Saturday, 30 August 2008

Holy Cricket

On our street there are just the two houses, ours and our neighbours.

As far as neighbours go they are really terrific. We have no complaints at all. Not like at our first house where the guy on the right walked his cat on a lead umpteen times daily or the blokes on our left gave us reason to believe they were most likely drug dealers. (Not that we're judgmental at all.)

A year ago our current neighbour also became our Bishop. Initially I slightly panicked. Living your lives in such close proximity to your Bishop really helps motivate you to get kick started on the road to perfection I have found.

We soon realised we were not under scrutiny at all and after the worlds worst tantrum we found out that although their house was really close they couldn't even hear the shrillest of toddler screams. I also came to the realisation back in April that they must not hear me either on my worst parenting days when I have been known to raise my voice on occasion because I got called to be the Primary President at church. Hooray for soundproofing I guess.

At times we have had a closer relationship with our Bishop than anyone probably ever should. Like for instance the hot summer day that I was sitting on the loo to pee with the bathroom window open and I happened to sneeze, then following my sneeze I heard the words 'Bless you Carol'. Seriously? That is closer than anyone needs to be to their religious leader right? (I'm sure he'd be mortified to know I was actually in the process of urination at the time, almost as mortified as I am to admit it).

Our boys have a great fondness for Bishop and his wife Judith and their three older sons and frequently stop them given any opportunity for inane conversation about the random contents of the three year old brain. They are really great sports and we appreciate their patience and kindness no end.

Yesterday I could hear Thomas chattering away to Bishop so after a while I went outside to say Hi and make sure he wasn't being unnecessarily bothered. As I stepped out I saw Thomas swinging his yellow cricket bat all around no doubt injuring himself or his brother was inevitable.

Bishop said he needed a word with me and then with a big smile recounted how Thomas had just confessed that I hit him with the cricket bat.

There are times when your neighbour being your Bishop has it's disadvantages it turns out after all.

The truth is I have never hit Thomas (or Eli for that matter) with a cricket bat, plastic or otherwise.

Well I hadn't but maybe I will now!

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

I Confess.....

I hate to admit it but I honestly don't think all babies are cute.

I really don't.

I especially do not think that most newborn babies are cute.

Either I don't see what other people are seeing when they look upon an infant or else other people are simply telling lies.

I actually think that lots of babies make ET look actually rather cute.

I have said to people 'oh what a cute baby' and really meant 'Heck, your gene pool just played a terribly cruel trick on you, that is an incredibly ugly baby'

I am not proud of myself. (Honestly!)

I've heard people say every mother thinks her own babies are beautiful.

Not me.

When I first saw Thomas I desperately wanted him to be cute.

My first thoughts?
'OH NO his eyebrows and hairline merge'

Should I have been allowed to bring him home from the hospital or reproduce further?

Probably not!

But I was and I have. The latter being just as hairy as the former.

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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

What More Can I Tell You?

BookMomma over at Hot Wheel Hacienda tagged me to do this Meme, apparently I haven't shared enough of my personal business lately so here I am bearing my soul yet again.

1. What is your favourite quotable line from a movie?

I love It's a Wonderful Life.
I adore when Clarence tells George:

'Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends'.

2. Who is the most famous person you've talked to?
Just kidding.

But a girl can wish right?

I hadn't realised until now that I have pitifully never rubbed shoulders with anyone exciting.

I need to get out more clearly.

3. How many bags of potato chips (crisps) are consumed at your house per month?

Far too many, darn delicious fried crispy potato's, how we all love you in the Siswick House.

4. What foreign dish do you prepare from scratch and serve?

Do Lasagne and Risotto really count?

I do love me some coconut chicken curry too but Rob isn't so keen so it is a rarity.

5. What is your favourite section of the supermarket?

Our local supermarket recently installed those delightful self checkouts and that is now my absolute favourite part of the supermarket ever. There is something truly satisfying about making all of your purchases go beep, beep before you pay for them. I fear there is an unfulfilled checkout girl screaming to escape within me.

6. What was your high school's team mascot and colours?

Sadly we don't indulge in either tradition here in England. It is a sad sad place.

But fortunately we do have High School Musical to give us an insight into what it is really truly like.

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Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Best Invention Ever

I know what you're thinking how could I ever possibly single out one individual invention and give it the high acclaim of being the best invention ever?

It's true I'll admit there are a gazillion and one inventions that have improved my life immeasurably and if I have to endure another old lady at church telling me the tale of how easy life is these days for us mothers because back in her day there were no washing machines and they had to wash their clothes laboriously by hand and blah, blah, blah and so on I swear I think I will honestly spontaneously combust.

Yes I get it. I do. Life was immensely harder a generation or two ago but in those days they didn't have to contend with kids high on sugar or who knows what else that is contained in every item my child actually wants to eat without putting up a fight that has them bouncing off the walls from time to time.

Old ladies my life is hard too! Yes I have indoor plumbing and 3 televisions (2 of which we have lost the remotes for, now that is true hardship) in my house. But even these blessings come with their own disadvantages. Cleaning up pee residue left by boys and having to endure Max & Ruby is no walk in the park either I'll have you know.

Anyhow back to the point. Best invention ever?


Baby Wipes.

Now I had been considering this post for a while and then for 6 days our hot water boiler was broken and on day 1 I almost convinced myself that hot water totally eclipses baby wipes at the top of my best ever invention list.

For 6 long days we were showerless (unless we wanted to risk hypothermia) I had actually been sick so I hadn't showered for a day or two before that. I'm disgusting, I know! We had to resort to icy cold washes and washing my hair in the cold shower bent over double. It was so cold I had to come up with the ingenious idea of using my shampoo and conditioner simultaneously (apply shampoo get the bubbles bubbling then add a generous slathering of conditioner on top of the bubbles then rinse but do not repeat as needed in case you're wondering). It may not have been the best care for my hair by far but it vastly reduced my scalps exposure to the icy cold water spray.

My head is currently still thawing thanks for asking.

You know what got me through our hot water famine?

Baby wipes.

I for sure was never gonna expose my body to a subzero showering experience and baby wipes saved the day. They and they alone made me acceptable to be out in public.

Baby wipes have entirely revolutionised my life. There is truly no end to the uses these handy wipes have. I use mine for everything and anything.

Cleaning poo? Check.
Cleaning baby vomit? Check.
Cleaning toys? Check.
Cleaning windows? Check.
Dusting? Check.
Cleaning inside of my car? (thanks Rob) Check.
Cleaning leather sofa? Check.
Cleaning laminate floor? Check.
Cleaning all surfaces? Check.
Cleaning poop art of the walls? Check.
Cleaning the bathroom? Check.
Removing my make up when I am too bone lazy to take 8 steps to the bathroom? Check.
Styling my kids hair? check.

When Thomas was smaller and had somewhat crazy hair (though perfectly tame hair in comparison to Eli) we didn't wet and brush his unruly locks we baby wiped them into place and it worked a treat, honestly!
The multipurpose nature of the baby wipe has not passed my oldest child by. Recently I was off elsewhere baby wiping something clean no doubt and on my return I saw this sitting on the sofa watching Peter Pan. On enquiring what on earth was going on he replied:

"Well my feet hurt mummy and the baby wipes are fixing them."

See, absolutely no end to their uses. Though I haven't tried them out personally for hurting feet Thomas assures me they are very effective.

Now if the old ladies wanna spin me a tale about how tough life was without baby wipes that is one I am willing to listen to over and over (without fear of spontaneous combustion) because life without my baby wipes is completely unimaginable for me.

I'm telling you Best. Invention. Ever!
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Friday, 22 August 2008

Happily Reunited

Our beloved laptop finally returned to our homestead on Thursday morning. The virus completely removed, well actually virtually everything removed but still we were happy to have her back nonetheless.

For 4 days we were completely Internet free. It was almost like losing an arm. But not nearly so dramatic.

I was forced to find new sources of entertainment, time wasting and procrastinating the ironing.

Fortunately for me our loss of laptop coincided beautifully with the Olympics.
I dedicated many an hour to cheering on team GB and was thrilled to witness our greatest number of medals ever (yes we are generally a nation of gross underachievers), and it's not even over yet!

Roll on London 2012 (but not too quickly because I am not so excited about getting 4 years older) when we get to watch it at a reasonable time of day for once.

Without access to Google Reader I had to resort to the lowly alternative of reading an actual real book. So I found myself delving under our bed where I hoard all new books that I buy. (Does anybody else collect unread books? Just me? Righto!) Anyhow I pulled out 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult and read and read and read and I loved it. If you love Jodi like I do you will not be disappointed I promise.

With Rob computerless he was forced to end each working day early which obviously was a huge hardship for him. So we utilised some of our time by taking the boys for way overdue haircuts. We figured it a more sensible ratio to go two on two, reducing the risk of me getting tag teamed by the toddlers. Especially after the drama last time I took Eli.

So they used to look like this

Now Eli looks like this.

We managed to get through the ordeal with relatively few tears. Though being the drama lover that he is he did cry out 'Ow-Ow' or 'Ouch' with every single snip to his precious locks. He also threw in a few whimpers of 'Daddy no hurt me!' too.

Thomas now looks like this.
Excuse the complete trance-like almost gormless state of both boys. They were fully engrossed in a critical point in an episode of Go Diego Go when I pulled out the camera. All attempts to bribe them to look into the camera by offering chocolate sadly failed.

Yes, I am that kind of mother.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Getting His Grump On

Monday, 18 August 2008

Unthinkable Happenings

Saturday night I couldn't sleep.

After tossing and turning for hours and being forced to listen to Rob's deeply sleeping sounds I had had quite enough.

I got up.

There was nothing on TV.

I headed to the computer.

The computer booted up and I snuggled into my blanket.

I looked at the desktop and noticed it was different than usual.

Then as it finished booting up the desktop informed me that the computer had been infested with a virus or spyware and I needed to install antivirus or anti spyware software quickety quick.

It was an emergency.

I am no computer whizz I assure you but I downloaded antivirus software and before it even had a chance to run the computer shut down completely.

Then magically it started to reboot and I thought all was going to turn out OK after all.

It didn't.

The desktop remained a different colour and although all the icons appeared nothing was clickable. Not a single file could be accessed on the computer. The computer I feared had been sadly murdered by this virus.

A tragedy.

I couldn't exactly wake Rob up with the less than cheerful news that his computer had come to a tragic end in the middle of night. So I waited until morning.

Currently our beloved laptop is en route to Scotland to Velux head office to see if the IT department can resuscitate it. Who knows when it will be coming back to us or if we'll be welcoming a brand new replacement in it's stead.

So in the mean time we are completely computer-less.

So if you're wondering why I'm rudely not commenting on your blog or replying to emails this is the reason.

I have discovered that I can blog from my mobile phone which is from whence I blog right now. But alas it is like sending the worlds longest and most annoying text message and it is no doubt rather pricey too.

But I just wanted to provide an explanation as to where I am.

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Saturday, 16 August 2008

A Super Sad Realisation

You know as a teenager I could sleep like no ones business. Obviously I always stayed up far too late (I was a teenager after all) but I could sleep until lunch time with total ease. I have to admit I really loved it.

I could never comprehend why older people were up so flaming early when they had no logical reason to be, no kids to look after and no work to go to. Nothing pressing requiring them to leave their beds at some disgustingly unnecessary early hour.

As I got a bit older I still loved my quilt as much as life itself and on the days I could get away with it I would happily slumber my days away.

Then responsibility took over and my slumbering was confined only to weekends because earning a living required me to get my backside out of bed all week long. (Being a grown up is rubbish like that!)

Then I had a baby and sleeping in became almost as unlikely as winning the lottery.

Then I had another baby straight after and I had to reluctantly admit defeat. There would be no more sleeping until noon for me until the kids were older, even if I were sick or had been up all night keeping someone else company.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sleep in one morning. I smiled sleepily as Rob left our bedroom to entertain our offspring who have yet to realise how truly delicious sleep is. (Well generally they sleep 12 hours but I'd prefer they slept longer or I get to bed two hours earlier, the former being more likely than the latter.)

Then I lay there and tossed and turned and dozed but never actually fell asleep.

So I got up and started the day thinking nothing of it.

Fast forward to today. A repeat occurrence of the above. I snuggled under my covers for 40 minutes loving the cosiness and feeling cocooned in a wonderful snuggly world of warmth.

Willing sleep to come.

Sleep never came.

So I reluctantly got up.

My children have seriously damaged me. They have caused the part of me that can sleep like a champ to short circuit. I fear it is unrepairable.

Without even realising it I have become one of those older people who cannot sleep past 8am.

Could I be more devastated?

I am officially in mourning for my loss of ability to sleep soundly for more than 8 hours.

Yet another unexpected product of parenting that I didn't know I had signed up for.

I should have read that small print.

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Thursday, 14 August 2008

Let Him Eat Cake

You know how middle children are always droning on about how neglected they are?

How there are no pictures of them growing up but a trillion of both older and younger siblings?

How they got to wear nothing but hand-me-downs (my sister can tell a lovely tale about wearing my brothers Y-front pants but with the hole sewn up) but the next child got all new things just like the firstborn did solely because everything was completely worn out by the time the middle child was through with it.

I suspect most middle children actually think they were adopted because after all that is surely the only logical explanation as to why there is very little documented evidence of their existence prior to starting school.

This I cannot relate to.

I am the youngest child in my family. I loved being the youngest. Being the youngest by 5 years was even better. Sure my siblings would rather have lost an appendage than have to play with me (allegedly I was annoying) but I got quality time alone with my mum every single day while they were at school. Plus by the time the youngest comes along the parents have both more money and more time. Life for me was pretty good I have to admit.

Having had several friends over the years who had middle child syndrome to varying horrifying degrees I committed myself to always treat all my kids equally. Now I currently only have two kids so how hard can it really be?

Really hard it would appear, because I just found this unfinished post from Eli's birthday.

Yep, Eli's birthday that was in May. Two and a half months ago.

Poor kid isn't even a middle child yet and already he is neglected. No wonder he spends most of his life in a state of rage and anger.

As if this wasn't bad enough at the age of 26 months there are zero, yes zero pictures of Eli in our house. If you were to come to our house and not be familiar with us you would instantly assume we have just the one child. Just Thomas. (Though those pictures haven't been updated since Eli was born either.)

Whereas the first months of Thomas' life were celebrated with almost daily photo shoots, Eli's first months are documented in about 15 pictures.

Eli's baby book remains both incomplete and abandoned.

Eli has been frequently subjected to hand-me-downs.

So I figured I'd document here for all to see. That Eli is loved. Just as much as his brother.

Contrary to all the evidence that would make it appear otherwise.

He had a great birthday. Reaching the 2 year milestone weighing 28 pounds (50th %ile) and measuring 88cm/34.6 inches (75th %ile)
Just wanted to make that matter perfectly clear so that when he is suffering with middle child syndrome (which is surely gonna come eventually) and suspecting he was actually in fact adopted.

I can direct him right here for the truth.

We love you Eli (I promise!)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

It's My Blog and I Can Write What I Want to...

I think we all know that I love to blog. I make no secret of it.

I love that I can write about whatever I want, completely uncensored and best of all I like that nobody can interrupt me while I do so.

Brilliant, right?

I don't mind at all that endless strangers the world over (yes, I am kidding myself a tiny bit) can come by and read about whatever I am considerate enough to share that day.

I have been known to whine (just the once and that was practically forever ago) that the majority of readers fail to comment. Anyone that blogs themselves will know that comments are the icing on the blog cake so to speak, and we all know how much I like cake. (Unless it's ginger cake of course, ginger cake I can live without.) But I have made my peace with that. If you comment that is super dooper great, if you don't that's fine too, but just know I won't like you so much.

From my very first blogging day I have had comment moderation enabled. That way I get to see who has commented and what delightful things they had to say and I then get the option to either publish or reject. I always publish my comments except for a couple of mishaps along the way where I rejected completely and honestly by accident. One of these mishaps involved 2 comments from Rob and he has never commented since. Can anyone say hold a grudge? (Come on Rob take the higher road and forgive me.)

From day 1 I also disabled search engines from finding my blog. Well, until the curiosity got to me and I started to wonder what people would actually have to Google to turn up right here (that is a whole other blog post in itself believe me) and I freely admit I have had my share of unwanted attention.

So this post goes out to the other people who arrived here by way of Google and commented on my blog and I chose to reject what they had to say to me.

Why did I choose to delete it?

Because I can.

I have the power.

So to half the population of Wales (who clearly have nothing better to do than search the Internet for critical things people may have said about their language) who responded to my post about our recent stay in Wales and gave me several lengthy and insightful lectures on the origins of the Welsh language and how it is purer in form than English. Those Welsh folk are fiercely patriotic (and evidently not big fans of the English) I have found. I thank you all but I reject you.

To the person who googled snakes in bed (seriously?) and then left me a comment telling me what I had just shared was an urban legend and they hoped very much that I was simply attempting to be entertaining because apparently an Anaconda couldn't eat an adult human due to the shoulders being wider than it's jaws could physically stretch and was kind enough to attach a link or two so I could re-educate myself more thoroughly on a snakes actual dining etiquette. I remind you that I never once said the snake actually ate her or even attempted to. I am not personally acquainted with this snake but I am willing to concede it may have been a snake with a low IQ that was shamelessly unaware of it's inability to swallow adult human shoulders. I thank you also but I reject you.

And finally to who can only be described as Matthew McFadyen biggest fan who was ever so offended that I dared have the audacity to suggest Colin Firth was a far superior Mr Darcy (which he is) than Mr McFadyen would ever be. I thank you for your opinion (as utterly incorrect as it is) but I reject you.

I beg of you no more silly interruptions.

Because after all it's my blog and I can write what I want to.

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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Randomly Me

Jennie at Beehive and Bird's Nest tagged me to share six random things about myself.

Oh goodness, only 6?

Then I got to worrying about how random they really needed to be.

Random but informative?

Random but amusing?

Or Random to the point you think (most probably justifiably) that I am a crazy person?

Well I shall have to let you be the judge of that.

Here goes (I am embarrassed already BTW):

1. Christmas.
I LOVE Christmas. I really, really love it. As soon as the temperatures begin to drop (so that is pretty much any day here) and the evenings get gradually darker I start feeling it, the good old Christmas spirit. Rob (aka The Grinch, though he has vastly increased in Christmas enthusiasm since we had kids) has me on a Christmas curfew. I am not allowed to make plans or mention said holiday until after his birthday on October 19th. When October 20th hits I am finally allowed to let the Christmas in. I have been known to eagerly crack out my Bing & Frank CD's that early. But in general I am not a fan of Winter and so Christmas is an incredibly welcome distraction from all the gloom and incessant rain going on outside. Plus gifts and the fact that it is completely acceptable to eat your own body weight in chocolate are rather lovely perks also.

2. I cannot whistle, do handstands or cartwheels, roll my tongue and to top it all off I have horrific balance.

I was simply not assembled correctly. I completely blame my parents. They probably owe me hefty amounts of compensation for the embarrassment my lack of these fundamental life skills has caused me my entire life. Maybe I'll look into that.....

3. I cry when I laugh.

Not just a tear or two either but a full on cascade of tears that would push any waterproof mascara to it's limits. I don't even need to be laughing at anything particularly funny, even mildly amusing set the tears a-flowing. A tear streaked face is not an attractive look, it is a wonder that anyone ever consented to marry me.

4. I like Cricket.

This is something that has come as a surprise even to me. Rob loves cricket (and pretty much every other sport in existence) and so living in the same house and the fact that some of these matches go on for 4 long days I have been exposed to more cricket than most women could bear.

But instead of complaining (which was obviously my first instinct) I figured that I may as well embrace the cricket and at least attempt to understand it. After asking Rob the very same questions at least 40 times I now have a pretty sound general understanding of what is going on. In fact I can be found watching it when Rob isn't even home, but then truly anything is an improvement on Max and Ruby.

Though the fact that cricket players no longer look like this

but instead more like this has really aided my concentration.

5. I have never voted

I haven't 'tis true but now at the grand old age of 32 (will it ever become less painful to type those numbers in reference to myself?) 14 entire years since I have been of age to vote I have had a political awakening. The cause of this awakening you may wonder? Well nothing less than a combination of Robert McAllister from Brothers & Sisters and the current American Presidential Election. So next time the opportunity arises here I shall indeed be voting and hopefully that will be the end of Gordon Brown.

6. Post shower or bath I dry myself with hairdryer

I don't know when I started doing this and it is not a fact I freely share. Well until now when I shared it with the universe. I love baths, the hotter the better. We sadly don't have a bath in our current house but we do have a super whooshy shower. There is nothing worse (maybe that's a little dramatic) than leaving a hot bath or shower. No matter how hot your house is you always feel really cold. I detest being cold. I feel cheated that of all warm places on earth God could have sent me to dwell he sent me here to England where if we have 30 sunny days out of 365 we regard it a pretty good year. Pah! So to rectify the coldness post showering I warm myself thoroughly with my hair dryer.

I highly recommend it, honestly.

So now that I have fully exposed myself you had better comment before I end up in a corner in the foetal position wondering why oh why I had to be so honest!

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Saturday, 9 August 2008

Oh Mr Darcy What Have You Done?

Every girl that ever had the incredibly good fortune to see the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in the mid 90's (and hundreds of times since, obviously) must hold in their hearts a very special place for Colin Firth as Mr Darcy (sorry but that Matthew MacFadyen fella just doesn't compare at all).

Who could watch without being consumed with envy for that lucky old Elizabeth Bennett?

Who didn't secretly wish he uttered to them 'In vain have I struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.' (Well I'm actually hoping more than just me had that thought or else I am gonna look a tad crazy.) So in my mind Colin Firth and Mr Darcy became one and the same person. Completely inseparable.

So imagine my despair at having to see my Mr. Darcy-Firth in another role when I wanted to go see Bridget Jones Diary.

I'm not gonna lie it was slightly painful to come to the realisation that Colin Firth had a life beyond Mr Darcy. That he didn't just sit around at home constantly in Jane Austen-esque apparel, brooding.

But, all was redeemed when as Mark Darcy he says these very words. 'I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother's pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever is in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences... But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are. '

And my adoration was maintained. (Despite the reindeer jumper).

So then he became to me Mr Darcy-Darcy-Firth and all was right in the world.

So last night I went to see Mamma Mia. I hadn't actually wanted to see it but I went along to see what all the hype was about. I came away effected three fold:

  1. I will hear Abba songs in my head until the very end of time and maybe considerably longer.
  2. Bless that man for his courage but Pierce Brosnan should never ever be allowed to sing (it's really not very 007 is it?) I was embarrassed for him, not just a little embarrassed either but embarrassed to my very inner core. The kind of embarrassment where you can't even look at the screen or sit still in your chair.
  3. Sadly My Mr Darcy adoration has now unexpectedly expired. Having seen Mr Darcy-Darcy-Firth decked out in a 70's style Bee Gee's inspired get up (containing more Lycra than a man should ever wear) dancing extremely happily to Abba without any utterance of words such as ardently or just the way you are led me down a road I really wasn't prepared for. My adoration is now officially over.

A sad day indeed.

Excuse me while I go watch Pride & Prejudice for 6 hours in the vain hope that I can salvage the magic.

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

Sweet Nectar

The Young Women (12-17 years) at Church have been raising funds for their Summer camp. Last week they made jam.

Strawberry Jam, my absolute favourite!

I haven't shared it. Not even a tiny bit. I have even managed to keep Eli the food vacuum at bay.

Fresh and plump juicy strawberries in a sweet and sticky syrup.

Within hours of purchasing it I had happily scoffed down 7 slices of toast with lashings of butter (because really what is the point of having butter if you don't spread it on good and thick?) topped with this sweet sweet nectar.

Now this is no ordinary jam. It is THE most delicious strawberry jam ever. Which is just as well because to cover costs and make a profit it is no doubt the most extortionately priced jam I will ever buy.

It was so worth every single penny.

Though my waistband may have to agree to disagree.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

And the Winner Is......for Once, The Mummy

Remember our Poop art issues?

(As if you could possibly ever forget. I know those pictures burned a permanent impression in many a blog readers mind.)

Well after he found several new opportunities to create various new masterpieces (fear not no photographic evidence included in this post!) I was at my wits end.

So I resorted to what I hadn't done for over a year.

I put him back in vests.

Who knew you could even buy them in his size?

The little monkey can no longer happily delve his hand into his nappy and let his creative juices flow. We fought this battle and for once I was victorious!

Yes, he looks really ridiculous. (But also kind of cute!)
Yes, he may very well collapse from heat exhaustion from wearing an extra layer under his clothes with it being summer and all.
But my walls are poop free and frankly it is worth the risk!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Clearly Life Gets No Better Than This

Our kitchen/family room has laminate flooring. It is mostly easy to keep clean which is after all essential with the boys traipsing who knows what, who knows where all the live long day. So I have to admit laminate flooring has made my life slightly simpler.

What I am not so keen on though is the sweeping (though I vastly prefer sweeping to vacuuming). Every time the kids eat anything I have to sweepy sweep sweep because my kids are unable to eat anything without turning half of it into big old crumbs.

So on Saturday I was sweeping the floor for the bazillionth time. Rob had just got back from football training and the boys were running all over in celebration of their favourite parent returning. (Charming, right?)

Me:(Exasperated) "Thomas be careful don't run in my pile of dirt!"

Thomas: "Oh sorry mummy."

Me: "That's OK you just need to be more careful."

Thomas: "What you doing with that dirt mummy?"

Me: "Well I'm gonna sweep it up and put it in the bin."

Thomas: "Oh, that's so nice for you mummy!"

Me: (Thinking silently to myself) 'At least one of us thinks so, son!'

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Saturday, 2 August 2008

I Bid You Adieu!

Last night I said goodbye to my friend of 10 years, Lisa. Obviously it involved plenty of tears and me sobbing as I drove home alone. I really do not appreciate her leaving coinciding with the worst possible part of my menstrual cycle. I did not stand a chance of having any control over my emotions.

But as I was reflecting back on the last ten years I figured it worthy of preserving here in post form.

So this one is for you Lisa (or Isa as my kids call you!)

We met in 1998 when I moved to the truly beautiful city of York shortly after my mission. I didn't know if we would be great friends from the start but it soon emerged that we would be. I remember you coming to stay at our house and we bonded over baking. Not any normal baking mind you, but the kind where you you sling in any number of shades of food colouring in an attempt to make the cake pleasing to the eye.

With that in mind I shouldn't have been surprised when you bought this beauty to our Halloween party last year.

  • You begged me to tell you all my crazy missionary tales (I happened upon a guy that was convinced he was my dad, and several others who thought we should get married. To the mentally disturbed people of this earth I was super attractive for those 18 months that I laboured as a missionary for my church) and I only did so after you eventually convinced me that you had no desire whatsoever to serve a mission yourself. Then despite hearing my crazy adventures you decided the very next day you wanted to go on a mission. Well at least I had prepared you for what possibly lay ahead.
  • You always dressed however you liked (which was helped by the fact that you could make your own clothes) and didn't care what others thought. I remember the Ewok dress with such fondness. (Yep, a furry brown creation covering both front and back.)
  • When you came back from your mission in Scotland and we lived on Adelphi Road you drove me crazy always misplacing your key but I wish I had been there to see you having to climb out of the window.
  • Nobody loves baths as much as us.
  • You are the only person in my life ever to have any interest in Science. I loved that I'd come home and you'd want to know what I'd learned at Uni that day. Even to the point where you read my cloning book from start to finish which is something even I never did.
  • I am amazed I survived your lack of kitchen diligence. I lost count of the times I came home to the hob being ignited but you nowhere in site. My personal favourite was the time the hob was ignited with a baking tray on top and a tea towel in the baking tray. Can you say impending death?

  • You watched Save the last dance so many times I actually started to worry that you thought it was real life.
  • Your cookery skills left a lot to be desired (I know they are improved now). I remember you having cooked yourself dinner and coming into my room. On your plate you had beetroot, corn, korma sauce and a naan bread. You generously asked if I wanted any. The answer was a definite no.
  • It amused me no end when you would get a bus and a train all the way to Leeds for a bagel with cream cheese, simply because you didn't realise Philadelphia was cream cheese and you could have made you own at home for a fraction of the cost.
  • I laughed when you told me you thought you were convinced you must be pregnant because you had had special sex.
  • You almost ruined Rob's proposal by insisting you come along, thanks to Martyn for saving the day.
  • You made my wedding dress and were the only person who supported my decision to buy the uber expensive silk duchess satin. I loved our evenings making it in your bedroom while we watched Doctor Zhivago, Pride and Prejudice and you corrupted me into liking Sex and the city
  • While I wrestled through blood, sweat and tears getting my dissertation finished for all those months you dated Rob for me. Going to football matches and watching boy films.
  • You are the only person I know that had a baby and was immediately wanting to get pregnant again.
  • I love you for making me look good by then having your kids exactly 12 months apart, so when I had mine 16 months apart I didn't look nearly so crazy.
  • You made me look like a good driver. Your passing fifth time eclipsed my terrible record of passing fourth time.
  • You are the only other person I know who is happy to consider chocolate as breakfast and to be fair we both look pretty good for doing so.
  • You laughed it off when three people asked you if you were pregnant in 24 hours. Though you did join weight watchers shortly afterwards.
  • After you had phoebe you told me it didn't hurt at all and only stung a little when her head crowned and you didn't have an epidural. When I had Eli I found out that couldn't have been true.
  • Remember when we were both reading Wild Swans and wanting to talk about it without ruining it for the other?
  • I will never be able to see that picture by Jack Vettriano without thinking of you.
  • You are the only person in England to appreciate The Skulls like I do.

Truly there are just too many memories to record. But I have them and I cherish them in my heart. When we all ended up getting married in 2003 I happily imagined our future of raising all our kids close by to each other. Our kids growing up to be as close as we are. I never envisioned any of us moving away at all.

But now Utah beckons for you all.

I just want you to know that I will not be easy to replace,

and that we will miss you!