I get by with a little help from my friends. 

Sometimes when I’m sat alone on a Saturday night I do question whether I have very many friends. Sad and depressing I know, but being a one parent family can sometimes be a quiet and lonely life. The evenings especially so, as you know that that’s when everyone else is having their family time, or couples time, or some lucky buggers are even free to go out in the evening without having to book a babysitter weeks in advance and you’re stuck at home with a sleeping child upstairs.

However, my perspective changed dramatically this weekend, after Charlotte was admitted to hospital and we had to stay in overnight. I now realise more than ever before that I do have many, many friends.

Poorly girl.
With these friends we may not be able to meet up very often, we may have known each other for ever, we may not have actually known each other that long, we may have met because of babies or toddlers, or work or where we live, we may have met through the powers of Facebook, we may not exactly even remember when or how we came to know each other but, that night I had so many offers of genuine help that I could feel this amazing support system around me and, oh my goodness, did I need it right then.

Those who didn’t live close were messaging straight away, checking on me and Charlotte and giving me strength to cope with the situation. Those who were close were offering practical help like phone chargers (life lesson no 1: never go to out of hours with 9% battery), dog walking, popping to the shops for food and drink or a toothbrush or just desperately needed moral support. 

They all had their own stuff going on that evening and they were willing to stop that stuff, even briefly, and help me and that made me feel very honoured.

Luckily we came out of hospital the next day and, despite more tests that still need to be done, lots of things returned quickly to normal. But those 12 hours of hell really made me appreciate those around me and realise that I am really lucky and that I do have my so called ‘village’. 

So, in this season of gratitude, good will and thanksgiving (a bit late I know), I want to thank all my friends, from the bottom of my heart. Because without them I wouldn’t have made it through half the challenges I’ve faced and I’m sure they’ll help me through the next lot too. 

Fun Friday – review of Finding Dory

It does feel a little bit like the summer holidays over here even though Charlotte will still be going to nursery for four more weeks. We have fun things planned for our Friday’s off (Fun Friday’s if you will), we have all our weekends together booked up with people to see and places to go and a few days spare to still enjoy the sun which will hopefully decide to stick around a bit longer. (It is however raining as I write this!)

 

For our first Fun Friday of then summer we decided to go and see Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory movie.  It was released today so the cinema was busy but we went to the early showing so still had enough room to move (well I could have if Charlotte hadn’t insisted on sitting on my lap throughout). Click here for the link to the trailer.

 

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I was was looking forward to a light, hilarious caper with a small amount of mild peril as per the previous film Finding Nemo, which I may or may not have owned before Charlotte was even a twinkle in the postmans eye (not really if my ex reads my blog!).  We’ve recently seen The Secret Life of Pets and before that Zootropolis which we both loved.

 

But…

 

…oh how wrong I was though. For a U rating this had some really adult themes and I’m actually quite shocked.  I’ve always loved Disney/Pixar collaborations for the great mix of children’s humour with a smattering of ‘over the kids heads’ jokes for the poor parents having to watch yet another U or PG rated film, but this was severely lacking in the humour.  Yes, there was some funny seals for about four minutes. There was a crazy bird. An octopus gets splatted a couple of times but the rest just felt a bit angsty.

 

I won’t spoil the story for you in case you decide to see it but the vague gist is that Dory is on a quest to find her long lost parents. Cue flashbacks of cute baby Dory with parents, flashbacks of baby Dory trying to make friends but failing. Cue tears from me (although I cry at everything nowadays) and a very confused, emotional four year old.

 

I have to say I was quite disappointed with the film after waiting so long for the sequel to one of my most favourite kid’s films. So maybe save the £20 for another film or something else that won’t leave you having to console your child and secretly having to find the tissues too.  We went to our free art gallery after the film which Charlotte seemed much more enthralled about.

 

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Charlottes drawing the ‘lady with boobies’ (not its official title) at the Royal Pump Rooms Art Gallery in Leamington Spa

 

 

The perils of being a working mum. 

Today I left the house in my usual work attire. I’ve given up on trousers and skirts and dresses are the choice at the moment. 

At 9.15 however, I realised, as I nonchalantly ran my hands down my legs, that I had one horrendously hairy leg and one beautifully smooth leg! 

Granted this has meant I’ve had a warmer leg due to the Baltic conditions of works air con blasting out, but this is definitely one of the perils of being a working mum. No time to do any one job properly. 

Let me take you back…

A couple of months ago I bought an epilator. I’d heard good things about them, I’d also heard bad things about them but thought – ‘I’ve had a child, the pain can’t be that bad’. Oh how wrong I was!!

If you have never heard of an epilator or tried it it is a torture implement that I have voluntarily purchased. However, now I have spent a significant amount of money on it the Yorkshire genes in me insist I get use from it. 

Whoever invented the epilator either has an abnormally numb body or is actually the devil. 

To cut a long story short I started my second attempt at using it last night in the hope it would be less painful and quicker. I had been assured this would be the case.

Despite the gin and tonic I had consumed that evening and the ibuprofen I’d taken because of my headache (a great mix I know!) it still felt like somebody was plucking each of my hairs from my body slowly with minute tweezers…oh wait…

After completing one leg I got up to have a breather and wipe the tears away and promptly stubbed my toe, shouted ‘fuck this shit’ and watched another new episode of Orange is the New Black whilst holding an ice pack to my swollen toe. 

So this is how I now have one gorilla leg and one as smooth as a baby’s bum. But in order to get a matching pair I have to go through the whole ordeal again on the other leg and I’m not quite ready for that yet so this evening I’m still Tarzan on one leg and Jane on the other. 

I will sort it before Monday though…hopefully. 

The green fingered gene.

I’m starting to wonder whether there is a gardening gene that didn’t get passed on to me?? 

My parents definitely have it. Dad more so that mum, but I think it may have been a recessive gene. Fought off by the ‘love of magazines’ gene or the ‘gift wrapping’ gene. 

This is the first spring I’ve had a garden and at first glance I love it! I’m currently sitting on the patio drinking my morning coffee (Hope the neighbours don’t mind seeing me in my dressing gown!). But did you know that gardens need work doing to them? 

What i thought having a garden was like.

The grass needs to be mowed on a bi-daily basis from what I can gather, if you don’t want it to suddenly look like a scene from the Jungle Book. 

Things need taking up at specific times or putting in at specific times. 
Bushes need pruning (I giggled to myself then 😂).
Climbers need tying back 

and to top it off I have to go on pooh patrol before venturing out as Sophie has not found a specific ‘spot’ yet for number 2’s and is obviously testing out every square foot of ground to see what feels best! 

I have bought or been given all the tools for this ‘hobby’ (read full time job) and hoped I would turn into some green fingered, nature loving, ‘The Good Life’ type of woman but it has not yet happened. Is this one of those practice makes perfect type things? Because frankly, I haven’t got the time! 

Yep, i have a book about shrubs.

I AM debating painting my shed pink but I’m not quite sure that’s my top priority! 

Well, I better get on with it, I stupidly organised a birthday BBQ for me next weekend and so far have no BBQ, no outside table to put the food on and no food to put on the hypothetical BBQ! Who says I take on too much!?!

Sun, sea and the single mum.

Our daughters are playing together and I attempt a smile but apparently you don’t see me. 
We are sitting close to one another at dinner whilst I sit on my own for the fifth night in a row so our daughters can eat in the kids section but apparently you don’t see me. 
Our children are dancing together at the pretty awful evening entertainment but other than a smile and nod there’s nothing more that’s said.
Being a single mum on holiday seems to be like having the plague, in that if ‘our kind’ is conversed with for too long any ‘non-single mums’ will be infected and suddenly be left holding their two beautiful children all alone. The dads, of course, can’t talk to a single mum because we’re definitely trying to get out talons in any man that walks by so best to stay away. 
The receptionists obviously thought a lesbian couple would be staying with them as we have different surnames on our passports and therefore on our booking. The restaurant tickets say Miss Charlotte and Miss Katie and states that two adults will be eating with them. 


The housekeepers don’t know what to do with us and leave extra towels in case there is another person hiding somewhere in the closet and the bartenders presume I’m ordering two of what ever drink I ask for as I couldn’t possibly be drinking alone! (There are perks!!) 
The 19 year olds running the kids club ask me every time if I want to add another signature on the card so ‘someone else’ can pick Charlotte up. Unless Pablo the pool boy (who’s quite good looking) is offering, I haven’t had anyone else ask to pick my daughter up! Each time I say ‘nope, it’s just me’ and walk away with a lump in my throat and trying to think of a way to kill an hour and a half whilst Charlotte plays what’s the time mr wolf with 10 other pre-schoolers. I even contemplated the gym and even dressed to go, only to find the treadmill and cross trainer were broken and decid that weights were not for me. 

So, despite the fact that I thought I was brave enough to attempt a holiday just the two of us, it would seem my skin is not quite as thick as I would want it to be for this. It has been hard work more than it has been relaxing and both Charlotte and I have lost our tempers on more than one occasion. The sun has been good though and there have been intermittent moments that have made us smile and that I will treasure forever. 
Maybe I’ll try Devon next year though, slightly cheaper and easier to get home if it all goes pear shaped! Or maybe I’ll set up a single parents holiday company with babysitters, networking type events so everyone can get to know each other and plenty of activities that both parent and child can participate in. Oh, and a strong wifi signal throughout!! 


NB. I met the elusive single mum…on the flight on the way home…sitting right next to me! Thank you to the brave mum from Tamworth for ending my holiday perfectly. 

Back to basics for us.

Another long hiatus from me I’m afraid. I don’t know how other bloggers do daily posts…weekly seems difficult enough for me! But then maybe their not juggling all the other things too. Work is full on, home is full on and I’m now taking on the challenge of being a completely gluten free household too as, after the biopsy, we had confirmation that Charlotte does indeed have Coeliac Disease. Just what we needed!   

  
So I’m now trying to work out what this means and how it will affect our lives…so far I’ve come to the conclusion that it will affect it a lot! 
I have to admit I have become a lazy cook. We go out for food quite often and we eat ‘easy’ foods. I’m not happy with this scenario as I used to love cooking and trying new things but time has not been on our side and I’ve recently been picking the easiest options. After a trip to Bill’s Restaurant and Starbucks I’ve realised this can not be the way forward. The options available for a four year old Coelic are non existent and this in turn means a hungry child and a stressed out mum! So I’m going to have to go back to basics, meal planning and cooking from scratch. Great! When the hell in going to fit all this in I’m not sure yet! 

  
My high pressure project had a very brief quiet moment last week and I had time to take stock and realise that Charlotte has actually been quite poorly and getting worse over the past few months. Cue ‘worst mum in the world feeling’. She’s tired all the time, she’s waking during the night again, she’s grumpy and so am I and she is catching every bug going. I have also slowly been gaining more and more weight because of this unhealthy lifestyle we’ve slipped into so we need the change but I’m petrified. There’s so much to take in and implement and it seems so overwhelming. So rather that deal with it right now we’re running away on holiday in the hope we’ll both be rejuvenated enough so get cracking on the change when we get back. 

  
So now I have to focus on washing and ironing in order to pack and work out what the hell i’m going to wear by a swimming pool so I don’t look and feel like a beached whale. 
Anyone got a tarpaulin I could borrow??