30 March 2012

The vicious circle of tiredness

I am shattered. Zonked. Shagged. Done in. However you label it, I am tired.

And it's all my fault.

I have a simple solution......go to bed earlier. BUT, and this is a big but - hence the capitals, bold and italics - I can't do it. I cannot get myself up the stairs at a sensible hour. Even when I'm hanging at 8.30 when the house is finally quiet I cannot bring myself to waste that precious time by sleeping.

Precious time.....oh precious time. Time when the house is quiet. Time when the children are asleep. Time when I can switch off.

My precious time in the day has now gone. Going back to work means no more taking the children to school and preschool and coming back to an empty house. After Easter I'll be getting up earlier, dropping the children off, whizzing off to work, picking up Alban, grabbing myself some lunch, having some time with Alban and then the school run at 3.15 and all the chaos that entails.

So, when 8.30 comes around and lunches are packed and the kitchen is tidied and any ironing is done and my jumping around the lounge like a loon* has all been completed, I need my 'me time'.

So I stay up. Late.

Then wake up. Tired.

And so it begins again.

I am in a vicious circle of tiredness and don't know how to fix it. Where do I find my 'me time' apart from right at the end of the night?



28 March 2012

Crafty Chicks

Edith is having her final day at home today recuperating from chickenpox and got bored so we decided to make some little chicks. It is Easter soon after all! This is a great little project if you have some scraps of fabric. I let Edith choose two pieces out of my box:

We cut out two body shapes and four wing shapes. We did ours quite small.

Sew two pieces of wing together right sides facing - leaving the bottom join open so you can turn the right way out and stuff.
Repeat for the other wing.

Sandwich the wings in between the two body pieces - right sides together - with the wings inside. Pin in place then sew round the body leaving a gap at the bottom.

Trim the excess fabric.

Turn the right way out and stuff!

 Edith was particularly good at this as she has delicate fingers - unlike my clumsy claws.

Then it's the fun part!
Embellish with felt, sequins, buttons, whatever you can lay your hands on.
Alban had to have one too and I made his bigger as Edith's was very fiddly!

How cute do they look?!

x x x

The lovely Cat over at Cat's Yellow Days has nominated my blog for a MAD award.
If you fancy doing that too then please do.

I have also been shortlisted for a BiB and would love your vote.
Please click the badges below:

Fresh Voices Shortlist

MAD Blog Awards 2012

x x x


#ISpy.....someone who is a D!

#ISpy is back, hosted by the lovely Mum Of One.

This week it is brought to you by the letter D.

There's two to spot in this week's snap - can you see them?

Mum of One

26 March 2012

A Week in Tweets

Slummy Single Mummy has started something new - A Week in Tweets. The idea is that every Tuesday she will post her week in tweet form, so no more than 140 characters a day for you strange types who don't understand Twitter. The tweets can be real ones or you can go fully creative and make them up. Sometimes she will set a theme for a week, which will force me to be a bit more creative in my writing - not a strongpoint, but for this week I have trawled through my tweets.

Here we go then, My Week in Tweets...

Monday 19th March
A bit miffed the Olympic torch isn't coming through Melksham! #snobs !

Tuesday 20th March
Always nice to hear the class teacher tell you that your daughter is phenomenal #proudmum #parentsevening

Wednesday 21st March
I'm now off to the front room to jump around like a loon in the hope that the effort might lead to some inch loss.

Thursday 22nd March
Errr, I haven't touched my blog for a week! What's that all about? #backtowork #chickenpox

Friday 23rd March
The pox has finally made E sleepy - peace and quiet here for another 10 mins or so until A crashes through the door from preschool.

Saturday 24th March
Errr...my shack has turned into a nursing station. WT...?! The sacrafices I make. pic.twitter.com/spnSfnR3

Sunday 25th March
So, The Pirates is a great film, Hugh Grant is looking pretty good and the guy from Massive Attack is REALLY tall!

When Slummy Single Mummy has posted her Week in Tweets I will go over and leave my link in her comments box!

Here's her stonking badge:


The Pirates - Bristol Premiere

"The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists"

Last night I was very lucky to have attended the Bristol premiere of Aardman Animations latest creation, The Pirates - in an Adventure with Scientists!

It seems having a child with you was part of the criteria for getting in so I took Alban along for the fun - it is a children's film after all! Poor old Edith was still suffering from chickenpox so she frustratingly stayed at home with Dad.

Upon arrival the first thing I noticed was a real mix of attire; glamorous dresses, suits, designer outfits, pirate costumes - not just on the children, and plenty of smart/casual jeans and flats - phew.

Inside, the cinema complex was decked out with palm trees and there were balloon artists - for the children - and buxom Pirate lasses handing out shots of Captain Morgan - for the grown ups. Unfortunately I was driving so could not partake in the shots of rum - damn.

Anyway, the film. Briefly it is the tale of Pirate Captain, a not so successful pirate, who is aiming to win 'Pirate of the Year'. He has stiff competition though from the likes of Cutlass Liz and Black Bellamy. His adventures on the high seas lead him to stumble upon Charles Darwin, who, noticing something different about the Captain's parrot, tries to 'help' him. I'm not going to give anything else away so instead, here's the trailer:

Did you spot the amazing visual effects?!

Well it's all because of the Visual Effects Supervisor - *ahem* my super talented brother in law - that enabled me to attend last night. Should you go to see the film look out for his name in the opening titles - I'm very proud of him!

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the film and will be taking Edith to see it once she is better.

Here's some pics from my night!

Oh, nearly forgot to say, Hugh Grant came into the screening to do a little speech - no photo though as we had to leave all mobile phones etc for piracy - ha ha ha - reasons!!

Alban saying hello to the film's director Peter Lord.
To the left is my brother in law - aka Visual Effects guy!

x x x

25 March 2012

24 March 2012

Are you going to Brit Mums Live?!

It's not that long now until BritMumsLive 2012! Whoop-de-whoop!
I would be telling a big fat porky if I said I wasn't a bit shy or nervous about going but luckily I have some other bloggers to hold my hand on the underground - thanks SAHDandproud and Motherventing!
Luckily someone has come up with a fab Q&A meme about the whole event to put us all at ease.

The Ultimate Brit Mums Meme was started off by Claire from A Boy With Asperger's and I've been tagged by the super fit Bod For Tea

Q: What’s your blog title/URL and how long have you been blogging?
My blog is http://www.melkshammum.blogspot.com and I've been blogging since July 2011.

Q: Will Britmums Live be your first blogging conference?
Sort of, yes. I went to Blog Camp Bristol last October and met some of my favourite bloggers but this is my first proper overnighter!

Q: Did you bag yourself a sponsor?
Erm, no. Noone has banged at my blog door offering their money so I'm funding this myself my husband is funding this one.

Q: Are you attending both days?
Oh yes!

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the conference?
Meeting up with Motherventing and The Lovebump again and finally getting the chance to meet SAHDandproud, NotSoSlummy, LagosMum and loads others!!

Q: Are you wearing Branded Clothing (your sponsors brand)?
Erm no. My husband's clothes would look rubbish on me.

Q: What is your planned style for this event?
Style?! Me? *snorts* I will probably arrive in a fluster wearing my work clothes from the morning - so sensible trousers, top & flats. I will be packing more trousers / jeans / flats / flip flops for the Saturday. Maybe a pair of heels and something a bit more glam for the evenings - watch this space.

Q: Are you hoping to be nominated for a BiB award?
I have!!! Squeals.

Q: If so what category?
I've been shortlisted for Fresh Voice if you want to chuck a vote my way x x

Q: Will you be looking to network with Brands?
 I'm not sure really. I'm seeing it more of an experience to learn more about the blogosphere and meet some fabulous people.

Q: What do you hope to walk away having gained from the conference?
An armful of swag. New friendships, fresh ideas and probably a stinking hangover.

Q: Will you be dressing up in the toilets for the Friday night BiBs?

What's your idea of dressing up?! I will put the feelers out to see what everyone is planning to wear so I do not look either over or under dressed.

Q: Are you speaking at the conference and if so when, where and how do you feel about doing so?Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.......no.

Q: Will you be joining in the early morning bloggercise on the Saturday?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.......no.

Q: What speakers are you most looking forward to listening to?
I really hope get there in time on the Friday to hear Ruby Wax. On the Saturday I will be checking out the Daddy Bloggers!

Q: What workshops will you be attending on the Friday (Day 1)
Probably the Discussion Den: Can you really have it all?

Q: What Workshops being held on the Saturday (Day 2) have grabbed your attention?
Photography, using Facebook and the Daddy Bloggers.

Q: Are you booked into a hotel for the Friday night, if yes which one?
I'm booked into The Hoxton and my roomie is Motherventing!

Q: Will you be looking for after party drinks?

Q: Are you worried about not knowing anyone or being confident and socialising on the day?
Errr.....yes, to the confident bit. I'm a bit scared of how I'll come across in real life as people may have built up some amazing picture of me! Or not.

Q: What are you most likely to be found doing while attending Britmums Live?
Drinking tea before 6p.m. Drinking cider after 6p.m. Giggling nervously. Trying to look confident!

Now here's the rules... basically copy the questions and answer them, link back to A Boy With Asperger's and there is a linky there so we can all find each other and learn a bit more. Then tag a few more people to join in. 

I think loads of you have done this already but I'll try @thelovebump @SAHDandproud @LagosMum

If you see me - I'll be the one with the eighties curls - come and say hello!
x x x


23 March 2012

Oh go on then - The MADs!

This colourful badge has been popping up all over the place:

MAD Blog Awards 2012

I had a look on the site and this awards ceremony looks fantastic!

Look here for all the glamour from last year.

The MADs (that's Mum and Dad if you're wondering) are, and I quote from the website, "the UK's biggest and most exciting awards for parent blogs".

So, if you think my blog is worthy of a nomination for Best New MAD Blog then please head over.

You do have to nominate a Blogger of the Year then you are free to nominate in any of the other categories that catch your eye.

x x x

Things I've learnt today

It's Day 2, Round 2 of chickenpox in the Melksham Mum house but it's okay as the back door is wide open, the sun is shining and Edith isn't suffering too badly with it. However, it does mean we are confined to the house again but I'm getting on with different things and I have learnt a few things today....

1. The heat of one green chilli can be very different to that of another!
I made soup for lunch; spicy carrot, sweet potato & coconut for me and sweet potato & carrot for Edith.
Last time I made this soup for me the chilli was lacking so this time I put in two - WOWZERS! I won't be doing that again.

2. A bit of face paint can cheer up a poorly girl.
Edith was very upset at missing dress up day at school for Sport Relief - she was going as Olga Korbut! I fobbed her off with a pink nose, whiskers and teeth. Yes, I know that looks nothing like Olga Korbut but she was happy. For a while.

3. I have realised that I can follow a sewing tutorial and I can adapt it to suit me!
No pictures as it is my #pinaddicts project for next month hosted by the lovely Sew Scrumptious!

4. The iPad, although it was a present for me, is a great way to keep pox girl amused.
Heck, I even downloaded a dress up Barbie app for her - Gah!

5. I've been shortlisted for a BiB!
While I was typing away at this post my iPad went *ping* and there was a message from @MinistryofMum - shortlisted in the Laugh section - saying hooray!
If you want to chuck a vote my way click here!!

Thank you if you nominated me x x x


22 March 2012

Guilt / Asking for help

It is 2.40 p.m. on a Thursday. I should be sitting in church watching Alban in his Easter service. Instead I am at home looking after, a rather grumpy, pox girl. Shit happens. I knew the pox was on its way and I am sure that Alban won't even notice that I'm not there. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there for him.

I have just recovered from the panic to find someone to fetch Alban and bring him home. I initially planned to drive up and get him as 2 hours ago Edith was feeling fine, then she suddenly went downhill and is now crashed out on the sofa. This is where more guilt kicks in.

If I am stuck with the children I have to call on other Mums. I feel bad for always asking for help. One Mum had Alban for the morning last week so I could go to my job interview. She is also bringing Alban home today. She herself doesn't have family around and I am also going to ask her to have Alban again next week so I can get into school before I start after Easter - I had planned to go tomorrow but am now on pox nursing duty. Obviously.

That Mum is currently my hero heroine.

I get frustrated not having any family around to call on. Most of my Mum friends do. Some of them seem to have half of Melksham as their family network / support group. Jealous? Sort of.

15 March 2012

#pinaddicts no.2 - We have a winner!

The time has come to randomly draw a winner for the second #pinaddicts challenge

This month the prize up for grabs is a £50 Experience Days voucher!

We had 43 official link ups plus @Trayzzr2, who had a mix up with me over linking up so I have included her in the draw. If you add me as well we had 45 creations!!

Just kidding.

I went very high tech with the selection this month and wrote out the numbers 1-44 on a piece of paper!

I crossed out the #pinaddicts team members - sorry guys!
Cut them up and threw them in the fruit bowl.

In went the claw hand.

And out came number....... (drum roll please).......



No 22 is better known as Michelle from Increasingly Crafty who made these gorgeous beanbags!

I am now off to to hunt her down - wish me luck.

Well Done No.22 Michelle!

x x x



Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's back to work I go...

...with a shovel and spade and a hangrenade. Or maybe not as I may get into trouble with the head teacher for that. So, yes, I'm going back to the world of work. I'm waving goodbye to my status as a SAHM and venturing into working mum territory. Long gone will be the days of swanning around in my Discovery*, having manicures** and meeting friends for coffee*** . I will be saying hello to the days of extra early starts, breakfast clubs and a bit of cash in my purse - minus the nursery, preschool and breakfast club fees. Damn.

For those that don't know, I will be employed as a Y3 TA, five mornings a week on a fixed term contract. It's a decision I thought carefully about with regards to my kiddies, own career and work/life balance. I could have gone for the money option and returned to the classroom as a teacher. But I've done that and it didn't work for me and my family. It took over too much of my life. For those that do it I take my hat off to you, you are amazing. For those that don't get it - teachers work ridiculous hours; evenings, weekends and yes, the holidays. They are constantly planning, preparing, marking, assessing, worrying, stressing.... The list goes on. For me it was too much. My sister (teacher) is very envious.

I guess I've been fortunate not having to work and I'm fortunate to be able to choose this route back into working with children. The salary was quite a shock when I first saw it. I have worked with amazing TAs who have been worth their weight in gold and never given the credit, or financial recognition, they deserve. It is a job far removed from the days of helping the teacher by sharpening pencils, wiping noses and whacking up the odd display. TAs are a valued and skilled member of the school workforce.

Now, however,  I have to go and spend some money before I've even earned it as I need a work wardrobe. My past teaching clothes either no longer fit or look acceptable in 2012! I need something beyond jeans, jeans, jeans, leggings and jeans. This will be a chore as I realise I should have got my arse into fitness mode months ago as I will no doubt find myself in a changing room squeezing into outfits that cling in all the wrong places. Oh well. I will never learn.

So, I'm going to enjoy these next few weeks with my kiddies and have a fun Easter holiday. Then it will be off to work for me.
I think I'm going to enjoy this new phase in my life.

*I wish
**Have you seen my nails?
***It happened about twice

x x x 

14 March 2012

What's happened to E?

My Edith, my girl, my beautiful daughter. I dedicated a Gallery post to her back in November last year and I am still so, so, proud of her.

She is still stubborn.
She is still beautiful.
She is still shy.

My love for her is never going to weaken but lately I've noticed a change in her.
She seems to have real anger inside her that explodes in a huge shouting episode. It is clearly all my fault.

"I hate you."
"Why are you always so cross with me. Everyday you are."
"I want Daddy."

She is five.

Sometimes it is like she is 15 running on hormones. I am absolutely dreading that time to come.
I didn't have the closest relationship with my mum always feeling I was second best to my siblings, the closest in age to me being my elder brother who was a Mummy's boy.
I have always been worried about this repeating with my own children.

Alban is a Mummy's boy. Edith is becoming Daddy's girl.
I am worried.
I feel like I am treading on eggshells with her.

With Alban it is clear cut. I'm not saying he is an angel by any means but I always feel confident with my expectations of him. With Edith I always fear a problem will arise.
An example: last night she was asked to move her flip flips from the lounge and put them away. Simple. But this resulted in her disobeying my request which escalated into her stockpile of phrases, "I hate you" "Why are you always cross with me......" You know the rest.
Yes, I know she gets tired. Yes, I know she misses her Daddy when he's away overnight - this is regularly 'used' as a tool, "I want Daddy" on replay to wind me up. Yes, I know I'm not the most patient of people and probably rise to her a lot quicker than other mums might. Yes, I know I shouldn't shout as I am acting more like a child as well!

I'm just hoping it's a phase.

She will have to get used to Daddy being away on a weekly basis and hopefully once that is part of the routine she will settle more.
I also hope it's the start of chickenpox. I know that sounds mean but Alban has just had it and I need an excuse for this behaviour.
So for now any advice from you would be gratefully received.

I'm linking this up to Mum Of One's #ISpy meme.
Obvious what it is really.
I'm desperately trying to spy my old Edith.

Mum of One

13 March 2012

On my birthday - September 11

Over on The Five Fs Blog Kate is aiming to collect birthday informaton for all 366 days of the year. So she has set up this meme with the aim that we tag and tag and tag and try to reach a lot of bloggers so all 366 days are covered. We then link up at Kate's blog so she can track the progress.
All you have to do is answer some questions and gather a bit of information about your birthday. Wikipedia is a good place to start.
Rollercoaster Mum tagged me to take part.

When is your birthday?

September 11
Pick three people who share your birthday and share what you know about them.

Brian De Palma (1940) American film director behind such classics as Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible.

Harry Connick Jr (1967) American crooner and actor type. He wrote the soundtrack for When Harry Met Sally - I LOVE that film - and acted in many films including Memphis Belle and Copycat.
Richard Ashcroft (1971) Singer with The Verve and successful solo artist. Wrote one of my favourite songs Bittersweet Symphony.
Is anyone listed as being born on the same day as you (ie the same year). If so, what do you know about them?

Yes, I found three:
Elephant Man - Jamaican musician
Tomas Enge - Czech Racing Driver
Flora Redoumi - Greek Hurdler

I haven't heard of any of them!

List three people who died on your birthday and tell us what you know about them?

Unfortunately I could try and list 2,996 people that died on September 2001.
I think that says enough.

List three notable events that took place on your birthday.

1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge where the Scots jointly led by Mel Gibson William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeat the English.

1961 Ground is broken for the building of The Pentagon, Arlington County, VA, USA.
Exactly 60 years it was attacked.

2001 Terrorist attacks on New York & the Washington D.C. areas of America
Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday.

Argentina has a  National Teachers Day to honour Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, an intellectul writer and seventh President, who championed intelligent thought—including education for children and women—and democracy for Latin America. He died aged 77 on September 11 1888.

Finally I need to tag some lovely types to carry on this meme. I have included a link above back to Kate's blog where she would like you to link up your post and grab the badge!


On my birthday

12 March 2012

Spring Garden Prep

Despite being indoors for most of it, seeing to Alban and his chickenpox, it was a beautiful weekend.
The back doors were wide open and Edith was busy in the garden helping her Daddy plan, set seeds, pot out Sweet Peas and have a general tidy up. The garden definitely needs one.

Some thorough planning was made!

Herbs on the windowsill

A natural den for the children...

...with Sweet Peas in the pots

Fun in the garden...

...and a bucketful of worms!

I absolutely love this time of year watching Edith and the hubbie working together in the garden with the anticipation of warm Spring days, and then waiting for the Summer.
 x x x


10 March 2012

Chickenpox Love

Finally, having swept through the preschool and taken down most children, the chickenpox virus is upon us. Alban was grouchy on Thursday and I knew something was up when he turned down cakes and biscuits at the school cake sale - always a surefire warning. His best friend had come out in spots that day so it was just a matter of waiting. Then overnight the first signs appeared.

Today he slept loads and after a late lunch was smiling away:

Maybe it was the love from his big sister that cheered him up?

Now we are fighting the itchiness with calamine lotion and Piriton.
I hope my boy keeps on smiling through.
x x x

Sat Cap time!

Last week I had the pleasure to meet up with the lovely Kerry Lovebump in Bradford on Avon.

We posed by the bins. We're classy like that.

SatCap away!

More here!:


8 March 2012

My own homemade sunglasses case!

My clumsy husband sat on my sunglasses the other day and obviously broke them - the fool. Sod's Law dictated that the sun would shine very brightly that day making my eyes stream. Luckily we headed into Bath and I went looking for some new sunnies.
Now, what really annoys me when buying sunglasses is the pathetic bag they give you which offers no protection to the glasses and nine times out of ten ends up lost and gritty in the bottom of  my bag.

How rubbish does that look?

Something has come over me lately though. Instead of paying out for a better case I said to myself...

"I'll make one!"

Where the heck did that come from? I've always been known to buy something if I need it.
Whatever it was I set to it using logic and luck.

I found some old fabric and felt - for lining & protection, clearly! And cut out a rectangle that looked like it would be big enough to sew and make a pouch. Clearly I was flying by the seat of my pants.

I used a tiny amount of fabric glue to hold the felt in place and then sewed a lip over the top to create a drawstring tunnel - I'm sure there are technical words for this process, please educate me if you know them.
I then folded the fabric over, right sides together, worked out where to sew the pouch together, ensuring I didn't sew up my tunnel, and trimmed the excess fabric:

I had a quick fight with it whilst turning it the right way out.

The next job was threading the ribbon through.
Last week I met the lovely Kerry for coffee in Bradford on Avon and we went to a lovely yarn, fabric & sewing shop called Jumble Jelly. I bought some gorgeous ribbon and used some of it here.
I put a safety pin through one end then grappled it through the tunnel. This was quite fiddly - please let me know if there is an easier way. It also didn't help when the pin unpinned itself halfway through.
Anyhows here are some pics:

 Safety pin the end....
...and grapple it through - easy!?!

Ta Da!
(I made one for my smartphone too!)

x x x

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