Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Living with Mother

Ok so I am 18 months into living with my mother, and while for the most part things are going well, there is always the odd thing that leaves me pondering what I am going to be like when I am 70.

For instance the charity shop mug buying. Lately Mum has decided that visiting the charity shop once a week "to see what they've got in" is a necessary part of life and invariably she'll come home with some weird and wonderful mug that someone else has chucked out for whatever reason and she'll stick it in the cupboard with all the purposefulness of "there see what I've bought you" while I am left wondering a. did we need another mug and b. why does she keep buying them when she only ever uses the one mug and never deviates for love nor money from this favoured mug, thus leading me to believe she must think I am missing something from my life and clearly a mug from the charity shop will full fill it.

Then we have the tidying up, the shoe polishing and the dishwasher.  While I'd be the first to admit I am not the tidiest of people I don't actually believe I let things slide that badly, and while I appreciate the help she offers sometimes with keeping things under control she does drive me up the fecking wall when she gets "busy" with my washing, or the cup and plate I've been using or when the kids have left their shoes not quite in the cupboard.  Its the huffing and puffing the accompanies this task that drives me up the wall.  The "actually, I'm feeling really poorly and I shouldn't have to be doing this for you" speech I get as she shuffles over to a napkin that Chip has just accidentally dropped on the floor leans over with a dramatic flurry sighing and mumbling about passing out as she does it.  GRRHH Mum, I didn't ask you to do this, you are not my cleaner PA that must follow mine and the kids footsteps in case we might make a mess.  I wouldn't mind, but if you go in to her "areas" of the house its not exactly a palace of perfection and she's quite a messy person on the quiet.

I have to spend quite a bit of time reminding myself I am 40 years old not 14 and that I am a capable, productive member of this family and society and that she's only doing this stuff and moaning about it because she is finding it difficult not being able to be as productive as she used to be and so because she's so full of her own self doubt about having a valuable place in the family, she's constantly trying to undermind my place in the family and we come to blows when she can't.

She wants Hubbie to take her side on all things, how I behave, how the kids behave, what the animals do and whose fault it all is.  When one of the biggest changes to our lives is that Hubbie no longer believes the crap she talks and moans about me, whereas before he and I would argue because she'd wound him up against me, and, at the end of the day if all those things she complains about or feels I am unjust about if they were really true or really that bad, he and I would never have got back together and she wouldn't have asked to live with me.

While I know I am not perfect I am grateful that Hubbie now doesn't allow the bitchness and stabbing in the back my mum has a habit of doing to both her daughters about both her daughters to effect him and wound him up anymore.  Also she needs to learn that while he doesn't think the sun shines out of his kids bottoms only he and I are allowed to say anything that isn't positive about them.  It is the nature of the beast in the fact that most us believe our children are a direct reflection on ourselves so cussing them is cussing us as well something no one likes.  Only my Mum can't see that moaning about the way my sister and I behave and bitching about us behind our backs only serves to make her seem either a useless mother or the reason we turned out the way we did.

Anyway these are all little and annoying things that I am living with on a daily basis not to much to worry about and not that bad.  Just a little irritating if you know what I mean lol.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September school blues

AAAAAHHHH frustrated...

How are you guys?  I know its been awhile since I have blogged again, my work rate is, how shall we put it "inconstant"? at the best of times.  But I am here now ready to vent, I mean discuss various topics in a sensible manner.

So they've been back at school a month. Biggest has started her A-levels which she is enjoying, I think being able to concentrate on the fewer subjects and they also being ones she really enjoys has focused her mind and she seems to have settled in well.  Middle one is the last year to have been moved to the middle school. Which much to most of the locals are disgusted is being closed down in favour of the two tier system rather than the three tier system we currently have.

He's finding middle school holds all the challenges you'd expect.  The building is alot larger, there are more teachers and the homework is alot harder.  While he is still up for the challenge, he is finding it a challenge though his peers seem not to have noticed, having voted him to be class Representative for the school council and generally being seen as a good friend and nice person.  He lets off the pressure at bit at home, which is fine, but sometimes getting snapped at by my usually placid child takes me by surprise.

Little bit on the other hand is a law unto himself.  He just doesn't like being told what to do, following rules or generally being bossed around.  Which at school you are gonna get from time to time..

He hasn't quite figured it out yet if you bend to the system the system will bend to you.  Tonight I am going in to see his teacher for the 2nd time in as many weeks if only to plead my case on what the heck am I suppose to do with him?  He's a sweet boy, with a big heart and inquisitive mind who just has a very strong opinion of himself.  He wants to have friends, be social and enjoy life,  but he finds things so frustrating when they don't go the way he thinks they ought to,  He struggles with a few social concepts not understanding what others might be thinking and also while he tries his hardest to empathise with his peers, sometimes he just "doesn't get it" and this frustrates him further.

He doesn't like to push himself preferring to step back and allow others to show him when he and they both know he is capable of whatever it is he wants to achieve.  He lacks confidence in his abilities so tends to hide behind people letting them shine while keeping himself to himself.

He's so able, soaking in knowledge all the time and having a far greater understanding for what is going on around him but refusing to show it, almost as if he knows if he allows people to see what he is capable of then they will expect that from him more and he just doesn't want to give it.

How frustrating, he's intelligent, bright, engaged, loving and generous of spirit but doesn't want anyone to know that about him. What do I do with that, how do I make him see that allowing people to see him for himself doesn't mean he'll be stuck doing things he doesn't want to do. How do you explain that to a 6 year old who spends his life thinking everyone is just trying to boss him around for the sake of it.


Keep your fingers crossed for me his teacher has some thoughts because I am at a loss.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Living with "The Brain"

Ok I have just googled living with someone who is smarter than you.  It dropped me to a "Prince" fansite forum. I should have just stopped reading there really.  Along with the "Prince" fan club there were a few pages on, dating someone more intelligent, get yourself more intelligent, find someone more intelligent, is some one more intelligent better in bed, you know the stuff, and having scrolled past these annoying links I found a void, nothing, nada which leads me to writing this blog post.

Firstly I don't consider myself particularly dumb, and I am betting most of you reading this don't think you are either and we are all probably right.  In Western society intelligence isn't as high on the priority list of things that make your life a success as it is in the East.  We Westerners tend to value assets, wealth and good looks over higher brain function.  Aspiring to be more Katie Price or Kim Kardasian than great thinkers.  I know I know there are exceptions, of course there are.  But living with a teenage girl, hair and makeup still come up way to high on the list of things that are important in her life than I'd like them to.

Anyway back to my point.  We are a family that value education and experience, we are a family that encourages lateral thinking in all our children, while trying to lower their materialistic wants, we go for walks, we explore, we invite opinion and we respect their values and encourage them to express and grow them. Which is great and exactly what we wanted to do as parents but as the second born is starting to come in to his own regards his footprint on the world its definitely becoming more of a challenge. Let me now introduce a further dynamic in to this scenario.  Daddy is a big brainer, daddy has a monster IQ. Now this is a blessing and a curse for us all.  Living with someone who, while has always respected people, but felt always able to think 12 steps ahead of them, is not easy.  We all love daddy's big brain, we all use it for our own selfish needs and we all get frustrated with it when it doesn't have the answer we are looking for or isn't working very well.  Poor daddy has to deal with this as his family, and sometimes even daddy gets frustrated with his brain too.

Living with a man who is very smart should come with its own handbook and while these web pages claim to be able to tame the brain I would beg to differ somewhat. So this is my guide to living with someone smarter than you.

Step one: Keep a list, mental or paper of exactly where he/she has put their stuff because at some point you will be accused of moving it and not remembering where you have put it, even through you haven't been near said item for 6 months.

Step two: Let them get on with it, when intelligent children are arguing with intelligent parent, stay the hell out of it.  Otherwise they'll both either look at you like you've gone mad, start shouting at you that "clearly you don't understand" or ask your opinion (this is almost the most deadly thing that can happen around a dinner table)

Step three: Live with the fact that you intelligent partner will have massively high expectations of you.  Ultimately they've decided to shack up with you, and as they are intelligent this must be the right decision therefore if at any point you fall below practically perfect or almost as good as them, they will get all flustered and start doubting their decision making ability and then the world will start caving in on itself.

Step four: Improve you memory.  Living with someone with a massive brain means you need to remember stuff, events, birthdays, days planned out, anything day to day or mundane.  They are far to busy thinking about all the outcomes of every possible eventuality in every possible parallel universe and therefore can't possibly remember its your mother's birthday next week.  Please don't expect them to its just not going to happen.

Step five: Explain what you want from them clearly, concisely and to the point.  Don't be all wishy washy with your own needs, tell them when you are upset but don't do it wild man of Borneo style, it just won't get through.  Explain why you need them to do a certain thing, or why they have to be in a certain place at a certain time, but don't go giving them the entire back story as to why this needs to happen, they'll just switch off and start daydreaming about something else and then they will miss the important thing you wanted to tell them, keep it short.

Now if I can just stick to this 5 step plan myself harmony in the home won't even need to be thought about.

Always looks so easy when its written down doesn't it......

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pass me the illegal diet pills please...its an emergency

I know, I know, we've finally jumped on the band waggon, we've given in to peer pressure, we admitted things may not be perfect.

Yes I am talking about the dreaded "weighty" issue of the family's diet. 

For the last few weeks the slim-est member of the family has been commenting on how he looks in the mirror, and has also been trying very hard in a house chocked full of scrumptious goodies to eat better (while still refusing most veg and fruit, but that's a tale for another time). Totally understandably the will power of a nine year old isn't massive and when home time comes round and a quick sugar boost via a chocolate biscuit is calling to him, he's been relenting. 

This hasn't made him very happy with himself, couple that with the fact the words "beer belly" have been mentioned a few times and on my birthday my darling 5yr told me his birthday wish was that my tummy was thinner, the whole family are on a change for life, eat healthier road.

We been at it 2 days....

Seriously 2 days in and I am feeling like crap, apparently this is "normal" while my body adjusts to digesting this new food, its not filling me with encouragement.

Sunday lunch yesterday consisted of ham, chicken, tuna with various salad ingredients, you should have seen the kids faces...the despondent look of its cold AND green, was palpable over their cute little mooshes.  Oh how we grown ups giggled....we're eating healthier now, we said, you'd better get used to this, we smirked, this is what you are going to be living on from now on, we threatened.  

As we all crunched, lapped and admittedly some of us picked at our lunch this slightly panicky feel swept over me.  Was this it?  was I never going to be able to enjoy a meal again EVER, but I brushed it aside and licked the last dregs of tuna from the bowl.  

By 5pm us grown ups were STARVING but we kept our word and didn't eat any crap that night. It really helps if you don't actually have any left in the cupboards anyway.

This morning the kids went off to school, with a healthy breakfast and the thoughts of delicious hot school dinners swimming through their heads, and I wasn't jealous at all as I watched them go in with my belly growling rather loudly. 

We (the grown ups) had salad again for lunch, this time with the tuna and I added a boiled egg, salt and pepper and a smidgen of salad dressing. It was delicious and when BD asked my mother to join us I wasn't best pleased as I could probably have eaten the entire salad to myself and while willing to share with the man in my life, my mum would just go an eat a cream cake afterwards so whats the bloody point. 

Anyway the point being is I then after my almost satisfying lunch went on the exercise bike for 45 minutes and thought I was actually going to die.  Never have I sweated so much, or got the shakes so bad, is that normal for salad eaters as well? (still not loving this, really hope it gets better). 

After my slight panic attack on the exercise bike it was time to get the boys and I needed to go to the shop and get a couple of bits, while in there the boys chose themselves some sweets and as I was standing in the queue my eyes came to rest on a container full of Cadburys caramel eggs, 3 for a £1, REALLY !!! I slipped 3 in to my hand and walked up to the counter hoping BD wouldn't spot me.....he did.

No sooner had the man taken my money, I was unwrapping and ramming that chocolate egg in to my face..call it weak will, call it a fail after only 2 days, but I'm due my period so I call it sanity, and diets don't disappear there's always tomorrow....

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Its not me, its you....

The house is quiet, the washing & dishwasher are on and I am sat here looking through my photos when this over whelming urge to rant has come over me.  So sorry bloggerasphere as you are my ranting forum here goes.

Have you ever heard of the type of people that will push their thoughts, feelings and insecurities on to others so they don't have to actually accept them and deal with them themselves?  

I cannot stand it when people, who have no clue what my life is like or walk in my shoes, who quite frankly don't even know me, think they can pass judgement or make assumptions about me.  These people are of course oblivious to the obvious short comings of their own self’s and prefer rather than having to look at the harsh reality that is their failures in life, instead choose to find ways to poke holes in and criticise everybody else’s. Then on top of that try to make out that somehow it’s actually you doing the criticising and poking holes in to their lives.  Like somehow they are the victims and if only you would leave them alone it would be fine.

It seems that no matter what I post on Twitter someone will continually take it as a personal attack on themselves.  I mean how conceited can you be to assume my posting a picture of my kids or mentioning a day out planned is only to "hurt" and "aggrieved" another person who has nothing to do with my life.  How can someone who doesn't know me who hasn't ever been in my life continually accuse me of lying about the things that have happened to me.  To then take those same things and judge me as a failure as a person and as a mother because I allowed them to happen.  To then also accuse me of making my life in to a fairy tale of blissful happiness, to then attack my appearance, to call me names, to belittle my feelings and then to accuse me of playing victim and a bully (how can I be both for god sake). 

Apparently I am an insecure, hypocrite, who is a skank, a bad role model for my f*cked up daughter, I am a liar, I am also a lard arse chav covered in spots, tattoos & going bald. I pretend to be a victim when actually I am a control freak bully who sponges of my mother and pretends to work for a living.

And this is only the recent stuff. 

Arguably the elephant in the room is this, why am I still reading this shit.  My only defensive such as it is, is I am masochistic (well I must be mustn’t I lol) The sensible side of my brain has told me time & time to stop as has my beautiful loving man, who thinks the world of me.  But like annoying scab that I want to get rid of I keep picking at it. 

I'm pretty sure it’s being done for attention, a chance to get a reaction, to make an impact on a life that isn't anything to do with them.  We've all been hurt in life we've all been trod on and made to look a fool, but I never did this to her, she spent months trying to get him back, emails, texts, letters, videos of herself.  All the while continually attacking me, attacking my children and trying to ruin 5 lives 3 of which are totally innocent.  Except apparently my daughter is alcoholic whore who needs help fast according to her.

I can only suppose that the fact this all failed has pushed her to go even further like planning to move closer to where we live.  I am genuinely frightened, this woman is nuts, has no concept of boundaries of what is appropriate, of letting go even.  She has an extremely over inflated opinion of herself and just cannot accept that I am loved, I am on the planet and that I could achieve even a modicum of success in my life and if I do it’s a total affront to her sensibilities and I should be chastised over it immediately.

No doubt this blog post will cause uproar again with emails flying this way and that, threats being made and accusations being hurled again.  But this is my life, this my blog and will post on it whatever I choose.  If people want to read it that’s fine I don't force them to, I don't mention names or give indications to anyone’s identities. 

It’s a story, an open letter, a parable, a diary entry and it makes no reference to anyone in particular. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Turning the big 40 & what it means for a woman.....

This weekend I hit the big 4.0 !! I know hard to believe its finally arrived, middle age..eek.

To be honest though I think I am in a better place turning 40 than I was turning 30.  10 years ago I was fairly newly married had a young child and was pregnant with my second.  It wasn't an easy pregnancy being as I was poorly through most of it and so I spent the first part of my 30th year being either sick or at the hospital getting check ups while also dealing with a grieving husband whose Father had died 3 weeks after we found out we were expecting.  Then over the next few years came the ups and downs of new babies, house moves and feelings of loneliness and separation.

Today as I start my 40's my children while still young are a lot more independent of me.  Our family unit is complete and everyone is just getting on with the business of growing up.  Yes of course there are still the daily stresses that everyone goes through.  I live with my mother for goodness sake so I know all about them, there just isn't the emotional upheaval there was 10 years ago.

If I look back on that time with a honest appraisal I can clearly see how things between hubbies and I went so down hill.  Neither of us were prepared for what losing a parent while gaining a child would do to us emotionally and mentally.  While we thought we were probably coping ok, we were in actual fact feathers on the wind being blown this way and that managing to connect briefly only to be pushed apart by another big gust of wind ie work, money worries, demands of family raising, other ties with people and each other if I am honest.  The fact we managed to get through any of it is a pure and simple testimony to how much we love each other.

When we first met 15 years ago it felt like old souls reunited through reincarnation with a deep and basic need for each other that surprised both of us, as I don't think either of us had experience such a depth of emotion for anyone else in our lives before.  In actual fact as time has gone on and with all we have put each other through that basic primal need for each other is still as strong as ever.

So here I am starting my 40's with "the love of my life" (not words I say lightly by any stretch of the imagination) by my side ready to hold my hand while we walk forward towards the rest of our lives.  We have promised to be good to one another, to not take each other for granted, to support each other and to never let the other one face anything alone.  We have plans to travel as soon as the youngest is old enough. China is our first port of call then off to the other parts of the Far East. We plan to share the joys of grandchildren together whenever they turn up and we plan to always take time for one another and never again get so wrapped up in our own heads that we stop the most important people from getting in close.

For this year and for the next few we've still got to see our babies through puberty, first loves, exams, university and everything else they'll need to get them to adulthood.  Which is its own adventure, and when that's done we can look forward to our time together to feed our thirst for new & for learning.  There's no fear now, no insecurity, its as if the circle has come back on its self.  I laugh when I catch him looking at some skirt, he's a man they all do it that doesn't mean for 1 single second he would rather have that and lose me, in fact I know that for sure he doesn't want anyone else, he has proved that time and time again.  He knows how much I love him too, he's not worried or insecure about who I am or what I think.  He doesn't fret if I don't phone, or immediately assume I am going to do the dirty on him.  All that pressure and fear we put on each other before is just gone, wiped clean.

Don't get me wrong, I still have my days, my hormones are a bastard but eventually even that will pass, he just has to avoid me for a few days each month till it clears and I have to keep taking those vitamin B's lol

All I can say is hello 40's I've got the door wide open and I am welcoming you in because I'm a little bit older and a little wiser and I ready to face whatever you throw at me...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Do you baby your youngest child ? Dealing with a bright child..

I made an appointment to go and see the youngest ones teacher this week.  Not so much to have a moan but more to get the opinion of someone who interacts with my son on a daily basis who might not have such rose tinted glasses as mine are.

What she had to say while sort of helpful didn't really hit the nail on the head for me as much as I would have liked.  Basically she said he was a well behaved child in school who pretty much did as he was told, didn't moan alto, is able to concentrate and is a bright kid.  All pretty positive so I asked her to try to think of a reason why he insists he doesn't want to come to school.

She suggested that it might be a maturity issue, which when I got home gave me serious food for thought. Do I baby him?  As my youngest child I am aware of the fact that I am trying to hold on to the little boy as much as possible.  With no plans to have anymore he is my baby.  But am I holding him back because of it?

He's a very bright kid, its regularly commented on by friends and relatives how bright he actually is, which his reasoning and reading ability does suggest.  He's also quite highly strung with a tendency to get frustrated very quickly if he feels his opinions or voice isn't heard or understood the way he feels it should be. This means that many a time I am sitting with him trying to explain to him an idea or a decision while he is trying to argue the point from his perspective.  This can become incredibly futile with no positive outcome and so more often than I probably should I coincide to his point of view and we end up doing things his way. Is that babying him?

Its almost as if he sees the regular jobs, ie dressing yourself, brushing your own teeth, putting your own shoes on, as far to mundane and time consuming and that instead he would rather fill his time up with the more interesting experiences of playing his computer games, reading his books, or playing with his kitten. It feels to me like he just doesn't see the point of it all, like life is too short to be worrying whether you've washed behind your ears, and as much as we the parents try to explain the whys and what fores of the importance of getting dressed quickly, leaving for school on time or not stopping every 5 minutes on the walk to school to look at the flowers, its like he just doesn't get it.

Don't get me wrong, he always wants to help cook dinner, he can see the point in that.  He keeps his room tidy, he sees the point in that.  He cares and looks after the animals in the house as best he can, he can see the point in that also, but he just doesn't see the point in school. He's totally convinced he knows everything he needs to know so doesn't see why he has to attend.  He's happy playing by himself doing his own thing so the whole friends thing doesn't bother him, he'd rather be playing with kids older than himself anyway and the structure of the school day just fills him with foreboding.

Its hard everyday trying to explain why he needs to do something that goes against every fibre of his being, that he just sees as pointless and futile all the while knowing that he is a bright kid who probably does get a bit bored at school, that is slightly socially awkward because his brain works at 15 times the pace of everyone else.  I don't think I baby him, I think I handle and understand him better than they do at school and I think that is the reason he struggles so much.

At home I can calm him when he's frustrated, I listen to his points of view and while at times I do get frustrated with his stubbornness I can also work around it to get to a point we are both happy with.  I just don't think they get that about him, I also think he bottles up all frustrations through out the day and then at home time just explodes with the of ideas, points and valuable arguments that he is unable to discuss at school, which sometimes makes me feel like I should have left him there for them to deal with.

I am hoping that the current bribe for a reward at the end of the week if he goes in everyday without fuss will have given him a routine he can get his head around.  For while I understand that in society we have rules and we all must conform to some degree. I, in no way wish for his indomitable spirit of free thinking, independence and thirst for gaining new ground for himself to be in anyway crushed.

I am not babying him I am allowing him to express who he is as a person and let his mind reach all the conclusions and evaluate all of the issues it wants to while I take care of his bottom wiping...

Thursday, 13 February 2014

I think I'd rather have wrinkles than spots...

I know most people would probably disagree but as least wrinkles would give me more a look of wisdom and knowledge rather people associating me with the mental capacity of a teenage monkey.

I don't understand, I spent most of my teenage years with acne free skin, why is it that I reached my mid 30's and now I have to endure the never ending "pizza face" experience.

Its started mainly in my mid 30's, purely coincidentally at the time I had my 3rd child and we moved 75 miles from "home".  Now I know what you are going to say and I agree stress may have been the trigger that brought about this change in my hormonal make up or it might be the ageing process. But come on spots at 30+ no fair..

It was 3 years ago on my 37th birthday that things came to ahead, that's when my then 13 year old daughter saved up some money from her Christmas presents and for my birthday bought me some expensive face creams, trail size and said "mum why don't you give these ago to see if it helps".  At that point I realised for my own self esteem and to be a good role model I needed to start taking better care of myself and that meant getting my skin under control.

I started doing some research and talking to various friends which lead me to Glycol Acid as a starting point.  I was very nervous at first the thought of putting acid of any kind on to my face seemed like a counter productive thing to do. I started of with cleansers and moisturisers with a 10% Glycol mix and immediately there was some stinging on first application that quickly subsided and after 2 days I did start noticing some peeling.

Within a month I felt my skin texture was better and the break outs had subsided, but I had to make the decision as to whether the expensive creams were doing the trick, whether I could afford it or whether my skin was just going through a good patch.  When I ran out of the products I'd bought I didn't replace them and went back to my usual routine of washing my face with normal soap and not moisturising. Within a couple of weeks my skin was back to being as bad as before.

This crystallised my mind on the subject, if I wanted my skin to look better I needed to invest some time and money in to it.  Over the last few years I have tried various products and even had complete breaks from doing anything.  I have discovered that I have had increase the percentage of various acids that I use in the creams and cleansers also alternating them with products specifically designed to peel and target problem areas.

I am currently using  Peter Thomas Roth product pads which has glycol, Salicylic and hydrochloric acid mix and it is a strong formula that I would only recommend to those with real problems not a few blackheads. A Murad lotion that stays on the skin and Alpha H moisturiser, which has been my favourite from the start it's light, absorbs easily and doesn't leave a greasy film (worth every penny !!)

My skin is back under control more or less, though I have a lot of scaring which I have to try to break down with a dermabrasion roller but that really didn't work for me. So currently I am looking in to ways to improve the texture of my skin and try to eliminate some of the scaring.

Its a long process and an expensive one, but I am glad I am doing it, its the one thing I put my foot down and won't give up so the kids can have an new game or fancy clothes for. You wear your face to the world everyday of your life and its worth investing in..

Here are the links to the products I use:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Meeting my mother-in-law again, teaching me about alzheimers and dementia

Through no fault of anyone really but through circumstances I haven't had very much contact with my kids Nanny on their Dads side.  A little dot of a woman, who in my memory of her when him & I first got together was fiercely protective of her family and very proud of her kids. She always struck me as someone not to mess with, but if she accepted you she'd be as welcoming and loving as if you were her own flesh and blood. 

Now this woman, who'd worked all her life, who had a wicked sense of humour and a sharp eagle eyed brain, came to visit us for the first time in 3 years. Hubbie had told me that she was suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia and over the last few years it had really taken its toll.  He warned me that she might not know who I am or that she might say something inappropriate so I was fairly apprehensive about the visit.

Having heard about Alzheimer's from the media and from friends who work in the elderly care industry, I knew that she might become quite upset if she felt lost or she didn't comprehend what was happening around her which is totally understandable.  I was worried that the kids would freak her out, or not be gentle and frighten her with their loud boyish behaviour.  She is very very fragile, being very underweight but apart from needing to bulk up a bit she is surprisingly fit ( well maybe not surprising, she has good strong Irish genes running through her core ).  

Anyway I really didn't need to worry about any of these things.  After the long journey up Hubbie brought her in to the house and while she looked tired, she immediately gave me a massive cuddle, and said "I haven't seen you for such a long time Caroline" I nearly burst into tears there and then.

We settled her in with a cup of tea, I put her slippers on for her and the kids settled down next to her on the sofa.  For the next few hours we talked, drank tea and smoked cigarettes (in the garden).  Rather than being overwhelmed by being in a strange environment she seemed to relish it, constantly remarking on how lovely the house is, rather than not remembering who I was, it was if I had seen her last week with the warmth and friendship still strong. The children adored being with her and she in turn was gentle and calm with them, watching them playing and commenting on how like their father they are at the same age (like we all didn't know lol) 

I found her a proud woman still, wanting to be productive and feeling apologetic when I would help her, though I constantly told her it was my pleasure.  She couldn't quite remember the names of all our animals though to be fair I have trouble sometimes, but she would ask their names when she'd forgotten them as it seemed knowing this was important. Sometimes I would look at her and she seemed lost in thought which maybe she was, but she would come round quite quickly when she saw a familiar face which I was grateful mine was one of them. There was none of the aggression that I had read about, and I tried to involve her with all the conversations that were going on, asking her opinion or her advice, or asking her to draw on a memory from long ago.  We talked of Hubbies dad and how she always wishes him a goodnight still, and the day he left our lives. I told her I think he's been to visit since then and that pleased her.

So for me it seemed for the most part she was lucid, engaged and involved with the family and not this distant vacant shell of a person I was worried I would find.  For the most part she was still my mother in law of old. But sometimes, when she got tired, or when the kids had got too much, she seemed to lose herself, and where she was, the confusion clouded her face but I would spot this quickly, draw her attention and engage her again and this seemed to help a great deal.

It was a lovely 2 days, and I was extremely proud of how the kids fussed and showered Nanny with affection, sometimes to the point it left her speechless.  We all agreed that the trip had been a success and that Nanny was to definitely come and stay again,  hopefully her second visit will be as successful, as she's already mentioned a BBQ in the summer and I suggested a little walk round our lovely town as well for next time.

We don't have links to the past for long and I am just so glad we've still got enough time for the children to benefit from both Nanny's and to get to know both sides of their heritage, she also allows me a little look into where my Hubbie comes from too :-).

Roll on the next visit, though will remind Hubbie to bring her coat with next time bless her and I will make sure there is lots of bacon in lol !!!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The 10 years plus Valentine's poem

There is no man other than you, even after all we've been through
No man who makes my heart flutter, who I'd live with in the gutter
No man whose pants I sniff to see, if they are clean or dirty
No man whose spots I squeeze or eyebrow hairs I'd pluck
No man whose arse I'd rescue if ever he got stuck
No man whose tea I make with a dash of love
From round the world and up above
No man who makes me laugh and weep
Who snores so loud and stops my sleep
No man who puts up with all my worries
Who copes with me and my spending flurries
No man whose dreams I cherish as if they were my own
Except the man I married and only him alone.

Love you

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Lessons in love, the things the films don't teach us.

An open letter to the one I love

Where to begin, well one could almost start at my conception because my parents did love each but I think that might be a bit too far back. So I will start with the first heartbreak....

My daughter is 16 now this was the age I had my first serious boyfriend and we dated for 2 years.  If you ask me now why we were together for that long I couldn't for a second tell you but we were and inevitably as these things often do things fizzled out between us and we went our separate ways.  I then met a boy and fell "in love" again (well at least I thought I was in love) we were together 2 years, moved out and then 3 years later my eldest was born.  I was 23, not old but not excessively to young either.  At first glance we would have seemed a normal young couple with an adorable baby in tow.  We both had good jobs, a house with a mortgage and did everything normal families do spending lots of time with each others in laws, family holidays and nights on the sofa.  But as the years rolled by I realised this guy I was with, the father to my beautiful daughter wasn't who I thought he would be, I know this sometimes happens when couples have a baby.  There was no passion in our relationship, no spark or fire.  He was totally closed off with his feelings, never sharing moments with me.  I would look at our daughter and a rush of love would overcome me and I would kiss her all over, he would look at her and there was nothing but a blank stare.  Maybe he was too young to have kids, he never told me he loved me and he never told her either.  I got more and more depressed and lonely as time went on, no fairy tale for this 26 year old.

In the meantime a guy had started work at the place I worked at.  I didn't pay much attention to him at first, I was to busy with my little girl and feeling sorry for myself but then he came to work in the office where I was and for the first time since he'd started we actually had a chance to talk. In the first few weeks I found out we had lots of likes and dislikes in common but our lives were polar opposites of each other.  He went out partying every weekend and I was home with my baby, he still lived at home with his parents, I had a mortgage and in laws to deal with. So while we made each other laugh and we began to enjoy each others company there were a good few things about each other that the other one couldn't agree with (I should have seen the signs lol). Time went on and I started to enjoy going to work a hell of alot more, looking forward to catching the ten minutes chat with my new "friend" and slowing but surely we began the age old ritual of flirting.  

By the time I'd realised I had grown to have deep feelings for this guy, things at home for me where horrible and he'd also broken up with his long term girlfriend.  So in March 2001 I decided I had enough of trying to make it work with a guy who spent as little time with me and his daughter as possible and who would spend every night with his back turned away from me, I was 27 for god sake not 87 and still wanted a life. I left with a few possessions, the baby and the dog and went back to my mum's.  Within a week the "office guy" and I had our first date.  He told me afterwards that he'd spent a long time erming and arring about whether getting with me was really such a good idea, considering I was the bosses daughter and he was a mere lackey.

Within two months of us "dating" he went down on one knee and proposed and of course I immediately accepted, I knew I loved him, he was amazing with my daughter and they adored each other and he made me feel loved, wanted, interesting to talk to and worth spending time with.  We were married just 6 months after that first date (he wanted sooner but I wasn't going to rush my wedding day to much lol). We moved into our own home just days before the wedding and settled in to family life quickly.

I wish I could say its been a fairy tale ride since then, but nobody gives you a guide on how to love another person, we don't get taught it as part of the curriculum. Two further babies later though and I can honestly say we have made each other work for our love.  We have pushed each other to beyond our limits, to dark dark places and in to the arms of others but still the pull of those strings of love, the bonds that tied us first together are as strong as ever.  

And as each year, each month, each day that passes, we learn together, we grow together.  We still fight, that's normal, we still have vastly different opinions on things.  We still like to tell each other about new and interesting discoveries we've made.  I still hate admitting I am wrong and he is right, he still hates the way I find it hard to get myself motivated in the mornings or when I sound like my mother. He likes watching films, I like watching American cop shows but still when we talk to our children we talk with one voice (literally saying the exact same thing at the exact same time lol) We hold the same values, the same ideals, the same desire to allow our children to be the best they can be.  I've learnt how to be a an adult again rather than just a mum, I think he's found that refreshing, he's accepted there are parts of his life he hasn't dealt with in the best way possible and I respect him for that.  We still find each other sexy, we still find each other funny, we still respect each other and we can still feel like throttling each other at times but through all this I think I have finally learnt what it means to love another human being and to be loved by another human being and though its been a hard lesson to learn it has also been the most amazing, long may it last !!

I love you x


Thursday, 30 January 2014

What is your inner voice telling you?

We all have one whether we recognise it or not. That little voice inside our heads which ways up our decisions and berates us when we get it wrong.

Mine of late seems to be shouting or possibly even screaming in my head to give what for to a few people. Never a coward in any situation, a trait that has left me in circumstances of which I will get beaten anyway but I keep fighting to the bitter end. I find myself at the end of a battle that I can't retaliate in, but my inner voice so desperately wants to.

Reasons for this restraint are easy to explain and so I shall.

1.  Its not worth it.  Self explanatory really my life is better off by not doing it.  It won't get me anywhere, it won't make me a better person and I won't proving anything to anyone just making an idiot out of myself.

2. My relationships would suffer.  This is a biggy, I am not prepared to allow anyone to drag my family's contentment, happiness, unity or love in to a gutter brawl with people that quite frankly have no business voicing opinions on my or my family's life.

3. I'm better than that.  Yes I will always protect and defend my family but these people have no influence on them, they aren't impacting anyone of this family, comments on social media, emails and videos can all be ignored, deleted or laughed at.

4. I have nothing to prove.  People will always want to talk, they will always want to gossip its human nature that doesn't for 1 second make whatever they are saying to be a truth.  I can count my blessing on one hand my children and my partner.  My friends are the sprinkles of deliciousness on the top of life and I am grateful that so many have stood by me, so many tell me they love me.  My friendships don't come from lies they come from the ugly truths that we've shared and we've supported each other through, strong bonds built through trust. So me screaming from the top of my voice that's not me the person you are saying I am, I am not like that at all, is pointless because those that matter know who I am, love who I am and respect who I am.

5. If I retaliate I would be feeding a sickness of the mind that I am so better off staying well away from.  Someone who lives in a fantasy land of their own making.  Who spends too much of their time listening to that inner voice and acting on it continuously, is not healthy, especially when that inner voice is also a little bit sick and twisted too.  We all have a "ideal" of who we'd like the world to see us as, whether that be the saint or the sinner, the studier or the partier or the whatever. But that ideal we try to project doesn't always come across to rest of the planet the way you'd expect it.  You may like to think you are a kind sweet innocent person but then if you act upon your inner more basic voice who demands that you gain what you want no matter the cost then you aren't that sweet and innocent are you?

My point being to all this, is my inner voice wants to defend herself against a barrage of spiteful venomous comments made against her, which are based on no facts, just the ideas and thoughts from an attention seeking, insecure woman who should know better at her age who has nothing better to do with her time than comment on, read, and make judgements on a family that has nothing to do with her, that she isn't involved with, related to or has any connection with, her children aren't related to, her partner isn't related to in fact I am at a loss to why if she truly wants to get on with her life and she's so much happier now she still feels she needs to keep any form of contact she can ?? But as I suggested there maybe a screw loose somewhere up there.

Hence my inner voice can keep screaming but I shall not be answering.  I will continue to post on social media the things I think are funny or interesting or matter to me for people to either read or not read but I will not be hauled into a no win argument with anyone especially someone who has no relevance in my life whatsoever even if they are trying to use every spiteful nasty thing they can conjour up in their heads.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Help my Mum is on steriods, Living with the older generation.

One dose she's taken, just one and already she has me wanting to crawl up the wall with my teeth. How is that even possible the stuff can't have even got in to her system yet and she's charging round the place with a self imposed sense of importance and the attitude of a stroppy teenager.  I already have one of those, who is of my own creation, I don't want to deal with another one thank you.

It started yesterday when eldest child offered to make dinner. Now I don't know how you play this is your own household but in ours those that are doing get to choose what they do.  It seems the only fair way in my opinion of making this ardourous task (see previous blog post) anymore bearable.  So she decided she wanted to make homemade wedges from actual potato's.  I know, shock horror this would involved actually having to prep stuff, so as I was being let off one of my less enjoyable chores (I'd rather iron than cook, its that bad) I full supported this decision of hers.  Now we weren't prepared for a wedge type dinner in the sense that I hadn't bothered to get any meat out to cook at all that evening, before you ask, I don't know what I was planning to do for food that night before eldest child kindly stepped in (again see previous blog post) luckily, well not exactly luckily as the whole family know what I am like and so we regularly stock up on frozen chicken in various forms. We had in the freezer some chicken steak things so we decided we would together go wedges from scratch, broccoli and frozen chicken steaks.  Its almost there in the healthy eating stakes.  Anyway the point to the is incredibly long winded story is the fact that sterioded up mother walks in on daughter and I sweating & swearing over the ovens and stoves and has a complete paddy over what is being cooked.

The conversation went as follows, "WHY are you making THOSE things?" "Mum, Lexi is cooking and she wanted to do wedges we didn't have any fresh steak or chicken breast so we've used this instead but the wedges are fresh and so is the broccoli" "Well I bought fresh meat, I'm not eating this crap, why should I have to eat this crap" me know slightly irritated "Its not crap Mum we are cooking from fresh most of it, and the meat you bought is for stir fry, you bought 2 different types of meat, neither of which is a big enough portion for all the family so we decided it would be ok to do this and feed the entire family the same thing. ok" she storms off through the swinging doors muttering "its not good enough, I don't want to eat that crap, its not fair" anyway I turn to look at my daughter and her face is crestfallen.  I know that look, its the look that must be on my face when I am trying hard to cook for everyone and someone turns their nose up at it, and while I expect it from the boys to have my mother make my daughter feel that way, got me alittle bit angry.

"You are either cooked for or bought food for every bloody night of the week, Mother.  If you want to start making demands on what is eaten in this house, you can either cook for everyone or cook for yourself but you are not going to dictate to me how this entire family eats just because it suits you"  She sulked the entire rest of the evening, though she did manage to throw some veg and wedges down her throat without choking and I bet she enjoyed them to as Moo did a fine job of seasoning them.

Needless to say, we're still not on the best of talking terms, second dose has gone down and she's whizzing around slamming doors, demanding why things are where they are, driving the cleaner up the wall moaning about everything and generally huffing and puffing alot.  Don't get me wrong I'm glad she's feeling better I just wish she's calm the feck down otherwise there will be war on our hands and I won't be held responsible.

Tonight I shall use the beef and the pork she bought but I am not going to cook it in the way she demands but in the way I think the entire family will enjoy it so heads up round two will be around 5.30pm tonight.

Wish me luck xxx

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Give it up for the slow roast and other dinners they hate

As awful as it is to say and totally non PC, being born female a layer of expectation is already being placed on me from the minute I draw my first breath in the world.

One of these is an innate predisposed ability to cook.  Whether it be just the pressure of tradition or the natural maternal instinct to feed our off spring, women on the most part are the main cooks in any given home anywhere in the world.

There is only one slight problem for me with this whole set up and that is the fact I don't actually like doing it. While I like the praise for a meal well prepared and the pleasure of seeing faces enjoying the meal I have placed in front of them none of it makes up for the pain and drudgery of having to not only think what I can make but then go about preparing it.

Don't get me wrong there are days when I am totally up for the challenge and feel positive about the food I am making.  I take pride in adding flavours together and challenging myself to push the boundaries of my food comfort zone.  But unfortunately these days are few and far between, given that anything new I put in front of my darling children at least one of them will turn their pretty little noses up at it.

I don't know about you guys, but my heart breaks alittle when I spend all day cooking and they refuse to eat it and then the next day I present them with chicken nuggets and the wolf it down.  Persistence, you may say, or even, they will look back and appreciate your efforts one day, which quite possibly is true, but you couple this normal parent/child relationship with the fact I don't actually like cooking and you hit an impasse.  I don't like doing it, they don't like eating it. Where do I go from here?

I could give in and just make pizza and nuggets everyday but that goes against every parenting bone in my body.  I was brought up on meat, veg and potatoes every night, how can i possibly not do that for my children as well, plus the other grown ups in the house might complain slightly as they would find a diet based solely on stick it in the oven jobs rather hard to swallow (excuse the pun).

There's always the other possibility of simply handing the job on to someone else, but we all know that's never going to happen unless I drop dead or something.  I could just cook meals I like every day and have everyone complain at me but not give a toss as I would be eating something I like. I could try and get the kids more involved with the cooking but past experience has left me rather scared by these events and the kids are probably traumatised still to this day.  I could go on strike until they all agree to promise to always eat whatever I put before them, but I am pretty sure we'd all starve before this happened.

So my only conclusion is I keep plodding on till they all leave home as most mothers do, then get complained at bitterly that I always cook far to much for "just the two of us" while I'm secretly hoping that one of the kids will pop in and fancy something to eat.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

What is really important to you ?

I do understand for all of us this questions has a myriad of answers, answers probably as unique and individual as we are as people.  But I also think we can generalise a bit on this question too for instance.

Most of us that have children will want them to be happy.  But the degrees in what this entails varies, for parents of sick kids, all we want is for them to get better.  If we have a child who is getting bullied at school all we want is for that to stop.  If we have grown up children we want them to be happy in their lives and make good choices.  If we have babies we just want them to stop crying.

For those of us trying to succeed in life whether write that long buried book that is bursting to get out or that catchy tune that will be on every radio station and hummed on every ones lips or the next step on the rung of that extremely long career ladder, what is important is to get noticed, seen or heard.

Then there are those who's value they hold on things is monetary and power.  They see wealth as important and have a deep need to obtain money in whatever way they are able to.  They have a desire to control others and have materialistically all they can get.

Then there are those who are not happy with anything they have and that is what is important to them.  They covert others, in all ways. Simply they are not satisfied with the way their lives have turned out and will never take responsibility for that. They look at others and either critisize or pick on aspects of the other persons life to berate or compare with their own.  Finding fault in how they choose to live their life, jealous and resentful but hiding it behind a vale of contempt and self righteousness.  They choose to feel indignant when someone is doing better than them and spend their time finding ways to bring any other person down rather than looking inward and finding happiness within themselves.  These are the people I pity the most, because what is important to them is not how they can improve themselves or make others feel better, these people are the takers in life.  They are the ones who buy you a gift, then tell you how much it cost them, they want constant praise and flattery, to boost their fragile ego and this is because they have no depth of character of their own to draw from. These people who look at a pretty woman and say "well she's got a fat arse" or "she shouldn't be with him she's a slapper". These people who judge, demean, belittle and have a deep need to always be seen to be doing better than anyone else, lead horrible lives.  Lives lived by others standards because they can never be happy with the standards they set themselves as they can't stand it if they think someone is doing better than them.

People stop caring when you are a taker. When you are constantly wanting praise because you did something nice once and keep reminding everyone. They stop caring when you critise a person because you don't like the way they live their life or clothes they wear, or their makeup or their hairstyle, no one wants to know your opinion its boring and annoying. People stop caring when you are constantly bragging how something was bought for you or money was spent on you its not what is important in life and people truly stop caring when you constantly spend all your time trying to convince the world how stunningly beautiful and attractive you are. It shows how shallow you truly are when these things are certainly not what matters.

I accept I am not the most attractive woman on the planet, I do my hair in the morning, my makeup when I can be bothered, I could lose weight but I like food and I'm fairly healthy. I am nearly 40 I have had 3 babies who are all beautiful and I am just so proud of. I don't have a lot of money but I certainly love what I do for a living and that makes me happy.  I have a man by my side who never ever wants to leave, who I giggle with, who makes me happy and I make happy too, who knows me inside out and accepts all of me (warts and all) who still thinks I am sexy, even with my grey knickers on and who I think is gorgeous.

I have no need to look at others and feel intimidated or threatened by them, I have no need to think I am not good enough because all the facts say I am, I have no need to think bad of others.  But I will always feel the need to protect what I have, to defend it and to look after it because that is WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Oh Sh*t its 2014 already

Lord, one minute I was panicking about what to buy people, how I was going to pay for it and will they think I'm a cheapskate because I only got them chocolates and the next we are here, New Year!

What a whirlwind, not in the sense that our time has been taken up with relentless parties and endless entertaining because quite frankly its been a quiet one.  Its more the roller coaster of emotions that have been running through the house on a daily basis.  Don't get me wrong they have mostly been positive ones, with hyperactive giggling children, semi drunk over loving teenagers and the continuing honeymoon period of my current relationship but there has been a few dents in the whole rose tinted merriment of the holiday season.

For instance the slight panic I felt on Christmas eve with the prospect of 60 odd presents still to wrapped at 7pm and my designated helper gently snoring on the sofa.  This panic state was quickly averted by me also putting my head down and then us waking up together at 10pm and commencing the wrapping until 1am Christmas morning..See no problem really until of course we were woken up at 5am by 2 very excited little people.

Then there was the Boxing Day or otherwise known as, Mum's 70th birthday, moment of surrealism where we presented Mum with her birthday present...(a meat grinder) which she proceeded to completely unwrap take out the box and study intently. Leaving, what I would consider, some rather gruesome looking apparatus to hand and a strange glint in her eye as she handled the sausage maker expectantly.  I spent the rest of the day with the music of Sweeney Todd randomly popping in to my head at inopportune moments.

Then there was the rather unpleasant news on the 28th where we discovered that the house has damp via an email with alot of red writing and capitalisation in it. This was while we were trying to enjoy a local kids Christmas disco, which had already been slightly spoiled by the fact that Santa had run out of Christmas presents for all the children and had had to make a quick exit back to the sodding North Pole and back again (well that's what it felt like time wise) to magically provide presents to appease all the parents who'd paid the £5 for this enchanting event (tube of milky buttons, not impressed, to be honest though the kids couldn't have cared less of it was just the tube).

By the 30th we'd got to the running out of food stage and it was really a short straw moment as none of us had any desire whatsoever to leave the house, but New Years Day was fast approaching and someone had to go.  Mum was the hero of the hour, because after much wrangling and sighing and haven't we got ANYTHING left at all, she quietly slipped out the front door to return an hour later fully laden with basic essentials and a few goodies as well. A true family hero was greeted on her return, with various grunts from the children and a mumble from me of "did you buy me any chocolate?" (she had).

The infamous last night of the year (New Years Eve) was spent almost in the most perfect way possible, phone calls from the eldest every 90 minutes to tell me that she was still "FINE MOTHER"  The boys were bathed early with vast amounts of their new smellies and nice and settled and the evening was spent in various positions snuggled on the sofa wishing all the friends and family a Happy New Year via facebook, twitter and text, while laughing at some of the horrifically embarrassing images being posted all over the net, even before the clock has reached midnight.

I can honestly say I am as ready for 2014 as I have ever been ready for any new year but I did have a quick wonder what 2054 will be like and whether I will see it, being as that will be my 80th year as apposed to this one being my 40th :-) HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone :-)