Monday, July 27, 2009

Quirky Little Gemini

Hi I am a Gemini and like long walks on the beach at Sunset and reading poetry.

Actually I am a Gemini and although I do not live by astrology I do think I have some typical Gemini traits. A company I used to work for had an unusually large amount of Gemini's working in the same office. I think there were 7 or 8 of us in an office of 30. Very strange. Made for a calorific month with all the cake! Wonder what the collective name for us would have been???

Most Gemini's can be describes as having two personalities. I prefer this than being called 2 faced (although have known a few of those Gemini's in my time too). I am characterised by this in the fact that I have a hot temper but cool down just as quickly. I also don't hold a's too short. The testament to this is how many exes are friends on my Facebook account! However I never forget! Not holding a grudge also means that I don't sulk and it bugs me when other people do. Move on!

I am also full of contradictions. My washing has to be hung out a certain way, but I will leave a wet towel on the bed. The rest of the house is a mess but my kitchen is spotless. When I wash dishes they have to be done a certain way too and can't look in kitchen if Hubby is doing them for fear of the hot temper rising. I love routine for my kids but will never commit to doing anything on the same day every week. Mother's group was an exception for me and of course going to work but I can't stand the thought of 'having' to be somewhere at a certain time every week. It's why I never played a team sport or joined a club. And why my blog is not done daily.

I am always early or on time and hate people being late. But again as a contradiction to that, I know which friends of mine are always late and accept that it is part of what makes them tick, so will adjust my time with them if for example I have invited them for dinner I will always allow time for them to be late. If I don't know you very well however, I will be mad!

I wear my heart on my sleeve for all to see but keep some things so very close that no one really actually knows the real me, even though they think they do. The other twin! (Was going to say evil but I am not evil....really!) Again I don't trust anybody, even though people might think I trust guard is always up!

There is that little two faced monster rising its head up again.

Gemini's are supposed to be (and which I think I am) communicative, witty (ha), generous, gossipy (ooh ah!), kind, objective, versatile, imaginative, and adaptable. But we can also be fickle, flighty, indecisive, nosy and get easily bored. Hmmm the last one is definitely me.

Maybe these are Gemini traits or maybe they are just part of my complex personality which happens to fall into line of my astrological sign. Whichever the case maybe, these are just a few of the things that make me....Me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Toy Sales

Over the last month I have braved the big department store Toy Sales in an effort to look organised by Christmas. The lure of not having to have toys hanging around my already cluttered house is too much and on each of the occasions I have headed out early and got the booty on Christmas lay-by. This means currently I have 4 different laybys to keep track of.

I have also had my boys looked after as taking kids to a Toy Sale is surely every mothers idea of Hell. However today I had no such pleasure and had to take the boys with me. With a promise of a Ben 10 figurine for behaving, Grotbag begrudgingly got dressed and got in the car. And what a was Hell!!

Grotbag constantly asking if he can have the toys now, and why does Santa have to have them (I have told him that when they go to Layby Santa comes and picks them up till Christmas!) and can we go now etc etc. HELL!!!

So by the time I had found all the things I wanted for the boys and other gifts for friends kids the last thing I wanted to do was stand in a layby queue. So I bought the lot and brought them home and stashed them at the top of the wardrobe where Grotbag will never find them.

Have told him that Santa has already taken them...there were tears.

Next year I am going on my own!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Week That Was

My Hubby came and went and Happy Monday changed to Grumpy Monday.

The Masterchef Finale happened on Sunday, I am really going to miss that show as it became part of my night time routine. I feel a bit lost now!

Bugalugs is now without Dummy and sleeping through the night after I bit the bullet and stayed up one night through screams and cries like sleep school had taught me. He is now a happy little soul.

Grotbag is back at school, thank goodness. He was driving me nuts. He brought home some great artwork today that I have framed in cheap red frames from IKEA. I am going to put them on his wall and change them periodically.

It was the five year anniversary of my father-in-law passing away. Very sad but I know he is with us in spirit and never far away from our thoughts.

My car went in for repairs to the bumper, so I am without a car. My mum has been kind enough to allow me to drive hers but is strange being so low to the ground and not being able to see as much. I am looking forward to getting my car back looking as good as new!

I had a great random girls night out with some new and old faces.

My tumble dryer has decided that 90 minutes is actually 7 minutes. The timer is stuffed. Great!

My diet has been abandoned this week through lack of motivation from me. Although you would think that my tummy was motivation enough. Not so. I need to look further....

So that was the week that was. It had love, laughter, screams, cries and a whole rainbow of emotions too many to write.

I wonder what this week will bring....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Bugalugs woke at 1am.....and didn't go back to sleep.

We rocked, patted, stuck dummy in, put music on, put projector on but to no avail.

Hubby was great as we took it in turns to soothe him back to sleep. Hubby ended up taking him off me at 6.30am after I had him in my arms from 3.30am and I slept till 8.30am.

He is in his own room tonight for the first time. The room in next to Grotbags so have sent him to our room to sleep and I will take over Grotbags room so he doesn't get woken if we have the same kind of night.

People ask me why and I look as befuddled as they do.

Is it teething, growth spurt or the need to start on solids?

Maybe the change of scenery might do him good....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

4 Blogs For The Price Of 1

I have been neglecting my blog...shameful I know but have been using my usual blog time to sleep. This is because my gorgeous Bugalug decided that he would start waking in the night, leaving me no choice but to retire to bed early each night. So have decided to do 4 blogs in one, which is really for my benefit and not my readers as I need to get this stuff out of my head!


Bugalugs woke twice Friday night and it took me ages to get him back to sleep both times. I have jinxed myself after sleep school. I know what the problem is...that damn dummy!!! Grotbag had a dummy, recommended because he was a windy baby (he is still a windy child!) and it was never a problem. If it fell out at night he didn't wake and by the time he did wake he could find it and put it back in. Bugalugs has been fine but Friday night was not a happy camper and I was up every 10 minutes putting the thing back in. I am also still swaddling him which I think he is OVER So am determined to get rid of the dummy and swaddling for good!


Have spent all day Saturday doing nothing and letting the TV parent and babysit Grotbag. After being up most of Friday night with Bugalugs I am exhausted so just lulled about all day until my mum turned up at 5.30pm so I could get ready to go out and babysit the kids. I did however work out how to use the new DVD recorder to record some programmes for Hubby. I went to a newish pub/restaurant for my friends birthday in the evening. I get so excited getting ready to go out now as it doesn't happen as often as I like. However, I left at 10.15pm as knew I could be in for another bad night with Bugalugs....I was right!!!

Harry Potter

Grotbag wanted to watch Harry Potter. I was wary as I know it is scary for a young kid of 4 but he has been on at me for days after getting a free Harry Potter wand with a magazine (he just looks at the pictures! So Sunday I finally gave in. He really enjoyed it and I warned him before and potentially scary bits came up and he was very brave and watched them all. Now he is running around waving his wand like Mr Potter. He waved it at me and said I was going to disappear. He then said he would get me to re-appear when he was hungry. Hmmm know where I stand. Bugalugs kept me up AGAIN!

That's It!!

I know now why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. When you get used to sleep it is hell giving it up. So have decided that when Hubby is home on Tuesday we are going to do the sleep works programme I learnt as sleep school and get rid of the dummy for good! Today is also Happy Monday - Yay!! Hubby is home tomorrow and calm will be restored for another week! So I unswaddled Bugalugs when I put him down last night and well you know what happened....HE SLEPT ALL NIGHT TILL 7am!!!! Have not given him the dummy much today and put him to sleep without it and he went down fine. So will not do the sleep works programme just yet and will just have to see how he goes tonight and if all goes well we are going to start sleeping him in his own room. Just hope Hubby's snoring doesn't wake him in the night!

4 for the price of 1.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Sleep School - Part 2 worst fears at sleep school were confirmed. Bugalugs is a completely normal baby! Sleeping...well..normally!

I arrived with trepidation at sleep school where I was greeted by the most lovely lady who was our "teacher"...lets call her B. She just oozed understanding, warmth and support. I heaved a sigh of relief. No Matron here!

There were supposed to be 10 in the class but only 3 other mums arrived so we were just a small class of 4.

I won't bore you with the whole 2 1/2 hour class but my heart skipped a beat when B gave an anecdote about a father who had come to her worried because his baby slept all through the night but only did 45 minute naps during the day.

GULP! I am sure I went bright red!!

The 3 other poor mums had not had a full nights sleep since their bubs had been born. 2 suffered from severe reflux and B just so happened to be an expert in this field and they hung on every grateful word. The other mum had done some 'accidental' parenting which B gave her and action plan start that very night. She was excited.

And then they came to me, and God love them after I told them about my Bugalugs looking at the floor and told them sorry that I felt really guilty, they were all lovely and said it's different for everyone blah blah but not a Paris Hilton among them!

I am a big believer in fate and everything happening for a reason. And after today I realised that I went to the class for a much bigger 'universe' type reason. My cousin Bling's baby suffers from severe reflux and so I too took many notes and B has said that Bling can call her and see her privately. I also have a really good doctor and after hearing one of the mums appalling story about her GP referred mine to her and know she will get good service.

I had attended a Paediatric Physio class I was referred to as Bugalugs has a rather large head which he was having trouble lifting. Once B knew this she asked me to show some of the tummy time techniques to another mum who was having tummy time trouble. I also got some great advice from the mums, whose babies were older than Bugalugs about food and nutrition.

Now although none of us really need to attend next week, we are all going to go for the hour, have coffee and share our week with our babies. They are 3 wonderful mums who are really doing it much tougher than I am and so I have learned more in 2 1/2 hours than I could have from any book, plus had a bit of a reality check which I think we all need sometimes.

I am looking forward to next week and catching up with the mums, and hope the Universe shines a good week on all of them because they deserve it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sleep School - Part 1

Tomorrow I am off to "Sleep School" to sort out Bugalugs day time sleeps. Well, it's not really sleep school but a programme run by my local Community Child Health Centre called Sleepworks and is for parents whose babies (from 6 months to 3 1/2 years) are having trouble sleeping. They also run a programme called Hush Baby for babies 6 months and under.

But it is going to feel like going to school for me!

I am really nervous. In fact I am actually scared I am going to be overly defensive about the apparent "accidental parenting" of my child. What if I tell them what I am doing and they say (in some matronly voice):

"tutt tutt, well love that's your problem you shouldn't have (insert bad parenting here!)".
"so this is your second child is it???"

Or what if my problem sleeper isn't a problem sleeper at all, especially because I am attending due to his day time sleeps. And the other 7 mothers there, who havn't had a good night sleep in months look at me like I am a traitor and say (insert Paris Hilton type voice)

"O.M.G. he is soooooo NOT a problem sleeper. MY baby does (insert worse problem than mine!)"

I don't know why I imagine a Matron & Paris Hilton are going to be there but anywhoo....

I am also worried that what they tell me to do won't work or they want me to do something ludicrous to fix it. That's positive thinking I hear you say!

In a nutshell, I guess, I don't want to be judged for the type of parent that I am. None of us like to think we are doing a bad job in the Mothering department. And to tell you the truth I think that I do a pretty good job 99% of the time. Its just that darn 1%!

So as much as I am anticipating tomorrow to sort out the problem I am also dreading it too.

I will grab my pen and paper and hope it is much better than I am creating in my mind... and Paris Hilton isn't there!)

I wonder if they can do anything about Hubby's snoring........

Bugalugs 1 day old!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Haves & The Have Nots

The Haves and the Have Nots
by Amanda Smith

The Haves and the Have Nots
Covert what each has not got

The Haves want the quiet, the freedom the ease
Have Nots want the love, the bond the family tree

The Haves know their luck even though they complain
Have Nots sigh with relief or smile through the pain

Both have to work but only one gets paid
But money for love makes an easy trade

I am a Have but was a Have Not
It's not something I have easily forgot

The best of both worlds, that's the ideal
Recognising the facts that make both lives real

Neither is less or greater or flawed
Just different. Don't judge me. Your acceptance means more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Middle Monday & Banana Muffins

I am a day behind but yesterday was Middle/Hump Monday. I only mention it because I have mentioned the other two Monday's in my life and didn't want Middle Monday, like a middle child, to feel left out.
Middle Monday marks the half way point of me being the only parent and only a week to go to Happy Monday and Hubby coming home. Middle Monday this week was also the start of the school holidays, something I am still coming to terms with. I went back to work 3 days a week when Grotbag was 10 months old and up until the first term school holidays this year I had not had him 24/7 since he went into day care. I was beside myself and also had a new baby to boot!
Still day 1 of the school holidays this time was spent at home as the weather was cold and rainy. We played Play Doh which is a treat in my house and something that I keep back to make it a bit special. However, it ended in disaster when Grotbag mixed the blue and green together. A pet hate of mine. I know...I should just let it go!!! Then I made Grotbag help me clean the memories he will cherish!!
Today we went to an indoor play centre with some other Kindy kids and then something I do not do with two children very often if I can help shopping. When we got home we were both exhausted but Bugalugs had a sleep (rare) so grab the opportunity so spend time alone with Grotbag we made some Choc Chip Banana Muffins. He loves cooking with me and pretends he is Sam on Masterchef. I have a secret wish for him to be a great cook. He just wants to lick the bowl!
I have shared the recipe link below which I got from as it is a good one, most regular bakers would have the store cupboard ingredients to hand without having to venture to the shops. I always have a few brown bananas hanging around and the recipe is easy to alter depending on what is in the cupboard.
You could easily swap the banana's for other fruit combinations and I used Wholemeal flour and white chocolate buttons today as I had no dark chocolate ones. I have also used broken bits of Easter egg chocolate in the past and substituted the sugar with low GI diabetic sugar when I had gestational diabetes.
They taste great, and for those of you who have read my weight watchers blog they are 5 points a muffin - 3 points if you leave out the chocolate!!!


Our batch of Banana Muffins

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sleep Dammit!

I am struggling with Bugalugs day time sleeps.

He sleeps fine in the night. He is down at 7pm and may wake once or twice at night, usually just for his dummy but goes straight back to sleep and wakes between 6am & 7am. He has been doing this for quite a number of weeks now.

To most mums I know this is bliss, and yes it is great that I get a good night sleep.

However, he will only sleep for 45 minutes (if I am lucky) at a time during the day. And I have tried everything.

Controlled crying – I lost control and he screamed and screamed and then it took me 30 minutes to calm him down.

Staying with him till he falls asleep again – yeah, he didn’t and wouldn’t and then screamed and screamed and then it took me 30 minutes to calm him down.

Taking the dummy away – yeah that was the worst 24 hours of my life.

Repeating the same routine before he goes to sleep once he has woken – nah!

I have even let him sleep in my arms just so he gets some sleep as I know good day sleep promotes good night sleep. And this is why I am worried. What if his lack of day time sleep means that he starts waking in the night too?

The worse thing is that it is REALLY stressing me out. And I am not a really stressing out type of person. Cup is always half full with me, there is always a solution and things can only get better. Ha! Don’t know where she has gone but she doesn’t live here anymore! It has me in tears, especially when Grotbag wants to do something with me like play a game or play doh or finger painting and I am constantly getting up to a crying, screaming baby and end up crying and screaming myself. Not fair on Grotbag at all. And with Hubby working away, I have no relief and no time to myself or to give to Grotbag.

I thought I had turned a corner yesterday. He has a music projector in his cot and it has a a heart beat function where it just has the sound of a heart beat playing for 20 minutes, and he went back to sleep both times after waking. But today that hasn’t worked, he had just lulled me into a false sense of security!

So we are off to sleep school next week. A free program called Sleep Works run by our local family services community centre and came highly recommended. The next 2 Fridays I will be hanging on every word those women say and hopefully it will work, because I REALLY need my days back and he really needs to be a rested peaceful baby.

Fingers crossed….

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Weight Debate

I am currently attending Weight Watchers Meetings. Yes, hello, my name is Amanda and I have an eating problem. Well it's not a problem as much as a niggle (or jiggle) in my side.

I have never been ultra slim although looking back at photo's of me when I was at school I was pretty average and would be happy to be that average again. My weight started creeping on after I left school. I blame this on not riding my bike once I got my licence and having a disposable income to spend on takeaway. In my early 20's I realised that my height (158cm) was not conducive to my weight so I joined Weight Watchers and lost 5kg which was great and I felt fantastic, fitted into my old clothes etc.

At 23 I moved out of home and slowly it all started to creep on again, went to the UK a couple of times and added some Heathrow kilo's and so on and so on.

6 months before I got married I joined a gym, went everyday and lost a bit of weight but the change was mostly inches and toning of my muscles which I liked. A few months after I was married I fell pregnant with Grotbag and it's all been going down hill ever since.

After Grotbag I gave myself some leave and then we started trying for another baby so naturally my attitude was "well what's the point I will be preggers soon" and low and behold 18 months after Grotbag I did fall pregnant but unfortunately miscarried. The messing with hormones, the unhappiness of it all plus still wanting to fall pregnant again made weight loss a very low priority. 9 months later I fell pregnant but again miscarried. It was all too much, but I suddenly realised I needed a new focus as the baby making was all consuming.

So again I joined Weight Watchers along with Bling (my cousin, who is more like a sister and will make many an appearance in my blogs. So called as she likes a bit of Bling!). I lost 9kg just in time for my work Christmas party and felt fantastic. Then Hubby and I were told that to have another baby we would need IVF. I will probably talk about this in detail another blog but needless to say it involved lots of emotions, lots of drugs and lots of luck. And lucky we were. First time lucky and 9 months later Bugalugs entered this world! Through my pregnancy I got gestational diabetes and also had a hemorrhage which meant I couldn't do anything that raised my heartbeat which meant no exercise or even walking too far.
And so here I am again, carrying baby weight, emotional weight and the occasional Hungry Jacks weight. It's coming off. A lot slower this time and fluctuates depending on the time of the month but I have managed to shed to date 3.1kg (6.8 pounds) and feel much better for it too. I know I have to lose the weight. Having gestational diabetes means I am 50% more likely to get Type 2 diabetes when I am older and this is something that I really want to avoid. I have no more excuses, no more babies on the way and I need to be fit to keep up with my two growing boys, and I want to be a good example for them.

Some days are harder than others. I love food and love cooking so it's all about balance. But I will get there...because at the end of the day I have no alternative!


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