Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Thursday, 29 December 2011

"Smile with the rising sun......"

"Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah"
Tis nearly the new year of 2012 people!! And I think, the time has come, to make it a good one.

"We weren't born to follow, come on and get up off your knees, when life is a bitter pill to swallow, you gotta hold on up to what you believe...Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow, and that your saints and sinners bleed, we weren't born to follow, you gotta stand up for what you believe"

For who else can make it a good one for us? We hold our own lives in our hands, and those of our children, and whilst many factors influence what happens, the ultimate decisions are down to us. For some of us, we may believe our lives are in God's hands, but personally for me it still all comes down to your own choices, God can only guide, not do for you.

I personally feel, that the next year, and many more to come, will be good ones. Because I, as a person, am stronger, and happier, and more able to not only support my own decisions, but also support my friends in making theirs. If we all help each other, then we stand strong - it is easy to knock down a few bricks, but a whole wall cemented together? That is pretty damn hard to do. So this year, if you want it to be a good one, if like me you are fed up of the bad ones, then stand together with your friends, your family, and control your own destiny. And then, whatever the year throws at you, it can never get through to your inner core, and that is what makes you you.

OH, AND, I have a camera again!!! And a netbook!!! So I can become more ever-present again in all your lives, and re-do my blog for the upcoming year, and you have to admit that will surely make the year more amazingly wonderful that it is already going to be ;)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Finding the Christmas Spirit......

It is my birthday tomorrow - I will be 29, shocking ;) - and then 2 sleeps until Christmas Day, and finally, finally, I am feeling Christmassy!!!
I don't know where this Christmas Spirit came from, or how it jumped upon me so unexpectedly,  but I am willing to overlook it's sneakiness and embrace it ;)
Maybe, maybe it's because I met a good friend for a coffee and saw her beautiful engagement ring and am so so so happy for her, and Adam said she will look like a princess on her wedding day because she is beautiful, awwww. 
Or maybe, it's because yesterday, a friend who I have only recently become properly back in contact with, was so kind to bring me milk and juice so I didn't have to break my promise to Adam about not leaving the house all day.
Or maybe, it's because another friend is being so kind as to take me shopping for my Christmas food tonight so that I don't have to get a bus or taxi, and another friend also offered to take me if my original plans fell through.
Or maybe, it's just because, just because of all of these things, these people, these friends.
This is from one of my favourite Christmas films, Nativity! A film about seeing the best in people, about following your heart, and about forgiveness and seeing the real meaning behind all of the glam and glitz of Christmas. About loving, and helping, and just seeing what life can be, if we can only make it so. Yes, do you know, this year has been hard, for so many people I know. But I think, we are all pulling ourselves out of it, and definitely for me it has only strengthened the ties I have with many people, deepened true friendships, and made me appreciate the "real" things in life.

When I originally started this blog, none of my aims for the year were to be rich, to own lots of things, or to do anything massively ludicrously expensive. Not because I was being sensible, but because I was being truthful and open, because mostly, it's the "real" things in life that make us happy. The people we share our lives with, the times we spend with them, and the ways in which we enrich our own lives by putting time and effort into ourselves. The next year is forecast to be hard, by the financial experts, by the media, by the government. But who are they to control our lives and our happiness? Of course we need enough money to live on, enough food to eat and fuel to keep us warm, keep a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. But the essence of our needs, the real need of people, is to be loved, to be "part" of something, in a community of people, and to feel like we are cared for, for who we truly are. And we can do that whatever the banks or newspapers or politicians say. If you do one thing in 2012, be yourself, "Sparkle and Shine", and show the world the reason that you are loved, because we all are loved by somebody xx.

And finally, because I am not sure I will get on again beforehand, seeing as tonight I need to clean up the glittery green playdough the children have left all over the table, hang the paperchains on the ceiling, wrap all the presents, do my Christmas food shop, and start the process of making yummy sticky sausages for my birthday tea tomorrow........................I'd just like to say...............


Friday, 16 December 2011

There's Always The Sun..................

How many times have you woken up and prayed for the rain?
How many times have you seen the papers apportion the blame?
Who gets to say?
Who gets to work and who gets to play?
I was always told at school, everybody should get the same.

How many times have you been told if you don't ask you don't get?
How many liars have taken your money .... your Mother said you shouldn't bet?
Who has the fun?
Is it always a man with a gun?
Someone must have told him if you work too hard you can sweat

There's always the sun.
There's always the sun.
Always, always,always the sun.

How many times has the weatherman told you stories that made you laugh?
You know its not unlike the Politicians and leaders, when they do things by half
Who gets the job?
Of pushing the knob?
That sort of responsibility you draw straws for if you're mad enough.

There's always the sun.
There's always the sun.
Always, always,always the sun.

There's always the sun.
There's always the sun.
Always, always,always the sun.

Tonight my words aren't making much sense. I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm feeling not good enough at many things. But I know, there is always the sun, there are always good times around the corner. I have learnt that much this year. So, because my words are not working very well, I am mainly talking through music.
And I'd just like to say....................

Hope to be back on top form shortly ;) xx.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Learning to dance in the rain

It's been a long time since I've posted. I'm sorry about that...................well really I'm not :P I'm been kinda busy, and everytime I've thought to sit down and post, it's just not happened, I've found something else I've needed to do. It has, admittedly, been a rough couple of months. I'm not 100% sure why, if I'm honest. I think I've felt at another crossroads, yet again, and to be honest, it felt like one crossroads too many. Like, you know, why can't my life just settle down for a while, what's with all the decision-making having to happen all the time? But I'm a parent, that's my job. I'm not just responsible for my life, I'm responsible for 2 other peoples aswell, and every single thing I do, say, think about, it impacts on them and affects the people they will grow up to be. Sometimes, in the past few months, I have cried. Sometimes I have laughed. Sometimes I've just sat and not moved. Everything has felt rather overwhelming quite a lot of the time. But I've got on with it, who else is going to do it? And now, finally, I feel like things are coming together, like life is possible again.

It has been, almost exactly a year, since I was ill. Where I am now is a lifetime away from where I was this time last year. And Christmas, well Christmas is around the corner. And my birthday, naturally :D I will be 29, the last year of my twenties. I'm not bothered about getting older, it genuinely doesn't concern me. In many ways I like it, becoming more secure and happy about who I really am, and knowing that the friendships I still have are real and meaningful ones. But I do feel that I need to celebrate this last year in some way. And I'm going to do it by having a fab Christmas. I have not had a great Christmas since, well, I can't even remember when. 2010 I was having a breakdown and then Jessica and I got the flu. 2009 Adam was sick. 2008 I was pregnant, and Adam was sick. 2007 we were under threat of Ofsted at work, trying to buy a house, packing up the flat, and Adam was sick (and 2 weeks later we got Ofsted and Paul had his major car accident). 2006, Adam was really sick as it was when all his kidney reflux came out to play. 2005, Adam was really sick, with a "virus" similiar to measles, and I was snowed under with college work. 2004, I was snowed under with college work, Adam's biological father decided he didn't want to see him at Christmas or actually ever again. And Adam was, shock horror, sick. 2003, Adam had bacterial septicaemia meningitis. 2002, I was pregnant, single, unemployed and didn't know what to do. 2001, I had an engagement ring thrown at me with words similiar to "I was going to ask you to get engaged but now I think I like *other girls name* so I need to think for the next couple of weeks, but I've got nothing else to give you so why don't you just put it on another finger for a bit while I decide"

 So this year, is 2011. And this year, I have planned Christmas out already. I have no big expectations. I have planned, to the finest detail, a chilled out, quiet, friends and family Christmas. And it is my Birthday. I will be 29. The last year of my 20s. And it will be good, and fabulous, because I am with my friends, and family. We may not have a lot of money, we may not have a lot of *stuff*. But we are happy, we are together, and that is all that matters. There are many people out there who do not have what I have, they do not have somewhere to live,  food to eat, their children with them. I need to count my blessings, and believe me I do. Oh yes I do.

I am sat here, worrying, that I have lost £108 out of my wage this month. And trying to work out a budget to  feed us for a month and still enable us to have Christmas food, take the kids to see Father Christmas, and buy the few pressies I still need to get. But do you know what, what is the worst that could happen to me? I have family, I have friends, who are there to help me. I live in England, we all complain about it but we have the benefits system, we have the housing system, we have hostels and free medical care. If I lived in another country, the worst that could happen is that I could be homeless with my children and be unable to feed them, or myself, and we wouldn't be able to access the medical care we needed. That is a lot lot worse than anything I have to face. And that, is an important thing to remember. Always be grateful for what you DO have, not what you don't. Make the most of what you have, instead of wasting your life away wishing for things that are not there.

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Times They Are Changing

It's time to get back to the original purpose of this blog. Now is the time.
I can't quite get myself to go back to the diary, as much as I love it and love the lists, it is somewhere that I needed to be at the time, something I needed to do to get me going, kick-start me. But to go back to doing it now would be too prescribed, too structured, I think I've moved beyond that phase.

Let's refocus on The List Of The Year :D

The children have been on adventures, we have been camping and they loved it - well I'm not sure that Uncle Stuart loved driving around for an hour in the car getting Jessica to sleep on the first night but it's all a learning curve ;) We have moved house twice in the year, which is an adventure in itself, and have re-started Salvation Army attending. Now it's Autumn we can go for crispy walks in the woods and wander along the canal all wrapped up snug and warm with the promise of hot chocolate and warm cookies on our return.

I do believe I am getting better at photos. I am smiling more, letting it be about the moment, and not stressing *too* much. The only problem I have is when you're stood there smiling and there is a massive delay on the camera and your smile starts to feel fake and you feel like a clown. I'm still working on that one.

I went to Bingley Music, spent most of the time in the kids area - which was absolutely fantabulously amazing - but did go down to the music field for a bit and Adam actually loved just standing there for a bit, so next year I think we may try to do it on a more organised scale with more people, blankets, etc. Jessica should be that bit older to make it more do-able anyway. Adam's highlight of the day was seeing "The Teenagers!!!!" from the army, bless him.

I think I'm learning to like myself, I'm sticking up for myself more anyway, it's a work in progress. I'm definitely happier now that I've got my keyboard adaptor working, and have managed to find a tenor horn to loan. I feel I can get back to my self that way. I'm not the greatest piano player in the world to be fair. I can do two hands and I can do my scales, but my fingering is quite often pretty poor and I can never do all the chords and extra bits. Hopefully I play with expression and that makes up for the bad technical skills! So that covers my aim to re-learn the piano. The Tenor Horn is a different story. Well it used to be. I can play that, it's my instrument and I'm good. Many people play it as a poor second to a cornet, there are too many cornets in the band already, or they can't reach the top notes so get "downgraded". Not me, I love the tenor horn. I did start on the cornet, as most learners do, and yes I struggled with the high notes. But when I moved to the tenor horn I fell in love. It's my favourite instrument in the world and it even looks good. It's less pushy than the cornet, it's not there at the front saying look at me look at me. But it's there, it's sound is there in the very centre of the band, and quite often with lovely haunting solos just coming out of nowhere. I just hope I can still play after all this time. I sat in the living room last night with my fingers in the air and seemed to remember the fingering of all the notes, just like riding a bike, so fingers crossed.

I still can't dance, and really I think that's on a back-burner. Not everyone dances, some people prefer to be on the sides with the music. Maybe that's part of who I am, and do I really need to change that? I'm not sure.

My  friends I am talking to more. And some old friends I am definitely talking to more. And some even older friends I am talking about important things with, sharing and overcoming past issues. You can't get any more real than that. I have lost a friend or two, but the ties with others have become stronger. And that is what counts. One of my friend's mums said to me, you can't stay friends with everyone you have to do what's best for you, as long as you don't go around purposefully hurting people then that's all you can do.

I haven't been looking on the bright side. My blogs have been rather dark, and I've been slipping, I know that. But this is start-over day. This is the bright side peeking out and making itself known again.

I am laughing more. I laugh with James, mainly. He just can't help himself. I laugh at work, and I laugh with the children, and I laugh with friends. Lightening up is the order of the day.

My house is getting there. I have let it slip slightly in the past week or two but it was tidy enough for me to do that without it causing absolute chaos. I am aiming for Christmas, by Christmas it will be beautiful. This Christmas IS going to be a good one, I know it, and will make it so.

Organising my photos and making memory books and finishing Isaac's birth sampler have all been on a back-burner. I needed to get my head together first, and learn how to relax and let myself have me time again. I seem to never sit down, sit still, or just be. Hopefully I am getting to a place where I can start doing that again, and then, when I am there, they can be brought to the fore once again.

Eating properly and toning up have been a challenge. I was eating properly but then with everything that's happened in the past couple of weeks I just kept forgetting. But I'm trying, I really am, and that is all I can do. I have James here making me food and reminding me to eat, so fingers crossed it will all work out ok. And I will get back on the Wii Fit one day, as with the photos and cross-stitch it has been waiting for me to allow time to myself first. I was going to join Zumba but I've decided it's just too far outside my comfort zone to work, and also I want to go to band practice again which is on the same night. And will definitely enhance my life far more than Zumba. I know myself better these days, and that is a definitely correct choice.

The cinema is a story in itself. I haven't been every month, and not for a while, but I have been more than I used to and I have seen films I would never have thought of seeing. I saw Thor and Captain America and actually enjoyed them, so will be going back more often and trusting in other people to choose good films. As long as there's nothing scary in them. I still always remember when an ex took me to see "Resident Evil". He knew I was terrified of zombies, and because I am a completely naive person to computer games I didn't have a clue what it was about. I couldn't sleep for weeks afterwards, even now thinking about the storyline can make me lie in the centre of the bed with my eyes wide open. So, I complained to my ex before him about this. And he told me how bad this was, how he can't believe he did that. And then, he took me to the cinema. To see 28 Days Later. REALLY?! Now I research all films thoroughly for even the slightest mention of zombies, undeadness, viruses, before getting anywhere near the cinema building. I am open to different genres, but NOT THOSE!!!

So now I am going, as I have a 2 year old yelling at me from the living room for "BEEEBIES MAMA MORE BEEEBIES!!!" And we need to get dressed and get to the army. But I'll leave you with this final bit of wisdom..................

Thursday, 6 October 2011

She Already Is.............................

Ok...........so I have just seen a new feature on this and it says I have had 4008 page views??? Wow that's an awful lot. Admittedly some are probably me re-reading my blogs, but still I think that is an awful lot, best up the quality of my writing ;)

I am currently sat on the sofa. I should be tidying up, packing Adam's things for camp, washing nappies, getting organised, and going to meet James. But it's not happening, I'm just sat listening to music. I know this is not necessarily good for me, but it's where I am right now. I'm kinda hoping that by writing this out, it may enable me to kick-start myself back up and out there again, into real life. It's been a rough week, too many thoughts and feelings crowding out my head and taking me back to the past where I so don't want to be, but where I need to be to reclaim my own life back. I keep thinking what if, what if I had done things differently, what if I had spoken up for myself back then, what if I hadn't been scared, what if I knew I had a choice. And I keep getting angry, angry that my life is about this now, that it's bleeding out into my life, that it's no longer tucked away all neatly in its little box.

I found this song. I like it. Stupid Boy.
If you think this is about you, or somebody you know, it's extremely doubtful that it is so before you get all offended or offended on somebody else's behalf, please get a grip and remember that not everything is about you.

And that's the point. Stupid Boy. And she ran away, she was long gone. But what happened when she was tired of running? What then? What happened when she realised that to reclaim the part of herself that the Stupid Boy took away, she had to go back and sort it all out? And why does she have to do that? Why does SHE have to do all that, when HE can just carry on with his merry little life regardless, oblivious?


I know why. It's because she is the winner. She is the one who can say "stupid boy, you're still stupid, but me, I'm right up here with my life and all is good". She just needs to learn to believe that. And stop trying to make her life perfect, stop trying to be completely perfect at absolutely everything to prove to him that he didn't win, that he never will win. Because she already is perfect. She already is perfect just the way she is, with all her flaws that make her human, with all her guilt that makes her a good parent, with all her hurt that makes her understanding, with all her baggage that makes her accepting, with all her sadness that makes her wise. She doesn't need to keep fighting to be accepted and loved ,because she already is. She already is.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide...............

It's been a while. Things have been happening. I've broken my camera which creates a problem as it means I can't share in the way I would like, I can't build on the pictures and talk through experiences. I'm trying to win the lottery to afford a new one but so far it's not happening..............
And then just when I was thinking of coming back, my laptop screen also got broke. Super duper this life.

It's so long since I've been on here that they've changed it. It says it's a clean easy to use interface. I find it rather cold, distant, unfriendly, uninviting. Not somewhere that makes me want to write about my life. I'm sure I'll get used to it, everything changes. Some things end. Somebody once said to me "Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn't end". I can never decide whether or not they were wrong. If something bad is happening, then surely it's good when it ends. But is that still a good ending, because surely it not happening in the first place would've been better really? Can bad things ever go away, have an ending? Or do they remain always there, even when you think you have resolved all the issues.

It's Autumn now, one of my favourite times of year. I like it when the air gets colder and you can go for long crunchy walks and have space to think in your head without having to worry about sunburn or dehydration, or your nose and toes going blue and falling off. I have lots of things to look forward to at the moment. Adam is going on camp and moving up to Cubs. We have devised a system involving a mind-jar and a swing-ball set for future episodes of stress so as to prevent pouring any more money down the drain. Jessica is loving her new childcare arrangements and is talking a lot more since she sent her dummies to the babies in hospital via the dummy fairy. I'm somehow managing to keep the house tidy and sorted, keeping up with work and friends and have even done some Christmas shopping. Amazing huh.

One of the reasons I haven't written since the last post in August is because I have been working through something that is never going to be shared on here, and that I am still working on even now, even though really I thought it would be dealt with and over as soon as I got it out in the open. When you shut the door on something, and then re-open it a long time later to fix it, it's pretty damn hard to make it fit behind that door again. And this is supposed to be a positive space, and I am trying really hard. But sometimes I just want to get off the train and hide down a siding for a while. I was looking on YouTube for the perfect song to go with how I'm feeling. I couldn't find anything, just took a wander around and found all different memories from my past.
This is what I mainly listened to when I was 18/19 -
And this is what I find myself often listening to these days.
"Cos even when I'm a mess I still put on my vest with an S on my chest..." Bit of optimism there for you ;)

When you hide something, put it away, and then come back to it later, you can't just resolve it by telling the right people, having them hug you and apologise and move on. Instead it becomes part of you, something you carry with you, along with everything else. You feel better than when it was hidden, but you don't feel better than if it would never have happened in the first place. So then, you end up feeling angry all over again at the person who caused it. And that is not an easy problem to resolve. But I'm working on it. Partly I just need to stop reinventing myself, and let myself be the person I am, even if sometimes that reminds me of the past. By losing all of my past self, all I do is let the person win. And that can never be a good thing.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

"Make New Friends And Keep The Old, One Is Silver The Other Gold"

I can't sleep. I had chinese takeaway food. I forgot this makes me not sleep. So I got up to drink lots of juice in the hope of rehydrating my body and possibly getting a couple of hours sleep before I need to get up again. This week I decided, as I don't have my children, to get ever so slightly involved in MAD week at Shipley Salvation Army, where I have started attending again. MAD = Make A Difference. They do lots of things in the community, and a kids club and cafe at the hall, and basically just try and make a difference I guess. And what I have written there will not do it justice at all, they've been doing it 6 years and do shedloads, but I'm no expert on the matter so can't really give you any more details without possibly getting something wrong. I think they try to show people that church doesn't just mean "at church", it can be out there in 'real life' too, or even better it can become 'real life'. I am tentatively getting involved, quite often when I am there on Sundays I feel like an untamed foal, ready to bolt at a moments notice. I think they may have noticed this, they are also quite tentative with me. I *want* to become involved, I really do. But then, I also have this issue with getting too attached to things, to people, to communities, to letting my walls down and then something happens and they have to be rebuilt all over again, but with more broken bricks than the last time. And then it's too late I've come to rely on that support, that friendship, that community, and well.... I struggle without it. So yes, I'm reluctant to get too attached, but maybe I'll overcome that, we'll see. James is happy for me to go. He's not religious in the slightest, but he's also not against it, and he quite likes the supportive community aspect of it. So that is a good thing. I'm not over sure the kid's dad is that pleased with them going, but he hasn't openly opposed it. And I think children need somewhere to belong. When I was a child, I needed somewhere to belong. Plus, Adam decided to believe in Jesus all by himself from when he was little, so who can argue with that one?

So, today, at the Army, the band played People Need The Lord. And all I could think of, was Emma Richardson (now Emma Jones), stood at the front of Music School end of week show (which wasn't called music school anymore at that point, but that was the colloquial term so let's just go with that :p). Singing the solo, People Need The Lord. And all I could think of was, I'd really like to get back in touch with her. When I say "back in touch", she is on my facebook. But, well, as much as I try to keep it trimmed to people I either talk to a lot or know well in real life or just quite simply care about, that doesn't mean I actually talk to everybody on there frequently. I'd put Emma in the "just quite simply care about" category. Which means I haven't talked to her in ages. I even just had to look on her facebook to see where she lived, because I couldn't quite remember. And it says she lives in London, which I genuinely didn't know, and now feel rather bad. When I say I haven't talked to her in ages, she sent me a lovely message when Isaac passed away last year xx. Emma, if you're reading this, it would be nice to have a talk sometime soon xxxx.

The song, in my head, is always an instrumental piece. Because whenever I hear anybody else sing it, it never sounds as good as that night, in that atmosphere. It took me a long time on YouTube to find a decent version of it, they were either shaky camera work or harsh trumpet tones - being from the Salvation Army background, you really learn to appreciate the cornet as the better alternative ;) If you want to know the lyrics, I believe they're pretty easy to find on google. I'm not putting them on here, because well, for me this song isn't about that. And also, I don't want anybody to accuse this blog of being 'preachy', because, well, it's not. I am far from perfect, as is everybody else in this world, and certainly no better than anybody else, in fact probably quite a lot worse than some others in many people's eyes.

From me, good night (or good morning), I am going to attempt 2 hours sleep xxx.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Crazy little people ;)

Today has been a crazy day, a busy day, a fun day. A walk to Shipley for Lego minifigures and fruit, and a walk home with two full bags of shopping. For some reason, as the children are going to stay at their Dad's tomorrow for a week, I ended up buying a load of food for them. Hmm, strange that.
So, the morning started off with Jessica "stealing" Adam's chair, and pouring her cereal all over the floor. Then I banged my head on the door and got told to "shurrup" by Jessica for saying ouch. Other events throughout the day included me cutting the knuckle of my finger open, gaining a new (to me) table and 4 chairs less than 12 hours after wishing out loud on facebook for them, and a rather stressful 2 levels of Lego Star Wars III on the Wii. Which has led to the new rule of the house - only one level per day. Adam has taught Jessica to say "fine", as in Me - "Please go tidy your bedroom before bedtime". Adam - "Fine!", followed by Jessica - "Fine!" up the stairs they went. Jessica decided to stand in the wastepaper bin, according to Adam this was because she wanted to throw herself away after she hurt him. According to Jessica it was because she was stuck and needed chocolate. We compromised and they had strawberries and milk for supper - mainly because that was what Jessica raided out of my fridge. I need a higher fridge. But I immensely love my new table. It has already been eaten off and play-doughed and drawn on and sat at with a coffee, and the chairs have already been argued over 3 times :D Believe it or not, since I moved out 10 years ago, this is the first time I've had a proper table and 4 chairs. Previous ones have either been fold-up jobbies or small patio sets. It makes me feel settled to have a proper table.

Today has been rather eventful. I'm pretty tired. But good tired. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with myself for the next week. I was supposed to be sorting all my house out, but I've done quite a lot of it these last two days as Adam decided he wanted to "help" me do it. This "help" mainly consisted of him putting all his toys on a high shelf, and then playing Lego Star Wars whilst Jessica tried to climb up to get them all. He likes having a little sister. He doesn't have to get rid of anything, everything that is too small (or that his friends will say is too small) he just "gives" to Jessica. He puts it on one of her shelves, and then just plays with it whenever he wants. Magic.

I needed to write this, because it's been one of those days where so much happened, but all normal every day family stuff, that it all needs to come out, and also it's good, that despite the fact it's been a crazy mad day and I got hurt and Jessica is going through a spurt of hurting Adam, it's actually been a really good day. It's been a laughing and bonding and making a home kind of a day.

If you're free next week, say hi, because I won't have any crazy little people to talk to.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A steep learning curve........

This Year Of Adventures, being true to myself, standing up for what I believe in and being honest, is throwing up some interesting things. Some sad, some good, some interesting.
I have learnt that I really detest discrimination of any kind and judgemental people too I can quite happily live without. Believe it or not, I have actually lost friends this week for NOT being racist, homophobic or 'class-ist'.  What a crazy world we live in.
This week, I am feeling quite angry. Unlike many of you, not about the riots. I am sad about the riots. Yes, I am annoyed with the people that have done it, and no I don't think their life experiences, whatever they may be, are an excuse for what they have done. But mainly, I am sad that they happened, sad for the people who have lost their lives and businesses and jobs, sad for the families of the metropolitan police in London who had to sit home with their children during the riots just waiting for their partner to come home, hoping nothing happened to them.
My anger, is reserved for two separate things.
The first thing, is anger for the reaction of many people to the riots. The fact that people can say, without thinking anything of it, that "it was the blacks", "it was the asians", "it was the benefit scum", "it's because they weren't smacked as kids", "it's because they came from broken homes". WHAT?? Anything to distance themselves from it, pretend that nobody that they could vaguely be connected with would have anything to do with it. It was individuals who rioted, not one specific group of people. It was people from many walks of life and all different areas of the country. By blaming specific groups, all that happens is the country becomes more divided, is that really helpful? I am just so angry that people can turn against each other so quickly. There are so many areas of my life, that I don't publicise, for fear of judgement. I don't keep them secret as such, but I also don't openly talk about them. Why? Because I am worried about being judged. But people need to realise that things are not mutually exclusive. For goodness sake, living on a council estate doesn't mean you are thick, and living in a 4 bed semi-detached doesn't mean you are clever. Being a single parent  with children to two different fathers doesn't mean you wasted your life or had more than a handful of boyfriends, and having 4 children to one man doesn't mean you didn't sleep with 100 men when you were younger. I am sick to the back teeth of people thinking they are better or worse than others, and generalising about people's situations. The people who rioted were wrong. It doesn't matter where they are from or their background or their reasons, they should not have done it. End of.

The other reason I am angry? Well, that's more personal. Yesterday, was the first birthday of my angel nephew Isaac Edward Mundford. And I have been mentioning it on facebook the last couple of days and also other times in the past few weeks. And one of my close friends, who is on holiday, remembered last week before she went and gave me a hug. One of my close friends yesterday sent me a text and wishes. All of the people on facebook, who copied my status, or commented, or posted on my wall, or simply "liked" my status because they didn't know what to say, or text me because they wanted it to be private, well they are people that I like, and care about, and am friends with, and some I thought of as quite close friends, others I have only just got back in contact with or don't know too well but do like. But do you know what? The people that I (up until now at least) considered my closest friends, the ones that I try to be there for and spend time with and are first on my mind when checking how people are or planning a night out or a night in or just a christmas present list. Only 2 of those people gave me any thought at all. One, before she went on holiday, and one text me even though he is extremely busy and we haven't really talked much for a month and he's not on facebook that often. From the other people, nothing. And yes, I'm aware that posting this is going to mean I get a backlash. About how busy they are and how I didn't remind them and all the times I have missed things and how they are going through a hard time at the moment. But, do you know what, I can take it. Because friendships need to evolve, and if I have missed things and they are going through a hard time and I didn't know or say anything to help, then we're both at fault and I need to know in order for the friendship to continue. And because, true friends, can take criticism, can say "I'm really sorry I didn't say anything and I'm sorry I wasn't there and why don't I come down for a cuppa and we'll catch-up and start over". And because I am so full of all these feelings this week that I have to get them out, and if people take it the wrong way and stop talking to me because of it, then that's their loss.

This is not really a positive post. But it's not really negative either. It is good, that I am learning more about myself, being able to be true to myself, not sitting back and thinking that unsupportive friendships are the only kind I deserve because I'm not good enough for the other kind. And also, it's helped me see more clearly who are my true friends, who out of the people I've recently met or re-connected with or met through forums, actually should be in my "REAL friends" list, should be nurtured and more effort be made with on my part. And that is a valuable lesson to learn.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything

"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses."
Malcolm X

It's pretty hard to keep up with your blog when you can't talk about the thing that is foremost in your life at the moment. Or more to the point, when there is nothing that can be said about it because it is pure conjecture, made-up fantasy land stuff from the realms of a nightmare. What can I say?? Don't believe anything you see or read or hear in the media, I personally won't be buying a paper or watching the news for a long while, and I now understand where people are coming from when they say they don't read/watch the news. It's pointless. Inaccurate scare stories feed people's imaginations, make money, and ruin people's lives.
I have nothing to say, not because I know nothing, but because nothing has happened. All I will say is that I work in the best workplace I have ever worked in, with the most supportive staff team I have ever known, the best up-keep with regulations I have seen anywhere, and the safest most happy children ever. So no, to answer all the people that have asked me, I am not looking for a new job, I have one.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The July List

Ok, so I have really let this blog slide. Which is understandable, I moved house. But now my life is fairly settled, my house is finally feeling tidy (enough), a home and a place to be, and I've caught up with work paperwork, and only have one week left before the summer holidays, so I think it's time to jump back on it before I get lost all over again. Now, the list for July has some questionable things on it, such as:
2. Get freckles - I don't get extra ones
and 4. Go skimpy - No, I don't think so
and especially 6. Pull a sicky - Again, no, not an option
So, as it's half-way through the month, I figure I can miss up to half the things, so 3 knocked off is no trauma :D Here's the new list:

10 (or now 7) Do-it-just-do-it Things to Do in July

1. Grab life by the round things
3. Have extra cream on your strawberries (or extra strawberries on your cream if you are that way inclined)
5. Cut the crusts off your sandwiches
7. Stay out til it's actually properly dark
8. Party
9. Finish the icecream
10. Be lovely

Friday, 8 July 2011

Just a Little Moment

Last night, I got caught in the thunderstorm. Walking through the back streets of Bradford, with rain dripping down our faces and the flashes lighting up the skies, counting the gap between the lightning and thunder, and wearing only a thin cardigan and open ballerina shoes. And as we walked, and laughed, and counted, this is the song came into my head

It is not the big things, it is not the holidays and big nights out and house warmings and music festivals and birthdays. It is the small things, it is walking in the storm, it is making up a triop kit, it is eating cheesecake on the same day as shedloads of other people just because some dude on facebook created an event telling everybody to, it is playing Star Wars Guess Who and trying to figure out whether my character is on the Jedi Council or not, and most of all, it is being with the people you love and loving yourself being with them.

Make the most of the moments, because that is what life is made of. I'm hoping to have a bunch of them this summer, and for many years to come.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You

So I'm rather thoughtful at the moment. I kind of lost June, and that's ok. Sometimes it's better to just skip something than put pressure on yourself to do everything and anything. I'm tired as it is with keeping up at home and work, without putting silly pressure on myself to make up for a missing month on here. June 2011 will be forever the missing month. A month of moving and working and sports days and sun, of park visits and allergy meds and cocktails in Leeds and first time chilli making. There's a glimpse for you ;) I'm not skipping it because it was bad (it wasn't), so it's allowed :) You never know, the odd June photo might turn up every so often just to tantalise you!

So, back to the thoughtfulness. I have a lot of friends and family at the moment who are going through hard times. Obviously their own privacy is foremost here and it is not my place to divulge secrets, but I just wish, wish, I could take all their pain away. Money doesn't solve everything, but if I won the lottery I don't think I would have much of it left by the time I sorted myself out and helped everybody I would want to. But that would be fine with me, who needs money sitting in a bank account anyway.
I do think, that people need to think more. It is important to be honest, but that still can be done with tact. It is important to have your own opinions and not just run with the crowd, but that can still include being open minded. And, this quote has sprung to mind many a time this month:

"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

It doesn't matter if somebody is "different" to you (though what is different anyway?), everybody is people, and everybody deserves the chance to live and be treated with decency. On another note, whilst searching on youtube for videos relating to this quote, I came across real life Holocaust deniers. Wow, I didn't know they actually really existed in such a way as to be putting their views on youtube, I honestly can't believe that in this day and age people can STILL believe that it was all made up.

So, I found this:

I hope, one day, if I ever need to be spoken up for, that there will be somebody left to speak for me, as I have done for many others. I used to be prefer to be neutral (or Switzerland as somebody once put it), but now, now I prefer to be Me.

Oh, and talking of speaking out for people, this month, and next (and quite probably quite a few months after to be fair), are pretty tough months for my sister and her boyfriend, Katy and Justin, who became Mummy and Daddy to my gorgeous little nephew Isaac Edward Munford on August 10th 2010. Unfortunately we were only to have 2 weeks and 6 days with him before he was called up to Heaven.

Now, here is a picture of Isaac:

And here is a picture of his resting place, taken on the Royal Wedding Day:

My sister would love to be able to give him a headstone, and is currently raising money selling Mini Cakes to save up for this. If you would like to help, please take a look at Isaac Inspirations. All money raised from Mini Cakes goes to Isaac's Headstone Fund, all money raised from other items goes to the NeoNatal Unit at Leeds General Infirmary where Isaac was looked after by lovely nurses and doctors xx. I can testify that the Mini Cakes are extremely yummy :D

Now I am off to find other ways to help all the people that I care about that are having rough times xxx.

This song is stuck in my head at the moment. Whenever you see somebody suffering, think "There but for the Grace of God go I", and see what you can do to help.

Friday, 24 June 2011


I have the internet back! Yippee!!!!!!!
Lots of things have happened, and I can't catch up on them all tonight, because, well, I am having a tv night, due to having a long week and being shattered.
But, there is something I would like to address. Somebody said to me yesterday, that they hate those "mum" statuses on facebook, where people go on about being unselfish mothers and not having their hair done and trading night outs for video nights in etc. Because it makes them feel like they're supposed to feel that way too, and are "wrong" for not doing. But it's not true. Here's a new one for you:

I'm a mum. I love spending time with my kids. But sometimes they do my head in. I love having family video nights in. But I love going out with my friends and talking about "grown-up" stuff. I love spending money on the kids. But I love having my hair done in peace and quiet and feeling like 'me' for an hour or so. I don't regret for one second having my children and I appreciate that I have children to get up with at 5am ever day. But I still sometimes wish I could have a lie-in and not have to snap into wide-awake super-mum mode within a minute of getting out of bed.

And that's that soap box moment over and done with for the week :p Of course I would never go out if my kids were sick, or I didn't have enough money for their food and clothes or heating to keep them warm. But that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy it when they're not sick and I do have money. I will freely admit I am a totally excellent supermum, my kids are always nicely dressed and well fed and remember everything for school and nursery and always have spare clothes and wellies and trainers and tracksuits and pe kits and name labels and water bottles. They have stack loads of toys and garden toys and travel toys and dvds and books, yet they know the value of money and rarely whinge about what they can't have. I spend time with them, bake every sunday with them and take them to church. But, I still like having a break. I commit the ultimate single parent sin every week of NOT MISSING THEM when they are at their dad's. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to lie. Yes, I love them to pieces, but do you know what, I am shattered by Thursday and a 2 day/night break does me the world of good and means I am a better mum when they are back with me because I am not a total wreck. Plus I personally think it is important for them to have a strong relationship with their daddy, he's been there since before they were both born I think it'd be a lot worse for them if they didn't see him! So, for everybody else who feels like me, you are not a bad mum. You're human. And if anybody tells you otherwise, they're not really important in your life anyway. And if anybody thinks, after reading this, that I'm a bad mum, then they should come and live with me for a week and then tell me how bad a mum I am. Besides, Adam said I'm the bestest mummy in the world and Jessica gave me a kiss. And when it comes down to it, who else's opinion counts?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A Flower Can't Be Beautiful Without A Little Rain

I have come to the decision, that I am actually quite please about moving house. It has come at a good time. The house I am in now, was perfect at the time. But it's like I have been in hibernation, a cocoon, and now it is time to step out. I needed somewhere to recover, rebuild, and start over. But now it's time to truly start over, and my new house is perfect for that. It is still near enough my mum's and school so as to keep my life uncomplicated. But it is also nearer many of my friends, or at least on an easier route of access. It is on the same street as Adam's best friend. It is next to a great park and nearer to the canal and Roberts Park, for more chilled out summer days. I can wander into Saltaire on the weekends and pick up my shopping, and have a potter around the shops. Those are my kind of shops, small and interesting and personal. The house, is more my kind of house. The room is cosy and snug, and the kitchen is big enough for a decent size family table for us to eat, and make, and work, and basically live on! The garden is an exploring garden, yet still secure and with flat areas for seating and play. The landlord seems to be lovely and actually gets things done. I am getting quite excited, it's a whole new way of life and is totally fitting for the place my life is at right now.
It is important, to look at things in a positive light. I was devastated about moving at first, but now I can see that it is actually opening up many new doors and opportunities. I have always wanted Adam to have somebody he could run out the door and go play with, and now he has. I have always wanted to be able to have a decent size kitchen with space for a proper table, and now I have. I have always wanted to be near somewhere with interesting and useful little shops and nice cafes, and now I will be.
These past few weeks have been a struggle that I had to get through, and now I feel ready and able to truly move on. I know what true happiness really is. It is being loved and accepted for who you really are. And I am at my new job, I am at the Salvation Army, I am by my lovely supportive friends who live local, I am by my lovely supportive BC friends who are spread far and wide, I am by my family, and I am especially by James. Right now, I am living my real life, the life of me, Dawn Martin. It is not all sweetness and light, there are dark patches and many grey times. But it is real and true and that is what matters.

"I could sing you a tune and promise you the moon, but if that's what it takes to hold you then I'd just as soon as let you go" - Love me for me, or don't even bother.

This song, is real. Life is not always that great, and I am not one of those people who can be all sunny and light all the time, and find the bright side in everything. I try, but sometimes I think it's inappropriate to find a bright side. Sometimes there isn't a bright side. And sometimes those people can be kind of irritating, they make you feel rubbish for not always being so happy and jolly about everything. A good quote going around facebook is "You should never apologise for how you feel, it's like saying sorry for being real".
But, if you accept me for who I am, then yes, we can enjoy the good times when they happen, and make the bad times bearable and struggle through them together. Life is never going to be all rose gardens and sugar sprinkles, but it's the only life we get, and sitting around complaining about the hand we've been dealt is never going to change anything.
Being yourself and being completely honest and pretty much baring your soul is pretty scary. But it sure as anything feels good to know that somebody knows every single little thing about you and is still around. It's a scary thing to do and it can mean some friendships don't make it. But the ones that do, they are real, and when you feel so incredibly secure in your friendships and your relationships, that, is when you can be really happy with your life, whatever it throws at you next.

And these, are my two little superheroes, defending their right to be eccentric little character-full people x.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sometimes it's Clever to Change Your Mind

Sometimes, if you back out of things, people think you are being cowardly, not stepping up, and generally it is classed as a negative thing to do. But recently, I have been rethinking this. Surely, it is braver to say "hey, that wasn't a good idea after all", and change your mind, than to stupidly go ahead with it anyway despite your doubts, just because you don't want to lose face.
I must confess I have had a rather tough couple of weeks. But I know the cause, and I'm working on the solutions, and I just have to hang in there. I have lots of great support from family and friends and my boyfriend (which still, even now, is weird to say as it just sounds so, well, teenagerish lol!!). Fingers crossed moving in two weeks will help quite a lot. Wow, two weeks, I've only packed up my bedroom. Hmmm. Anybody free to shift boxes on Thursday 3rd June is most welcome lol!!
I have been absent from here, and slightly from facebook, and even more so from texting and phoning people recently. I have been going inside myself rather a lot, hiding from public view, trying to figure things out. It isn't really a good idea and doesn't tend to work as I am more of a people person and need to feel busy and happy to be motivated. But still, I insist on doing it every time I feel like this. Not very clever, again, an instance where changing direction would be the better thing to do. I think, I need to reach out a bit more. Hmmmm, I have an idea, ooohh project alert :D If I have your address, watch out ;)
Tonight, all I need to do is wash up, pack bags + lunches for tomorrow, have a shower, and go to bed. I can't seem to do any of that, but I know that if I don't tomorrow morning will be ten times harder than it will be if I do. And I am buoyed by the fact that I have excellent yet calm plans for this weekend (well, from Thursday onwards in fact), involving James Coleman, Deborah Manktelow, and all day Saturday at home to relax and do some packing. So really I just have to do those jobs tonight and all will be well. I WILL do them, I CAN do them, and that is a fact.
So, on the subject of backing out of things, I think I am going to not go to Kendal Calling in July. I love the idea, but I think that next year may be a better time to go. When Jessica will be 3 and slightly less tantrum-headed, when I may be able to find somebody else to go with, and when we've had some more practical experiences of camping. Strictly speaking, my yearly goal states "Go see live music". It doesn't mention festivals. And even though I would love to take the children to a festival, there is always next year, they may be growing up too fast for my liking but they're not going anywhere "just" yet lol!
So I'm going to look into the idea of maybe a couple of days camping in the summer, and maybe going to a theme park with them or something, I don't really know, I have quite a lot of freedom to figure these things out so I'm sure something will come up. And I think it's the right decision, really. And I think that it also helps pay for the Blackberry that I just bought to replace the cheap Nokia that I just dropped in the bath :p

Friday, 13 May 2011

Everything in Moderation.......

I am absolutely shattered. This week has been incredibly long and busy. And tonight I am slightly worried, I know I am tired and liable to get slightly stressed tomorrow and I'd really like to have a good time tomorrow with the children. So I am going back to my fail-safe way of dealing with these things. Planning. I am going to make plans for tomorrow so that it will all be ok. Usually, I like to just relax with the kids at the weekend, go with the flow etc. But this week has not been usual, and I don't want to end up feeling rubbish. So I am going to plan the day within an inch of my life, and I know it will work. And also, that if everything goes ok, I will feel on top of the world tomorrow night, at having got through a tricky time. So, I am going to go dig out my Toddler Busy Book for some good ideas (Adam will enjoy doing things with his sister or I can extend them for him).
So far, plans are:
And then, not 100% but will possibly involve playdough, traintrack building, marble run building, baking biscuits, and/or a couple of activities from the Busy Book. Fingers crossed. I have just realised that I've packed the Busy Book so will have to undo that box, but be right. And then, when I've done all that, I will send them off to the Dad's, knowing I did my best, and will spend the rest of my weekend relaxing and being looked after and getting back on an even keel.
Sometimes it's ok to use previous behaviours to help stay on the right path. It won't make me be a control freak, it will just help me get back on track, as a temporary solution it's fine. The next few weeks is going to be kind of tough, with moving etc, so I think it's a good idea to have a plan to help me keep in control, and then try and relax and get back to normal afterwards when we're settled once again in the house. It's ok to be more laid-back etc, but things are kind of hectic and messy at the moment, and I think a bit of planning and listmaking is needed for a bit just to keep things working out.
See you on the other side folks!!

Monday, 9 May 2011

"I'm laughing at clouds, so dark up above....."

I have just seen this poster in a magazine. And it sums up what I have been trying to do these past few months. I want it for my new house, I am definitely ordering it as soon as I move in :)


Last night I was tired so I went to bed. Meaning I woke up to a complete shambles of a house and no pack lunches made etc. Luckily the children slept in so I made them then got them up, dressed and straight out the door - Nana's for breakfast this morning. Last night I couldn't seem to get myself into gear. I thought that I would regret that today. But instead, I woke up in an optimistic "start-over" style mood. This evening, I have cleaned all the kitchen and done 3 lots of washing up. Made tea for me and the kids. Cleaned the living room, sorted out washing to send to their Dad's and my Mum's, and put all the clean laundry away. Cleaned all my bedroom, packed everything that I won't need before I move, sorted everything out I'm getting rid of, taken photos of things I can possibly sell, bagged up everything for charity, and vacuumed the carpet. I am pretty awesome, really.
I've rung the estate agent and confirmed my sign-up/move date, and found out the totally great news that workmen are in all this week sorting every single little problem out. I've made a list of house-moving things to do and sort, and done some already, and to be honest don't majorly feel that stressed, which is weird but there we go!! Although could do with boxes, if anyone has any going spare!!
I've also found a totally awesome wagon for the festival, and some ultra-cool ear defenders, so that is also on target :D
Jessica was ill this weekend, we had to take her to a&e Sunday morning at 6am. Bad timing, wouldn't recommend it, they're wading through all the paperwork from the Saturday night idiots. But anyway, it was ok, apart from being stood behind a bloke who'd had a sore throat for 4 weeks. And I caught the signs early enough that she is getting better already, rather than being in hospital for a week like she was last time. So as much as October was pretty tough, obviously something very important was learned and made use of.
Sometimes things are pretty tough, and somebody standing there saying "you've just got to make the best of it", makes you want to smack them over the head with a frying pan. But, when you calm down, it's kinda true. If you truly live through whatever is going on, not just exist and hope it passes, but truly live and experience it, then you do become a stronger and richer person, and life will never be able to make you feel that hopeless ever again. Take back your power and control over your life, don't let it control you. I'm not happier because I've changed who I am. I'm happier because I'm being who I am. And when you take control of a really rubbish situation, or moment, the feeling of achievement is ten thousand times higher than when you do it from an easy starting position. I would definitely recommend trying it.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The May List

10 You Only Live Once Things To Do In May

1. See a man about a dog
2. Wink at someone of the opposite sex
3. Get on TV (but not for winking at someone of the opposite sex)
4. Arm wrestle* (*I recommend someone weaker)
5. Go for it
6. Lie still, close your eyes & listen to the birds in the morning
7. Gambol in grass clippings
8. Feel the sun on your face* (*& other bodily bits)
9. Thinking about somebody else first
10. Be lovely


11. Pack all your house up!!!!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Looking back on April.....(And the 1st of May).........

A lot has happened this month. And a lot of that has happened during the Easter holidays. It feels like a lifetime since I was at work, although I know that once I am back there tomorrow it will feel as though I was never away. Time is funny like that. I said I wouldn't include Jessica's "friends" party in April as it was on the 1st of May, but I feel it fits in better with April so that's where I'm going to slot it.
We found out Jessica is allergic cats, need to update her nursery form with that one tomorrow. She is starting nursery with me tomorrow, so hopefully will put her good face on and all that hahahaha. We've had Jessica's birthday celebrations, which from start to finish were really great and really made a fab ending to the holidays. She pretended to be shy everytime she was sang Happy Birthday to, but by the third party she got the hang of opening presents, think she was rather bemused this afternoon to find no party waiting for her when she woke from her nap. She looked longingly at the empty bun stand this morning, think that will definitely be a prerequisite for any kind of gathering from now on. And my freezer and fridge, and kitchen worktops, are fully stocked and will feed us for the month!
I made my relationship with James "official", and bless his cotton socks, Adam said to me on the day of Jessica's garden party "Mummy, if you would only go out with somebody that me and Jessica liked, does that mean if James wanted to go out with you he would ask me first?" So, that was James heading off for a private conversation with Adam when he arrived on Sunday, and then me being summoned by Adam "Mummy, I've got to tell you a secret, come on!! James wants to ask you out!" And I was summarily told that he had given him permission, and really, I had to say yes. So, dutifully, I did. And there we have it, the children are happy, what more can I say.
We London adventured, house searched and organised (and now I really can't find where I put Adam's Beaver folder, hmm), toy shopped, and garden partied our way through April, and came out the other side a happy secure little family, surrounded by lots of fabulous friends and with many things to look forward to.
As for the April List?
We didn't play tiddlywinks, must work on that one. I did stay out extremely late, ill-advisedly on the eve of Jessica's garden party lol, but hey, fun was had by all and I don't regret it for a second. I sang in the shower, but I hope the neighbours didn't hear because my singing voice is truly bad, and not only did I jump in puddles, I splashed and ran and slipped in them whilst caught in a thunder storm on the way back to the hotel in London - Flipflops were worn, but are now considered to be inappropriate attire for rain due to the slippage factor whilst trying to run with a pram!
I think, I have been very spontaneous this month, and I don't care to limit it to Tuesdays, so there. Ha. I haven't attempted a world record, as far as I know, but maybe Adam might have with the amount of outfit changes he had at the party on Sunday.
And I tend to call or see my mum extremely often, especially with my washing machine being broken, so I think that's something that doesn't really need working on.
Oh, and be lovely. Well, obviously, that was easy ;)
Number 11 and 12, I worked on these, and I think I'm getting better at them. We'll see how it goes.

Here are some this month's best moments:

Adam has a cap, I want a cap


Picking all the dandelions, whilst mummy had a well deserved cuppa

The instructions for THAT car.

The parts for THAT car.

And THAT smile, made THAT car, worth all the effort :)

London adventures :)

Jessica the cool London tourist

I just love this pic

Caught in a thunderstorm....get her out or take a pic? Hmmmm.

Return visit to the War Museum


We went to see Isaac on the day of 'The Wedding' and gave him a truly British look

Jessica's present from Nana + Grandad

It's my birthday and aren't I cute :)

It's my cake, I will eat it how I like.

Yummy buns

3 on 1, yep, that's fair hahahaha

That's what you do, open the first pressie, it's a chair, sit in it to open the rest :)

I loved this month. It was fab. Enough said.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Just To Be Is The Best Of Times

This is how I feel right now. Sat at my laptop, coffee in hand, sun streaming in through the window, reading all Jessica's birthday messages and waiting for my sis to arrive.

I can't really explain it. I just feel at peace, at one, and happy. I feel settled, even though I am moving house in 5 weeks I no longer feel stressed. My house is tidy, my kitchen is covered in food which is what a kitchen is meant to look like in my family the day before a party. We have a habit of not being able to under-cater. I am going out today with my sis and her fella to look at tents and camping things, and buy charcoal and garden toys, and I feel like this is what my life is supposed to be like. No pretence, no being somebody I am not. Unfussed and fun and lots of good times with friends and family, an open house to the kid next door, and far too many people squeezed in my tiny kitchen. Tonight I am cinema bound with James and a couple of his friends (eek!), tomorrow we are Army-bound and then it's a fab afternoon in the garden (fingers cross for the good weather!) with lots of great people, and next week we are all back to work and school but Adam loves school and my work is fab and Jessica is coming with me, and then I have a joint birthday meal next week for two of my closest friends who are totally brilliant people and have given me lots of support in the past months despite all their own problems and busy lives.
Have faith, jump off into the blue. The waters are fine.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The story of a poor bloke who has yet to meet my family.........

I've not been blogging a lot recently. I think, I let it become a "thing", like when you have to do that thing, and I'd not write something that I wanted to write about because I was busy, so then when I had time to blog there'd be a build up of 2-3 things to do and I couldn't decide what to give room to and what to write, then I'd feel like I was letting people down because I hadn't written about signing up for the new house, or the oven breaking, or the washer breaking, or the cat sleeping on Jessica's bed half hour before we were setting off for London, or the London trip and all it's events including Adam meeting his old teacher, and everything I've done since coming back from London, and trying to clear all my stuff out, and planning two parties, and making my relationship with James "official" by putting it on facebook - which is apparently how things are known to be real these days :p And there's been loads of other little bits, and silly pics of the kids doing fun stuff, and little pockets of memories like today putting the Union Flag on Isaac's grave (apparently it's only a Union Jack if it's on a ship - learned that from Adam whilst in London!).
So, I then thought, wait a minute, this is my blog, my rules, time doesn't need to be chronological. I can write what I want when I want and go backwards and forwards and skip things and revisit things. I mustn't stop writing just because I feel I am doing it wrong. How can I do something wrong that is my own thing to make up???
So, today, it was Jessica's family party, and I will post photos of her when she's had both parties, because well, I can :D But the funniest part was, that I got quizzed about James. And everybody wanted to see a photo of James. And my mum's reaction to his profile pic on facebook? Priceless. "Oh bloody hell." Hehehe, apparently she thought he looked like a Hell's Angel. Bless. My eldest sister? "Muuummmm, you can't say that! Oh, he's got a beard." Yes. "Is he into all heavy metal stuff then?" Yes. "Does he ride a bike?" No. "But he likes heavy metal though?" Yes. "Oh, that's good, yeah he looks quite normal actually". My dad? "He looks like Nigel who comes in the pub." Right, that's handy. My other sister has already seen his picture because she's on my facebook, and she thinks he looks like Sully from Monsters Inc. My brother thinks he looks like a hillbilly. And him and my sister's boyfriend fell about laughing when I said that his family was from Wales and I'd not dare tell my dad that yet. The poor bloke, he doesn't understand the level of mick-taking he is in for. I think Justin is just happy it's somebody to steer away from his dodgy southern accent. My eldest sister was mainly concerned about his education and job prospects and union activity and whereabouts his parents lived. And she wasn't overly happy that I'm "in a relationship" on facebook before she's met him and that she's liable to be the last person from the family to meet him. So she's booked us for a Sunday when she finishes her exams. My brother and other sister are going to meet him on Sunday. Should be fun. Hmmmmm. He said he's not at all scared of meeting my family. I wonder if he will be once he's read this.
My family is funny and big and brilliant and I love being a part of it, it's who I am. Sometimes yes, we fall out and drive each other mad, but that's what being part of a family is all about. The song below, always takes me back to my childhood, we didn't go to Grandma's every weekend (although me and my sister next-up from me did stay there often), but we drove up to The Old Hill Inn most weekends with this music in the car, or sometimes drove up to Scotland for holidays in the middle of nowhere with a load of embroidery to do, and the nearest shop a half hours walk away and me and my sister would buy fizzy lemonade powder and eat half of it instead of making the drinks with it. And sometimes we'd all 4 go for walks and see who could be pushed in the most nettles. And when we were up at the pub we would just wander about, apparently once my eldest brother and sister went sledging and landed at the bottom of the hill looking like snowmen. I remember staying at the pub with my sister when it was my mum and dad's birthday but it was the holidays and my mum was working so we were up there for the week and my dad got really drunk and he was coming up the little narrow stairs going "shush, don't let the kids know I'm drunk" (well, that was the gist of what he was attempting to say anyway), and my sister and I were killing ourselves laughing in our bunkbeds. All random childhood memories that come to me when I listen to this song and make me smile.
So yes, it is important to me that my family gets on with James, but to be honest, I pretty much think they will. Fingers crossed.

Now, I'd best get all the house tidied up again, so that people can mess it up again on Sunday :D