Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Taking back my Stolen Moments...

It's been ages!! I actually had to go through my Facebook page to find my way here, as I couldn't even remember my Web address. Seriously.
These past, (couple? few?) months have been the type on months every Mother dreads going through. I had to step back; I was needed else where. And the first few weeks? Heartbreaking! This was supposed to be my place; my Stolen Moments. It's amazing the turmoil us Mamma's face. Always feeling selfish for one reason or another.
I turned 29 on Sunday. I decided I'm taking my Stolen Moments back. That selfish feeling is awesome.
I have had so much I have wanted to write about, and on the flip side, I have so much to catch up on with my favorite 'mummyblogs'.  I'm going to be busy! I'm excited!
Thank you for coming back...Jenni

Monday, 16 May 2011

Always One Step Behind

I am currently attempting to potty train Tay. Good; Kooks and Squash did it like pro's! I showed them the potty, took off their nappy and sat them on it. They were dry. Seriously, they were as good as that. There were never any accidents, and I was a proud, if somewhat smug, Mamma.
Kooks and Squash were both 'model' children. They were well behaved, did as they were told and looked cute all of the time. They took to the potty immediately.
Tay-Tay? Well Tay does what she wants when she wants. She is well behaved when she is doing what she wants to be doing. She rarely does as she is told, unless it is something she wanted to do any how. She looks cute all of the time, and refuses to take to her potty.
Now, everyone in our household is completely enchanted by Tay. Such is her charm that we can never help but laugh with her. She is fiercely independent, bossy and cunning. Let me give you an example...
Tay-Tay started walking at an unknown time. I have no date as to when she took her first step. When she is grown and has babies of her own, she will look at me and ask when she took her own first steps, just to compare with her own child. I will tell her, that because of her cunning ways, we'll never know. She has herself to blame and my terrible memory cannot be blamed this time. Why? Because she kept it a closely guarded secret. We had our suspicions that she could walk...I was in the kitchen one day and literally heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet coming from the living room. I raced through and she was sat on the floor playing with her toy. Where I had left her. Another time, I was sorting laundry upstairs. Tay and Squash were playing in his bedroom next door when he left for a moment. He heard a noise and rushed back in; Tay-Tay was running across his bedroom. She stopped and dropped when she spotted him. Of course I rushed in too, but she was acting all nonchalant while Squash and I scratched our heads.
It became a frequent thing in our home. Someone would spot a prancing Tay; she would stop and drop. So, one day, the FFALWL and I decided to just go for it; we sat a few feet apart from one another and encouraged our secret walker to take a few steps. She did...then screamed. She was so pissed she had been busted; the secret no longer hers. Fast forward a few months and she felt comfortable enough to show the world how clever she was. She was 15 months old by then.
Everything Tay has accomplished, she has perfected before showing us. She had us believe she couldn't talk until I heard her talking in her sleep one night. The FFALWL and I grinned like happy fools outside her bedroom door; not so cunning in your sleep huh!
Now we are potty training. It seems she is doing her usual. She will only pee next to her potty. She turned two in April and I'm anxious to get her started. We bought her the poshest of potties we could find and we had truly thought that she would be with us on this one. The kid hates wearing a nappy and insists on running around butt naked all day long. We have even had embarrassing episodes of her stripping of infront of perfect strangers. Surely she would like to potty train?? Wrong; she hates it. This posh potty has a lid, a toilet roll holder, wet wipes holder, converts to go onto a normal toilet and well, she should love it. Right; she loves it. It's her place to sit occasionally when she catches up with Peppa Pig and has a light snack. Mamma got smart and bought a Peppa Pig chair to carry out such activities and then allows her to run around butt naked in the hope that she'll sit on the potty and 'accidently' Pee. In. The. Potty. Wrong again, this is what happened this morning...
She sat on her Peppa Pig chair, drinking tea, watching Peppa Pig. When she was done, I took off her nappy and replaced the chair for the posh potty. She sat down and I carried on with my morning housework. The next thing was Tayla rushing through to me in the kitchen squealing, 'ah pooped Mommyyyy, ah pooped on der!! Ohhh Mannn!' I rushed through with her, foolishly hoping that there would indeed be a poop on der. 'No Tay, you wee'd...there, not on der'. (Because Daddy is a Texan and Mamma is a mix of German and English, the little one is owner to an accent which never fails to raise a smile. Even when she wee's on der...).
So, it seems, here we are again. Tay-Tay doing what she does best, and leaving us a step behind. Perfecting her art before presenting it to the world. Be it walking, talking or well, weeing in a more appropriate place, I guess she'll do it  and show us in her own time. We'll watch her present her art as a pro, rather than a novice.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Grumble Between Two Loves

Last night after the kiddies were all deposited into their beds, the FFALWL and I did what we do every night. I threw the scatter cushions back into their rightful positions on their rightful couches. He took his iPod out of his pocket and put it in it's docking station. I scooted the footstool over to the two seater couch in preparation for four weary feet to rest their weary bones. He looked through our Sky planner to see if there were any recordings to catch up on. We both headed outside for a cigarette (don't judge, it's our only terrible weakness) and caught up on each others day and what, if anything, we needed to talk about. A fairly fail proof schedule which happens every evening. Without fail.
What normally happens next, is we go collect our drinks which the FFALWL had speedily made when docking his iPod, we venture back to the couch, then press play on the Sky remote...and snuggle. We usually watch Mock the Week. We always laugh the entire way through. Again, don't judge, it's another of our only terrible weaknesses...
But during our first terrible weakness, we started to grumble. The FFALWL had told me had put out an email at work, asking all the guys if they want to go on a day out golfing. Perfect, they all deserve a break and I was happy for him. But then he said 'I am going to speak with the Ombudsman and see about you wives doing something together too so you aren't just sat at home.' Hmmm...OK, I was starting to wilt a little here. I checked with him that this would be on the same day. 'Well yeah...'. I was wilting some more. So I told him, 'Honey, I'm glad that you're going to go off with the boys for the day. You guys deserve the break! But why do the wives all have to be the ones to entertain the kids? Why can't we go off and you boys be entertainers for the day? After all, out lives are revolved around entertaining the kids.' He told me he was thinking of me, and thought I'd be happy to get out the house and see other people while he's off with the guys. I told him I appreciated his sentiments, and I truly did; I could see what he was saying. He couldn't see what I was saying; all he could hear was criticisms and that I wasn't being very thankful.
So there we sat, drinks in hand, feet on the footstool, the guys on Mock the Week desperately trying to lighten the mood, and me trying to explain to the FFALWL that I am thankful that he was thinking of me, and it was nice of him to do so. But he couldn't see my point. I couldn't see his. The silent stand-off began.
Now, I am a talker. If there is a problem, I want to talk about it until it's resolved. We then kiss and make up and nobody has to try and sleep with a heavy heart. If I am wrong, I will always put my hands up and say it (unbelievable I know, but true nonetheless. A lesson I learnt through a failed marriage). This time, for once, I couldn't admit liability. I had hurt his feeling, I had apologized, there was nothing more I could do.
After our evening fail-proof-schedule-which-happens-every-night, without fail, the FFALWL heats a baby bottle, I lock up and we meet up upstairs in bed...and snuggle. Last night, I went up alone and we didn't snuggle. I had a clear conscience for once and I intended to sleep like a baby. No chest hairs tickling my nose, no human inferno cuddling against me...I could sleep covered by the duvet the entire night! But I woke with a heavy heart; my apologies hadn't worked and there was nothing more I could do.
The FFALWL came downstairs and said, 'So are you going to continue being pissy, or apologise?' HUH?? Then I realised; I always apologize first. I always broach the subject and make amends. The FFALWL, having never had a long term, serious relationship before me, didn't know how to make said amends. Time to teach my man a lesson. I told him I will not be apologizing; I had done so countless times already...and I walked away. Lesson one. He came to me and said, 'Although I don't know why I should be apologising, I will...'. I told him to think again...and I looked away. Lesson two. He came back and said he understood, he loves me, he's sorry. I said thank you, he gave me a kiss. I wished him a good day at work, he winked. My heart was no longer heavy.
My reason for this latest post is not to 'air my dirty laundry in public' (ugh, I detest that saying). Nor is it to boast of a very rare occasion where I am right and he is wrong (OK, maybe a little...), but for an acknowledgement, that we don't always have to admit liability for a quiet life.
And I would also like to offer my strong silent Texan an apology in advance should there be any grumbles over me outing him for being wrong this time...and revelling in it. OK, and loving it too...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bubbles Which Don't Always Go Pop

This past week something happened. The little bubble in which my little family resides wobbled. It wobbled about so violently, it threatened to pop. So I told myself we need to stay low and huddle together in the middle, and our bubble will stabilize; it would no longer wobble; it wouldn't pop. In our little bubble everyone huddled together, but the bubble continued to wobble. I didn't get it...I thought we were huddling together, doing what we could to keep our little world intact. I felt confused and disoriented, I felt as though I wasn't doing all I could to protect the little bubble in which my little family resides.
This past week I have had a feeling of discontent and uttered many grumbles. Its as though I have had the worlds troubles balanced squarely on my shoulders. Something did not feel right in my little bubble.
Then, after a monster grumble, I saw it...Mamma was so busy running around trying to please the people of her world and look after their every whim, that the bubble still wobbled. The bubble was never going to stabilize if Mamma didn't stay low and huddle with her family. Mamma had to be a part of the huddle.

And so this is my first blog post in a number of days. I have had a million and one things I have wanted to say, but this day, I knew I had to listen. To me.
I am one of those people who try and see the positives in anything. I can rationalize most things. I am great at giving advice and listening to others. I try to be perfectly polite as often as I can be. I also try to help as many people as humanly possible. I am generally a nice person which something I am proud of. I am also as tired as your average stay at home Mum. I get tired, I get lonely, I get bored. This happens rarely, but it does happen. Occasionally. And in a previous post, I wrote about how good we all have it. I stand by that. We do. But I think its also OK sometimes to say, 'You know what? I know I have the perfect life, but I'm fed up. I'm tired, I'm weary and I need a break.'
So wherever you are, whoever you are. Whatever you're doing or supposed to be doing whilst reading my latest post...just know that its OK to let it all hang out sometimes. It's OK to steal a few moments for your self, it's OK to say all is not well in your world sometimes and it's OK to know that although you may not be huddled with your family all of the time, your bubble will not pop.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Love Of A Prince

Today a Prince made his Princess smile...
Today I watched our Prince marry his girl. The love that emanated from them was visible to all. There were moments I felt like an unwitting voyeur; the secret smiles they shared were for the two of them exclusively.
While I was watching, it was clear his lady was fighting nerves. Was, until she joined him at the alter and his steady gaze met hers. His gaze never wavered and she strengthened beneath it.
Once upon a time, I was left feeling I would never find my prince. Everywhere I turned were slimy frogs promising a swift transformation if I would just give them a kiss. I kissed some frogs...sadly there were no princes and so I gave up. I had the little ones after all; my own little prince and princess was all this lady needed.
One day I attended a ball (house party) with a friend. We quaffed champagne (jagerbombs) and I met a man. I knew then that I had met my prince. One catch...he could be my prince for 4 months only. This prince had to go to a far away land to fight for his country. If that was how it was to be, then I would take what I could. I couldn't tell how or when, or even why, but I knew when I met this man, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I wasn't ready for it, but are we ever? I tried to make every moment count with my new found prince. I wanted to remember every detail; I wrote down every love note (text message) which passed between us. Really. I still have that book now. Everything I wanted to remember, went in the book. If I couldn't keep my prince, I at least wanted to have the memories of having had him in my life.
As the weeks flew by, I started to hate chicken. Not so much hate, but more it hated me. Lordy did chicken start to make me one sick Mamma. Mamma was to be a Mamma again.
The fear I felt at that time is inexplicable. What was I going to do? My prince was going to get mad, and turn into a frog. The fear I felt at that time wasn't only for myself. It was for the new life growing inside me, a new child who would probably never get to meet its father.
After a time of soul searching, I decided if I couldn't keep my prince, I would keep his heir apparent with me regardless. I told the prince. The prince said 'Really?' I said 'Really.' He said 'Huh' I said 'Huh?' He smiled. I smiled. All was good.
As the time came closer to the prince leaving, I would go through moments of panic. I was scared. Would he come back. Would he miss me enough to come back. We had only been together for such a short time, would we last a separation of 15 months when we'd only just met? So many worries flying through my mind. My prince would hold me, his steady gaze would meet mine. His gaze never wavered; he gave me strength.
A few years have passed since this time. There have been many times where I've had times of panic, and every time he has given me his strength. His gaze never wavered.
Only since meeting my prince have I known what it means to share those secret smiles. To look at one another and know instantly what the other is thinking or feeling.
Only since meeting my prince have I looked into his eyes; his gaze steady, and felt the instant calm and strength travel through me.
And only since meeting my prince have I laughed every single day, through all the ups and downs, and thanked God that the mini prince and princess were bless to have had this prince waltz into our lives.
Today my Prince made his Princess smile...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Severing The Apron Strings...

Today little Tay-Tay started pre-school.
Any Mamma who knows...I could end this latest post after that solitary sentence and that be enough. No other words necessary. For those that don't, I will continue...
Way back when, when Kooks and Squash came along, I was very young and pretty much took a backseat to the million other people in our lives. I lacked confidence and knowledge, and so, decisions were made for us. Looking back, I know I could have done a thousand times better as a Mother, but then, I'm sure every Mother thinks this way. Always room for improvement; always could have done better; our best was never enough. Now, I settle for being a 'Good enough Mum'...something which came from an article I once read. I don't hope to be the best; I hope to be good enough. Suits me fine, and neither the kids or I are disappointed. Everybody wins.
When Kooks started at the very same pre-school in which Tay-Tay has just started, the manager offered me a position to work there. Kooks was 3 years old; Squash was 1. Because Squash wasn't old enough to attend the pre-school, he started at a Day Care. He found it hard adjusting, but we made it in the end. He actually went through a stage of terrible upset, which meant my sister had to take him for me. Neither Squash nor I could face the anguish. Fast forward 18 months, and he came with me to pre-school. All was good.
The difference between 'way back when', and now, is, I am softer. I feel more, and I am connected to all of my kids in many different ways. When Kooks and Squash started pre-school, I had no issues regarding separation. I knew they were well taken care of, and should they come to any upset, they'd be absolutely fine. What harm, in all honesty could come to them? None whatsoever. If they cried; they cried. Tears never hurt anyone.
Fast forward to present day. Divorce, guilt and new beginnings have made me into the person I am today. The Mamma I am today. As I said, I feel more. And I would actually like to think it's made me into a better person. A better Mamma. If my kids cry; I cry. If my kids are hurting; I am hurting. They laugh; I laugh along with them. They get mad with me; I get mad with them...
This morning, while I was rushing around like every other Mother does to get out out of the house on time, I took a time out. I stopped and watched all of my kids. Kooks catching up on iCarly with her bag on her back, eeking out every last second until she had to run for the bus. Squash squeezing in a round of Petville while munching a waffle. Tay-Tay running around naked trying to avoid having her heels caught under the baby walker in which Logi-Bear was chasing her in. And I had a panic. 'I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this'. I was absolutely not ready to take my youngest daughter to pre-school and leave her. I wobbled and fought back control. I was not ready.
We arrived at pre-school where Tay-Tay promptly left me for the other 20 knee height people. At that moment I was surplus to requirement. I left. OK, I instructed every teacher I came across to call me if she so much as looked as though she was missing her Mamma, then I left. She wasn't missing me, and they didn't call. The time came for me to fetch her. I drove like a (sensible) bat out of hell thinking of all kinds of reasons as to why they didn't call me. I wrote my mobile phone number down wrong. Their mobile phone was out of battery power. They were so busy dealing with my sobbing child, the couldn't get to the phone. I arrived to find my child laughing with her new friends. The first teacher told me she had a great time. The second teacher told me she never sought me out once. The third and forth said they were delighted she settled in so quickly and easily. I waited for my heart to plummet. Nothing. My heart did, however, soar. Little Tay-Tay heard me call her name and came running at me with her lower lip wobbling and fighting tears. The little one did indeed miss her Mamma.
Unexpectedly it came to me. I am a Good Enough Mum. I don't allow for the 56 million people to influence my choices or tell me how best to raise my kids. I raise them how I see fit. And I think I do a good enough job as a Good Enough Mum. And in doing so, my kids are ready to face the big wide world knowing that Mamma will always be there cheering them on. (Albeit whilst having a minor panic attack.)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Many a reason to be thankful

Every holiday I come across all nostalgic. I realise how good I have it...truly. And during the holidays I always feel we owe it to ourselves to give our grumbling a break and count our many blessings. Every person I know has a roof over their head, food in their tummy, clothes on their back and money going into their bank on a regular basis. Yet we still think we have it bad.
Which is clearly why I had the mother of all grumbles at the FFALWL this Easter Sunday morning. Fabulous. Let's backtrack...
All was well in our little bubble. We got up, we drank coffee and we laughed. I caught up with my emails; the man played a hand of Poker on his iPod. Very civilized. We got ready; the FFALWL bathed the babies whilst I had a shower. I saw to the babies while the FFALWL showered. So far so good. Then I came back downstairs. There were toys littering the floor. Breakfast dishes to be washed. Floors to be vacuumed and cleaned and bins to be emptied. The red mist descended. I got mad. I resented that on Easter Sunday, a day ideally spent with family enjoying the day, was going to be spent with me cleaning. I told the FFALWL how I resented this. He couldn't see why I was upset. He would help; the job would get done in half the time, and we are free to move on. Whilst in the Red Zone, all reasoning escapes me. I am the victim, and everyone else gets a holiday. Perfect. So whilst scrubbing little Tay-Tay's  breakfast plate with unnecessary force it came to me. I remembered all the previously mentioned reasons I have to feel thankful. I have a roof in which toys can messily reside under. I'm scrubbing plates because we are fortunate enough to have eaten the food which had dirtied them.
Here was me with four healthy children and the FFALWL (who also happens to have a good, solid career). We live in a nice home; we're able to have nice things. And actually, in the grand scheme of things, I have practically nothing to moan about.
And so it was time to eat a slice of humble pie. Ugh. I told the FFALWL that I would like for us to not argue anymore. 'Uh Jen...I never wanted to argue in the first place.' Ugh. I told him I would 'appreciate a little more help around here'. 'Yes Jenni. Which is exactly what you get. When I'm not at work.' Ugh. I told him I was sorry. 'I'm sorry Jen. I love you.' Ugh Ugh do they do that??
So after my 10 (30) minute wobble, I was back to being thankful for the life which I have been blessed with. And a promise to myself that the next time that red mist descends, I will try harder to see that I, along with all of you, have it good. Happy Easter, guys.