31 March 2010

Will You Be There?

This post has been written as part of the Sleep is for the weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.4 Write a story or a poem or something descriptive to try and share your view of what happens when we die.

I decided to attempt a poem, inspired by a writing exercise from my creative writing group. This is a pantoum.

Will You Be There?

Will you be there?
Will you hold my hand?
I'm scared

Will you hold my hand?
There is nothing
You are gone

There is nothing
You fade away
You are gone
Rest in peace

You fade away
I'm scared
Rest in peace
Will you be there?


I guess this writing prompt caught my eye because I've had a difficult week. I'll be offline for a couple of days as I'm spending a little time with my best friend and attending her husband's funeral.

Normal upbeat service will be resumed for the Easter weekend, I hope. x

30 March 2010

Mind The Gap!

I've decided I need some cards made, like this one:

Has anyone got a laminator I could borrow?


29 March 2010

The Gallery: North, South, East and West





This week's Sticky Fingers Gallery prompt was 'Outside my front door'.

All of these photographs were taken this afternoon, 
hanging out of the bedroom windows of our house.


28 March 2010

Not Ideal!

I had a day out in London yesterday. I'd arranged to meet my school friend, Liz, to celebrate our fortieth birthdays and to celebrate our thirty year friendship.

On the journey down I had the pleasure of sharing my train carriage with a group of people who had clearly never travelled by train before and had never been to London. I felt like telling them that they sell Malibu in London, so they really didn't need to lug two bottles each with them. Or forty packets of crisps. I didn't have to point out that you have to pay extra to sit in first class, the guard did that as he kicked them out and sat them next to me. Grrr,

I met Liz at Euston station. We went down to the Tube. I wish there had been a sign like this at the start of our underground journey:

If we'd seen this we'd have chosen alternative means of transport. Never mind, we had a good chat in the hour it took us to get to Earls Court.

Many bloggers had been offered free tickets to the Ideal Home Show, but I wonder how many of them actually received their tickets from Stuart Higgins Communications? I know I didn't. The last contact I had from them was Thursday evening where they apologised for not sending me any tickets and promised that my name would be on the guest list for Saturday.

I went to the press office, as instructed, and surprise surprise there was no Sandy Calico on the list. Thankfully I was able to I flash my Baby Baby 'business' card and Liz and I were handed two press passes and two official showguides. We felt quite important... for about thirty seconds!

We then headed into what I can only describe as HELL ON EARTH.

I was expecting to see aspirational home ideas, but, apart from some gorgeous glass tiles, pretty much all we saw was tat.

We headed for the Ideal Woman section hoping to get a promised free beauty treatment. The queue was about fifty deep. We walked away. We did have a wonderful vibrating power massage at one of the stalls. I would tell you who by, but I can't decipher the map.

There were far too many people in the building. It was poorly signposted and the maps in the showguide were no help whatsoever. At one point, as we were trying to find the single escalator we got caught up in a sea of people. We couldn't move. Eventually we shuffled along, feeling extremely sorry for the babies, children and those in wheelchairs.

We queued for thirty minutes to get a coffee and a sandwich. The catering staff had clearly never worked a coffee machine before. They were so slow. I looked around for hidden cameras, but this was not a prank. These people were totally inept.

I hate to be so negative, but I will never go to anything like this ever again.

We left after ninety minutes and breathed a sign off relief when we finally found the exit.

Next we had to find our way back to Euston, avoiding the tube. We took a couple of buses. Yes, of course, we were accompanied on our journey by the resident bus drunk, Doo Dah Dave!

We rounded the day off with hot chocolates and chocolate cake at the station. I had a peaceful train journey home (i.e. I slept for most of it).

Liz and I enjoyed our day, in spite of all the obstacles thrown at us!


In other news, I was interviewed by the lovely Emily O at Babyrambles this week for her Blogger on the Spot feature. You can read all about it here.


Finally, late last year I wrote a post where do chips come from?. Quite a lot of people search for this on Google (thank you for telling me Google Analytics), so I thought I would let you  know that the potato story bus is back! Look out for it in Scotland and the North of England.


25 March 2010

My Old Man

I've been worrying all day, wondering whether to post this. You see, it's a deeply personal piece of creative non-fiction. I wrote it late last year, inspired by a writing prompt from my creative writing group. The writing prompt was simply 'old'.


The keys in my hand are warm, familiar. I can smell the metal. I glance around the living room for the last time.

My head is flooded with memories of my life in this house.

I see myself laying face-down on a scratchy orange sofa, my foot up so that my dad could try to tweeze out a piece of cocktail stick. Swinging between two chairs over a sea of cocktail sticks was not my finest hour, but I was only seven.

My dad could fix anything. He wore a white coat but he wasn’t a doctor. He was an horologist, a healer of clocks and watches. He could take a watch apart, clean it, repair it, oil it and put it back together with no parts left over. It would not leave his workshop until it kept perfect time.

He had a motto. He said there was nothing he could buy that didn’t need to be repaired, modified, improved, changed, altered, corrected, rectified, upgraded, adjusted, adapted or converted.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t need a thesaurus to compile this list. He kept it on a yellowing piece of paper, on a shelf in the kitchen, behind his angina spray. I now keep it in my purse.

When I was small my dad used to take me to Woolworths. He would sit me on the counter and buy me gonks.

When I was big we would sit in our places at the dining table. We nattered on a Saturday. We played ‘if I won the lottery…’. We said how much we would give each other. Dad wouldn’t move house, but he would buy a bloody nice car. I would move to a big house and do voluntary work. Satisfied we wouldn’t let the millions go to our heads we would turn to watch the dusty garden birds queuing up to take a bath in the plastic pond liner.

‘Christ, you’ve put on weight Sandra! Here’s what you should do. Cook your dinner, put it on your plate and then put half in the bin’.

‘Shut up dad, stop going on at me!’.

‘Do you want a choc ice? I’m trying some Lyon’s Maid ones, chocolate’s a bit thin’.

‘Yes, thanks.’.


Dad didn’t always pay me so much attention. I am sat in the brilliant sunshine. Navy blue curtains billow around me in the breeze from the open patio doors. The curtains are stiff and sticky and smell of smoke. I pull them back to proclaim to the previously shady room that I’m bored. ‘

Close the curtains Sandra, I can’t see the telly and Borg’s playing.’

I go outside with mum’s wooden racket and play tennis with the aphids.


Dad and I once stood here by the sofa, shifting our weight from one foot to another in unfamiliar new shoes. Afraid to sit in case we crumple our clothes, keeping watch for the be-ribboned Rolls Royce.

‘Are you sure you’re doing the right thing Sandra?’.

‘It’s too late now dad’.

‘Do you love him?’.

‘Of course I do’.

‘Christ Sandra, you need a cork for that arse!’

We start to giggle. Farts are funny, it’s a fact. The laughs get bigger in direct proportion to the farts. I run to the kitchen to dab my eyes with kitchen roll.

‘Car’s here Sandra’.


I moved back home many times over the years; after a failed marriage, after travelling, when mum left, after dad had his third heart attack.

Each time the layout of the furniture was different, but the house was the same. Same woodchip, same smoke-stained paintwork, same white coat hanging over the radiator. Same chats about the neighbours, clocks, the lottery, the birds in the garden, my weight, the price of fags (‘I’ll give up when they reach £x per packet’), whether dad had been to the fish van this week, whether they’d had jellied eels.

The last time I moved back home was as a carer. In some ways I was the parent and he was the child. I looked after his physical needs, just until he was better.


‘I’ve got a date on Sunday dad’.

‘Where’d you meet him?’.

‘On the internet’.

‘You be careful Sandra, he could be a paedophile, he’s probably been grooming you’.

‘Dad, I’m 36, not 6!’.

‘Sorry, course you are. But I’ll always think of you as 6. You’ll always be my little girl’.


You never met Andy, or your beautiful grandchildren. You’d be so proud of me dad. You’d never tell me, but I know you would be proud.


‘Sandra, I can’t breathe’.

‘Okay dad, I’m coming’.

‘I’ve been sat here for a while, but didn’t want to wake you before 6’.

‘Oh dad, that’s what I’m here for’.

‘I know’.

The ambulance arrived quickly. The paramedics, bulky with their coats and bags, worked efficiently. As they carried you down the stairs, your eyes were open, but I could see that you had already gone.

‘It’s 6.53 dad’.


For my old man
17 July 1932 - 25 March 2006


24 March 2010

Review: Hotter Shoes

You see an email in your inbox from a PR friend (Jacqueline at McCann) entitled 'SHOES!'. Do you:

a) Delete it - flippin' PR nonsense.
b) Ignore it - another PR email - yawn.
c) Open it immediately shouting to whoever is in the vicinity 'FREE SHOES!'.

In this house the answer is, of course, c)

The shoes are available online from www.hottershoes.com.

Hotter Shoes are a British company based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire (just down the road from me) that focus on the manufacturing of comfortable shoes. They have developed their own ‘Comfort Concept’ technology in the sole of the shoe that injects millions of tiny air bubbles to make a very light weight shoe. They also have a deep toe bed so that toes can move easily and flex out and concealed padding to offer even more comfort.

I'll say at this point that Andy is confused about women's shoes. He thought comfort wasn't important. He bases this on the fact that we once had to get a taxi to take us a few hundred metres from our restaurant to our hotel because I could not take another step in my sexy new Roberto Cavalli shoes. I was in agony.

Since having children (and walking miles pushing them up and down hills every day) I now appreciate comfort and spend a lot of time in trainers!

The Hotter Shoes website navigation was excellent. There are plenty of shoes to chose from, although I have to say that a lot of the designs are aimed at the *ahem* more mature shoe wearer. 

I chose the Vista, an adjustable strap sporty sandal. In the write up they call it an 'action sandal', this made me chuckle. I usually buy a pair of 'action sandals' to wear all Summer.

When my new sandals arrived, in excellent condition, I had to wait for the boys to try them before I got a chance to put them on!

This is what an 'action sandal' looks like:

They are available in four other colours, beige, khaki, pink and red. They are £49, which is perfectly reasonable for an 'action sandal'. Most of the Hotter Shoes are £50 and upwards. This is expensive, but you have to pay for quality and - dare I say it - comfort.

We've had a few sunny days, so I've been out and about in my new 'action sandals'. I can happily tell you that no taxis were required. They are unbelievably comfortable, light and so so soft.

I'll be living in my action sandals this year and hopefully next year too.

Hotter Shoes get the Baby Baby two thumbs up (I would design a 'Baby Baby two thumbs up' badge if I knew how)!


23 March 2010

Where's My Mansion?

Andy and I often joke about what our boys will be when they grow up.

Our most popular fantasy is for Presley to be captain of the England football team. He would be a brilliantly creative player, he would be highly respected and he would be a fantastic role model. He would score the winning goal in the World Cup Final and lift the Jules Rimet trophy. Andy and I would be watching, grey-haired, with tears in our eyes. The camera would land on us and the commentator would say 'and there are Presley's proud parents. Thank you Mr and Mrs Calico.'

So what steps have we taken to make this dream a reality? We encourage him to kick a ball with both feet. We've looked at mansions in Alderley Edge*. That's about it!

*We haven't.

What about Cash? He's a natural comedian, but I don't see him in the spotlight. Perhaps he'll start off as a stand-up comedian, win the Perrier award at the Edinburgh Fringe and make a TV special. Then he'll go to Africa for Comic Relief and decide to stay there to help the poor.

They're never too young to learn about the world of work.

Here is Presley answering the telephone in Andy's office.

Of course we paid him!

In reality I expect the boys may have inherited their parents' academic intelligence. They'll probably go to university. They may have professional careers, they may be artists or mechanics.

I really don't care what they do. I'll encourage them and support their choices.

I just want them to be happy and healthy. That is all.

This post was written for the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.3 What do you secretly dream of your children doing?


22 March 2010

Happiness and The Secret Post Club

In case you didn't know, the lovely Heather from Notes from Lapland is running a Secret Post Club. Each month you are given the details of someone else in the club and you send them a gift, likewise each month someone sends you a gift. What a fabulous idea! It's not too late to join either.

I sent my recipient a gift at the beginning of March and I haven't heard whether she received it. I'm a bit worried it got lost in the post. Perhaps she hated it? Eek!

Anyway, I received my gift last week from the wonderful Susan K Mann. She sent me a lovely letter explaining each thoughtful gift. She sent me a memo cube, some bubble bath for sensitive skin, balloons and chocolate buttons for the boys (and me) and a book called Be Happy.

Be Happy. Yes! Life's too short to be miserable!

I love this quote from Be Happy. It's by Gretta Palmer and sums up the Secret Post Club for me.

"Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy"


21 March 2010

The Gallery: Me

The theme of the Sticky Fingers Gallery this week is ME!

I was thinking about taking a self-portrait and placing some items that are important to me in the shot, like an old-fashioned painted portrait. While I was mulling over which items I would include, that would tell you a bit about me, Andy took this shot. This photograph sums me up. This is me.


19 March 2010

Crying in Clarks

I sent a tweet this morning. I had no idea how prophetic I was being.

I did cry in Clarks today, but not at the price of the shoes.

Last year I wrote about what happened one afternoon at playgroup when I couldn't find Presley. Today all of those feelings came flooding back.

I had taken the boys into Mothercare World in their double buggy (the one I keep in the back of the car, the one that makes it difficult to fit my supermarket shopping in the boot), but had let Presley out to play in a Little Tykes car.

After a while we all went to the Clarks concession to get the boys' feet measured. Presley went first. Good news, there was at least another month in his Winter shoes. Next we measured Cash's feet, his shoes were fine too. Result!

I looked up and Presley had gone. I spun round and scanned the room, he wasn't in Clarks. I started calling him and ran out into the main store, fully expecting him to be back in the car, or looking at the toys in Early Learning Centre. He wasn't there. I couldn't see him.

I shouted his name and started running around the store, handbag and younger child abandoned with the Clarks assistant.

I was panicking. Oh my God. Not again. PRESLEY! PRESLEY!

Another mother, we'd smiled at each other earlier, grabbed my arm and pointed me in the right direction.  'He's over there', she said.

Presley was standing still, in amongst the cots, a look of terror on his face. I ran over, picked him up and carried him back to his brother. Presley started crying, he knew he'd done something wrong. He knew he'd been lost.

I reminded him that he should always stay where he can see mummy and where mummy can see him. Then I cried. I'm crying now. I feel sick. There is nothing as terrifying as the thought that you could lose your child. 

When we got home I taught the boys a new game. They now know what to do if we're out and they can't see me. They shout 'MUMMY' at the tops of their voices. I hope they never need to do it for real, but just in case we'll be playing the 'I'm lost' game on a regular basis.


17 March 2010

Toot Toot!

I’ll start with some good old British modesty and self-deprecation, then I’ll put it aside, just for today. I feel uncomfortable blowing my own trumpet, particularly as I can’t play the trumpet. I’ve got a feeling this post is going to be tricky to write, but for reasons that I hope will become clear, it is important for me to write it, as a reminder.


I’m an excellent manager.

In my well-paid job, that I gave up to become a stay at home mum, I was a financial controller or financial director.  This means I managed the accounts departments of companies. I was usually responsible for all aspects of finance within a business, most often reporting directly to the managing director. I was trusted implicitly by those managing directors and became their right hand woman.

As a fully qualified accountant (before children, my proudest moment was qualifying with first time passes in all my exams) I competently produced full sets of accounts accurately and on time.

I was organised and never missed a deadline. I introduced new operational and accounting software systems. I performed audits, ran meetings and training sessions and was usually the office expert on Excel.

I think the reason I was so successful in my career however, was the way I dealt with people. I was an excellent manager because I treated people with respect. I was kind to them. I cared about them. I made sure everyone in my department was fully trained and knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing.

When I asked one of my team to do something, they did it. This was the skill that set me apart from other less accomplished managers. To them it was like I had a magic wand, they asked how I did it. I told them, but they went back to their teams and either ignored them or shouted at them.

The secret of running a successful department is to remember that being a manager is your top priority. All of your other tasks must wait, your team is more important. This is why people have cried when I’ve announced I was leaving or clapped and cheered when I’ve been promoted.

None of this happened over night. I learned my management style over many years and by managing spectacularly badly to start with. Eventually I discovered that if your team performs well, you look good. It’s simple really.


So what?

You may well ask.

The question I'm asking myself is why oh why haven’t I transferred these skills to my new job?

Managing a team of thirty-six adults (some of whom could be big kids) in my last job was a piece of cake compared with looking after two toddlers!

No corporate job can prepare you for that!

This post was written as part of the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.5: Tell us about something, or show us something that you do really, really well and are proud of.



16 March 2010

It's Carnival Time!

Welcome to the Best of the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival. This is a collection of the best posts from the last month submitted by members of BMB. If you would like to know more about this blogging carnival, or even offer to host one yourself, check out the schedule at A Modern Mother.

I hope you see something you like, if you do why don't you leave them a comment to let them know? You may find some new favourites in amongst some old favourites. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the entries and I hope you do too.

Baby Baby is delighted to be your host, so grab yourself a margarita or a cup of tea (if that's your cup of tea) and settle down to watch the parade!

The first float is for carnival virgins! This is their first time so please welcome them with open arms.

First up is Eggs Cream and Honey with her guilty pleasures. She thinks we shouldn't put a price on pleasure and as such gives us a recipe for toasted coconut custard tart to prove her point. Yum.

Wendy at No More Excuses writes about how little control we have over labour and what happens when your birth doesn't go to plan.

In Fantastic Fiction for Kids - Babysitting, Zoe at Playing by the Book gives us her usual brilliant ideas for themed crafts and activities for children based on books.

Nova from Cherished By Me stands up (very well) for the reluctant single mother in there's a chip on my shoulder.

I hope you're not too hungry because The Alice gives us her perfect pork belly recipe. Yum, again!

Chic Mama discusses the important subject of stress levels in children and the consequences.

Vic from Glowstars writes about getting back into a routine when you have a (gorgeous) new baby.

Finally, who knew that Gigi from MumsRock was a carnival virgin?! She writes about *whispers* Mumsnet, Janet Street Porter and pigeon-holes in for those of us that don't wear Boden.

Tim from Bringing Up Charlie gives us a fascinating history lesson in Mother's Day.

Have you thought about eating less meat? Helen at Cheeky Wipes is having a meat free March.

Jumbly Mummy at Mellow Mummy has some great advice for new parents to be, in particular her list of things to do while there's still two of you in passing on parenting tips.

Is there a plan B? writes a letter of resignation, telling her three children why mummy is no longer doing a proper job.

Liz at Living With Kids writes about the fear inside, about what we can and can not control as parents.

Do you believe in smacking? Joanne at Parentdish sparked a heated debate in the comments with this post.

There's more controversy from Carly at Wives and Daughters when she asks the question swine flu: to vaccinate or not?

Jax from Making It Up discusses friendships and socialisation in who are your friends?

Karin from Cafebebe has started a get fit campaign called mummy tummy begone and she's looking for support and advice.

In transitions: starting nursery, Cartside from Mummy Do That! writes about moving her daughter from a childminder to a nursery.

Nicola from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em tells us about her day and her son's version of events in selective memory syndrome.

Hot Cross Mum asks what's on your bottom step? In this house it's all my things, apparently!

Aqueela from Aqueela's House writes at Have a Lovely Time about her first holiday as a parent. This is something I've got to face sooner or later! There is some excellent advice in the comments on a first holiday with your baby isn't always great, what's your advice?

To find out how The Moiderer met her husband you have to read we got together because of bouncing potatoes

Poor Smurf, son of Lorraine from Ramblings of a Mum on the Run has missing you issues

You may need to get the tissues out, if you haven't already, as Sarah the Suburbanite talks about World Book Day, the first since her husband was killed in a bike accident. 

Linda from You've Got Your Hands Full wrote a guest post on Mummy Limited where she asks the question you don't have to say you love me... or do you?

Not Supermum shares her simple pleasures with us. Lovely.

You can read some really sweet powims written by Anna's six year old daughter, Ella, at Part Mummy Part Me.

Ella from Most/Least made me sigh with her beautiful post where does my time go?

You know this is going to be more than vaguely amusing, More Than Just a Mother takes her children supermarket shopping in self-service

Ellen at the wonderfully named In A Bun Dance listens in on a few phone calls in dial S for subtext

You'll never believe what you can buy from the supermarket in Lapland. Heather from Notes From Lapland reveals all in supermarket sex toys!

Miss Leslieanne at Life With a Little Dude tells us about the (delicious) dark side of baby-led weaning!

It's also dinnertime at A Place of My Own. Kelly has filmed her gorgeous baby Piran eating and blowing raspberries. :-)

Fraught Mummy from Brits in Bosnia turns her real day into an uber mummy day in the mistress of spin. This made me laugh and grimace in recognition. I do this!

This post will bring tears to your eyes, 20 Something Mum tells us why she'll never go on Masterchef!

Rachel at Strange & Beautiful rides a motobility scooter in life in the fast lane.

Tattie Weasle is feeling neglected and wonders why her husband can't be more like the leader of the free world?

Dinner's ready, or why Tiddlyompompom shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen!

Angels and Urchins writes a few (very funny) letters in dear little so-and-so, part 1

The Cat Herder from Balancing Books and Herding Cats regales us with her tale of fatties, flights and infestations.

In they blinded me with science, Emma from Mommy Has a Headache releases her 'inner old git' in a rant against technology.

Our final chuckle comes from Laura at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? She's a nervous flyer, as she explains in clenching one's buttocks in the air.

Diney from Older Mums Are Fun wrote a bitter-sweet guest post over at Flying Start Magazine called role reversal about the child becoming the parent when their parent has dementia.

Insomniac Mummy shares with us in Fight or flight? Learning to live with panic attacks. There is some excellent advice in the comments to this post.

Andrea from The Accidental BusinessMum, writing in the Coventry Telegraph blog, From Dawn till Rusk, writes openly about her 8 year old son's bedwetting issues and how they have tackled them.

Sally from Who's the Mummy? writes a touching post about the two sides of adoption/fostering in Happy Mother's Day.

Did you hear about the shocking incident where a charity shop manager sprayed a breastfeeding mum with air-freshener? Emma from Me, The Man & The Baby responds brilliantly in breastfeeding.

Baking Mad Mama writes honestly about her acceptance of what life is throwing at her in better.

Notes To Self, Plus Two (And The Need For Red Shoes) tells us why she'll be going back to work after her baby is born in me, my job and a little baby: just to be clear.

Susan K Mann has written a short story called fear. It's scary. That is all!

Also on a creative theme, GeekyMummy from The Hair Dog Chronicles becomes VetMummy in a different life.

Elsie from Flower Fairies and Fairy Cakes explains how she manages her time in busy rant.

I love this idea, Becky from Baby Budgeting tells us I went to a swishing party.

Rachel from Retro-Wife writes her own six-month appraisal, with help from her two children, and she's not doing a bad job at all.

Maggy has two blogs, on Red Ted Art she tells us if you feel you have too much to do, do more and on The Good Life Blog she shows us her shameful 8 year old jeans in a new pair!

Somebody help Bare Naked Mummy as she rants I hate clothes shopping!

Deb from Carrots and Kids writes beautifully about family life in mothering and gardening.

In Young and Younger, the Young Mummy of six month old twins talks about ideas of motherhood before and after children in a slave to routine.

Of course it wouldn't be a carnival without a carnival queen and it wouldn't be a BMB carnival without a mention of poo, so I bring you Queen Susanna from A Modern Mother with Is it just me? Do your kids flush?

Thank you for reading through to the end. I hope you have enjoyed this, my first carnival. Here is the entry from Baby Baby, called Angels and Demons.

If there are any errors or omissions please let me know and I'll correct them. I'm only human and 71 (count 'em, yes 71) entries is a lot of links to get right!


15 March 2010

The Gallery: Rainbow

These photographs were taken (or found in my archives) 
as part of the Sticky Fingers Gallery.
This week's photographic prompt is colour.


14 March 2010

For a Million Mums

Happy Mothers' Day.

Thinking of mothers and mothers-to-be.

Thinking of those who have no one to send a card to.

Thinking of those who won't be getting a card.


I'm proud to have a piece included in the new Mummo Magazine, published today. The whole magazine has been beautifully put together and is a great read. You may recognise some fellow bloggers in there.

Mummo Magazine celebrates Mothers' Day and aims to raise awareness of the Million Mums campaign. It only takes a minute to join a Million Mums and it's free.


I did rather well, if you gloss over the fact that I didn't get a lie in and I'm worried sick about anyone in the Baby Baby household being sick!

 The boys chose me some lovely flowers, with a bee in the bunch.

Presley made me this card.

Cash made me this card.

I hope you're all having a lovely day x

13 March 2010

This Too Shall Pass

The mummy mantra: this too shall pass.

I've said this a lot this week. Both boys have been ill and then I was ill. It's been a tough week.

On Tuesday night, at midnight, Andy and I were just about to go to bed. We heard shuffling coming from Presley's monitor, followed by a strange noise and then screaming. He had been sick. We cleaned him up and changed the bed and loaded the washing machine. We took Presley downstairs and arranged towels around him.

The poor thing was sick several times. Now he's two and a half he's much more aware of what is happening to him. He knew he was going to be sick. He put his hand over his mouth and screamed 'no'. My poor baby. It's heartbreaking to see your children in such discomfort.

We heard moaning coming from Cash's monitor. We decided to bring him downstairs, to save his bedding and teddies from the washing machine. We did the right thing. Shortly afterwards Cash was sick. It was a slightly different experience for him as I don't think he is aware of the build up and seems to forget soon afterwards. He still screamed during, of course. 

Thoughts of dehydration and hospitals and drips ran through my mind. At what point to you worry, I mean really worry? Thankfully the boys' temperatures were normal and they had no other symptoms.

Once Presley had been puke-free for an hour Andy took him to bed while I stayed up with Cash. I finally got to bed at 4am. They were both up at 7am full of beans. This didn't last though and they were both sick again in the afternoon. It was hard to explain to Cash why he wasn't having his bedtime milk. Luckily they slept all night.

On Thursday morning I gave Cash his morning milk. An hour and a half later he projectile vomited all over me. We both sat, dripping with regurgitated milk, neither of us knew quite what to do.

We spent the day in our pyjamas drinking water and eating bland food (dry toast,  rice cakes,cereal bars, breadsticks and bananas). The boys were listless. They had no energy. We sat and cuddled in front of CBeebies. It was miserable. I wanted my happy boys back. I wanted to take them outside.

Thursday night I was sick. All night.

Luckily Andy was able to take Friday off work so I could try to get some sleep in the morning. The boys were still under the weather, but thankfully had stopped being sick. It was another day of water, bland food and sitting around in pyjamas. Neither of us had the energy to give the boys a bath - again. 

So here we are. It's Saturday. Everyone feels better. We got through it. It passed.

My heart goes out to all parents with seriously ill children, How do they cope with the fear and worry? How do they carry on? How do they keep life 'normal' for the siblings that aren't ill? Is the mummy mantra enough? What else do they have?

It's now Saturday night and I spoke too soon. Presley has been sick again this afternoon, several times, but not for the past ninety minutes. He has kept some water down so Andy is now taking him to bed.

This too shall pass.


11 March 2010

The Mona Lisa Million

Would you like to own a piece of the Mona Lisa?

I was recently introduced to blogger and father of four, Dave, also known as Mister Good Guy, by the fabulous Tara from Sticky Fingers.

Dave has just set up a project to raise $1,000,000 for Haiti. I'll let him explain more:

This post marks the launch of a new project called the Mona Lisa Million.
Over the next six to nine months I’ll be auctioning off pre-defined sections of a million pixel image of the Mona Lisa – probably the most famous image in the world!
This is an ambitious project designed to raise over one million dollars, the majority of which I’ll donate to a very good cause.
It’s not just about raising the money though, it’s also about providing something of value to those who use this site as readers and as winning bidders. You see, I’m not simply asking for money – I’m providing something in return.
For winning bidders, I’m providing a place where people can see who you are and what you do, and I’m doing it in a way that helps the search engines connect you with your customers or your audience. And this applies to you whether you’re a mommy blogger looking to increase your readership or a business owner trying to get your website higher up the search results.
For readers, I’m providing a place where you can get involved in nominating good causes and deciding which ones should benefit. A place where you can connect with genuine sites/services/products.
For both winning bidders and readers, I’m providing a place where people with a social conscience can get involved and feel they’re contributing to something worthwhile. 

I'm proud to say that I own a section of the Mona Lisa, as do fellow Mummy Bloggers Tara and the lovely Not Supermum. I'm on the far left, level with the tip of her nose.

Dave is giving away a few sections to early adopters, but you'll need to be quick.  If you would like to join this project right from the start head on over to The Mona Lisa Million! Let's try to help Dave, a good guy, raise $1m.
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