Friday, February 26, 2010

You can't tell me that all of the good books have been written....

This morning I was reading over my friends' Facebook updates and saw one friend reference 'Saving Grace' by Ciara Geraghty - which I've not read yet, but which I really want to.
Or should that be wanted to.
I read the blurb - woman in relationship sleeps with another man, things go tits up - and my heart sank. Because 'It's to Be Perfect' features a very strong "woman in relationship sleeps with another man and things go tits up" storyline.
Of course the subject of infidelity is not new to fiction and certainly not new to women's fiction but I did feel like banging my head, repeatedly, off the desk.
I loved writing IGTBP. I had so much fun with it. It was perhaps one of the most joyous, words flowing onto the pages writing experience of my career so far.

This is something we writers come up against time and time again - the quest for originality - and while I know that both my agent (who also happens to represent Ciara Geraghty) and my publishers are VERY excited about the new book (as am I) I do feel a little deflated.

I suppose I am going to have accept that there are no real new ideas out there and hope that Frank Carson was right when he said "It's the way I tell 'em".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Do you like it?

Isn't it just lovely? (if we ignore the wee 'Bestelling' error as this was hot from the designers)
This is the start of a whole new look for my books and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they are going to do with book four 'It's Got to be Perfect'.
Oh, and for those who wondered - the baby who does not sleep went back to her usual behaviour last night. She did however, creep around me a bit by offering loads of cuddles and saying "aaaaawww, aaaaaww" as she did so.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday was an uncharacteristically good day

First of all when I dressed for work, my skirt waistband felt looser. This made me feel good - not twig like or anything but good.
Second of all when I went to the dreaded weigh in in Weight Watchers I was delighted to discover I have shed 3lbs. I did have to resist the urge to a post weigh splurge - but I did. I had some toast with Low Low cheese when I got home (within my points) and it was lovely.
Thirdly of all, I wrote about 750 words which was lovely.
Fourthly I have decided on a working title for book five which until further notice will be known as 'The 30 Something Crisis Club'.
And finally....

Drum roll please....


I thank you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Duhn duhn duhhhhhnnnn

It's weigh in night tonight.
I feel less panicky today than I did last week but more panicky than I did the week before. (If that makes any sense at all).
I have been good as gold. Like seriously I should get a sticker from the teacher and a big smiley face drawn on my tracker. I have not over eaten at ALL. Not even once. I have lived on non-fat yoghurt, loads of veg, lean meats, new potatoes and ham salad sandwiches. Everything I have eaten - even if just a bite of the baby's dinner to check it has cooled - has been pointed and tracked.
If I've bitten it, I've written it.

My clothes feel looser. My waistbands have a little more give.
But, a sneaky pre-weigh in stand on the scales yesterday in my mum's revealed a zero weight loss.

Of course I have to make sure that when I do my official weigh in I'm in the same clothes, at the same time of day and on the same scales (eg tonight at my first full meeting) but I'm preparing myself for not having a loss and trying to sort it in my head that the weight loss will come. If my clothes feel looser already - the weight loss has to come.

Now I realise I am becoming a little bit of a diet bore - this will wear off. But when I went shopping yesterday and heard the dulcet tones of  Mika's 'Big Girl You Are Beautiful' blasting around the shop's music system I wanted to scream "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!" in a very loonified way.

Yes of course larger ladies can be beautiful but me? No I don't feel it. I can't actually remember the last time I felt beautiful in anyway and while I know it won't be losing weight which makes me happy maybe it will give me more confidence in myself.

I have spent three years now promoting books and dreading getting my photo taken or going on telly. I never watch anything back that I do. I feel always self conscious. I am always waiting for someone to ask when the baby is due. I go into everything judging myself on my physical appearance even if, maybe, others are not doing so.
I have even convinced myself that being a bloater has really damaged my ability to get on the Late Late or get the same kind of coverage other skinnier, more attractive authors get. (This is nothing to do with my writing ability, of course... ;) )
I have had to accept that even as an author - someone who creates books in a very solitary way - I need to have a public image and at the moment I do not have one. I am just the fatty old dowdy mammy on the school run who sits her in jammies of an evening writing about skinny, glam women.

So I may fail again this time, or I may succeed but at least I will have tried and before I hit the big 4-0 (which is admittedly 6 years away) I will be happy with myself.

Friday, February 19, 2010

An open letter to Cheryl Cole

Dear Cheryl Cole,
I know you probably read my open letter to Iris Robinson a few weeks ago and felt a little jealous. I know that as you read your Derry Journal over your baps from Doherty’s a mug of tea, you must have thought to yourself: “That one talks sense. I wish she would impart her words of wisdom to me because, quite honestly, I’m in an awful pickle regarding this marriage of mine.”
And you know what love, you are. Much as you have the gumption to tell people to fight for their love and not give up as soon as things get tough, there has to be a time when you hang up your diamond rings, hand back the keys to the fancy car and run as fast as your skinny wee legs can carry you.
Ashley Cole may be your husband, but he is - without a doubt - a rat. He has cheated on you in the past - this much is acknowledged and you know what, you forgave him and you got back together and I kind of hoped it would work out for you. People make mistakes. Certainly I’m of the belief that most people deserve second chances even if I personally would have found it nigh on impossible to forgive my other half having a full on sexual affair with a trampy hairdresser (or anyone for that matter. I’m not tramp-ist or hairdresser-ist).
Still your wedding vows must have meant a lot to you which is something I admire, understand and fully support. More power to your elbow as we would say around here. (Has Nadine ever used that expression? Tell her we said hello by the way).
But over the last few months I’ve had rather mixed feelings about you Cheryl. I quite enjoyed that ‘Fight For This Love’ song even if it does have the ability to get stuck in your brain and never leave. I was also quite a fan of the X-Factor (although Joe McElderry shouldn’t have won in my opinion).
I have liked watching your star in ascension. The thing is, Cheryl, you have come an awful long way from being the wee lassie who auditioned alongside our Nadine for Popstars: The Rivals. You have transformed yourself into quite the looker and indeed quite the successful business person.
Forgive me for saying this, but there is a part of me (Either the part that struggles to find clothes which fit properly or the part of me with a secret crush on Simon Cowell) which kind of hates you.
I know that is a very strong word and I don’t really mean it. Maybe envy would be a better way to describe how I feel.
Except, of course, when it comes to you and Ashley. Cheryl, pet, there has to be a time when you realise that some things are not worth having and certainly not worth fighting for. This is that time.
Your man, allegedly, sent some dodgy pictures of himself in his pants to a mystery blonde woman. Allegedly, he has slept with her. Now, this is where you have to show some inner strength.
I know you may love him, and he may love you but he does not respect you. Not one ounce. In fact he treats you with utter disdain and has humiliated you in the public eye time and time again for no good reason.
Let’s face it Cheryl, Ashley has it all. A great career, wadges of money, a beautiful wife and yet it’s not enough for him. This is not down to any failing on your part - this down to him being a greedy and selfish article. End of.
But you risk losing the respect of the nation if you keep letting him treat you like that. Sure you might not be able to control what he gets up to in fancy hotels with blonde women, but what you can control is how you deal with it.
You are supposed to be a role model to hoardes of young girls who look to you as a successful young woman but what message are you giving them if you let him tramp all over you and time and time again? You are telling them he is somehow more important than you and that you don’t deserve to be treated better. Shocking, isn’t it?
Now I know all this might sound a bit harsh but he is only a man Cheryl. He is famous for nothing more than kicking a ball around a field and being a cad (being as this is a family paper I can not say what I really think of him). You, love, can do much better.
So forget about fighting for this love - fight for yourself and your own self respect. Go on, we are standing behind you every step of the way.
Much love,


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Did you ever get one of those nights?

Wednesday nights are kind of precious to me. I like to get in (around 6pm usually), have a little time with the kids, having something to eat and settle down at 8pm to ogle at Mr Schuster in Glee on TV3.
What more could a girl want?

Last night though - well that was a bit different.
I got home at six and the husband had not done any housework during the day. Now I don't expect him to be Mrs Mop, but he works from home and it wouldn't have hurt to run the dishes under the tap or give the floors a quick hoover.
I went into what is commonly known as "sreaming harpee mode". The baby who never sleeps was cranky and sick. The boy was hyper. The husband was sat at his desk - a circle of papers strewn around him as if a branch of Eason had exploded on his chair. I had homework to do. I had a baby to soothe. There was washing to be hung and beds to be made, packed lunches to be prepared and after that I wanted to eat something.
Day three on Weight Watchers and while I'm coping, I find that by meal times I am ravenous to the point of wanting to faint from hunger.
I washed up, brushed the floors, cuddled the baby, made the beds, did the boy's homework with him, hung out the washing and put some new potatoes onto steam.
The husband, who was due to go out, then put the baby to bed and headed on his way as I shoved the hastily prepared repast down my throat.
The baby did not go to sleep. The baby was awake. The baby needed Calpol. So I gave her it - but she still randomly cried screamed for half an hour on and off until she decided she just wanted to play.
It was 8.15pm. Glee had started. Was I was ogling Mr Schuster? No. I was changing the baby's jammies as she had drooled all over them with the damn persistant teething that never stops.
Eventually, at 8.45pm, she went to sleep. I came down stairs and washed up again (the dishes dirty themselves in my house, I swear) and was just sitting down in front of the TV  (after doing the bedtime routine with the boy) when the baby woke again. And screamed.
And screamed.
And screamed.
The boy woke. I had a headache. I gave her Nurofen.
She went back to sleep.
For five minutes.
Then she woke again, and screamed, and screamed and screamed.
And thus was the pattern all night.
The husband decided to sleep in beside the boy while I nursed the baby in our bed. At 4.15am, aware that I had a 9 hour day ahead of me in work I demanded the right to at least three hours sleep.
The boy came into the bed beside me. The baby was nursed by her daddy who then proceeded to put her in Joseph's bed with him.
The bed broke.
Like properly collapsed.
It is a new bed.
It is obviously a crap bed.
A quick inspection, beneath sleepy eyelids revealed it had been held together by the smallest of pins and the flimsiest of balsa wood. I had thought this would be sufficient for a six year old - but I guess not.
The baby was plonked on top of me, where she screamed and screamed and screamed and the boy woke up.
Eventually the husband proved his worth and took the baby downstairs while I tried my best to get the boy back to sleep and managed a full two hours uninterrupted sleep.
It is entirely possible that today I may fall asleep at my desk.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have the DTs

No caffeine in almost 48 hours.
A day and a half of healthy, loads of veg eating.

I am a shambling wreck my desk but I will not give in to the lure of caffeine. I shall fight the urge with every part of my body and I will be strong. Even if I fall asleep over my desk - which is not beyond the realms of possibility. In fact, given the droopiness of my eyelids and the easiness in which I start to snore while still awake, I think it is entirely possible.

But I've set myself some goals should I make it through the first 6 weeks of this experience I shall get my heair highlighted and buy new glasses. I shall treat myself to a pampering session the like of which no one has ever known.
As for WeightWatchers - I finished yesterday with enough points left over to save for a glass of wine at the weekend. Now that, my friends, is progress.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'That' section from Rainy Days and Tuesdays

... where Grace goes to a weightloss class as part of a bid to have her life transformed for the glossy mag she works for 'Northern People'.

I’m going to stand on the scales and Liam is going to take a picture (without looking at the result!) and my humiliation will be done and dusted for another day. The thing is, though, that I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. I have barely eaten a bite all day as if hoping my good intentions would be enough to shift an excess couple of stone of my body before stepping on the scales.

I’m wearing light cotton trousers and a T-shirt. I have flip flops on, and I have even declined to wear an underwired bra just in case it adds to my weight. I am more hungry than I have ever been in my life- my treat size Mars Bar going untouched in my lunch box today.

When Daisy phoned to say she would be late I’m sure I grunted something indecipherable down the phone to her in return. Seems one of her charge’s parents was running late and she couldn’t exactly leave little Katie to wait outside Happy Days on her own now could she? In my pre-weigh in rage and panic I thought Daisy was being entirely unreasonable to put the needs of a four year above those of her oldest, dearest, fattest pal!

Now my panic has switched to the silent variety, whereby I am in danger of chewing my nails, complete with fingers and most of my hands off, with nerves and I have broken out in a rather unattractive sweat- which is doing absolutely nothing for the make up I have caked on for my photoshoot. I seriously contemplate getting up and walking out, but then I would be falling at the first hurdle- letting Lollipop Louise, who had never needed to diet in her whole entire life, get one of over on me. Oh no, I must be strong- I’m in this for the long haul.

The door opens and I know Charlotte has arrived. I have heard much about Charlotte in recent years. I have even interviewed her over the phone in my Health and Beauty Editor days but I have never met her. She has a certain celebrity status in Derry. She is the woman who will help you lose weight, who will stick with you through thick and thin (literally) and who knows everything there could ever be to know about dropping dress sizes.

I’ve often wondered what she looked like- imagining some Derry version of mad Lizzie from TVam (Showing my age there!)- but instead I’m intrigued when I see a young, fairly normal woman in front of me. Yes, she is thin, but she isn’t gaunt. She looks, dare I say it, healthy and she doesn’t- much to my shock- look me up and down and give me a look which makes me think I am akin to something she has dragged in on the bottom of her shoe.

“You must be Grace,” she trills, shaking my hand firmly. “Louise has told me all about you. Are you ready to change your life?”

In the words of Lofty, the blue digger thing in ‘Bob in the Builder’, I reply: “Yeah, I think so.”

“C’mon then,” she says, “Let’s get you weighed and this picture thingy done before the rest of the class arrive. We don’t want to alert them to your secret mission do we?”

“I guess not,” I mutter, mentally visualising myself as Undercover Elephant- ready to set out on a new mission to find the leaner, slimmer, happier Mrs. Adams- last seen circa 2001.

Liam follows and starts working out lighting and focus and other such things. Charlotte takes her scales out, writes down my personal details on a little purple form, then asks me to stand on the scales and assess the damage.

I think about this for a moment. I can’t remember the last time I weighed myself. I’ve been in denial about my size for so long, it’s really not worth depressing myself by forcing bad news on me. I guess, given the comfort of my waist bands, the extra room I now like in my tops that I’m going to come in about the 14 stone mark. Taking a deep breath, I step on, my nerves jangling as Liam snaps contentedly from the corner. I can’t look down. I cannot bear to see those numbers glaring up at me, so I step off the scales again and take my seat beside Charlotte.

“Well done for making the first move,” she says, congratulating me on getting (or did she say fitting?) through the door to tonight’s meeting. “Right,” she says, “here is the deal. You weigh 15 stone and 5 lbs.”

“What the fuck?” the words jump out of my mouth as quickly as I can think them and my hand flies up to mouth as if in some desperate attempt to push them back in.

“Don’t get annoyed Grace. That is that last time you see that number again. It’s downwards from here on in. I promise.”

At that stage, my face crimson, I sense Liam is still snapping away and I want the ground to open up and swallow me whole- only I’m willing to bet even the ground would get full up before I was properly consumed.

“Do you want to set a goal?” she asks and I think about what I would like. I remember being 11 stone just before the wedding and feeling fabulous so I tell her to put that down on my card- ignoring the fact that I would need to four stone and five pounds to reach that goal (61lbs if you want to think of it that way- 122 packets of sausages).

So I went ....

And the panic was there. I sat outside in my car, in the pouring rain and felt my heart thunder.
You would have thought I was headed for the green mile, not the weighing scales.
My two sisters joined me - they have been WeightWatching for a while now and doing quite well - and they knew what to do, where to go, who to talk to, what to pay, which I admit made it a little easier.
But it taking away the thundering thumping of my heart - that was there to stay.
The leader, Betty, seemed lovely. Skinny but lovely. She didn't seem like the judgemental type but then again I wasn't telling her I'd overeaten on my points or sunk a dozen bottles of wine or the like.
I stood on the scales and yes, it was bad. Very bad. But not beyond what I expected. It just felt odd seeing it there in black and white.
So I've a small goal to reach - 5% of my bodyweight. And then it is onwards and downwards hopefully.

Hubby, however, who knows me so well was less impressed. When I asked him if he was proud of me when I came home he replied: "No. Anyone can sign up for a class. Ask me again next week, or in a few weeks' time."
He nearly got a slap. (or at least a crack over the back of a head with a bag of salad).

While I see his point that anyone, technically, can sign up for a class it took a lot of courage for me to do so last night.

But anyhow, this morning I clicked into my Notes from the Universe and it told me this much...

Claire, sometimes you have to let go, to stake your claim. Be still, to move forward. Give, to receive. Cry, to feel the joy. Pretend, to make it real. Fake it, before you make it. And sometimes, oddly enough, you must first decide to feel their love, to find it was there all along.

Therefore I dub today, and the rest of this week/ month/ year "fake it til you make it" 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays...

I must dig out the passage in Rainy Days and Tuesdays when Grace first goes to Weightloss Wonders. It’s been a long time since I read it - even longer since I wrote it.
All I can say is that three years, three books, one extra baby and a couple of extra stone later I’m about to face the same thing.
I’m scared. Like proper scared. Like heart thumping non-stop, tightness in my chest feeling like I’m going to be sick scared.
I know what I weigh - given a pound or two for time of day, weight of clothes, whether or not I’ve been to the loo.
I know that is scary.
And I know that last week my son asked me was I pregnant because I was “really, really fat”.
I cried that night - because he is at an age where he notices such things and he knows that fat isn’t good. I never want him to be ashamed of me - but more than that I want to be there to see him and his sister grow up. I want to feel healthy - less ashamed to be me. I want me back - just like Grace did in Rainy Days and Tuesdays.
But the fear won’t go away and I feel as if I could sit down in the middle of the floor and cry.
So, WeightWatchers it is.

Writing, writing, writing

I wrote last nights - 500 words. And then today I took my lunchbreak at my desk and wrote again - about 700 words. And it felt lovely. The characters are starting to really form and take on their own personalities. Some even have nicknames. There is some comedy gold in there too (mostly in the form of references to fancy pants) and the writing was one of those blissful experiences when it just flows, almost effortlessly, onto the page.
Book five, which as yet has no name despite the very best and generous efforts of some of my fellow Poolbeg authors, will be the story of three friends - each in their mid 30s and each facing a unique crisis.
Ava realises that her Mr Perfect is not so perfect after all - oh, and she’s up the stick too. Talk about complicated.

While Grainne is a work-a-holic with a exercise equipment graveyard in her bedroom and a broken heart to nurse better.

Hope’s heart is a little battered too - and she wonders what the future holds for her and the very hunky Dylan McKenzie.

The three former school friends have drifted apart over the years - keeping in touch via occasional emails and comments on Facebook - but when they realise they each need someone to turn to they find themselves sharing an adventure of a life time which will make all three realise what they really want and need.
It’s sounds like just the kind of book I’d love to read.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thank you all for your kind words

I had a bit of an off day - headache never lifted and felt as if I had been run over by a truck so I left work a little early and went home to bed.
Head still ached like billy-o when I got up but I had a promised a friend I would call round - had a text message typed out to cancel when I decided no-one was going to make me feel better but myself so I had a shower, took yet mroe paracetamol and stopped off at the offy for a bottle of wine.
I went to said friend's house and had a lovely time - laughed and, yes, cried, Talked over a lot of feelings I've been having on and off since last year and got a hug.
And I came home feeling brighter.
Now hubby is cooking me a lovely dinner and I'm going to put my feet up and be good to myself for a bit.
And oh yes, will be a bit more strict about remembering to take my prozac.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Worth remembering

A while back my lovely writerly friend Keris put me on the 'Notes from the Universe' thing - where basically you receive a life affirming message each morning.
I look forward to my notes. I always read them and feel a little bad deleting them when they are done. Inevitably they lift my spirits.
So this morning I clicked onto the email which read

Think that it's fun, Claire, that you're guided, and that all is well; that there's time, that life is easy, and that the best has yet to come.
Think that the reasons that elude you will one day catch up, that the lessons that have stumped you will one day bring joy, and that the sorrows that have crippled you will soon give you wings.
Think that you're important, that you cannot fail, and that happiness always returns.
And think that you're beautiful, Claire.
I do.

I've highlighted certain phrases because this week I have been crippled - the Mad Mammy is trying to make a return and I have felt more than a bit overwhelmed. I've felt overwhelmed by work, by the responsibilities of parenthood, by exhaustion and by cripplingly low self esteem. There is is a voice in my head on a constant loop of "fat, stupid, ugly" at the moment and that is NOT fun.
At times like this - when I can feel myself slipping again mood wise I wonder what the point is. I have been down the depression road so many times - and each time I have a major slip I slip a bit further and it takes a bit longer to climb back out.
This time may not be a major slippage but the fear that it could is heart-stopping so that sometimes a bad day feels like the start of the end of the world. When I have several bad days in a row I really start to get scared.

So the message I got this morning was very apt and I'll be reading a few more times over the coming days and hoping that in a while I will be able to breathe easier again and that I won't be so close to tears morning, noon and night.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And it's done..

This blog is also now my dotcom and vice versa.
I have a headache.
And the baby still isn't sleeping. In fact now she is teething and she is waking more than ever. I have taken on the appearance of a zombie. I scare young children - even my own. The boy has become clingy. I have developed the emotions of a hormonal teenager - vying between elation and devastation, considering everything a major drama.
And I am eating everything in sight. My spare tyres have developed spare tyres and the worst of it is - she is sleeping EVEN LESS in the day than before. In fact she naps for just 30 minutes on average.

If anyone wants to look at the psychological impact of sleep deprivation - look no further!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sleep baby sleep

The baby who never sleeps is taking the whole never sleeps things to a whole new level.
We had a week of "lulling us into a false sense of security" and then last night she started it again.
I love my daughter. I adore her with all my heart but that same heart sinks a bit when I hear a clap of her hands, or a "ta ta" or a "Cuckoo" at 3 in the morning.
That means she is awake - properly awake and not just requiring a wee plug of her dummy. It means she will be awake for at least an hour and more likely two.
At three in the morning.
I'm pretty sure surveys have been done which state that between 3 and 4 in the morning is a very important time to get some sleep. I'm sure that without such sleep the human brain implodes or something.
Because today I am trying very, very hard to concentrate on my work and my brain just wants to implode.
A lot.

So please, pray tonight that my lovely precious little lady sleeps well.

Monday, February 08, 2010

AAAAARRGGHH Me Hearties....

The boy's birthday passed, as birthdays do, in a haze of cake, presents, tantrums (me), parties (one small tea party, one big party for his friends) and cake decorating.
I have never decorated a cake before. There is a reason Tesco make cakes and I am that reason. I do not do culinary stuff well. There is even a photo album on my facebook to show the ONE time I made a spinach lasagne. I needed half a bottle of wine and approximately £36 worth of ingredients.
It was nice, but seriously... toast is easier. All hail toast.
I wish I was one of those women who could just toss a few things in a pan and make a special wonderful treat. My sister is like that. She is always regaling me with stories of steak and ale casseroles, stuff with tofu, and Thai food and the like. Me? I don't even do mashed spuds well... they need to be lumpy and quite often runny. I'm pretty sure mashed potatoes should not be runny. Ever.
So why, in my wisdom, I decided to actually decorate a cake for Joseph's birthday rather than just buy one in Tesco is beyond me. I think it was a fit of madness. However I wasn't mad enough to actually bake the thing. I enlisted my lovely aunty for that and she produced a chocolate cake so moist and yummy than I felt sorry for it.
I was going to destroy it.
With the best will in the world, it was going to die - at my hands. But at least I could say I tried.

So I googled 'Pirate cakes' and came up with a few ideas. Then I went to Sainsbury's and bought approximately £36 worth of cake decorating ingredients (including a very large, very cold bottle of Pinot Grigio). I bought coloured ready to roll icing (2 packets). I bought two packets of chocolate fingers. I bought two bars of chocolate for melting. I bought food colouring. I bought a cake board. I bought buttercream icing stuff. Oh, and pirate candles, chocolate coins and a playmobil pirate.
And yes, I bought Apricot baking glaze - which apparantly you absolutely cannot live without if you want to decorate a cake. Realising that I could not find my rolling pin (if indeed I ever owned one) I went out and bought one of those as well. Oh and some writing icing-y stuff.

And then I set about doing what I did. I shaped the icing into a shore line. I battered the buttercream and added enough blue buttercream to sink a small ship. I boiled the baking glaze and applied it thinly to the part of the cake which would have the yellow icing moulded to it. I whacked on the buttercream. I drank some wine. I made the buttercream look like a choppy sea. I drank some wine. I stuck a few candles hither and thither and embedded a plastic pirate in the top of the cake.

I pondered whether or not it looked crap as I cleaned up the 23 bowls, 4 spatulas, three knifes, 2 wooden spoons and one wine glass.
And then I called the boy out to look at it. He smiled and told me it was "totally awesome".
So I didn't care one wee ounce- but I'll let you judge for yourself.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Look at all the fancy new bits....

Look up... see there, at the top - there's a load of new stuff. Like a biography. And a diary of events. And book extracts. And contact details and STUFF.
In a few days the banner will probably change to and it will just say "Claire Allan" or something very exciting but all those registered with diaryofamadmammy will still get directed to this page.
And all those going to will be delivered here also.
Cos it's lovely.

The only thing it's missing is a guest book - but hey if you want to say hello, I'm always about.

Friday, February 05, 2010

All Hail the Mammy-versary

This week my first born turned six and plans have been put in place to celebrate in style.

Tomorrow, for my sins, I will be hosting a party with approximately 16 five and six year olds hopped up on sugar and running wild through a playframe until their cheeks glow bright red and their hair becomes matted to their face with sweat.

There will be cake (which my lovely Auntie is baking as me and cake baking do not go together) and there will be party bags. No doubt the boy will be showered with presents and will be like the cat who got the cream - and all this will be on top of the birthday tea he had with his family on the actual big day.

Although my head may well ache from the screaming of the excited primary 2s - giving it lilty as they hurtle down the slide at some scary speed - I will also be filled with a great sense of joy to see the happiness on the wee man’s face as he celebrates his special day.

But - and it must be said - there is a part of me which wonders why he is getting all the attention? Was it not me, six years ago, who did all the hard work? Should I not be showered with presents and cake and told “Well done missus. He’s a cracker and you’ve done well to keep your sanity for the last six years.”?

You see I’m all for instilling a tradition of a mammy-versary. There is an old saying that whenever a child is born, so is a mother. It seems, therefore, perfectly logical to me that we mammies get a wee shout on the birthdate of our first born.

Yes, I know we have Mother’s Day, but Mother’s Day is a pain in the proverbial. We don’t get to relax - we are too busy sorting our own mammies, and our grannies, and our mother-in-laws and the wains’ godmammies. I spend the average mother’s day morning writing cards or trying to get the boy to write cards and then trying to get us all out in time for a celebration. Then we cram into an overcrowded restaurant for some mass produced dinner and are booted out three seconds after putting the last spoonful of apple pie in our mouth to make way for some other harassed mother and her brood.

A good deal of mammies will have spent her allegedly calm and lovely celebratory dinner spooning mashed mush into the mouth of a hungry toddler while trying to stop any older children from showing her up. She will probably have accompanied at least one child to the toilet and wiped their rear end or changed a nappy- which would put anyone off their banoffee.

The glass of wine she so wanted to sip casually will have been downed in a fit of overheated stress as the baby throws her spoon on the floor for the 25th time while her older child (who we shall put at around six for argument’s sake) declares his boredom and decides it’s time to go home.

As Mother’s Day inevitably falls on a Sunday, mammies the world over traipse home to start sorting out the packed lunches and school uniforms for the following day and generally fall into a heap with the sheer effort of it all.

Now, a mammy-versary would be different. Sure we would have our celebrations for our children, and sure we would still get them presents. But we would get presents too - just tokens to show our efforts are appreciated. We wouldn’t have to go for an overpriced dinner - but we would get the housework taken off our hands and actually have time to spend with our lovely children in a relatively stress free environment while reminiscing about our birth experiences and when our children were newborns. It would be a chance for a woman to celebrate her journey into motherhood and I can think of little nicer.

I do - perhaps rather sickeningly - sometimes thank my son for making me a mammy. He seems a little shocked when I tell him I wasn’t a mother before he was born - but he reacts with great pride when I tell him how he came into my life to make me a mother.

My journey into motherhood was certainly more memorable than my actual birth (and come to think of it now that I’m heading very quickly towards the mid-30s era I no longer have the same desire as before to mark the turning of the years).

So - marketing gurus take note - I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to celebrate a mammy-versary.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

This is perhaps the most disturbing thing I have ever seen...

Okay, apparantly this is a Halloween costume but seroiusly? You would let your daughter wear this? Look at the boots?
I'm really most disturbed by the still very childlike round tummy jutting out above the all too adult bare legs - and don't even get me started on the full make up.
This is Miley Cyrus' younger sister, Noah who is 9.
She is launching her own lingerie line soon.
Yes, you read that right. Lingerie. For nine year olds. Or younger.

What the hell is wrong with the world? At 9 years old little girls should at best be wearing nice vests and sensible cotton underwear and not thinking about their underthings as anything other than functional clothes.
Why would they have to worry if their pants are fancy? Why? Why? WHY????

I'm not the kind of Daily Mail reader-alike who screams "Paedophilia" at every opportunity but sweet Jesus, what do parents who let their children dress like this think they are achieving?
No young girl needs to dress like this. No young girl needs full make up. No young girl needs four inch heels.

Some parents, however, clearly need a slap.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sorry if things go a little crazy here for a bit

I'm in the process of reassigning my domain name to this blog.
You might notice a few changes but stick with me!

Monday, February 01, 2010

As perfect as it gets

I had such a delightfully wonderful mammy experience yesterday. Now I should start this by saying the baby who never sleeps could also be described as the baby who never cuddles.
She is the polar opposite to her brother who always has been the snuggliest child in the world. She, from a very, very age took to pushing her arms away when I tried to cuddle her and wriggling out of my grasp. She certainly did not like to be rocked to sleep - preferring (a bit like her mammy) to have her own space to fall asleep. I could lie beside her, sure - but cuddle her? Not a chance.
She typically goes to sleep by rolling onto her side and drifting off in a very Miss Independent stylee.
Yesterday however we were in my mums and were playing on the floor (very exciting games of ‘Where did granny go?’ and bang the blocks together and laugh uproariously).
Then she started to get whingy in a way that only babies can so I lifted her, expecting her to wriggle away. Instead she cuddled in and closed her eyes so slowly while stroking my face. I stroked hers in return and she fell asleep. So I sat there, for half an hour, this sleeping baby in my arms - her cheeks rosy red from my body heat and also from teething and I kissed her head more times than should be allowed and relished just being a mammy.

Sometimes, it’s just perfect. Without any effort at all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...