Wednesday, 24 October 2012

"Email Egg"

Egg hard at 'work' in the dining room :)

The other day an email arrived in my inbox from my eldest son Egg, who was sequestered away in the dining room on his computer.  I thought he had been doing his homework but clearly he was dealing with more important matters:  his 'Christmas Wish List'.

Copy and pasted at the top of his email was this picture:

...and the following message:

dear mama and dada this is my favorite toy can we dicuss this one together.


Bless.  It made me laugh out loud and I immediately forwarded it to my family for their amusement.  (Particularly endearing was the hopeful exclamation mark after his name.  A nice touch.)

Shortly after, Egg mooched on into the kitchen and sidled up to where I was still tapping away on my laptop, keeping one eye on the baby who was busy practising his Houdini skills by repeatedly wriggling and writhing his way out of the leather Abercrombie restraints I'd fashioned around his high chair.

"Umm Mama...did you get my email?" he enquired with a huge grin.

"Yes Egg.  It was very sweet.  I promise to think about it."

He yelped with glee then ran out of the kitchen without a backward glance.

Sometime thereafter I received another email from him, this one with a plethora of attachments.  Apparently he had been very busy online shopping and narrowed his wish list down to a manageable forty six attachments.  

Last night however I received this latest.  Best one yet if you ask me.  (Though clearly taking after his father he appears to have dispensed with any opening formalities):

this is actully what i want for christmas. TIP:you can get it from toys- r -us. 
i like it becuase it has 6 legs can shoot 3 different types of amo and can do a full 360 degree turn.


How very thoughtful of him to have provided this 'tip', included the price, and of course explained exactly why the best part of seventy quid should be dispensed with in these recessionary times for an object which will undoubtedly join all of the other broken remote-controlled has-beens in the corner of his bedroom.  

I have yet to fashion a response to Egg, but secretly am rather impressed with his computer skills.  Nice move blanking out the background.  I'm not even sure I know how to do that.  When I brought this up to the husband in bed last night, a proud smile danced across his face and you could tell he was secretly gloating that his amazing computer wizardry skills have traveled down the gene pool into our eldest.  I just better hope that he doesn't one day get hold of one of my credit cards and figure out the missing link between desire and wish fulfilment by way of Mastercard (sigh).

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

"Fergie Eat Your Heart Out"

Many moons ago, long before she became an Oprah Winfrey regular, the former Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was involved in a toe-sucking scandal which decorated the broadsheets for eons.

At the time, the published photos revealed a somewhat ecstatic young woman getting a now infamous 'Toe Job'.

Whatever.  I think the whole thing was overblown - and I speak with some authority given that I receive these on a daily basis thanks to my chubby baby.
"I'm going in..."
They're no big deal really.  Of course I can't speak for the erotic quality of your garden variety 'Toe Job', since in my case they are being administered by a (albeit enthusiastic) baby as opposed to say, a wealthy Euro playboy - perhaps it's not comparable?
"...Got it!"
In the same way that nursing is not the least bit erotic (sorry boys but it's not - having a voracious infant suckle greedily and try and pull out the last non-existent dredges of milk from your oh-so-tender-and-overused nipple whilst clamping onto your tender breast with tiny but surprisingly strong little fingers in need of yet another nail clipping) so is having yet another 'toe job' whilst trying to exercise - terribly annoying.
That's the problem you see.  In trying to regain some semblance of my old body, I've come to the realisation that I must:

a) exercise EVERY day
b) lay off the refrigerated KitKats (surprisingly effective meal replacements...unless one overindulges)
c) continue nursing for the foreseeable (it burns an extra 500 calories a

Anyway, the baby does not like me exercising.  Or maybe he does.  After all he delights in climbing on my poor tummy while I try to do already excruciating sit-ups using my deeply buried abs.  And try doing a weighted side leg lift with a grinning extra 12 kilo's plopped lazily on your ankle.  Not good.

But try I must.  And persist I do.  And I suppose that's why the chubby baby can't help sucking my toes.  When I have them painted the most delicious (limited edition OPI pink) candy colour - how can he not pop a toe in his mouth on the odd chance it tastes of cotton candy (it doesn't).

So I continue to persevere...lifting, pulsing, bending and stretching...trying to keep my toes out of harms way.  Sometimes I succeed sometimes I don't.

But as a result the chubby baby and I are getting that little bit too intimate with each other and I'm gong to have to draw the line somewhere.

Pretty soon this toe and nipple smorgasbord is putting up its shutters and closing for good.  Watch this space.

"Beware The Burga-lers"

I can't decide whether I'm just one of those supremely lucky individuals or supremely stupid (or more likely - a little of both.)

It's either that or by some great twist of fate, I happen to live in one of the safest neighbourhoods in all of London (a touch ironic given we were a stones throw from those horrible riots last year - but a fair point nonetheless).

You see yesterday, through some incredibly massive oversight (though I would swear to the contrary - and am continuing to do so) I must have left our door unlocked when I hustled my three little boys out into the lacklustre Sunday afternoon drizzle to head to our local Pizza Express for a late lunch.

The husband was away on some punishing six hour cycle race (he's clearly insane) and I had promised to take the boys out for lunch as a treat.  Plus, after a whole morning spent inside I knew we'd be in danger of heading into tantrum territory and a potential freak out (and that's just me).  So off we went.

The strange thing is that I vividly recall locking the door and staring at said locked door, given that Dumpie and I were engaged in a battle of wills over the fact that he refused to put his little rain jacket on and I threatened to go back inside and cancel the whole excursion until he relented.

Anyway, a few hours later, after a long and leisurely lunch (where the most exciting thing to happen was a free piece of fudge cake being proffered to Egg by our overly flirtatious Italian waiter), we headed home the long way, stopping en route for groceries and general browsing.

Upon arriving home I was excited to see that the husband had arrived back safe and sound, as our front door was wide open.

Sticking my head in to surprise him I found the entrance empty and no sign of a cycle.  Strange.

Then it hit me.  My husband was NOT why was our door wide open?!

So much for being the calm cool voice of reason in a crisis.  I freaked out, pulled the pushchair back outside into the rain and demanded the boys stay outside while I checked things out.

"Mama is there a 'burga-ler' inside?!" Dumpie asked terrified  ('Burga-lers' are his biggest fear these days.  Unlucky.)

"Umm...I'm not sure Sweetpea" I hesitated, a sick look of panic crossing my face.  "If you guys hear me scream just yell for help okay?" I instructed (in hindsight perhaps not the wisest thing to utter)

With that I quietly began my ascent upstairs, waiting for some 'hoodie' to jump out brandishing a knife - my laptop in one arm and the husbands Rolex in another.

Speaking of the husband, I thought it only fair to alert him to the fact that his wife might soon be potentially raped and murdered and that he may be looking at single parenthood if things didn't pan out well, so dialed his mobile and scared the heck out of him as the line inexplicably went dead mid-conversation.  Ooops.

All the while, as I flung closet doors open, slid open our balcony door, peeked into showers and behind doors with baited breath, I could hear the hysterical cacophony of Dumpie and Egg wailing and sobbing in panic downstairs. Screaming my name, they were getting increasingly wound, not hearing any response to their wails, and as I was too busy trying to stealth my way around our home, I couldn't exactly answer back so who could blame them for imagining me dead upstairs in a pool of my own blood?

Long story short, no knife wielding 'hoodie' was unearthed, no laptops were harmed or stolen in the telling of this story, and despite living in Central London, it would appear that in some areas at least, it is absolutely A-Okay to leave ones door open for several hours and return to find ones valuables untouched.

Go figure.

Postscript:  When I later relayed the story to my father he didn't sound as perplexed as I imagined he would.

"Remember the time you took Eggie to school when I was visiting and must have thought you locked the front door but didn't and I found Dumpie on his scooter on the sidewalk outside?"


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

"Kamper Van With A 'K'..." is ours (gulp)
Well the husbands really gone and done it now.  Catapulting us straight into the realm of (albeit fictional) Chevy Chase and his 'Wally Wagon', he's only gone and purchased an 80's VW Campervan with retro racer stripes and - you guessed it - the word 'Kamper' scrawled jauntily across the side.  Nice.

Now I realise that there are many women out there probably thinking 'Right On!" and who might envy me my impulsive husband and his solo purchase.  You know...the 'open road' and all that.  And I understand, I really do.  Many many moons ago, the husband and I happily careened round the Continent in a bright yellow VW Camper we nicknamed 'Mellow Yellow'.  But that was
'BK' (before kids) and when I possessed the kind of youthful bounce-back looks which made showers/makeup/ mirrors merely optional.

In those days I could crash out after wandering the streets of Amsterdam and awake the next morning with unbrushed hair, pop a breath mint and slip on a pair of jeans and be pretty much good to go - looking none the worse really. These days however, the thought of being trapped in a vehicle with four 'fragrant' males, no toilet, (one of whom soils himself hourly), and no chance of a lie-in, fills me with dread.

Nonetheless a few weekends ago we convinced some friends to come and join us on a 'last of the season' (ie. 'before it gets too bloody freezing so much so that you'll want to die') camping trip.

Dare I say it?  It was fun.  A lot of fun.  The baby stayed in his brown Gap fuzzy bear outfit pretty much the whole time, crawling around like he was part of the habitat.
Anyone seen the little brown bear indigenous to these parts?
Egg and Dumpie kept jumping into the creek, soaking themselves on an hourly basis, and showing off in front of the little girls who made up the rest of the eight strong kiddie crew (including one aforementioned little baby brown bear).
Our Merry Crew of Campsters In the Green Fields of Grinstead 
But the real fun was to be had round the ever constant campfire and the many bottles of warming Red wine we'd had the good sense to pack amongst the marshmallows and baked potatoes.

Now I know how 'Wino's' got their moniker.  Even the cold shivery nights ain't so bad when you've got enough booze blundering through your veins.

So long as one of you stays sober enough to remember to whack the passed out other one in the head upon crawling into bed and discovering that someone (ahem) has inadvertently left the gas stove a-blazin' (in, I imagine, a well-intentioned desire to heat the bloody van up) and is gearing the family up for a Sylvia Plath moment in the wee hours...

But I stand (somewhat) corrected.  The van isn't all bad.  It is kind of long as no one I know ever sees me riding in it through London, in a totally non-ironic way.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

"Handy Uses For An Abercrombie Belt (Or Fifty Shades of Wired)"

Babies and Coffee Grinders Don't Mix?! (ahem)
In much the same manner as one would depict a sudden 'Eureka' moment hitting - say a village idiot - did it dawn on me mid-afternoon yesterday, that the reason my eight month old baby boy won't nap during the day is entirely down to me.  (Or rather, down to my coffee
connoisseur of a husband who recently decided to gift me with my own amazing espresso maker AND cafe grade home grinder. And a kilo bag of espresso coffee beans.)

How could I have been so stupid you ask?  Beats me.  All I know is that it has taken this long for me to realise that being wired and nursing don't exactly go hand in hand (sigh).  More's the pity.  (And here I thought I was doing so well with this whole 'new mother' thing.  I guess a fair amount of caffeine administered in such a way as to give the fastest, hardest, most potent hit throughout the day is responsible for my amazing tirelessness and the newly pronounced bounce in my step.  Ah well.)

As for the baby (who for some inexplicable reason I am calling 'Boo' these days), I don't know whether it's the caffeine or merely the propensity for a heavy metal vocalist career if he wants it - but he's discovered his voice these past few weeks and delights in scream-yelling his way through the day...a huge grin plastered across his face.

Of course, being alone just the two of us, I do get lonely and yearn for someone to converse with, so have now taken to 'scream-yelling' back at him, parrot fashion, with a huge matching stupid grin on my face.  (I realise I'm not doing much to dispel the village idiot likeness here.)

It's a pleasant enough way to pass the time I suppose, and sure beats dealing with the realisation that the bulk of my life is currently being spent in the kitchen:  preparing, feeding, wiping, cleaning, cajoling and mopping.  (And you can add human drain to that - given that our sink carburator  has recently packed up and until it gets replaced I have to manually drain a giant saucepan of water under the sink into the nearest toilet bowl. This needs to happen on average, oh, about three times an hour.)

So, I'm not so thrilled with things at the moment.  And I'll tell you what else I'm not thrilled about.  The brand spanking new, rather expensive high chair I decided to get for the baby.  It's turned into a death trap.  If only I could go back to the moment of purchase when the gormless young Asian clerk sold the baby set to me.

Me:  Do I need a harness with this?  Won't the baby be able to climb out?

Him:  How old is your child?

Me:  Eight months

Him: (smiling patronisingly) No.  You're good.  You won't have to worry about that until he's around a year old.

Me:  Are you sure??

Him:  Yeah.  Absolutely.

Me:  (dubiously) Fine.  Here's my creditcard.

And so within the first week of having it the baby learned how to use the wooden foot bar to hoist himself up and out of the chair.

So the husband lowered the bar.

The baby quickly figured out how to stand on his tippie toes and hoist himself out of the chair.

The husband lowered it further still, completely out of reach.

The baby learned how to cram one chubby little leg back up through the opening and thereby gain  necessary leverage needed to - you guessed it - hoist his entire frame once again, out of the chair.
I silently cursed the clerk.  Especially I went back to the store to bawl him out.

Me:  I need that harness after all.

Him:  (Incredulous) You do?

Me:  (Holier-than-thou) Yes I do.

Him:  (looking up with a grimace)  Sorry.  We're out of stock. Indefinitely.

Me:  (Exiting the store with a giant 'Harummph' and trying my best to flounce out in my  haughtiest manner, marred somewhat by my huge fat baby in sling clawing my face, yanking my hair and 'scream-yelling'.)

And so I've solved the problem temporarily by using my expensive dark brown leather Abercrombie belt to wince him in.
The belt is getting trashed, and I'm still no further to locating a harness, but at least he stays in.  When I remember to tie him in.  When I don't, this is what happens:  I'm turned round at the sink doing the dishes and glance over my shoulder to see this (sigh).

You can just see the forsaken highchair left out of shot
I give up.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

"Gonna Party...Like It's Me Birfday" (innit)

The top ten reasons why it would appear to be my birthday today:

1.  Brekkie in bed (check)
2.  Two kisses planted on my cheek in the early hours by two little monsters whispering 'Happy Birthday Mama' (check)
3.  The baby whisked off downstairs by the husband whilst i get to sleep in awhile (check)
4.  Not one but two 'Baileys-dosed' cappuccino's hand-delivered to my bedside table by a grinning Dumpie (check)
5.  Giant birthday tray full of pressies, cards, and treats brought up to bedroom amidst singing and lit candles (in this case votive tea lights - the hubby couldn't find the others!  but somehow even better for their originality) and including my all-time favourite breakfast treat:  a freshly baked 'Palmier' from Paul's Patisserie (check)
6.  everyone's being REALLY nice to me :)
7.  the rustling downstairs of several hands attempting to fashion a birthday cake from scratch (I could have chucked a boxed Duncan Hines their way but where's the fun in that?!)
8.  a multitude of texts, emails, calls whizzing my way to say, essentially, "Hey, you're alright.  Right on for making it through to another year." (check)
9.  My mum ringing first thing to sing happy birthday to me over the she has done every year since i can remember....despite it being the middle of the night for her.  BLESS xx
10.  I'm wearing a new pair of knickers (another family birthday tradition.  don't ask.)

So on that note I'm off to indulge in a post-brekkie bath (i know!) assuming of course I can manage to keep it a W.F. ('winky-free') one and beg the boys not to strip off and clamber into the hot soapy suds with me (I'm giving it 50/50 odds).

Then, I'm going to contemplate my third cappuccino of the day whilst getting dressed in my new gear, wearing my new cosmetics, smelling of new scents, and revelling in the fact that at long last i'm back to wearing my old, PRE-BABY sized clothes.  Wahey!

If that's not a reason to celebrate I don't know what is.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

"Today Was A Two-Bra Day"

Before you assume that I'm referring to a pair of heaving, milk-laden breasts which needed to be hoisted into a double bra scenario in order to be suitably easy, I'm not.

No, I mean it was literally a 'double bra day' for me today.

As in, when I begged/pleaded/cajoled Egg and Dumpie into playing with their almost 8 month old baby brother after school this afternoon so I could jump into a quick bath and soothing my aching, spasmodic back, I found that I was wearing not one but two bras.  Seriously.

First I thought I was just tired (i was) and couldn't undo the straps properly (I couldn't).  Then I realised that there were 8 straps and two different sets of hooks and...oh nevermind, I'm sure you get the picture.

That's when I realised how I shouldn't beat myself up over all my current shortcomings (failure to blog regularly at the moment being up there) because if I'm not even capable of getting dressed properly - and clearly I'm not - then surely I have bigger problems than I initially assumed.

Today I literally found myself unable at one point to pick up 'the fat baby' (as he is lovingly and jokingly sometimes called by us lot these days) as my back spasmed into an internal shape so horrific I cried out in pain and dropped him unceremoniously on the floor whilst clutching my back like a tragic pensioner.

So what did I do?  I let the baby play with my treasured glass mirrored Moroccan candle holders - gleefully smashing them from a great height onto the (thankfully carpeted) floor while I looked on with a pained (literally) smile and wondered what drugs I might have to hand to alleviate the agony.

In the end I wasn't successful on that front, but I did manage to distract myself with a long call to my creditcard customer service line where I was told that although I have proof of fraudulent activity on my account I'll have to call back in the morning because apparently fraud which is reported after 5pm doesn't warrant immediate activity.

So I have that to look forward to tomorrow.  Oh, and the horror of discovering that I'm doing the school run knicker-less perhaps?