11 December, 2014

Body image.

I've been pretty open about my self image issues.  The eating disorder, the lack of good judgement when it came to dating in the past, forever being cast as "the funny one" during my teenage (and post teenage) years.  Now, of course, it's the wobbly tummy and saggy boobs from having grown the bratlets.  I've never been happy with my looks, and I can't even remember how old I was when I started identifying as fat.

Today, as I walked into town, I began to notice a trend.  The girl walking just ahead of the pushchair was gorgeous, a stately Amazonian warrior princess with fantastic legs showcased in a mini skirt.  She was blatantly going out, maybe a Christmas do, or whatever, but she looked amazing.  The men walking toward us, every single one of them, checked her out from the front and then waited for her to pass so they could see if the back was just as good.  (It was.)

Thing is, I overheard the comment from one of the guys to his mate as they walked past me.  "Too tall, though."  I'm sorry, what?  The perfectly lovely specimen that you just shamelessly ogled isn't quite perfect enough for you, you misogynistic little toad?

So I'm realising that it's not about what other people think.  It's about me and how I feel about me.  Yes, my belly is wobbly.  It housed two humans (one at a time, thank goodness) one of whom was close to eleven pounds and two feet long.  Yes, I can tuck my boobs into my waistband.  They fed the same two humans (and still feed one of them).  Stretch marks?  Battle scars.

It's all good, baby.

07 December, 2014


I know you're all familiar with the old standards.  You know, "ELSE EAT" which graduated to "SOMEFIN ELSE EAT", "whobody give this me?", "wubboo" for "love you", "pooguin" instead of "penguin" (which she still uses, actually), etc.  Times, they are a changin'.
  • Today I boosted her onto my back because her short legs combined with her disinclination to go home was making the trip intolerably long.  Mid wail, she lets out "THIS NOT WORKING FOR ME!!!!"...
  • Last week she climbed on top of me where I reclined on the couch to press her face against mine and say "do you wanna build a snowman?"...
  • I told her my ankle was hurting when asked why I didn't want her to bounce up and down on that foot and she put one hand on my face and with a grimace said "oh, darlin'..."
  • She was mad at me one morning for telling her she couldn't wear a dress that was dirty and in the wash, so she glared at me and in a voice dripping with scorn informed me that "you t-shirt not perfect".  Add to this the hat I wanted to buy in TK Maxx but was told "you can't buy that hat, you too old" and I'm going to get a complex about my appearance.
  • For the last six months, if you ask her to tell you a story she makes one up about a princess and a "horrible screaming dragon".
  • She uses any scarf, blanket or tea towel to make a cape to "rescue Carley from James, him pinchin' her butt" and races around the house.
She's currently "hiding" under her little table shouting "HEYYYYY, I ARE HIDING!!!" at Dude, trying to get him to look away from "wreckitelf" (I'll leave you to work that one out for yourself).  I'm looking forward to the next collection of weirdness, she cracks me up daily.

21 November, 2014

Her Highness.

My baby turned three last month.  In the days since her birthday, she's changed so much it's hard for me to remember what it was like when she couldn't talk... *lol*

For instance, this morning in her sleep Madam verbally accosted me with "look what you did to my back!" and violently rolled over, yanking the duvet up over her head.  I found a hat I liked in TK Maxx last week, so I tried it on and asked her what she thought of it.  Cue deadpan face and the assertion that I couldn't buy that hat.  When I asked why, I was informed that I was too old.  This led to a ten minute showdown in the accessories section during which she repeatedly took the hat from me and hung it back on the wall with the reiteration that I was too old to buy that hat.  When she's really mad at me, she says "you t-shirt not perfect."  Shades of a certain Auntie that's a bit of a fashionista... you know who you are.

The party was, as per our usual, a total blast.  House teeming with friends, table teeming with food, yard teeming with overexcited and sugared up children.  Perfection.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

 That's a happy girlie at the end of a very successful birthday party.  Mission accomplished, to be repeated next year.

13 November, 2014

Separation lack of anxiety.

There are things I've meant to blog about (like Madam's most epic party) and haven't gotten around to posting yet.  They're going to have to wait.

It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes I'm reminded of how much I changed the game by moving five thousand miles away from my family.  I still refer to Texas as home sometimes, like "we're going home for Christmas".  Thing is, I don't really mean it.  Yes, there are people in the states that I care about.  Yes, that's where I spent the first twenty-three years of my life, and I've maintained a few friendships from that time.  It just seems foreign and far away at times.

My life has had such a drastic shift in focus in the eleven years since the move.  Some changes I could have predicted.  Some have been way out of left field.  Relationships have evolved, imploded, matured or stagnated on a case by case basis.  On the whole, I'm happier for it.

I've had to physically take myself by the scruff of the neck lately.  My "no drama" policy has been pretty easy to maintain, on the whole.  The internet makes it hard not to get involved on occasion.  More than once I've started typing a comment or retort, thought "do I want to deal with the fallout on this?" and backspaced right back out of it.

What I have to remind myself is that the people who matter are the ones that give and take in equal proportions, people who are positive influences on my mindset and my way of life.  The people who get in touch more often than just when they want something.  If I have to chase you to keep our relationship afloat, it's just not going to work out.  I don't have the time, the energy, or the will to do so.  The people who love me make it known, and I hope I do the same for the people I love.  That's what I choose to focus on.  I want to be the healthy and happy version of me.  I think I'm on my way there.

06 October, 2014

Belated Boy Birthday.

Here we are, six days from Madam's birthday, and I never even blogged Dude's.  Ashamed face.

It was, of course, moustache themed.  Perhaps pictures would be the best medium.  Peruse at your own pace.

The weather, she was good.

 The cake, it was whiskery.

The boy, he ate cake. (And lots of other things.)

There were bubbles.  (Of course.)

The boy worked his imperious arms.

 There were multi-boy cuddles.

 Costumes were donned.

 You know it's been a good party when the guest of honour is unconscious by the end.

 And on his actual birthday, he smashed a cake, as is meet on one's first birthday.

He's supremely weird and unreasonably tall, completely bottomless and hysterically funny.  He's MY boy, and he's one year old.  Life is good.

09 September, 2014


I'm not proud of myself.  Sometimes I melt down.  Friday morning was one of those times.

I've been trying on and off to lose some weight since I had Madam.  Depending upon various circumstances (trips to Texas, market prep, once a month hormonal chocolate ingestion, etc) it's ebbed and flowed.  I went to an Aquafit class last week, and that was really fun, so I decided to do that once a week supplemented by a workout dvd I ordered that boasts a fifteen minute run time.  Fifteen minutes, I thought glibly, I can manage fifteen minutes!

My rosy red rear end.

About three minutes into the workout (read, had just about managed the warmup) I had already had to stop at various points to handle the following:
  • Two booger extractions from Madam's blocked nostrils
  • One removal of New Kid from the kitchen due to removal of the grate under the fridge
  • One removal of New Kid from the kitchen due to attempts to change the washing machine settings
  • Multiple footing changes due to inadvertently having started a game of "who can go between Mom's legs the fastest"
At this point, I lost it.  I mean, I really lost it.  This attempt to work out was perhaps poorly timed, as the two weeks before had been really difficult for me.  It seemed like everyone on the planet needed something from me, and they needed me to invest emotionally.  By the time Friday rolled around, I was tapped out.  Scraping the bottom.  Thus, the meltdown.

I shouted.  I swore a little.  I shoved a princess DVD into the player and stormed upstairs to have a shower, informing Madam that her appearance upstairs would be met with immediate extermination.  (She spent the next half hour apologising for getting in my way.  Ouch.)

I'm cringing as I type this.  I guess the main reason I'm sharing is so that no matter how together I seem on the outside, and I've been accused of looking like I have everything under control by more than one person, the proof is there (in writing, no less) that yours truly loses it just like everybody.  Spectacularly, in this particular instance.

The moral of the story?  Working out isn't always good for you.  Maybe leave it until the kids start school.  Or uni.  Whichever.

11 July, 2014

The worst kind of taco.

So, last night we were all hanging out in the front room, Madam was running around with Himself and Dude was lounging in my lap where he'd just taken a nap.  We kept getting whiffs of a bad smell, and Himself mentioned it was something in the park, that he'd been smelling it for a couple of days.  I assumed that's what it was as we had the windows open, but kept catching waves of this noxious reek and finally decided to check Dude's butt.

Yeah, it wasn't the park.

Himself got the cushion ready in the floor, got the nappy and wipes in place, and I handed Dude down.  That's where shit got real.  Himself merrily whipped Dude's trousers off.  




It was all down his leg, up his back, everywhere.  Then, due to the trouser whipping, it was all over Himself, all over the cushion, all over the floor.  Everywhere.  I had to carry Dude upstairs taco'd in the cushion, strip down the rest of him, deposit his pooey self in the tub and use the showerhead to blast the remnants down the drain.  Several soapings later, he smelled significantly more boychild and less open cesspit.

We are glamorous, no?

01 May, 2014

You gotta have faith.

It takes a lot of faith in humanity to leave the house.  We cram ourselves into packed tube trains and walk down crowded streets in the sea of humanity that floods London on a daily basis, trusting in the general standard of behaviour that stops those total strangers from stabbing us as we shove past to get where we're going.

Such as the female that accosted me at Tesco as I left the car park this morning.  I had wrestled my squalling two year old into her clothes, her shoes, and the car to get there in the first place.  I then navigated the aisles with her complaining at the top of her lungs that she was starving to death, because it's my fault that she wouldn't eat the toast or banana she demanded of me for breakfast.  I dealt with the tantrum through the store with her wailing, got out the car without giving in and giving her the f*cking cake she decided she had to have, got her and her blissfully happy brother strapped in and the groceries loaded and began to pull out of our space.  All of a sudden there's a rap on my car window, and I stopped, thinking the brassy blonde mouthing at me through the glass was trying to tell me I'd left something on the roof of the car or something.  When I rolled the window down, she began to berate me, saying that as she drives a cab and has no boot, she shouldn't have to park in the normal spaces and that's why she was parking in the baby and toddler spots.  I managed to rally my brains, scrambled after yet another night of no sleep, enough to ask her why she felt the need to tell me that.  She shot out that I'd given her a filthy look as I pulled out...

Of course, she had no idea that the filthy look on my face is just how I look today.  She had no idea that I've not slept in three years, that I'm running on one coffee a day, that I've been dealing with the Queen of Sh*theads for the last two hours, and that I didn't even register her presence until she rapped on my window.  She still felt comfortable reaming me over the fact that I'd apparently given her a "look", despite the fact that it doesn't say "Customers with children under the age of five AND ANYBODY ELSE WHO FEELS LIKE USING THESE SPACES" on the sign.  She had faith that I wouldn't do anything about it.  In my mind, I pulled back into the spot, got out, grabbed her by the back of her head and slammed her face into the hood of her cab.  All the way home, I had to physically stop myself from driving back to Tesco and smashing in all her windows.

Violent?  Yes, yes I am.  I go through life dealing with stupid people.  Most days I deal okay, curbing my natural tendencies, and allow them to swan through life thinking they have the right to behave that way.  My thing is, would people have so much faith in the inaction of others if every now and then I didn't curb those tendencies?  If, on occasion, their ridiculous behaviour resulted in consequences?

I won't act on my internal fantasies, certainly not with my children in the back seat.  It's very satisfying to imagine that someday the people who behave that way will get theirs, karma and all that.  I do my best to treat those around me the way I'd like to be treated, and I know I fail sometimes, but I honestly do try to remember that I don't know what the people around me are dealing with on any given day.  Maybe it would be easier to have that faith to leave the house if everybody tried a little harder to act with grace.

21 April, 2014

Current contentment.

I've been ruminating on the nature of marriage and relationships in general lately.  I realised that as of August, Himself and I will have been married for seven years.  That means I've been in the same relationship for eight and a half years.  Anybody who knew me in the pre-Himself days might be pinching themselves about now.

I never put much stock in long term relationships.  I had many a short term gig, and I didn't see myself as the marrying type.  If you'd told the twenty-something me that in ten years I'd be living in suburbia with my husband and our two children, smart money would be on a sarcastic response with a side of eye rolling.  If you'd told my grandfather that I'd be a housewife with a catering business, there would definitely have been snorting, possibly even sniggering, with his helping of eye rolling.  *lol*

As unexpected an outcome as my current lifestyle is, I'm loving it.  Yes, I get frustrated and tired dealing with a temperamental two year old diva and He Who Sleeps Not.  Yes, I get the occasional swamping wave of guilt over not financially contributing more to the household.  That said, I feel incredibly grateful that thanks to Himself's superior planning and work ethic I'm able to stay home with our children.  I'm so lucky that I'm able to play at cooking and crafting and get paid for it.  I'm insanely fortunate to have a husband that can still give me butterflies after all this time.

Life is good.

20 March, 2014

Be nice or leave.

There's a lot of negativity on the internet right now.  Okay, I might be stating the obvious just a bit here.  Maybe I should have said, "in my face", rather than "on the internet".  Yeah, that's more accurate.

I'm one of those awful people, those narrow minded uneducated types, that doesn't keep up with current affairs.  I don't want to read about that child that was brutally murdered by its nanny, or that plane crash that killed two hundred people, or that dictator executing anybody that doesn't agree with him.  I don't want to read about causes.  I don't think there's any one way to do things or that mine is the right one, so telling me that if you're not breastfeeding your child or using cloth nappies or WHATEVER, you're perpetrating a heinous crime...  not interested.

I don't want to read the negativity, which means, I don't comment on it either.  I've unsubscribed from a fair chunk of my friend list on Facebook because seeing how angry you are with that company or that statement just makes me tired.  Forgive me for saying so, but I don't think for one second that making a snarky comment on a social media site will change anything.  I don't think that belittling other people for what they choose to post online makes you look cool.  I think it makes you look like you've got nothing better to do.

I choose to live in unenlightened bliss.  I choose to try to limit my own negativity, a constant struggle for someone so naturally gifted with the snark.  *grin*  I fail sometimes, as I'm sure you're all aware, but I try.  And I'm more than aware that this post will likely bring a barrage of hate down on my head, people who think I'm burying my head in the sand or being holier than thou.  Backlash notwithstanding, this is simply how I feel.  I'm content just trying to get by with my own little family, my catering and my market stall, my circle of friends and our various activities.

So yeah.  I'm going to go hug a tree or something.  Smile at a stranger.  Hold a door for somebody with full hands.  Shiny.

12 February, 2014


Our son is six months old.

I remember how long my days felt in the time until Bratface was six months old.  Each day (especially in the beginning, when we didn't know anybody and didn't have anywhere to be) seemed to stretch out in front of me into the distance.  This time, I feel like I blinked, and all of a sudden he's half a year old.  

It doesn't help that he's insanely enormous.  When he was born, he was 23" long.  At three months old he had grown two inches to 25".  At six months, and after much struggle, I managed to measure him at 28".  At this rate, he's going to be the only six foot tall five year old in his class.  He's such a string bean, trousers with adjustable waists are the way forward because there's not a 6-9mo size pair in the land that aren't cut for a kid twice as big around as he is.  I need to get sewing on some skinny kid clothes.  What with having all that free time and all.

We had to start him on real food sooner than I planned to.  With Madam, we managed to hold her off right until she was six months old, started with rice cereal and graduated to avocado (you know, because its chemical makeup is similar to breastmilk, thus easier to digest for breastfed babies...).  Every step was thoroughly researched for what was going to be best for her tiny self.  With Dude, his first food was palmier, courtesy of his sister.  At two months old.  Then, later that month, I got to fish a piece of popcorn out of his mouth, courtesy of same.  Madam with her avocado, Dude with his French pastry.  *sigh*  He's moved on to just about any fruit or vegetable I'm eating, and he's super happy about it.  Of course, he's not that happy about the effect on his digestive system, but I think he's decided it's worth it.  At least, he doesn't turn his nose up at my offerings.

He's not saying anything intelligible yet, but he babbles on like he thinks he is.  His first sound was "bwa", which I thought was pretty funny when repeated ad nauseum.  Add to your mental picture the fact that while he was saying it, his mouth was the shape of the mouth on the Tragedy theatre mask.  Yup.  Hours of entertainment.

He loves water.  We've not been swimming yet for various reasons, but he's a big fan of the shower and the bath.  In the shower, he twists himself into contortions trying to get his hands into the direct spray from the showerhead.  In the bath, he starts kicking before he's made contact with the water.  I have a feeling he's going to attack swimming with the same singleminded glee.

He's happy almost all the time.  He has his days, of course, but generally he's so laid back he's horizontal.  He's strong.  His eyes already have a brown tinge to them and his hair has stayed dark (and thicker than Madam's was at this stage).  He's paler in complexion, and his eyelashes would rival a giraffe's.  His bird of prey impression is spot on.

He's lovely.  Happy half birthday, Dude.

20 January, 2014

No drama, mama.

Before I write a new post, I tend to re-read the previous one. I will refer you to said post. That's why I haven't written again until now. *lol*

This will be a "cataloguing events" post, rather than a topically specific one. Funny things happen, and I forget to write them down, thus forgetting they happened until reminded by Himself of the omnivorous, omnipotent and omnipresent (to stick with the alliteration, should we add "obnoxious"?) memory.

  • Madam turned two. We had fifty something people at our house. Literally, fifty something. For a two year old's party. I can't wait to show her those pictures when she has a two year old of her own.

  • On Christmas Eve, Himself, his family, the kids and I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It rained torrentially. Think sideways. We abandoned the park for a little jaunt into town for some window shopping, and at one point wandered into Liberty to look at shiny things. While I drooled gently onto a tray of initial pendants made of various metals and diamonds, I jokingly mentioned to Himself that the next time he does something really awful, I want one with an "I" and one with an "A". He blankly stared at me for a second, then finally asked why I wanted an "A"... that's right, he'd forgotten our son's full name.

  • Christmas happened. I managed to get a real tree (yes, we decorated it on Christmas Eve... so what, it still got decorated before Christmas) to save the trunk for ornaments like we did with Madam's first tree. I did manage to get New Kid's stocking made (again, on Christmas Eve... shut up). I did not manage to get the kids footprints like I did at Madam's first Christmas. I did manage to get stockings hung and filled for five adults and two kids, I did manage to provide sausage balls and hot chocolate, and I did manage to get a few pictures of Bratchild's response to her (frankly embarrassing) pile of presents.  It was a good holiday.

  • My mother made it over for a visit, she arrived on Boxing Day.  We hadn't seen her since last Christmas, she hadn't met New Kid, it was well overdue.  I got a firsthand look at what a difference it makes in day to day life to have family near when you have more than one child.  I was spoiled rotten for the week she managed to carve out of her insanely busy life, and it was lovely.  Thus begins the campaign to get her to move over here...

  • We rehomed our moglets.  A lovely lady in Northolt needed furry babies, we had two that were living in less than perfect circumstances, thus a workable solution for all appeared.  I could not have engineered a better place for them to be, the lady is genuinely lovely and will spoil them rotten.  She's stayed in touch, sends me pictures of their escapades regularly.  I'm very happy.

Things are ticking along nicely on the catering and marketing fronts.  I have new business for catering and repeat business for markety bits.  I'm clearing out the house slowly but surely... we have too many things.  I'm donating good quality unwanteds, trashing the rubbish, cleaning each room down to base level, patching cracks and repainting dingy surfaces.  I need a house slave.  Any and all offers of labour will be accepted and paid for in baked goods.

I'm also slowly removing every little bit of drama from my life.  I'm too old, too tired, and too impatient to have that much stupid surrounding me.  As part of that, I'm stepping down from being the responsible party for our Monday baby group.  I'm distancing myself from various sources of stress.  I'm taking my vitamins and cuddling my children.  When they bloom, I fully intend to smell the roses.

Life is good.  Busy... tiring... but good.  I hope you can say the same.