My Jamie Oliver Fondue Disaster
Ah, the kids are back in school and it’s the half term that runs up to Christmas. It’s always a busy time – Christmas Fayre at school, so books and unneeded things to dig out and it’s my eldest son’s birthday in early December so lots of things to think about. This year, now he has a good group of friends, he’s having a paint-balling party.
One thing we won’t have to worry about this year though is the neighbourhood Christmas party, because we did it last year, so it’s definitely not our turn.
We have lovely neighbours – families like ours and older couples whose children have flown the nest long ago.
So last year, I bought in everything I might need – stocked up ahead of time, taking advantage of supermarket offers.
We decided to make it a bit retro and do a cheese fondue.
One of Jamie Oliver’s Christmas magazines that I ferret away each year had a nice looking recipe, “Easy Cheese Fondue”, so I checked out the ingredients and made sure we had everything in. We even had a genuine seventies fondue set, courtesy of my in-laws. How hard could it be?
Dear Big Mr
As you are a part time house husband I really expect more! You havent been to work for the past few nights and STILL you haven’t done an ounce of housework.
This REALLY annoys me. Firstly because it makes me think I should do it although I have been to work all day and just need to chill for a while without freaking out about the state of the house. Secondly I cant quite believe that you are happy to sit on your backside all day while little Mr is at school and just look at the sqwagmire that is our house.
Dear so and so…….
Your nearly one. How did this happen? It only seems like yesterday that we brought you home, your little face all scrunched up and grumpy, you were like a little old man!! Now your walking, climbing, and generally causing chaos every day!! I feel somehow like I have missed a big chunk of this last year…….I haven’t, but it has gone by so fast that it feels like I am missing something!! I remember thinking before you were born, I bet we will be planning your first birthday party before I know it, and guess what?? Here we are!
Shock! Horror! I am a mommy blogger and my child is NOT a genius!
Parent-teacher meetings make me nervous.
Not because I’m worried about my son’s progress, but because there’s something about sitting on those itty bitty chairs and facing a teacher that’s just a little bit scary.
It takes me straight back to childhood and I feel that I can’t just relax and have a chat adult-to-adult, I feel like I need to be constantly “defending” my child because I’m on “his” side and the teacher is on the “other” side…
Or something like that.
I learned last night at this year’s first parent-teacher meeting that…
Do you keep a record of books you’ve read?
Being a parent, one of the challenges is finding enough time to indulge in a good book and as one of those people who likes nothing more than to just lose whole days as hostage to a fabulous story, it is actually one of the reasons I chose to work in Mayfair! Now don’t get me wrong here. There are plenty of reasons to work in Mayfair. All good…
Recently the awesome Mother Venting posted about her me-time, or more accurately, the lack of it. You can check it out HERE. I sympathised whole-heartedly. So imagine my joy when several days ago I discovered that, due to the pre-Christmas drop in folks wanting surgery, I have a work-day cancelled AND a child in nursery FOR THE WHOLE DAY.
A year or so ago my plan for such a day would probably have consisted of the following.
Have a lie in.
Get up, shower, dress, apply make-up, dry AND straighten hair.
Go for leg-wax, hair-cut or manicure, or possibly all three.
Arrange to meet friends ‘in-town’ for lunch.
Meet Mr B from work and stop for cheeky drink on the way home.
Grab take-away, watch film and retire.
My actual plan for today was as follows.
Have a lie in. Do not EVEN CONTEMPLATE getting out of bed until at least 9am.
Have a lazy breakfast watching Jeremy Kyle. (I KNOW, it is my now not-so-secret-shame. My brain ACTUALLY MELTED on maternity leave and now I am hooked on this show.)
The Big Question
Just before the royal wedding, I read an article in a womans magazine, it had been written by a guy and was about how William proposing to Kate had caused him problems in his relationship. He had used them as his example of a couple who had been together for nearly ten years without getting married. And then Wills went and ruined it for him by finally proposing.
As a result women everywhere are now expecting / hoping that their long-term partners will finally give in and realise that they aren’t Peter Pan, being a commitment phobe will mean you end up old and alone and that getting married is the way to go.
Support … Support … Support
The word support is not nearly emphasised as much as it should be during pregnancy and beyond!
Unless you want to end up with breasts around your knees later in life, and there’s still no guarantee that won’t happen anyway!, investing in some good maternity bras will you give your breast the gentle support that they need as they undergo numerous changes in the months prior to the birth in preparation for breastfeeding.
As your body changes shape and size during pregnancy you may find a pregnancy belt invaluable. They support the weight of your growing baby whilst taking pressure of your back and pelvis.
Emotional support should never be overlooked during pregnancy. Apparently you’re supposed to be glowing when you’re pregnant, but the reality for a lot of woman is totally different! Between morning sickness, back ache, constipation, fatigue, sore gums, SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), etc! And that’s before you’ve even gone in to labour, where emotional support is vital. Just speaking to someone, it may be your partner, relative or your midwife, makes all the difference.
Should women be allowed to demand a C-section?
There has been a lot of discussion about the proposal that women should be allowed to opt for a C-section even when their doctor doesn’t feel there is any medical reason for it. As with so much that is written about the NHS, I fear this may all be a fuss about nothing. I’ve had a look at the detail of the new NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidance and not much will really change.
Promise me, it will change?
Looking down at this thing, and wondering if I’ll ever see my feet again. I know that I really haven’t got that much time left. So why I am just plodding about for.. why is there no plan of action.. why am I not running around buying stuff..
A tale of cowardice and short-term ‘self-’employment
Every now and then in my life I meet someone I think I like. I agree to go to a party or get-together. I start something that sounds really good and exciting. But then I get this horrible feeling in my stomach that won’t go away – a mix of anxiety and stress – and I know that what I have agreed to or who I have just met isn’t good. Isn’t what I wanted. Is wrong. So I quit. I cancel, don’t call, don’t write back. It’s like my inner-alarm bell. Coward? Yes. Easier? Definitely. (Note: When I say horrible feeling I mean: stressful-can’t think of anything else-ultra_uncomfortable-don’t want to do it/go there feeling…it’s not just me being lazy, ok? ;p)
Anyway, all last week I walked around with that feeling in my stomach and here’s why…
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the bravest mum of all?
The very quick answer is…not me!
However, since becoming a Mum I have discovered a new level of bravado that I never knew I had. Pre-babies, it was fine for me to scream and go ‘doolally’ over the sight of a spider scuttling across a room. Now, I don’t want to pass on any ‘irrational’ fears to my offspring. The downside is, of course, that I have to try and appear brave even when I’m terrified on the inside…
Young, dumb and working with Mum!
Yes I’d like to think of myself as young, but lets not kid ourselves here – I’m no spring chicken! Young and dumb describes my 25 year old little bro….and he works with Mum. In life your parents will always be your parents and you continue to be their babies. You remain respectful by not swearing in front of them and hide all your vices from them to protect the innocent view they have of you. So what happens when you are an equal business partner or you work FOR them, like in the case of my brother….Do the apron ties get well and truly severed?
Shock of the Day!!!
Well, today had started out well. The girls went back to school and they were both very excited, OH set off to work almost on time, I got the majority of the clean-up-after-hallowe’en-party done and F had an hour-long nap after a sleepless night off coughing.
(Although, I did burn my kettle completely after leaving it on the hob with the spout open – so it didn’t whistle, burnt and smoked out the kitchen. Ooops.)
Anyway, with F asleep, I boiled a saucepan of water (old skool) and filled up my flowerpot sized cup with coffee, cut a slice of walnut cake (shop bought, I confess), and opened the laptop.
I did a bit of twitter-catching-up and noticed a conversation about blog stats and what searches resulted in people landing on their blog. Interesting. I thought I’d take a look.
The Cheetahs and the Chocolate Finger Sparklers
For those of you yet to experience the delights of the relatively safe chocolate finger sparkler (I guess it depends how many you eat as to whether you’ll explode) this is a fantastically easy make for little people. You need as many boxes of chocolate fingers as you think you will consume (we had 4 boxes which was enough for 18 children to have 4 each), assorted coloured sprinkles and a mug of hot water.
Why I Write
I don’t write this blog because I enjoy writing, because I really don’t. I hated English at school, I was always more of a maths girl. I’m generally quite good at spelling and grammar (I think!) but the thought of writing a book horrifies me. I do think those of you participating in this months #NaNoWriMo are all slightly mad.
Wot So Funee? Toilet Humour
It will take you only a minute to watch this little video we made, but I guarantee you will giggle for longer than that…
Yes, we are sad and pathetic, but I bet you laughed too, didn’t you! Slightly different take on the #funee theme today and next week we will be back to talking about how clever I am again, but we just couldn’t resist this!
Just don’t watch it before breakfast!
Like this? Read more…
Is it a Sad Goodbye to our Special Library?
As of March, three small and friendly neighborhood libraries will close down, one in Hampstead Heath, one in the heart of Primrose Hill and our one, in between the two in Belsize Park. We have a big and new and state of the art one about 15 minutes walk away by Swiss Cottage tube station and that will be where I will take Little Miss G from March on. It has no charm and it is full of rules about pushchairs and what not, but this is it, that will become our new local library.
Before I explain what really bothers me about our library closure, I want to describe this hidden gem between Hampstead and Primrose Hill.
Should I send my daughter to preschool?
I know that not everyone will share the views I express here, nor will everyone have the luxury of choice, as I do. But I want to explain why I will not be sending Munchkin to preschool.
I am a teacher; I have a Masters in Education (well, very nearly!); and I am a mother. I think therefore, that I’m pretty well qualified to make the following comment: we institutionalise our children into school at too young an age.
Children have to be in compulsory education from 5-18; that’s 13 years of their life! If we send them from age 3, that adds another 2 years. I wias in favour of the Cambridge review, which stated that children should not start formal education until they are 6, but that was ignored by the Government who commissioned it and the opposition at the time, so that was that.
The day my son disappeared
Many parents will have experienced that heart-stopping moment of being in a public place and suddenly losing sight of their child. For families like mine who have an autistic child, such moments can be a common experience of living with their child’s autism.
Many people with autism can become so overwhelmed by the world around them that they can end up having a meltdown, becoming aggressive and/or trying to escape from the situation they are in. My 13 year old son is no exception. Smells, noise, people, heat, unfamiliar places, a change in routine, how something looks can trigger a flight response which for my son means running off in any old direction.
As a result we sometimes find ourselves in public spaces where our son has run off. When he was younger he was easier to manage as he was smaller and we could keep up with him and avert the nightmare situation of calling the emergency services. Inside though I was fearful that one day we would loose him.
That day came, last year…..