse since giving birth to A&D. 

A little bit of hope

Having been through fertility treatment and the inability to conceive on my own this pregnancy is tinged with a little bit of guilt at having conceived so easily because I struggled so much with my feelings about pregnancy announcements whilst trying to conceive (TTC) first time round and even after A&D were born and so I really feel for those women going through those feelings and the horrible journey that is TTC with fertility issues.  In fact just before this little miracle was conceived I wrote the following in a notepad because I was having quite a tough time not through desperation for another child because we were not actively TTC, but in mourning of my inability to conceive a child without help.

"August 2011"

"Despite the fact that our journey through fertility treatment wasn't a particularly complicated one compared to what some couples go through I have never come to terms with the fact that I wasn't able to conceive my children naturally and so, irrational as it may be, with every pregnancy announcement comes another kick in the stomach.  I thought that I understood those sickly, stomach churning and gut wrenching feelings when we were TTC and I always assumed that they were because i didn't have a child of my own and I wasn't sure that I ever would.  So once A&D were born I thought that those feelings that accompanied somebody's pregnancy announcement  would not longer be there, but I could not have been more wrong."

"Since having A&D every pregnancy announcement of a friend or family member has been quickly followed by a huge feeling of inadequacy on my part and also a huge sense of guilt that I cannot just be genuinely and unconditionally happy for them.  Every announcement, including this week's, just makes me want to cry and I become consumed with jealously and resentment which probably in part is because everybody really close to me who has had children since I found out I had PCOS have conceived those children mostly by just looking at their other half (ok not literally, but you get where I am coming from) and even though I would not wish fertility issues on anybody, sometimes I secretly long for somebody in the real world to talk to about it all and who understands my bitterness even though it is completely uncalled for and unnecessary.  On that note though must say that I am so lucky to have the girls on the boards at Verity to sound off to.  Verity is an amazing charity supporting PCOS sufferers and I would be lost without them."

"The most recent pregnancy announcement comes from a couple who i can hand on heart tell you that I utterly adore.  They are two of our best friends and are a very special part of our lives and  to be honest I had already sort of guessed anyway so I am not quite sure their announcement hit me like a bolt from the blue, but all I know is that it really did..."

I know that my friend who I talk about here has this blog address, although am not sure if she ever checks it, but I am sure that if she does and is reading this she will appreciate what I am saying here and that no matter what my initial feelings were when I found out that she was expecting I will love that little one like I do her other daughter and would have done even if I were not pregnant now.  If you are reading this honey I love you all very much, but you know that I struggle sometimes.

So there it is, maybe this will exercise some demons for me I do not know.  Believe me I have heard all of the cliche's about chilling out and not stressing and then it will happen, but  TTC, especially when you have no children at all, can be all consuming because you have so many unanswered questions so if you can identify with this post in some way I will not patronise you will all of those cliches, but just please never ever give up hope,

Monday, 17 October 2011


A&D have needed new shoes for a while, but it is just one of those jobs that I never seem to be able to get around to so this weekend I was forced to schedule it on the calendar to make sure that, without fail, they got new shoes for the winter.

Bad mommy that I am meant that A had gone from a 5.5 to a 6.5 and D from a 7 to an 8, although to be fair to me normally I can tell from putting their shoes on that they are getting tight, but I really had no indication this time around.  The only reason they were getting new shoes was because the ones they had were both quite summery and well worn.

So the expense of their shoes normally kills me, but it didn't hit the purse (or should I say my husband's wallet) too badly this time which is a good job given that their birthdays and good old chrimbo are coming up.  The lovely Auntie Maz and Uncle Seany had cleverly bought A&D a £15 Clarks voucher each for their birthdays last year which, when I bought their shoes in the summer, I had completely forgotten that I had so they came in very useful this time around and the whole purchase only physically cost us £30!!  A had boots from a Clarks Factory Outlet that I have only just found out we have locally so they were £24.99 instead of £36 although I did get stuck for full price for D as they didn't have anything I liked in his size at the factory outlet, but I love them (which I can't normally say about boy's shoes) and he does too as they are, to quote him, "like Daddy's boots."

Check out these sets of cute, newly adorned feet.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


You may have seen here how much I was looking forward to reliving my youth on Saturday.  Before we went I was a bit concerned that it might not live up to my expectations, but I am pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed!  Even the DJs who were playing before and between the acts were playing back to back 90s soul. I was absolutely in my element. It is funny because about 10 or 11 years ago I went to a night at exactly the same venue and Trevor Nelson was headline DJ and, despite the additional dress size and grey hair, I was back there in an instant.

With regards to the acts I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with Jon B, he has a great voice and has released some great songs, but he was too busy trying to play this keyboard/guitar thing (sorry I really don't know the technical term) really badly and it totally took away from his performance.  He should have really left that thing at home and concentrated on what he is really good at.  Such a shame really.  His report card reads "must try harder!"

Jagged Edge had a great energy and were much better live  than I imagined that they would be.  You just can't beat a bit of Let's Get Married no matter how old it is and then there are all the other songs that I had forgotten about over the years, but that I was reminded of on Saturday night and have been searching out since.

And finally we have the one and only Joe.  That man just has the smoothest sexiest voice ever and has written some fabulous "slow jams" over the years.  His voice is as smooth and sultry live as it is on a CD.  He must be a producers dream. Oh and as an aside looks gorgeous in a suit!  LOL.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to hear him sing, amongst other things, All The Things (Your Man Won't Do) which is my favourite ever song of his so I was an extremely happy lady.  He played a great set including a couple of acoustic tracks which was a great treat.  I had never realised that he played guitar.  I am not really sure what I expected of him live to be honest; he had great stage presence though, but, given his talent, was very unassuming and did not come across at all conceited.  I, and I assume every other person in that room given their reaction, thoroughly enjoyed his performance and without question I would go and see him again live given the opportunity.

To top it off I must just also say that the atmosphere was great too.  I was a bit concerned beforehand that it might be half empty and so not have the buzz that a great gig has, but I needn't have worried everyone else was obviously there for the same reason as me, to reminisce and hear some great artists perform some great songs that hold lots of great memories for me.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


So back in my day (there seems to be a general theme of me feeling quite old lately) we used to have pets at school that we got to help look after, well at A&D's pre-school they have Bertie.  It is just a genius idea so let me explain.  Bertie is a teddy bear who comes in a Tweenies trolley suitcase and in that suitcase along with Bertie are his blanket, comb, brush, toothbrush and diary.  The children take it in turns to take Bertie home for a night or two (depending on what days they do at pre-school) to look after and then record a little entry in his diary, with pictures or drawings, about what they have done with Bertie.

So Tuesday was D's turn to take care of Bertie and while he was with us we made sure he did everything with A&D. (Please excuse some of the poor quality photos, Daddy has a phobia of my camera so took them on his phone while I was at work.)

Here they are having a meal together.

They also had naps together.

They played in the garden together. 

D brushing Bertie's teeth.

We even took Bertie to Booby Club with us to meet all of the mommies and babies.

I think Bertie had lots of fun with us and A&D certainly enjoyed having him.  The only problem we had was that A grew very attached to Bertie's Tweenies suitcase and she seemed to be attached to it for Bertie's whole visit which did not impress D in the slightest!  Oh dear you can't please them all.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Ok so I am showing my age now, but at heart I am a 90s soul girl, with some hip hop, old skool garage, a bit of bashment, etc and even a bit of speed garage, funky house, grime and DnB thrown in for good measure.  I guess though that I would, in today's terms, generally be labelled a fan or "urban" music.  Seriously though I really hate the label "urban".  It just lumps too many genres of music together.  Ok sorry I appear to be going off on a tangent here, I'll get back to my point.

By 90s soul I mean artists like Joe, Maxwell, Keith Sweat, Brian McKnight, SWV, En Vogue, 702, Babyface, Avant, Jagged Edge, Xscape, Boyz II Men, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on, but I won't bore you with any more.  You get the gist.   

I was gutted a couple of years ago when I missed Maxwell's tour. A&D were still quite young and I was still in my bubble and the info that he was performing locally had not even trickled down to me.  The man has one amazing voice and he gives me goosebumps (if you do not know who he is or have never heard him sing give your ears a treat and list to this) I cannot even begin to imagine how fantastic he would have been live.

Anyway "back in the day" I was really into that music scene and I knew who was releasing what sometimes before they knew themselves and I saw people like Alicia Keys do PAs in clubs in front of a couple of thousand people.  She was just as fantastic back then by the way, but since I got married (my husband and I have quite different tastes in music) and especially since I had the kids I really seem to have fallen off the radar.  To be honest it has all got a bit commercial for me and I don't rate that many of the current "urban" artists.  Most of the ones that I do have been around for a while.  I'm not sure if that is just me getting old though.

So back to the point of the post, the reason that I am soooooooooooo excited is because at the weekend my sister in law and I are going to see Joe, Jagged Edge and Jon B at quite a small venue fairly locally.  I've known it was on for a while, but my friend who would have normally come with me couldn't, I don't do gigs on my own and I didn't think to ask my sister in law to start with.  Once I had my light bulb moment and did think to ask her she was more than happy to oblige so we are now the proud owners of tickets.

Bit of a pointless post I know, but for one reason or another I don't get to see much live music anymore so you'll have to forgive me for being a little over excited at the prospect of reliving my youth!!

Monday, 3 October 2011


Well if we ignore some bombshell news on Saturday (which I really don't feel ready to think about let alone talk or write about at the moment) we have had a lovely weekend. 

In spite of the fact that it is October we are having gorgeous weather and so we took the opportunity to have a friend of ours along with her son, who is just one, and daughter who is just 15 days younger than my two over for a barbecue on Friday.  Unfortunately her lovely husband was working away so was unable to indulge with us.

I love getting together with Christy and her little ones.  She is just a sweetie and the children always play so lovely together.  Friday was no different the children had a whale of a time playing in the play house, trampoline and paddling pool amongst other things.  Yes that's right my children were playing in their paddling pool on 30 September yet they have not been able to play in it over the actual summer!  Bizarre!

We did have a minor hiccup (okay maybe a fairly major one) in that my normally quite domesticated husband hadn't bothered to clean the barbecue last time we used it (as with most men the barbecue is his domain) and because our summer has been so rubbish and the last time we used it seems like forever ago it was in no fit state to cook food on so Muggins here ended up having to cook it all on the cooker.  Seeing as the teeny bit of domestic goddess that I have in me had spent the day shopping for lovely barbecue food and then the rest of it marinading meat, making beef burgers, seasoning  potatoes, making salad, etc, etc, etc I was not impressed by the fact that I then had to cook it all!  That was so not the deal!

Anyway needless to say it all turned out lovely in the end and we had a really nice afternoon/evening with some really great friends and the kids were absolutely warn out.  I did, however, forget to send Christy's husband his doggy bag for when he got back from work though.  Sorry about that lovely!

H enjoying her ice cream

A being the cool chilled out little boy that he always is

A & D - As thick as thieves

My little lady all wrapped up and dishevelled after a dip in the pool

H bouncing around

Can I just ask though, why is it that no matter how much you have worn them (and yourselves) out your kids NEVER seem to want to have a lie in, just once, just for half an hour?  Ha ha, can you tell I am desperate for a lie in? 

Lucky for us we got to see some more of our fabulous friends (we really are privileged in that department) on Saturday.  They recently moved into their new house and so obviously we had to go and have a nose round.  I had intended to make chocolate orange muffins to take as a housewarming pressie, but was prevented from doing so by having to use my oven to cook the barbecue food on Friday night so hence no room for the muffins on Friday and no time on Saturday morning!  I am sure that they will get them at some point, but when I am not quite sure now.

Their new house is just lovely and has so much potential to be a fabulous family home.  They waited so long to sell their house and had a short list of houses to view, but actually ended up buying one  which had just come on the market so it is clearly fate and meant to be.  I am so pleased for them that things have all worked out.  It also has an added bonus for me of them being closer to us so when maternity leave kicks in for that precious cargo they have on board I will be able to pop round for cuddles in next to no time, although I am not sure that they will be so impressed by that prospect!  Ha ha.  Just kidding.  While the boys talked shop (well loft conversions and conservatories) I was given the guided tour of their new home by my beautiful surrogate niece who is five months younger than my two and VERY excited to be living in a new house.  I feel very blessed that she loves her Auntie Rach.

The main attraction of the new house for the children was it's fabulous garden which is very mature and just fabulous, it sort of has three separate sections and reminded me a bit of a secret garden.  I thought it was just lovely, but if I had been a kid I would have been in my element as obviously the children were.  It has a few little paths, a veg patch, apple trees, grass, decking, a teeny pond (which we did not draw the children's attention to) and the list just goes on.  The highlight for my two was using the toy wheelbarrow to collect all of the apples that had fallen off the tree; not just the obvious ones, but they were even foraging for the ones that had fallen into bushes and plants and Auntie Maz was very impressed that they had saved her a job.

Look at all my hard work mommy!

Thanks so much guys for sharing your weekend with us.  We are truly blessed to have you.

"It is your friends who make your world."  WILLIAM JAMES