Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the old.....

Who can believe it? Another year over, what a year it has been for me. A happy one, truth be told, filled with joyous and incredible things.

A grandbaby, let's face it, nothing can top that can it? He was born in June and I felt my life change, there is something about being a grandma that makes life alright.


What a sweet boy he is, from the very beginning he was a gentle and funny boy and now, at the grand old age of 6 months, he is still as sweet and he is definitely funny and he is not a pushover, he knows what he likes and he isn't afraid to let everyone know if he doesn't like something. I put him to bed last night, while I was babysitting and I am not ashamed to say I had a little weep, as I sat next to his cot and stroked his face, watching him so secure and obviously completely used to being loved and safe, being the centre of the world he lives in, I couldn't help but think of all the babies who aren't safe, who don't take being loved and protected, warm and fed for granted. How blessed I feel to have the life I have.


The boys have changed so much this year, Seth is such a character, he is so funny and has a quick wit, a fiery temper and rarely a day passes without him making me laugh fit to bust or roar in frustration...often he can make me do both.


Isaac has come on in leaps and bounds, he has worked to hard to adapt at school, he is more sociable and every bit as obsessive as ever, delicious and loving, always my heart boy.


He so wanted a real bow tie for Christmas, not a ready tied one, a real actual mans one...

Which daddy helped him tie and when done, one side was a millimetre longer than the other and that was BAD we could absolutely NOT be seen in public with it, TAKE IT OFF and never show it to me again, in fact do not mention it, ever again, thankyou.


Elijah is getting so tall, he has left behind his days of frilly and feminine loves. He laughs at any suggestion that he might enjoy High school musical 3, he is horrified at the very mention of high hells or pink t shirts....a part of me is more sad about that than I imagined I would be, because I could not, even for a moment could I imagine that he would ever grow out of that stage!



can you appreciate those shoe properly? Let me give you a close up...and look hoe he crosses his legs to show them off! This was no quick phase, the boy loved shoes!


He grew out of that pretty much overnight, when he turned 5, when he became a big boy and left such foolish nonsense behind him. These days it's all Ben 10 and toilet it should be, where would be without talk of farts and lavatories?

Two trips to Boston, June and December, to see friends, such lovely women who make me laugh and cry, who show me what true friendship is all about. Women who know me and know more about me than even people who live close by, perhaps even more than family because sometimes we keep things from family to protect them and keep them from feeling they need to fix us.

I love that these women know the real me, warts and all and still like me. They can say what they feel and they hear what I have to say, they hear what my heart is saying when my mouth gets the words wrong. As I grow older I see more and more that true friendship is about more than trite words and back patting. It is about saying what you feel and meaning what you say and knowing that what you say will be heard and understood.

I am so grateful to have a husband who encourages me to go on these trips, I am thrilled that I make myself get on the plane and also that I can trust H to look after the boys when I am away. He doesn't do things the way I do them and it is wonderful to know that the world doesn't collapse without me micro-managing everything. If I trust him enough to leave him in charge, I trust him enough to do it his way ( and then I can undo the bits I don't like when I get home!) It was very touching to hear him say that he didn't do well without me, that is as close as it gets to hearing how important I am!

I like that we don't need to call and check up endless times a day, I don't have to tell him what to do or how to do it, he doesn't need to ask if I am missing him, I know the boys won't fall apart from lack of a bath or eating pasta 2 days in a row and watching a day of Simpsons.

I like this man I am married to and I am so glad to feel so secure in his love for me and mine for him. I didn't believe I would ever trust a man again after the first one, how well the Lord knows me that He sent this extraordinary man my way and how well He knows H that he made sure he met accident at all I am sure.

I am slowly and surely fighting through the demons that have held me so tightly for so long. They are still there and I am beginning to accept that this is the case, it isn't the end of the world, how I deal with it is what matters. By explaining to those close to me, how I feel, I feel that I am taking steps in the right direction.

Grandpa has left this evening, his flight is tomorrow morning which meant getting a bus just after midnight, H always goes with him and this time, they took Seth as well.

In the past I would keep quiet and suffer the most terrible anxiety, have chest pains, I would imagine every terrible scenario and how I would deal with it when ( not if, ) it happened.

What I do now is to say things like " H, I have to say this, just to stop me worrying, just let me say it and know that it is for me, not because I actually believe I have to say it....when you are in London, will you make sure that you can see Seth all the time, you won't leave him in the museum while you go to the apple store will you?" ( to which H raises his eyebrows and laughs because really, what answer does he think I need ?)

I gave H my cell phone and wrote the number on a piece of paper, it is in Seth's wallet which is clipped to his jeans. He knows if he is separated from H, he is to find a family or a woman with children and explain that he is lost and to call the cell phone ( and of course I have to say out loud " But you won't get lost because you will stay with daddy the whole time won't you?" ) I will still worry, I will still jerk awake all night and imagine all the things that can happen but I didn't stop him going, I didn't make an excuse to keep him home with me. Progress indeed.



Everyone is very patient with me, if mum has the boys she listens to me say things like...actually, I don't have to say anything to mum anymore because she knows every one of my quirks and she never ever breaks one of them, she is glorious.

I talk more about the things that scare me ( which are multiple and annoying)

For the first time in so long I can't even think of a time when I felt this way, I am looking forward to the new year, I feel so much more in control of how my life can be. So many,many years have passed feeling as though I have no say in what happens to me, really believing that I have no choice but to accept whatever comes my way and just hoping that somehow, someone will make it all better for me.

No-one can ever make life better for us, people can add to our lives, they can increase our joy, they can enrich and enliven but ultimately it is just up to us to make our joy.

Whenever we wait for someone to make it all right, when we expect others to bring us happiness it is almost certain that we will be disappointed. The years I have harboured anger towards H because he wasn't saying or doing what I thought I needed him to say or do, (too many years)

The resentment because even God didn't send an angel to make me happy, there wasn't a fairy Godmother waving a wand and telling me what to do.

I needed to make me happy.

Even knowing that it could well take as many years to get there as it took to become so sad, just understanding who is responsible for my joy makes it seem closer. It is closer.

So often our sadness is the result of other people and their actions, things that we can't control, I see now that there is always some way for me to change how those actions affect me. There isn't a magic cure, there isn't a quick and easy answer, it will be a lifelong work in progress.

Likewise the work on my poor body, how hard I have punished my body in an effort to numb my mind, the body would hurt, ache, react badly, my head would feel worse....what a cycle. The changes I have made this year have made such a difference, even this week of ridiculous eating, I have felt how adversely it affects my moods. I am so glad to see how much control I have over my life now in comparison to the beginning of this year, I so wish I could peek into the future and see the different ways I could be feeling this time next year. Will I have made great changes and be shouting from the rooftops about how incredible it feels to have beaten the odds, or will I be sitting here saying how possible all the changes are? I so hope that I am spouting about how great things are and how I took control and changed it all for me and mine.

Shall we take bets?

I am so excited for this next year, my greatest joy this year has been seeing Sophie become such a joy, to see her so happy and begin to realise that who she is, is beautiful. That she doesn't need to perfrom, she doesn't need to pretend or hide, she can just be the funny, loud, loving person she is and be loved. She is changing every day, growing, she is like a butterfly.....I am so thrilled to be her mother. Each day that passes I believe more and more that she is laeving the old world behind her , that she has seen what can be and wants it, that she doesn't need all the junk she filled her emptiness with, she is learning so much sooner than I did that she controls her destiny and the universe is hers to enjoy.



I am going to actively pursue happiness next year, I am going to stop waiting for the good life and go out and get it.

I am going to work hard to change the things I don't like and accept the things I can't change.

I am going to give more and expect less.

I am going to be kinder to myself and more compassionate to others.

I will strengthen my strengths and my weaknesses.

I will follow the example H leads and continue to build our family in a way that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, teach by example and learn with humility.

It will be a great year.

And you know I will tell you every last detail!

Oh and in the pursuit of happy-ness .... comments, they work every time. Thankyou.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Is it just me?

I love Christmas, I do, this year has been especially wonderful, from start to finish I loved it. I wonder why then, every year, on Boxing day I can't wait to take it all DOWN, put it away, clean it up?
If the boxes weren't up in the loft I would, right now at 11.16pm, be packing all this finery and frippery away. Til next year.
I actually love the feeling of taking it down as much As I love putting it all up. Everything looks so much barer and empty but I quite like that.
The tree that looks so pretty on Christmas eve, suddenly gets on my nerves on boxing day.
The ribbons and baubles, the Santas and reindeer are suddenly so in the way.
So, ho hum.......when can we take it down without appearing too keen on being over it all already?
Also, the routine. I often try to buck against the endless and rigid routine we have in this house. This time of year I find myself longing for it...oh for bedtime at 8pm, for ice cream at 7. I miss routine, lovely sameness. ( yes, you may remind me of that when I am ready to scream SPONTANEITY!!!) I am ready for slimfast at 7 am, vegetable soup at noon ( although, bubble and squeak..mmmmmmm! Cold ham and pickles, delicious!) I can't wait for H to be obsessive about the dishes and wash the kitchen floor every evening again.
I think I have been pretty good about what I eat but I have most certainly eaten more than I should have. I bought scales 2 days before Christmas because I wanted to be able to keep a check on what I was doing and not kid myself that it was a free for all and wouldn't matter for a day or 5. ( and having typed that I went out and packed all the chocolate and sweets away, up high and out of reach, to be shared out on the boys and not me! The basket full of goodies was right outside the front room on a bench in the hall, where it was easy to grab a treat as I walked past...not anymore! I am pretty sure that I won't bother to reach up and get any from on top of the kitchen cabinets. )
Yes I am ready for normal. ( Because we are so normal aren't we?)
I learned a lot this year, about me mostly. I learned that doing things, even when you are terrified can be a good thing, in fact it is almost always a good thing.
For so many years I have lived dictated to by the 'but what ifs' If I do that then surely this will happen, better not risk doing that then. This year I have pushed past so many fears, I can't say that I have lost any of the fears, every one of them seems still to be there, or here, with me, but I have learned that I can push them to one side and tell them to go to hell and just do what I want to do anyway. I don't just mean the flying, I tackled the need to always be in control, to always need to know what is happening and why. I thin I lost a lot of anger this year, they say you are only as happy as your most miserable child. My saddest child is now happier than she has ever been. That is the greatest thing for me, every day I feel myself breathing a little deeper and exhaling...deep breathing and allowing myself to feel as though things could really be better. I still have that miserable voice whispering how it won't last, how something is sure to come along and .....and then I shut it up and I tell myself that right now, it IS good and that is what matters, that right now I can breathe and enjoy this day.
What is great about that is that now I can relax and not do that anymore for a while, the being afraid and going ahead anyway. I mean for goodness sake, I'm all for pushing the boundaries of fear to show you can do it, to keep doing it would be sheer folly, I'm against folly of any kind, the sheer sort especially.
This year I am going to make some resolutions, I don't usually because it's a bit naff isn't it and who keeps them anyway? This year though, I feel so differently and I want to have some definite things to work towards and also away from. I have a faint idea what some of the resolutions will be, but I am saving them until new years eve, because if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well and properly. All in good time.
Oh look...1am, time to sleep and get some energy for tomorrow....I wonder if H will get down the totes for me to start packing the decorations away? I bet he will!
Dan is coming tomorrow, that's always fun ( and very very loud!) He's handy to have around when there is stuff to drag down or put up...and he has a car so maybe we can all go out somewhere together! Hoorah! Fresh air and lttle boys who can run and make noise without my ears feeling they will bleed!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

T'was the night before Christmas...

T'was the night before Christmas
And mum had a ball,
She made pretty the lounge and the mantle
Up the stairs and along in our hall.






We left Mince pies for Santa, not Rudolph
We left Carrots for all those reindeer,
We tracked Santa from China, to Russia, to Paris
Then we waited for him here.


Seth found it the hardest to settle,
He just would not sleep or lie down
Mum was starting to get very grumpy
And she very soon started to frown.

It was 10, then 11, then midnight
And she'd given up hope, it was then
She had really believed he was sleeping
Then the little git sat up again!


"Well then where is he?" he endlessly questioned
And answer me please, will you then?
Why my stocking has gone, it is MISSING
And he hasn't replaced it again!

He was really quite cross and disgruntled
He stamped feet and he cried and he cried,
Well it was more like a whine if I'm honest,
He was almost completely dry eyed.

It was just after 2 in the morning
When poor 'Santa' could finally rest
And she headed to bed quite exhausted,
( It was me and I wasn't my best)

Even Sophie, though really quite old now
Got a stocking, and without any doubt
Said that 'Santa exists!' Though I tell you,
When left all her gifts, she was out.

The boys were quite peaceful, I'm happy to say
And sleeping remarkably well
Til some time around six in the morning
Sophie woke them..oh bloody old hell!

She went into their room and she whispered
And she whispered incredibly loud
Took them downstairs and into her bedroom
She was really quite pleased and quite proud.

She allowed them to bring to her bedroom
3 filled stockings to look at and hold,
But they could not peek in niether open
For the fear that their mummy would scold

They were really so quiet and patient
While they waited and sat on her bed
Hugging oodles and oodles of presents
Wrapped in green, and in blue and in red.



'Oh at LAST!' they declared when I came down
Is it time yet to open and see
All the wonderful gifts that are waiting and are wrapped
And are under the tree?


So the day was quite perfect and splendid
Everyone had more than a treat,
there were glorious presents and gifts here
And a veritable feast here to eat.

The boys did so well and were lovely
They had mountains of books and new toys
They were happy and grateful and smashing
And were certainly blessed little boys.


Seth had all kinds of longed for new sports stuff
And Eli had lots of Ben 10
And Isaac he had a new bow tie and he thought he was
finished and then........






Oh my goodness do you see what I see
What I have, what is next in my pile?
It is something you know I have asked for
And asked for for quite a long while!

I can't tell you how often that Isaac
Had said this was a part of his plan
To ask Santa to help him to open
A few of his favourite cans!

'Oh PLEASE can I have one?' he asked us
They work on their own he would say!
And I really would like it if I could,
Have a 'one touch' on this Christmas day.


This has been, I will tell you, unrivalled
It has been quite the loveliest year
That I can ever ever remember, it has been one
Of peace and good cheer.

Daddy's best gift was from gramma
And his heart I could tell, skipped a beat
Which he opened and saw KNITTED booties
That were made, just by her, for his feet!


I was gobsmacked and also, delighted
When I stacked presents under the tree,
To find, hidden right in the corner,
A present all wrapped just for ME!

Good gracious, I thought, am I dreaming?
Is it true that my H, after all
Has been shopping and bought me a present
I can tell you, I felt sort of small.

Because earlier, ('round about noonish )
I gave him a piece of my mind
And I called him a name that was nasty
In fact, every bad name I could find.

Every year, it's a family tradition
I formally quite lose my head
And I shout and I let rip at Howard
And then I regret what I said.

But now I could see that he loved me
And he'd bought me a gift that would show
That even though, often I'm shouting
That honestly, I already know.

He bought me a glorious camera
It is little and terribly grand.
And I love it because unlike my old one
It fits perfectly into my hand!

Our dinner was totally splendid
We had Turkey and pheasant and goose
But I still managed to keep on a diet
And my trousers, still comfortably loose.

My top was a brand spanking new one,
A festive and cheerful new shirt,
That by 2, maybe 3 was quite covered
By gravy and all kinds of dirt.


So another year's all done and dusted
And I'll not spare a blush to confess
That the sign of a really great Christmas
Can be judged by the level of mess.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12 days of Christmas, thanks to Gramma (and Auntie Leah.)

On the first day of Christmas my mother gave to me
The promise of some festive time glee.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my mother gave to me, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the third day of Christmas my mother gave to me
three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the fourth day of Christmas my mother gave to me
Four fights with Howard.three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the fifth day of Christmas my mother gave to me FIVE BEN 10 TOYS

On the sixth day of Christmas my mother gave to me
Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the seventh day of Christmas my mother gave to me
Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the eighth day of Christmas my mother gave to me
8 shredded tissues.Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the ninth day of Christmas my mother gave to me
9 ways of yelling, 8 shredded tissues.Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the tenth day of Christmas my mother gave to me
10 melted chocolates, 9 ways of yelling, 8 shredded tissues.Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my mother gave to me
11 sloppy paint stains, 10 melted chocolates, 9 ways of yelling, 8 shredded tissues.Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my mother gave to me 12 glitter gel pens, 11 sloppy paint stains, 10 melted chocolates, 9 ways of yelling, 8 shredded tissues.Seven million small screws, Six hundred stickers, FIVE BEN 10 TOYS, Four fights with Howard, three piles of named gifts, two boxes full and The promise of some festive time glee.




( Next year may we suggest thumb screws and a stun gun? Also, I am SO doing this for Joshua when he is 5!)


Monday, December 22, 2008

Sometimes the good bits just keep coming, don't they?

So I took Jordan shopping at 6am and we did it all, no need to buy anything else ( except potatoes, how does a person forget potatoes?)
I then decided that it was time to take Eli to see Santa, Seth insisted on coming too, though who knows why he wanted to go and see fake Santa, no accounting for taste I suppose.
We got to Fermoys early, a garden center that always has a good Santa and also delicious Deli foods , hard to lose unless the boys are revolting as they were yesterday, I love this place.
We arrived 20 minutes early, Santa was due at 11 am, so we picked up some little gifts for H and Grandpa and right on time we went to the Grotto, only to see Santa was late. There were his Elves ( surly faced teen-aged girls who looked as though they were dying of shame and were praying that the boys they loved did not ever see them in those outfits) shuffling awkwardly and blushing because they were SO the center of attention.
At 11.05 we heard Santa, we heard bells jingling and suddenly...yelling!
"YES!!!! I can hear CHILDREN! Where are they? YES...Alright, I am here! YES, I say YES!!! Here I am!"
And he came hurtling through the shop, arms flailing and he was yelling and charging towards us.


Eli wasn't at all sure what to make of this, he pulled his arms into his sleeves as if that might protect him from the rampaging Santa,


At last he got to the gate of his grotto,


And he was completely splendid, he beckoned and questioned, he hummed and hawed and then told the boys he was sure they hadn't written to him yet ( they hadn't) and so they had better tell him what they wanted.


Elijah kept backing away because this Santa was SO loud....every time he did, Santa would call him back in close and his voice was so dramatic and so interested, Elijah was spellbound ( and a little afraid if truth be told!)


He spoke to Seth and said that he knew Seth has had a few 'wobbles' this year with his temper and that was fine, Santa himself has that problem but this next year, he was going to work on that and be kinder, think before he lost his temper.


HE asked Elijah what he would like and when Eli said Ben 10 toys, Santa said " ELIJAH! Gimme FIVE boy! Ben 10 is FABULOUS, very popular good choice young man!"


The whole visit was just glorious, magical and the boys were so excited, they had wonderful gifts and when we got home, Isaac said he was desperate to go too. I told him I would take him tomorrow and since then he has been asking if we can go but he wait outside, he will watch me go in...then he agreed that he would go in but he wouldn't be able to talk, he would whisper to me and I could tell Santa. Then he said maybe he would write what he wanted to say and I could give the list to Santa. So we'll see.

We chose some gifts for H from the boys, Seth chose a packet of plant ties, those plastic things that hold branches together. What a bizarre thing that must sound to buy but in actual face H does sort of have a thing for these ties. As a matter of fact they are holding the garland to the banisters as we speak. H likes to have some of every size, I am just surprised ( though should I be?) that Seth knows this. Of course it was a case of *sigh*
"oh....THOSE, get those, those will do, he likes those!" so it might well be just that they were in front of his face and for heavens sake get me out of this place now my needs have been fulfilled.
Eli chose some carpenters pencils because H does so like to work with wood.
Then we left, talking about how splendid Santa was.
Me. " So Seth, NOW tell me Santa is fake!"
Seth " well I think he is a bit fake"
Me " How can you SAY that? He knew you hadn't written to him and that you lose your temper when you really shouldn't!"
Seth " Yes, he also had a white beard and ginger hair on his arms"
Me " ............................................................well, hmmmmmmmmm"

They came home and Seth was keen to write to Santa.
It is in card form, picture of Santa on the front and MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Dear Santa, this is my christmas list.
1 San Diego chargers kit. ( check)
2. Head gear and shoulder pads ( helmet check, pads nope)
3. Mouth guard ( no but easily found we hope)
4. A really great football ( english)
5. A really good Football hat ( San Diego chargers) Not check, no hope.
A ho ho ho and a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, from Seth

Elijah, poor Elijah, he is a shoe person, loves shoes belonging to anyone but himself, I fight him when he puts floppy great hodclopping shoes on when we are going out, H doesn't, he doesn't mind walking through town with Coco the clown, so he lets Eli wear whatever shoes he likes, no matter who they really belong to. Now he has a big blister on his instep, it is sore and even at bathtime he sat in the bath with his leg hanging over the side ( not easy when you are 5 and small for your age)

His list.

Dear Santa. IWONT for chystmas I wont a BEn10 omitrix a I WONT a new foot. I love this boy.

Merry Christmas, mine is already better than I can remember for many years. I have made so many memories and have been surprised with such acts of love and kindness, this year is perfect in all the right ways.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

She's making a list and checking it twice.

Things that will always, without fail, spoil any feelings of peace and goodwill to all men ( that are in this particular house, although it would more than likely have the same effect if I saw it in your house too.)

Used tea bags on the kitchen work top.
Dirty spoons on same kitchen work top.
Coffee jars and sweeteners and bakery wrappers and yes, well.....on kitchen work tops.
Puddles of pee in the bathroom.
More puddles of pee in the bathroom.
Dirty towels hung back up ( WHY?!)
The inability to just THROW IT AWAY, who really believe that the 2 bites of now stale cookie is ever going to be eaten? It isn't, throw it away. DON'T leave it on the counter thinking some starving child will be grateful for it later.
Doing any type of crafts with these boys. ( yet still I keep trying, every single day.)
People who are congested, clearing that congestion, while they are sitting next to or near me. All day. Loudly. Shudder.

Things that make my heart sing at this time of year especially.

Home made gifts waiting to be delivered.
Little boys running like wild things to be first to ring the doorbell to deliver the gifts.
The sound of crackly paper and people behaving furtively ( which any other time of year might well be very alarming.)
People watching. ( as in watching people, not people, watching.)
Empty supermarkets at 6am.
Christmas tree that have been upright for 2 whole days and look pretty and sparkly.
Christmas smells of cinnamon, cloves, pine, oranges.
Little boys of 5 who hear their big brother saying Santa is fake.

Things I have picked up, put right to my mouth before putting down again ( today this is)

Turkey and cranberry pie bought at Fermoys which is like a slice of heaven and will surely be available IN heaven, should we ever get there.
Crispy bacon ( that I cooked with pancakes for everybody else and instead...I had a Xenical because oh I want thinness more than crispy bacon. ( I think)
Ready salted crisps.
Turkey and cranberry pie that, until I cut it up and served to Grandpa and H, with pickles was calling my name so loudly I was almost deafened.
Buttery toast.

Things I am determined to do and will endeavor to do cheerfully.

Keep putting down that food that tastes oh so good yet does me so much harm.
Keep doing crafts with these little boys because we will make memories dammit.
Keep fixing the tree, every evening so it looks pretty and festive and telling myself this is probably the last year it will be irresistible to little hands.
Smiling and keeping my mouth shut ( unless I am doing crafts and then all bets are off ....try it, I dare you! With MY kids I mean, not yours who are sure to be sweet and thankful and wide eyed with festive wonder at such a treat as to be making christmas crackers and tasty treats in the kitchen, with happy christmas tunes playing.)
Reminding myself that it is indeed a blessing to be the mother of a large family, to be the one they all seem to need ( at the same time usually)
Remembering that to some people, ( several of who live in this house with me) the upheaval and lack of normality at this time of year is not a positive thing that it is worrisome and unwelcome..and not punch them in the head when they behave in a less than festive fashion ( and I do mean the grown up people, not the little ones who do actually have at least the childlike joy left in them that helps with the fear, because yes, it is all insane and not normal but OH MY toys any day now! )
Enjoy everything around me this week ( apart from things listed in the first list, obviously!)

What we ( yes WE as in ME TOO!) will be eating on christmas day ( because I changed my mind and am cooking on the say not Christmas ever, after all!)

Turkey, Pheasant, Duck.
Stuffing rolled in bacon.
Roast potatoes, parsnips, mashed swede and carrots , brussel sprouts, peas.
Gravy and Lacey's cranberry sauce.

I am almost determined NOT to buy mince pies, christmas cake, christmas pudding, clotted cream. All these things are irresistible to me but so unnecessary, if I thought I could just have a taste and be done, I would go for it but this is me, H loves it all too but the boys don't so it will be H and me eating it all and neither one of us needs it. At all. I did see some really grand mince pies the other day, a pack of 6, I might get one pack of those and the smallest clotted cream I can find. I read the other day that one slice of Christmas cake has the same amount of calories as a Mac Ds meal, a cheeseburger meal. Is it worth the misery and self loathing I know I would feel if I regain weight, if I have to redo any of the lbs I have lost.
I am taking Xenical this week because all the baking I have done has just been too tempting, I am sticking with it because the thought of the side effects if I eat anything fatty is just horrific to me, I took Xenical today and was amazed at the amount of times I almost popped something in my mouth as I was cooking.
I think if I can take it this week I am sure that by the new year I will be right back on track and out of temptations way. I can't say just how thrilled I am to feel this way. I have lost more weight in shorter time spans before but this is the longest I have ever felt so positive and determined. Every day I can feel this way is like treasure to me. I still have so much fat thinking going on, I know that I am not 'cured,' that being fat and miserable is still rooted deep inside me, that keeps me determined but some days, it also tries to make me give in, tell me I'm not worth trying for, what's the point? Those feelings are getting less and further away. Wonderful.

I like lists I do.

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And on saturday..

There was peace for a whole 2 hours, during which I slept.
I got up at 6am ( what is going on with the 6am waking up? ) and I went right out to Asda ( well not right out, I did get dressed, tempting though it was to go in my Jamas) I went to buy fresh cranberries, posh marmalade and walnuts. I made quite the most delicious cranberry sauce, recipe from Lacey. Honestly I don't think I will ever be able to buy a jar of the shop bought gloop again, this stuff is so divine I can't wait for Christmas eve to try it with the Turkey.
I made Oreo truffles, which are glorious and so rich that eating more than 2 is likely to send you to the sofa to curl up in a ball and promise to only ever eat one next time.
I made vegetable soup ( somewhat begrudgingly, truth be told and H and grandpa have taken to eating it every day for lunch which means I am making it every other day instead of twice a week if there isn't anything else to do!)
I put together some pretty boxes and put the truffles and homemade chocolates in them.
It was, by this time 10am!
H and grandpa took the boys to the movies, oh sweet joy, they were gone 2 hours and I had a glorious nap, naps are the very best thing ever, I wish I slept that kind of sleep at night, why is afternoon sleep so different to night time sleep? Also, how is it that I sleep with H who doesn't move, honestly I don't think I have ever seen him turn, fidget ( oh I did one night and I was ready to push the pillow over his head, he laughed ..hard because I actually yelled at him, it was so bizarre that he was just twitching like he was wired up and getting zapped every .05 of a second, CUT THAT OUT!)
Anyway, he sleeps so still, on his back ( which never looks comfy to me does it to you?) so how is it that somehow, in his non moving sleep, every single night he scrunches the duvet up, inside the cover, so the cover is where it should be, the duvet inside is twisted, bunched up, lumped together. HOW DOES HE DO THAT?
Before you say anything, it is definitely him doing it, I make that bed every morning, he will have a nap....screwed up, lopsided, scrunchy up inside duvet. I remake it, if I take a nap.....still everything as it should be...he goes to bed, by the time I get in there it's every (wo)man to herself. I grab one corner and I tuck it under my right arm and I sleep hanging on to that little bit of quilt all night.
I'm not even going to try and make this post make any sense, my thoughts are all over the place tonight so it's hang onto the seat of your pants and try to keep up. Please.
Yesterday, on our traumatic trip to a lovely garden centre, the plan was to see if Santa was there. Well it would seem Santa has gone part time and even if he HAD been there, those boys weren't about to go and see him, they were really, really horrible.
At bath time we were talking about Santa and how we would go on Monday.
Seth. " yes, I want to tell him that I want a Liverpool football club goalies kit"
ME. " Oh have never in your life said you want a LFC kit, you told me you wanted a San Diego Chargers kit"
Seth. "well, he's not likely to even know who they are is he?"
Me "Of COURSE! He travels the world, he knows everything"
Seth " No he doesn't, he is FAKE!"

I think the world stood still for a second or 12.
Isaac's eyes almost bugged out of his head and quick as a flash I did that quick in draw of breath whilst making the AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sound.
"COAL!!!! Seth is going to get a lump of COAL!"
Isaac thought this was just about the coolest thing and laughed so hard he coughed half a lung up and Seth....
" Oh, um I mean THAT one is fake, that one at that shop is fake, not the REAL one, the REAL one isn't fake and I didn't mean the REAL one, just THAT one is fake"
I have no idea whether he knows or not that Santa, though very real and knowledgeable, isn't quite as he has been led to believe or if he really did mean that this particular Santa is fake.
I know that Eli was almost paralysed with fear at the very mention of the authenticity of Father Christmas. I absolutely and completely am melted by the face of a little person when they belive in Santa and magic, the huge eyes, the sparkle, the holding of breath and the incredible joy. I am trying to hold onto every moment this year because it is sure to stop sooner than I can stand to imagine.
The boys and I drove around town and delivered the oreo truffles, cranberry sauce and home made chocolates this evening, I want them to be givers as well as wait for the presents they are excited about. When we get home I asked them how they felt as they gave the gifts.....they agreed that it was fun and felt good and I continued by saying how giving is even better than receiving. I so wish I could capture the expression on Seth's face. He has a rubber face and it's like an open book, his face told me that he may not be convinced that giving is better than receiving!
It's 1.30, I am tired at last and ready to go and join H in the scrumpled up twisted quilt bed.
Today was a lovely day. 5 Sleeps til Christmas day. Splendid!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Sometimes, only a big stick will do it.

What a day. It all started so early.....

I think I awoke around six
And I figured it out right away
That this wasn't starting out as I'd like it
And was likely to be a bad day.

The noise was a decibel higher
The mess was a sight to behold,
On seeing the total destruction
I felt so incredibly old.

"He's kicking me!" one of them shouted,
"Well, he SMILED at me !" the reply
I was quite in a quandary, I tell you
As to whether to laugh, or to cry.

I tried taking them out for a breather
And we entered a store, for a bit,
But it took only a moment to figure
That Seth was an absolute git.

I say it was Seth, but be truthful
It was all of them really, the same
They were all just incredibly horrid
And I bellowed and yelled every name.

I brought them back home and I threatened,
I told them for sure that they would,
Be so grounded and stuck in this hovel
Unless they began to be good.

Well a miracle happened quite quickly
They shut their loud mouths, thank the Lord
I was able to like them again for a while
And not chop off their heads with a sword. ( work with me on this will you, how many words rhyme with Lord? )

Well, we went to the park, that is near us.
That is usually quite a good trick
And it worked, they were really quite splendid
Because Isaac, he found a BIG stick.


"Oh" he declared when he found it,
"this is great and my feelings are rife,
I can honestly say without lying,
This is the very best fun of my LIFE"



Elijah was giddy with freedom,
He was running without too much grace,
He was having such fun and excitement,
I think that it shows in his face.



Seth, as is usual was playing
With a ball and was kicking it high
He has quite a strong kick and I noticed
That it almost reached up to the sky!

( where'd it go?)


We thought we would go to the water
To see swans and then maybe, a duck
Cousin Lauren was there with some bread bits
Wasn't that quite incredible luck?

Isaac felt brave and was cocky
He flung bread at the birds ..what a laugh!
Til they swooped in a flock and came at him
Then he ran and he ran, up the path!




We abandoned the birds, being clever.
But we stayed with the water and dog ( cousin Laurens! )
And bless him if Isaac discovered
An enormous and slippery log.




That sucker was heavy I tell you,
He was proud and then quick as a flash
He carried it right to the deep bit
And threw that thing in, with a SPLASH!


I am happy to tell you, by bedtime
They were lovely and peaceful and then....
It was good to feel pleased that I have them
Cause tomorrow I must do it again!

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