Thursday, July 22, 2010

And.....we're off!

Well I've done it!

It's all in the back of the car - and on the roof.
Three kids, one husband and a dog all included, although they did squeak a bit when I sat on the suitcase to get them all in!

The garden is in the capable hands of the great Scottish weather, which, up to this point has meant that most of the stuff is waterlogged, however, the minute we leave I'm sure we'll get a rare and unexpected drought and hose pipe ban, meaning I'll return to savannah worse than the one I'm going to visit!

This is going to be the view from my breakfast table for the next couple of weeks, not a coco pop in sight! - aaahhhhhhh

The fridge is nearly clear and mother will be the recipient of half a tub of gooseberry yoghurt, a salami, 3 pints of milk, 1/2 a carton of carrot juice, a half eaten sandwich, a brown banana and some hummus, which will probably end up in her bin, but it'll make me feel better that I passed it on to someone rather than binning it myself.

I've hoovered, dusted, cleaned, done the laundry and changed bed linen. The dishwasher is set to run whilst we're away and the children are only on their second item of clothing today at 10am - so we're doing well.

The car is filled with petrol and sweets - god, don't forget the sweets - crap behaviour tax! Technology is charged to ensure that I remain relatively sane by the time we reach our destination this evening. Seven hours in the car with them bickering would not be conducive to a great start to the holiday, so IPods are at the ready!!!

I've now got 4 hours to twiddle my thumbs, get crotchety because the children have the audacity to eat, make a mess and not flush the floater that will be there when we get back *sigh*, unpack the car because we need something that I've packed, then re pack it, only to unpack it because when Mr Beehive gets home at lunch time he'll undoubtedly not remember if he put in his passport or not.

I was probably actually ready to go on holiday at around 4.30pm yesterday afternoon - now, yunno, the moment's passed!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A letter to my man

The middle guy is 8 today!

He's gone from this:


To this:

What can I say to you on your birthday my man?

Thank you for choosing us! Thank you also for giving ME a special Birth-day on the day you were born. You helped to heal my previous experience and you empowered me and I think I have you to thank for the journey I am on today. You are such a special guy, I love your energy and enthusiasm for everything. I love how you are so laid back and floppy - although sometimes it drives me craaaaaazy, really, I'm just envious that I'm not laid back and floppy - but I'm not going to tell you that on a Monday morning when I'm trying to get you out of the door for school!

You are such a good scientist and I love the fact that you are really similar to my dad, but I'm not going to tell HIM that (Grandad that is!) and I love the fact that you could spend hours together, just the two of you. I love your easy going nature and the fact that you like everyone!

I love your sense of humour - your elephant jokes and Indian Scumpton. I love the fact that you can be cool without trying where others trip over their egos in the effort.

I love the fact you call me mama and still give me massive hugs and that you love to cuddle whether you're happy or sad. You make me worry more than any of the other two, but equally I know, deep in my heart - you'll be just fine and probably more so than them! Most of all, I love you and I LOVE your hugs.
Happy Birthday dude,
Mama xxx

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raw and naked

Inspired by Shakti mama and my feelings of displacement and inbalance these last couple of weeks, I thought I'd also post a picture of me as I am.

This is who I am.

No make up, no hair brush - nothing to hide the person that's inside.

So who am I?

Of course, I'm the labels - I'm the mama, the wife, the sister, the daughter, the friend, the doula, the teacher, the student....

but what is the me that ticks?

I'm a dreamer, I'm argumentative, I'm loving, I'm fiercely loyal, I'm a peace maker, I'm lonely, I'm happy most of the time, I'm sad deep in my core, I like to write, I LOVE to dance but am dreadfully shy and self conscious so I don't dance enough, I doubt myself -- a lot-- but don't want it to rub off on my children, I'm sometimes sarcastic and hurtful - although I don't mean to be and I'm always fighting with myself to be a better and kinder person. I love life with a passion that's so fierce that I sometimes hate life for rushing past me too fast.

I like to drink coffee and alcohol, I still worry about what my parents will say or think, I adore my little sister and wish she lived closer. I cry at stupid things and don't cry at the obvious, I love my feet but hate my arse and tummy. I hate living in Edinburgh and wish I could have stayed in America for-EVER. I love the sun, but grey skies make me sad. I'd love to own a VW Beetle or Citroen 2CV but instead own a people/dog/crap carrier.

So, happy Monday morning - to the REAL you! xx

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Posted by Picasa What the foodie and his dad tucked into a lunchtime today!!! Of course, this was the day I decided to start my pre holiday detox, not wise at all!
So, whilst they were chowing down on this I'd had two cups of hotwater and lemon, a cup of jasmine tea and then some salmon and spinach and a large headache to go.
I'm not a bad eater - I just know that we've recently had a bit of a run of  less healthy foods. I also don't drink a lot of coffee, just two a day, sucks that it's enough to bring on a withdrawal headache.

I am assured that it is going to do me good in the long run. I've been feeling a bit sluggish and have over indulged on weekly take outs and am feeling the effects of MSG! I feel an urge for raw goodness, lots of veg and fruit, so this is me clearing out my body before starting again.
I am even debating whether I'll go the whole hog and get a colonic next week just to complete the job! Although rather than these being given their original names, they're now called "colonic hydrotherapy" in order to soften the blow, still the same hose pipe up the same bum though - it's all crap!

Friday, July 16, 2010

One of those women...

I would forgive you for thinking that over the last ten years and the amount of moving and travel we've done, I ought to be a dab hand at packing.

Sadly, it's something that I'm desperately inept at and it all stems down to fashion. Yes, vanity is my nemesis, I want to look my best!

I'd love to be one of those women who can see an outfit, complete with accessories, before she puts it on, then she knows exactly what part of her wardrobe goes with what and always looks imaculate or very put together, rather than one of those women who sees a chunky necklace that just screams to be bought, then realises on getting it home that it doesn't go with anything and rather than making her look like the model in the magazine, makes her look like Lady Gaga after a makeover from The Wiggles!

I'd love to be one of those women who has her own individual "style" or can just see things and throw them together in a quirky but fantastic way, rather than one of those women who has her own individual style but rather than quirky, fits more into the "odd bag lady" category.
Yes, that is Whoopi - or should that be Whoops - i - did it again?

I'd love to be one of those women who can say exactly what they're going to wear for what occasion, rather than being one of those women who gets through about six or seven rounds before finally deciding that something will "do".
...and this is Sigourney, although I'm not sure that this will do at all, even in MY book, maybe she just forgot the chef hat to complete the outfit!

I tend to pack as I shop - impulsively and randomly. I pack what I like, like what I see but then get pissed off the other end when I feel I have "nothing" to wear together, I then, ultimately, end up wearing the same few items over and over just because I feel comfortable and safe in them!

Ultimately, it might be nice to be one of those women who just doesn't give a flying fig!

...finally, yes, that is me, circa 1984 and obviously the only one who didn't give a flying fig was my mother and those bloody awful antimaccassars because, judging by my expression, indoor scarf adornment and plastic matching earrings I was too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it huuuuuurt!

We're very restricted by weight this holiday - for me that is a major crisis - normally to get over the "nothing to wear" syndrome, I pack just about everything I own. That way, there is bound to be one outfit that will work and tide me over other than my usual jeans and t-shirt combo. But weight restriction -Qu'un désastre !

Still, I'm working hard at this and have managed to reduce the children's luggage down to the bare minimum because they'll only wear their swimsuits, a couple of pairs of shorts and the same piece of underwear over the fortnight, no matter how much nice stuff I put in or how much I try to coerce them otherwise.

It'd be such a shame to waste their allowance don'tcha think?

Back in daily life,  here are a few pictures of what we've been up to so far this holiday:

 Watching the world cup final!

New bag - but never again!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I know how to be a raisin

Okay, so I'm still posting, and it's still raining, but I've decided to hit back at it! We're off on holiday in a week's time, so having spent yesterday starting to put stuff together to pack, I'm feeling a little less vulnerable today! So...

They're going to learn to cook today!

I have high expectations. I could have chosen football camp, ponee treking, swimming, but instead decided to send them all off to cook.

It's something they love and pester me to do, frequently and, it's not that I don't cook with them and have ideals of this time of bonding with one or other of my children

but our cooking sessions end up being something like this  (not that we resort to German - unless I'm cussing of course!!!)

MB1: Can I make something for dinner tonight please?

Me: Sure, why don't you see if there's anything simple in your cook book.

MB1 (about half an hour later): I was thinking of making a terrine of rare double headed blue goose pate that is only found of the slopes of Mount Wilhaupoopoo for starters, followed by a non cheese, non dairy, cheese souffle filled with the souls of a hundred cloud fairies and a baked alaska with organic ice cream from the albino cows of the furthest northern point of the Brallititpoke in deepest darkest Utternonsense. (or something equally as ridiculous and complicated)

My son prides himself on being a bit of a "foodie"

Me: Hmmm, I was thinking more along the lines of tuna pasta bake and a fruit salad or something?

MB1: Okay then - (he's also easily pacified!)

Sometime later during preparations:

MB2: Oh, cooking, can I help?

MB1: Whiiiiiiine!

MB 2: I can peel the pasta!

Me: Sure, why don't you wash the peppers and you can grate the cheese.

MB2: Yayyyyy

MB1: Sulk!

Sounds of productivity for a short while:

MB2 OOwwwwwwwww, I grated my finger! Muuuuuuuum, it's bleeding!

MB1: Mum I need to pour off the boiling water can you help?

MB2: My fiiiiiiinggggggggggger

MB1: Muuuuuuuum, water?!

Me: Right, okay, right, get down MB1, I'll do the water in a moment. Go and get the plasters. MB2 - run your finger under the tap I'll just remove the bloody...oh...MEEEEEEEEEG (the dog!), get off the cheese - Scheiße!!  (see, there's that German cussing!) We'll have to start that again - MB1 - can you put the cheese in the bi....oh heck, water, boiling over. Crap!!

LMB: Ooooh are you cooking? Can I help? Do you need this flour yet? Oh, flour! Everywhere!....

So, you can probably gather I think it'll be far easier to organise this part of their education under the auspices of an expert and in. someone. elses. kitchen!!!!

So, in an hour they are all heading off to learn to serve me coffee in bed with toast each morning.

Although LMB's comment this morning was:

"Look mummy, I can be a raisin"

Looks like the cooking camp has its work cut out mwahahahahahaha!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I seem to have hit a bit of a rut recently. It's become more noticeable since living up here, how my mood is affected by the weather. I need seasons, like a duck needs water and at the moment, summer is more like mid November here.

In the States I used to find it so easy to blog, there was always so much to write about, so much to say and share. Here, right now, I'm on hold...

I'm waiting for my exam results, waiting to move and get into our family home, waiting to get the chickens, waiting to dig over the earth and get my hands dirty, waiting to start university and midwifery training, waiting, waiting...

I'm also missing the States, a lot! Never thought I'd feel quite this way. It's bizarre really, but I miss the enormity of it all, the places undiscovered, the spirit of the old and new and my friends, my beautiful friends.

I find myself and the children stuck inside so much more. In the US in the summer, we'd always be out and about, at the beach, in the garden, doing crafts, visiting friends etc. There was always something to do, even if that something was nothing at all.
It's not that there isn't much to do here, but more that I feel that I'm just living in some kind of cyclical limbo land before my life really starts; the weather isn't so good, so we don't go out, so my mood ebbs,  so I don't want to go out...

Here, nothing seems endless, grey and quite lonely really, I'm going to steer clear of forums that seem to be full of bickering and bored housewives who fight with each other and practise the art of one upmanship and surround myself with more likeminded people who are happy being who they are and I am going to laugh much more with my beautiful children because they're growing up too fast.

I'm going to pick myself up though - we're off on holiday soon, some sun will work wonders on my mood. I'm also going back to practising regular yoga in September, I'm going to get out and use my camera more, I'm going to find a mantra and maybe a saying each week to aspire to. I feel I need to work on my mind by working on my body. I spend too much time rushing from place A to place B so I'm going to do some holistic reparation to my soul.

So forgive me if I blog less for a while, just until I find where the real me has gone.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The power of positive thought!

It's official, I am getting old.

Getting up in the mornings is getting harder.

It's not so much that I can't spring lightly from my slumber, than it's a real pain in the arse to have to. I'm  suffering from a pair of pyjamas that weren't designed with me in mind and seem to wake up most mornings with the contents of my top plopped out over the bed whilst the pyjamas themselves are doing a great job of finding other parts of my anatomy to encase in a double body bind - rather than what they're specifically designed to do. Thus getting up means a re-packaging job first or else greeting my children with Danish pastries where my chest once was and my pyjama top should be!

Shame, cos I liked them (and my tits!), but maybe I'm desitined to live out my days in the Viyella house section of Jarrolds buying starch clad pyjamas or wincyette nighties with iron girders to hold in my mammaries? Surely there is sexy AND practical solution somewhere?

I'm also aging according to my younger son who is convincing me that I'm so last year!
Not only does the delight of gravity get you down, but also the losing touch with the current playground capers.
On the way to cricket this morning he and LMB are discussing playground games. The latest craze is, apparently - Toilet Tag!
Of course, by definition, this is in fact, just a new name for Stuck in the Mud I think, but no, it is in fact "Totally. Different. Muhhuuuuuum" (see how I get an extra consonant in my name when I'm being particularly uncool and un-with it!) It got its name through the fact that you stand in the playground on being "tug" with arms out stretched to simulate - a toilet flush - okaaaaaaaay!

In other news, Master Beehive the elder is away in the Highlands with a friend who's over from the States at the moment. They're having a great time:
having been on roller coasters, toured castles, played football everywhere they possibly can and have swapped tickets they won at the fair for a plethora of cuddly toys, made up a new coded language and have written and illustrated a book that they're going to publish to "earn more cash than JKRowling"

According to his friend's mum, he told them on the train on the way up, that he could eat ANYTHING he liked this week as "his mum had said so".  Er, er, who, what, where? I think I said that his friend's mum's rules would apply (knowing she's on the same wavelength as me) which somehow got rather desperately lost in translation - slithy tove!

The best bit is the fact that he is planning to test the scientific hypothesis " The tooth fairy really doesn't exist" on his return. He has lost a tooth whilst he's been away. He's planning to come home and put it under his pillow without letting us know to see if the tooth fairy really comes to him.

Er - Message to son:

My dear darling boy,
It is wonderful to see you home with your lack of washing, proving that the power of one shirt and one pair of shorts really is sufficient for a 10 year old for 4 days!!

My gosh, what a big gaping hole you have in your mouth. I wonder how you got that tooth shaped hole? It ALMOST looks like you lost a tooth!

Wow! You have an amazing stack of cheap and cheerful cuddly toys stashed in here and - fuck me! (sorry!) HOW many sweets? You spent ALL the eight quid on sweets???!!!!! I thought I told know your teeth...wait until your dad....yes, yes, I've missed you.

No, your brother and sister haven't seen Shrek 4 yet, so please don't tell them....oh, you already did *sigh*.

Oh, and by the way, before I forget, there's was a phone call for you. Some publisher who called, apparently wanting to speak to you. She's been sent a manuscript entitled "Portia Poohead of Pooland, the graphic novel" that she reckons is going to be the next best thing after Twilight and Harry Potter and there's rumours of a film you know anything about this?"

Love Muhuuuuum!

And then that's the bit where I wake up and find that my size 36D are where they should be, I've lost a dress size and Edward Cullen is lying next to me.

Ah well, perchance to dream....

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Strawberry fields

So they're back, all safe and accounted for!

Look what I did with myself!

Went to the farmer's market, made a ton of jam and some pickles, ate some homegrown strawberries, which inspired my picnic rug upcycled from a woolen rug that I then apliqued the strawberries and apples on and backed it with a polka dot oilcloth.... which then obviously inspired the friggin' rain.

Oh and a picture of the author by the author's daughter! She's not bad!

The photographer! Not the model!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Time out!

The rugrats are away for the weekend - with daddy - without me!

I'm not sure whether to be excited or petrified that daddy is in charge with his daddy for a weekend!

One side of me is silently planning all the things I'm going to love being on my own for the weekend, the other side of me is talking myself out of envisaging all the possible and potential mishaps for three kids and two grown men to get into over the course of a weekend at the beach such as:

Digging one or other child into the sand and then forgetting where they were buried.
Getting carried away making a dam that they forget the tide coming in and get stranded
Losing one or other rugrat on the tram or in the awful Madame Tussards - actually, scrap the latter -he might not always be focused, but he has got taste and I don't expect they'll pay a visit there!
One or other - probably the middle one, falling the several thousand feet to the ground from the top of the Blackpool tower or some equally freaky roller coaster accident at the pleasure beach.
A death defying donkey disaster that renders a child unconscious.

Oh the list goes on....

I'm staying behind because my mama hasn't had her baby. She was due Thursday, so I'm kind of hoping for a birth this evening or early tomorrow, but we all know that babies only come when they're ready, so that will probably scupper that idea;

so the other half of me is creating the list of what I won't miss:

The endless bickering and screeching - "but we're only playing a game mum!" yeah - right!
The endless mess all over the floor when they deliberately, in their cunning, come along behind me tipping out again what I've just put away.
The continual whining about what's for breakfast/lunch/snack/second breakfast/dinner/supper and then when it's served the further whining about the fact I've served the one vegetable they don't like.
The washing pile - oh yes - the washing pile - I may, in fact, not turn the machine on AT ALL this weekend - how's that for risky living?
The thousand questions - what's this, what's that, how, what, when, w-H-YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

So I might:

Go to the supermarket and cook something really nice for myself this evening.
Have a bath.
Work on some projects in my sewing stash.
Have a lie in bed in the morning.
Go into town and wander around the shops.
Paint my toenails.
Sit out in the garden with a glass of wine at 3pm in the afternoon - more crazy livin'
Read some trashy mags and a good book.
Watch some chick flicks
Go for a long walk with the dog.
The list is endless.

Of course, what's the betting that by 8am tomorrow morning, I'll have been up two hours, I'll be missing the kids like crazy, the house will be too quiet, the sun won't be out, I won't fancy a bath, I'll have had a sandwich for tea because I couldn't be arsed to cook for one and I may even put on the washing machine for some background noise!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Exploding Bananas and Vacating Vessels!

So what's a little mess on the last day of term?

This mornings debarcle goes like this:

LMB wakes up this morning complaining of a sore tummy. Now, she often has a sore tum, but it normally means she's storing up a pooh of small continent proportions that she needs to evacuate in a hurry, so it normally meets my unsympathetic head nodding and mmmm-ing and "go to the loo then". Only this morning, she doesn't need to pooh, nor does she want to eat - which is unusual as she tends to eat more weetabix than I can actually fit in my trolley on a weekly shop at Asda - which may explain the tumultuous poo-fests that she presents I suppose!

Anyway, there is equally no temperature and she seems okay during the morning, so, as it's only for 3 hours, I pack her off to school.

Whilst they're at school I rush around like the proverbial blue-arsed winged thingy rushing through the rain in my crocs - yes - poor footwear choice this morning - doing the shopping for the lady I work for and cleaning her flat.

Back home to see how many never touched toys I can stuff in a few hundred bin bags to deposit at the charity shop before they return home to notice that "My best ever broken bit of crap is being thrown out? Nooooo, I play with that all the time." and to clean the kitchen floor which looks somewhat like the underneath of a fridge this morning after the rain and dog paws and sewing thread ends and bits of weetabix.

On pick up time; for which I was incredibly late due to gridlock on our local highstreet and me being stuck in the traffic for 20 minutes for a normal 5 minute journey (and leaving a wee bit later than normal due to getting carried away with the crap-throwing - it's really theraputic and satisfying mwahahaha), realising I don't have the school number or any money for parking, I rapidly try calling my friend's mobile and leave a message, then DH and leave a message, I pick them up and decide that as we have 45 minutes, we'll go home first.

In the drive LMB is now complaining heartily about her poorly tum, whilst I'm wrestling with the contents of the whole school year in a Tesco carrier bag with a hole in it, PE kits, the contents of the Tate Art gallery and a 3D jungle diorama and trying to deduce if the pain is dull or sharp, intermittant or constant or if she's about the vomit all over the interior of the car.

We arrive inside, in the kitchen, and within seconds LMB decides to show me the contents of her tummy - all over my shoes and the clean floor! Nice! This is the second time in my life that I have had my shoes puked over, the first time was at the interview for my second ever teaching job - you can see why I'm drawn to midwifery eh? It's got nothing to do with lack of fluids - it's all about the shoes!

Quickly I hand her the kitchen bowl - complete with the remnants of the lemons and elderflowers that I'd shoved in there whilst wrestling with the sticky leftovers in the jellybag earlier, and proceed to start mopping - luckily, the floor is tiled and who's laughing about the crocs now huh?!

Mopping up the floor with the only thing I could find - Milton sterilising fluid wtf! I realise it's time to get Master Beehive the elder who I'm always late for and am going to make a determined effort on his last day to show I can be there on time!

So, LMB complete with kitchen bowl and Master Beehive the younger, incomplete without shoes, are buckled back into the car and off we go again.

Of course, this time, HE is late!

Finally do you remember the bananas?

Normally I catch bananas during the browning process and make muffins or smoothies, or, if I'm really lucky, I manage to miss the browning stage altogether and catch them some years later when I open a bag that I've not used since living in America in March 2009 to discover a petrified version of the same!

Today, however, I can no more catch browing bananas than LMB could catch her vomit this morning (she did try - she's never been sick before - EVER - so there she stood with ice cream scented puke in her hands and dribbling everywhere asking me "Have I just been sick?"
No shit Sherlock!!!

So, in my haste to clean the kitchen this morning, I missed the bananas. Instead I see them whilst preparing tea a short while ago and decide - in my unfortunate wisdom - to be a clever arse - (yes, I was one of those yesterday and a lampost came out of the shadows to wack me over the head and warn me not to be a clever arse but...did i listen? )

So, we have a funky bin - I think I've blogged about my bins before! and it's now situated about 7 feet away from the bananas. Perfect for a nice over arm cricket bowl dontcha think?

Warning to you all - brown bananas are not streamlined well - when pushed against the force of the air, they tend to burst and fan out spilling all the dribble and contents as a long sluggy trail behind them before splatting with a wonderful noise rather like a tomato may do from around 30 stories high onto a concrete pavement!

I have just finished cleaning up runny goo from my, now thrice cleaned, kitchen floor and Master Beehive the elder has spilled his squash.

Ah well, tomorrow they're off for seven weeks - just think how many times I can clean my floor then!