Saturday, 30 January 2010


I am finding more and more all the things that are tougher when the number of kids is greater than the number of adults. At least previously at weekends on the whole there were more grown ups than kids now generally every day its me + two sprogs.

So what's hard/impossible when outnumbered.....

Swimming - some pools won't let you take 2x under 8s in a pool on your own (worse if you have 3+ kids as max is 2 in most pools). And even if you do get in having 2 non-swimmers in with you means you have to have eyes in the back of your head.

Bike riding - both my kids learning to ride and on stabilisers. We are on the top of a hill and have to travel to child friendly cycling points. So I either have to carry one (or more bikes), drive to the park or supervise 2 kids on pavements. Today that meant that 6 year old initially played up as 3 year old so much novice I had to steer his bike & push. So she deliberately falls off bike and cries) and gets ignored. Then she shoots off and whist watching her the little one goes over a drive way and tips bike over... Aargh. Such a relief when my mate made it down to park and we had one child to supervise each. Then both kids magically get the hang of bike riding..

There are more including getting house in order when both kids at home! They seem to come along behind mucking it all up ;-)

Friday, 29 January 2010

Stories and Songs Meme

I have had my first meme tag by PippaD from A Mother's Ramblings in the Songs and Stories Meme started by Brits in Bosnia. Bit of a tough one this but I'll give it a go!

So for me I think it has to be a rights of passage type of song! One that reminds me of that wonderful time between school and university and into uni. I was a wild one back then and I guess this song just about sums things up for me.

Now I know I'm supposed to tag people back on this one...

Single Parent Dad

Jo Beaufoix

cherished by me

Monday, 25 January 2010

Fab at 40 challenge

Here's the thing in 2008 I followed the Lighter Life plan and lost over 5 stone and dropped from a size 18-20 to a very slim 12. Probably lost a bit too much in fact and allowed myself to put some back on but didn't stop and I am now a cuddly 14 and not too happy about it (not surprising with the year I've had!). I did a brief stint on Lighter Life Lite before Xmas but the stress of my divorce plus the cost stopped me after a couple of weeks (though 1.5 stone down!). Since then I have put some of this back on and the gorgeous purple dress I bought for New Year didn't do up...

So my challenge is to get into the dress for my 40th birthday in October. I am not going to weigh myself but just base how I am doing by how my clothes are fitting and how I feel.

The plan is to give up alcohol during the week, cut out the unhealthy snacks, make sure I eat my 5 a day, eat veggie at least once a week and get some exercise in.

Watch this space and help me to be at Fab at 40 this October!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

You know you're a mummy when...

Your bedroom TV is almost permanently tuned to cbeebies/cbbc

You find yourself singing the theme tune to your child's favourite TV programme

You are word perfect at the Gruffalo but can't remember why you went upstairs

You wonder why you are getting strange looks then realise you have dodgy looking dirty marks courtesy of the little one

You find most of your conversation revolves around nappies, toilet training or poo in general

Please feel free to add your own!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Bloggers for Haiti

The earthquake last week has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands, maybe millions in desperate need of help.

A group of bloggers have got together to try and help raise money for Shelter Box.  The boxes cost £490 and contain the raw materials to help keep people alive, including a tent for 10 people.  You can donate at the Just Giving page and read the details.  If you can spare some cash, please do.

Raised so far: £3,382.50

Many thanks,


Monday, 18 January 2010

100 Books Challenge

To get some sanity I have signed up to try and read 100 books this year -want to join in?

Just another manic Monday...

Boy I am so looking forward to not having my Monday's being as pressured once the day job has gone! Anyone who thinks that is a cushy number being at home with kids should experience a day the like the one I just had....

It started off fairly well (except for being woken before alarm clock by small person!) as I only had minor heated discussion to get daughter dressed and downstairs. The fact I didn't have to make her a packed lunch was also a bonus as it gave me more time to eat breakfast and put away last night's washing up. Just wish my daughter would listen when I start to warn her 10 mins before we are due to go out the door to actually get her last few bits & pieces together! Minor wrestling match to get coat on 3 yr old (who had chosen shorts to wear today - brrrrrrr!)

Of course as it was a foggy morning the traffic was heavier and slower than normal so we were only just on time to pick up my daughter's class mate for school run. Probably just as well we didn't get to school too early as O would have got hypothermia in his shorts! Realised I had left my purse at home so apologised for not being able to pay for lunch... out in playground put my hand in my pocket to find cheque book... rather red-faced return to kitchen to pay...

Got a pencilled in tea date with my daughter's best friend and her dad/brother which gives me a deadline for sorting out dining room! Strangely her best friend is also suffering from her parents breaking up.

On way home quick trip to smash bottles at recycling point with O (need to work on 3 month backlog!). Made the mistake of promising a magazine having forgotten that I had forgotten my purse - minor tantrum ensues...

Back to the house and just too late to prevent O peeing on hall floor (thank goodness its lino...). Helped him to clear away dinosaurs from sitting room carpet, hoovered and then set-up his farmyard. Just about time then to make him a healthy snack and then its time to head off for his swimming lesson.

Nice relaxing 30 minutes with the other swimming mummies whilst O raced up & down training pool and jumped in. Then lunch in the cafe so that he got a hot meal before nursery. Nip up the road for nursery, quick kiss and he was off without a backward glance.

I got home 1 hour before I had to leave house again. Lots on good intentions but spent the time sorting out Tax Return (hope I got it right), talking to Tax Credit people about job ending and requesting proof of Child Benefit from CB office.

Dash up A21 to get E early from school for a hospital appointment. Luckily can park free in church car park next door! Arrived on time but discovered that E had forgotten to give me purse back so no money for drink / snack... (think its a theme for today not having money!). After nearly 1 hour waiting she gets called for eye test - no change she still can't read chart with left eye but doesn't need glasses. Wait another 10-15 minutes to see next lady for eye drops in bad eye. Quick dash to car for purse to get sustenance for by now grotty 6 yr old... After 20 mins drops have taken effect so she can have a photo taken of her eye. Then another 10-15 minute wait to see consultant. He was happy to see nothing had got worse and we don't have to go back for a year!

No time to go home for tea before nursery run to treat E to Sainsbury's cafe, grab us each a magazine and dash to nursery before closing time to pick up O. Discover he has been a bit physical to the outside toys... My car has also run out of washer fluid so have to detour to garage on way home - put in fluid but their water doesn't work so its undiluted..

Thank heavens kids behave and for once O goes to bed like a dream as exhausted. E has minor paddy at bedtime about cleaning out hamster cage. So we try and extract hamster from cage, 10 mins later give it up as bad job... Not to bad a bed time for E though I did have to lift her out of my bed and put her in her own.

Downstairs and realise that I haven't had a proper meal all day so oven on and I am now waiting for my chicken pie to cook.... Going to resist a nice glass of wine with it and be a good girl and have some water instead...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Hope's for the week ahead

Well all my plans for the year so far have just about to come to nothing thanks to the snow and in fact somethings have got worse so I need to knuckle down and start over and really get cracking. So I will put down what I need to, what I would like to do and what I can save for the future...

I need to

Get at least the home blessing hour done and keep up with the housework.

Complete my tax return

Get kids to all their clubs & medical appointments

Do 2nd last week of my day job

Sort out the laundry backlog and get it all away..

Get closer to the 5 fruit & veg a day into both myself & kids

Recycle the 3 month back log of glass!

Keep the habit of having a clear kitchen at bedtime

I would like to

Get the sitting room company ready so I can have people over

Help kids get their room somewhere approaching a space they can play in

Have the bedtime routine sorted so I stop having issues of bed returns & arguments

On hold for the future

Clearing dining room

Sorting out the soon to be ex's abandoned stuff into bin it, sell it, use it

Let's see how I actually get on!

Friday, 15 January 2010

What I will miss about working..

The lovely schools I visit

Making people happy by fixing their computers or answering their questions

Adult conversation

Variety of day with a rota of schools

Travelling to some of the nice village in East Sussex

Doing my bit to help kids

What I won't miss about working...

My alarm going off at 6:20 AM

Trying to get myself & 2 children all ready and out of the door by 7:40 (and sometimes earlier!)

Eating a packed lunch whilst driving / sitting in my car

E-mails from the boss

Compulsary training courses

Getting home at 6 PM tired with 2 tired children and trying to have quality time

Balancing work & family demands

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Through my window

This is my first attempt at Sleep is for the Weak's Writing Workshop so please bear with me!

When I look out my bedroom window I see the view that helped to sell my house to me. It's a stunning view of Hastings Castle and the Channel. The house may be chaotic and need of renovation but I get up in the morning and the first thing I see is that castle when I open the curtains.

I first looked out that window when I was newly married (3 months) and newly pregnant (2 months) and with a whole new exciting life opening up before me.....

Six and half years on a lot has changed, I now have 2 wonderful children but the husband has moved out. I will be losing that view sometime this year as I have to leave the house in which I have brought up my children so far. I doubt I will get a new home with such a view but I will always remember it.

Enough already...

Let's face it the UK's infrastructure has failed miserably to cope with this unexpectedly severe cold snap. I don't know how many of you can remember the previous times the country ground to a halt for days in the snow? In 1982 schools closed and everything seemed to stop but I'm sure it wasn't this bad??

Lots of us have had our lives severly disrupted by the roads being left unsafe. In my case I haven't been able to work this year so far as all the snow days have been on my work days! Just hope I don't lose pay as this is my last pay packet and I don't want too much missing from it...

I made an attempt to get in today as I have had enough of being stuck at home with my much loved children (too much of a good thing is bad for you!). Before I set off I checked that at least my son's nursery was open, I was unable to check on my daughter's.

10 minutes later I had gone 100 yards down the road in almost stationary traffic. Apparently the other route was blocked by a bus.. Crept down the hill, realising there was no longer anyone behind me (what did happen to them?). I saw a man at the zebra crossing so attempted to stop.... came to a halt part way across the crossing.... close call. At the bottom of the hill my car decided to try a bit of side to side action instead of straight on. On past the park at 10-15 miles an hour until came to next queue up hill, lots of cars doing U turns but that didn't look like a safe option to me.

Eventually got to the cause of blockage - a lorry partly jack knifed as it failed to get up slope. The van in front of me had no run up and really struggled to get past. Luckily for me I got a run-up and made it safely up.Carried on creeping up to next roundabout passing the gritter which was stuck in the traffic going the other way! Another slip slide got me round that one. 3 roundabout only one I didn't slip on and I survived the next slope down.

After advice received from nursery I pulled up on main road & walked kids last 1/4 mile to the nursery. On getting in I was told they had just decided to close as there had been some car crashes on the road - aargh it had only taken me over an hour to get there...

Walked kids back to bakers to grab bite to eat as no-one had had breakfast before leaving.. Managed to turn car round and headed home. Luckily was a lot less stressful going back and only took 15-20 minutes.

Got home and tried to reverse onto drive... had another go.... another go... by now stuck partly on drive partly on pavement... Let my daughter into house and got out spade.. Dug out snow from behind front wheels and finally succeeded in getting onto drive.

Everyone back in house, TV on, work laptop on, hot drinks and here we go again - snowbound kids and me trying to work..

Please can it stop now? Can we have some decent preparation with better stockpiles of salt & grit? Can there be better ways of clearing the snow/slush off the roads & pavements? Can people learn how to drive in wintery conditions?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Silly Facebook games

We must all be snow crazy on FB because of all the silly status games going on. Bra colour, show size, how do you eat yours, naughtiness fines...

The only one that translates on here is the book game:

Here's the game: Grab the book nearest you. Right now. • Turn to page 56. • Find the fifth sentence. • Post that sentence AS YOUR COMMENT.  • Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST book...guess which mine was!

Go on give it a go...

On the edge of the unknown...

Well I have 3 weeks or 9 working days left (subject to snow!) as a paid employee which is kind of scary. I know it will mean a lot of changes as my income will plummet as will only be from benefits & tax credits and any ad hoc Usborne money.

BUT I will not have the stress of juggling work pressure and the needs of my kids.

I have made an appointment at the Job Centre for my first day as unemployed. Just hope I don't get penalised for quitting my job....

So will need to start budgeting better (must get gas/electric bill down as has rocketed in this cold snap!). The nice extras in life will have to be several rationed e.g. coffees out, meals away from home etc. At least it should help my waistline as will have to cut back on naughties such as wine, chocolates and yummies. Then again I will have time to improve my home baking & cooking techniques! Just have to get my kids to eat the results...

Please let me know any really good budget recipes that I can try out!! Or any other top budgeting tips...

Monday, 11 January 2010

7 great things about being a single parent....

  1. All the kids' cuddles are just for me
  2. I get the bed all to myself except for little people
  3. It's me that is there for all the milestones & memorable moments
  4. I can bring them up how I want and not follow someone else's rules
  5. I can teach them my values and not be contradicted
  6. I don't have to worry that someone else isn't doing their fair share of child care
  7. Extra kisses from my little angels
If you can think of more then please comment!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Mixed bag...

Probably not surprising that this wasn't the best day today after last night's high jinks...

Got confirmation over night that the soon to be ex is moving to Seattle with his new company. Need to look into REMO to ensure he can't escape from his responsibilities... Glad he is going so far away as no contact better than intermittent.

I managed to bribe kids out of bed in time to hike up hill to church. Gave me some much needed me time when they went off to creche/Sunday school. Also chance for grown up conversation afterwards...

Problems kicked in whilst I was trying to get lunch sorted. He spent lunch doing things like shoving milk cup around table and being sent to naughty step. Afterwards O very grotty and ended up being taken upstairs for a brief lie down. Managed to calm things down and then try to split kids up... Got O playing with Junior Scaletrix. E up in my room playing. Not sure if frustration factor or tiredness but game trodden on a few times so away it goes so I can do tea.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Bedtime hell

We've all been there with the kids' bedtime from hell...

Attempt no 1:
17:30 son v grouchy & sleepy so take upstairs and try to snuggle to sleep. He appears close to sleep so kiss him and come downstairs.

17:45 phone rings and whilst I am chatting to cousin O re-appears looking sleepy. He carries on trying to eat supper whilst I finish phone call.

Peace reigns so leave for a while until O gets horrible again so... 18:30 attempt no 2:
Full bed routine with story in his bed, leave him and come down. Stroppy older daughter having paddy because she can't change TV to the channel she wants (kids TV all stopped as its 19:00)..

After few minutes she calms down enough to get in PJs and cuddle her hamster for a while.

Doubling up...

Still trying to come to grips with having to be Mummy & Daddy to my kids especially my little boy. I am by nature a bit of a tomboy but constructing wooden railway sets is stretching my engineering skills!

Need to keep some men in my life on regular basis to ensure he gets plenty of boy time. Not that I mind him playing with his sister's dolls etc. but sometimes its better to male interaction.

Hopefully snow will clear soon so I can get him down the park for football & bike riding

Friday, 8 January 2010

Things to do on a snow day part 3...

well missed out part 2 as did nothing much!!

Actually I did brave the conditions and took kids down to the supermarket for essentials (bread, wine, cakes, loo roll, crisps etc.!!). And faced up to the soon to be ex on doorstep when he actually managed to come & see kids though still with his "new" family attached...

Any way back to day 3 of stuck at home in snow.....

Forgot to turn one alarm off so still got woken at 6:45 (and discovered baby boy in my bed!). Alarm went off at 8:15 for me to phone into work re school closure - instead discovered I could e-mail that all schools closed..

Kids decided to go downstairs and watch TV leaving me in the nice cosy bed and I didn't wake up until 10 when I had a text! Then kids starting misbehaving so thought I had to get up.... but instead they relocated upstairs and I ended up being brought breakfast in bed!!

Decided I needed to practice my new hair styling so gave up on PJ day and showered whilst kids CBBC'd and ate cakes!

After 2 days of not a lot thought it was time kids helped out so announced a scavenger hunt and got kids to search out toys from my room. Floor looks a lot clearer and I can get in and out of bed safely!

rest of day fairly wasted with TV/FB/Twitter ;-)

Kids got stir crazy towards the end of the day so must try and get out tomorrow though even if the snow coming down in buckets at the minute!!

Any way also signed up to an online marketing associates scheme to try and make money. No idea whether its a scam but worth a punt at minute. Check out for hottest deals :-)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

things to do on a snow day...

rescue escaped hamster
change bed
catch up on laundry
watch tv
surf the web
put away some Xmas presents
watch some DVDs
catch up on washing up
surf the web
eat naughty food

and most important of all cuddle my kids :-)

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Jekyll & Hyde

Trying to get to grips with my 3 year olds behaviour. He can be an absolute angel giving out kisses & cuddles and then suddenly lashes out and hits & kicks. Sometimes this is because he is tired or hungry or maybe filled his pull ups but otherwise for no apparent reason. Got to get to grips with this for all our sakes as poor E is losing her hair to her brother's hair pulling and I'm fed up of being hit...

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year - New ???

Well it will certainly be a year full of challenges for me once I get back home.

I am nervous but excited too as I may now be able to change things for the better for the kids & I. One month left of being a wage slave and then I will be at the mercy of government policy on single mothers. Will have to get good at budgeting (not a strong point!).

Number 1 job is to sort the house out and hopefully make some money in the process. Got to speak nicely to some friends who are eBay experts!

Hope my kids are being OK about things. E talked about Daddy splitting up with Debbie and then maybe if we changed that we could love each other again. Poor kid doesn't understand adult emotions. I just gave her a kiss.

Mixed visit to my grandparents at their nursing home. GM recovering from her infection and seemed healthy if a little confused. GW very frail & distressed and saying he wanted to die. Tough for us all especially my dad.