Wednesday, 27 July 2011

“Happy Campers”

Nine sleeps to go....Eight sleeps to go...  Go to what you might ask?  To go, until Son No 1 starts his summer holiday day camp.  3 days a week, Hooray!!!

Don’t get me wrong I love spending time with my first born but after 3 weeks of being almost housebound due to his operation and the weather we are both ready to have some quality time apart.  The problem, well if it is one, is that we are so similar it is scary.  He is my mini-me so to speak and we spark off each other all the time.  He knows the buttons to push, on purpose I suspect and with the endless negotiations to get things done, it is a wonder that I have any hair left.  He has even started giving me warnings and putting me on consequences when he doesn’t agree with something I have asked of him or said to him.

A typical daily exchange would be the following..

Me       F, can you go get your shoes and put them on as we need to go out.
F          I can’t mummy.
Me       Why can’t you?
F          Because I can’t!
Me       Why have your legs fallen off.. (okay so I admit sarcasm may not be best for a five year old)

Then a couple of hours later...

Me       F, can you go and tidy up your room before dinner.
F          But I didn’t make the mess, C was playing in there.
Me       I don’t care who was playing in there can you please just go and tidy it up for me.
F          Can’t mummy, my legs have fallen off...

Nothing like having your own sarcasm thrown back in your face by your five year old!

And why oh why does everything have to be a gun or turned into a gun with things exploding all over the place.  Whatever happened to the little boy who was quite content to sit and play with his wooden train set? 

I have read many blogs and tweets lately about other parents, happy that the school holidays are here and all the things they are looking forward to doing with their kids.  Really are you serious?  Yes it will be nice to spend a few extra days a week with them, taking them out and about or playing in the garden but every day for the next 6 weeks, really?

Perhaps it’s because this is my first summer off looking after kids, perhaps it’s because we have no family that we can send them off to for a few days, perhaps it is the expectation that you have to do something “fun” everyday with your kids.  All I know is that I am so glad that I had the foresight when I was working to book him into the day camp. 

We will both be “happy campers” next week.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Friends, as good as Family?

What do you think, are friends’ family? Do you consider your closet friends more like family than friends?

Well if like me you live 13,000 miles from your family then the answer is, Yes. Of course they are never going to replace your family, how could they? But they can and do fill the gap that exists when you have no immediate family to hand. This really hit home for us last week when we had to take Son No 1 in at 6.30 am for his operation. What would we do with our younger son? No problem, our good friend K, said she would take him the night before so we could just get up and go without having to sort him out. Then when the day didn’t go to plan and the operation was scheduled later than we anticipated, she stepped in again by taking him for another night, so Mr P could stay later, and be there when Son No 1 woke up from his surgery. The whole time we never had to worry that he wasn’t being looked after or that one of us had to rush back to collect him.

Of course I am not talking about fair weather friends or transitional friends, those friends that come in and out of your life at different stages like work colleagues or people in parenting groups. I am talking about your close friends, the ones that will always be there for you, the ones where you can agree to have different points of views, tell you that your arse does in fact look big in that, hold your hair back for you when being sick, the ones where you can feel comfortable enough to sit in your PJs all day eating cold take away from the night before, with. Those are the friends I am talking about.

Yes, your family are the ones that know you warts and all. They know all about your good and bad points, the teenage angst and crushes, crying when watching old Lassie movies! Whereas your closest friends know you as you are now, with none of that family baggage or resentment. They are less likely to judge you especially when it comes to raising children, hands up who hasn’t had an argument with their mother over something that you are apparently doing wrong? They tend to be more supportive of your decisions and actions as they have either been there done that, or going thru the same thing as you.

Our boys will not only grow up with their immediate family but also an extended family of uncles, aunties and cousins that may not be tied to them by blood but family they will be.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Make it count

The rather hilarious Rachel over at Manana Mama, really she is, you really need to check out all the happenings at Chaos HQ.  Well she invited me to take part in a little linky about “Makin it Count”. Inspired by Here Under the Rainbow it’s about giving yourself a big pat on the back about something you have written, to celebrate your creativity, thoughts and rants..

Now this couldn’t have come at a better time as I have been nagging Mr P about how I still don’t understand the blogging world. Sometimes I post something quite flippant and it gets more comments then ones I have taken the time to sit and write. All a bit weird really, another thing I will never understand in the minefield of blogging.

Any way it goes like this....

My Best Humour Post

Oh what to choose for this one, it was a tough choice but I am going to go with my first encounter of having the boys at home for school holidays. All I can say is that is was a bloody nightmare...

My Best How to Post

This is the hardest one as I haven’t done a post on how to do something, so I am going to slip in this one as it is something I feel quite strongly about...

My Best Charlie Brown Post

This one could have easily fitted into the humour one as well; it is a love story of sorts. But my chunky calves got in the way...  I thought it was one of better posts I have done.

So you see its all quite easy and painless, so I am going to see if the following are up to the challenge as I have read some brilliant posts on each of these sites so know they won’t have any problem with this.


Fox in the City

Maris World

So ladies dust off your old posts and let’s see what you have got.  Remember there is no pressure but I would like to see what you come up with .

Friday, 15 July 2011

I just don’t understand....

I have been living in this fair country for going on 10 ½ years and in all that time there is one thing I can’t quite understand. I would even go as far as to say it’s a downright bloody mystery to me. That mystery is the jacket (or baked, depending on side of the Atlantic you are on), potato!

In all seriousness I just don’t get whey they are everywhere, doesn’t matter what eating establishment you are in there is bound to be a jacket potato on the menu somewhere. Okay, perhaps Jamie or Gordon don't have them in their restaurants. I have even been aboard and see baked potato stands in English touristy hotspots. As if you can’t leave old Blighty for a week or so without getting your potato fix.

Now I am not a potato hater, in fact I am quite partial to a spud or two and back in NZ we do have baked potatoes, mainly as a meal accompaniment (with just butter on top) or done on the coals of a BBQ. But what I really don't understand is the allure of a potato, baked to within an inch of its life, covered in a variety of toppings, pawn cocktail anyone? I just don’t get it. I can count on one hand, no actually two fingers the number of baked potatoes I have had in my time here. What did I think of them, well they were okay but it wasn’t a culinary masterpiece or even a delight. While working it was a much debated topic between myself and a good friend T, who is a bit of a foodie. While she could see it merits as a healthy lunch option I couldn’t, so would try all I could to negate the argument, “baked potato, might as well get chips!”

So to try and find why the fascination for the baked potato I went over to the ever reliable Wiki and apparently...

“The baked potato has been popular in the UK for many years. In the mid-19th century, jacket potatoes were sold on the streets by hawkers during the autumn and winter months. In London, it was estimated that some 10 tons of baked potatoes were sold each day by this method. Common jacket potato fillings (or "toppings") in the United Kingdom include cheese & beans, tuna mayonnaise, chili con carne and chicken & bacon.
Guy Fawkes Night was a traditional time to eat baked potatoes, often baked in the glowing embers of a bonfire, however this is no longer common and they are eaten at any time of the year.  As part of the upsurge for healthier fast food, the baked potato has again taken to the streets of the UK both in mobile units and restaurants.”

So perhaps a culinary delight it is not supposed to be. Perhaps it is just one of those crazy English traditions that I will never quite understand!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

My Brave Little Solider......

My brave little man,

I am writing this why you are sleeping soundly next to me. I wanted to write this so when you are better, I will be able to read this to you so you know how brave you were today.

The only time you cried today was when you saw daddy crying and that was because he couldn't go with us into theatre. Silly daddy wasn't he? I knew you would be okay as you had Eeyore with you, and Eeyore always looks after you when you are scared. You were so brave that all the doctors and nurses said how brilliant you were and what a brave little man you had been. Even when you woke up and didn't like all the tubes and wires attached to you, you didn't complain you just gave us all a big smile. You even got a bravery certificate which you will be able to show all your friends.

I knew when we named you that we had chosen the right name, my little "fair warrior". You made us so proud today.

Love Mummy and Daddy xx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Delusional in Middle Age....

So here’s the thing, I think I have to finally accept the fact that I am middle age. That I am 40 and not the 20 something person I see in my mind’s eye. I am sure we all have a different perception of ourselves, a younger more carefree version of ourselves. You know the one, before babies, partners, mortgages and all the other shit entered out lives.

All week I have been looking, rather sadly I have to admit, at a photo that was taken last Saturday night at a summer ball we were invited to. There we are all done up to the nines, Mr P even wore a dinner suit, which is a first in the 17 years we have been together. But the woman looking back at me is not me; it is a cross between my older sister (12 years older) and my dear old mum. A middle age woman who looks like she needs to sleep for a week!

Yip, think I have been deluding myself over the last 10 or so years that I am still that younger version of myself. Now there is nothing wrong with being 40, well apart from the fact that recovery time from a night out is a bit longer. In fact I have no issue telling people my age. Why hide the fact? It also helps that I actually look a few years longer than that. Which I put down to having good genes as it is certainly not by taking my makeup off before going to bed or clean living. Any way I digress...

So middle age, in fact you could almost question that 40 is no longer middle age due to what is portrayed in the media, you know the fabulous 40 something yummy mummies, think Elle Macpherson here. Of course we could all look like that if we had squillons of pounds, nannies, personal trainers, dieticians, stylists, and cosmetic surgeons on speed dial. But in the cold blue light of reality for the majority of us, looking that good is just an additional high expectation of motherhood in the 21st century. Really I can’t see her having to put two loads of washing on before the school run, look after a riotous 2 year old while try to clean the house, rushing home after a play date to cook a nutritious meal of fish fingers and baked beans! Can you?

But those two words, the connotations that it brings up, makes me shudder with dread...

“Middle age, that period of age beyond young adulthood, but before the onset of old age”.

I am just not ready to accept the fact that is what I am. Yes, I am a mother so I am responsible when I need to be. But I am not ready to stop being that 20 something girl, to throw away my wardrobe for a more mumsy sensible one, to stop having nights out with the girls (or boys for that matter), dancing on tables, okay haven’t done that in a while but I think you get the picture...

There is a saying “you are only as old as the person you feel” so I’m off out to find me a toy boy...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My little but not so dirty secret......

Dear Frankie
I have a little secret to tell you, it’s not a world changing secret.  Hell it’s not even a “dirty little secret.  It’s not even that I love listening to the Bee Gees on a hot summer’s day.  Frankie, my dear, my secret is you!
Yes you, Frankie Parker, my little blog.  I can count on one hand the people who know about you.
Why have I told no one?  I am not sure perhaps it is because I want to keep you to myself for a little while more.  To see where we can go together and how you develop.  Let’s not run before we can walk as they say.  What if we stop getting on or even have a falling out?  Or is it just that I am not ready to admit to the world yet that I am a blogger.   After all, the written word is so much more powerful than the spoken word.  What if I offend someone close to me by some opinions I may have that differ to theirs?  Hell there is no way you are going anywhere near my Facebook page until I am well and ready for it.  And as for LinkedIn, well that is never going to happen!
Or is it simply that I don’t want people to know about you as it’s a private thing between me and you?  Where I can put my thoughts, ponderings and opinions down without beginning judged as I know you will understand.
It has been hard, very hard at times keeping you quiet.  There has been times where I do so what to mention some of the great blogs I have read or talk about a twitter conservation I have had. 
But no Frankie, I am not ready for that yet, so honey it looks like it is just you and me for a little bit more..
Hope you don’t mind?
Me xx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Friday, 1 July 2011

What if Motherhood was a sporting Competition..??

While sitting and watching Wimbledon over the last few days it got me thinking what if motherhood was a sporting competition? 
After all we all know of the super “competitive mums” who make the rest of us “mere mums” feel inadequate.  You know the sort I am talking about, the ones who have to have the best natural pain free birth around, found breastfeeding a breeze, what post baby fat?  As if at the end of their endless bragging and one-upmanship they get a bright shining medal that they can proudly display as “No 1 Mum”.  Yes I am sure we all know someone like that or perhaps you are one?
So, as I was saying, what if motherhood was a major sporting competition, and what events would there be?  Perhaps there would be….
….The mother of all “Marathons” would be the labour and birth.  Many will fall to the wayside due to sickness along the way; the hint of an epidural will see you disqualified as gas and air is the only accepted drug of choice!  The hotly contested Post Baby fat weigh in, where uber mums would be lining up to prove what great shape they are in after giving birth.  With the occasionally squeal of “I am smaller than I was before getting pregnant”.  Breastfeeding would have to be the hurdles where the mums in this event would be lining up either by choice or because they feel they have to.  Some will drop at the first hurdle, and will give up at this stage while others will pick themselves up and carry on to the next hurdle falling again and again but going until they reach the end.  The 100 meter Baby race, where mums are racing to compete with each other, over what milestones their baby has achieved in their short little lives.  This obviously will turn into the Toddler 1500 meters, where mums will be anxiously racing to tick off all their toddler milestones?  But the most competitive and derision event of mothering must surely be routine versus non-routine.  Like a boxing match this hotly debated topic will go rounds with each side debating which is best and why the other isn’t.
Sound ridiculous don’t you think?  But in some mum circles that I have come across this isn’t far from the truth.  When these situations arise, do I try and compete alongside them?  No bloody way, I stay on the sidelines. Chatting to anyone else who like me, prefers to watch the madness and competitiveness of these mothers without getting involved in it all.

You see there is a need for competition in various areas of life but not in being a mother.  Who cares or why should it bother anyone else on how you got pregnancy, your (or your lack of) morning sickness, what you did in pregnancy, your birthing decisions, if you followed a routine, breast or bottle fed, dummy or no dummy, single or married….?

The only thing that matters is that we are all mums and we should stop passing judgment on other mums especially if their choices were not your own.  Enough judgment on mothers is already being passed by the media with various "research and studies" that hit the papers almost weekly and then let’s not forget the various websites that exist to make us feel like bad mothers when our opinions my differ from theirs.

After all you just never know when you may need the help of the mum, that you have already judged!