Tuesday 18 September 2012

Three years ago ...

I moved to www.arewenearlythereyetmummy.com

Friday 31 July 2009

I have moved ... no really ... I have moved

I have moved to http://www.arewenearlythereyetmummy.com/

So what are you waiting for? ... come on over, have a mooch around, play with my roly poly tag cloud and make yourself at home.

If everyone could update blogrolls, follow mes and any mention of Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? via social media info etc etc etc, I'd be eternally grateful.

Monday 22 June 2009

I have moved ... no really ... I have moved

I have moved to http://www.arewenearlythereyetmummy.com/

So what are you waiting for? ... come on over, have a mooch around, play with my roly poly tag cloud and make yourself at home.

If everyone could update blogrolls, follow mes and any mention of Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? via social media info etc etc etc, I'd be eternally grateful.

Monday 1 June 2009

I'm here but I'm not - news of the great unveiling

I'm not really here.

I'm at Teacher Friend Mother of Three's caravan in the Yorkshire Dales with the 3 and 4 year old. Facebook Wife Mother of One is coming too.

The husband is clicking 'publish post' for me in my absence.

We are more than likely splashing about in the stream which runs along the side of 'the van' and although we are only here for 24 hours I have packed enough clothes for a week. Last night we probably toasted marshmellows and drank lashings of wine before cramming ourselves and the six children into cupboards, drawers and shower cubicles to sleep.

Anyway. I've had a major facelift ... well not personally that would take a LOT of money but you know what I mean. I just wanted to warn you all, I wouldn't want you to tune in and think you'd gone to the wrong place.


The husband has spent an AWFUL lot of time and effort creating the new site. It's all a bit sparkly with a hint of fandangled jiggerypokery. I'm very proud of him and what he's achieved and I hope you'll like it too. There are a few tweaks still to make, but he has tons of other 'paid' stuff to do, so there we have it in all it's glory. If everyone could update blogrolls, follow mes and any mention of AWNTYM via social media info etc etc etc, I'd be eternally grateful.

Anyway I'll be back shortly with tales of 'how many pairs of pants/shorts/t-shirts/socks a small child can go through in one 24 hour period at the van' ... as well as how many people can comfortably sleep in a 2 bedroomed static caravan.

I'm thinking 9 isn't the magic number.

Shaddap your face ...

Things the husband has said to me ...

... last week

Him looking at me - "It's no wonder our children are schizophrenic"

... this week

Me - "You'll miss me tomorrow night when I'm not here. You'll weep into your pillow"

Him - "Only if that ironing still isn't done"

Things the 4 year old has said to me this week

"You have a hairy front bottom"

"This is the worst day of my life ... EVER"

Words the 4 year old has got wrong whilst singing this week ...

"Dancing Queen, young and sweet only tangerine"

May the drowning dreams commence ...

For some reason the schools in our village have two weeks at half term. Great for the kids, not so great for parents who have to work and juggle childcare. To add further pressure one half of the OAP childminding duo is in hospital having an operation.

The husband was in charge today. This morning as I was leaving for the office, the glorious sun was beating down and I suggested the husband bob to Tesco or Argos and get one of those cheap little paddling pools for the kids to mess around in whilst he tried to do some work. Off they went.

At lunchtime I sent a text asking if the kids were enjoying their paddling pool.

His reply 'we won't have to worry about swimming lessons' just made me roll my eyes to the heavens.

This is what greeted me when I got home ...

Man lust had taken over. Why buy a cheap little paddling pool when you can have a vast swimming pool?

Does anybody else have tales of man lust taking over?

Sunday 31 May 2009

Go Ape Giveaway - Calling All Gorillas

I have always wanted to Go Ape. Something about dangling 40ft in the air, being a tad scared and challenging my inner ape appeals. Myself and Mary from Caution Woman at Work are donning gorilla suits going to be twittering from the treetops, taking photos and then telling you all about it when we return. I will also be writing a piece for http://www.havealovelytime.com/ a great new family travel blog.

I have 3 pairs of tickets (possibly more) up for grabs and I want to offer them to my lovely readers. All you need to do is leave a comment and my independent adjudicators (the 3 and 4 year old) will pull names out of a hat a week today.

Before you comment make sure you can attend the location on the time and date below.

The date - Sunday 12 July 2009
Time - 11.30am
Location - Dalby Forest, Near Pickering, North Yorkshire
Minimum age - 10yrs
Minimum height - 1.4m (4ft7")
Maximum weight - 20.5 stones (130kg)

Do me a favour and hit the button to the bottom right to retweet this competition!

Saturday 30 May 2009

Our local supermarket - the height of sophistication

The husband sent me an email at work the other day asking me to get some guacamole to go with some nachos we were having that evening.

I had a nagging feeling that our local supermarket, which I work opposite, may not be up to the task.

I gave them the benefit of my doubt, after all last week they reopened after moving things from one aisle to another and giving the staff new fleeces undergoing a huge revamp which was launched with a massive strawberry frightening small children out of their wits and making them cry wandering round tapping people on the shoulder and giving out fridge magnets and free bananas.

I perused the shelves and couldn't find any guacamole. Finding a supermarket employee I approached her.

"Do you have any guacamole?" said I

"Gwakkawot?" said she with a look of confusion

"A Mexican dip made from avocados. If you don't stock it we could make our own with avocados" said I

"Avvawot?" Said she

I decided that maybe the village wasn't ready to embrace Mexican dips and gave up.

Two days later, husband sent me an email at work asking for fresh mint and thyme for some meatballs. Again, no joy. The nearest thing to mint was a Polo. At this rate the husband is going to have to tone down his menu choices.

Last month one of my colleagues bought some apples from the same supermarket. Biting into one he announced that his apple tasted of ... cheese. Some others tried apples out of the same bag.

Yes, cheese was the general consensus.

If I could get them to make the apples taste of avocado I could make my own gwakkawot.

Thursday 28 May 2009

The perils of face painting ...

The 3 year old is really quite shy. He would rather hide in a dark cupboard full of spiders than be the centre of attention.

So, on Monday when we were at a game fair (as in pheasant, ferrets, polo and tractors; Not Buckaroo, Twister or Hungry Hippos). There was a face painting stand. The 4 year old, not shy at all decided she was having her face painted and she was having a dalmation. Fairy nuff.

In the past the 3 year old has been forced against his will persuaded to have a spider painted on his wrist, which he has then washed off immediately.

No sireeee, not today. He wanted to be a clown ... or at least he thought he did, until he saw himself in the mirror ...

It took a while, but he did get used to it as you can see ...

That night he had a bath and the clown was washed away ... or so we thought.

The following morning he still had a tinge of yellow running through his eyebrows, a red moustache and nose.

Tuesday 26 May 2009

A miracle ...

We witnessed a miracle at Walt Disney World, Florida.

We were sat in a VIP area with a couple of families watching the amazing Spectromagic evening. Floats (they were actually far more fabulous than that) floated (what else) along the paths in the Magic Kingdom outside Cinderella's castle, each one lit up with characters wearing outfits speckled with lights. Just beautiful.

There was a family of five who were all celebrating their birthday. I kid you not, all five in the same week. This meant that every cast member (that's Disney speak for employee) had to wish each and everyone of them a Happy Birthday with great gusto, which they of course did.

... that was not the miracle.

Then there was the girl, on the front row, sitting with her father. When Snow White walked past and stopped to kiss her she nearly fainted. It was a sight to behold, so lovely and something she won't forget in a hurry.

... that wasn't the miracle either ...

The miracle we all witnessed was the woman sat in a wheelchair at the end of our row, who happened to be the mother of the girl kissed by Snow White.

She had been fairly calm, just watching the parade. However, on seeing The Little Mermaid float coasting round the corner towards us she started bouncing up and down in her wheelchair clapping wildly.

When the float came level with our seating and Ursula and Ariel waved she actually jumped up, did a jig which included some booty shaking, waved as if she were drowning at sea, blew kisses, checked that her family hadn't seen her and sat down again.

Walt Disney World, where dreams come true.

And so this leads me to one of my favourite Little Britain clips ...

Monday 25 May 2009

I ain't gittin' on no plane!

The 4 year old brought a picture home from school last week ...

It is the 4 year old and God hanging out in the sunshine.

I'm not sure which part I like best ... God's wild beard or his backcombed hair.

He has a look of BA Baracus don't you think?

Sunday 24 May 2009

Bedtime Stories according to the children (all 3 of them)

The people at Think Parents asked us to review Bedtime Stories.

MarMar came to babysit and, well ... we went out for the evening and she watched it with them.

Disclaimer : Just as we were leaving the 3 year old asked if it had started yet ... it was 15 minutes in. Based on that you can discount absolutely anything he says in the following review.

So, a review according to the 3, 4 and 13 year old.

So, kids, how was the film?

3 year old - There were sweets coming down

4 year old - It was good

13 year old - I didn't get it in the beginning, I thought it would be a bedtime story. By the end though it made sense and I thought it was really good.

What was the film about?

3 year old - There were sweets coming down

4 year old - Lots of stories that came true

13 year old - Bedtime stories that came true

What did you like?

3 year old - The man had a bee on his tongue. It stinged him.

4 year old - The hamster was really funny. It was running on a wheel and watching telly. And I liked the mermaid. And the really funny man, he kept trying to kiss the lady and another man kept kicking him.

13 year old - I liked that the Bedtime Stories linked with his life. It was really clever the way it connected and things happened.

Anything you disliked?

3 year old - Yeah, no

4 year old - When the boy kicks the man, it was really nasty

13 year old - The little guy, he kept kicking the couple as they were about to kiss

Did the film have a happy ending?

3 year old - Yes, it's off now

4 year old - Yes, because they kissed and no one kicked them

13 year old - Umm, I can't remember, but they kissed

Marks out of 5?

3 year old - 5/5 (probably copying his sisters)

4 year old - 5/5 (and has since asked to watch it again ... twice)

13 year old - 4/5

Thursday 21 May 2009

Shhhhht ...

We've had some potential for child/toddler tourettes again this week ....

Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stafani was on Radio 1 on Friday. I was in the car with both children at the time. Bear in mind the chorus for a moment please;

Ooh, this my sh*t, this my sh*t
Ooh, this my sh*t, this my sh*t
Ooh, this my sh*t, this my sh*t
Ooh, this my sh*t, this my sh*t

Instead of saying sh*t, they changed it to shhhhht, so it sounded exactly like ... well, sh*t.

Delighted I was not.

The 4 year old said nothing at the time, but I am well aware she will be digesting it for another more suitable time, like our once yearly trip to church, when we are sat in the Dr’s waiting room or travelling in a full but silent lift.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Update on life as we know it ...

I reached new professional heights this week when I was on the phone to our advertising agency. I was giving some amendments for some advert copy and I said the following;

“Yes, put a curly ‘c’ in front of the salary?”

As I said it, I knew I had forgotten that I was indeed speaking to a 40+ year old man and not my 4 year old daughter. I hastily ended the conversation and put down the phone. I then had an ‘I carried a watermelon’ moment (Haven't you seen Dirty Dancing?).

I am starting to notice changes to my body. So far this week I have noticed huge wrinkles around my eyes when I smile to myself in the mirror. Please note I do not spend time smiling at myself in the mirror, it was an accidental find. Nor do I chant 'Go get them Laura, you are the fabulous!' three times before I go to work.

Clearly these lines are caused by laughing. I like to laugh. I do not like the wrinkles. Also, nasal hair. After 30 years of just being there out of view it's suddenly grown. At the grand age of 30 is it time to invest in some anti ageing creams and find some way to stop the nasal hair before I can plait it upwards and into my eyebrows. Not an attractive look.

We have a house, the dream house in fact. Hooray! We move in 4ish weeks. I am particularly excited by the fact that we will have a dishwasher after 3 years without and a normal persons bath. We currently have a corner bath, being tall means this is not remotely comfortable.

I have started de-cluttering the house. A natural hoarder, I have found de-cluttering quite cathartic. I pick on a room armed with a bin liner and get rid of anything that has no use.

The 4 year old is fine, a little wobbly about the new house but she will be fine. "You'll have a bigger bedroom" I keep saying animatedly with a big smile as if that will make her feel more at ease.

She has said to me on three separate occasions this week that she doesn't like her dreams, that they are always bad. I have started giving her happy memories to think about when she starts to think about her bad dreams. The latest one was when I was pregnant with her and she kept me and the husband amused of an evening by hiccuping from within. She thinks this is amusing and I have told her it will ward off the bad dreams. Let's see how long that lasts.

She is still skipping with her rope at every opportunity and lassoing random people in the school playground. She keeps her skipping rope in a powder pink shoe box she got from school ... "It's the skipping ropes house". Who am I to argue.

The 3 year old is fine and dandy. He seems unfazed by our house move. He has recently added to his people collection (Mickey Mouse and Tramp) and soon will not be able to get into bed for his people. He has his post op (grommets) check on Friday which I'm sure will go fine. I'm paranoid that his hearing has dropped again ... it could be selective. If only they could do something about his foghorn voice and his snoring too ... Jeez ... the snoring. Each snore shakes the house.

He loves pre-school, more so when it doesn't rain and he can play outside on the bikes, pulling wheelies and handbrake turns, much to the horror of 'the ladies' as he affectionately calls them. He thinks it's OK to burp every time we sit down for a family meal, but it's alright because he says 'excuse me'.

The Husband doesn't burp during family meals or snore, in fact he makes no noise when he sleeps. Occasionally I have to check that he is even breathing. This week he has discovered Twitter, Wordpress and that he doesn't like iced muffins. he is designing a new website (to be unveiled sometime soon) for his freelance work and is about to embark on redesigning my blog. All this rain has accelerated the cabbages, peas and onions in his vegetable patch which he will be unable to transport to the new house. A case of 'look at what you could have won'.

The Tadpoles worry me and I think we shall be leaving them here. We had 30 tadpoles, stolen from Auntie Kate's pond. I thought it would be great for the children to see them morph into frogs. They are currently living on the decking in a large box. I feed them, but they much prefer the taste of fresh tadpole. We now have around 12 giant tadpoles.

A Muffin Off By The Ovenly Challenged

It was with GREAT optimism that I challenged Single Parent Dad to a ‘Muffin Off’.

Knowing what I know now I'm wondering if I was just plain delusional with a hint of foolishness thrown in for good measure. At the time of the challenge I was confident that I could produce beautiful muffins far superior to his.

He is the maker of 'packet bish bash bosh buns' and I am just 'ovenly challenged'.

After putting on my daughter’s apron (there is no photographic evidence of this, but if you imagine an elephant sporting a flannel you are there) and putting the Police with Reggatta de Blanc on the ipod (classic muffin making music) I followed English Mum’s recipe which I found really easy to follow.

I was delighted with her tip about overworking the gluten and decided that this was the reason that everything I bake looks and tastes like concrete.

It started so well, I even used the special Mickey spatula for luck.

Everything sniffed (the 3 year old) and mixed (me) I nervously waited whilst the oven did its thang. I kept chanting the well known mantra ‘A watched muffin doesn’t flourish’ or something like that and kept my eyes averted.

The failed noise From Family Fortunes rang out as I removed my muffins from the oven (Uh Urrrrrr doesn’t quite do it). I imagine the husband was sat in the office (next door to the kitchen) rolling his eyes back in his head as I swore repeatedly.

They weren't burnt, they were cooked but there was something wrong ...

Only I could produce ‘Dwarf Muffins’. Please note the pony at the front is there only to distract your eye for the shortcomings of my baking, not to make my muffins look bigger than they are. Note also the dimmed lighting ... Ahem.

Not only did they come out dwarfed but they were also peaked. This meant that when I tried to disguise them for any photographic evidence each one ended up looking like a hillock with a moat. Even the chocolate sprinklies decided to bugger off into the moat for a swim pushing the humongous muffin cases further away from the teeny tiny muffins.

The only saving grace is that they tasted ‘alright’ and ‘not bad’ (husband). ‘Alright’ is actually about a 6 out of 10; after all he has endured nearly 9 years of my deliberate poisoning baking attempts. The 3 year old ate one and the 4 year old who doesn't eat buns ate two muffins.

I made husband do a repeat tasting post icing. The icing was still runny and he agreed that the muffins were far tastier without. The phrase 'you can't polish a turd' springs to mind.

Tonight, when I asked for a direct muffin quote from the 4 year old she simply coughed over the remaining muffins and went on her way.

I have let English Mum down. What kind of baking ambassador am I? I'd like to blame the baking powder ... or the overworking of my mix.

As for Single Parent Dad, at the time of writing I haven't seen his attempts, but I don't need to. I know that they will be much better than mine.

Now, where did I put that recipe for humble pie?

To find out how Single parent Dad got on meander over on here.
If anyone would like to take on the muffin meme, just let me know!

Saturday 16 May 2009

Clicking My Heels and a 'Muffin Off'

The headline will read;


As you all know I went on a jolly trip of great importance to the US of A a few weeks ago.

Tonight we engaged MarMar for babysitting duties so that we could go to the cinema.

Husband - Goodnight, see you in the morning

3 year old - Are you going to America with Mummy?

Clearly the 3 year old is still in some confusion about time and distance ... or he is scarred by my abandoning him for the best pomegranate mojitos ever Mickey Mouse ... or he thinks I can click my heels like Dorothy.

I think I shall buy him a globe.

In other news ... on Wednesday I will be presenting the results of my 'Muffin Off' with Single Parent Dad (He of packet bun shame) where we shall both be judged by englishmum when we attempt to recreate her vanilla muffins. I'm still not sure what the criteria is, I'll just be glad if my embarrasing efforts beautiful muffins are not charred.

Thursday 14 May 2009

My Knitted Naked Family?

bloggerdad was tweeting about this site yesterday. Curiosity got the better of me and I took a look.

It is hilarious.

I automatically passed it on to some friends.

My friend, Facebook Wife Mother of One, was sharing the hilarity of awkward family photos with her father last night and they were chortling, in particular, at this photo.

Her mother came into the room in the middle of their chortling and got the wrong end of the stick (albeit a knitted one). She thought that I had sent the photo to Facebook Wife Mother of One and that it was in fact me and my family.

I'm torn. Do I feel disturbed or amused.

Am erring on the side of amused.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

The Cork Collection

The 4 year old used her imagination and created a piece of modern art on the living room carpet using our cork collection.

It took her a while, she enjoyed putting each of the corks out and talking to some of them(?).

Her 3 year old brother enjoyed knocking them all down. He was a human bowling ball. She took it in good spirit, for a change

Answering the inevitable questions;

You have a cork collection?
Yes, we have a cork collection.

Why do we have a cork collection?
I don't actually know. They just sit in those vases up there. We don't get out our corks of a night and compare them, they just sit.

How many corks do you have?
I am not entirely sure how many corks we have.

How long have you been collecting them?
Umm ... so you can work out our wine intake per day/month/year? Surely you have better things to do. Let's just say we've enjoyed every drop.

Monday 11 May 2009

The virtual burglar pays a visit ... in my head

Occasionally I have irrational thoughts. For instance;

What if a burglar were to break into the house in the middle of the night?

Last week I gave it too much thought, it went a little something like this;

So, the burglar breaks in. I don’t know how, he just does OK?

The dog who is having one of those dreams where she’s running in the park stirs. She doesn’t bark. Instead she vomits on the burglar’s shoes and proceeds to wag her tail and lick him. She welcomes him into our home. Not only has she been sick but earlier in the evening she was cleaning her arse with that tongue.

He fumbles to switch on his torch and surveys the kitchen for car keys to the shiny motor on the drive. Plates are piled high on the work surface. Don’t these people have a dishwasher? No, not unless you count me and the husband.

His torch light falls upon a picture on a pinboard of a gay couple. One of them is dressed as Adam Ant, the other is dressed as himself and has a fetching moustache. This picture is me (Magnum PI) and the husband (Adam Ant) at my sisters 40th birthday party. Note the chest hair (For the record and those of you who were wondering ... this is not my own chest hair).

There’s no hope of finding keys amongst the clutter. He locates a handbag on the worktop and opens it. He takes out the contents looking for a purse; a box of raisins, a soggy tissue, a broken Cinderella necklace, a sock, a notebook with extensive Disney notes … a purse with a faulty zip, several receipts for the Co-op and just three ten pence pieces.

He finds a mobile phone right at the bottom of the handbag, hiding. Not the latest model but worth a bob or two. The screen flashes bright. A picture of two small children wearing underpants on their heads greets him. Oh my god, what kinds of people are parenting these children?
I believe in nature over nurture … my children are truly bonkers, is that really my fault? … Ahem.

He decides to venture into the living room to check out the electrical goods. Suddenly there is a piercing shriek. He stops dead in his tracks, terrified that there is a beast upstairs. The 4 year old is having night terrors again.

In his panic to leave the house he goes into the downstairs toilet and is met a child’s floater bobbing alone. “Of course I flushed the toilet Mummy”

Recoiling in horror and running back towards the door he stands on a toy fire engine and falls to the floor crashing into the intricate marble run of the previous day.

As he crawls to his knees he kneels on a piece of Lego. OH THE PAIN!
For those of you not accustomed to the pain a piece of Lego can cause when kneeled upon, I have confirmed, after a lengthy conversation with the husband, that is equal to standing on an upturned plug.

Clutching his knee he notices some car keys hanging out of a coat pocket in the hall. Bingo!

Relieved to be leaving the house of horrors he realises that the keys are not for the shiny motor, they are indeed for the rusty, dusty old motor parked beside it.

He sits in the car, the first thing to hit him is the lingering smell of wet dog. He puts the key in the ignition. The car stereo signals its awakening with a loud rasping farting noise and The Wind in The Willows blares out of the speakers. The faulty hand brake alarm starts and the petrol gauge is glowing on empty.

What burglar, in his right mind would pick on us?!

Saturday 9 May 2009

Housekeeping Bits & The Disney Design-a-Tee

Housekeeping bits first then on with business ...

My interview with My Child editor Tara is up here. Go have a look if you want to know a bit more about me.

Don't forget the Lego Duplo giveaway deadline is 4pm Tuesday. The Duplo has arrived and the boxes are bigger than I expected! For a chance to enter just leave a comment here.

The answer to my answers on a postcard ... or a comment box post on Saturday was SNAIL ... obviously

Disney Design-a-Tee

Whilst at Walt Disney World we got to design our own t-shirts at the Disney Design-a-Tee shop.

We customised our t-shirts on a touch screen where we could select our favourite T-shirt colour, size and style and choose from more than 400 pieces of character art. we added our own words, but you can also add pre-selected phrases too.

My friend the Dulwich Divorcee was told that Mickey and divorce don't go together when she tried to make her t-shirt. You can read about her hilarious and heart warming quest for Mickey here.

Erica, who has a penchant for Baileys (but never drinks, oh no) was also told that Mickey and alcohol don't go together.

Realising that I wouldn't be able to make a wholesome t-shirt for myself I made one for the 4 year old with her name and some blatant advertising of my blog and she loves it.

It came in a great little bag that has already been utilised as a sleeping bag for a variety of soft toys.

Friday 8 May 2009

Answers on a postcard ... or a comment box

The 3 year old brought this back from pre-school last week.

Can you tell what it is?

The first one to guess wins ...

(drum roll)

... general blogging kudos.

Thursday 7 May 2009

I'm British, I'm cynical ... did I have a good time? Hell yeah!

Now that I've got over the jet lag, my children have almost forgiven me for abandoning them, my ankles have reduced to their normal size, and I've stopped grieving the company of my fellow bloggers (that bit's actually a lie) I thought I'd give you an overview of my trip.

I was aware of Walt Disney World, Florida before, but the thought of going there had never crossed my mind. I wasn't against it per se, I really didn't have any thoughts about it ... I had an open mind.

So, that's not completely true. I assumed it would be too expensive, fast food and only fast food, lots of big rides, nothing for little ones to do, huge crowds of huge people and queues that go on forever.

I had even heard people speak of their holidays to Walt Disney World with huge smiles on their animated faces. I didn't believe them, how could something be so good?

"Take some pictures of really fat people" someone texted before I left. That, by the way, was the same person who told me to avoid anyone wearing a sombrero.

I only saw a handful of obese people and they were ensconced on sit down scooters. When we were having our walk round tour of Typhoon Lagoon our lovely guide Sindy told us that one of the rides has an elevator as well as steps to get to the top. I made a comment that surely if you are too fat to climb the stairs you are too fat travel down a water slide tube. She glared at me and it was then that I considered that there may be disabled people wishing to use the slides too ... Walt thought of everything.

"All you'll eat is burgers, weeners and chips" my friend said ... "What's a weener?" I replied

"You'll need two seats on your return flight" husband said.

I didn't eat any fast food when I was there. So much so that on the last day when we drove past a McDonald's on the way to the mall I was almost clawing my way through the window of the 'oven bus'.

Whilst away I ate some of the best food I have ever eaten, the oak grilled filet of beef at Citrico's being the outright winner, closely followed by the goats cheese truffles and we tried a variety of the options available. There are restaurants which serve what we would class fast food but the menus are dominated by healthy options which makes a refreshing change.

The rides themselves were ... awesome. I haven't been on a rollercoaster for ten years or more. My favourite ride was the Aerosmith Rock 'n' Roller. I have never laughed and cried so much at the same time and it only lasted a few minutes.

We got fast passes which sounds very VIP, however, anyone can get fast passes, you just have to be organised. This means you can walk past the main queue to an alternative queue which gets you onto the ride quicker.

The Tower of Terror was ... well, terrifying ... dropping 13 floors in a lift. It is the only ride at Disney which has a randomiser (Disney fact), meaning each time you ride you have a different experience. I'm happy to have tried it, but won't be testing the randomiser! At one point (between floors 12 amd 2) I shouted "I can't bear this" in a very dramatic and English manner, much to the amusement of the American Mom in front.

We went on several children's rides which were great fun and we found there was something for everyone from toddler all the way up to over excited adult. Toy Story Mania was my favourite of the children's rides we tried.

There were loads of attractions that didn't include doing loop the loop in the dark or screaming louder than you knew you could. For instance, you could take a tour of Minnie's house, go on safari, play on a playground, have a chat with Crush from Finding Nemo or watch one of many shows ... Mickey's Philharmonic, Finding Nemo the Musical, Muppet Show, American Idol to name but a few.

What I wasn't expecting was to be mesmerised by the magical aspect of everything. Seeing children's faces as they ate their breakfast and turned to find Mickey tapping them on their shoulder almost reduced most of us to tears (English Mum).

The fireworks ... oh the fireworks ... I don't even think I can't even describe them to do them justice. Awesome, amazing, fanbloodytastic? Especially the Wishes show in the Magical Kingdom ... seeing Cinderella's castle lit up at night with fireworks blasting above, Tinkerbell flying out of the castle window and the music playing .... I don't do emotional, but I did that night. I may have welled up a little (though not as much as Linda).

I had such a fantastic time and I'm an adult (of sorts). How can I not let my beautiful children, lights of my life, experience this magic whilst they are still young enough to believe?!

My only concern would be that once you've holidayed at Walt Disney World with your children nothing else could ever live up to it! When I take them, the following year, to a campsite in the Lakes with an adventure playground and communal facilities they'll be wondering, as I will, where the self flushing toilets, fireworks and Mickey ears are.

Abandon Ship

Whilst I was getting the 3 year old out of the bath last night I heard the following being shouted downstairs ...


Tuesday 5 May 2009

Roll Up Roll Up ... Lego Duplo Giveaway

Some lovely people have sent me a couple of boxes of Lego Duplo for my fab readers!

Leave a comment if you'd like to be entered. On Tuesday 12 May at approximately 4pm (give me chance to get home from work will you) my independent adjudicators (the 3 and 4 year old) will pick two people at random out of a hat ... there will be photographic evidence.

Can't say fairer than that.

The competition is open to residents of the UK (sorry everyone else) and the only thing I ask is that you give honest feedback about the product on the Lego Duplo website once your child has used it.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

12 May - So the independent adjudicators took a break from eating their apples and delved intoo the Minnie Mouse ears hat of names.

The Legu Duplo Giveaway Winners are ...

Audrey and Katherine! Well done, your Lego Duplo will be winging it's way to you asap!

If it’s not one thing it’s another.

This month’s ‘thing’ is that our landlady called the day before I went to Walt Disney World, Florida to say she’s decided to sell our house. We have lived here for almost three years and thought we’d be here for at least one more. She said we could stay … bottom lip quivering.

So, this morning I have been on the house trail. Because we need something with four bedrooms it is proving difficult. Today we have seen three.

Dream Home … The first house was absolutely beautiful with loads of period features and five bedrooms. There is a nice garden to the front, a large yard perfect for Barbie and Spiderman bikes at the back, two minutes from the train station and ten minutes from the 4 year olds school. The problem: it is slightly more than we are paying for this, plus someone else is interested and can move in before us.

Bunga Bunga … There is a house that backs onto ours. Over the fence and from the outside it is splendid with a huge garden complete with small stream running through it. The removal costs would be minimal as we would just pass things back and forth over the fence. Husband would be able to check on the progress of his cabbages and peas with the possibility of taking them with him. Appearances can be deceptive though, especially in this case. Everything is botched and falling apart. I couldn’t swing a rabbit in the bedrooms for fitted wardrobes … if I had a rabbit that is.

Ukrainian Topsy Turvy Bunga Bunga… The third house, owned by a lovely Ukrainian man had the right amount of bedrooms but was an upside down house, with all living space on the upper floor. It was very strange, an upside down bungalow. The lovely Ukrainian man told us that he was moving to the Ukraine to die … which was nice. I don’t think he meant straight away, more of an “I was born there and I shall die there” way.

Elephantitis, auras, chuntering and narcolepsy

The wonderful Sarah (Disney Head of PR for the UK) looked after us all week and it was only when she left us at Orlando airport that it was apparent how much we had relied upon her. After Linda got a bottle of champagne confiscated at bag scanning we got onto the wrong monorail. Poor lost bloggers.

There was no Premium Economy upgrade this time. Jane checked our auras whilst we waited to be called for boarding. We were all fine apart from English Mum whose aura was depleted. At least she had one though. No aura, no fly.

Further integration into normal life followed when I stood back aghast that the toilets at the airport were not self flushing and the taps were not sensor led. We had been spoilt.

The flight was as expected … chewy beef stew, watching films with one working headphone (at one point I thought I may have gone deaf in one ear due to the screaming on the rollerccoasters), a breakfast muffin which had runny cheese covering its innards. The cheese had a consistency I have never experienced before and hopefully will never again.

When we reached Gatwick I said goodbye to my six new friends. It was a sad moment. We had experienced so much in our week away and I felt bereft as I wandered aimlessly round the South Terminal. Who would make me laugh now?

The fatigue slowly crept up. I had five hours to waste and I could have slept standing up. I felt like a cross between Tom Hanks in The Terminal and a zombie in Night of the Living Dead.

As I slowly lost the will to live the music in the terminal got more bizarre. It swung from plinky plonky show tunes to suicide inducing Russian love ballads. I considered falling asleep on a bench but panicked that I would never wake and miss my flight.

Every time I thought of my children I got teary. At times I heard Linda’s chuntering or Lulu laughing. Of course I was hallucinating.

Finally I got my flight. It was pain free and I slept in a bobbing head fashion on and off. I think the woman next to me thought I had narcolepsy.

In desperate anticipation of seeing my children I got my 100th and final wind. My bag couldn’t come out on the conveyor belt fast enough and I nearly sprinted through arrivals.

The 4 year old clung to me for dear life, the 3 year old looked at me all red cheeked and asked for his present. I wondered if he had missed me as much as his sister, but then he grabbed my hand and didn’t let go until we reached the car.

When we got home and the children had stroked all their presents and the 4 year old had stared at me repeatedly (just checking I was really back) I put them to bed and realised just how much I had missed their cuddles and reading to them at night.

I lay on the sofa, ate pizza and admired my swollen ankles. I looked like I had elephantitis. I went to bed at 8.45 and only woke in the middle of the night when husband came to bed. I was having a beautiful Disney dream … all sparkly and awesome.

Husband has been brilliant. Apart from doing a sterling job with the children he let me waffle on all the way back from the airport (a bit like the irritating 'when I was at band camp' girl from American Pie), let me sleep in this morning and has brought me a cup of tea. The only problem I have now is weaning the children off midget gems.

This morning I am walking around as if I have pooed myself. I haven't but I am aching all over. It's either whiplash or my body has seized up because I have stopped walking everywhere at top speed. Either way I wish I could have another swedish massage.

Things I have thought about this morning and laughed to myself in a slightly crazy manner about;

Linda sending a text message accidentally telling people she had tried crack for the first time, when in fact she was eating crab

Seeing the Wishes firework show and getting teary – I don’t do emotional

The US blogger uber mummy who kept asking us to say ‘brilliant’ and ‘lovely’

Linda’s synopsis of Gran Torino on our return flight … grumpy bigoted bugger … chunter … Chinese girl … chunter … next door neighbour … chunter … bloody dead …. Chunter … crap.

The best beef I’ve EVER tasted at Citricos

Travelling Premium Economy and bonding with Jane over hot towels, Woody Allen and the skymap

Seeing Cinderella’s castle for the first time which filled me with joy

Mr Incredible doing press ups at the Move it Shake it Celebrate it street party – I think I fell in love momentarily with a cartoon character

Erica squeezing my arm so hard on Dinosaur that I have a bruise

The Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller rollercoaster which was the by far the best and English Mum confessing as we were about to step onto it that this was her 'first time' in a laid back manner

Saturday 2 May 2009

I fell asleep and started snoring ...

I thought I’d better post in case you thought I’d fallen in love with Mickey and run off into the sunset. I am still alive and … well … I just don’t have time to blog. Until I return next week I’ll just have to give you bits and bobs.

The Grand Floridian Spa

I had never had a spa experience before … or a proper massage … unless you call sitting on the living room floor whilst husband rubs my shoulders then declares he’s finished when he gets bored … until yesterday where I had a Swedish massage at the Grand Floridian.

I was more nervous before my massage than I was in the queue for any of the rides. I just didn’t know what to expect. How naked would I have to be?

After changing into a robe I sat in the luxury waiting area. I overheard snippets of conversations … “She pummeled my boobs” … “I fell asleep and started snoring” … “what if I fart?” and the panic rose

Terrified that a Russian shot putter would open the door, crack her knuckles and shout my name in a very deep voice then give me a fireman’s lift to the treatment room I shuddered in my robe.

As with all these things I needn’t have worried. I got little Lisa, a lovely lady who put me instantly at ease, rubbed away my aches and pains for 50 minutes and made me feel pampered.

Just for the record I can vouch that there was no snoring, farting or pummeling of boobs.

Thursday 30 April 2009

Mum’s on a Walt Disney Jolly - By Dad

OK. So the subtlety of the wife's request for a UK view of ‘Mum’s on a Walt Disney Jolly’ wasn't wasted; but she could just have asked outright.

It is, I’ve come to learn over a decade or so, the way the wife likes to handle things; I guess she thought I might have a lot on my plate (obviously not as much as she had on her first trip to a US restaurant), so we’ll move on.

EDIT – to say the ‘official’ request has arrived as I type.

MWDJ – Day 1

Dad – Wide awake at 3am as wife departs the house. Sleep. Rudely awoken at 06:58am as 3yr launches himself alongside. 4 yr old floats in for cuddles 07:35. Breakfast, no drama. Kids to school; no fuss. Work. Collect kids from school. Feed one midget gem each child (to garner brownie points). Play in garden. Make evening meal. Illustrate chart slash timeline for Mums return from MWDJ. Kids bathed, read to and counting sheep by 19:57. Pop goes the cork. Relax, wondering what exactly the plastic thing is that turns the channel over on the TV. Am I allowed to use it? And there’s me thinking the TV was permatuned into ShipwreckedPeterandHugeBoobsApprenticeBritainsnexttoptwaddle.

Current state of mind – I’ve just coughed up a lung and pierced an ear drum, do I have Swine Flu; I hate negotiating; I am very t.i.r.e.d.; why does it take 6 days to get a doctors appt.

The kids are missing mum for sure, but their behaviour has been totally awesome, man.

The boy has trouble comprehending distances and still thinks mum will be nipping in with his present anytime soon. Hence the chart. He’s happy, sleeping well and enjoys jumping into bed with Dad for half an hour before nipping off to wake his sister.

He's like, totally enjoying driving daddies car, during the wait between dropping his sister at school and starting pre-school.

Boy’s current state of mind – where’s my present; can I have a midget gem; look dad ‘T’ for Thomas.

The Girl is oft taking the role of doting older sibling, looking after her brother and counselling him regularly. It seems to be working, so good on her. She’s looking forward to feeding the lambs at her Aunt and Uncle’s house this afternoon. The hoped for advance up the non hair pulling chart has not materialised, to the extent her teacher has finally spotted her doing it. She now skips everywhere. I mean everywhere. She's roped in numerous small children, one adult guy wearing a gastly shiny suit, our dog thrice and a waste bin in the school yard. Maybe she's practising for a Rodeo at the Timber Creek Ranch.

Girl’s current state of mind – do we live in Great England; look, I can skip like a woodpecker on speed; can I have a Guinea Pig and a Lamb for my birthday; why didn't mummy meet Mickey Mouse instead of Minne, he's much better.

Current family state of mind - we all miss mummy lots (even though the house is much tidier).

Have a nice day y'all.

The Husband

Day Two - Breakfast With Goofy and Typhoon Lagoon

The difference between waking early at home and waking early here is that when I wake at home I have to get up and service the children. Here I can blog, email people and take my time getting ready.

Yesterday in the excitement of waking early and seeing the view out of the window I forgot where I was momentarily and whipping open the curtains to survey the scene forgot that I was on the ground floor and only wearing my big pants. Luckily the gardener who was 2 metres from my window was facing the other way and I quickly whipped shut the curtains again.

Breakfast was a bit ‘wow’ and ‘ooh’. Not only was the food amazing (remember your American accent folks) but we shared it with Minnie, Goofy and Donald. Watching the children’s faces as they turned to find a character tapping them on the shoulder was a bit special. The breakfast itself was really tasty and the choice was immense … Mickey shaped waffles, yoghurt and toppings, cereal, pastries and the full bacon, sausage, eggs and … asparagus which was a novelty.

After breakfast I got my sunglasses out of my bag to find that them in two parts. Short of using a plaster to fix them and looking like a bit of a tit I bought some new ones in the hotel shop … I held off buying some Hannah Montana sunglasses and opted for some plain ones with Walt Disney World resort in teeny tiny letters on them. The shop stocks every conceivable product including a scratch and sniff nightie. I scratched, I sniffed and nothing. I have it on good authority it was supposed to smell of chocolate. I may try again this morning.

After breakfast we had a tour of Typhoon Lagoon one of two water parks. I started to feel a bit warm and fuzzy as I watched children snorkeling with sharks and tropical fish. An enthusiastic lady called Sindy showed us round. There was a HUGE pool with a tidal wave every 90 seconds. Sindy explained their procedures for lost children which is very thorough and well thought out. They prefer to call it ‘lost parents’ … the child is taken to an area with games and waits until their parent who is probably chilling on the lazy river remembers they have a child, panics and is claimed by that child.

There are lots of shady areas to get out of the sun and plenty of refreshments including free water fountains. The park caters for all ages and the slides range from the super fast 40mph ‘lose your swimsuit up your bottom’ slides to the more sedate lazy river. There are some areas specifically for small children and some of the slides have no height restrictions.

I could feel the Disney effect taking hold. In fact some of my platelets were beginning to grow Mickey ears.

More to come ... Aerosmith Rock 'n' Roller, Toy Story Mania and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Plus 7 UK Bloggers testing cocktails ends in crying ... tears of laughter of course

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Day One - Fatigue, an Armadillo and Towel Origami

I was rudely awoken at 3am. I kissed my sleeping children and my coughing husband and got going.

The flight to Gatwick was fairly uneventful bar the breakfast primed to scald and an obscene looking sausage.

At Gatwick I met my fellow bloggers … six lovely ladies. We checked in and discovered to our excitement that we’d been upgraded to premium economy.

We waited in the V Lounge which is superbly kitted out for both adults and children. Video games for big kids, soft play and Duplo for the littlies. Every pastry you could imagine and a variety of drinks. It was a great start to our trip and very relaxing.

On entering the plane I wanted to start shrieking like an excited child. “There are stairs, there are stairs”. I have never been on a plane with stairs, but then I’ve never done a long haul flight.

As we had been upgraded we had extra leg room which is always a bonus when you are an Amazonian Tree Dweller. I had a screen for films, games and in-flight info. The in-flight info was a double edged sword and somewhat irritating for someone as impatient as me. I did want to know where we were on a little map, but when it told me that we still had 2636 miles and 5 hours to go was my cup half full or half empty?

I have suffered severe sleep deprivation before, after all I have two small children who think that sleep is for the weak. Today was something else. Having not slept much the night before for fear of not waking in time for my flight it meant that I started on the wrong foot. By the time we were on our flight I was very tired. I tried to sleep. I pride myself on being able to sleep anywhere, however I couldn’t find the right position and I was scared of missing something.

When I say our cabin crew were efficient … I mean it. Within ten minutes of sitting down we were offered a hot towel. Now I’ve never quite got this hot towel business but I embraced it … but I still don’t get it. Then there were drinks. For the first time ever I declined the champagne and opted for the orange juice. Then there was lunch … lunch was nice. King prawns in chilli, a rock hard roll and a Gu chocolate pot. Before we got our meal I was slightly sceptical about how juicy a prawn can be at 40,000 feet but I wasn’t disappointed. Then there was the flight pack, which had amongst other things some purple and lime socks in it, which I wore with pride. Then there was the Hagan Daaz …by the time this arrived my skin was so dry that I didn’t know whether to smear it on my face or eat it. Sense took over and I devoured it whilst watching a film. Then there was the fruit bowl, then there was more drinks, then there was a sandwich, a cheesy one which name escapes me ... cheesy dream, cheesy surprise … I can’t remember but it repeated on me for four hours.

Then we were there. Out 10ish hour flight was over. By the time we got to immigration I was delirious with fatigue and started giggling at everything. Immigration although intimidating to start with was fine. I had to use a Star Trek style fingerprint machine and the man behind the desk rewarded me with each swipe of fingers by saying “Atta Girl” which only made me even more hysterical. I was asked if I had any fruit or vegetables about my person or in my bag and whether I had been around livestock in the last week. I wanted to tell him I had a sheep in my hand luggage and I was packing courgettes, but this would have been foolish, right?

Having rid my head of thoughts of swine flu and deleting text messages from my sister about avoiding Mexican’s we were greeted by a fellow traveller putting on a surgical mask. I now wished I had visited Focus Do It All to purchase a mask … one of those ones used when sanding floors.

We were greeted by the lovely Sarah from Disney and taken to Walt Disney World. I cried most of the way there in hysterical laughter and although tired was not hallucinating when I saw an armadillo about to cross the road and a man driving a large vehicle with no hands on the wheel … no he was too busy eating what looked like a bowl of cereal.

We went out for a meal to the Flying Fish CafĂ© … the food was superb. I was really struggling to stay awake and at one point wanted to lie on the floor of the restaurant. Although it was only 10pm my body was wondering why it was still eating at 3am. Crab cakes and red snapper mmmmmmm.

My room is amazing. Amazing is going to be the word of the week, although I will try to find some alternatives for variety. Although when I say amazing you have to say it in your head in an American accent.

The room overlooks a swimming pool, which has a white sandy beach and is awash with towel origami. There was one set in a Mickey Mouse head shape (photographic evidence to follow). I’ve never heard of towel origami before and I imagine a maid wearing Mickey ears making hundreds. There’s also a phone next to the toilet with a red flashy light. Because it’s there I feel compelled to ring my sister whilst sat on the toilet … just because I can.

Anyway I must go, lots to do … having breakfast with a surprise guest.

It’s hard not to miss the children when I am surrounded by hundreds of the little blighters but I am told they are being good as gold for the husband and the 3 year old who has no concept of time or distance thinks I’m down the road at the West Yorkshire Disney World and keeps asking where his present is.

I’m trying to get the husband to do a guest post whilst I’m away so you can find out what he and the kids are getting up to whilst I’m away … missing me blah blah pining for me blah blah whilst looking at photos of me longingly blah blah … he may need some more persuading!

Monday 27 April 2009

Show Your Ears and Shut Your Mouth

After having to rush my passport through for Walt Disney World I took a look at the pictures old and new.

Something to note before continuing - I do have eyebrows ... nice, healthy, dark eyebrows. However, the passport office computer decided to give them a wax and reshape ... so much so that in the old photo it looks like there was a waxing accident.

In the old photo I was 20, carefree and smiley. I knew what a lie in was, an afternoon in the pub and staying out past midnight, I didn’t have to share my time amongst several people. I could do what I wanted when I wanted. No responsibility.

In the new photo I am 30. I look sombre. I haven’t had a lie in since 2004, I turn into a pumpkin at 11pm. I have a husband, two kids, a dog and a job. I share my food, though not by choice. I spend my time between peace keeping, endless washing and repeating the same phrases over and over again.

However, pictures can be deceptive.

A few things you may need to know about the new photo.

1) The passport office have a no smile policy. The current advice is to show your ears and shut your mouth.

2) I was sat in the photo booth in the foyer of my local Co-op on a very windy day. The curtain kept wafting up, revealing me trying to do ‘non smiley’ faces and I was hoping that no one I knew would be walking past at that moment.

3) Despite my solemn face, I am one million times happier than I was ten years ago

Thank god I can't find my passport from 20 years ago. I had a mullet and the look of a startled rabbit that the Spanish authorities used to laugh at.


When you read this, if it is indeed Tuesday I shall be impatiently travelling to Florida. Putting all thoughts of swine flu to one side I am getting up at 4am for my good old Dad to chauffer me to the airport. 19 hours later I should arrive in Florida.

I keep having flashbacks to a film I watched circa 1990 where a family travel to Walt Disney World and lose their suitcases ... they spend their holiday wearing a combination of Disney themed items. I am finding this thought horrifying, however, the more I think about it the more I am convinced it will happen.

Daft, Blonde, Excited and Impatient

I've been tagged by A Modern Mother so now you have to know the following, whether you want to or not!

1. What are your current obsessions?
Chocolate Orange Bourneville, pear cider, blogging (obviously) and The Apprentice

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Jeans, jeans or jeans

3. Last dream you had?
I was swimming in a pool full of kitchen utensils ... work that one out!

4. Last thing you bought?
Suncream for my impending Walt Disney World trip

5. What are you listening to?
Right now I'm listening to people talking in the office, phones ringing and the tippy tappy of my keyboard

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be?
Annapurna, the Hindu goddess of food .. just because I like it, not because I'm good at it!

7. Favourite holiday spots?
Cancale in France, Barcelona and Scotland

8. Reading right now?
Just finished White Tiger which took me forever to read. I only read before bed and end up nodding off. Looking forward to the airport bookshops tomorrow!

9. Four words to describe yourself.
Daft, Blonde, Excited and Impatient

10. Guilty pleasure?
Crap TV ... I like nothing more than putting the kids to bed, the husband going out to five a side and lying on the sofa watching rubbish.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak?
My sister

12. Favourite spring thing to do?
Picnic in the park, plus Spring signals the start of camping season

13. Planning to travel to next?
Walt Disney World, Florida ... tomorrow!

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately?
Husband's indian fishcakes with tomato rice. I salivate when I think about it.

15. When did you last get tipsy?
Friday night at Teacher Friend Mother of Three's secret squirrel birthday meal

16. Favourite ever film?
It really does depend what mood I'm in ... Today, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

17. Care to share some wisdom?
If only ...

18. Song you can't get out of your head?
Mamma Mia - it's on a loop in our house

19. Thing you are looking forward to?
Both going to Walt Disney World and coming back from Walt Disney World and seeing the family

Rules of the meme. Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 8 people.

You're it:

Caution ... Woman At Work


Not Waving But Drowning

Some Mothers Do Ave Em

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Ali Blah Blah

Under the Influence

Four Down Mum To Go

Thursday 23 April 2009

Obviously doh ...

We arrived at school early on Friday and chose to sit in the car rather than wait in the chilly playground.

The 4 year old's school is nestled in a residential area.

A man pulled up outside his house and released not one, not two, not three ... but four dogs from the boot of his car after their early morning outing.

One of the dogs was missing a limb.

Me - "That dog only has three legs"

She looks up from her book, looks at the dog and says matter of factly;

4 year old - "Yes, the other one dropped off"

... and continues looking at her book.

Note to self - Teach children the art of people watching by stealth

On Tuesday we went to the park after school to try and dissolve any'post Easter/after school' arguments and whining. The idea being the kids would have a pinic tea in the sunshine and run wild on the adventure playground.

We are sat at the traffic lights, 4 year old in the front, 3 year old in the back.

4 year old - "Mummy, look at that TINY Grandma, look, look."

3 year old - "Where, where?"

I can see in my mirror that the 3 year old is actually considering taking off his seatbelt for a better look. I give him 'the glare' and he reconsiders and cranes his neck to see.

In order for me to look I have to lean really far forward to look at the woman in the passenger seat of the car next to us.

It's true, the woman in the passenger seat of the car next to us is in fact the TINIEST Grandma I have ever seen.

I look at the lady driver, our eyes meet. I look away quickly, embarrassed that I have been caught out staring at her TINY Grandma. I look in the opposite direction willing the lights to change.

Me - "Really, you mustn't stare"

3 year old - "I don't like that TINY Grandma"

Me - "Sit back and stop staring both of you!"

4 year old - "But she is soooo TINY, look, look"

Me - "Stop staring!"

I imagine the conversation in the other car ...

Woman in other car - "What is wrong with that child? She's bouncing about, shouting and staring at us. I bet the mother has been giving them too much sugar."

TINY Grandma - "Why is the one in the back with the big hair scowling at me?"

Woman in other car - "... and look, their mother is just ignoring them. Poor children"

TINY Grandma - "What chance have they got?"

Note to self - Teach children the art of people watching by stealth

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Popping the corn ...

Teacher Friend Mother of Three's threw a party a few weeks ago.

All the kids were sat round eating their party tea and a bowl of popcorn was passed round.

The 3 year old and his friend were sat at a lower table and missed out.

3 year olds friend - "Can I have some c*ckp*rn please?"

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I only wear big pants to bed ...

So, the trip of a lifetime is getting closer.

We have received our itinerary and it's going to be non stop.

Non stop eating, rides, shows (Did you know there is such a thing as Finding Nemo - The Musical?) … early starts. I will be found slumped at the end of the table most mornings with bloodshot eyes and a caffeine drip.

I have started having anxiety dreams which I tend to get before I go away anywhere, with or without the children. This is coupled with anxiety filled wittering when I am left to think alone for too long. The good news is that the anxiety ends on the day of travel, which is good news for my fellow travellers.

I realised the anxiety levels were rising last night when the husband was engrossed in his book. I lay next to him firing ridiculous questions about time zones, hair straighteners and adaptor plugs.

After getting little response I lay there having conversations with myself, in my head of course;

Do I take the ipod? The ipod, thing of beauty, was a 30th birthday present. It is now a family pet. Can I justify taking it away from my children for my own pleasure? What will they sing to over their cereal? Could they just jam in a freestyle manner to Mamma Mia without music? Will I need to listen to music when no doubt Disney will be piped full of irritating theme tunes. Yes, I need to take the ipod or ear plugs.

Will I be sick on a rollercoaster? I have never been sick on a rollercoaster. Why would I be sick on a rollercoaster?

When I am sick on the rollercoaster will I be sick on one of my new blogging friends?

What do I take on a ten hour flight? I can only stuff so much in the laptop case. Do I need some of those attractive stockings to prevent DVT?

Will I sleepwalk? The last episode of sleepwalking was circa 1996 when I woke up running down the stairs … away from the huge mechanical spider which was trying to eat me.

Will I sleepwalk into the corridor and out of the hotel and be found on a rollercoaster the following morning?

I only wear big pants to bed. Should I buy some pyjamas?

I was busted last week. The 4 year old found out about my solo trip. She was fairly cool about it.

The house was empty and I decided to watch a promotional DVD someone has given me about Walt Disney World, Florida. Having never visited Disney I thought it would give me an overview of what to expect. Just as I was getting into it the house was awash with people. The 4 year old plonked herself down.

4 year old - Oooooh Cinderella

Me - Yes, it is

4 year old - Look at all those children. Is that where we're going?

Me - Well, here's the thing, next week I am going there for 'work'.

4 year old - Without me?

Me - Yes, for 'work'

4 year old - But there are children there.

Me - Yes, but I have to go with other adults, there are no children going

4 year old - OK, but you will get me a photo of Cinderella won't you

Me - Yes, WOW look at that rollercoaster, that's looks fast. I wonder if anyone is ever sick on that one?!

Sunday 19 April 2009

The 4 year old is bonkers ...

The picture above is a tiny percentage of faces the 4 year can pull.

Most of her time is spent on the bottom two rows, although she can swing from top left to bottom right in 0-60 seconds when the mood takes her.

She's turning into a brainbox and would rather spend her time writing and drawing than anything else. She questions everything ... and always wants to be right.

In the 'creative brainbox questioning everything and being right' sense she is very much like her father.

She's developing a wicked sense of humour and she LOVES chocolate ... which is of course all down to ... ahem ... me.

The 3 year old likes to be with me ...

When I'm getting dressed I get this ...

Just bouncing ... the whole time.

He particularly likes to sit on the toilet whilst I shower. Sometimes he'll pull up the step he uses to brush his teeth at the sink and sit right next to the shower door.

Just ... sitting ... being as one ... as I wash my hair.

Sometimes I have to draw smiley faces in the steam on the shower door, more for my own amusement than his.

Next week (did I tell you I'm going to Walt Disney World, Florida?) I will relish my audience free showers ...

Then, towards the end of my week away I will miss wiping the steam away and seeing this

Friday 17 April 2009

Sniffing and Squeezing The Fruit and Vegetables

I had a rare opportunity to visit the supermarket after work last week, on the way to pick up the children from Auntie K's.

I don't often go to the supermarket and use online shopping. Less stressful but fairly boring as I end up ordering the same stuff every week.

I revelled in wandering round sniffing and squeezing the fruit and vegetables, looking at all the new products and committing them to memory for my next online shop.

I am an avid people watcher. In fact, avid doesn't quite cover it ... I LOVE watching people ... their behaviour, interaction, foibles, habits.

I wandered with my trolley and watched the frazzled lady with her three children hanging off the trolley arguing over a Fruit Shoot; The man with his meal for one and beer perusing the condom and lubricants shelf; The old couple looking at stain removers.

Old Lady - Pointing "Is it the same as that one?"

Old Man - "I don't know I haven't brought my reading glasses, I can't see what it says"

Old Lady - In loud whisper "Does it remove large areas of blood?"

The Old Man looked at his wife in horror and then at me, at which point I scurried off to peruse the cake aisle and see what else the 'meal for one man' had put in his basket.

Thursday 16 April 2009

Love Me Tender

Me - "I love you"

3 year old - "I love me too!"

Breakfast at Ariel's ...

So, I told you I was going away (Travel and relaxation? In the same sentence?) and up until today I couldn't tell you where.

Now I can spill ... I'm going to Walt Disney World, Florida to do a parent review ... without children or husband ... A.L.O.N.E

... which is strictly not true, because I'm going away with some other fantastic Mummy bloggers.

My initial reaction to spending 5 nights sans enfant was one of absolute wild hysteria. That is 'Hooooray, uninterrupted sleep hysteria' and not 'rocking back and forth how will they cope without me? hysteria'.

Now it has actually sunk in I am swinging from Hooray hysteria to 'how will I cope without them?' hysteria.

I haven't told the children yet, mainly because they wouldn't really have any comprehension of where it is and what it is that I'm doing ... unless of course I mentioned to the 4 year old that I'm having breakfast at Ariel's ... which of course I won't, for fear of finding her in my luggage on arrival at Orlando airport.

I spent Saturday driving to Liverpool to renew my passport (Oh, how I have aged in ten years). I have no sense of direction but was pretty confident that with optimistic thoughts and a bit of sunshine I'd find it.

My Dad heard that I was going alone and told me in no uncertain terms he would be my navigator. This was fortunate. Apart from the fact that my sister pointed out over the weekend I drive like Cruella de Vil ... ten minutes into our journey I hadn't a clue which way to go!

The reason I'm doing this review is thanks to these people;


Go along and register.

Hopefully the next review trip won't be a ten hour coach trip with children!

Smug? Me? Nah!

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Wee Parts One, Two and Loving the Tadpoles

Wee Part One

We live five minutes drive from lots of country lanes. Some of these country lanes have bumps, the sort that make your stomach lurch as you dip down. We call these 'wheeeeeeeees', which is the noise we scream as we fly over the them.

We have a particular favourite on the back road to Ilkley. The faster you go the better the 'wheeeeeeeee'.

The 4 year old informed me today that she knows how to tell a bad 'wheeeeeeeee' from a good 'wheeeeeeeee'.

4 year old - "A good wheeeeeeeee makes me do a little wee".

Wee Part Two

We spent most of Easter weekend with my sister, her family and some of her friends who had come down for the week from Scotland.

The friends from Scotland have a daughter who is four and got on famously with my 4 year old. After their first day together they declared themselves BFF.

The Scottish four year old is … well … Scottish and instead of using the word 'small' uses the word 'wee'. As my Dad, my aunt, uncle, cousins and my grandparents are Scottish it is something I give no thought to.

The 4 year old however has given it as much thought as possible.

4 year old - "Why does [the Scottish four year old] say 'a wee dog/a wee burp/a wee play/a wee boy"?

Me - "Scottish people use the word 'wee' for 'small'.

4 year old - "But if a Scottish person does a small wee, is it a wee wee"

Me - "I suppose so, yes"

4 year old - "… and if a Scottish person does a small poo is it a wee poo?" looks at me and sniggers

Me - sighing "I suppose so, yes"

This conversation I'm sure would have gone on ... and on ... and on had she not been in the car clutching an ice cream tub full of tadpoles which had been collected from Auntie K's pond ... to which she kept whispering "I love you".