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!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Titter ye not. Lest I punch you.

I don't take offence very easily, it's too much effort, by the time I hear what someone says and feel huffy and tut and sigh, add in some righteous ( or not) indignation and I am irate, people who may have caused my ire have forgotten what they said or did and I am all enraged for what? Quite, so usually I see / hear and just let it go.
Sometimes, I don't. I probably should, there are just some things that I think are no go areas for joking.
Religion would be one of them.
I am beyond grateful that I live in a country where we are free to choose how we worship.
I am delighted that we seem ( for the most part) manage to live in a country where many different religions live side by side quite happily.
There are many religions I don't understand, some I know a little about and don't feel I could live with, that is the wonder of this freedom we have, I don't have to live with it, I don't have to do anything I don't feel good about. Isn't that great?
I can't, off hand, think of a single religion that makes me laugh, I have yet to hear about anything someone else might believe in that makes me howl with laughter or that I feel justified in behind the hand whispering jokes.
I really can't.
Faith is such an incredible thing. No matter if anyone else believes what you believe. Faith is a belief in things neither seen nor heard. It is an unshakable knowledge that something is true, even if you have never seen it or felt it or heard it.
For anyone to have a belief, a faith, a true knowledge of something that makes their life better, that gives hope, uplifts and enriches, to me is a marvellous thing.
I admire anyone who believes so strongly that they change their lives, that they are prepared to be different. If I don't think I could live the same way, somehow my admiration for them is increased.
That's why, when I hear jibes at what I believe in, I do get offended. I often tell myself it is ignorance ( which of course it is) and I try very hard to let it go, usually, truth be told, I can't.
There seems, lately, to be some juvenile joking about 'Magic underwear'.
Hilarious. To some.

Let me explain something.
Some Mormons do wear special underwear, it is not a secret, it is sacred.
It is not funny, it is incredibly special and important to those who have made the covenants that go along with the honour of wearing such garments.
Just as most people, for instance, will wear a wedding ring, as a visible sign to all and sundry that they have made promises to their spouse. So we, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mormons, if you will, when we go through the temple, will make promises to the Lord, mostly promises to do with chastity, modesty etc.
To remind us of those promises we wear underwear that encourages modesty. There is nothing funny about it, you can find pictures if you google, that people who do NOT belong to the church will have posted, they will make the underwear look unflattering, funny, easy to mock. People who honour the promises they make, people who know and understand and believe will not, ever, place such a sacred thing in the public eye for others to mock, they wouldn't.
I don't know why people who know nothing call it magic, I suspect it might be that there are stories, true stories of how people who are wearing their garments have somehow inexplicably been protected, stories of missionaries who were stabbed yet unharmed. Who knows, and really, who cares?
All this means, to anyone who is not me, is this. I will never be seen wearing a mini skirt, hot pants, spaghetti strapped top, baring my midriff, of showing copious amounts of cleavage.
Have you seen me? This makes my wearing modesty inducing underwear a very good thing, the reverse effect, which would be me perhaps thinking that because such clothes are available in my size ( dear life!) means I could wear them. That would be something to laugh at.
The only person that sees my body is my husband, or my doctor. Again, relief from the greater public, rather than laughter would seem more appropriate.

I don't laugh at Jewish men who wear their skull caps, I don't find women who wear a headscarf hilarious, turbans don't make me giggle. I don't understand why this is so funny, the only difference is that you can't see what I wear, it isn't an outward sign of who I am, it is a personal and quiet reminded between myself and my God. Nothing more.

I really love the church I belong to, I believe in it, I wouldn't live this way if I didn't. I really wish people would find other things to laugh at. I hate hearing comedians joke about religion of any kind.
I despise any jokes that include Jesus Christ, of all the things in the world to laugh at, why choose Him? He is my Saviour, I love him, I will never laugh at Him ( although I am completely sure he has a fantastic sense of humour and love to think that one day, I might laugh with him)
I try not to take to much notice but honestly? Whenever I see a reference to magic underwear of multiple wives, I'll let you in on a little secret, I don't like it very much.
I get over it, until the next time and then I find I don't like you very much.
If you keep doing it, chances are I won't like you at all. No big loss, I'm sure you won't even notice me not liking you, people who know me and love me wouldn't join in the laughing at what matters to me.
If you are a member of the church and I see you joining in with the joking, you go so far down in my estimations as to not even register anymore. To try and gain favour by laughing at something you KNOW is sacred, just to curry favour with people who know no better...well more fool you. How's THAT working for you now?
If you are asked about it and say something stupid like " Oh I can't talk about it" and act all secretive, in my opinion you just added fuel to the fire, there is no harm in explaining that this is something we believe in, it is a reminder of promises we make, nothing secret about that, no need to go any deeper into it. There is no mystery.
I like to know if I am saying or doing something that makes anybody at all uncomfortable, so that I can stop.
I thought I would post about this in the hope that people might read it and stop making fun where I can see it, if not, well never mind. I don't want to make a big deal of it by commenting on other people's places, that seems impolite to me.
I wish there were words to share how my beliefs make me feel, how I know so completely that I am blessed to know the things I know.
I wish I knew how to share what a great joy it is to have such faith and feel so sure that the choices I make are so right for me.
I feel selfish sometimes because I don't share what I have the way I should, I hate the thought that it could be rejected or ridiculed, so I hold it close and keep it quiet. I will share it if you ask me though, I love what I know. I am happy to be who I am.
I don't expect anyone to believe what I believe, it doesn't make any difference to how I feel about you, whether we are friends or not isn't based on whether you believe the same things or live the same way as I do, I love you just the way you are.
I just like it better when you don't laugh at what matters to me.
By the way, I would never punch you for laughing at me, it just looked good in the title.
I would get Sophie to do it, she has a mean right hook. Just kidding, I think.


Monday, August 24, 2009

The hills are alive.

Don't you just hate that, when you just feel like that? Meh.
What? you want more?
I am struggling though those few days a month where H becomes insufferable. I would eat the family sized Galaxy bar I hid but it's in the front room, where H is and if I were to go in there I can guarantee he would annoy me, with his sitting and stuff.
I am in Sophie's room, where I told him I would be, away from HIM and his breathing and thinking. He does it on purpose. Every month, no matter how lovely I am, no matter how patient and understanding, thoughtful and funny, he is annoying just to see if he can crack me.
He even cooked dinner this evening, like it's his JOB or something. Like I don't cook great food. Yes, I know, you are so with me, how DARE he? Lemon chicken, with vegetables and white rice. It's not like people didn't eat already today, TWICE. Breakfast and lunch and then when he asked what I was thinking for dinner, he didn't even give me a chance to answer, I only managed a loud sigh and a slam of my laptop lid before he said " Isaac and I can make Lemon chicken if you like." Just like that, as if I COULDN'T make Lemon bloody chicken or something.
I tell you, I think there ought to be a wife of great patience award or something. How I manage to keep my wrath down to a bubbling door slamming level, well it is deserving of recognition, that's all I am saying.
Then, when we ate the Lemon chicken that he made so *perfectly* he did the dishes, specifically to make me feel bad and inadequate. Deliberately.
So I am in Sophie's room, with it's PINK things, it's FRILLY things and girly smell. I am watching a movie I know he would hate and I am so showing him that he can be as annoying as he likes but I am on to him. I am stying in here until he goes to bed because I am pretty sure that he would actually talk to me or something if I went back in *there*. ( although Galaxy, damn, life is hard, wonder if he will go up and check the boys now he has put them to bed, if he did, just to show me what a perfect father he is, I could run in and grab it and eat the whole thing without him knowing and THAT WOULD SO SHOW HIM!)
Meh. Be the bigger person ( which I am incidentally, bigger every time I see myself accidentally in any shop window, mirror or shadow. BIG. Gah.)
I took the boys out today, we were going to fly a kite, like sporty and active people do, we were going to but we left it in the car instead. We climbed a hill though, one even bigger than the one we live on and oh what joy I felt at the bottom of that hill as I watched my little fellows RUN and jump.

I have been to this hill many times, Haytor, which means it is a Tor which is BIG.


I have never felt the way I did today, as I followed my children to the top.
I am fat and although I have been fat before, I am now fat and unfit and Oh my heavens that walk hurt.
Those little mountain goat children of mine ran up the hill and then they ran back and stood by me as I stopped to enjoy the beautiful view, half way up is like being in some sort of haven, the absolute silence, if only it were possible to bottle that feeling, that closeness to all things splendid and greater that me.

And gasp some breath back into my screaming lungs.

They ran up again and came back while I stopped to enjoy the heather...

and let my poor, poor calf muscles unknot. I would try really hard to speak properly as I said
" Oh look how beautiful this is"

They got bored of coming back to see me and promised they wouldn't climb the rocks until I caught up.
I almost wept because I HAD to get to the top, I couldn't say " LOOK! Um, something more FUN
at the bottom!" they were at the top and I had to dying. body.
HOORAY! There I was and oh the glorious, heavenly breeze. The blessed stable rocks to sit on.
"Off you go! I said and then watched as they bounded up the craggy rocks. I lost sight of Isaac for a moment and then I heard him " MUM! I am HERE!"

( where the car was, all that way down there!)

Wild Ponies.

When we walked back down, I had to stop myself laughing because my legs were like Jelly and the relief was so enormous as the car came back into sight.
If I were to walk that once a day I think I would either die or get very fit quite quickly.
Not sure it's worth the risk of putting it to the test. Or is it?

H is going camping tomorrow, with the youth from church, now, don't get my wrong, I love H, I just challenge anyone to spend all day, every day and every evening together and still really like each other, all the time.
I am really looking forward to missing him. When I go away, he enjoys missing me.
I don't envy him the camping thing, who thought that up anyway? I hear people do that stuff for FUN! Sleeping in fields on the hard ground and tramping across grass to have a wee! FUN!
Call me hard to please, picky if you will but if I am leaving home, I like it to be because I am going somewhere even better, BIGGER bed, softer mattress, afore mentioned beds made for me when I leave the room..that's FUN!
I daren't even check the weather forecast because I would cry for him if it is going to rain, as if all that wasn't bad enough, he is going with a load of teenagers. Boys though, so it could be worse and it's only for one night ( he keeps telling me that, just one night, only one night, will be home on wednesday. Not late wednesday) I shall make him a lovely dinner on wednesday to help him recover from the trauma of it all.
I am such a great wife, aren't I?

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

This one and that one.

Today is Seth's birthday, he is 9, on Tuesday Daniel will be 24.
How did I get so lucky? 5 sons and my one girl.
I know every mother thinks that she has the most extraordinary children, shame that because only one can *actually* have the most extraordinary ones.
Daniel has always been splendid, my friend and as he grew older he got funnier and funnier. ( more and more funny? Whatever) He makes me snort, always. He is loud and brash and as gentle and kind as it is possible to be and he is beautiful.
Seth has been funny from the moment he could smile, he has a sense of humour that astounds us all, we have no idea how he thinks so quickly but he never, ever misses an opportunity to quip.
This week, for example, he was having a bath, he is just beginning to feel a little modest but not enough to actually do anything about it yet. Sophie wanted to have a shower and unaware that Seth was in the bathroom, she walked right in. Seth let out the best fake girlie squeal and there followed this conversation

"EEEEEEEEEEEEK! Doesn't anyone ever KNOCK around here? I need my PRIVACY!"
He covered his bits with a face flannel.
"Oh Seth, what you trying to hide, you've only got a little worm for goodness sake"
"Yes, and it happens to be feeding on a couple of potatoes so keep your eyes of it!"

He uses his quick thinking to get out of trouble too, which doesn't amuse me anywhere near as much.

Daniel eats anything and everything, Seth eats hardly anything, I told him to taste a tiny chocolate curl from his birthday cake, he did and he gagged.

Both are sensitive and very loving.

I find it hard to write about how I feel for these people because no matter what I write, it isn't enough. I can describe what they say, share what they might do but it will never do justice to who they really are.
You just have to be here and see them.
Lucky me. I get to do that often.
Happy Birthday Seth and Dan, happy birthday to you on Tuesday, even if you hate it. ( which he does, he really hates his birthday, always has, well from the age of about 9 I think)
I love you boys of mine.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Of mice and men.

Yesterday was a perfect day.
Isaac was baptised, when the other 4 of my children, who have been baptised, had their day, I was unbelievably stressed, in fact so stressed that I can barely remember the days, so worried was I that all would go well and hitch free.
Isaac is different, in many ways he is different and one of his quirks is that he doesn't like any fuss, which for me, is a gift, a glorious and happy thing.
So, I decided that his day, his baptism, would be done his way, no plans for crowd of spectators, no chapel full of hymn singers and friends of friends, no invites, no party. Just Isaac and his baptism.
We used the little room that is beside the font, just our family and perhaps 9 or 10 people. Grandma gave a talk, Isaac's teacher gave a talk and the time they were speaking, because we were in a little room and they were right in front of him, his eyes never left their faces, it was as if they were talking to him and him alone, he didn't falter when he walked into the water, he listened as H said the words before he was put under the water and when he came out of the water he was smiling.
I discovered that H, glorious as he is, had fasted for 24 hours before baptising Isaac, so he would be spiritually in tune. I love him.
While Isaac and H went to get dressed, I had planned to play some lovely spiritual music, instead a few of the people that were there bore their testimonies. Such beautiful, simple words of how Jesus Christ is important to us. The lovely part was that no-one knew that was going to happen, nobody had time to think about what to say, it all came from the heart. There were a few tears, some from me because, although I usually avoid having any visible part in my childrens' baptisms, I just couldn't let the chance go by without sharing how I feel.
Sophie came. She arrived early, straight from work, looking beautiful and she perched uncomfortably on a side seat and looked as though she wished she were anywhere else.
I chose songs from the children's primary song book, just 2 songs, one to start and one to end. She sang them, from start to finish, because she remembers them from when she was a little girl. She was sitting just to the right of me and I dare not look at her because I could hear her singing.

" There's a right way to live and be happy,
It is choosing the right every day
I am learning the teachings of Jesus,
They will help you and show you the way.
Choose the right way and be happy,
I will always choose the right.
Through the gospel I learn to be prayerful,
to have faith, to repent, to obey.
And I know if I live by his teachings,
I will truly be happy each day."

Funny isn't it, how the simplest of words can mean the most.
So many people look at how we live in the church and say how hard it must be, how difficult to abide by so many rules. The opposite is true. Living the gospel, abiding by the simple guidelines makes living much easier, by accepting that to live in this world but not be of this world, by having priorities that are based in spiritual wealth and not material gain life is simple, it is infinitely easier to feel you are ahead of the gain.
I am so sad that somehow, I didn't let how I feel about the gospel evident to my children, I assumed that they would know, by seeing how I lived that I do this because it is right, it is good, it is beneficial and it is so precious to me that I cannot imagine not feeling as I do, not having what I have.
I am fiercely, but far too quietly protective of my beliefs, I am unable to speak about it and stand back while what I love is perhaps ridiculed.
I am far too often quiet when I should speak out, I have a friend, who isn't the same religion as me who is so unashamed, so incredibly in tune with her spirituality, she loves to share how she feels and wherever she goes, people love her because this is who she is.
I want to be more like her.
When we were going to Boston, either the first or second time, somebody said ( and I forget who it was) " I want to hear Helen pray"
At the time I was surprised because I don't think I share the spiritual side of me often enough at all, I was happy that someone felt that way though and sad that somehow, the time passed without my getting to pray with my friend. I wish I could go back and rectify that. ( which would be easier if I could remember who said it!)
While we were at church in the morning, mum asked me to drive her and Leah home, so I did that and then had the clever idea to run home, put the chicken in the oven so it would be ready when we arrived home.
Chicken in, I went to the loo, checked emails while I par boiled some potatoes, walked back into the kitchen and a mouse the size of a cat ran in front of me, that thing was FAT and I saw it run into the laundry room. GAH!! Kitchen mice, not good, huge great big fat ones? REALLY BAD!
I was incredibly brave, telling myself how it ran away, it was scared of ME...I poked my head around the wall of the laundry room ( which has had the worst funky smell for WEEKS) the whole time making a pathetic "oooh, ooooooooooh whispery noise" I saw where it went and where it has been coming in and out and a plan was formed.
I went to leave and as I waled past the cupboard in the hallway, I heard scratching, real loud scratching and I felt as though I was in a horror movie. I am now convinced this house is over run with rodents, nightmare sized rats that wait for me and are planning how to get me.
Last night was rough, I kept shoes on and I jammed things against the cupboard door and the laundry room door and I put lights on, lots of BRIGHT lights, fluorescent strip lights and I jumped at discarded socks, there was a rubber octopus on the bathroom floor, dark and creepy looking right in the corner and I tell you, that thing made me jump and SWEAR!
I told H all the things we needed to do, today. I love him because he absolutely got that when I said 'WE' I meant 'HE'. I bought poison and then I took the boys out. He cleared the laundry room , found the huge hole where they have been coming in and out, he cleaned and cleared and filled and blocked. Then he went to the cupboard under the stairs and he cleared that and emptied it ( the black home of car seats and vacuum spares, sewing boxes and crap. Lots of crap and as he went to grab the last box he saw it. THE MONSTER MOUSE. Our kitchen is full of boxes and car seats and vacuum spares because even H, level headed no nonsense H was freaked, he put down poison and he slammed the door shut, blocked the gap under the door so the bugger can't escape and he walked away. We are telling ourselves that we are giving the poison time to work when actually neither of us wants to go back in there and see where it is. I did quickly open the door, grab the tray with pellets on and I spread peanut butter on them because I am told PB is irresistible to mice and I so want them to eat it and DIE. ( hoping they eat it, run outside through an invisible escape hole that will then close itself up in a magical way.)
Plan B is to get Sophie drunk and tell her her new pet is under there, give her a box and set her free.
Whatever works.
All in all, it was a good day, a great day.
Hope we got rid of the mice, shall be keeping the man. Perfect.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

101 subjects.

Sometimes ( though not often) I have a dilemma that I long to blog about and then I think, hmm maybe I shouldn't, because it is about someone other than me, like my children, who are a part of me and so usually I think, they're mine, I can talk about them, what can they do? They won't even read this until I am dead and even then who will think to give them the link and say " she loved you, most of the time, you drove her insane more often than not but she does love you, did, past tense, she's dead, here read what she said about you" Who? No-one that's who.
I had such an occasion recently where Sophie ( yes, Sophie, some things never change) was going through something that made me SCREAM inside, and want to talk her to death,

( there is a very suspicious smell in here, what can THAT be? Hope the mouse didn't die in here under something, hope it died alright but not where I am going to smell it)

anyhoo, she made me want to teach and tell her and advise her and tell her TO STOP IT...but I didn't because a) She is a grown woman, albeit only in body, the rest is taking it's sweet time to catch up. b) when anyone tells Sophie to do anything, advises her, teaches her, she feels it her duty to prove them wrong and go right ahead and carry on, only more. c) sometimes I get sick of the sound of my own voice, rattling on to the wall, as if anything I say might somehow sink into a mind belonging to a child I gave birth to and actually making a difference.

So, I kept my mouth shut, which was SO HARD let me tell you. That's all I will tell you because it's her story and it's over anyway now. It worked, my keeping my mouth shut, she worked it out and I must say, she did it beautifully and with a certain amount of charm, if we discount her being arrested that is. Bless her big mouth and all, some things are never going to change, she still hasn't learned when to shut HER mouth, even when she is being restrained by a policeman and thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. I could tell you all about THAT experience as she is quite proud of it, which is why I yawned and said " how fascinating, did you get a fine because THAT would take the fun out of that for you wouldn't it?" seems she didn't, I should probably call the local police and tell them next time to fine her, she might think twice then.
So, today I was dilly dallying about whether to share her latest annoying phase, I mean how much do I want to share? I tell myself that recording all this will help me, when it's all over, to look back and say " OH MY! I forgot all about THAT....and oh how I will laugh, but then I realise with a sinking heart that, well it doesn't appear that it will ever be over because she KEEPS DOING WHAT SHE KEEPS DOING!
She is ->this<- close to losing her job, the one she is good at that pays her every month and keeps her somewhat busy during the day. Does she care? Nope, not at all. I, however feel sick at the thought of her not having this job. And that's all I am going to say about it because....dull. Very dull and repetative. I went to the movies this evening, with my friend who lives right here, in this very town, darn it if I don't keep forgetting I have friends who are right here, so obsessed am I with my over the sea friends that I forget I can call people here and say " shall we go out" and they say " yes, why don't we" and no-one has to get on a plane! For heaven's sake that's great isn't it? Flying across the ocean is marvellous and I am excited that I shall be doing just that in 6 weeks but going out, having fun and being home in time for bed, is pretty fabulous as well. So we went to see " the Ugly truth" which was very funny and romantic and quite rude in places. Whenever I watch anything vaguely romantic I feel sort of sad because Oh how I love romance and there isn't any, anywhere near me, H is many things, romantic isn't one of them. I believe he did that a couple of times when he was younger, with someone else and now, well we're older and wiser so no need for any of that is there? I talked to Jane and all the way home we were planning ways to get H to at least remember that I am here, I mean he knows I am HERE, someone is doing the laundry, he knows I am here, someone is bringing shopping in and putting it in the fridge after all. HE just seems to forget that I am here, me..the wife, he knows the mother of his children is here because his children are everything to him, he knows Helen is here because darn it all if she doesn't just keep talking to him all the time, always with the talking. I just think he forgets that THIS me is here, the one that no-one else sees, the one that really likes being with HIM, that H, not the daddy one or the spiritual giant, the H only I see, the one that is just mine. We talked ( because women do that ) about how to get him away from being the daddy for a while. When I came home, he opened the door for me ( see? He is such a gentleman, 10 years together and he opens the door for me, he also cooks dinner and cleans up so that I can get ready to go out and he puts the boys to bed and stays here with them while I fly across the world to be with my friends, he is a splendid specimen of manhood ) and we said hello and before I had a chance to say a word he said " you know what? I think we need to find a babysitter and start going out on friday evenings" and then, not 5 minutes later he said it again. Dan is down next week, I will ask him to stay here while we go out somewhere and we shall indeed be Helen and H and not mum and dad, just for a while because it's so easy to plod from day to day, week to week and forget who we are and what makes it all worthwhile. My friends are having a blast in Canada, pictures and texts, facebook status updates, so much fun, much laughter and of course, friendships being made and strengthened. I love the internet, where would my life be without it? I met H online, that's the best reason for loving it, I have made such great friendships, real honest to goodness ones , slipped up a couple of times without too many awful consequences ( egg on my face and a sense of 'how was I that stupid?) but all in all, wonderful people who, without the internet I wouldn't know...which doesn't bear thinking about, not at all. So I won't. I look at the pictures, I see all the laughter and the see Jenn and Julie, in pink and blue wigs, Cathy with her face splitting from ear to ear as she sees her friends arrive, as she arrived in Canada. I see pictures of stores and airports, hotel rooms and in every one, smiling faces, huge smiles and genuine joy. Life is all about memories, I am so lucky to be able to make memories that will last forever, with my children, my family and my friends, ones that I will smile about when I am old and have so much time on my hands that sitting near a window and remembering is something I get to do a lot. I thought I would be sad about not being in Canada but I'm really not, I get calls and speak to the splendid ladies ( and even hang up on them! Yep, that would be me, chat chat.....oh OK, bye bye, just as I hit the end call button, I heard someone say " HI!" click. Gah. ) and I get texts and updates and it just makes me so excited for Boston. The best part of these friendships for me, is that we are all different, different ages, different religions, different lifestyles, none of that matters, somehow all these women ( and the group keeps growing) have one thing in common, we all seem to find the same things funny and we are all keen that whoever is nearby feels happy to be there. Such kindness, behind the scenes and in your face, no-one ( I hope) ever feels left out, nobody is on the sidelines unless they put themselves there, some people like to take a back seat and others love to be right in the middle of all the fun ( I, personally and a shy and retiring sort and am always quietly in the background taking it all in. Yes, that would be my role. ) It amazes me that so many women, from all over the world, from so many backgrounds can have so much in common. Friendship is a beautiful thing. You're never too old, too young, too rich, too poor, too clever, too simple to be a friend or have friends. However, you can think you are too rich, too clever, too important and then....well then you lose your friends. Thinking isn't always the best way to being a friend, doing is what counts. What you say might be important, what you do is what matters.
Today has been a lovely day.
Tomorrow, I hope will be as lovely. Isaac is being baptised tomorrow. He said he wanted EVERYONE to be there and see him being baptised, luckily I didn't take him at his word, we have told very few people and this evening he said " I only want my family there" There will be a few more people there and I so hope he can deal with that, when the moment comes for him to be baptised, we can always send everyone out and keep just a few people there, nobody will mind at all. I am a little nervous as we have kept it really low key, I haven't organised it all to death, it's going to be ( I hope) a gentle, quiet time that he can remember happily.
How did he get to be 8 so quickly? Glorious Isaac.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not this one but the next one.

I'm not going to Canada this weekend.
I am also not going to Japan or New Zealand.
I have always written journals, since I was about 7 or 8, fascinating they were too. How sad that every single one was lost in the move to the USA.
My sister read my journal once and I heard her shrieking with laughter at one of my entries.
"Mum didn't go to London today"
She was crying with laughter and said " Quick! write that I didn't go to Scotland today!!" It made me laugh too because darned if I could remember if mum was supposed to have gone to London that day or whether I was just happy she had stayed at home. Like she ever went anywhere without us anyway. She'd have had a job, I was so convinced that if she went anywhere without me she would die and I would be left half an orphan that I would have the biggest and most annoying meltdowns if she even put her coat on, until I was 15 and then we seemed to avoid each other like the plague.
When I was 16, she had a baby, Leah, which made me think she was quite clever ( if not completely embarrassing because ewwwww, we know how babies are made and she REALLY didn't ought to still be doing *that* at her age, she was 40 which is ancient to still be doing such things. I had my last baby at 41, obviously my feelings on that issue changed.)
So, I am not going to Japan or New Zealand at the weekend and I can say with all honesty that I am not the least bit disturbed by that.
Canada though, that's a little more depressing.
Lots of my imaginary friends are headed to Canada this weekend for a few days of pelvic floor destroying laughter, shopping, eating out and in hotel shenanigans. Many of said friends are no longer imaginary and have proven themselves to be actual, real people who are even more splendid in real life than they are on a computer screen, which seems impossible but really, they are.
Others are new imaginary friends that I have never met, who make me laugh and who brighten my day, without fail every day.
I am sad not to be meeting so many lovely people and joining in with the hilarity and fun, however, even though online I am 'in your face' and love to be the center of attention, in real life a crowd has been known to make me cry and bolt from the room in a hideous display of hyperventilation. This meetup is a huge gathering of like minded souls, I am telling myself that should I go, I would more than likely embarrass myself by turning into a gasping for air neurotic heap at the sight of so many funny, beautiful and together people. I know my limits and think that deciding to opt for a glorious trip to Boston in October rather than joining in this meetup in Canada was a wise move for me.
I am beyond excited to see pictures of all the goings on, will be waiting on the edge of my seat for pictures of each and every hysterical moment, am certainly going to keep my phone with me so I can hear the laughter and speak with those ladies I adore and the ones I haven't yet met and feel almost as excited as the women who are attending.
I am thrilled for Jenn and Julie, who have driven often the 10 hours to Boston in order to enjoy the inexplicable bonding of women when we meet up there. This time they don't have to drive anywhere but to the airport and wait with those ever welcoming arms and cheery words as their friends arrive, one by one and sometimes in twos. I think I know just how they feel because next year, Cathy, Brian, Matthew and Jenn are coming HERE, actually flying over here to spend some time and go to Jordan and Mel's wedding. I know how wonderful it feels to know people love you enough to beat flying fears and risk jet lag just so that they can be with you.
I am imagining how all those ladies for whom this will be the first meetup will be feeling, I do envy them that feeling of meeting people who, up til now have just been a picture on a screen and realising just how wonderful it is to actually see those people in the flesh.
I came away from the very first Boston meetup feeling almost stunned and speechless that women from all over the world can come together and feel real friendship. We all felt the same, we were high for a long time after that experience and it certainly took a while to come back down to earth.
Lifelong friendships were made in that Hotel, I am forever grateful that I fought the fear of flying to attend that gathering.
I am so happy not to be flying that it levels out the disappointment at missing out on the fun ( almost, not quite if I am honest but almost)
It's a mere 7 weeks until Sophie and I fly to Boston, I am astounded at the fact that I am not yet worried about the flight, I think knowing how quickly the time passes and also that Boston airport is a nice friendly airport that I am now familiar with helps. I feel like an old hand with that trip now, international traveller that I have become!
This time it is just Sophie and I with Cathy, we will meet up with Sara, Colleen and Jamie for dinner and perhaps shopping, we are going to New York for a shopping trip too. Very exciting indeed.
This weekend though is all about waiting for updates and enjoying via the computer all the fun that Canada will be enjoying. I have the popcorn ready and my phone charged.....this is going to be one worth watching and hearing about, there are some funny funny women all about to come together in one place. Watch out Toronto, you have no idea what you are about to experience.
I won't be there this time but the next one has my name on it.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


A trip with the 8-12 age group from church, to kayak, a new experience.

Seth, as usual was confident and I was not...."Hello!!!" I said from way over the side, where no-one heard me. " Um, EXCUSE ME! He can't actually swim and he hasn't done this before, er.....oh, too late" He got in, pushed off and he just did it. On his own.

Isaac was so thrilled that he turned 8 just the day before this momentous and long awaited activity, he was so excited.
This picture makes my stomach flip, he is incredibly beautiful in real life, so much so, that quite often, people stop in their tracks and sort of sigh and then they tell him how beautiful he is. This picture almost captures just how glorious he is, almost.

He was so excited that he took his shoes off and even his socks and walked on the actual ground.

And so did H. Goodness me, what a day this was. Bare feet indeed.

Seth, even in his excitement, was kind to Elijah who was too young to join in.
Eli was patient and watched and waited, he is excited for us to go back as a family so he can go in a boat too.

Seth, well, he took to it like a duck to water and he loved every single moment.

Yes that's him...right over there, my zoom was as zoomed as it will go, he was a way away....

But he came back ( and went again and came back and went again.....)
He rowed along side daddy and Isaac's boat and he hung on, took a ride....

He was a speedy and fabulous kayak-er

It was busy out there.

It was a splendid and happy time.

The boys and H have been going for bike rides every day, 3-4 hours of bike trails, home for lunch, a rest and then out again....this boating was at 4-5.30 this evening and when they were done, we had time to drive through Mac Donalds and eat before H had to leave to take the youth from church to the beach to play baseball / rounders / hit a ball and run all over the place.
I think he might have felt every one of his 50 years when he went to bed at 10. He is a good man, an exhausted one but he's pretty darn glorious.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Isaac, my Isaac is 8.
It seems like yesterday that he came into the world after a gloriously pain free labour, my only one with an epidural. I read the 2nd Bridget Jones diary while I laboured, in perfect peace, all alone. The nurse came to do one of her checks and told me I was fully dilated, the baby was high though so she told me that it would be a while before he was born, I explained that if I was at 10cm, this baby would be out in minutes...she did that infuriating thing of sighing and said " No honey, this baby is too high, he could be a while" She had me turn onto my side, put an oxygen mask on me, walked away and as she left she knocked the buzzer onto the floor, then she shut the door.
I was facing the monitor that was registering my contractions and Isaac's heartbeat and I saw that his heartbeat had gone down to 55 beats a minute, hmm....not going up...hey, epidural or not I feel a head...."HEY!!! HELLO!!!!! EXCUSE ME!!!! The baby is coming out! The BABY IS COMING OUT!" I could hear the nurses right outside my door, talking in a regular voice, I dragged the mask off my face and I screamed bloody murder "MY BABY IS COMING OUT!!!! HEEEEEEEEELP! HEY! His heartbeat is REALLY LOW and he is COMING OUT!
At last I felt someone behind me ( I was facing away from the door by the way) and I was so relieved, it was H, I had called him when they said I was at 10cm, he came to the hospital and left his big boy Rob with Seth in the hallway, I told him the baby was coming out and I had been screaming and no-one was coming, he wasn't convinced that the baby really was coming and so I said "look, look and see if you can see anything!" So he did, and indeed he did see a head..still in the sac.. " Oh geez, OK, hang on" He went outside and in seconds a whole herd of midwives ran in, they saw what H had seen, one ran out to grab the nearest doctor and told me to push as hard as I could because this baby was in trouble and needed to come out NOW. ( really? As opposed to like 15 minutes ago while I was screaming the place down and you just kept yakking outside the door?) They popped the bag and I pushed and he shot out like a bullet.
He was born not breathing and without a heartbeat, they were scared, I was scared and also really REALLY angry.
They got him breathing and whisked him away telling me that he had to be monitored for at least 3 hours. They didn't have a room ready for me so I was just going to go 'in here' until a room was available.
'In here' was a store cupboard. Bandages and spare stuff, packs of this and rolls of that.
3 hours is an awfully long time to be in a cupboard without your baby and no-one to talk to.
I spent the time trying to remember the fleeting glimpse of baby they had flashed me as they took my new baby away. I knew he was dark, darker than Seth who had been very fair and with little hair. I remembered he had very dark hair and beautiful olive skin.
I wondered what his name should be and suddenly I knew he should be Isaac.
I wondered if H would be back soon, I tried not to cry because I was so far away from home, I was living with H, Seth, Sophie, Rob, at H's house and his brother lived there too. I loathed that man, he made me cry pretty much every single day I lived there. He was more spiteful than any woman I have ever encountered and that includes the mean girl at school who made my life a living hell. That man took his misery out on my kids and on me, he would follow me around the house when H was out, muttering such mean things, he would tell me lies about H . Anyway ( whee that was a tangent wasn't it? Perhaps I am not quite as over that as I thought!) At about 7 o'clock, after 2 hours in the cupboard, the door opened and H popped his head around the door, I was so happy to see him, he said that his dad, brother, oldest son, nephew and Seth were here too and where was the baby? I told them he was in the nursery being watched carefully, " Oh, great...." and they left.
Without coming back. At all.
I got a room and eventually they brought Isaac to me, he cried, oh how he cried, I cried too, as much as he did and I waited, in that room, with not a soul, not a card, a flower, a visit.
I poked my head around the door to see if there was any sign of life anywhere and it was like a whole other world out there. People with helium balloons and flowers, happy waddling ladies with family and friends and sweet sleeping babies, I shut the door so quickly and I looked at the jug of water on my bedside table and I thought about how, if I had been here, at home, in England, how I would have visitors and flowers and people smiling at me as though I had done something clever and miraculous and splendid. Then I cried a bit more.
And Isaac cried.
At 9pm, I called the house and asked H if he was coming back at all. He asked me if I wanted him to, as though that was a weird sort of request made out of hormonal instability.
"Well, yes, I would like that, I know you saw the baby and I know you have had a busy time, going out to eat and celebrate and everything but hello? Yes, come here, now!"
**I think H had a huge case of post partum arseholeness, I hear some men get that and he had the worst case ever recorded. It lasted a long while and if I even begin to record anything on here I might then be transported back in time, forget it is in the past and go upstairs and hit him really hard, while he sleeps with a brick. Twice.
Isaac screamed for 5 and a half months.
Seth was 11 months when Isaac was born.
We all lived in one room, one 12ft by 8ft room. A double bed and a cot and a pack and play.
Memories. I had postpartum apathy, that was a blessing I tell you, whenever I felt anything akin to anger....meh, can't be bothered. Apart from with the Brother in Law, I went from a tongue biting, long suffering victim of incessant bullying to giving as good as I got, H's dad and even H were unaware of what was happening, they would see that the idiot and I wouldn't speak to each other and I would occasionally, over dinner I might say things like " How was your day? Oh that's good, lovely weather we're having and Oh and by the way, I hate your brother, you may come home and find him dead one day, more green beans?"
Other than that, I loved my babies, I would put them in the double stroller and we walked for miles and miles every day, anything to stay out of that house, to avoid that miserable shite who worked 1 or 2 days a week and the rest of the time picked on me.
One day, I was on the phone to my mum, here in England, he had this thing about my using the phone. H and I paid the phone bill, we used the phone and internet and because I would call my mum, it seemed fair that we paid the bill. H's dad wouldn't ever take money from us, so I would look for the bill and pay it without him ever seeing it. Anyway this one day he followed me around the house as I spoke to my mum, he was an inch away from my back and he was hissing " on the phone to England again are you? 27 minutes, any idea who much you are costing my dad? Get off the phone, he'll be home in a minute you think he likes coming home to see you and those brats here every day, day in day out? Get off the phone....." I ignored him, I walked around the house and everywhere I went, there he was.
I went into the tiny pantry / laundry room and I was trying to tell my mum what was happening, he followed me in there and I was pushed against the washing machine and then something in me snapped. I stood up straight and I said to my mum " Oh sorry mum, you didn't hear what I said when I was whispering? I was telling you that H's brother is following me around and hissing at me....I'll call you back later, right now I am going to hurt him.....bye!"
And I threw the phone down and turned to face him......well what do you know? He'd gone, he'd heard what I said and run, he RAN into his room and locked the door. I hammered on his door and then I took as many steps back as I could, it's a small house...and then I ran and I picked up both feet and threw myself against his door....just as it flew open, H walked in through the door. Who knows what I might have done had H not walked in. It did result in my telling both him and his dad what had been going on and also explaining that I would not be cooking for, speaking to or acknowledging him in anyway from then on. I was true to my word.
Hello tangent, we're having fun this evening aren't we?
Isaac was a tough baby, now I look back I can understand why, poor little thing, all that stress and he must have sensed it all. Me and him against the world, having who can cry the most competitions from 5am until midnight every day. At 5 and a half months, he woke up as happy as a clam and he has been a veritable delight ever since.
He had such a lovely birthday, he had 3 of his most longed for model cars ( " Oh a FERRARI! This day cannot get any better!) he had money in one of his cards ( the last one he opened, he opened the others and said "hmm, don't people know about putting money in cards? Then he opened gramma's and said " There you go! That's what I'm talking about, SHE knows how to do it!)
Then we told him to go and wake Elijah up quietly, while he was upstairs we brought his bike in, and leant it against the foot stool in the front room. He has seen this bike online and shown me the picture over and over. We went to get an inner tube for H's bike this week and he ran in saying " OH! I can show you that bike for real, not just a picture! He ran around the bike shop and then said " Oh, it's gone, someone must have bought it, never mind"
When he came back in he gasped and said " Is that MINE? and over and over he said " Yes! YES" Finally, YES!" He kissed the seat and he stroked it and he sighed many times.

He is so cool, isn't he?

** Happy to report that H recovered from his PPA and became quite the nicest H that he is today, brother in law is still an idiot but so far away it couldn't matter less. All in all I think things have turned out pretty well. Jolly good.

I am sure I have written all this before, poor Isaac, he gets a whiny old self pitying post every year on his birthday. Isaac if you ever read this, you are so worth it, you are a glorious and splendid boy.
Happy Birthday my Isaac, I love you.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

It's a fact.

The following facts are fascinating to me...possibly not for you, I shall endeavor to make the recording of these facts more interesting but apologies in advance if I don't manage to do that.
In the past 12 months, 20,081 visits have been recorded on this blog. Now, I would love to say 20,081 people have been here, reading my every fascinating word but alas, t'is not so. Some people come back, often, some even in an almost stalker like way ( so flattering!) like 3 or 4 times a day and while I will say that sometimes I have been known to record pretty gripping stuff on this blog, I have to admit that I can't remember ever writing anything that fascinating.
Those 20,081 visits are from 74 different countries / territories. I write countries / territories because that's what Google says, don't ask me what determines what might constitute a country vs a territory because I don't know.
America wins, it has to be said. 11,419 visits from America, how I love you. California wins with 1,170 visits, I suspect that could be because I lived there, perhaps California misses me, I miss the sunshine of California and Target, grandpa and his next door neighbour, Marilyn. I loved the fact that Disneyland was a day out, Sea world a longer trip but still possible in a day ( we did that once, with 2 little boys and a grandpa, in our van, the old white van with no seats, I say no seats, when we got it it had only 2 front seats and then we put a bench seat in the back with the car seats on, anyone else choosing to travel with us would either sit on the floor or on a garden chair, we were so classy and also poor.) We had a glorious day at sea world, it could be one of my most favourite and memorable day trips, the fact that on the way home the engine fell out of the van makes it particularly memorable. One minute we were driving and H said "Hmmm, that sounds kinda weird" and the next CLUNK......GRIIIIIIIIIND and we stopped, thankfully in a parking lot, as H heard that ominous sound he had the foresight to pull into the car park of a hotel. On inspection we saw that the van was very dead, with it's engine on the ground, laughing at us. I hated that van, I laughed back and said, laugh all you like you pile of poop, we're just going to leave you here, see how funny you find it when you get towed away and crushed, laugh then crap-heap.
So, perhaps California is visiting the most to let me know that if I ever came back I could live in one of those houses we see in the movies with a nice car and straight white teeth and also be a size 4, who knows, won't ever get a chance to find out because I am pretty much certain that lottery win aside we won't ever live there again, you had your chance California, sorry you blew it.
Massachusetts is next ( Hi Cathy, Di, Sara, Colleen, I see you , you think you can pop in quietly but I know you love me! )
Canada is next with 4,413 visits. Glorious Canada with your Kraft peanut butter and your very slow postal service. I shall visit you one day, I promise.
So many visits from so many people. 3,017 visits from England, bless your hearts, 1,060 of those are from my home town, which freaks me out a little bit, I'm not known for being reserved on this blog and I often saunter through the town and wonder if that person knows I have to pluck my chin hair.
There are times when I actually pull myself back and stop myself writing things I really want to write because, well it sort of matters when you know that there are people who actually know you and might look at you askance in Tescos or even at church ( good grief) I forget who reads my blog, I went through a phase of handing out the address willy nilly, so narcissistic was I. I think more carefully these days but the damage might well have been done and there are people who know my darkest most inner secrets...whoops.
If several people live in the same area, then it's anyone guess who those people are, no matter, you read my blog, you're probably glorious, or mentally unhinged ( in which case I get you, feel at home, we're used to the unhinged around here) or a stalker ( 3-4 visits a day gets you that category, that's not healthy..go play with your kids or watch Diagnosis murder or something, there's nothing going on here that warrants that amount of obsessive refreshing, if you blocked me from reading YOUR blog and yet come here that many times a day, see your doctor, that's worrying.)
Also worrying are some of the things that people google before finding themselves sent here, some worrying, others hysterical.

' Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?' You probably should give up on that, it's gone, embrace the baldness.

' Am I ready to be a mother?' Oh darlin' I am sorry, if you googled that and got sent here I suspect you left feeling that you will never be ready for that.

'Pooh and wee song' Really? I don't know any of those, I could probably make one up that would make you smile, I would test in on my little people first, if it makes them laugh, you'll love it.

In fact there were a worrying amount of googlings for bum, pooh, willy and wee. ( now of course a new batch of infantile googlers will be sent straight here, to them I say " I can SEE you and I am going to tell your MOTHER! Get off the computer and read an Enid Blyton book. Go on! NOW, also wash your head out with hot soapy water. )

'Not impetigo', which is great, no-one likes Impetigo but if you have a sore, that is itching, scabby and weeping and you are googling what it could be, if it's not impetigo, go and see your doctor because it's not looking good.

'Bosoomers' for real! That actual word! Heh! Here's a fact about Bosoomers, I bought Sophie some new bras, M & S had a super sale and their splendid T shirt Bras were down to £1!! 34E.
34 E, yep now you googling perverts, them is BASOOMERS!

'Helen secret.' Yikes, the secret of my diet is that it doesn't work, not if you want to be thin. Try weight watchers, it's for the best.

'How can someone say they love you and then just walk away' Oh I never understood that either, they're liars, be glad they left, find a nice one that shows you they love you, words can be cheap.

'How much snot can a human body make in one day?' WHAT? How do I know? I can't even begin to think why anyone would want to know that. Gag.

' Noisy knickers' Oh now, that's getting personal now. My knickers don't make a sound.

'Exercise really hurts' It does, don't do it. No pain no gain, I don't want to gain, I want to lose, so I certainly won't be exercising.

'Not broken' Very good, whatever you do, don't fix it.

'Mist of misery' Oh dear. Did I cheer you at all? I do hope so.

'sugar free, worst gas farts' I might take offence at someone being sent here having googled that, I deny it wholefartedly.

' You are fatter' Cheeky git.

'70 year old hairy granny' shut up.

'Dear God, I want a boyfriend who tells me I am beautiful, even if I am wearing pyjamas' Hmm, I don't think God reads my blog, also sure he doesn't answer prayers via google. I do wish you all the best in your search though. Bless your heart.

'Feel really ill and something fleshy looking fell in the toilet' For the love of .....GO TO HOSPITAL get off the computer.

'Girls bum and willey' Um, I don't think girls have a willey. They have a tuppence. Off you go.

'Hemorrhoids anger' Yes, I heard that. Also, hurt.

Oh google, how you make me laugh ( and also recoil in horror because there are some seriously deranged people out there and the fact that they get sent HERE after googling such sickness is shudderingly creepy, luckily I see that they got here, were disappointed and never came back again. Phew. Creeps.)
So there we have it, some facts and figures courtesy of Google analytics, I thank you.
Feel free to out yourself so I can see who my 20, 081 hitters are ( unless you are a pervert, you can stay anonymous in your dingy back bedroom )
Thankyou for coming here lovely people.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Yes, that's tit.

Only fleetingly, once, as it ran from behind the fireplace to behind the TV.
I have heard it, over and over again, every night, as soon as H goes to bed that damned thing is crunching and scratching. I have bought trap, fancy schmancy 'kind' traps, kind my arse, useless is the word, haven't been touched, that mouse laughs in the face of fancy gum filled traps.
I am so glad no-one can see me, when I am alone in this vermin infested front room ( poetic license, there is one mouse, no more than 2-3 inches long, it is the most stubborn and evasive mouse in the entire world though) I sit with my legs up on the stool, if I get crampy legs and put them down I am like some sort of twitching idiot with no control over my feet, legs or mouth. TWITCH...SHIT! Jump Argh!
I sat here just now and the corner of the blanket touched the top of my foot and dear life if I didn't jump up and shriek like some dopey girl.
Sophie is remarkably brave about it, that could be in part down to the fact that she usually walks in from a night out to see me sitting rigid with the volume of the TV muted and my head cocked to one side hissing "SHHHHHHH! Can you her it? LISTEN..shhhhhhhh, damn thing has shut up, it's determined to send me insane....listen no listen!!" and she listens but she listens so LOUDLY, she burps, laughs and then 2 nights ago she said she was going to catch it and keep it for a pet ( alcohol, responsible for many a foolish idea) It would have been hysterical if it wasn't so late. Midnight and she was determined to catch this bloody mouse.
She had a huge tupperware container, hardly any clothes on ( HOT! She was HOT, "SHUT UP! who's going to SEE ME?!") she lay on the floor and mouse whisperer she is not.
It seemed ( to Sophie, not me) that the very best idea in the WHOLE UNIVERSE would be to take ALL the furniture out of the front room. "ALL OF IT! Come ON! Now. Help me then!!"
The more I shhhhhushed her and explained it was midnight and people were sleeping, the louder she became. She scared the mouse away and she set up a rather elaborate blockade made with videos ( the boys have been having video fests during this endless rain, handy it turns out.) which I have been to afraid to move, I thought that the mouse might have realised that it's chances of living happily here are so slim it wasn't worth hanging around but this evening it's back, I heard it and now here I am again, legs up, breathing as quietly as I can, trying to convince myself that I am TOUGH and the mouse is so little and can't hurt me. TO no avail of course.
I should just mention that the mouse might *try* to make me insane but it is failing.
I know this because despite forgetting my trousers and details such as where my children are having tea, I passed the mini mental test with flying colours. Yes indeedy, there's no fooling me, I answered those questions with my head held high and both my doctor and I managed to get through it without laughing. Much.
Yes, I was able to identify and name a pen.
I was able to write a complete sentence, with punctuation.
I repeated and remembered a whole 45 seconds later, Bike, Garden, Shop.
I copied a complex diagram of interlocking hexagonal shapes.
I even knew what day it is.
There is no fooling me, try if you dare.

On a totally new note, it is H's 50th birthday on Sunday. He doesn't like birthdays at the best of times, he doesn't make a fuss on anyone else's birthday and he certainly doesn't want anyone to make a fuss on his, especially this one. I feel that 50 is a huge deal and I so want to mark it somehow but the very mention makes his eyebrows shoot up and it is quite clear that he won't be happy if we do anything. I wish I could just be happy that the pressure is off but it's sad not to mark such a great birthday.
Oh well we shall enjoy Isaac's the next day instead.
Perhaps knowing his wife isn't quite entering her second childhood is enough of a gift for him, yes, I think that's it. ( and I so did just type, yes that's tit, which was really funny, should have left it there for you to see.)


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Glum. Also, Gloomy.

I can't help but think, these days about all the things I don't like about being a mother are actually all the things I will miss most when these little boys are grown and gone ( ooh hard unswallowable lump in throat)

I don't remember my older kids smelling as awful as these little ones, good grief how can such beautiful and splendid creatures smell so horribly 'off '? I swear I bathe them regularly, their hair is washed, I even manage to rub Johnson's bedtime lotion on their faces arms and necks ( I do!! I tell them it's because their skin will get all dry and itchy if I don't so they let me, I think they might catch on soon and the evenings where I can sniff and delight in that heavenly little person smell are numbered.) The thing is, they are such busy boys, bike riding, running, wrestling, jumping, fighting busy boys and they sweat treacle. Really smelly treacle.

Can you stand little boys' fingernails? How do they do that? Even after days and days of rain, being trapped inside they STILL manage to get black plasticine under their nails? Do they sleepwalk and go and dig up on the allotments with their bare hands or what? Elijah still loves to cuddle and I adore that, he sits on what's left of my lap and he puts up his little sweaty hand to play with my ear or just feel my cheek and I am torn, torn between sheer heavenly bliss and ' dear life what has he been doing with that hand?' It smells like a dead thing, oh, love him stroking my face but that hand has been somewhere really, truly revolting and .....I suck it up ( not literally you understand, even my motherly love doesn't go that far) because soon he won't sit here and stroke my face, when did Daniel stop asking me to give him a kinkly back? When? I don't remember him stopping, one night I am standing next to his bunk bed scratching his back gently while he says " ha! I love kinkly backs" and the next he is 6' 3" chasing criminals and belching 'BOLLOCKS.'

Also..when did Jordan stop curling up on my lap and twisting my hair? He did that every day, every day and now.....well I'd like to see a 6' 5" lanky git try to curl up on my lap, just for the laugh. He still kisses me and hugs in the best squeezy way.

I can't remember Sophie ever cuddling me, she was a kisser and she still kisses but she didn't have time for all the cuddling business, not when she could be climbing out of a window or teaching the cat to swim.

I sit and stare at this house sometimes and feel such a sinking, hopeless feeling as I wonder why I try to make it nice, piles of videos, discarded socks, right now there is a car park on my fireplace, I looked at it earlier and sighed and thought about how, later, I will clear it...then Seth picked up one of his new cars and Elijah told him which 'group' it belonged to, quite clearly this is not a mess, it is a carefully sorted game.


It's important and I am so aware that time passes so quickly that before I know it, they will be grown.

I can't imagine how it will feel to have a tidy house. No toys to step on, no socks to pick up. The one thing that I never tire of is sharing a bath with polar bears and dinosaurs, bath time is seriously play time, toys are chosen so carefully and such fun is always had, there are times when the lifelike bugs and creepy crawlies make my heart stop as I go to step into the shower, but then they make me laugh!

I get so irritable when they are having water spitting competitions and dive bombing, the endless mopping up of puddles, when do they stop doing that? I don't remember, perhaps they don't, perhaps they just lock me out so I don't see....seems no matter how old they are there are always puddles and soggy towels to pick up.

I know I ought to take a picture of this room, right now as I sit in it, praying that we won't get any unannounced visitors because there is no way we could scrabble for 30 seconds and make it look tidy, nope not a chance. I am resigned and have accepted that when the boys are at home, this is it, the rain keeps us in ( although they did get out twice yesterday for bike rides and again this morning) Computer and TV and old, old Movies, cars and more cars, blankets and snacks, drinks and *sigh*

We have a house inspection on monday, what fun that will be! At least I know everything is clean, it's just horribly untidy in this room....I will do something about it at the weekend, probably.

I was so excited about these holiday, way back in May and June when we had sunshine, I couldn't wait for days at the beach, picnics and water parks. We've got the water alright, gallons and gallons of it. When we venture out and just let the boys ride and run and play, we then have to deal with the mud, the splatters, streaks, clumps of thick mud all over them and their clothes.

This just isn't fun, for any of us. It makes every day seem endless, tempers are short, everyone feels so low and miserable. When the sun shines, when washing blows on the line, when little boys wear shorts and sandals, life is glorious, we NEED sunshine and this endless rain and greyness is just soul destroying. Glum. That's the perfect word for this feeling Glum. We are all Glum and also Gloomy.

I am so glad we have things in the near future to look forward to, if I didn't have that I suspect life would be very grim indeed. Hoorah for Boston! ( is it still quite nice in October, in Boston? Is there a glimmer of hope that maybe I will be outside in short sleeves and stay dry? Please lie if needs be, give me that little dream!

I can't write anymore because the stupid level in this room has hit hurt level, you know when your head is about to explode because you have to keep listening to crap like 'HE IS TOUCHING ME!' and "MUM! MUM! He LOOKED at me again" for the love of sanity GET ME OUT OF HERE!


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Oh the rain.....

I'm taking this personally now, rain and more rain, every single day. The boys, seem to be enjoying a week long video revival, they raided the boxes of old movies in the workshop and are happily vegging out and working their way through them, one. after. the. other. I grateful for that because other options are few and far between, rainy day soft play areas are always so overcrowded and miserable as every other mother in the area heads there for some relief from the trapped inside feeling.
Crafts are difficult because Sophie has the dining room, so we have no table or space.
We are on a pretty tight budget lately, money has gone down, bills gone up, same story for everyone so I hate to complain ( although I do, because it's my JOB) We do have exciting things planned and so I am squirrelling away every spare penny, not hard to do when it's for a splendid treat.
Boston, in 8 weeks, oh my. Actually, shall whisper this I'm not scared about the flight yet, amazing that is! In fact I find myself terrifically excited about the whole thing, apart from leavening H for a whole week with the boys, I hope he can get through it by telling himself that it is his turn next, when I get home he has just a few weeks until he goes to L.A to stay with his dad for a week, taking Seth too. I am more nervous about them going away than about my own flights.
Oh, the thought of shopping and hotels and waking up to go out with Cathy and Soph, meeting up with Sara, Di, Colleen, Jamie, laughing and eating, having my bed made for me everyday. Heaven. A whole WEEK. We are going to New York for a day, splendid.
Cathy did invite us to stay with her, which is so kind, I declined though because I adore her and women need their space, a place to escape and break wind, we need to enjoy that lovely feeling of relaxing and then looking forward to meeting up again the next day, I love to shut the door and flop into bed knowing I can snore and grunt, wake up and paddle about ( And Sophie sleeps though anything, I can share a room with her and put the lights on, she won't wake up until you yell "BREAKFAST!" in her face) Also, when going on a Holiday it is of the utmost importance to feel as though the world is catering to your needs, that heaven;y part of stying in a hotel when you can get up, take a shower, dump your towels on the floor, leave your bed unmade and when you come back again MAGIC!! All tidy and fresh...oh that's one of the best parts and I suspect, if I stayed at Cathy's and waited for that to happen, she might not like me quite the same way.
When you stay at someone's home, to me, it is important to make sure that your hosts are left in no doubt that you are grateful to them for having you, my mum always taught me that you take a gift, you pay your way, you help out and when you leave, you leave your hosts feeling as though you brought more than you took away.
I am nothing if polite and obedient to my mother, so I am staying in a hotel, that way I can be lazy and inconsiderate. Honesty is the best policy, I think I refused Cathy's generous invitation by saying something like " stay at your house? ARE YOU KIDDING? If I do that, I will have to say things like " can I help?" and will have to make my own bed and talk to people after 9pm.....I adore you, can you call the hotel for me please?"
I love that I can say that to her and she doesn't, even for a second take offence, in fact, truth be told I bet she even breathed out a sigh of relief because she is like me in that she loves her own space.
Staying for a week will mean that we can take our time to decide where to go and what to do, we can have a truly splendid time.
Just as exciting is the fact that Cathy, Brian, Matthew and Jenn are all coming HERE..yes to England!! I am so beyond excited about that and every time Sophie and I go out she will say
"we HAVE to bring them HERE" I think we need 3 months to show them everything, we will meet them at the airport, stay in London a day or two to do touristy things and then come back here to eat cream teas, drive tiny roads, see Castles and then weep at Jordan and Mel's wedding.
What a lovely day that will be, the wedding is at Torre Abbey, in the Spanish Barn, they are having a Hog roast and a bar, a disco and a day to remember indeed. Having my friends there too will mean the world to me. How exciting to be able to be the hostess and spoil my friends for a change, I can barely wait.
When I am in Boston, I shall be stocking up on Halloween stuff for our annual party, this year we are planning on hiring a hall, last year in this little house was a nightmare, if we hire a hall we can let them run riot and not have to tear our hair out! I am excited to find costumes and loads of goodies to bring back with us. The outlets will be waiting for us, what's a trip to Boston without going to the outlets? Ahhhh, heaven indeed.
I won't need to stock up so much on all the basics, like Parmesan cheese etc because H can do that when he goes...all fun for me then!
Thankyou blog for taking me away from this rainy and bleak day, that took me to 30 minutes of piddling excitement. 8 weeks to go. Hoorah.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

I'll say it again...

Being a grandma is just too different from being a mum. Totally different, impossible to explain how different, from the emotions to the ability to care for this baby...different, not the same, at all.
Being a mother brings what I imagined to be the most fiercely protective emotions....oh my goodness, wait til you are a grandma. Being a mum, you are protective but you also have to back off and enable your child to learn and grow, not to smother and restrict.....grandma? GET AWAY FROM THE BABY!! Do not TELL THE BABY OFF! QUICK!!! Catch baby, don't let baby fall, uh oh CLIMBING BABY....stop must not let precious baby hurt self.
My children were climbers, especially Sophie, SHE was a real climber, an out of upstairs window climber ( aged 15 months) I don't remember my heart being in my throat quite as often as it is whenever I am left alone with Joshua.
I KNOW I did things as well as watch my children, I was alone with them all the time, my house was spotless, my family was fed, I shopped and cleaned and cooked....when I have Joshua, the world comes to a grinding halt, it is impossible for me to do anything but watch this child and save, rescue, repeat.
I have Joshua on fridays so that Mel can work, just one day a week, earn some money for herself, get a break and just do something other than be a mummy.
Yesterday, I thought how ridiculous this inability to do anything else but watch him is, I have given up trying to have him in my house, too many computers, the boy loves computers, he loves to bash and thump and click and I stayed at his house, easy, lots of toys, house is set up for him, will be easy.
Or not.
We went shopping ( and I managed to buy fish fingers and some steam in the bag veggies before QUICK! LEAVE SHOP! BABY IS BORED... must not let baby CRY!)
Very good, have dinner for him, 2 minutes in the kitchen ( right next door to living room, door open, what could happen?)
He was quiet, Joshua doesn't do quiet, not ever really....

Oh, not too bad, chewing a pen.......


While standing ON THE TABLE! Argh...

Rescue, put down, run into kitchen and check dinner.....


Ha!!! HA HA HA! I got daddy's laptop! Look at his red face from belly laughing, that would be because I was STERN! Yes I was..."HEY!!! NO!"
HA! HA! HA! Gramma you are funny when you do that! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Look, I didn't have a computer when my kids were little, certainly not the big ones, we had one as Seth came along but I really didn't use it too much, I wrote an online journal for Seth ( which disappeared, sad because there were 2 years of great memories in that) but other than that, no real time spent online.
I simply cannot see how anyone with a little person can spend hours online during the day, on fridays I can't even touch a computer, if I even try, this little fellow is right there..he loves to bash and grab, see and interfere, in order to be online, I would have to fend him off, send him away, push him out of the way..... the thought of doing that makes my skin crawl.
Being online, especially on the places I like to go, facebook and online forums takes time and concentration...back and forth chatting, responding, checking back on replies I might have. I didn't give it too much thought until recently, my boys are older, we go out, we are busy and when we come home, they are playing, I can do what I do without it interfering with what they need.
I can't see how anyone with a baby, toddler or children under school age can ever get online in the day unless it is naptime, which is when I would have my frantic burst of cleaning / cooking / catching up.
I am so glad I didn't have the online distractions that are there today, when my children were little. I think they would have missed out somehow. I wonder if I would have the restraint to stay away from all the fun and games that are right here in this little box, or if I would find myself neglecting what should be done while I indulge.
Children grow so fast, every day matters, every hour matters.
I like being a gramma. I am ready for the gramma times and every time I spend a whole day with Joshua, I realise that the Lord knows how to do things. I am too old for this everyday.....






And when reinforcements arrive...oh how happy we are!



Both of us!