Saturday, 22 October 2011

Grateful For...

Today I'm grateful for microwaves. 

Yes, I know this is stupid but if you are a serial leaver of unfinished tea/coffee then you can NEVER underestimate the value of the microwave. If the aliens in 'Signs' could have been defeated with leftover teas and coffees, I could have kicked ass.

However, I am not a monster with no palate. I know that microwaving a cold cup of tea or coffee can destroy it but when surviving on minimal sleep, I'm afraid I need the caffeine ingredient rather than the actual enjoyment of the flavour of the leaves/beans.

It's an addiction. (caffeine, not microwaves)





Thursday, 20 October 2011


It's been a while I know!  I've not abandoned my blog!  Things at home just got super busy... for one thing my mother is having an extension built for which Wad and I are the architects.  It has just gone on site and already we've hit a few (expensive!) snags.

But not to worry, I'll be back on top of my dear dull diary shortly...  Hopefully be joining in the Saturday Grateful!

Chat to you all soon!


Monday, 10 October 2011

One Child Wonder

First off, can I say thankyou to all the lovely comments on last Saturday's Grateful post!  Bubble is on the mend and devastating my make-up bag as I type!  Although if anyone can suggest how I get her eat anything other than cheerios and digestives, I'd be awfully grateful! (again...that's a good one for next Saturday!)

I discovered recently that a friend of mine is an only child.  Which astounded me as she has none of the usual attributes associated with single children.  She is not selfish nor does she have any family issues.  In fact she always has a smile for you and is a caring listener.

The reason this is of interest to me is because, for some strange reason, I don't know that I will have any more children.  I think I always thought I'd have two or three and this feeling comes as a surprise.  When trying to concieve Bubble, I desperately wanted her.  There was nothing in my life more important.  Now that I have her, I feel blessed and I am in total adoration of every aspect, every molecule that makes up my wonderful little girl.

But I have no desire to have another.

It's not that I don't want another baby, I'm just totally indifferent.  In my heart of hearts, I want Bubble all to myself, her and me against the world! Lol... But to have another just because...well, I'm not so sure.  I feel that I should want the second child as much as I wanted Bubble.  I think I worry that if I don't want the next as much, will I love that child as much as I love her?

Then again I have to ask myself, is it really such a wrong to not have any more children?  Everyone says to me, 'Oh! You have to give her a wee brother or sister' but why?  It didn't adversely affect my friend so why would it affect my daughter?  It isn't as if we live in the middle of the desert with no other human contact.  She has plenty of friends and second cousins to play with.  Or am I just justifying my lack of interest in another baby?  Answers on a postcard!

Am I being weird?  Have any other mothers felt like this?!

Help! :o)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Grateful For...

Trying to amuse housebound Bubble!
Hilariously, it is now Saturday and I still haven't managed to post more regularly.  Despite Cherie's nifty blogging tip, I haven't managed to follow her advice.  It's just been too tricky this week.  Bubble has chicken pox and is feeling very miserable!  Consequently she wants to nurse all the time.  She has pox on the soles of her feet which I think must be bothering her because she wants to be lifted all the time and is only content on my lap nursing.  She's relentless.  If my boob could pack its bags and fly to Spain, I think it would!!

Regardless of that fact, and rather unusually, I am grateful for Bubble still breastfeeding.  I know it's a lifestyle choice and there are times I wish I had my body and my independence back but I simply cannot fault the comfort that breastfeeding can offer Bubble especially in this circumstance.  I simply don't know how I would soothe her better.  If sitting on the sofa watching Finding Nemo on repeat with her continuously on the breast alleviates her suffering of that horrible itchiness, then so be it.

I am so grateful that my body can do that for her.


Monday, 3 October 2011

Ten Things...

Now that I'm back after a cheeky little break, what better way to get going again than a cheeky wee link up! (yes, I know I've done three in a row but they're just so much fun!) I've been invited by Shar at Mum on the Run to offer you 10 little nuggets of not so interesting info about me that might give you a giggle. So here goes...
1. I am a closet geek.
Well, not anymore by the looks of things! I LOVE fantasy. Wizards, unicorns, elves, hobbits, dragons, you name it, I love it! I have countless fantasy trilogies on my bookshelves and they are my achilles heel.
2. I love Disney cartoons.
I have a veritable collection of Disney animated films at home. I know most of the songs by heart and could probably quote you a line or twenty.
3. I have a mad music memory.
I do! It's so weird... anything in rhyme or song seems to stick in my head. If my degrees had been taught to me in rhyme I would have come out with a first class honours!
4. I have a huge capacity to eat.
It's true. I can eat voracious amounts of food. I can double eat what my husband does. Some say it's disgusting, I say it's greed. I just love food! I love to eat and consider myself a bit of a foodie... but my metabolism is starting to give up!!
5. I used to bellydance.
I originally wrote 'I can bellydance' but the truth is I haven't in nearly 10 years. I still see myself getting back to it - I was passionate about it back then. I even stayed in Cairo for a few weeks with my instructor, learning off local instructors. I think I was quite good but more importantly, it made me feel amazing about myself.
6. I am scared of the dark.
No really. My mind plays all sorts of tricks on me in the dark! I always have to have a nightlight.
7. I think I made a mistake becoming an architect.
I worked REALLY hard to qualify. I overcame financial and family issues to obtain my degrees. I fought tooth and nail to get the right projects to sit my professional exams on. I did really well in my Part 3 and I busted a gut to hang on to my job. But I still got made redundant. Sometimes, if you're continuously swimming against the current, you have to wonder if you're just not supposed to be going in that direction.
8. I regret not learning the piano.
My sister excels at piano and I just know I could do as well, given the time.
9. I only breastfeed from one side.
I had problems with my left breast. So Bubble has been reared on breastmilk entirely from one breast.
10. I hate my legs.
I can cope with every other aspect of my body but I hate my legs. If I could have surgery I would. They are like tree trunks. Even at my skinniest, they still looked like tree trunks. Meh.
So there you have it. Ten things you'd probably rather not know! Now when I was invited to join this link by the lovely lady Shar, it made me all gushy inside to be asked :o) so I'm sharing the love and inviting another five blog friends to divulge their deepest and darkest!
Over to you...
Shelley @ Shoebox Life

Thank You

This is just a little post to say a big THANK YOU  for all the lovely comments on my Wedding Day Linky Post.

You were all too kind. Brought a wee tear to my eye!


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Post It Note!

Just a quick note to say I'm off to bonnie Scotland to see the hubby ;o)  It's a last minute thing so bear with me whilst I'm off on a mini blogging break!

Back on Monday... Isn't it wonderful that it coincides with all this fabulous weather?!  Love Edinburgh in the sun!


Friday, 23 September 2011

Wedding Day Stories Linky

Although newly recruited to blogging, I'm totally excited by all these linkys that are appearing - what a great concept! It has been so much fun reading other's stories on the same subject. Shelley's inspired post for people to share their wedding experiences is just the perfect excuse to share wedding photos. :o)  Aaahh!  How gorgeous.  Makes me want to do it all over again!

I married my best friend in 2005. Both of us came from divorced families and as such, decided to host our big day away from both our home towns (mine being Newry and Wad's being Edinburgh). We married in a gem of a place in the foot of the Scottish Highlands, a place called Pitlochry. The venue was the Atholl Palace. We hosted the ceremony and the reception there... and all the guests stayed the night - after a big old ceilidh!! ;o)

It was a fantastic day but over far too soon. Rather than relive it in words, I'll give you a whistle-stop tour in some photos that were taken by our guests.
The Venue - The stairs are to be my 'aisle'!

Me and mum before the can hardly see
her wheelchair in this photo. Ahem, yes, I am blond here! I took
to the bottle at uni and stayed blond until a couple of years ago!
I chose a harpist to play Canon in D
to walk down the 'aisle' to.
These were the table centrepieces, chosen to represent
Nanda.  It was said by all my aunts that after Nanda
passed away, each of them discovered a butterfly in
some capacity in each of their homes.
My 4 yr old sister as flowergirl, leading my other
two sisters and my chief bridesmaid, preceding me down the 'aisle'!
Me, my dad and my matron of honour successfully negotiating the
 'aisle'!  The smell of the lavender is something I'll never forget.

The view from the top of the aisle... after our vows had been exchanged
and the champagne had been poured!
'You want me to what?!'
'Whoops, here we go!'
'And strike a pose!'
Uncle Pete - aka UP - Wad's Aussie uncle. He attended with his wife from
Sydney and kindly agreed to play the bagpipes for us!

Brothers and sisters...From L to R
My brother - usher
Wad's brother - Best Man
My sister - bridesmaid
My sister - Flower Girl
My sister - VIP ;o)
My brother - usher
My sister - bridesmaid

Wad - my groom,
My better half
My boy
My best friend

We lit a candle for our grandparents who could not share our day.

First Dance

My stepdad. He may not have given me away but he
raised me as his own :o)

The product of the perfect marriage!!

Hope you have a lovely day Shelley!  Enjoy every flies by!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Grandmother's Ring Linky

I have just been to Thea's blog reading a post on her late grandmother and the ring she left her.  It left me thinking about my past and where I came from.  Where my daughter will essentially have come from.

The ring pictured on Thea's blog is my paternal grandmother's engagement ring, left to me when she died shortly after I was born.  She had died less than a year after my paternal grandfather had died so I never knew either of them and I know very little about them.  This is because my father never discusses them - probably because they both died before he turned 20.

My maternal grandparents were in my life from a very early age as the marriage between my mother and father broke down very quickly...they were too young.  My grandfather (Nanda) died when I was 20 and I still miss him.  He was always smiling.  My grandmother (Nanny) is still with us and I am very fond of her too.  She looks fabulous for her age and the only thing I want her to leave me is her youthful appearance! Lol!  She is also South African, born and raised in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). Nanda had come from Northern Ireland to Africa to work in the police and that is how he met Nanny.  In that day, I expect it would have been quite a big deal to have gone so far from home.  If I had a chance to ask my Nanda one more question, I would ask him why he did it.  It impresses me that he did something so adventurous!

Of course, he's not nearly as impressive as Wad's grandfather.  A decorated lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Scots, he was an intimidating figure, with war stories to make your hair curl and connections to many persons of note including Queen Elizabeth II.  Wad's grandmother was an established 'lady', born of a very long standing Scottish clan.  Sadly, both have passed away, leaving only mementos of WWII and a clan name.  Wad's father was disowned by his mother shortly after Wad's grandfather died.  He has not seen his grandmother since he was 11 years old.  Tragic, considering Wad is the last surviving male heir to his grandmother's clan name.

Of course, history does not make the person.  Wad is not an army man.  He is an architect.  I am nothing like my forebears either but who knows?  There is an unsettling likeness between Bubble and her paternal grandmother at this age...I only hope it is just a physical likeness!


Sunday, 18 September 2011

To sleep, perchance to...Sleep?!

image credit

It's Sunday morning.  I am bleary eyed, slurping on a strong coffee, ignoring the cataclysm-esque mess that is my living room and the squeals of delight from my daughter as she contributes to that mess with her aunties.  Her aunties (my sisters) are 10 and 6 years old and I had them for an overnight stay.  We had great fun but I'm dreading the point when I am going to have to face up to the carnage and start clearing it up!

I'm knackered.  Really tired.  I've not been posting this week because of it.  I'm so tired I thought I might be pregnant...but I've done a test and it's negative.  I'm prone to heart palpitations when I'm run down and tired and I've had them regularly this week.  Only little 10 second bursts but still, I know I'm run down when they come along.

Bubble's night-nursing has not abated one bit either.  In fact, she has been quite restless at night.  This is one of the major problems with co-sleeping.  If the little one is ill, uncomfortable or restless, you don't get a good night's sleep.  I've been awake at night, nearly tearing my hair out in frustration because Bubble won't settle.  It has made me think seriously about getting her out and into her own bed.


And yet, last night she cried out in her sleep (a bad dream perhaps) and I pulled her to me, her back to my tummy, and wrapped both my arms around her, whispering "it's ok Bubble, it's ok".  She reached her arm up and touched my face, said "Mama" and sighed.  Then fell into a deep and peaceful sleep that lasted til this morning.  When she woke, she woke with a big grin and held my face in both her chubby wee hands saying, "Mama?"

Moments like these are worth the frustrating times for me.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Grateful for...


Specifically, my optimisim.  No matter how many roadblocks are thrown in my path, no matter how much it seems that they knock me down, I always manage to get up.  I never fail to get excited about the next course of action.  Never fail to put all my energy into making it work. No matter how often it fails...

That doesn't mean I don't feel the exhaustion and pain of failure.  I often feel so tired that I want to give it all up.

But I don't.

I ought to acknowledge that and be grateful for it.


Sunday, 4 September 2011

It is enough.

I recently read (and commented on) a post by Shelley at My Shoebox Life on being yourself.  You can read it here.

It has really made me think.  Not just about being myself but about a whole host of issues surrounding me as a person and where I am in my life.  I wrote a post recently when I was a little down and in it I discussed how I was at loggerheads somewhat with two of my longest standing friends.  I am now convinced the issue truly lies with me and not them.

You see,  I think I spend an inordinate amount of effort trying to be something I'm not.  Forcing the square into the circle so to speak.  I also waste alot of energy worrying about what others think.  This is probably due to a slightly chameleon aspect to my personality where I try to fit in no matter what the scenario.

I think it's time I let go.  I think it's time I tried to just be exactly who I am.

This will be no easy thing.  I have spent years cultivating certain behaviours that are going to be difficult to undo.

But I think I'm going to give it go.  And let the chips fall where they may.

(Thank you Shelley.)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Generational Scolding

Well, after yesterday's melancholy post, I thought I might buck up my ideas and get out and about today.  Getting out and about today with my mum.  And Bubble.  This is not the easiest thing in the world.  Mum is in a wheelchair and Bubble is 16 months old so you can imagine the kerfuffle getting in and out of the car!  Not that I mind... one of my favourite things about this kind of generational shopping is our 'choo-choo train' - mum pushes Bubble and I push mum.  We make a bit of a scene along the street shouting "choo! choo!" to the obviously squealing delight of Bubble.

Love it.
Today though, Bubble was not sharing my optimistic, get up and go mood.  Bubble was not up for anything today, least of all shopping with Mummy and Nanny.  She has been exploring her ever increasing capacity for talented tantrum throwing, alongside her exploration of her vocal cords (how high do YOU think I can scream mummy?).

We were in Mothercare trying to purchase a swimsuit for the little demon.  And little demon she could NOT watch this greased streak of toddler lightning.  Mum and I juggled managing the little darling whilst trying to locate swimwear (having asked the shop assistant who stated no, all swimwear had been removed because it was now autumn/winter stock.  You can imagine her face when I pointed out that swimming is a year round activity.  Anyway I digress...).  At one point the three of us managed to line up, like planets in the solar system, Bubble right next to the automatic doors, me about 5 meters back and mum about 5 meters behind me.  The conversation went a bit like this.

Mum: Cheryl! She's at the door!
Me: Isobel! Don't you even think about moving through that door!
Mum: Cheryl! Don't you dare take a risk with her at that door!
Bubble:  (excited squeal)
Me: Isobel! Nanny is now shouting at ME! Get back here right now!

As Bubble danced on her toes, squealing and attempting to run through said door, I ran after her and caught her up in my arms tickling her til she giggled out loud.  I turned around to bring her back to my mum to find about 4 sales staff laughing at us.

I have dubbed this kind of situation as 'Generational Scolding'.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Off the radar

image credit
I've been off the radar a bit.  I've been trying to get my head in gear.  Lots of little things have been trying me, not least that Bubble has upped her breastfeeding during the day to record amounts.  I'm pretty sure this is knackering me through her taking all my goodness so soon after being ill. (not seriously, Bubble and I just had a nasty headcold)  So I'm quite tired at the moment which means I'm less inclined to make the effort to post when Bubble hits the sack.

Another issue is a lond standing friend of mine has gone very cool on me. I'm used to her caustic humour but, of late, her comments have had an edge.  This is no new feeling.  Another of my long standing friends and I have been circling each other like cats for years now.  The loss of one is hard enough but the thought of losing the second is particularly upsetting.

I'm not an idiot.  I do wonder that it might be me and not them.  That I might just be one of those people who can't help but piss others off.  I really, really don't mean to.  I really, really don't know if I have but I certainly have no other explanation as to why the dislike creeps in.  I actually make a concerted effort to be as nice as possible.  But people do tire me.  I might not show it but I have very little patience for small-mindedness, bitching about others, judging others, hypocrisy, etc.  I could go on. 

Live and let live, I say.  If it's not hurting you or yours then who are you to complain?  Like long-term breastfeeding.  Yes my child is a toddler and she still breastfeeds.  No, it's none of your business.  I'm not hurting you, so why should you care?  It's not like I whop out a breast in the street and let her suckle but I do let her lead the breastfeeding in the privacy of my own home.  Which leads me back to the fact she's nursing ALOT. And that I'm tired.  Which means I'm a bit more sensitive than usual, I suppose.

Another addition to the pile is a frustated lead for our move to Australia.  It's not a 'no' but it's not a definitive 'yes'.  We need a 'yes' in our lives.  Wad and I need some light at the end of our tunnel.  We knew these hard times wouldn't be forever but we have to admit that on occasion it wears us down.  I was looking at photos of our travels back in 2006 and was shocked to see how much better and healthier Wad looked.  These last few years have really taken their toll on him.

I love my husband very much.  He works his backside off to keep us afloat.  It hurts me to see the change.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Keep your fingers crossed for a 'yes' in the near future.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mini Rant - fed up with my sister texting when I am TALKING to her!

One of my pet irritations in this life is when the person you are directing your conversation to does not look at you.  It is something that is so wonderfully and currently demonstrated by my 23 year old, blackberry owning, facebooking, bms-ing, texting sister who (declaring how fantastic she is at multi-tasking) will have cyber conversations with about 10 other people whilst having a REAL LIFE conversation with me....minus eye contact but plus alot of 'Mmm'ing and 'yeah?'.

Now I am not suggesting she sit there like a lunatic staring at me intensely for the entire duration of our conversation but I do expect the odd courteous glance to indicate that she does acknowledge my existence, indeed is interested in what I have to say. ('Mmm'ing does NOT indicate interest)

It is part of those little body language cues that we all use to communicate on a subliminal level...the ones that you can't read when you are driving, hence the reason behind road rage.  For example, driver A may have made a genuine mistake in cutting up driver B's ass on the motorway but driver B can't see the apology in driver A's body language and so loses it and adds another 100 to the already overloaded mileage in his car just to drive up driver A's tailpipe to show him 'whose boss' and teach him some feckin' road manners. (use your effin' indicator you effin' muppet!!)

All I'm saying is that eye contact is not only courteous but necessary when communicating effectively with other people.

Look at me when I am speaking to you!!  Ok don't.  I'll just write up a little rant on my blog, defaming you forever through the medium of the written word as a 23 year old, blackberry owning, facebooking, bms-ing, texting muppet excuse for a sister.

Oh that's so cute....She just said, "Oooo! It's all about YOU isn't it?"

Call me attention seeking, limelight hogger, love-me-do whatever, but when you do it, I expect you to LOOK AT ME WHEN I AM SPEAKING TO YOU.

(I love the little runt really)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Easy like Sunday morning (well, afternoon)

I am quite particular to Sundays.  You know, the eeeaasy Sundays... chilling tunes, breakfast in bed, doing the garden, a roast with the folks.  This is exactly what this Sunday is all about. Bubble is in bed for her nap, M&M are doing the garden whilst the gorgeous wafting of roast beef  fills the kitchen, drifting into the sunroom where I am currently ensconced with the laptop.  I have Jack Johnson strumming in my ears and a gorgeous cup of steaming coffee to my left, whilst the sun warms my neck.


The only thing missing is Wad.  He wasn't home this weekend so I bailed and headed to my folks rather than stay home alone with Bubble for ten days.  Relaxing like this at my childhood home makes the separation alot easier I can tell you!  Can't beat a roast dinner ;o) Or the laundry fairy...she's great but she only seems to reside here at M&M's.

Still...  It was our wedding anniversary yesterday.  We'd had plans.  But something has come up, something he really needs to give his time to.  And that's ok because I'd rather be on the receiving end of the outcome of this 'something' and miss our anniversary than have our wee day and miss out on this 'something'.

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm being so coy... All will be revealed in due course :o)  I just don't want to jinx it because it's very early days.  Exciting though!  Exciting enough to  bear with Wad not being here.  He makes a fabulous cup of tea in the morning.

And what about the sunday morning breakfast in bed? I hear you cry, Surely you can't live without breakfast in bed?! Certainly not... I made it for M&M and took satisfaction in their enjoyment of that bit of luxury.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

My mum.

My mum fell pregnant with me when she was 18.
My mum married my dad because she was pregnant with me.
My mum left my dad with me when I was 2.
(she took the alfa romeo)

My mum married my stepdad when I was 7.
My mum moved to the 'other side of the fence'.
My mum had two more children.
(she looks like she's still in her 20's)

My mum takes an awful lot of cheek from me.
My mum slapped me because I deserved it.
My mum cried when I left to live with my dad.
(she drove me in the car there herself)

My mum waved me off on the boat.
My mum called every week.
My mum and I mucked around at graduation.
(she kept trying to tickle me during the photoshoot)

My mum stepped out to cross the road.
My mum looked left and right.
My mum didn't notice the traffic begin to move beside her.
(she was in front of a lorry)

My mum has lost her leg.
My mum has lost her finger.
My mum is in a wheelchair.
(she has not lost her spirit)

Me and mum in Barcelona on my 30th
birthday (yes, I was blond back then!)
I wrote this a long time ago as a mother's day poem but never used it.  My mum has been in a wheelchair for 7 years and in this time she has travelled, opened a clothes boutique, become a mother-in-law, become a granny and did this all whilst still looking fabulous.  She is more a sister than a mother and we couldn't be more different as people - we scrap as much as we laugh.  She is an absolutely fantastic grandmother and Bubble adores her. 

I love her very much.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What's for you...

...won't go by you.

Recently, if someone had said that to me one more time, I was going to spontaneously combust.  Not a religious type, I was getting to the point where I was beginning to believe some'one'/'thing' was deliberately trying to duff my life over. Since late 2006, my life has seen several kickings challenges.  Not at the worst end of the scale but high on the 'wearing-you-down' agenda were the Australia Frustrations.

In 2006 Wad's DesignInc job offer fell through, I already talked about that in an earlier post, but what really kicked us in the stomach was that six months later, after accepting permanent contracts in Scotland and literally days after purchasing a house, Wad received a job offer from an old friend in Sydney.  I felt sick.

Never mind, we reasoned, we bought the house to refurbish and sell to make a profit for our move to Australia (HA! I can assure you there WILL be a post on THAT particular tale!!).

2008 and the housing market is about to implode. We have really good savings.  So we start an application for skilled migration.  It's all going swimmingly and BAM! I get made redundant. We need the savings as a little financial bunce so we put the application on hold. 

2009 and I have a little part time contract work.  It's clear that we won't be able to afford the migration visa.  Another (crazy) option is for me to get a work hol visa, get out there, get a full time job and (after a few months of full time wages to build us up financially again) get sponsored.  Then bring Wad over on my visa.

It was a mad plan.  But we were passionate enough about emmigrating to do it...

...we were passionate all right.  I was pregnant!

A month later and we are chatting on the phone with AJ and UP.  They know how desperately we wanted to move and UP tells us of one of his friends in Rockhampton who is in dire need of architects in his office and is willing to sponsor foreign nationals.  We are nervously excited at the prospect (we had never considered QLD before) and ask them to give this man our details.

The following week I developed severe morning sickness which developed into hyperemesis the week after that.  By week 9 in my pregnancy I was hospitalised and all thoughts of Rockhampton were forgotten.  It took until week 17 in my pregnancy and the discovery of the right anti-sickness medication for me to feel human again.  By then we were too excited about the pregnancy and thought that it was probably for the best. 

It wasn't so long ago that Rockhampton was decimated by floods.

And here we are, almost 2 years since our last attempt, and I'm back in the saddle, effectively marketing my husband and his fabulous talents to the Australian market.


What's for you won't go by you and if it's meant to be it will be.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Thanks to the link to Templates By Tenille on So now what?  I have refreshed my image to something a little more 'me'.

Hope you like! :o)

Stop! Daddy Time!

As I'm sure I've mentioned previously, or perhaps I've just mentioned it on comments on others' blogs, Wad is away Mon to Fri for work.  Our routine consists of as follows...

  • Bubble and I wake alone on a Monday morning (lending a whole new lilt to Monday Morning Blues)
  • Tuesdays we are very busy with groups and chores
  • Wednesdays can be even busier with visits to friends and their kids (perhaps my mum will come to stay)
  • Thursdays are exciting as we prepare for the weekend, doing chores to pretty the house
  • Fridays are all about getting to 4pm when we go to collect Wad.
  • Saturday morning Wad goes to golf and Bubble and I go for walk/go to park/play, meet Wad for lunch then Sat afternoon is Daddy Time.  (I live for Saturday afternoon!)
  • Sunday we do something as a family before dropping Wad off for his return journey to work.
It's a routine that works because Wad needs to give his all to the business during the week and then he gives his all to us at the weekend.  But I've always looked at those who have daddy at home with envy.

This week however, Wad has been home for 10 days straight.  He's still working and I suppose this is what life would be like under normal circumstances.  It's been great but revealing as well.  For one, that man can't multi-task for toffee!! I get more done in the morning before Bubble's nap than he gets done in the whole bleedin' day! On the other hand, it's a little sad because when he gets in, Bubble is super excited to see him to the point that she is overcome, very shy and runs to me.

I want Bubble to know Wad as her daddy.  To run to him with excitement and joy.  This would obviously require Wad being at home 7 days a week like a normal dad.  Unfortunately, our circumstances as they are, this will not change in the forseeable future.  We are caught in a bind, you see.  One forged by the recession and the commitment required by a) me to care for Bubble 24/7 on my own and b) him to generate enough quality work that provides the income to put food on the table. 

Wad works exceptionally hard.  At least mine is a labour of love.  But when he is free to be with his family, we get grade 'A' star daddy time.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London gone mad


Oh no, that's right, we can divorce or sue our parents now.  Why is anyone surprised these kids have gone mad?  They have no respect for anything anymore, they are not taught to. Authority figures are scared to look in the wrong direction at a child these days.  I'm not suggesting we go back to the days of the cane but what about discipline? Teaching right from wrong?  Teaching respect? Or rather showing your children enough respect that they learn what it is.  Look at what these London kids are doing...
Fire in Croydon

Thugs mug injured boy

Teenage girls brag about riots

It's horrifying.  This has nothing to do with Mark Duggan.  It was just the excuse they needed.  I'm disgusted by this.  I'm as disgusted (if not more) by this as I am by the annual marches and violence that occur in Northern Ireland on 12th July.  This is wanton thuggery.

Is it any wonder I want to leave the UK?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The secret?

Today I logged in to draft a blog post on my daughter falling into the dogs water bowl (I'll get to that later!) and discovered that I have not one but two followers! Hooray! I didn't expect any followers for MONTHS.  I didn't think what I had to say would be in any way interesting to anybody else...much less interesting enough for them to follow!  But hey, I must be doing something right so long may it continue! :o)
When I began my first blogging forays (many moons ago!) they had topics and direction but I couldn't maintain them.  Now this blog (the fifth one lol) has absolutely no direction and has been the easiest to maintain.  Is that the secret? To just waffle?  Are all us ladies essentially just doing a cyber version of gossiping over the fence with a cuppa? 

I love that idea.  I love the idea of chatting over the global fence with my american/aussie/spanish etc neighbour.   A cheeky bit of global gossip. ;o) It helps bring the world that tiny bit closer, don't you think?


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Folk I like to follow...

It has occurred to me that many of the blogs I follow are written by Aussies.  This is not deliberate, despite my Australian Citizen Wannabe syndrome.  Subconcious perhaps, but not intentional.  The problem is obviously the time difference and I'm beginning to wonder if these bloggers see my comments on their posts and wonder ''who is this weirdo posting at 3am?!''

So, I making a concerted effort to find more bloggers closer to home. 

What would be a mad achievement would be finding Northern Irish bloggers...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


I absolutely had to share this with you all.  It is the most haunting and beautiful song I have heard in a while.

You can follow Emily Barker here.  Apologies if she is madly well known...I have literally just discovered her in the last 5 mins!!!

My name is...

I'm making little changes, bit by bit.  I'm a nervous amateur blogger... I believe all the scary stories about identity theft and being stalked and being found and ridiculed by those bullies in your workplace from 'x' amount of years ago.  So I wouldn't put my name or a real picture initially.  But, the more I read about other lady bloggers like myself... the more I realise that hiding behind these pseudonyms won't help me connect with others.  Why would they trust someone who doesn't trust them? 

So, baby steps first.  I put a photo of me and Bubble up in my profile.

Oh, and my name is Cheryl :o)

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Please go to sleep

I’m shattered.  It took me an hour and twenty minutes to get Bubble to sleep.   It’s times like these I feel the frustration of my choices on my parenting of her.  I read all those books.  I made a ‘plan’.  But I chucked those books and that ‘plan’ out the window after one week.   I nurse her to sleep and she sleeps in my bed.  Two cardinal sins apparently.  When discussing having a second child with one of my longest standing friends, she reassured me that I wouldn’t make these mistakes again and I felt offended. (She meant well – I was offended by the comment not by her) I may not have set out to co-sleep or comfort nurse my daughter but I sure as hell don’t consider them mistakes.  I am not in any way hurting Bubble and, in hindsight, I would choose the same again.

I do however accept there are downsides to these particular parenting choices.  This evening is one such downside.  She would not fall asleep.  I lay next to her whilst she rolled about, popping on and off the breast as she chose.  I would breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, internally chanting ‘patience, patience, patience’.  It helped that on occasion she would pause to look at me, grin and crawl over to put her little chubby arm around my neck, press her soft forehead to mine and babble ‘’Mamumumum’’. 

I adore this child.  She did eventually fall asleep.  I came downstairs, frustration and adoration mixing up my head.  I resent the loss of my own time.  I love that she is such a content and happy child.  Her mother is with her when she settles into slumber and is there when she awakes.  Still, this time won’t last forever.  I understand that there will come a time when she can’t stand the sight of me and I dread it. 
Just watching Juno.  What a great wee film.  Cracking soundtrack.  It has taken me three times as long to write this post as a result of watching Juno.  I am mainly into sci-fi and fantasy (LOTR style fantasy) but sometimes there’s a book or a film that just can’t be knocked.  Juno is one such film.  An excellently written script.

My husband just called on the phone.  He’s en route back to Scotland for work.  I told him what I was doing and he asked me what it was I blog about.  And do you know, I could not answer him cos I have no idea what I blog about.  I guess I’m just going to keep going and let Number Five find its own personality.  I suppose it’s a little like my parenting – I’m going to go with my instinct and let Bubble develop as naturally as possible.  If she isn’t ready to come off the breast, then I’m not going to force her.  Even if it takes me nearly an hour and a half of my precious time to get her to sleep.

She’s worth it.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Post Number 9

Hooray! I've smashed my blogging record of 6 posts!  I really think I could be in with a chance at this whole blogging thing this time...

I am currently sitting at home luxuriating in a little QT all to myself.  Wad has taken Bubble out for the afternoon and left me in a house of peace, the only sounds being the birds outside and the breeze rustling the trees.  Interrupted of course by the odd bark of one of my two hounds (they like to remind the surrounding countryside that they're big and tough every now and then).  I've been really looking forward to this today, to give me a chance to write up my next post without fear of any interruption.  A real stretch of time to fully concentrate on witty banter and some meaningful gems of wisdom.  So what do I have to talk about? Nothing. Zip. Nada. Squat.  I have a complete mental blank.  Maybe I should compile a list of topics in advance and then pick one before I am due to write up a post... oh this is hopeless - what a load of twaddle I'm writing here! I'll come back to it later...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I've been to many places...

I have been to many places but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently you can't go there alone; you have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've never been in Cognito either. I hear no-one recognises you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport - you have to be driven there. I have made several trips thanks to my family.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dear can't be serious!!

Found a 'debate' on breastfeeding from another blog (Milkbug).

It's appearance has timed nicely with my earlier rant.

Grrrr. Click here.

What is your problem?!

No really, WHAT is your effin' problem?!? I thought to myself whilst nursing my daughter in a discreet corner of our local doctor's surgery today.  Not discreet enough apparently, for the woman sitting lengthways from me, with a face on her like a slapped arse.  You'd think I'd farted.  But no, all I was doing was breastfeeding my 15 month old baby. 

Did I mention said woman was sitting beneath a 'You are welcome to breastfeed here' sign?  The irony.

Bubble has had a temperature for 3 days so this morning I got her an appointment to get checked out at our doctor's.  She has been completely out of sorts, will not eat much of anything and is 50/50 on whether she'll drink something so I went back to nursing her on demand as the weather here has been glorious these past couple of days (amazing I know...sun in NI).  Why would good weather encourage you to BF?  I hear you wonder.  Dehydration, I'd respond.

You see,  when my daughter has a fall or is hurt or upset, she wants the breast as comfort.  She is unwell at the moment (turned out to be an ear infection) and so doesn't understand why she feels so awful.  A quiet breastfeed helps to soothe her and comfort her.  It also guarantees that Bubble is being kept hydrated in the hot weather AND getting some form of nutrition when she doesn't feel like eating.  All in all, it helps her combat any illness she's struck with.

I'd say that's fairly logical so WHY do some people have an issue with what is an entirely natural (and sensible) thing to do for your child?

It ASTOUNDS me that it's women who give me the most grief for still breastfeeding.  I have been attending a BF Support group locally but I no longer feel comfortable going because it is clear that the women there are uncomfortable with the idea of nursing a child as old as my daughter.

Why are people so offended by it?  I lay the blame entirely on the sexualisation of women's breasts in Western society.  I have been accused in the past of 'enjoying' breastfeeding.  Of course I enjoy it!!  It wouldn't make sense to not enjoy it!!  But that's not what they mean... they mean I'm getting some kind of sexual kick from it.  What bullshit.  Get a grip.  Get informed. 

I'm fed up being looked at the way I was looked at in the surgery today. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Warning... Melancholia Alert!

Today I have no trouble thinking of what to write about.  Today I have a topic that has been on my mind all day.   This topic is in my thoughts nearly every day... when I daydream about bigger and better things, this is what I daydream about.

The northern beaches in Sydney in particular.  This is a story of unrequited love.  It began in 2006 when my husband and I went travelling.  We were touring South East Asia for a couple of hectic months before hopping on a flight to Sydney to stay for a while with Wad’s aunt and uncle (referred to as AJ and UP from here on in).  Wad had raved about Sydney the whole time I’d known him.  He had lived there for a gap year in the middle of university a few years before and vowed he’d come back to stay forever.   After the assault on my senses from Vietnam to Singapore (and everywhere in between) it was a welcome respite to nestle into my cultural comfort zone again...and I was curious what it was about this place that had Wad so enamoured.
On arrival it was rainy and grey.  We had taken the train from the airport into Circular Quay (Wad was keen to have me experience the Manly ferry on approach to AJ and UP’s home in Harbord) only to find the ferry was off.  We then waited, exhausted, for a bus that never came.  We called AJ but she had no car to collect us, so we took a taxi that ate a significant hole into our already failing cash supply.  Needless to say, I was not impressed.  I spent the next 36 hours trying to conquer my jetlag.
On the third day I awoke uber early to my first live performance of a kookaburra’s laughter.  Intrigued, I got up and went outside to see if I could spot it and as I searched to trees, it flew off, dragging my gaze across the vista of Curl Curl and Manly.  As spectacular as it was there was nothing outstanding about the view.  I have seen lots of stunning vistas and this wasn’t the most beautiful... but something about that moment, the morning noises of the native urban wildlife, the warmth of the early morning sun... the light was different – it made the colours of the landscape look more vivid, the faint sound of the surf.  I don’t know what it did to me but within those first few minutes I was smitten.   Wad startled me by joining me and putting his arm round me, saying, ”This is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.”
I was so happy in that moment.  Wad and I were only married a few months and our whole lives seemed stretched ahead of us bubbling with good fortune and possibilities (we were newly qualified architects).  I was luxuriating in the knowledge that things were going to be just great.
Wad spent the next few months working on my induction to the Aussie lifestyle, most importantly, the early morning surf.  I am not suggesting for one second that I am in any way adept at this but I was hooked, despite near drowning experiences and post-surfing ‘nose bleeds’ (you can be standing having a cup of coffee several hours after your surf when all of a sudden a gallon of sea water pours out your nose). Not very attractive.  But then, I wasn’t your typical attractive surf chick – I just loved it.  I remember going for a (very amateur) surf the morning we were leaving, sitting on the beach and drinking it all in, *knowing* I’d be coming back with a job, a visa and my whole life ahead of me.  Hell, Wad already had a job offer from DesignInc, with the details to be ironed out when we were back on British turf.
That was five years ago.  The job offer fell through.  Although we were both under 30 Wad had already used his work hol visa and at the time I didn’t want to go out there without him. By the time we’d built up enough savings and I’d built up the courage, it was 2009 and the month before I was due to do it I fell pregnant with Bubble. Then the recession really hit.  Wad was made redundant.  We tried going through agencies but Aus was having its own recession and they were obviously giving local folk first preference. 
Ultimately, we still haven’t made it there.  I dreamed of raising my children in Australia but I’m raising Bubble here in the Ards Peninsula.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely little corner of the world but it’s not where we want to be.
They say what’s for you won’t go by you.  I can only hope that’s true.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Day Four...

... Post number 3.  Hmmm.  Not out of the woods yet - I've managed no more than 6 posts on previous blogging attempts.  Pathetic, huh?  I think it might have something to do with not knowing what to write. I’ve been spending time reading other’s blogs, trying to find some inspiration or even just some tips.  From what I can see, a lot just write whatever pops into their head...
I tried helping out my husband with work yesterday.   We’re self employed (I started the business after being made redundant back in 2008) but since having my daughter my husband carries the business entirely by himself as I have not yet made it back on board.  I’d intended to after 9 months but such is my relationship with Bubble that I did not feel I could put her into day care to allow me to work.   She would not be left with anyone for longer than half an hour.  She would be fine for a while but then she’d clock that I’d left the room and would burst into tears.  I simply couldn’t do it to her.  So, instead I’ve let her find her own independence.  Ok so she doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with most folk (and so I don’t leave her for too long with them) but she has found her comfort with her grandmother and her father.  This is wonderful news for me because for the first time in over a year, my mum or Wad can take Bubble out for an afternoon to give me some space. Yippee!
But then I miss her.
Still, there’s a lot to be said for head space when you’re mothering full time!
As I said earlier, Wad is carrying the business by himself but recently the workload has been something else so he’s asked me (as nicely as he can in case I turn into a fire breathing dragon) to help him this week.  My mum and Michael (M&M from here on in) came to stay with me to look after Bubble so I could work.  It worked terrifically!  M&M took her out to the park and for ice-cream so she had a whale of a time and I worked in complete peace and quiet.
Not that it helped.
Snails moved faster than I did yesterday.  It was awful.  I couldn’t remember anything.  At one point I felt like I’d have to retrain (and my training took 7 years so a big NO THANK YOU to that option).  You may as well have given me my daughter’s chubby crayons and her colouring-in book and I would have done a better job.
Us mums all have to start back somewhere though I suppose. .. Hey!  Look how much I’ve written already...  waffle-tastic.  :o)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Day Two...

So here I am, Day Number Two and I don't know what to write... Forgive me if this is just waffle.  I have a 15 month old daughter who is running me ragged at the minute and who definitely rules the roost!  I'm knackered just now.  I'm knackered just trying to knacker her out so I can have a few precious hours to myself in the evening!

I took her to our local 'Bumps and Babies' group today to say hi we're still alive and all that jazz (I haven't been in months on account of the fact my daughter is built like a tank and would flatten the poor newborns there if she tumbled in the wrong direction.  To be honest, she's just too old and I've no 'bump' so really have no need to go there anymore.) We also had a birthday gift for one of the kids who turned one last week but seeing as this kid is also too old to be at Bumps and Babies it was only a 50/50 chance whether we'd catch them.  We didn't.  So I just faffed about there awkwardly with my baby tank running amok around several small and alarmingly delicate looking babies.  In between polite chat and restraining my hyper daughter I was asked by one of the 'new' mums when she could expect her little one to start sleeping through the night.


My gut response was, "Do I look like I've frickin' slept in a year and a half?"
My actual response was something between a chuckle and a sigh.  Then I admitted that my daughter did not sleep through the night.

Intakes of breath and some sympathetic noises.  One girl asked if my daughter had a dummy or some other comforter when she went in to her cot.

My gut response was, "Yeah, my boob."
My actual response was the admission that I co-sleep.

Some surprised noises.  Encouraged by these I blundered on to admit that I still breastfeed her too.


There's nothing quite so uplifting as knowing you have the sisterhood to support you in all the parenting choices you make as a mother.


Monday, 18 July 2011

1001, 1002, 1003...

I cannot count how many times I've started a blog, stopped it, then deleted it. There are flakes of my personal literary dandruff floating around in cyberspace as I write this. But here I go again , determined to 'make a go of it'. After all, it's cathartic.
My personal record is 6 months at keeping a blog....So let's see if I can make it til Christmas with this one, eh?
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