Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Out of commission

I don't know what's going on. Blog roll has been neglected and so has my house. This Flu has taken me in one fowl sweep.

I use to be one of those annoying people who never is never sick. I would get the sniffles once a year and that.was.it. Since I've had my son I've been sick once every 7-10 weeks. With either a cold, flu, stomach virus and even once septicemia. It's all very charming.

Right now I still ache and the worst part is I have the shivers. I hate the shivers. Does anyone else hate the shivers?

SO. Yesterday at work, my plan was to keep my head down and blog and feel sorry for myself.

Of course, the gods thought other wise.

First thing I see when I get to my desk is two e-mails. Sent Thursday evening declaring that I had to attend a meeting from 9.30am-11.30am and then a second meeting at 12.30pm to 3.30pm, This second meeting I was meant to be talking at too. LOVELY. They obviously can't recall that I never worked on a Friday or Monday there.

So I was stuck in hot and stuffy presentations and meetings all day. The only sweet pleasure I got out of this was watching as everyone inched their chairs further away from me and I interrupted the presentation at the most important parts with a coughing fit. Bet they wish they hadn't insisted I attended now!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sureal Peace

Husband has taken Son to the park in this glorious weather to feed the ducks and allow me a 30 minute nap, which I am now going to take.

I just had to blog about this first though because the house...without boys in it... is really quite strange.

It's so quite...

I don't recall the last time I was in this house without either of the boys here. It's kind of magical.

I almost feel like I shouldn't sleep, just sit in the living room in the blissful silence and read for a while. But my body aches so much that I really feel I need a recoup because then it's time to make dinner! Husband did offer to cook but I feel I need to keep going or I'll stop altogether, and I like to be busy anyways.

I have a question about chicken for you all though. I've defrosted some chicken and now I need to marinate it for 24 hours, will this be ok? Since it's defrosted etc.

Sunday news

I feel rough. To put it simply. I suppose it's a cold or the like but my whole body aches and I'm coughing so much I keep peeing a little. I know, I know, just totally took the glam out of Eve for you. Too bad. Even perfect people like me get sick and pee themselves a little.

Husband has agree to the rota of a hot bath and massage for me once son is sound asleep. I can't wait.

I'm about to do some serious batch cooking, pasta sauce for the next couple of weeks, mashed potatoes (I have a bag full of potatoes about to go off and I can't stand to waste them. So mash it is! It freezes well) and then I'm making For The Love of Cooking's Asian Chicken and Fried Rice for dinner. I've been meaning to make this for a while and today seem as good a day as any.

Did I mention as well I have an order for the Carrot Cake I made last week? One of my work collegues asked for a cake for this Tuesday. I make the cake, she gives me a bottle of wine. Sounds like a deal to me! It's also a super way to have a reason to practice my baking. I'm hoping she'll continue to put in requests and I can use her as a genuine pig while I experiment more.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a kitchen to attend too.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Theta Mom Thursday!

Ah now this week I actually have something for you ladies. Or for me I suppose. I made time. I grabbed that "no boys allowed" sign and held it high. Oh was it ever needed.


So, as you may know, my sister was over this weekend. USUALLY because it's the weekend boys are with us at all times. If not both then Son, but I needed to do a little birthday shopping for Husband so he dropped Sister and I off at at Freeport shopping center and we got to work!

On drinking lots of coffee and talking.

Nada shopping was done. We gave up after reaching the 3rd shop and realizing we couldn't recall what the two shops we'd been in previously were. You know when you are so into a conversation that you are on auto pilot and you do the motions (in our case, browsing) but aren't there? This happened, so eventually we retired to Starbucks where we talked, caffeinated ourselves and chain smoked.

It was one of those talks that needed a cigarette to go with it. One of those deep emotional talks about childhood and now being an adult. For me it really helped and it felt good to talk to someone who understood.

I'm glad we did it. I though now, of course, am constantly worried for her. But she is strong. She is like me.

So success for my Theta Mom Thursday! Since Theta Mom started this though it really made me realize how involved I am with everybody else. It's shocking how hard it is to find 1 selfish hour in a week... 1 hour out of 168.. I didn't manage to make it for the last 2 weeks and it just made me realize how although super that is for everyone else in my life, it's not so super for me. 1 hour! Must try harder.

I would have never thought I would have to push myself to be selfish. The things kids do to you.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

And just when I think you're gone, there you are



I have a stalker. I suppose everyone should have a stalker once in a while. I've had semi-stalkers before, Usually emo-type young men who slip poetry under my front door and dried flowers, or the obvious choice of a mix tape with a playlist consisting of such song like "I will always love you" and "My all". Gag. They're always a bit creepy but exciting, everyone likes a good weirdo story. I'm not one to be flattered by stalker tendencies though as I hate clinginess and the whole bull shit of "I need you to be happy". Blagh. No thanks, I got my own happiness to worry about.

Anyways, I might have gotten of track a little there. I have a stalker. This Stalker has been stalking me for over a year now. Despite my cold shoulder, my insults and threats she still persists. Ah yes! She. Let me tell you the story.
When Son was about 5 months old I was feeling a bit lonely and so joined a local mummy chat forum, hooking new mums up with each other. Sounded like a good idea at the time as I have no friends in the UK with children and was looking for someone to understand my stress and fears.

Stalker got in touch, and at first it was chatting through e-mail and finding out more about each other, she was not from the local area and although I had joined a 0-1yr babies group her son was 2+. I at first was hesitant because I felt I wanted someone more local and with a child Son's age so they could play, but she suggested we meet for coffee in London and I feeling desperately lonely, agreed.

It was good, normal, and fun. now let me share the kind of picture she painted for me regarding her life. She is from a wealthy back ground, she married a man with a very well paid job and is obviously spoilt and gets what she wants. Her and her son were both dressed in designer clothes. She doesn't see her husband much because if he's not working he's out at "business dinners" which usually end up making him miss the last bus home (...night buses?) which means he has to "crash on his female work colleagues couch"... Because she lives close to the office... Riiiight. Now, I'm not one to jump to conclusions (oh I so am, especially if they are juicy conclusions. I just usually keep them to myself) but sounds to me like there was an affair going on which she was either trying not to see or she is just really thick.

While we were having coffee she invited Husband, Son and I to come to her house for a BBQ that following day, I said we were not sure but I would let her know in the morning. This is when the stalker tendencies began.
Between when I left her that late afternoon and when I woke up in the morning I had 6 missed calls from her, and several texts. Each text said the same thing "Hope you and your son are doing well, can't wait to see you later!"...
Husband and I were both not very interested in going to her BBQ because we'd had a busy week and were looking forward to some lazy family time. Eventually, late that morning I text'd her to let her know we were declining the offer but that I would get in touch with her after the weekend so we could arrange another coffee date. I had hardly put my phone down before she had text'd me back with something along the lines of:

"Please come! My Husband has invited some of his work colleagues over and I will have no one to talk too, I can't do this on my own!"

Now, if there is one thing I hate more than clinginess it is desperateness. especially from someone I wouldn't consider a close friend and especially from someone I just met. It's a real turn off, you know?

But alas, I feel guilty and husband and I decide what the hell, we'll go. We met her husband and his "female work colleague"...Awkward! And obvious... The whole experience was very strange and she continued to be shocked any time Husband would pick up, cuddle or play with our Son. She would squeal "oh look at daddy with his baby!" and then she would hang around him making sure he was holding our Son right... OBVIOUSLY her Husband had little to do with their little boy. It was sad really, I didn't see him acknowledge his son once. Husband and I were there for 2 hours and then made our excuses to bolt. I was feeling very uncomfortable at this point because Stalker was showing a lot of interest in Husband and Son, almost as if she wanted them for herself... wanted to be me. This develops later.

Stalker offered to let us borrow a push chair of hers for a while since mine was wonky, as well. This I am telling you because it plays a big role later.

After we left this BBQ although there was definitely a few odd looks passed between Husband and I, we did not think too much of it. Just a lonely woman, looking for friends. WRONG. I received 8-10 calls and text's from her every day for the next 7 DAYS. I personally am not a big phone person, I can talk on the phone for hours sometimes, if I have something to say, but I won't have anything to say to you other than "stop calling" if you call me that much. I had told her upone leaving I would call her next weekend for a chat. She called. and called. and called. and text'd. I once or twice answered and said I was busy and would call her back that evening...an hour later, she would call. and call. and call. And she never had anything to say! just "hey, whats going on?".."ah, nothing, just thinking of blocking your number". In desperation at some point I agreed to go out for drinks with her that coming Friday assuming I could get a baby sitter (since Husband would not be home). Come Thursday I could not get a baby sitter (and I did try!) so I called to break the news. The guilt she rained down on me! How could I cancel at such short notice, didn't I know she had bought a new dress and booked a hair and makeup appointment (...I was under the impression we were going to the pub. not to meet the queen). I apologized and said "Well, you of all people should understand what it's like. My In-laws have plans, they can't baby sit" She hung up. then 5 minutes later called back with a number of a babysitter she had googled in my local area. PLEASE! really? I'm not leaving my 6 month old son with a woman I have never met and have no recommendations for. She said I was being selfish. I at this point said I had to go and I would call her when I had a chance.

This did not stop her. For the following two weeks she called and called and called and called. She text'd and acted like this was normal. Now the thing is, I have a lot of friends, some of my best friends I see only once a month if lucky, because we're busy people, we understand. I don't want to spend every free moment I have being the support for a woman I just met and lets be honest, is fucking creepy. After a few E-mails sent from Stalker asking why I was ignoring her and what was wrong, I discussed with Husband my options. Be a pussy and block her electronically and hope that's the end of it, Or do the good thing and tell her how it is and a kind goodbye.

I must have been drunk or something because I decided on the latter. It took me a good 10 minutes to get up the courage to call her because I, although when pressed can be quite nasty, am not one for causing strife. But I didn't want this woman in my life anymore, so it had to be done. The convo, went a little something like this:

Me: Listen, I'm feeling very uncomfortable with how much you are calling me. It's not appropriate especially since we hardly know each other.

Stalker: This is surprising... Especially since you were the one who said you'd call me and we could have coffee.

Me: Yeah, well that was before you started acting like this.

Stalker: Acting like what? I'm doing what any other best friend would do. Keeping in touch, supporting-

(This is when I cut her off)

Me: You're not my best friend...We met a month ago.

Stalker: Well..Not YET.

Me: .... (unsure how to deal with crazy people)

Stalker: It's alright. I get it, you need space. I promise I won't call so much.

Me: That's great. But the thing is, I don't want you to call at all. You've made this awkward and we hardly know each other so it's not like were invested. So I think we should just break it off with a nice goodbye and wish you all the best.

Stalker: Really? Well...why don't we just have a break. a couple of weeks, think things over before we do anything we regret

(Why do I feel like I'm breaking up with this woman...)

Me: I'd prefer you to just not call me ever again actually.

Stalker: I'll let you cool of and then call you later.

Me: No. Don't call. Finished. the end. Not so nice knowing you. Bye!

I go to hang up at this point. But just for measure, say into the mouth piece "NUTTER!"

...So mature.

So it's over. It's ended. Oh Thank god. I sat there breathing a sigh of relief, feeling free again. Until. My phone rings... It's her! Shit. I quickly reject the call. But it continues. for the next 3 days she calls and texts me over and over, leaves me messages, all sounding very breezy as if we never had that conversation. She did send me one e-mail saying she felt I betrayed her trust. BLAHBLAH. WotEVAH.

In her e-mail though she does ask me for her pram back. blast, I forgot we had that. After lots of convincing ("If I take it back she'll probably hog tie me and keep me in her closet!") Husband agrees he'll drop it buy her house. So off he goes...And when he returns he has this amused smirk on his face... Oh god. "What happened?" I ask. "She invited me in...for a drink. But she was all dressed up. Like, you know. And then said that if I ever needed to talk or wanted a shoulder to lean on, she was there for me"... I burst out laughing. THAT'S IT!! She doesn't want to be friends with me! She wants to BE ME! She wants my perfect handsome attentive husband and my cute perfect clever boy....Shit...good thing I cut it off.

So, I go out and spend £60 on an new phone because it allows me to block numbers and do exactly that. I unfriend her on Facebook and block her e-mail address... over a year later I still get a monthly friends request on Facebook from her with a little message "how's you and my boys?"

My boys? THEY ARE MINE YOU CRAZY WITCH. MINE!

I know I can block her on Facebook too... But it's kind of interesting to see how long she'll keep trying. Husband things next time I should friend her and play it a bit, see what happens...For entertainment purposes. But this seems to me a little demonic. So, maybe not.

Success in baking

So, you know how I made Natalie's Killer Carrot Cake recently? When I made it I made a 6 inch cake and 6 mini cupcakes. We ate the cupcakes and today I bought the cake into work. I came into work at 8:45 this morning and the cake is now gone. GONE. Check out the time people! 9.05am.

That's what I call success. Also, the cake, totally different from the cupcakes I made with it. As in SO.MUCH.BETTER. I'm now the raving hit at work.

Hm, maybe they'll let me keep my job!

Now, if you'll have to excuse me I've got to go and praise Natalie.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Maternity Leave

I've got a question that came to my mind after reading ...and baby makes 3!'s most recent post.

What's maternity leave like in the US? Kristi say's she was blessed to stay home with her son for 4 1/2 months before returning to work. Is that the extent of maternity leave in the USA? I was a little surprised when reading the post because I thought "Only 4 1/2 months?!"... Not of course anything against Kristi at all! But because...that's all the maternity leave you get?

In the UK the government pays you monthly for 8 months of maternity leave, you can then extend that to 12 months (not being paid for those last four months but still guaranteed your job back when you return). Usually your employer adds something to this scheme. Mine for example paid me 90% of my salary for the first 3 months of my maternity leave. The British seriously complain about this as well by the way, because the government doesn't pay you much more that 400 pounds a month when on maternity and in some places in Europe (Sweden being one) you get 1 years full paid maternity leave.

Now I am wondering if in fact, we should keep our mouths shut here in the UK (though I never did complain... I am lucky enough to not need to work etc. cause of husband's job. I choose to work part time) if the USA is so much worse.

And shockingly too!!

I feel like a bit of a lady of luxury now to be honest... I mean... I could not imagine putting my son into child care any earlier than I did (he was 1 when he started 3 days a week, though he had been going for 2 mornings a week for a month. to gradually introduce him) nor finding the emotional strength to HAVE to go back to work in the midst of weaning my son (My most favorite time!)...And Breastfeeding... How do you guys breastfeed if you are working after 4 months? Do you just not? Or do you pump?

I just... I can't fathom how you could manage. I know people do... of course they do. And I am sure they do more than manage. I just... Can't wrap my head around the fact that this is the United States of America I'm talking about. It just seems so behind the times.

A long weekend

I had my sister over for a 4 day weekend. Dropped her off at Waterloo this afternoon. It was nice having her over, having the distraction and being able to just chat and be open. We really get along, although she can be a bit much at times. She's a very affectionate person, so likes cuddling and leaning on people etc. Things I hate. I'm very protective about my personal space, and she likes to invade it. Although I know it's because that's her way of showing affection it still gets too much at times. And I don't know her well enough to be able to just be like "Fuck off out of my space".

You see, this is my half sister, from my fathers side. She's 4 years younger than I am and although I've always known about her I only met her a few years ago. One of those soap opera stories of she was an illegitimate child, my father wasn't suppose to have anything to do with her, another man raised her as her own and then my brother found her on MySpace, sent her a message along the lines of "Hey sis! Crazy we have the same Dad huh?" And totally shook her world (She didn't have a clue about us or that the man who raised her was not her real father)... It was a rocky few months. She's fit into my life well now and because I always knew of her I never found it of a shock to have "another sister". She's very similar to my siblings and I too, so she feels like part of the family.

Anyway, enough of the Soap Opera like life history... I made the Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie from Closet Cooking the other day and I must give a review. Firstly, I found it a joy to make and an even bigger joy to eat! My god! Without hesitation I can say this is my new favorite desert. Now, sure I do have a weakness for Rhubarb, and anything with a crumble topping is good in my book, but this desert was SO good that I ate all but two slices of this pie. Am I ashamed? My thighs are a little, but mmm mmmm MMM. Rhubarb season is my favorite season.

Husband loved the pie too though he felt it was too sweet for his liking (IS there such a thing?!).

I'm making this again. For sure.

Yesterday I made Natalie's Killer Carrot Cake over at Natalie's Killer Cuisine and again, YUM. Carrot cake is generally my favorite cake and I always think it's something that can't go wrong with. There are a few things I would do differently next time. I'd use more carrot's. I think I only used 2 cups although the recipe calls for 3 (my son was helping with the measuring) and I found the frosting was too wet. I, like Natalie suggests, used 3 cups of icing sugar (powdered sugar) but my icing seemed to stay creamy and wet despite Natalie's looking very...fluffy almost.

I assume this is my mistake, though I'm not sure what I did wrong. I used an electric whisk to mix it... Maybe on too high a setting? Would that make a difference?

Practice makes perfect as they say. Considering making fig tarts later this week, though I do still need to have another go at that damn cheese cake.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Jenga

The last few therapy sessions I've had have been very intense. Delving deep into my past and bringing up a lot of questions and anger. It's left me feeling venerable and scared in some ways, and my "defense" for these emotions is to get organized. I need structure and routine in my life to make me feel safe while dealing with these troubles, and I need it badly. It's slightly OCDish I suppose. I plan my day the night before (while I'm laying in bed) in my head. Every second from when I get up (wake up. get out of bed. go to the toilet. brush teeth. turn on the shower. get in the shower....etc etc. down to the last detail) to when I go to sleep. I have a plan. I need to be in control.

If I loose control or if things don't go to plan, I effectively have a melt down. I get snappy, emotional, scared and paranoid. My therapist explained to me today that I have these melt downs because I depend SO much on the routine that when it breaks down, so does my mental state. This has happened 3 times this week.

The first time, because I decided I didn't like the taste of a marinade I was making, which meant I needed to make a different one, which ruined the "routine". Husband got a serious verbal thrashing... I'm not sure why I thought it was his fault but it was, and everything came out suddenly and I hated him for it.

Second time Husband made a comment about the way I was cooking. I snapped. We screamed, accused, I said he was an ungrateful bastard...etc.etc. All quite boring. Again. I hated him in those moments.

After these blow outs I eat humble pie and ask for forgiveness. Husband smiles and says he knows and that it's ok, and all the things bloody Mr. Perfect should say.

The thing is, this is very out of character for me. I don't nag, I don't blow up, I'm generally so laid back (particularly in our marriage) that I could fall over. We don't fight...really, we don't. I mean, we have differences, but we both usually just can't be bothered and get on with things. But this stuff we've been dragging up lately at Therapy has me shaken. Husband knows, and understands and is supportive... but it still sucks.

But... Like I said, this blow out of mine happened 3 times. The 3rd time, was last night.

The "routine" that day was I was to pick up Son after work, I would take him home and I would let him help me make dinner and then together we would make a pie. Nice family friendly stuff. After dinner and dessert we would play cars, have a bath and then go to bed. Perfect routine.

Except Son is nearing 2, you know? and 2 year olds...well they have tantrums. And BOY did he have one. He's at that age now where all his emotions are on high volume, so simple frustration turns into a full 45 minutes scream fest. And it did. Dinner ended up all over the kitchen and living room floor, my bookshelves were turned upside down. He literally ran.a.muck. I (and I'm proud to say this) kept my cool. Tried ignoring him, then tried being stern and then tried just being supportive, reminding him I was there and that it was time to calm down and that he was safe and ok and if he could calm down for a minute and tell me what was wrong I could help. It worked. He calmed down, but he was on edge from then on. One little move (like his toy car rolling off the ramp before he wanted it too) would set him off. I called Husband for reinforcements because I was feeling quite frazzled but Wednesday night is Husbands late night so he wasn't going to be home until Son's bed time. I had to trek on. And trek on I did! I stayed the cool calm and collected mummy my son knows, I put on that brave Mummy face all mothers know about.

And as soon as Husband walked in the door, just as Son was getting ready for story time? I grabbed a beer and a cigarette, went out into the garden and sobbed my little eyes out. It was like someone turned on the release valve and it all came out. I sobbed and I sobbed. and I smoked and I smoked. and I sobbed some more until I finally stopped shaking. Eventually I knew I would have to show my face though, so I wiped the mascara off my cheeks and went in. Husband ordered me to have a long hot bath, put my feet up. But I knew I needed to pull myself in first, find my routine again, to again feel safe. So I cooked and I baked. and I did it all some more. And I felt better...

But you know what it was that really killed me about last night? It wasn't so much my Son's tantrum... It was that the whole time he was crying or yelling...He was crying and yelling "Daddy"... Calling for his Daddy. That cut like a knife. What's wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Why don't you like me? Why can't I comfort you?

It hurt. It still hurts.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Confort in children

Feeling a bit stressed the last couple of days which has left me snapping easily at husband and finding it hard to focus on anything for longer than 5 minutes. Hence the neglect to my blog and blog roll. Apologies, I am thinking of you all though.

Son is teething and so had a rough night on Sunday and we made the mistake of allowing him to stay up for cuddles.. I know it sounds mean of me to say this, but we shouldn't have done this. You give this kid a inch and he takes a mile. The last 2 nights have been spent trying to again "teach him" how to put himself to bed and that Mummy and Daddy can't stay in his bedroom with him ALL NIGHT. It's tough work, involving a lot of whining and a lot of in and out between rooms. Usually takes a couple of hours too... So tiring.

I'm not super strict with Son but I do feel he and I benefit from him having a set bedtime routine. He goes to bed no later than 8pm and I should be able to just walk him into his bedroom, give him and kiss, say goodnight and walk out. He's generally always been good, slept through from 3 months old 7pm-7am and he is like this now too...except seriously, give him any hint that he can get away with anything (more play time etc.) and he grabs hold of that bad boy and won't let go.

Sometimes you gotta do the tough love.

But after doing the tough love I always feel guilty and want to climb into his bed and cuddle him all night, but I know if I do this we'll all suffer the following evening.

I cling to Son when I am feeling emotional or stressed. Mostly because I find comfort in the fact that this is somewhere I belong and am needed. And when I am with Son I am forced to put on the brave face and be in control and happy for his sake. I often delve deep into the worlds of play when I feel low or frustrated with something, because Son can always pick me up again just by smiling or sneaking up behind and rugby tackling me (a regular occurrence). When he was very little (and even when he was in my tummy) I would speak to him about what worried me etc. and just talk and talk and tell him about California and all the little details. I don't do that anymore now that he understand me. I fear he'll think I'm crazy if he hears everything I've got to say!


Monday, 14 September 2009

I aspire to be

I just found this website called Hostess with the Mostess. I've been trolling through it for a good 30 minutes now and I'm just getting all itchy with anticipation. The things I could do! It is totally my goal to be a brilliant host, it'll also come up in conversations when people are praising my famous cheesecake.

I've asked hubby to send me to finishing school but he just laughed. Did he not know I was serious?

This is short and sweet because Son has just gone for his nap and I'm desperate to grab a cat nap myself before he awakes... I've been up since 1am on and off. maybe got 4 hours sleep in total? Teething I think.

The joys of motherhood.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Theta Mom Thursday...but on a Friday!


I totally started writing this post ON Thursday but haven't had a chance until now (Friday night) to finish it. Funny how life does that. Before I go on though I have to say there is a sickly sweet smell of garbage in my house and I can't figure out where it's coming from. I wish it would go away though.

So, What did I do for my Theta Mom Thursday?

Well I had it all planned. Monday Husband was off and a friend of mine has just come back from six weeks in India and I wanted all the details. So, a leisurely afternoon coffee seemed in order, no? And with free babysitting (provided by Husband) this was a perfect opportunity!

But, come Monday when I proposed the idea to Husband he seemed not very enthusiastic to be taking charge of Son for a hour or two. Now, he didn't say no, but he did the whole "Well, if you don't want him to be with you then I guess I'll watch him" thing...which of course then prompts me to get on the defense and say "It's not that I don't want him with me, I love him, he can always come with me....but" and then Husband cuts in with "whatever, do what you want"

So of course... I had to take Son with me. So that went out the window for my 1 hour of time to myself...And left me with a week that seemed to fly by in which I did nothing for myself. Other than Therapy. But I don't like to count that because that happens every week so I wanna set myself another hour a week to myself, you know?

I did just have a nice long bath...which I spent half of shaving, which I was doing because I don't want it to get to the point where Husband wonders why his wife is hairier than he is... So, that wasn't really for me either.

Who would have thought finding one totally selfish hour would be so hard?

Next week I shall try harder. :)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

It starts with the parents

I am a true believer that at the end of the day most things come back to the parents. Especially when they are under the age of 10. Sure, there are other factors in their life that make impressions on them and can sometimes not be the fault of the parent. For example, my mother-in-law thinks it is hilarious when my son tries to hit people, and encourages this (sometimes with household items) in ways, so I always end up going home and having a week long battle of again trying to make my son understand it is NOT ok. Which I of course, always do, but then it all starts up again next time mother-in-law has a go (Before you jump to conclusions about my mother-in-law please await a later post regarding the integrates of life with the in-laws).

Now the reason I'm talking about this is because this morning I was reading an article on Sky News called "UK Kids still living in Dickens-Style Poverty". Children from poverty are starting school not yet toilet-trained, unable to dress themselves and use and knife and fork properly... Now, my first thoughts are you don't need money to do those things, right?... And if anything toilet-training saves money, no? I mean, think of what you'd save on nappies/diapers! So, this hasn't got to do with poverty so much as it has to do with laziness.

These kind of things truly really absolutely get my blood boiling. And it's totally a common thing in Britain and the main problem with society here. Everyone blames the government and expects the government to fix their problems, NO ONE takes responsibility for their own life and their own children.

It boggles my mind still that people who don't want children still have children when there are so many methods to prevent pregnancy and to terminate it. And no no, don't tell me these 'gangsta' 18 year olds are pro-life so won't get an abortion. No one who is pro-life would then go on to not give their child a real chance at life... Or at least I'd hope not.

A quick disclaimer here; I am not saying nor assuming that all teenage/poor/whatever parents are bad parents, I know plenty that are brilliant parents.

The world makes my heart ache so much. I, coming from an abusive childhood, am very aggressive to bad parenting. And I'm not talking about different parenting from mine, because I get it, every parent is different (because every child is different, blahblah, you know the spiel) but abuse/laziness and neglect I can (like many) not tolerate. Seriously, what do you expect from having a child? My co-worker said "some people should be sterilized" and although I wasn't brave enough to say it (for fear of bordering on sounding like Henry Perkins, founder of Vermont Eugenics, who was like Hitler for Vermont...Another interesting and not widely known event in US history) I had thought it briefly too.

These people are neglecting to toilet-train, neglecting to teach their children basic things in life, and why? Because they don't have any money? ... No, Because they are lazy. The government have come up with an official term for these people, "Work Shy". That's a nice way of saying "You're too damn lazy to do anything and expect the government to give you benefits and free childcare so you can sit around and pop out some more rug rats because you can't be bothered to go to your GP and get FREE birth control".

Now, I'm not saying these people don't love their kids... Maybe some don't... But I assume most do, they just don't know how to be parents, which probably stems from how their parents were with them. And that brings me back to what I started out saying; It all starts with the parents.

So... Should the government maybe start a class available to all parents-to-be on the basics of raising a child? (I knew a woman that didn't know to hold her baby or change it's nappy)... Or again, is that pointing a finger at the government and saying it's their problem, when really it's ours.

I guess, at the end of the day I wish people would just take a bit of responsibility for their own lives. Be it not having kids if you're not ready or "rising to the occasion" so to speak. Because it's not fair... It's not fair on all these children, and it makes me so angry.

Quoting the article I linked to above:
A teacher said "I sent a first reading book home with a little girl, who was absolutely bursting with pride, for her to share with her mum, and was told 'It's not my job to listen to her read - It's yous'."

Does that make anyone else angry? Or am I just getting all worked up for no reason? Maybe this is my calling, social work. I don't think so, because I'm pretty sure a lot of people would end up with a mouth full of my fist.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Awards and House Husband Episode 2

I have been given a squeeze from Theta Mom for being a loyal follower and I feel awfully proud and appreciative for being noticed. It is always a pleasure following you Theta Mom!


Loyal Award:

Rules: This award is for loyal followers and friends of your blog. I pass this along to the following women who have always been so loyal to me:

I choose you!
Heavenly Housewife at From Donuts to Delirium: My Life as a Housewife
Modern Mom at How to survive life in the suburbs
Miranda at My life and food encounters
You girlies were my first followers and for a while there were probably my only followers and you gave me a reason to keep writing, so thank you! But I'd also kind of like to give this award to all of you reading this now, because I know I don't have many followers, and that's ok, as long as I've still got you guys! So thank you!

Now... Food anyone?

Husband again made dinner last night (and is making it tonight too!) as he's been off the last few days and enjoying getting his foot in the kitchen. Both of us love to cook so sometimes it's a bit of a battle of who gets to make dinner. Last night I handed Husband a recipe for Minted lamb baguette that I fancied and watched him get to work. Only one word sums this little gem up and that's YUM. So fresh, so yummy and soooo having it again and again and again!


Minted Lamb Baguette

25g mint
15g parsley
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp olive oil
600g lamb leg steaks
4 Individual fresh baked ciabatta rolls (more stores sell the half-baked ones, these are perfect! or try a baguette)
4 handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves (we used a pre-washed bag of the mixed leaves with shredded beetroot in it. I loved the color this gave to the meal)

To make the dressing strip mint leaves from the stems straight into a food processor. Add the parsley, mustard, capers, lemon juice and 4 tbsp of the olive oil and whizz to make a fairly smooth dressing. Add more oil if needed.

Heat the grill to high. Brush the lamb steaks with 1 tbsp of oil and frill for about 4 minutes on each side. Set aside and cover with foil.

Split the rolls length ways and toast cut sides. Thinly slice the lamb. Spread a little of the dressing over the cut sides of the rolls, then fill with the salad leaves and lamb. Spoon over the lamb juices from the grill pan and more dressing. Sandwich the rolls back together. Serve hot.

Serve with chunky chips!

My worst nightmare

I have a lot of nightmares and/or strange dreams. I am always waking up in the morning thinking "what the f***" and sometimes Husband has woken me up in the middle of the night because I am crying. One of my most reoccurring nightmares is that of a normal morning at my house. I dream that I wake up and realize I've slept in and need to hurry to get ready for work. I have a quick wash, get dressed, pack my lunch and head to the bus stop. It is only when I get off the bus at work that I realize I forgot my son and I panic and there are no buses coming quick enough to go home, and no taxi's and nothing, so I run. I run so fast home my feet bleed and my legs cramp I am in so much pain and I am screaming and crying because I can't believe how horrible a mother I am, how neglectful, how my son should never forgive me. I never get home in my dreams, I always wake up while I am still running.

This is a pretty rough dream for me, as I can't imagine ever forgetting my son because I'm not a bad mother.

Mommy words posted an amazing blog recently about children being left in cars and dying of hypothermia, it's not exactly what you think and it has had me thinking for the past 24 hours. I've cried over the piece, yelled (at Husband) and been angry. I can't say much more than that because I think each person will respond to this differently. I've responded differently each time I've read it.

But I think it's worth a read and a good think...I'm linking this because it's really effected me today and I wish I had some coherent words to say but I don't. It doesn't of course help that I'm at work.

The article Mommy words linked "Fatal Distraction" I trudged through all morning and feel a little sick inside. Like my dream is all too real for some people. And I couldn't imagine not being able to wake up from it.

Also...I am going to share a very private, dark, sick thought here now...Please don't judge. I've recently been thinking about having number 2 child, as you know, and one of my arguments to Husband was that if we had two at least if one of them died we'd still have the other kid to keep us going strong, give us something to live for. Because I think if anything god forbid (and even writing this is making me tear up) happened to Son, I wouldn't be able to go on, and I wouldn't be able to have another child.

I know I KNOW these are horrible dark thoughts, and thoughts that are generally not welcome in the mind of a positive person... But I have them. often. I pain because of the love I feel for Son and I always always fear for everything for him. Really it's a miracle I have not bubble wrapped him yet and am in fact quite a laid back and relaxed Mum.

Alright, enough of this....

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Perfect New York Cheesecake


Inspired by Heavenly Housewife's mission for the perfect macaroon, I've decided I'm going to try and make the perfect New York cheesecake. People will say "You know, Eve makes the best New York Cheesecake". It'll be a conversation topic a parties to come. I'll be famous for it in my circle and there will be rumors of me outside of my circle... I'll slowly become a cheese cake legend, maybe even, a national hero.

Yesterday was attempt No. 1 and I'm quite happy with it for my first go ever at making a cheese cake and I know exactly what I'm going to do next time to make it better.

A little less vanilla, because it wasn't over powering but I think it was just a little too much. I definitely over cooked this bad boy although I did follow the recipe to the t. I think it's because my oven was on fan setting and I need to just keep in on conventional. Also the crust was rubbish. RUBBISH. Why don't they sell graham crackers in this country? Well....at least sell them in stores that are local to me. So I'm going to try a digestive biscuit type crust. If anyone has a recipe for one for me to start off with I'd be much appreciative.

Moving on from the cheesecake. Husband made dinner tonight and again and of course it was good! I took pictures and do have the recipe which will be posted tomorrow. For now though, I must go to bed. It's been a long tiring weekend with little sleep and I'm working in the morning.

Until the morn'

Saturday, 5 September 2009

60 minute makeover

Son was sent to Nanny's house for the day today while Husband and I have spent the whole day redecorating his bedroom. It use to be an plain shell with only his bed and drawers in it. Now. TA DA.

I'm so psyched about finally getting this done. It was meant to have been done back in April but you know how it goes.. When Father-in-Law dropped Son off he was sleepy (it was past his bedtime) and when I took him into his room to show him around his eyes grew and grew and he got so excited and wanted to touch everything.

He instantly went for his hanging toy baskets (each one has one of his favourite type of toys in it. Cars, blocks and musical instruments) and dumped them all out to play with. He loved it all and it just made me so so happy.

It's hard to get a full on picture of the place because his room is small and narrow, so these are the best I can do.

Husband I think did a spectacular job (I did very little hard labor to be fair... I did dress the bed and organize the stuffed animals though!) which was no surprise as he is quite spectacular.

Will attempt to make a more interesting blog post tomorrow. When I've recovered that is.


Friday, 4 September 2009

Number 2?

Yesterday I had a long conversation with my Mum about having another baby. It ended essentially with my mum pointing out that if I had so many doubts about expanding the clan then that was my answer in it self. No. I agreed with this and when Husband came home and I broke the news he seemed relieved.

Later that evening Husband was sorting through some uploaded video's on the computer. Video's of Son when he was a baby. Both of us sat there watching him, at 3 months, 6 months, 10 months and so on... We were both ooooing and awwwing and then I said "Screw it, lets have another one!" and Husband excitedly agreed.

But again, on reflection. I don't know. When I see pregnant women, or small babies or pictures of Son from when he was young, I get extremely broody. But take those things away and the thought of another baby makes me go all psycho. Another one?! Why add something to an already perfect mix?! I LIKE the idea of it being me and my two boys, and god forbid what if it was a girl? I don't think I could handle a teenage daughter. I'd age before my time, of this I am sure.

It's alright for me though because if I say no now, I've still go a good 10 years of baby making in me, Husband...although of course men don't have menopause, he is getting on now. He's not old but if we waited say 5 years and then had another baby he'd be 60+ by the time the second one was 18. Now that's old. And I want my Husband to myself again one day, you know?

I can't decide... I figure though we can go one of two ways if we do want another one. Have a 2-3 year age gap (so I get pregnant within the next year) OR have a bigger age gap of 7-9 years.

I loved being pregnant and I had a very easy pregnancy too, the birth was easy in the sense of no complications and I didn't tear (though it was the most painful 24 hours of my life...yes. 24 hours!)... It's not even the whole baby thing that puts me off. I totally would be happy to do the diapers, breastfeeding, weaning and everything again. I loved breastfeeding and weaning! And I quite proudly say I think I'm a natural mother (It helps that I was looking after much younger siblings and running a day care when I was in my teens) and have found this first 18 months of his life an absolute pleasure. Of course there are the moments when you consider throwing your child out of a two story window (not really!...well...nearly at least), but Husband is usually there to pull me from the brink (be it sending me for a hot bath while he takes over before I go nuts, or doing the chores while I manage the teething/vomiting/pooping baby) yeah. I'm good at this. I like it.

So why am I so hesitant to have another one? What is Son hated me for it? What if I couldn't love them both the same? What if they hated each other? What if god forbid the second baby took my body to the point of no return!?!! I mean, I just got my figure back!

There is only one way to get this of my mind... Retail therapy. I'll be back later after some serious abuse has been done to the credit card.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Theta Mom Thursday!


Here we are! Eve's very first contribution to the very brilliant idea of Theta Mom Thursday! When I first saw Theta Mom's post about this I was so excited. Yes yes YES! Another excuse for me to grab an hour of ME time (how sad I need an excuse to get that time). So what did I do this week?
Well it happened to be one of my closest friends birthday's on Thursday (who we shall from here on in refer to as Husband No. 2 because he wines and dines me and takes me on more dates than my Husband ever has. He's a proper gentleman. And yes, he's gay, So Husband is quite happy to let Husband No. 2 pick up his slack). This occasion called for us to visit our regular dive with our other friend (Wife. You may remember her). Ed's Easy Diner located between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square is the best Classic American Diner you can find in the UK, so for Husband No. 2 and I, it's like being home. We climb onto our same stools at the bar every visit, order two corona's (one without lime) and a bowl of cheesy chips to tide us over while we ponder of the menu (that we know by heart) and wait for Wife to show up (who is always at least 60 minutes late. Always).

Husband had son for the evening and I was feeling like I needed lots of carbohydrates and lots of beer, so Ed's was the best place to be. We ordered 3 courses and enough beers to start a bottle pyramid (which we did successfully only with the help of our server...who apparently, was an expert in bottle pyramids.). There was laughter, there were secrets shared, there was plotting of the destruction of the woman who has been set out to nab my husband since before we were even together (not to worry girls, I'm much younger/prettier/funnier/sexier/betteringeneral than she could ever be), AND there was dancing in the aisles....

Despite what the sign said. :) The night ended with a trip to a Gay sex shop to buy Husband No. 2 a gift. Now generally, I'm pretty experimental and adventurous sexually... But this trip consisted of a lot of "I want that one" From Husband No. 2 and a WHOLE LOTTA "Oh.my.god... Where is that suppose to go?!" and "How do you fit that up there" and "Do people really use those?!" From Wife and I. I mean Seriously... There was a Anal plug the size of my leg.. My WHOLE leg... I came out of that shop a whole new woman.

So I think my first Theta Mom Thursday was a success! Thank you Theta Mom for the encouragement to be ME as well as being a Mum, and I look seriously forward to next Thursday!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

House Husband?

Husband made dinner last night and what a dinner it was! Vegetable lasagne. Not quite sure how he made it nor what he put in it (he doesn't share his secrets), though I do know he never uses a recipe, but from what I did catch looked like he roasted some chosen veg for 40 or so minutes (I tasted peppers, onion, mushrooms, whole garlic cloves, zucchini maybe?) and then layered it all with the lasagne sheets and some cheese sauce. I don't really care how he made it (because if I knew that might mean I would have to make it. Ignorance is bliss) as long as he makes it again. I went back for seconds! I never go back for seconds.

Oh, also, he made me take the picture. I think he's trying to impress you guys. Like "check me out! Husband that cooks!".... Is it working? I think it would have worked more if he had also served this with a bottle of champagne and a nice ruby ring on the side... for wearing obviously. Don't you agree?

Theta Mum made a blog post today that reminded me of something I wanted to ask fellow mum's out there.

Dinner time and bed time for toddlers...When is yours? Son is 18 months old and dinner time is between 6-6.30 and he's in bed by 8pm. Now, for me, I think this sounds pretty good, and it seems to work for him but those 3 days a week I work I don't get home until 6-6:30 most nights, which means if we were to have dinner together as a family it wouldn't be until 7:30pm at the earliest. Which is too late for little one...right?

So... My question. How the hell do you ever manage to have dinner together? I've seen the movies and the American sitcoms... Dinner at 6pm... on the table... with the whole family involved... laughing and drinking milk from a big glass jug... right? HOW THE HELL DO I GET THAT!??! Because even on the days I don't work Husband doesn't get home until 7pm...which means even if I was awfully organized and had dinner ready he wouldn't be there to have it with us...which means he would have to eat re-heated food and I have a real problem with serving my husband re-heated food (don't as because I don't know).

So at the moment we're cooking a dinner for Son at 6pm and then we wait until he's in bed and eat at 8pm-ish. Which, you know, is nice. Because we get a real sit down adult dinner. But I feel guilty for not having the family dinner time (other than on a weekend). Should I move his bedtime to later (ohgodpleasesayno) or is this just something that will develop as he gets older? ... I just. I can't get it. I don't understand. Make me understand! I need to understand if I'm going to be that all perfect wife/mother.

Help.