Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 30, 2009

'Gift of Life' Pampers/UNICEF campaign

I had planned to write a post this week about ‘Greed’ as part of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Parenting’ theme I’ve been running recently. That was until I attended the launch of the 2009 Pampers/UNICEF ‘1 pack = 1 vaccine’ campaign. Having heard the most humbling stories about how little some people have and survive on, and how such a simple thing as a vaccine can have such a dramatic impact on entire communities, greed just simply isn’t an appropriate subject matter.

I feel extremely privileged to have been asked to help this campaign by blogging about it to raise awareness. So, that's exactly what I am doing.

The campaign, which I am sure many of you are already familiar with, aims to provide 100 million tetanus vaccines this year and to reach the amazing target of eliminating tetanus completely by 2012.

How can you help? It is quite simply a no-brainer. For the months of October, November and December, all you have to do to help reach the target number of vaccines is to buy the specially marked Pampers nappies and/or wipes. 1 pack = 1 vaccine. Simple maths (even for someone who failed their O’Level in the subject!).

If your children are out of nappies, you can still help, either by buying some nappies or wipes for a friend (makes a nice change from a packet of biscuits), or by clicking on the 1 download = 1 donation button on the Pampers website, or by clicking the badge at the very top of this blog page.

The campaign’s ambassador is actress, mum, and genuinely lovely lady, Natascha McElhone (star of The Truman Show and Californication among many others). Natascha visited Angola recently with the Pampers/UNICEF team to see first-hand the impact of previous campaigns. Her stories about the women and children living in communities without so much as a clean, sterilised knife to cut a new born baby’s umbilical cord, simply have to inspire us thoroughly spoilt, pampered and indulged parents to do something incredibly simple to help.

This year alone, 128,000 newborn babies, and literally thousands of women in non industrialised countries will die as a result of the tetanus disease - a disease which is preventable. If you're in any doubt as to whether this is something you can commit to supporting, I ask you to simply read the following.

Newborn tetanus strikes rapidly. A newborn infected with tetanus may appear perfectly healthy. Symptoms usually appear from three days after birth, when the baby’s jaw and facial muscles may tighten due to the tetanus poison. The baby’s mouth will continue to grow more rigid so that it becomes “locked” (thus the name “lockjaw” given to tetanus) and the newborn will no longer be able to breastfeed. The newborn’s body may stiffen or arch and he or she may convulse when stimulated by light, sound or being touched. Finally, the newborn may no longer be able to breathe and will therefore die.

You've already given the gift of life to your own children. By supporting this campaign you can help to give that gift of life to another baby, and further the progress towards eliminating the tetanus disease completely. And that would be an amazing achievement to witness in our lifetime.

For more information on the campaign and the tetanus disease, please visit the Pampers or UNICEF websites.


September 29, 2009

Why my blog is like my child (sort of!)

So, yesterday I attended my first blogger event – which was incredibly worthwhile and a lovely day all round (but more of that later in the week).

While at the event, I met some other lovely blogging mums and dads (
Rosie Scribble, Café Bebe, Bringing Up Charlie, Manic Mammy, MummyMaps, Babyccino, New Mummy,, and there we all were, chatting as enthusiastically about our beloved blogs as we were about our beloved children.

On the flight back home, and with no children to entertain (imagine that!), I started to think about this some more and it suddenly dawned on me that my blog is like having another child. Here’s why.

  • I am very proud of my blog (which I created without any male assistance might I add!)
  • I am incredibly protective of my blog
  • I get upset when people criticise it in some way, or suggest that it is in any way less than perfect
  • I think about my blog often
  • I spend a lot of time trying to make my blog look nice (tidy, pleasant to look at, not covered in unwelcome messiness)
  • I miss it when I am away from it for extended periods
  • I want to rush upstairs to see it when I get home
  • It is one of the last things I see before I go to bed a night

Is this just me? Do I need therapy? HELP!


September 27, 2009


In the continuing spirit of the current awards season, I have a few outstanding thank you’s to address. So, adorned in my designer frock and towering heels, I would like to thank:-

The most excellent Dulwich Divorcee for tagging me with a favourite film characters meme. Although many, many favourites spring to mind, I’ll simply sum up my perfect 10 as follows:-

Eliza Doolittle – My Fair Lady
Dorothy – ‘The Wizard of Oz’
The Dude – ‘The Big Lebowski’
All 3 children (can’t remember their names!) - ‘Whistle Down the Wind’
Han Solo – ‘Star Wars’
Aragorn – ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy
Brian – ‘The Life of Brian’
Babe the Pig – ‘Babe’
Willy Wonka – ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’
ET – ‘ET’

Secondly, gracious thanks, and a knighthood, are bestowed upon Fraught Mummy over at
Brits in Bosnia for passing me the delightful ‘Queen of All things Awe-Summmm’ award. There doesn’t seem to be anything specific required from this award, so I will simply pass it on to the following queenly bloggers who I have recently discovered:

Martini Mummy
Nappy Valley Girl
Manic Mammy

Lost in Translation

And finally, muchos gracias to
Very Bored Housewife for the extremely lovely ‘I Love Your Blog’ award. This has a general theme of 7 personality traits about it, but in a total show of rebellion, I will alter this a little and give you 7 of my favourite drinks.

1. Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray and tonic – anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Who needs a reason?
2. Champagne – for anything remotely exciting, or just because it’s a crappy Tuesday and what else is that especially nice bottle being saved for?
3. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc – fab, fab, fab white wine.
4. Guinness – for when you’re feeling particularly ‘Oirish’. Great with a packet of cheese and onion crisps.
5. Cosmopolitan – one to share with the girls.
6. Black Velvet (Guinness and champagne) – the only thing to drink at a James Bond themed party in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin!
7. Mulled wine – the essence of all things christmassy

I will throw the baton of loveliness onto the following truly lovely blogs:

Mammy Diaries
Fanciful Alice
Lady Bug Mama of 2

Finally, and while I’m standing here at the winner's podium, I'd like to thank Potty Mummy again for picking me as British Mummy Blogger of the week recently. A title I was most honoured to be given.

Now, I am utterly exhausted and must go for a very long lie down.


September 22, 2009

The 'X-cess Factor'

(Firstly, apologies for the picture!)

Continuing the theme of the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Parenting', I wonder just how many of us are guilty of gluttony ‘the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste….an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods’. Ahem, cough, erm, that will be me then!

To find out if you too are a gluttonous sinner, I give you the ‘X-cess Factor’ quiz. Oh go on, you know you want to!

1. When out for a meal without the children do you:
a) Enjoy a pleasant two courses and one bottle of wine or
b) Have a five course slap up meal and three bottles of wine to the point at which you need to lie down in the recovery position?

2. After sitting the children at the table for their mid-morning drink of water and a handful of apple rings do you:
a) Join them and have the same or
b) Hide around a corner of the kitchen and have a huge mug of coffee and five chocolate hob nobs?

3. When giving the children fishfingers and chips for their tea do you:
a) Cook just enough for them or
b) Cook two extra fishfingers and plenty more chips for yourself?

4. When visiting a play centre with the children do you:
a) Look forward to watching them run around with delight or
b) Look forward to the large latte and homemade scone with butter and jam which you will get at the earliest opportunity?

5. When the children are given easter eggs or selection boxes do you:
a) Share them out steadily to the children over a period of weeks without touching them yourself or
b) Keep one or two for the children and munch your way through the rest over two days and nights (once opened and all that…)?

6. When visiting a friend’s house for a playdate and taking cakes or biscuits along with you do you:
a) Insist that they keep them for themselves and enjoy them at a later date
b) Hope that they open them so you can devour half because you’ve had your eye on them all morning?

7. When visiting the M&S Foodhall to pick up an emergency loaf of bread and litre of milk do you:
a) Purchase only what you went in for or
b) Emerge with two shopping bags full of Crunchy Combo crisps, a packet of Yum Yums, three tubs of mini bites, a packet of croissants, two bottles of wine and a Meal Deal consisting of a large roast chicken pie, dauphinoise potatoes and profiteroles - just because it’s Friday!

Score 1 point for every a) response and 10 points for every b) response. If you have over 7 points I am afraid you are shockingly gluttonous and as guilty as sin. You can come round to my house anytime!!

Next week: 'Greed': stuff, stuff and more stuff.


September 19, 2009

Always take the weather with you

So, that’s it for another year. Summer is over and tomorrow, 22nd September, sees the official start of autumn. If you haven’t already, this would be a good day to ceremoniously welcome the arrival of the new season by packing away the barbeque, folding up the patio table and chairs, putting the sun cream and the picnic blanket back in their respective storage places, and start fishing out the warmer jumpers, long sleeve tops and boots from the back of the wardrobe.

Although it may seem a little bah humbug of me, I am perfectly happy to leave the summer behind with all its rainy disappointment, fretting about wasps and mini crop circles on the back garden created by unmoved paddling pools.

As a mother, I seem to pay more notice to the passing of the seasons; the end of some things and the start of others, the small milestones passed and the ones which lie ahead. The summer months have seen my boys grow at about the same alarming rate as the sunflowers they planted in the garden in April. The trousers which fit them perfectly in the spring are all too short on them now. They know more, say more, argue more, wonder more, eat more and ask more than they did a few short months ago.

I welcome the onset of autumn with open arms. I look forward to crisp, sunny days when I can wrap the boys up cosy and warm and take a layer off again when they get too hot from running through the leaves. I can’t wait to see their giggles caught in a breath of frosty air, their little faces glowing and their wellies muddy from a good stomp through the fields. We will count all the rich and varied colours of the leaves and then catch them as they fall and make our secret wishes (I’ll be wishing that maybe, just maybe, the darker mornings will give me an extra half or so in bed)! We will wave goodbye to the swallows as they head south for the winter and look forward to making our pumpkin lanterns for Hallowe’en.

Although a part of me feels nostalgic for the piece of their childhood which is left behind with the summer of ’09, I know that just as the seasons move on, so must they – and I. So, as I pack away the sun cream and the memories, I look forward to the autumn and the undiscovered piece of their childhood which lies within it.


September 15, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins (of parenting)

I think I must be in a time machine because someone mentioned today that it is, unbelievably, only 7 weeks to Hallowe’en (I didn’t stay long enough for them to tell me how many shopping days to Christmas but I’m sure the lovely Pippa at A Mother’s Ramblings can help you on that one).

Anyway, I’m pleased because I love Hallowe’en. It's a particularly busy time of year at Hot Cross Mum Towers, being the anniversary of our engagement, three days after the bigger boy’s birthday and one day before our wedding anniversary (you do the maths!).

So, in anticipation of all things evil, dreadful and spooky, I thought I would pay a visit to the dark side of parenting. So here goes with ‘The Seven Deadly Sins (of parenting)'.

First up – LUST.

Hmm - this is a tricky one. Of course as parents we lust after ‘things’ – baby and child paraphernalia which we probably don’t need but absolutely, completely have to have. But more of this later under ‘Greed’. For the sin of lust, I’m taking you on a little voyage of escapism. So, mums (and dads - keep reading), I present to you, for your sleep-deprived-eyes and general lustful pleasure:

Ten Lust-Worthy Dads
1. Brad Pitt'Brad-dad' - uber-daddy extraordinaire2. David Beckham'WAG-dad' - probably the best dad in the world?3. Matthew Fox'Jet-lag-dad' - who wouldn’t want to get Lost with this dada?4. Hugh Jackman'Bad-dad' - you can dress up in your wolf-suit any day, you 'Wild Thing' you5. Colin Farrell'One-of-the-lads-dad' - Guinness drinking, smoking, swearing - grrrrrr6. Dave Grohl'Dad-rock' - especially for all you mum rock-chicks out there 7. Clive Owen'Action-dad' - stubbly and terribly British 8. Ben Affleck'Dad-next-door' - a tad dull perhaps but pleasing on the eye nonetheless9. Barack Obama - 'American-dad' - a president with the 'phwoar' factor

10. Harrison Ford - 'Grand-dad' - well, he was good back in the day!
And for the dads out there:

Ten Mums to lust after
1. Angelina Jolie
Oh come on, she just about qualifies as ten mums and there surely isn’t anyone more lust-worthy – is there?

Now, don't say I never give you anything nice.

Next week, we continue our sinful journey with 'Gluttony' - are we, as parents, guilty of over-consumption?

September 13, 2009

What a difference six months makes

13 March, 2009
It's official, I am unemployed; another statistic of the credit crunch. I finally lost my increasingly precarious grip on the corporate ladder and I no longer work for the big city law firm which has seen me engaged, married and produce two children. In their wisdom, they decided I was surplus to requirements. I suspect this had something to do with the fact that I am a part-time working mother, but only they, and their top secret files, will ever truly know. I’m not bitter; just slightly baffled.

In any event, my impractically-high heels are back in their nice box, my designer suits are en route to the local charity shop and I am about to embark on my new career as Stay At Home Mum.

Ridiculous though it may sound, I am strangely nervous and more than a little panicked at the prospect of being with my own children 24/7. I may have only put in a brief appearance each week at the office, but those days were, apart from financially necessary, invaluable ‘me time’ and on many occasion the only thing keeping me sane.

I will miss my freshly brewed lattes and double chocolate muffins, the idle gossip about who was wearing what at the Oscars and part of me will even miss the egotistical, self-important dullards I had to work with (you know who you are!).

Now, I face an onslaught of meals to prepare, books to read, games to invent, jigsaws to make, floors to clean and disagreements to referee and I will have to do this all with only instant coffee and jaffa cakes as my elevenses companions. How, oh how will I cope?

13 September, 2009
Life may now be less about boardrooms and deadlines and more about bathrooms and washing lines, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I live in absolute chaos. I lurch from feeling completely happy as I bounce on the beds in the middle of the afternoon with my two fabulous boys, to feeling utterly disheartened as yet another uneaten meal is spilt on the just cleaned floor and I yearn for the simplicity of my corporate yesteryear.

It is exhausting meeting the demands of the small people, but I sleep soundly at night, taking comfort in the knowledge that although there may have been some ups and downs in the day, I was part of those ups and downs and not reading about them in a book sent home by an anonymous face in the crèche.

I will be eternally grateful that the celtic tiger packed his bags and trundled off to the jungle. He has given me the most wonderful opportunity to be with my children before they are too big for bubbles, cuddles and bouncing on the bed.

My departure from corporate life may have been a small step towards the cost savings my employer needed to make. It has, most definitely, been one giant leap for me.



My, oh my, oh my! I disappear from my virtual life for 48hrs and return to find that two awards have been most generously bestowed upon my humble little blog page. This is very absolutely especially lovely and I am most grateful indeed.

So firstly, many thanks to the wonderful Rebel Mother at Another Day In the Madhouse for the enthusiastically-titled 'Bloody Brilliant Blog' award. This lady's witty posts and fabulous photos always make me smile - check her out if you're not already doing so. There don't seem to any 'rules' as such associated with this award, so I would just like to pass this on to the following, who I have discovered recently and consider to be Bloody Brilliant.

Lady Mama
Woman At Work
Notes From Inside My Head

And secondly, a big 'Ey Up Chuck' to the sleep-deprived Insomniac Mummy - yorkshire lass turned blogging genius - who has passed on the ludicrously titled 'Zombie Chicken' award. This mama writes some excellent stuff so be sure to call in to her.

The award is explained as follows: “The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.”

Yikes - I fear the poultry invaders so will hastily pass the honour onto the following utterly genius bloggers. Ignore them at your peril - the chickens are a-getting hungry.

The Potty Diaries
A Modern Mother
Some Mothers Do Ave Em
Four Down Mum To Go

Finally and while on the subject of awards, I would also like to thank Perfectly Happy Mum, Really Rachel and Jen's Rantings for their very kind 'Meme' awards.

Right, must dash. I have some chickens to roast.

September 9, 2009

Top Of The Tots: Top 10 Ways to Embarrass Your Mum in Public

Hello top tot pickers - here we go with this week's countdown (da na na naa na, na na na na, da na na naa na, na na, na na - you know the tune)!

New at 10. Insist that she continues her role-play as Robbie Rotten, even though you’re in the library. Refuse to respond to her unless she puts on his voice and refers to you as Stephanie (even though you’re a boy), and your little brother as Stingy.

Climbing to 9. When the dentist asks you what you like to drink, say “Ribena” at exactly the same time as she says “water”. For the same question about snacks, you say "Fig Rolls" when she says "apples" and so on....

Dropping to 8. At toddler group music time, wander off when she’s in the middle of singing ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ with you, using your hands for the actions. She will have no choice but to carry on enthusiastically - alone!

New entry at 7. After going to the toilet with your Daddy in a restaurant, announce very loudly as you go back to the table “I did a really big poo mummy and it was a bit sore”.

No move at 6. When sitting in a quiet train carriage, ask her why she put her pink pants on today.

This week's highest climber at 5. Interrupt her ‘mummy-chat’ at toddler group by giving her the tampons you have just removed from her handbag.

Climbing to 4. Ask her loudly why the man sitting opposite you on the bus looks like a cat.

No move at 3. Refuse to participate in any of the group activities at Gymboree – or other such organised play places. Find the corner which is the absolute furthest away from the rest of the children and stand with your back to them, arms folded and scowling.

Down one place to 2. Wander off when she’s dancing with you – and only you – at a wedding, or other such event.

Still at number 1. Have the worst meltdown imaginable about leaving the soft play centre on a quiet Saturday morning when everyone else is behaving very nicely and all the mums and dads are having a civilised cup of coffee and reading a glossy magazine.

Top of The Tots will now be taking a break for a few weeks as we start the countdown to the 'Hot Cross Mum Hallowe'en British Mummy Bloggers 'Spook-Fest' carnival', featuring 'The Seven Deadling Sins of Parenting'. Woooooooooo (ghostly noise).


September 8, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Don't watch TV. Instead, make this pasta robot.....

...then reward yourself with 4 of these!


September 6, 2009

What do you mean, no TV?

I have taken an incredibly brave stance against unruly behaviour among the small people. I have - drum roll, lengthy pause, drag it out a bit longer – BANNED TELEVISION! Dum, dum, duuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm (clap of thunder, flash of lightening). Gasp. Shriek. I know. Sooooooooooo evil.

Are you nuts, I hear you cry? Well, long story short, there was far too much protesting going on about the TV being switched off after the permitted intake of CBeebies (this isn’t meant to sound quite so much like we live in a prison).

“Enough, enough, ENOUGH”, I cried, “Right, THAT’S IT. No more TV. If you’re not happy to watch what mummy says, then maybe you’re better off without any TV at all”.

And with that, the dreadful deed was done. Despite much wailing and protesting about such an awful punishment, the TV has remained firmly off (at least as far as the kids are concerned!) for two days now.

The only problem with this punishment is that it has started to back-fire on me. I didn’t realise just quite how valuable those 40 minutes of ‘quiet time’ chilling out with Charlie & Lola can be for a demented mother who is frazzled beyond repair at the end of another day. I now feel like I am punishing myself as I get the jigsaws and Play-Doh back out of the cupboard for the twilight hour before daddy comes to the rescue.

Now I’ve made such a stance against it, I am starting to wonder if I, or the kids, have become dependent on TV. I’d hate to think so – but maybe we are? Despite all our tut-tutting at other parent’s apparent over-reliance on TV before we had children of our own, have we ended up doing just the same? Or, actually, is a limited amount of TV perfectly fine for the kids and do parents just guilt-trip each other out; feigning disinterest in the latest TV craze while secretly Sky +ing every episode?

Well, in for a penny as they say, so having started this as a punishment, it has now developed into something of an ‘experiment’. I have decided to tough it out and go without kids TV for a week. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard me right. A whole week. I do not care what happens to Iggle Piggle’s blanket, Dora will have to explore without us and Sportacus will have to show off his moves to someone else.

If you feel like joining me and switching off your TV as well, then please pledge your support below.

I will keep you updated here and through my Twitter account (click button above to follow me). I know this is going to be a tough journey, but I shall remain strong. Grrrrrrrrr.


September 4, 2009

Eliza Plum: Credit Crunch Mum

I will never forget the day when William announced over coffee that we would no longer be able to keep the cleaner and nanny. I nearly choked on my petit fours.

“You can’t be serious darling!” I exclaimed, “Not keep Tiggy and Potts? Why on earth not?”

He proceeded to explain to me in a most serious tone (usually reserved for discussing important family matters such as the boys’ education and which of the Austrian ski resorts has the best off-piste skiing), that, despite his excellent reputation, long service history and perfect attendance record, he would no longer be in the employ of Abbotts Bank. They were under severe financial pressure and would be letting go of all the Senior Management team.

“I’m so sorry darling, but until I find another job, we just cannot afford the expense of a cleaner and a nanny”.

I gazed blankly into my coffee cup and watched the cream swirl around and around, making hypnotic patterns on the surface. It was most probably the circular motion which caused me to faint as apparently I then slumped forward, knocked my head off the sugar bowl and fell onto the floor. I have no recollection of this, but came to a few moments later with Henry The Eighth, our red setter, licking at my hand and William flapping a napkin frantically over my face.

“Goodness Eliza, you gave me a terrible fright”, he said, loosening his tie and pouring us both a brandy. “What on earth came over you?”

“I’m not sure”, I said. “But I had the oddest dream just now that you told me we couldn’t keep Tiggy and Potts! Imagine that? More like a nightmare!” By now I was laughing hysterically.

“It wasn’t a dream. We can’t keep them. I don’t have a job”.

And with those thirteen words (thirteen – how apt), as the wind howled outside and the rain lashed at our wonderful stained-glass windows, my world was turned completely upside down.

I was now the wife of an ‘Unemployed Person’ with two small children to care for without a nanny and, worst of all, with NO CLEANER! I knew then that it was going to be a tough year for Eliza Plum. Little did I realise just how tough.

Nevertheless, in true Plum family tradition, I dealt with my situation with grit, determination and strength of character probably not seen since the women of WW2 put on their overalls and head scarves and took to the munitions assembly lines.

I didn’t complain more than was absolutely necessary and I didn’t feel sorry for myself – except on Wednesday afternoons when the ladies would still meet for afternoon tea at Betty’s. I did attempt to join them with the children on one disastrous occasion. Let’s just say that although the Fat Rascal cakes look very endearing on the tray behind the counter, they do not look very pleasant when crumbled into a million tiny pieces and scattered across half of the 100% wool carpeting. To top it all, whilst trying to leave with some shred of dignity in tact, Tobias wet himself while I was busy faffing with the straps on the Bugaboo Chameleon. Overall, the outing was not a pleasant one and something I do not wish to repeat at any point in the near future.

However, they do say that every cloud has a silver lining and although it may be more apt to refer to my cloud as having a cheap copper lining (being too poor to afford a silver one), I have learnt an awful lot in the twelve months since that dreadful evening. I can now change a nappy. I know how to make a pasta robot. I know the difference between playschool and pre-school and I can also manicure my own nails.

So, in an act of generosity and selflessness which many would say was just typical of Eliza Plum, I have chosen to condense everything I have learnt in the past year into one extraordinary book on the subject of managing one’s home and children, without any domestic assistance. Some in the media have branded me ‘The Modern Mrs Beeton’ which, I must say, is very charming and extremely flattering!

Stuffed to the rafters, nay festooned, with helpful tips and techniques, this really is - although I might say so myself – an absolute must of a read for world-weary, down-trodden mothers – and the occasional father – who regretfully spend their days under the kitchen table struggling to dislodge Cheerios which have welded themselves to the laminate flooring.

I hope that through sharing my experiences, other women who find themselves in a similar predicament to my own will be spared the pain, suffering and hardship I had to endure.

I might add as a final note that reading this book will not, I am afraid, help you to become a better member of the community, a better dinner party host, a better spouse or a better gardener. However, for any parent who feels that they are the only one who cannot get their children dressed and out of the door in the morning without bursting into floods of tears, reaching for the smelling salts or resorting to screeching at a tone and decibel level usually heard only among fighting tom cats, it will hopefully prove to you that you are not going round the bend. And that alone may help you sleep better at night (assuming your sodding, I mean, delightful children don’t wake you up).


Sharing the ‘Great Read’ Love

Many thanks to the most excellent Sally at Who’s The Mummy? for tagging me with this Great Read award. It’s lovely to be given a virtual thumbs up and I shall proudly add it to the trophy shelf and have a large piece of cake to celebrate!

Sally’s challenge to accompany the award is to think of 10 happy memories. With a slight twist, I would like to offer the following ‘10 Happy Hot Cross Mum Places’. These all have a very special place in my heart.

10 Happy Hot Cross Mum Places

1. A beautiful gite at ‘La Grange Du Moulin’ in France. Set on a vineyard and sunflower fields. Our first holiday as a family of four.
2. Manchester – the entire city. Where better place to spend your formative years as a student?!
3. Sydney – especially a brilliant house on Elizabeth Street. I lived there for a year and had the absolute best of times. Also returned for millennium celebrations and honeymoon. A special place indeed.
4. Holles Street National Maternity Hospital, Dublin. What is it they say, no pain, no gain!
5. My attic. We play, we dance, we laugh here and when everyone is in bed, I write here.
6. London – spent 8 brilliant years here which saw me start my corporate life and complete the marathon. Love it.
7. Glendalough, Wicklow. Ireland at its very best.
8. The duckpond in the small Yorkshire village where I grew up. Although I remember being particularly scared of one odd looking duck, it holds fond childhood memories for me.
9. My back garden on a sunny day with the paddling pool out and the boys squealing with delight.
10. My sofa – when the children are sleeping and I have a large glass of wine in my hand – ahhhhh!

I would also like to pass the award onto the following ladies who are all indeed, great reads. If you’re not familiar, check them out.
Insomniac Mummy, Sandy at Baby Baby, The Wife of Bold, Rachel at Really Rachel and Not Supermum. Enjoy!


September 3, 2009

Top Of The Tots: How to distract your mum when she's on the phone

Here goes with this week’s countdown

Climbing to 10: Ask for a biscuit – she’ll definitely give you one just to keep you quiet.

Non mover at 9: Take all the cushions off the sofa and chairs and then jump on the sofas and chairs (even though you're not really allowed).

Dropping to 8: Find the most precarious place imaginable to stand – this will give her a real fright when she finds you.

New entry at 7: Ask for another biscuit. This is a good time to push your luck and ask for a chocolate one.

Climbing to 6: Take all the pillows and covers off the beds and then jump on the beds (again, not really allowed, but nobody looking).

Straight in at 5: Take your trousers, socks and pants off. Hey, why not?

No change at 4: Put on your muddy wellies.

This week’s highest entry at 3: Take all the jigsaws out of the toy cupboard and, with the help of your brother, scatter all the pieces all over the kitchen floor.

Non mover at 2: Go for a wee, but miss the toilet. Then pull all the loo paper off the roll, or just tear it into lots and lots of tiny pieces.

Still at the top spot for the third week: Shout “Muummmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” repeatedly in your loudest and whiniest voice for the entire duration of the phone call.

Parents beware: Using the phone can seriously damage your house.

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