Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Calling time on blogging

Might be what I would entitle this post, were I to be entirely self obsessed and completely melodramatic.

Oh ...

As ever, I am prone to exaggeration. This is no more the end of the blog than it is the end of Mr Jamie wearing my pants on his head. (I thought, having turned 4, he might have grown out of it. It appears not. Not only that, his sister is very clearly following in his footsteps. Why am I not surprised ...)

It is, however, an admittance to my very, very lovely readers that a world of daily blog posts is probably no longer within my reach. I know. Am rubbish.

I've been musing on this for a while, having found myself with less and less time and opportunity to unburden my brain via the medium of this blog with all things random and Mr Jamie related. Which is a shame, because they're bloody hilarious. (The half hour this morning spent discussing why Baby Jesus had a close affinity with 'certificates' would be a case in point. Oh, the mutual relief when we discovered he was actually talking about 'nativities' ...) Alas, real life has something of a habit of getting in the way, and when your laundry pile is higher than your oldest child then it is very clearly time to put down the laptop and get out the Ariel.

(I love the way I have written the end of that last paragraph to make myself sound like some kind of competent parent/wife/clothes washer. To put things into perspective, I've spent the last hour sitting on my arse, drinking Chardonnay and reading Heat magazine. Which is probably why the laundry pile has got quite so gargantuan ...)

So, it is not entirely calling time on blogging, but it is time to admit to a definite slacking off of posting. (I say this. Christmas is coming, with resulting hysteria, which probably means you'll get about a post an hour for the next month or so. Apologies in advance.) I could have just drifted off quietly, but, as you may have gathered, drifting off quietly is so not my style. Besides, for some utterly unknown reason I feel some kind of strange compulsion not to 'let anyone down', given how lovely you've all been to me. It's almost like I'm getting sentimental ...

Which means it is clearly time to end this here. (And put down the wine.) Thank you all for being the most awesomely brilliant blog readers one could ever hope to meet. In a pretendy-non-real-virtual-reality type world. (I fear some possible repetition there ...) I will still be around, and there will still be the occasional glimpses into madness (my favourite ever description of this blog - thank you, whoever it was that wrote it) on here, but it will be on a greatly reduced basis. Which is probably no bad thing. There are only so many 'big black nipples' and front bottoms one blog can take. In the meantime, it will leave me with oodles of spare time, with which to muzzle Mr Jamie, pressure hose the washing pile, and work out exactly how one does open a bottle of wine WITH CORK (how DARE they) in this enlightened, cork free, corkscrew free day and age.

Hic ...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Most Crazy-Arsed Story Of All

Nativity preparations continue apace. Which led to this discussion in the car home from nursery tonight. (For all those who are mystified as to why parents with small children have had their car insurance premiums dramatically increased: puzzle no longer.)

"How was nursery sweetheart?"

"It was okay. I touched a stinging nettle with Reese. It stung us."

"One might have hoped the clue was in the name ... Why did you do that?"

"Because Reese said we should."

"Excellent. Does it hurt?"

"Lots."

"Glad to know the experience didn't disappoint. Did you say your line today?"

"Yes."

"That's good. Who are the other children in your play?"

"Reese is Maryjoseph."

"Are you sure? Is he not perhaps, more likely, just Joseph?"

"No. He's Maryjoseph."

"Fair enough. Who are the kings?"

"Scar, and Simba's Daddy."

"What?"

"Scar is a king, and so is Simba's Daddy. But they don't wear the crowns."

"And they're in your play?"

"NO Mummy. LISTEN. They are the kings."

"Oh. Okay. I thought we were talking about your play. Are there not any kings in your play?"

"No."

"I thought they brought the presents. The gold, and the frankincense, and the myrrh."

"Oh, yes. Yes, there are. Jack is the Gold, and Henry is the Andmyrrh."

"The myrrh."

"That's what I said. He's the Andmyrrh."

"Excellent. More than ever, I look forward to seeing this. Do you know who the story is all about?"

"No."

"Jesus."

"Baby Jesus? Like at Church?"

"That's right. Because the Nativity story is all about when Baby Jesus was born, and Mary was his Mummy."

"And then they killed him."

"Well, not straight away, thank goodness."

"But they did Mummy. Those men came and got him and put him on the cross and put that ouchy crown on his head and then they killed him, because they were the bad soldiers without the guns. The ones with the guns are the goody ones. Baby Jesus was dead and everyone was VERY sad. Except the baddies."

"I may have to speak to nursery about you taking on a non-speaking role."

Help.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Weekend Of Doom

Seriously. It's not often I look forward to a Monday morning, but today was one of those. Weekend Of Doom indeed. A concise summary for you, given I'm about to indulge in a very large glass of wine to help me get over it. (Oh yes. I couldn't even drink wine. I know ...)

1) I took Mr Jamie - and Beth - wedding dress shopping. I know. What was I thinking? No, not for me. My dad's only just recovered from paying for the last wedding. (He also now has a new wedding to fund, what with my sister Helen and her boyfriend FINALLY getting engaged, HOORAY!) Nor, contrary to a suggestion from one of my colleagues, for Mr Jamie to marry Beth (whatever he might think we do out in the 'suburbs'). No, this was wedding dress shopping for my lovely friend Lorraine, who is both a) going to look quite staggeringly beautiful in her chosen dress, and b) is perhaps the most tolerant person I know, permitting me plus small children to come along with her. They were actually surprisingly well behaved, despite Mr Jamie's insistence at dressing up at a pig. (Yes: really. Quite what the wedding dress shop were doing with a pig costume (to fit 4 year olds) in their repertoire is another thing entirely ...) In fact, upon reflection, this was probably the highlight of the weekend ...

2) I bought Beth her first pair of shoes. £28. TWENTY EIGHT POUNDS. I refrained from telling the lovely lady in Clarks that I'd just bought myself a pair of delightful Moda in Pelle knee high boots from Ebay for the grand total of £17, and instead gritted my teeth and smiled politely. I was a little worried that Beth might react to her first shoes in the same way as Jamie did: screaming blue murder and instantaneously losing the ability to walk, dropping to his knees and resolutely staying there. I had forgotten her penchant for all things shoe-related (so her mother's daughter). She reacted as though I'd presented to her her own personal heaven, careering around the shop and clearing all shelves of shoes to be then clutched in her sweaty grasp. Clarks have a little 'service' where they take a photo of your child wearing their first pair of shoes (thus attempting to justify the £28 price tag). Beth's is notable for the fact that she's not only wearing a pair of shoes ... she's also holding another twelve pairs. Oh, and needless to say, she hasn't actually worn her shoes once. Running the house screeching with joy and holding them aloft ... absolutely.

3) I rammed a two inch long splinter down the underside of my nail and into my nail bed. Those who are squeamish may wish to ... oh, too late. As if this wasn't bad enough, it then led to a truly mortifying chain of events. And not in a good, blog-comedy-potential type way. Be thankful you are spared.

4) I contracted tonsilitis, and therefore spent the majority of the weekend lying flat on my back, without getting any sex at all (this is not a slight on Neil, although I can't imagine a groaning moaning sweating woman with tonsils the size of kneecaps would be a particular incitement to arousal) AND losing completely my ability to drink alcohol. In case you don't believe me: I was in bed by 8.30pm on Saturday night. All wasn't entirely lost: I rallied on Sunday afternoon and drank half a shot of neat pink gin to blast my tonsils into oblivion. What can I say? Pink gin cures a myriad of ills ...

5) I failed miserably to learn from the error of my ways. It is clearly, for me, not enough to piss on your mobile phone once in your lifetime. No, no, no. There always has to be a repeat performance ... this time with a £300 handset. I am SO not cut out for designer accoutrements. Thank heavens for the marvel which is ... a bag of dry white rice. 48 hours later and said £300 handset is miraculously operational ... with just the faintest of piss stains underneath the screen to give away its traumatic experience ...

6) My debit card got blocked. Because of fraudulent activity. Sounds bad, doesn't it? It gets worse ... the fraudulent activity was carried out by ME. Yes, that's right. Confined to the sofa by the joys of tonsilitis, I set to work completing all of my Christmas shopping. In one afternoon. It appears the kind people at Barclays couldn't fathom how someone with such a large overdraft had managed to spend so much money on a Sunday afternoon ... so they decided to take the sensible approach and block my card. I only wish they'd done it prior to the pink gin consumption.

7) Mr Jamie has shown me well and truly where his loyalties lie:

"Daddy, I love you."

"Thank you. I love you too."

"And Beth loves Mummy."

"That's right. And you love Mummy too. We all love each other."

"NO Daddy. I love you, and Beth loves Mummy. That's how it works."

Weekend of DOOM.

Friday, 18 November 2011

"To be, or not to be ..."

Mr Jamie has been cast in the nursery nativity play. He's playing an innkeeper. No, it's not the lead (wails, gnashes teeth), but it is both a named part AND a speaking part. (I honestly didn't realise my inner stage-school mother tendencies would come to the fore quite so early on.) The latter, I fear, may cause some problems.

You see, Mr Jamie, for some inexplicable reason, has developed a sudden fear of Christmas. (I'd like to think this would absolve me from buying him any Christmas presents, but can imagine the consequences if I went down this route.) Nursery have been getting into the festive spirit for some time now, and on almost a daily basis I get an update telling me that "Jamie was in floods of tears today - we made him wear a Christmas hat". (One might think that, given this, they'd go easy on the festivities ... but I guess they're going for an 'overexposure' attempt at a cure.) Fuck knows why. He's never had anything but positive Christmas experiences ... although I suppose if he's still going on the basis of this as his understanding of what Father Christmas does, I can perhaps understand some of his concerns.

Because of Mr Jamie's anti-Christmas stance, he was also refusing to say his line for the play. This was not good. I've seen first hand what happens when actors can't step up to the plate ... before you know it his understudy would be jumping in and he'd be relegated to 'bale of hay', or similar. Our son, following in the footsteps of his ego maniac actor parents, being given a non speaking role? Unthinkable. Which is why, when I came up to the bedroom on Tuesday evening ...

... I found Neil giving Mr Jamie VOCAL COACHING.

This is almost impossible to describe, but it's one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and therefore I shall do my best to recreate the magic for you here.

Neil was stood at the bottom of the stairs up to the loft.

Mr Jamie was stood at the top.

"Right Jamie. Like this. A KIIIIIIIND innkeeper said he had a ROOM at the INN for them." Don't worry about trying to imagine what Neil sounded like ... just imagine Brian Blessed standing at the foot of the stairs, and you're there.

"Akindinnkeeperhadaroomattheinn."

"Slower. Louder. A KIIIIIIIND innkeeper said he had a ROOM at the INN for them."

"AKINDinnkeeperhadaROOMATTHEINN."

"Slower. Remember to add all the words. 'Said', and 'for them'."

"AKINDINNKEEPERSAIDHEHADAROOMFORTHEM."

"Still slower. You need to remember to breathe. Breathe after 'innkeeper'."

(Thus followed about 10 minutes of Mr Jamie attempting to do said breathing.)

"I can't do it Daddy. I can't breathe."

"You CAN do it Jamie. Do what I do. A KIIIIND innkeeper - breathe - said he had a ROOM at the INN for them."

"A KIIIIIND innkeeper - BREATHE - said he had a room at the inn for them."

I had to leave the room at this point, I was laughing so much. And when I returned, some ten minutes later, they were still at it.

But fair play to Neil. The practise has paid off. Mr Jamie now not only knows his line, he can say it without bursting into tears, and whilst breathing. Now just to teach him how to use the most underhand, bullying means possible to make damn sure he gets right to the front and steals that centre stage spot.

Pushy parent? Me? I don't know what you're talking about.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Joint baths

I have something of a penchant for joint baths. Perhaps surprisingly (or not), this is rarely with Neil. The trend kicked off pretty much from birth, with my family regularly playing the oh so popular game of How Many People Can Fit Into One (Avocado) Bath. It subsequently enjoyed a major renaissance at sixth form college (David Poooooooooootttttttt! - love you!), and of course drama school pretty much speaks for itself.

Whilst Neil and I aren't regular bath sharers (he makes me have the tap end), Mr Jamie and Beth appear to take after their mother when it comes to enthusiasm for joint baths, as chronicalled on more than one occasion on this blog. Last night, Mr Jamie and I decided to indulge in a particularly hot and deep one after Beth had gone to sleep. I want to make some kind of witty link there between the deepness of the bath, and the profoundness of Mr Jamie's thinking, but after an 8 hour meeting my 'wit' brain compartment is dazzlingly empty. Regardless. The conversation went along these lines:

"Mummy?"

"Yes Jamie."

"Why do you have so much skin?"

"Well, I have to hand it to you. There are many ways of describing someone as overweight, but that's a new one on me."

"What did you say?"

"Never mind. The skin is there to cover up all of the bits inside of me."

"Like your blood."

"That's right."

"And the milk in your nipples."

"Yeeeeees."

"Will that milk NEVER come back again Mummy?"

"I'm starting to wonder whether you need some kind of trauma counselling. No. Never. Sorry."

"That's okay Mummy. It's not your fault."

"What's really interesting about skin" - note desperate attempt to change the subject from a) my bulk, and b) milk in nipples - "is that it has lots of tiny little holes in it. They're called pores."

"Like cats have?"

"Well. No. A bit. Yes, in that the word sounds the same, but no, in that it's spelt differently. Plus one refers to feet, and one refers to holes. And that was a terrible explanation given that you can neither spell, nor understand the meaning of the word 'refers'."

"Can I see the holes?"

"Yes. Here, have a look at my nose. Look very closely. Can you see the holes?"

"Ummm ... ummm .... ummm ... YES! Yes, I can see the holes Mummy, and they're not very little, they're MASSIVE." That pore reducing moisturiser was clearly paying off then. "I can see them there ... one ... two. Massive!"

Ah. "I think you might be confusing pores with nostrils. Look closer. Can you see some very, very tiny holes?"

"I can see some red holes. Red ones, and black ones. Are those them Mummy?"

"While I'd like to describe them as holes, it's probably more accurate to say that the red ones are spots, and the black ones are blackheads, although they are effectively the holes clogged up with dirt, so yes, well done you."

"I don't have any of those red spots do I Mummy?"

"Not yet. Just you wait. I mean, no, darling, of course you don't. You have lovely skin."

"Not like you Mummy."

"Thank you."

"But Mummy, it's okay. Because I do really like your front bottom. That's lovely, that is."

Nothing like a joint bath for an over-accurate assessment of your body, that's what I say. Anyone like to borrow a Mr Jamie?

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thinking Myself Into Less Of A Lardarse: A VERY Belated Update

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Am rubbish.

So, you'll remember back in September when I started out with the cult of Thinking Slimmer. I gave you a couple of enthusiastic updates, waxed lyrical about it ... and then disappeared off into the ether. Which no doubt has left you thinking it's a load of old cobblers and doesn't work at all.

WRONG. I am a total cult devotee. Between starting in September and hitting my 30th mid October I lost round about half a stone. For me, official Slowest Weight Loser Of All Time, this was no mean feat. Bearing in mind that at the start of the year I was struggling to get into a size 14, and now my skinniest of skinny size 12 jeans fit with ease ... happy happy joy joy. Not to mention the fact I ran 8k. EIGHT. KILOMETRES. I am still not quite over it.

I did still secretly wonder whether it was actually all down to Thinking Slimmer. And so post birthday I thought I'd have a little bit of a rest. And I - gulp ... STOPPED LISTENING TO TREVOR.

And in two weeks I put 4lb straight back on.

Weep.

Needless to say, I started listening again, and that 4lb has started to melt away, but I was getting a tad deluded about the whole thing and wondered whether it was just going to be easier and quicker to go down the 'limb amputation' route to achieve my desired weight loss. Thank goodness then for the lovely Sandra, the Big Boss at Thinking Slimmer, who took some time out of her day to give me a ring and sort me out. (In a non violent, menacing way, just in case you were concerned.)

What she said makes a LOT of sense. When you're exercising a lot (and I really am), obsessing (me? obsessed? Surely not ...) over the numbers on the scales is quite likely to be the worst possible thing you could do. Had my clothes got looser? Um, yes. Was I very comfortably now down into a size 12, just one size away from the hallowed Size Ten (ahhhh-ahhh-ahhhh-ahhh - that was some angels singing there, just in case it needed clarification)? Um, yes. Was I running longer distances than I ever thought I was going to be possible for me and feeling fitter than I'd ever done in my life. Um ... yes.

And so, shiny glass electronic scales of doom/wonder (depending on which way the numbers are going): I am THROUGH with you. (Well, maybe not entirely through. Don't give up the ghost on me just yet. You've already demonstrated the longest battery life of all time (six years and counting), so we're not splitting up entirely.) I am, however, bringing a new component into our relationship ...

... THE TAPE MEASURE.

(Well. I say tape measure. This being me, what I actually mean is a pink spotty dressing gown cord and several 30cm rulers. But I'm sure the desired effect will be the same.)

Out with the lb and oz, and in with the in and ... whatever the little bits are that you get in the middle of an inch. Mini-inches, maybe. Sounds a bit like a skin disease. No longer will I be weighing my bulk ... I shall be MEASURING it instead. What's more, because I don't carry quite the same prejudices about distance as I do weight ... I'm even going to share it with you. Oh yes. Living the dream.

As of today then, here's what I look like. (As you can see, it's all incredibly technically accurate.)

Waist. (Even I can find that bit. The least sticky outy bit in the middle.) 33 inches.

Bottom. (I'm sure this is meant to be 'Hips', but does anyone actually know what a hip measurement looks like it's at when it's at home? I've just gone for the most sticky outy bit for this one. I am nothing if not consistent.) 44 inches. Isn't that equivalent to about half a mile or something hideous?

Breasts. (The most sticky outy bit up the top.) 37 inches.

Bit Under Breasts. (As described.) 33 inches. (Which is confusing, because my bra size is a 34 DD. Am I doing it wrong?)

Trevor, it's you, me, and my sticky outy bits. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Reasons why ...

... I am somewhat irked.

(I know, right? 'Irked'. Not usually a word you'd find in my (profanity laden) vocabulary. It's because I fear if I start swearing, there's a strong likelihood I'll never stop. (Plus my mum might be reading. In which case I will be in SERIOUS trouble.))

I am irked in regards to all of the below, on the basis that I am bloody lovely, and such annoyances should simply not be allowed to happen to me. (I'm not actually bloody lovely: I'm a mouthy bitch, but allow me a little artistic licence, m'kay?)

Pre-ramble over ... here are all the reasons for my serious irkedness:

1) I have been vomited on today, not once, not twice, but THREE times. Not only have I been vomited on; you can also add in my car, my sofa, and my box of tissues. Oh, and my FACE. Thanks for that, Mr Jamie. The worst thing is that, because he is clearly Properly Poorly, I can't even get annoyed with him. Still, on the plus side, feeding your child nothing but Tunnocks teacakes and orange juice ice lollies, along with a side order of pink Calpol, makes for bloody lovely smelling vomit. Enjoying your dinner there?

2) People are so fucking prejudiced. (And thus: it starts.) It's not enough to wear clothes. We're expected to wear more than one item of clothing. Pants, a top, and a pair of opaque tights ... just not enough. At least not if the reaction of my neighbours was anything to go by when I inadvertently left the house sans skirt. Sorry neighbours. I'd wondered why my front bottom felt strangely shivery. And now I know ...

3) Wine only comes in 750ml bottles. Worse: you're not actually meant to drink one of those bottles all in one go. Worse STILL: one bottle of wine pretty much constitutes your recommended weekly alcohol units. (Which, clearly, you should absolutely not be drinking all in one go.) Bloody wine fascists.

4) Along with being prejudiced, people are so fucking insecure. Or maybe it's just the people I choose to follow on Twitter. Gah, enough already with your insecurity and your neediness and your POOR SPELLING OF YOUR PROBLEMS. Get a grip, learn to love yourself, and buy a dictionary.

5) I am so fucking intolerant. Damn me with my vomit hating/clothes shunning/wine drinking/antisocial behaviour ways. How hideously irksome of me.

Come on then. What has seriously, seriously, fucked the hell out of you this week. Screw the irkedness. Profanities are absolutely where it's at.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Stuff Wot I Did

In no particular order:
  • Got my hand trapped between the two layers of the toilet seat. Panicked I might be trapped there forever. Then removed my hand. Relief all round.
  • Finally came to the conclusion that, lovely though St Germain is, it makes me feel like I'm going to die.
  • Got my breasts squeezed, a lot, by Mr Jamie. ("Will the milk NEVER come back out of there again Mummy? That is very sad.)
  • Made Mr Jamie walk 4 miles. Told him he had to do so without whinging. Which prompted the following 'feedback' from him: "You are making me very sad Mummy. I am not crying, and I am not whinging, but I am still VERY sad. Did you know that both my legs are broken?"
  • Took Beth and Mr Jamie to watch a fireworks display. Mr Jamie was suitably impressed. Beth less so. She slept in a sling on my front throughout, not even flinching at the exceedingly loud explosions going off around her head. She will make an excellent Secret Agent one of these days.
  • Fell off a kerb. Tried to look nonchalent. Failed.
  • Decided to give up alcohol. Succeeded. For a full eight hours.
  • Watched my husband shave off his beard. Felt briefly immensely gratified that his face and my front bottom were now matching again. Wondered what the fuck was wrong with me.
  • Burnt microwave popcorn. Ah, the great culinary genius of our time ...
How's your weekend?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Blogging apathy

I've fallen a bit out of love with blogging recently. I was going to go cold turkey for a while, but then we have a bit of a Mr-Jamie-Moment, and I realise I can no longer function if I don't then go immediately to my laptop and write it down for the world to see. He'll be delighted, I'm sure.

The moral of the story here is clearly to go to the toilet unaccompanied. But then where would I get all my blog material from?

"Mummy?"

"Yes Jamie?"

"What's that?"

"It doesn't matter."

"But what is it?"

"It's a tampon."

"No, it's a string."

"Yes, with a tampon attached to it."

"Oh. Where has the tan-man gone?" (At this point I had to pause briefly to laugh in a slightly hysterical manner for a good twelve and a half seconds.)

"The TAMPON goes in your front bottom. You don't need to worry about it, because you haven't got a front bottom."

"Do just girls have front bottoms?"

"That's right."

"So you have your tan-mans?"

"Almost 100% correct."

"Is the tan-man hiding in your front bottom? Why is he hiding up there?"

"On so many levels ... I cannot possibly begin to answer your question."

"What about Beth? Does she need a tan-man?"

"I think she's okay for the time being. Now, please, can I have a wee in peace."

While Mr Jamie continues to delight with his lunacy, Beth shows worrying signs of being ... well, just like her mother. This morning she indicated she wanted to be picked up. As I was in the middle of putting on my boots at that precise moment in time, I told her she'd have to wait. At which point she sighed, threw herself dramatically to the floor and lay prone with her face pressed into the floorboards and her hand resting in melodramatic fashion on her head.

Fortunately she has her big brother to keep her in her place. Prior to last night's 'tan-man' moment, we had this little incident, which was one of those parenting experiences where it becomes almost impossible to keep a straight face ...

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

"JAMIE. Why is she crying? What are you doing? Did you just kick her? Why is your foot on her head? Tell me. Quickly."

"Ummmm ... ummmmmm ... ummmmmmm ... sorry. Sorry Mummy."

"Sorry for what?"

"Sorry for using Beth like a football."

Baaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaha. Thank you, Mr Jamie, for livening my days, and ensuring that there's no real way that I can ever stop blogging.

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