Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On borrowed time...

Our laptop power cord has broken, again!  We've borrowed the Mundays' and have ordered another one, but it is shipping from China (silly Martin for not looking at that on Ebay when purchasing said item) so I may not be on line for a week or so.  Have to get this power cord back to the Mundays soon, after all.

Just a quick post to let you know that we are all doing well.  Edith is now walking almost everywhere, and it turns out that she was just waiting until she was totally steady on her feet before taking off.  She hardly ever falls over--even on uneven terrain.  Her babbling is now starting to sound a bit more like talking, though the only words she says with any regularity are "Dylan" and "boobies," her two favorite things (yes, I am still feeding her)!

We bought a paddling pool on Saturday and have been completely unable to get Dylan out of it since then.  Last night he even had his "bath" out there.  Every time I turn around he has stripped down to his birthday suit and is splashing in his little pool.  He is still chatting like crazy, and has a better vocabulary than some adults I know.  A few days ago he used the word "precipice" correctly in a sentence.  Can you believe that he's not even 3 yet?

Martin is doing well, though he was pretty disappointed after England's loss to Germany in the World Cup.  He's been watching a lot of football and working a lot, so we haven't really spent much quality time together lately.  Today he's doing his personal license course so he can legally sell alcohol at Stables.  He said he was anticipating a day of boredom. 

And me?  I've been incredibly busy with the children, the house, the garden, church calling, entertaining and breastfeeding peer support training.  Had some frustration last night when I had to scrape off most of the plaster that I did on the stairs.  I'm going to have to re-plaster the whole thing.  MAJOR pain in the bum!  But it's good to be busy.  No time to be bored and less chance of being lonely. 

We're all looking forward to my mom's visit in just 3 weeks' time.  Though I don't know how we'll manage to squeeze in everything I'd like to do with her in just 2 short weeks!

Whining baby alert--must go now.  I'll update again as soon as I can.  I have some fab pictures of naked Dylan and Edith in the paddling pool to post.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We had a father's day bbq on Sunday, and Martin and I went to the beach in Cleethorpes on Monday.  Tuesday, well, I decided to go on a housekeeping strike which only lasted about two hours--just long enough for me to read a trashy romance novel and sunbathe in the back garden.  Then I cleaned the house, got a babysitter, and went to book club.  Today we took the kids to the Lincolnshire Show.

Pictures of the above activities will follow (well, except for the housekeeping and sunbathing, that is).  But I'm exhausted now and am going to bed.  The kitchen is cleaned and I did as much of the bathroom as I could before my rubber gloves broke.  I've earned an early night!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The dads in my life...

A day late, but last night I actually got to spend some time with my husband and wasn't about to waste that by blogging!

I have some wonderful fathers in my life...

I was raised by my step-father, who married my mom when I was just two years old.  With their marriage, I gained a daddy as well as two wonderful big sisters.  I have never called him anything but dad, because he raised me like his own daughter and never treated me any differently, despite how difficult that must have been for him at times.  He is a good man, and a great father to his 5 daughters and son.  Now he is an amazing grandfather as well.  My dad can always be relied on to be honest, and to do what he thinks is right even when it might not be easy.  He is hard working and kind.  He expects you to always do your best, because it's what he does himself.  He inspires me to be a better person, and really that's what being a dad is all about!

I also have my daddy Doug--my biological father.  We didn't meet until I was 17, but he always sent me birthday and Christmas gifts along with a letter giving me his contact information should I want to get in touch.  Now that I know him, I realize that he was just too shy to push his way into my life.  Although he can never be as much of a dad to me as my step-father is, he enriches my life in countless ways.  He didn't raise me, but he always loved me.  Now he is taking care of his wife who has Alzheimer's, and I can see the way he is growing up.  In a strange way, he's now learning what it's like to be a full time parent the way he never was with me.  He can relate to me about the frustrations and isolation of having young children, and we have more in common all the time.  Plus, he passed his rather wicked sense of humor on to me.

I am also fortunate to have a wonderful father-in-law.  Laurence is always over here visiting his grandchildren, and can be relied on to fix things that Martin can't, either through lack of experience or lack of time.  He hooked up a water butt to my rain gutter only last week, and has been over to help with boiler and oven repairs many times.  He has some habits that I don't agree with, but if you need some help and he can provide it, he doesn't hesitate.  If for no other reason, I would love him because of how much my children adore him.  And they do!

And last, but certainly not least, is the father of my children.  Martin is amazing, and sometimes I have to take a step back and reflect on what a great father he is.  I knew he would be a good dad when I married him, but I didn't know how good until our children came along.  Not only does he love our children, but he genuinely likes them as well.  He likes to play with Dylan and Edith, and he likes to spend time with them.  He loves them enough to give them cuddles and kisses, and he also loves them enough to correct their behaviour when necessary.  And he doesn't just do the fun stuff.  Martin has always been willing to change his share of dirty diapers and clean up the sick.  He's more involved with his children than most men I know, and it shows.  The kids, well, they can never get enough of him.

I could go on to include grandfathers, as well.  I have known many good men in my life, and I appreciate them so very much.  But I'll leave it there for now and just say this:  The influence of a good man can never be measured, but should always be treasured.

Thank you to all of the fathers in my life.  You do more than you could ever know.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Do other women feel the same?

My mom will be here in just 5 weeks!

Seriously, I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I am so happy that she will finally get to meet my daughter, and that Dylan will be able to see her somewhere other than in a picture or on a computer screen.  He's looking forward to giving her a big hug, and so am I.

I had a strange dream last night.  I dreamt that mom was here, but I was so used to doing things on my own that I kept forgetting her.  It was really sad, because she kept feeling left out and crying.  But I'm pretty sure that won't happen!

It will be so nice to have my mom here with me, and to NOT have to do everything on my own!  I kind of wish she could stay forever!

And now, here's a quick disclaimer for anyone who reads my blog who is not either a) a family member or b) Mormon:

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints--a Mormon.  Yes, our church practiced polygamy in the mid 1800's.  We no longer do so.  If you want to fact-check, go to lds.org.

That being said, I'm beginning to think think that polygamy is the way forward, especially now that I have kids.  Seriously, how wonderful would it be to have another woman in the house?  I would only have to cook half of the meals and would have help on the housework.  There would always be a babysitter readily available, so I wouldn't have to drag my kids with me to doctor's appointments and on shopping trips.  I might even get the occasional night out.  I would have another grown up to talk to!

Of course, I would have to share my husband's intimate attentions with another woman.  But seriusly, I am so tired most of the time that it wouldn't pose much of a problem.  My beautiful children take every scrap of energy I've got!

Really, the only person who would lose out would be the husband.  Twice as many kids to feed and clothe.  Two women to keep satisfied.  TWO women to nag him about not getting stuff done and complain about his annoying personal habits.  Two women who are, let's face it, probably going to gang up on him whenever he says or does something thoughtless or careless to the other woman.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dining adventures...

Making the best of a day stuck in Scunthorpe...

The latest bathtime snaps...

Lazy day...

Dreading it...

We missed an important lesson in church last week.  They announced that food and drink will no longer be allowed in the chapel.  As a mother of two young children, I have to tell you that snacks are pretty much the only way we have to keep our little ones quiet for 1 1/4 hours straight.  Especially since sacrament meeting is the lastof the three meetings in our stake.

I'm planning on writing a (nice and polite) letter to the stake presidency, asking them to prayerfully reconsider the order of the meetings.

I've told Martin that I don't intend to spend the whole of the meeting out in the foyer with grumpy kids or in the kitchen feeding them their snacks.  We might as well not be there if that's what we're doing.  Although I' sure it's not intended, this decision makes me feel as if the bishopric are pushing families with young kids out of the services.  I don't feel very welcome at church right now.  We'll just leave if the kids are uncontrollable.

Of course, it could turn out just fine. 

And monkeys might fly out of my backside.

Sorry to be so negative.  My next post will be happier, and will probably include pictures.  :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I'm going to be one of the BABES!

Today I started a 6 week training course to become a breast feeding peer supporter.  I will be joining our NHS trust's "Babies and Breastfeeding Extra Support" group.  I'm thrilled about this.  It's totally a volunteer thing, but I feel so passionately about breastfeeding and would love to be able to support other women who are struggling or just need a little bit of extra help or support.  I will be doing the training every Wednesday morning.  Today was the first session, and it was good.

In other exciting news, Dylan has been sleeping without a pull-up this week.  He's gone 2 naps and 1 full night with no accidents, which I think is pretty amazing.  I'm so very proud of my big boy!

Edith is back to her normal self now, after her rough week.  However, she's picked up a rather annoying habit of screaming when she wants something or when she doesn't get her way.  She understands when you tell her no, and she squeals like a little piggy.  It's seriously such an ear-splitting sound.  Good thing she's such a looker!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

My week of dealing with bodily fluids...

Poor Edith--the live virus in her MMR vaccine did not sit well, and she has been sick all week long.  Martin and I have been dealing with her explosions (from both ends) all week long, and she's only been back to "normal" for the last 36 hours.  I have done about 4 extra loads of laundry this week--including all of her bedding--twice!

Yesterday was another pretty awesome day.  I was stuck in Scunthorpe for 6 hours with both kids and no car.  Not exactly my idea of a good time, but the water pump on our car got fixed as a result.  We left home at about 9:30am and didn't got back until 4pm.  And I had my friend Amy coming over for dinner, so I still had a meal to prepare and the house to clean.  Wouldn't you know it, Edith chose this 45 minute window to have a diaper explosion.  Then Dylan had a little accident as well.  When Amy came over at 5pm, both kids were naked from the waist down, the house was a mess, and dinner was late.  Then, after we ate, Dylan threw up all over the living room carpet.  What a great way to cap off an amazing week!

All is well today though.  It's been a good one with the kids.  Well, other than the fact that it took nearly an hour and a half to get them tucked up in bed.  They are normally asleep by 7pm, but I was still messing about with them at quarter past 8.

It's been a rough week all 'round.  But things are all good now.  We had a proper monsoon-style rainstorm this evening, and it refreshed me in so many ways.  And it made it so I don't have to worry about watering the garden tomorrow.  In fact, as I sit typing I am feeling strangely content. 

I don't know why, but having sick kids always makes me feel like a proper mother.  If you recall, it wasn't until Dylan had his first bout of proper sickness that I stopped feeling like I was just pretending to be a mom.  It's hard work, cleaning up messes and doing extra laundry and doing all of the comforting and cuddling and caring stuff.  But it is rewarding.

Our car didn't pass it's MOT, which means it is illegal to drive it right now.  So we aren't going to church tomorrow--it would cost about £15 in bus fare and we would be either an hour early or 30 minutes late if we used public transport, so instead we sill stay home and spend time together as a family.  At least until Martin goes in to work.  He is going to have Monday and Tuesday off this week since his Sunday cover isn't available.  The car is booked in to get fixed on Monday, so hopefully we won't be too long without a vehicle.  And hopefully it won't cost too much!

Since we aren't giong to church tomorrow, my Saturday night has been totally chilled out and free from the stresses of a normal Saturday.  I read a book this evening--a whole book.  Nice bit of fluff.  I listened to the rain pouring down.  I sang to my babies while I tried to get them to sleep.  I scrubbed the kitchen floor. 

I'm becoming such a shut-in.  Such a stay-at-home mom, obsessed with my kids' bowel movements, doing nothing but housework and cooking.  And the sad thing is, this lifestyle really suits me.  I love it.  Even when it's hard, I have never done such a fulfilling job!

Oh, and Simon and Joanne gave us a lawnmower because they had two.  :)

By the way, both kids are feeling fine now.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

THE ex-boyfriend...

I think every woman has one.  You know--THE ex-boyfriend.  The first one you really loved, and the first one who broke your heart.  The one who kindly provided you with most of the emotional baggage that you carry into every relationship that follows.

Mine was Chris Johnson.  I really loved him, which sounds stupid when you consider we were 17 when we started dating.  But I honestly did love him.  Emotions like that don't necessarily have to involve maturity.  I certainly didn't love him any more by the time our relationship ended.  Some of his actions quite effectively killed that.  But when things were good, well, we had a lot of fun together and I was happy.

His family moved away from Nephi quite some time ago, and I've often wondered what became of him.  Chris Johnson is a common name, but I have been looking for him on Facebook.  Kind of wanting closure on a drama-filled, heart wrenching period of my life, you know?  Well, guess what?  I found his mother on Facebook a few days ago.  Now I know.

Chris is in the U.S. Army.  He's actually a Green Beret.  He is living in Tennessee with his wife and 3 daughters, and has another on the way.  He's served several tours of duty in Afghanistan.  He's done all right for himself.

Part of me is happy for him.

Most of me wishes that something really bad had happened to him as a sort of karmic payback for the things he's done.  Part of me wishes that he had ended up as damaged as I did because of our time together.

It's really funny, because I honestly thought I was past all of that.  I thought that 13 years was enough time for me to hear about him and not feel sick to my stomach.  I thought I wouldn't care any more.

See, the problem with falling in love when you're that young is that you are still in your formative years--so incredibly young and impressionable.  The smallest action in the world can have lasting consequences because those are the years when each and every decision can directly influence the rest of your life.

Then again, maybe age has nothing to do with it.  Maybe it happens every time you fall in love.  Maybe you just have to enter every relationship with an eye to damage control, and when you're 17 years old you haven't learned to do that yet.

Maybe I ought to be getting more sleep.

Anyway, now I know what he's done with his life.  I wonder if he is ever curious about what happened to me.  I'd like to think that deep down he really loved me.  And I can always hope that I left a lasting impression on him as well, good or bad!