Saturday, 30 April 2011

FlashBack Friday

For this week’s Flashback Friday over at Cafe Bebe, I am going to go back two years today, when I was very heavily pregnant with Son No 2.  In fact I was booked in for my c-section the next day, the 30th.

However, he had other thoughts and I was enjoying my last night at home being pregnant and waited on hand and foot by Mr P when my waters broke.  At first I thought I might of had a bit of an ‘accident’ as first time round I had been induced so this happening naturally thing was all new to me.  Then I realised that I hadn’t, doh!  So a quick call to my good friend K to say “Yeah I think I have gone into labour what do you think?  Okay, can we drop Son No 1 off?”  Son No 1 was quickly taken out of bed, we all jumped into the car, dropped him at K’s and zoomed to the hospital.

I had to wait 4 hours as I was 3rd off the rank so to speak for my c-section but at 2am on the 30th my second bundle of joy was born weighting in at 8lbs 12...

Son No 2 he was 1 hour old when this was taken
For more Flashback Friday memories pop yourself over to Cafe Bebe...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Who do I Respect?

Emma over at llmcalling tagged me in her new campaign of showing respect and admiration to others. To identify the people that we respect and admire and let them know.

Sound easy?  Well I have spent the last two days thinking about this, trying to single out one particular person, be they a politician, philanthropist, humanitarian, scientist etc whose work I admire and respect.  My list was endless and it was proving to be more difficult than I thought it would originally be.

Then the Ocado man arrived with the weekly shop and we got chatting and as he left I wished him “a good day” and then I realised...  Yes you can respect and admire people from afar but what about the people who serve you in restaurants, sit on the checkout at supermarkets, clean the streets, drive the buses, your neighbours, the list is endless.  Do we show respect for them? I would like to say as a society that we do but we have all seen incidents where we don’t.

So to answer the question, I like to think I show respect for everyone no matter what they do or where they are from.  As a 40 year old I still say “yes please” when asked if I want something, open doors for people, says “Thanks” and I even do the small talk that shop assistants (thinking M&S here) try and engage you in when I would rather not.  I admire the people who do the jobs I couldn’t or wouldn’t do knowing in some cases that they may have no other choice in what jobs they do.

Besides it puts a smile on my face when I give a big thank you to a sullen shop assistant and they get that startled rabbit in headlights look on their face.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Introducing my friend....

A new linky was started today by JoJo over at JoJo's So Called Life in dedication to all our good friends.  You know the ones you can’t (or in some cases can) be without.  The idea is to post something every fortnight about one of your friends to either embarrass them or show to everyone what great mates they are.

So for me I am going to do it about my closest and longest friend, my sister K.  Don’t worry this is not going to be soppy but the truth is she is.  As she has been around as long as I have as she is my twin sister.

We had spent all our time together, growing up we had the same friends, hung round with the same groups of people, collectively known as “The Twins”.  No one else can relate to the childhood embarrassment of your mother dressing you up like a Holly Hobbie doll, bonnets and all and taking you out to the local shopping centre.  To this day our mother still thinks we looked great!

We fought all the time, not just verbally but the odd times there was fisticuffs, door slamming, plate throwing.  But whatever we were fighting about was soon forgotten, we never fought over boys as we had and still have completely different tastes in men.

Things changed when we were in our 20’s as she decided to come over to the UK to do her thing.  Now I am here and she is back in New Zealand. So even thou we have spent the majority of our 20’s and 30’s living on the other side of the world from each other and life changing for both of us thru marriage and kids, our bond is still as strong as ever. 
For more stories about great friends head over to JoJo's, better yet add one yourself.

My Shameful Fridge!

I have been tagged by Jennie over at Edspire with the “what is in your fridge?” meme.

Well to be honest, not a lot at the moment as shopping day isn’t until tomorrow.  I did think to myself that perhaps I would wait until it was nice and full, bursting with colour and healthy food.  But then I thought that would be cheating as the fridge is only full like that for a few days after the weekly shop so it’s not really showing who I am.  I tend to do one big shop a week and then a couple of smaller ones during the week for fresh fruit and veg

So here goes....

Munch Bunches
Mint Choc Biscuits from NZ
Chicken Stock (Why I don't know!)
Tomato Ketchup
Red Bull
Coke Zero
Bottle of wine
Wilted Lettuce
Bag of Pears
More Chocolate – It is Easter afterall..

Nail Polish....  Yes really?
Cranberry Juice
Apple Juice
Chocolate again..
Another bottle of wine.

Apart from the Munch Bunches you can’t really tell that two little people live in the house as well.  It is pretty bad really, don’t you think?

So I am now going to tag JoJo's So called Life and mum2alesha.  Sorry ladies if you have already done this.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Anzac Day

While in the UK today everyone will be enjoying another public holiday and eating Easter eggs, for us Kiwis and Aussies we will be remembering the men and boys who lost their lives in Gallipoli in WW1.  April 25th is Anzac Day, our remembrance day for those that died in that war and subsequent wars since.

The ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, where they met fierce resistance from the Turkish Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal.  What had initially been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied Gallipoli casualties included 21,255 from the UK, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India.

The news of the landing at Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and in 1916, the date of 25th April became Anzac Day. 

The following is inscribed on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach, Gallopli), on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial in Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington.  These words were spoken in 1934, by Kemal Atatürk (Mustafa Kemal) to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silent Sunday

For more great photos for Silent Sunday pop yourself over to mocha beanie mummy

Silent Sunday

Friday, 22 April 2011

FlashBack Friday

For this week’s Flashback Friday at Cafe Bebe I have dug out this photo of my twin sister and I at the British Open in 2005 at St Andrews.  Mr P and I had only been in the UK 4 years at that stage but had already managed to clock up 3 Opens. 
This Open was a bit of a family affair as our older sister and her partner was over from NZ so we were sharing a big house in Anstruther then driving up to Skye for the following week to see family.

Within a few months of this photo being taken I was pregnant with Son No 1 and my sister was on her way back to NZ via India after spending 11 years in the UK.  Even thou we have spent the majority of our 20’s and 30’s living on the other side of the world from each other and we may only talk to each once a month our bond is still as strong as ever.
And in case you are wondering Woods won with -14 and Monty as always was the bridesmaid on -9.
For more Flashback Friday memories pop yourself over to Cafe Bebe...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Mrs Lister’s Q&A meme...

I’ve been tagged by Mari in my BMB comment group for Mrs Lister’s Q&A.   Mrs Lister saw these questions in the Guardian a couple of weekends ago and thought it would make a good meme.
So here goes..
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
This would have to be my mum of course.  She brought up five kids pretty much by herself as my dad was away for long periods of time for work.  She did this as well as keeping down a job and looking after her mum.

When were you happiest?
This is a tough question as there have been a number of happy times but I would have to say the birth of my two sons was a rather happy time.  Sorry for the cliché.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Oh so many to count and usually all involve alcohol and falling off something.  Need to think a bit more of this one!  I am sure Mr P has a lot of embarrassing moments caused by me!

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
Would have to be my little red car I had back in New Zealand.  It was a shopping trolley with wheels and a motor.

What is your most treasured possession?
Emotional it would have to be my boys, materially my handbag collection, too many to count...

Where would you like to live?
Back in NZ, by the beach.  Hoping that time will come soon..

What’s your favourite smell?
My boys after their baths, I just love that clean smell. Nice perfume and of course freshly cut grass on a hot summer’s day.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
I have no idea, only person I can think of is Julianne Moore simply because we have the same colouring – pale and freckly she will just need to wear a blonde wig.
What is your favourite book?
Split decision on this one, Lord of the Rings as I am a bit of a fantasy\ sci-fi geek when it comes to books.  Then the Vintners’ Luck by Elizabeth Knox it’s a love story between a man, woman and an angel.  It was made it into a movie which apparently isn’t that good.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Snoring... Very loudly, according to Mr P.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Not sure have never done fancy dress before.

What is your earliest memory?
Getting my photo taken with my twin sister in little white dresses, not sure how old we were but we were toddlers.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Sauvignon Blanc..  Plus jeans and handbags..

What do you owe your parents?
My sense of what is right and wrong in this world and of not being afraid to say what I think.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My mum, just for being a horrible teenager

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My boys

What does love feel like?

What was the best kiss of your life?
The first time I kissed each of my boys

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I will not tell you again....

What is the worst job you’ve done?
It was an after school job in one of the major supermarkets, packing groceries.  They sacked me for not trying hard enough.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
A couple of boyfriends of course, why did I go there?

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Don’t think I have had one yet.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My family

When did you last cry, and why?
Since having children I cry over the stupidest things so if I am being honest it would be the other night on Eastenders when Jack realised what the baby wasn’t his..

How do you relax?
A glass of wine, laughing with good friends

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Would have to be money of course, life is good at the moment but to have a little bit more wouldn’t go a miss.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To have no regrets, if you want to do something just do it as the only person holding you back is yourself.

So my turn to tag so over to  Scandinavian Sojourn and Babes about Town

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

From Ear Infection to Ankylosis?

Bear with me on this one as it’s a bit long.. Plus yucky photo alert!
So hands up if you know what Ankylosis is?   Anyone?  Well it’s not a dinosaur, that’s an Anklyosaurus, which if you are living with a future palaeontologist you would know about.  The medial definition for Ankylosis is the “fusion of a joint” so in other words the joint fuses due to the formation of calcium deposits around the ligaments.  So you may be asking yourself how come I know about this, and the simple reason is that Son No 1 was diagnosed with having this in his jaw last year.  It seems that the culprit in this happening was a very nasty ear infection that he had when he was 19 months old.
At the time I had never given much thought to ear infections and it was only when Son No 1 rolled over in his cot and all this crap oozed out of his ear(yes it was like something out of a horror film) that I realised his bad cold was something worse.  After what seemed like waiting for hours I managed to get an appointment to see the practice nurse.  Who confirmed that it was an ear infection (no shit Sherlock!) and sent me on my way with antibiotics.  When it became apparent over the next few days that these weren’t working I was told by the surgery to finish the course before bringing him back in.  Should I at this point have put my foot down and demanded to see a doctor?  Most probably, but being a first time mum I thought that they would know what they were talking about.

So back to the doctors we went and was told by the doctor, “pretty nasty ear infection, why hadn’t I cleaned his ear (no f**king shit, because he won’t let me touch it, because it hasn’t stopped oozing!!)  So after a rather heated discussion about why the first lot of drugs didn’t work I was told that 9/10 times that the antibiotics that I was given should of worked but in our case they didn’t.   At this stage I was about to lose it so he took a swab of the ear and gave me another prescription, which thankfully worked its stuff.  Looking back on it I think in total he would have had crap oozing from his ear and a temperature for the best part of 10 days. 
Over the following two years everything was fine but then I began to think (or was I imagining it?) to myself that he couldn’t open his mouth very wide.  I mentioned it a couple of times when taking him to the doctors.  The conversations generally went like this..  “is he eating and drinking okay” “ Yes” “ well he is speaking okay so it can’t be serious” “ Okay” “ He might be having you on”  “Okay, thanks”.  It wasn’t until I was weaning Son No 2 that I realised something was seriously wrong and it was getting worse.  So this time I stomped back to the doctors and demanded to see a paediatrician.
Amazingly we got an appointment pretty quickly and he agreed with me that something was wrong so he then referred us on to a maxillofacial doctor, who within 5 minutes of seeing Son No 1 and after a quick x-ray diagnosed Ankylosis of the jaw.  Quite common apparently in third world countries due to lack of medical attention so it’s very rare to see cases like this in the UK...  Lucky us!
So 6 months and 2 cat scans later we are off to the hospital today.  To hopefully find out how they are going to operate and how soon he can have the operation.  As we are at the stage where he can hardly fit a child toohbrush into his mouth and I have to cut his food up into small pieces so he can get it into his mouth.

Fingers crossed that the Health Service comes good.  I’ll let you know...
P.S. I added the photo against MR P wishes!.  In case anyone is wondering the ear was cleaned all the time what you are seeing is just a build one of the muck once it has dried.  My son wouldn't let me touch that side of his face so was unable to give it decent scrub..

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Silent Sunday

For more Silent Sunday photos head over to mocha beanie mummy

Silent Sunday

Friday, 15 April 2011

My Write Room

So after reading HerMelness Speaks Out post about where authors do their writing I thought I would share my space with you.
So here it is in all its glory!  We have a desk in an alcove in the lounge where we all congregate around the laptops.  The big 21” inch flat screen is actually used by Son no 1 to play his games on.  We only have the one chair so at times we share that as well..  Underneath the desk there are dead laptops, printer, shredder and more cables and adapters..  A true sign that I worked in IT as I just can't throw anything out!

Of course the true mess is hidden behind the screens, mess of cables, adapters, cameras and anything else electronic.

Inspirational and calming don’t you think?  It is on my list of stuff I need to sort out just haven't got round to it yet....
To see where other fellow bloggers do their stuff check out Her Melness Speaks....out

Thursday, 14 April 2011

On the Brink...

My little darlings
It is only day 3 of the Easter holidays and already you are driving me to the brink of despair.  Actually I would go so far as to say that I am tethering on the edge right now.  You must remember that this is all new for mummy as well.  Back in the good old days I would be at work and you would both be in nursery.  So while you are both tucked up nice and snugly in your beds I thought I would put a few pointers together for you both that we can discuss over breakfast:
1.      No means No!
2.      Nagging to have the iPad\laptop\telly will not work, see above.
3.      Mummy is always right
4.      The toilet is not a play area
5.      The bath is not a pirate ship, also if you can climb in you can climb out
6.      No means No!
7.      Do not play with the taps, especially the one that is marked Hot!
8.      Share, share and share.  Just remember what happened to Eeyore this morning (he ended   up in the oven!)
9.      If you want to go outside without socks, shoes or jackets on, so be it but you will be cold.  Remember mummy is always right
10.  Do not rip the wallpaper off the wall
11.  Holidays should be a happy time so no tantrums and tears are allowed
12.  Son No 2 - remember hitting or throwing a toy when told No is not allowed
13.  Finally remember No means No and Mummy is always right!
Love you both..
Your mummy xx

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Battle Stations

We have been having a bit of a silent battle in the Parker household.  In terms of domestic discord it isn’t a major one but it is enough to start getting on my wick.  You see we always used to listen to the same radio station but now thanks to DAB radio that is slowly changing. 
Over the last year Radio 5 Live has slowly crept into my life, oh joy!  Now to be fair I do think Fighting Talk can be quite funny on a Saturday morning to listen to over coffee and the papers. But do I really need to listen to it a 6.30 when I am having a shower?  Well according to Mr P, I do as he is in the bathroom shaving so I have to listen to what he wants.  Okay, okay, I see his point but he has even changed our alarm to Radio 5 so no longer do I wake to the sound of music but to people droning on and on and if I am lucky a travel report.  Which let’s face it is no longer relevant to me anymore.  It’s enough to make you fall asleep which I inevitably do anyway..
So a typical day in the weekend is spent with me changing the station as I go into the family room and Mr P changing it back when I leave and vice versa..  This has worked well so far as it is done without any tension or sly remarks as we have kind of accepted that it is the way it is.  However Mr P has now taken this one step too far, it is now affecting the one and only sanctum which is left to me....  THE CAR! 
But the worse thing is that it isn’t necessary Radio 5 that may be on but a Pop station!!  The rock chick inside me cringes when the car comes on with the radio blasting out some hideous pop music which to be honest I have no idea who it is or what they are singing about.  All I know is that if they are in a girl band then they need to eat a few roast dinners.  Now I am not wholly against Pop music as after all the Pop stands for popular music and who doesn’t like a bit of Abba or Kylie after a few drinks.  But the car, the car, my car?  It is me who spends the majority of the week in the car taking the boys here and there; even Son No 1 now wants to listen to “daddy’s station”!  Give me good old guitar riffs any day I say..
So Mr P please do me a favour, I don’t mind the mirrors being changed or the seat being moved just don’t touch the BLOODY RADIO!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Silent Sunday

For more Silent Sunday photos head over to mocha beanie mummy

Silent Sunday

Friday, 8 April 2011

Flashback Friday – Spring

It is hard to believe that with the weather that we have been having lately that this time three years ago it was snowing.
I remeber thinking what a great sight it was to wake up in the morning and to find the garden blanketed in snow.  We were all very excited as neither my husband nor I had ever experience decent snow fall before and even better we now had a decent garden to play in it. 

Son No 1 who was just short of turning 2 was so excited about playing in it.  He was so fascinated by the snow drops trying to catch them all, without glove on of course!!

It was my first ever attempt at building a snowman, luckily for me the guys at work had given me a heads up on how to build one.  Who would have ever guessed that you needed to roll the snowball?  My husband thought I was mad when I was trying to explain it to him.
3 years on how do we feel about the snow?  Well let’s just say after being stranded at train stations, taking 5 hours to travel 3 miles in the car and being made house bound as we can’t get the car out of the garage.  Not a lot really, in the words of Son No 1 after the heavy snow in December. “What snow again, how boring!”
For other Flashback Friday photos and stories head over to Cafe Bebe now.

Should I care?

Got a newsletter thru this morning from Son No1 school saying that for the royal wedding the children can come to school on the 29th dressed as if they were going to a wedding or if they were a King, Queen, page boy etc.  Great I said somewhat sarcastically with rolled eyes.  That is now two outfits I need to sort out as they are doing something similar at Son no 2 nursery.  Now of course they are both entirely optional dress ups but we all know that it will be expected and if you were just to send them off in jeans and a shirt then there will be the tutting of disapproval as you didn’t make the effort for the wedding...
But really do I or should I care?
Now I do believe I am a bit of a monarchist since as I do come from a commonwealth country where the Queen is the recognised head of state.  Our history lessons at school were intertwined with the history of Great Britain, kings and Queens, both wars that sort of thing.  The traditions and pageantry are all rather fabulous. Also let’s face it Harry has turned out to be a bit of a hottie in the cheeky chappie\rugged solider\public school kind of way. 
But actually I am not feeling the joy of the occasion. Nor do I feel the need to join in the celebrations, to go to London to squeeze into the crowds, buy the souvenirs or even to watch it on TV during the day.  Besides I am sure there will be a highlights show on the Beeb later that night.  The reason for this is simple, we do not know each other, hard to believe in this celebrity obsessed culture that we live in but it’s true.  We are strangers to each other, our paths will never cross.  Yes, William will be someone that will be forever in history and perhaps that is why I should feel compelled to celebrate but is it enough?
So William and Catherine (Kate, far too common now) I do wish you well and I hope you can make your marriage work, which I am sure the Queen will be hoping as well.  But I’m afraid I will be one of the ones not celebrating with you.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

News Flash..

Finally signed up on Twitter, @Frankie_Parker

Will have a better look at it tomorrow, but here is a bit of useless information for you.  Did you know that 20,000 twitter accounts generate in excess of 50% of all tweets read, out of 200 million registered accounts... 

Don't think I will be included in that...

Painted Nails and Tantrums

Well the husband seems to think so, wasn’t too impressed when he saw it.  I think it has something to do with the fact that he is a boy and not a girl and what would people think.....
So in my defence....
Picture the scene a lovely sunny Saturday morning at home with Son No 2 as the husband had taken Son No 1 out to yet another birthday party.  As there was a hint of warmth from the sun I was sitting out in the garden watching No 2 play when I decided that I would paint my nails.  Well that was that as soon as No 2 saw what I was doing he wanted to do it for me.  When he realised that wasn’t going to happen he was trying to take off his wellingtons for me to do his nails. After a couple of no’s, it started and boy did he go, one of the finest tantrums I have yet to witness from him.
So as I sat then slightly amused by his screwed up face, screaming and of course no tears I thought “do I really need this on a lovely quiet spring morning?”  Of course the answer to that was an astounding No!  So I dabbed a bit of polish on his nails to the sound of his giggles and then the peace and quiet returned to the garden.
I really believe that you need to choose the battles you have with your children and this was one battle I really didn’t want to have. 
Terrible Two’s here we come.........

So what do you think ladies?  Is this really that bad, bear in mind it’s on Son No 2 who will be 2 at the end of the month.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Silent Sunday - More Please.....

For more Silent Sunday photos head over to mocha beanie mummy

Friday, 1 April 2011

New first for me...

Well I had my first experience today of having to do the school run with a hangover and it wasn’t fun at all.  Didn’t really plan to go out and get drunk last night, it just kind of happened as all good things do.  The nursery that my boys went to held a quiz night and auction to raise money for one of the young workers who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.  So it was to be a sensible night with one or two glasses of vino but the glasses were replaced with bottles and a sneaky rum or two.  I did suggest to the husband that he do the school run for me and then go into work late but that was met with a deathly stare and a “ Are you serious!”
It was a bit tricky having to pay navigate the narrow streets around the school and trying not to fall asleep while leaning against the classroom but I got there in the end.  I think next time, and there will obviously be a next time, I will have to plan my morning strategy a bit better.
Finally a big Hello to the Ladies that are in my Comment Group.  I have looked at all your blogs and feel somewhat embarrassed about the lack of creativity on my site so I will have to look at sorting that out soon.   I don’t really have a creative bone in my body so it may take a while as where do you start???