Virtual (and Actual) Reality

I am struggling to keep up with things at the minute, both online and off.  I have so much to do that in the rare free moments i have i have difficulty figuring out which to do and in what order.

I have some important work-related stuff coming up next week which has me a little worried.  For one thing i am going to be doing my NLS (Neonatal Life Support) for the first time on Tuesday which is nerve-wracking as it involves a full day of resuscitation training (8am to 6pm or something absurd) plus a practical and theoretical assessment.  You’d think after 4.5 years of working with neonates i’d be confident in my ability to resuscitate them right? Nuh-huh. Let’s not forget i’ve been busy making neonates of my own.  Which is why i am only just getting round to doing my NLS now in fact.

As well as fretting about that i am also starting my Mentorship Course next week.  Something i am beginning to regret applying for as i am feeling like i may have bitten off more than i can chew….but it’s too late now.  I just keep telling myself that i can only do the best that i can do and no more…and hopefully my best will be good enough.  Well, it will have to be!

I briefly decided to resurrect my twitter account as i thought there was little point having one if i never used it, but i’m not convinced it’s for me. Chris tells me the reason i don’t like it is because i don’t use properly but i don’t know how to use it properly and am not sure i have the energy to figure it out!

I am thinking of getting strict with myself when it comes to social media and adopting a strict “Use it or loose it policy” I did something similar with Myspace and ended up deleting that. Otherwise i just have all these accounts i never use and what’s the point?

I thought maybe i could use twitter for my parenty updates, the kind of things that bug the crap out of non-parents when you post them on facebook.  You know- “My kid just pooped on the toilet!” and “Guess what funny thing my baby just did!” to avoid alienating all my non-Mumsy facebook friends but i am not sure i’m capable of compartmentalising like that, or if i should even try…

Anywho, aside from my musings about social networking here’s a little over-view of what else we’ve been up to 😉

Lovely Autumn Walks

Baking Gingerbread Stars (sadly they got a little burnt)

Falling asleep in dentist’s waiting rooms (!)
Painting Autumn Pictures
Visiting the runway visitors park at the airport

The latter being a last-minute decision on my part as we’d been stuck inside all snuffly and bored and i decided we needed to get out for the afternoon but it had to be somewhere local and inexpensive.  I was a little worried that we’d get there and that Toby would declare the aeroplanes “TOO NOISY” and want to go home or that Rudy would be bored, or that it would start pouring with rain or some such.  But it actually went really well.  They were both mesmerised by the planes and we spent a good hour and a half there before we got a bit chilly and decided to head home and the whole thing cost me £12 which i didn’t think was bad- £6 to park and £6 for a little toy plane for Toby that he’s in love with 🙂

Today we’ve still got the sniffles and we’re and currently camped out on the sofa watching Home Alone (yes it’s September, no i don’t care! I just want ten minutes peace- more if possible!)

It’s amazing how quickly Autumn has arrived and made itself at home.  Already the leaves are changing colour and falling, we’re having to put the heating on at least once every day, i have started wearing my dressing gown over my PJs and i’ve asked Chris if we can go up in the loft this weekend to  unearth the hats, gloves and scarves box! The only thing missing thus far is conkers! We can’t seem to find any anywhere! Where are they all?!

I love autumn and i’m looking forward to all the exciting stuff it’s got in store, i just hope we’re going to be able to squeeze it all in!

Mental Arithmetic

So i’ve been thinking about how some stuff just doesn’t add up.

Like, how having two children can sometimes feel 10 x as hard as having one child.

How working 3 nights a week (as i have this past month) instead of 2 nights can somehow feel twice as bad, and just totally wreck your entire week, leaving very little time or energy to squeeze anything else in other than work.

Similarly, how two people living in the same house can see so little of each other.  Chris and i are like ships passing in the night at the moment because of work.  Our interactions mostly consist of handovers about how our day/night with the boys was, what they ate/drank, when they slept and how long for and who has pooped and peed, and when/where it occured.  It’s romantic let me tell you.

How can an ONLINE grocery shop take up an entire afternoon, and feel almost as stressful as actually going to the supermarket after a night shift with two children.

How it can possibly still be another 12 days until pay day?!…

…And yet only be 101 more sleeps until Christmas?!?!

How has 6 weeks of summer holidays flown by in the blink of an eye and it’s back to reality for us all as of Monday (aka Chris goes back to uni to start his final year- eeek!)

I just don’t get it.  It doesn’t make sense.  But then Math never was my strong suit at school.  I much preferred creative writing.  Not that you’ll be seeing any of that from me this evening having had a grand total of two hours sleep today.

Mayhaps i’ll be back tomorrow with a clearer head….

 

Beach Baby

Today we went to the beach 🙂

It was Rudy’s first time and it turns out he is a Big Fan!

Toby had a fantastic time too.  Although he cracked us up this morning, i was trying to make him guess where we were going “Play area?” he said “Park?” then “Shops?” so i got out his bucket and spade from our holiday last year and waved them at him “SANDPIT!” he said! Lmao.

He said it again when we were there, he finished his ice cream at the cafe on the pier and said “My want to go back in the sandpit now!”

I’m so loving his notion of the beach being this HUGE sandpit.  Similarly i think he saw the sea as a HUGE swimming pool as he wasn’t content with paddling and wanted to go further and further out and “sit down!” although thankfully didn’t in the end as we were all quite soggy enough as it was!

It was quite very windy but warm enough when the sun appeared from behind the clouds.  We had a brilliant time building sandcastles, playing chase, looking for shells and other interesting beachy stuff.  We saw a crab shell, some super smooth pebbles, seaweed, which Toby was NOT a fan of and referred to as “monsters” and there was a jellyfish in the sea near where we were paddling which slightly freaked me out as i didn’t realise that’s what it was at first and was all “oooh Toby come take a look at this funny thing…” and then “Oh no wait! Don’t go near that funny thing!” Haha.

They both loved paddling in the sea, even though it was a bit nippy on the toes and then we had a looooong walk back to the pier for refreshments so Rudy, exhausted from his adventures had a nap in the sling on the way.

We ate fish and chips on a bench on the front and then went for a walk along the pier.

We had to walk through the amusements to get to it and Toby was overawed by all the “toys” (rides) so i very slowly and clearly explained that he could pick one.  Just one ride.  And that he could go on it, but that when it finished that would be it.  He chose a ride in a car around a track, go-kart stylee.  He’s been on a go kart before but with help from one of us and we weren’t even sure his feet would reach the peddle whilst sat down, let alone that he’d be able to steer himself around (adults weren’t allowed to ride on with the kids) but i’d said he could pick any ride, and that’s the ride he picked. Luckily he’s a tall leggy thing and could just press the accelerator to the floor whilst sat down.  I figured he’d just crash and bump his way around like a solo version of dodgems but he very carefully steered his way around the track only crashing into the central reservation twice, and one of those times was because i distracted him by asking him if he was having a good time! (Bad Mummy).  He did almost take out a couple of kids who’s moronic grandparents were letting wander around on the track but thankfully didn’t.  Mostly thanks to his driving skills rather than their supervision skills though!

After it finished i expected some degree of protestation or at the very least a request for a go on something else but nope, he happily came away without a single tear let alone tantrum.  I was very impressed so suggested to Chris we should reward ourselves/him with some ice cream.  Toby had blue ice cream (bubblegum) and i had rum and raisin.  Chris had a coffee.  Not coffee ice cream. An actual hot beverage.  Rudy doesn’t like ice cream but had a few licks of mine just to be sure 😉

After toilet trips and one last play “in the sandpit”

we were all exhausted and decided to call it a day.

They both slept like logs on the drive home and i have a feeling i will tonight, given the chance that is…

Cake That

I made the mistake of attempting to bake with a toddler. Using a new recipe. After a night shift.

Sometimes it’s like i’m actually willing myself to fail.

I should wear a badge- “Rebecca: actively seeking nervous breakdown.”

I should have seen the warning signs in the recipe itself, but it was deceptive…

It’s (meant to be) an apple cake with honey icing.

The description begins:

“A cake that takes no time to make, requires no special ingredients and slices up a treat for afternoon tea? Apple do nicely”

Fantastic right?! Sounds right up my street.  Exactly my kind of cake.

But then there’s the ingredients list…

Flour, yadda yadda, baking powder, yadda yadda…pinch of ground nutmeg…hmm…not too bad…zest of a lemon?!…Ok…we’re still good…seeds from one vanilla pod…

Hang about.  Back up a minute…i thought this was supposed to be a cake that requires no special ingredients?! Vanilla pods?! Are you kidding me?!

Who the hell has vanilla pods in their cupboard as a matter of routine?! Don’t tell me you do because i won’t believe you.  Liar.

Seriously, when it comes to the weekly shop and you’re grabbing the essentials…”Bread…Milk…Eggs…Bog roll…Oh don’t forget the madagascan vanilla pods darling! They’re a cupboard staple you know, i simply don’t know how we’d manage without them!”

Fuck off.

I bought madagascan vanilla pods from the supermarket especially for the recipe.  That in itself was a feat because i had no idea what a vanilla pod looked like.  Maybe i’m incredibly vulgar and uncultured but where i come from, gravy is made from granules, cream is squirted from a pressurised container and vanilla comes in a little plastic bottle labelled “Vanilla Flavouring”.

I asked Chris if he knew what form vanilla pods took so we could locate the right aisle for them but he didn’t know either.  I was about to give up when i spotted them…

A bargain at £3.48 for two (!) Nothing says “Don’t fuck this cake up Rebecca!” like pricey ingredients.  And everybody loves a bit of pressure right?…

So fast forward to this afternoon.  I had my ingredients, and a spare hour or so while Rudy naps.  Toby was watching cbeebies but he does far too much of that so i lured him away with the promise of whisking and mixing and possibly licking spoons with cakey mixture on them.

Sadly it wasn’t to be.  There were several obstacles, i feel, that even a very accomplished baker (which i am not) would have struggled to overcome.  First up.  The equipment.  Like any bad workman, i am inclined to blame my tools.  But really, this is my whisk:

No obviously i’m just kidding.  We have another whisk too:

I’m not kidding.  Those are the whisks.  In days gone by many a better woman could have probably whisked up a storm with those beauties.  Good for them.  I must have incredibly weak wrists or something because it just aint happening.

Aside from the technical challenge of trying to whisk something resembling concrete into “a light batter” using one of the above there was also the unrelated matter of Toby Wearing Pants.

Yes, potty training continues in earnest.  Earnest on our parts. Reluctance on his.  Some days are fantastic and i think we have it nailed and get all carried away with myself daydreaming of a time when i will be able to leave the house without nappies.  Other days are…not so good.

We’re getting stuck into the baking and Toby wants to take a break to drink some juice.  It’s all good.  He has his juice, i carry on with the measuring and the grating and the whisking and the stirring and the folding.  Yes, indeed, they also lied about it “Taking no time at all to make” bastards.

Then he wanders off with a sieve on his head babbling on about it being his “racing helmet” and it’s still all good, i don’t really need his “help” at that minute anyway.

The next thing it’s all gone quiet and he’s stood in the corner by the back door pulling “The Face”

“Poos go on the potty not in your pants remember!” i chorus, swooping him into the living room and plonking him on one of the various potties that litter our house these days.  At which point he promptly pees and denies any knowledge of any such bodily function as poo and any suggestion he might like to try to have one.  Meanwhile the “cake mixture” (aforementioned concrete) is setting quietly in the kitchen…solid enough to hold the whisk upright for eternity.

After slamming some cupboards, flinging some tupperware about and yelling at Chris i realise i have two options. Throw it all in the bin (won’t someone think of the madagascan vanilla pods?!) or throw it all in the oven.

I opt for the latter on account of the significant finances and time invested by that point.

As such i am now the proud owner of this, delactable looking beauty:

Whether it needs to be classified as hazardous to health and disposed of in a special way to protect the public remains to be seen.  I shall try to persuade someone to take a bite after dinner, but as Chris just popped his head around the kitchen door gestured to it and asked with some confusion “What’s THAT?!” i don’t hold out much hope…

I leave you with a mini series of portraits depicting Toby’s puzzlement at being asked to “zest a lemon”

Tummy Bug Maths

One episode of D&V + Three people / Four days =

500* toilet trips
6 loads of washing
3 missed shifts at work (two for me, one for Chris)
2 sick buckets (actually nappy buckets, swiftly adapted for the occasion)
1 missed swimming lesson
1 missed family meal
1 missed dentist appointment
0 sleep

Result = Total Carnage of a weekend.

On the plus side Rudy remains unaffected!

*This figure is an estimate. Actual number of toilet trips unknown.