Follow my ditzy mummy moments caused by a shrunken brain, not enough sleep and too much juggling.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mix up

I am fortunate that my mum and mother-in-law look after my boys alternate wednesdays so I can save some money on childcare. They have been doing this since son 1 was a baby which has been a life-saver. As they've taken over from me whose turn it is organising  to cater for their numerous holidays I sometimes get confused whose turn it is but normally figure it out. Apart from yesterday, I was frantically tidying up and cleaning the kitchen as I thought it was my mother-in-law turn and telling the kids that "granny was coming" (which means they get bought some plastic tat or magazines from the corner shop). Imagine my surprise when I called out that granny was here but it was actually nanny. My poor mum got greeted with me saying "oh its you, I wouldn't have bothered cleaning up" and son 1 wailing that he wanted granny instead. I'd forgotten that granny was on holiday for a week. I'm sure more mistakes kids left will happen over the summer holidays as I have eclectic arrangements for childcare with 2 sons here / there / everywhere, whilst the baby is somewhere else, left at friends, with Dad, with grandparents, at playschemes, nurseries etc - Phew!!!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Flashback Friday - Look at that hair

As part of Flashback Friday, I thought I would get involved. This is a photo of me just before I left school (I'm on the left) with the crazy hair. What were we thinking in the 80s? I used to backcomb by fringe and flick my hair back with loads of hairspray. The denium jacket I loved and on the back I sewed in some paisley fabric - nice.


Now head over to Cafebebe and check out the other entries for flackback Friday.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Creativity

Son 2's way of helping birds
Son 2 who is 4 and half years old always keeps me on my toes with his amazing imagination and sometimes eccentricity (can be a child be eccentric?). His latest invention was when he had been thinking about why the birds had not used his bird box he'd painted at christmas and left in the garden. He informed me that the birds needed a platform to get into the bird box, and so he wanted to stick the badmington racket to the bird box so they could land on it and get in.. I'm quite used to his strange demands so I get black tape and stuck the racket to the bird box. He'd also decided that as he'd found a drawing pin and decided it was imperative that he stuck his drawing to a tree outside our house. Son 1 obviously got jealous and when I came home from work he'd also drawn a picture and also stuck it onto the next tree. I wonder if people walking along the street think the pictures are some sort of code for spies!! Son 1 also made me and hubbie laught last night as he's had sex education last term and decided to inform his brothers of the correct name for their willies. He's also referred to his tenticles which made me wonder what on earth he was talking about, it then clicked he was talking about his testicles. Ah the things kids say.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Did my mum really do that?

I went to my future sister-in-law’s hen do on Sunday which I had been stressing about all week. It was a 50s theme in homage to Becky and which I knew nothing about (apart from watching a few episodes of Mad Men). I spent most of my evenings watching ‘you tube’ clips on doing 50s hair styles (did you know you’re meant to curl hair around your fingers, pin with a clip and sleep on them to set the curls). On Sunday I set off with my 50s dress (new still with tags in as I was intending to take it back due to no funds in my bank account) and my attempt at 50s hair which was basically a frizzy mess. I was a little bit nervous as I hadn’t met any of Becky’s friends and imagined that as she’s a trendy hairdresser (Mayfair salon and very expensive) all her friends would be uber-cool and a decade younger than me. Then my mum mentioned she had been invited and would be coming along, which led to a conversation over what she should wear that would be 50s. I had to talk her out of wearing her ‘sun hat’ as that what she had interrupted as 50s style. Help!
So after a few hiccups with the boat at Camden Lock that had been hired for lunch and then cancelled we ended up at another bar that accommodated us. Fast forward a few hours later, lots of wine and shots (are shots appropriate in the afternoon was all I was thinking - I'm such a mum!!). All the girls were actually near my age with kids, all very chatty and loads of funny stories to tell about their lives. By this point I knew I was quite tipsy but had forgotten that my mum had also been drinking. When then progressed onto another part of the bar that had different themed rooms (well actually ex-stables). Then one we took over had a pole on a platform and all the girls had had a go pretending to pole dance. Now my mum is nearly 70, a bit Hyacinth Bucket and a dodgy hip so imagine my surprise when my mum climbed up onto this mini stage and did a bit of pole dancing. She then told one of the staff to ‘p**s off’ when he tried to remove all the cushions we were sitting on. I was shocked that she still had it in her!! 10 years ago I would be mortified with embarrassment but now I just found it funny.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Do girls rule the world?

Copyright Beyonce
As you may know I am a sort of feminist so I was interested to read a column in the Observer about Beyonce's new song "Run the World (Girls)". The only positive about not having a girl (3 boys instead) is that I don't have worry about the sexist opinions and the 'sexing' up of our young girls. I'd like to think I'm not a prude but if Beyonce is singing about girls ruling the world why does she have to do it, in her bra and knickers? I do worry about the future for girls, particularly as according to my beauty therapy friends most girls under 25 have no hair on their lady parts anymore (was going to put muff but I'm definately getting too old!). I question whether Beyonce is empowering women or setting standards and expectations that are unrealistic. If women are ruling the world are they doing it by being more creative and innovative than men or because they are wearing skimpy clothes. I thought the column was an interesting read as I just don't know the answers. I thought the slut walks were an interesting concept (I bet the policeman who started the walks with his slut comment doesn't) and I was intending to go on the London slut walk but as normal didn't get around to it. I try and do my bit by educating my boys that girls are equal see my feminist post.

On my ditzy side, for a long time I thought Beyonce's hair was real as she advertising hair products for European hair, my knowledge on weaves has been enlightening (thanks Melissa).  

Monday, 11 July 2011

The challenge of childcare

Our nanny has quit which was not a surprise as she'd told me she was looking for other work that would fit in with us. So it was when rather than if. She’s been working for us for 3 years now with about a 9 month break when I was on maternity leave (her decision not mine) and the two older boys are really fond of her so its going to be upsetting. I'm now in the process of sorting out our complicated childcare arrangements as son 2 is starting school in September. Prior to our nanny son 1 and son 2 were at a private day nursery for about 3.5 years and I had son 1 booked in when I was only 4 months into my pregnancy (wow, how organised did I used to be).



Although we live in nappy valley, there is a lack of decent nurseries near the tube station. After ringing around, there were 3 nurseries that have spaces for son 3 whose turning two at the end of September. The first nursery we visited was recommended by next door neighbour and I got a good vibe on the telephone from them. However, my first impressions were lukewarm. All the children were playing outside and there seemed tons of them. I know you shouldn’t look at the buildings but it was grey and drab on the outside. But inside it was welcoming, all seemed fine but as son 3 was crying (he’s very astute so had guessed it was a place he would be left by me) but I forgot to ask the questions I needed. At this point, I liked this nursery and thought this was the one as the staff seemed caring, lots of toys and space and kids looked happy. The second nursery was disappointing to say the least, small rooms with staff who were not playing with the children and didn’t seem bothered with them. None of the staff engaged with son 3 (or indeed son 2 who was there as well) which was a bad sign. At one point, a child was crying and instead of finding out why, I heard a staff member just tell them to be quiet. When I got the fees list this explained the quality, it was dirt cheap (you pay for what you get). Also I would have to pay £30 to be put on a waiting list – why would I pay money for you not to guarantee a place??? Also, their policy was that all parents had to be there at the latest 5.55pm and off the premises by 6pm, but their opening hours are 8am until 6pm so my thinking was if I’m paying for that precious 5 mins to run back from the tube station then I should get it.


The third nursery we visited I had all 3 boys with me, I couldn’t find it and was about to give up so was late and flustered. But it was a nursery in a house which was like the tardis (it was massive out the back) it was recommended by a women at work whose daughter goes there and she’s the same age as son 3. When the owner came to show us around, I picked up son 3 and misjudged the space behind me and bumped his head on the wall – whoops (the owner probably wondered why I had 3 children when I couldn't cope with one toddler)! I got a good vibe just my sitting in the reception bit, lots of info on the employee of the month, the policies, detail on how long the staff had worked there and been working in childcare. Very organised and professional and with lots of space. The difference between this visit which lasted 45 mins compared to the 10 mins at the other two was amazing. I was told all about their food, playtimes, arts and crafts etc. Systems such as allocating a key worker when the child had bonded with a worker impressed me, as normally they are allocated a key worker straight away and this way seemed more logical. I was also introduced to all the staff by name, the staff and children seemed happy and there was a calm atmosphere. Having such a long visit allowed me to get a better feel for the nursery. I quickly changed my mind even if the fees were higher than the other 2 (not substantially). I liked that when son 3 wandered off to play in their playground, a member of staff returned him back to me.


My tips for looking at nurseries: (1) go with your gut instinct, does it feel right (2) Did the staff interact with your child, are they playing with the children or standing around chatting? (3) What did the rooms feels like, was there enough space, variety of toys, schedule of activities – this could be indoors or outdoors space (4) are they flexible or was the nursery setting out their own rules before what would fit your needs (5) What’s their turnover of staff, ask how long their staff have been working at their nursery. Now I just have to find a childminder and cover the long summer holidays.


Hope that helps, will keep you updated whether son 3’s new nursery works out and if my top tips works. Any other tips for looking for a nursery?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Silent Sunday

I know this should be a photo with no words - but this inflatable dinosaur made hubbie jump when he came home to an empty house and thought it was a dog or a fox.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Plane story

As promised a few ditzy stories from the journey to our holiday. Its now nearly 2 weeks since we’ve returned but had a v.hectic time as our nanny has finally quit (see previous post) so I’ve been manically arranging childcare for over the summer holidays and a new nursery for son 3, I will tell you some of the nursery visit stories soon which might help if you’re looking at childcare .



So, back to the holiday. As we’re boarding the plane (early morning flight etc) son 2 asks “what are the big round things at the end of the aeroplane’s wings”. Now I’m not the least bit interested in how things work, I don’t care as long as washing machines, cars, boilers etc work. Many times when mechanics have been explaining about why my car doesn’t work my eyes just glaze over and I start thinking about how I need to paint my toe nails or hurry up one of the kids is trying to climb under / into / over a car in the garage. Back to story, so I told son 2 that I didn’t know what they were, he asks “are they the engines” at which point I’m tired and respond that I always thought the engine were underneath the plane. Hubbie is listening to all of this and after trying to disassociate himself from me, he then can't help but pipe up that he can’t believe that I didn’t know that the big round things are the engines and how could I not know how the plane flies. Why should I, I’m not scared of flying (I now love it without kids as I can get to watch films) so its a waste of time me knowing how the plane works. This time my ditiziness was more embarrassing for hubbie than me.


Another photo of our hols!
I’ve also had people asking where we went, so I say Sivota on mainland Greece, yes but where on the mainland they ask. I’ve had to admit, I had no idea as we got on a plane and then a coach to be taken to the resort. We were told that the nearest island we could see Corfu on the right and Paxos on the left but do we really need to know where in Greece we went? (Hubbie doesn’t know either).

Any tips please on getting my followers showing again on blogger, they’ve disappeared!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Silent Sunday