Saturday, 13 November 2010

‘No Esmie, we do not put pennies up our front bottoms, it is neither sanitary nor ladylike to try and slot things into our ninnies…..’

Sitting on the top of the stairs Lola (who should be in bed) shouts down…'Muuuum?’, ‘Yeeeessss’, ‘Isn’t tart juice not very nice?’. I honestly have no idea what she meant, and am still left a little baffled…..

Ever since I had the kids, with each one in turn it seems to me that I agreed to swallow a horse-sized dose of ugly pill. This x 4 = not a good look. With this in mind today, I decide to tackle a few personal hygiene issues- my toenails. Absolutely the last place I ever even think to look, especially in sock season. My toenails have been neglected I realise since I got dolled up for possibly the first time in a year for Rachel and Jamie Bennett’s wedding on September the 4th of this year. At least it was this year, but still a wee moment has past, and the shocking results of neglect stare me in the face. Toenails tackled, I wonder where Esmie is (my 2 yr old) she had just been in the bath with me, and had obviously got tired of the sanitizing toenail session, and decided she had better things to do…….I call her, and finally find her with her concentrating face on, I look down to find out why……she  has found better things to do, she is busy trying to slot pennies in her front bottom…..time to intervene, I am all up for self exploration, however, it is another thing when it ventures into the potentially highly harmful realm. I take the pennies from her saying ‘no Esmie, we do not put pennies up our front bottoms, it is neither sanitary nor ladylike to try and slot things into our ninnies…..’

in fact, we struggled for ages finding the right word for girls’ bits……after Monty at 19 months noticed that his new born sister had not got the same going on in the nether region as he had. We finally settled on ‘ninny’ and that is our word….! And with 3 girls in the house, well 4 including me, 10 including various animals, a word had needed to be found.

It was beautiful today, the sun was shining, and a trip to the beach and the park proved fairly successful. There was a moment, 3 and a half minutes actually, whereupon I was panic stricken and could hardly move I was so terrified, which was not useful as I had Esmie to look for....she had wandered off the minute I had turned my back to do another headcount at the busy park, ‘1, 2,3…*t’ sheer blind panic kicked in. Parks are so stressful, my heart cannot stand the pressure in busy parks, it’s too much. Next time, I will put them all in reflector jackets, numbered reflector jackets  at that. Finally I see her, after managing to move at last,  flinging myself round slides, climbing things, swingy things, bouncy things, looking in peepholes screaming ‘Esmie!’ and being greeted by scared little children’s faces, wondering what on earth this mad woman was on, and equally being ‘tssst’ by French mums for being an incompetent mother who had lost her daughter and was now just scaring people. ( I found her on the slide, so did go home with 4 kids....thank god).

Bring on tomorrow……

Friday, 12 November 2010

It was going to be one of those ‘it’s raining, mummy amuse us please’ days. …….. good luck me!

At 5 am I was up, thanks to the storm last night. Not that I would have slept anyway, as the kids were up, the dog we’re looking after was barking at the cats, who are terrified of him, were mewing by windows and doors trying to get out and hide in trees. So from 5am this morning there was nothing but noise, at insanely high decibels……I resign myself to the fact that this is daybreak, and I get on: clearing up cat wee, cat pooh from corners, as since the dog my friend lumbered me with arrived they daren’t venture into the garage. Great start to the day. Hands washed (several times) and barking finally under control, I see to the hungry masses, feeding children and animals alike. It was going to be one of those ‘it’s raining, mummy amuse us please’ days. …….. good luck me! We decide a trip out (get the monsters out and run off Duracell energy) is in order and I, after several hours of preparation, have 4 kids and a husband ready to go over the border to Spain for tapas. I see the trail of dog s**t Lola has managed to trample over the seats and prepare myself; I had already been here this morning, only with a different animal. No time to wipe, so a nearby coat (that I shall wash on 90, don’t fret!) will do as cover up, well, desperate times and all that……!

It was equally one of those days that had I not had chocolate in the house, I may not have made it through. Seriously. Another day off school for the kids, stuck indoors as the rain never ceases at the moment. Puzzles, memo (which I always lose at, my brain retreated to a far away land in my first pregnancy, and apparently they never come back, although I never stop looking.), playdough making and playing, bread made, and ooooh, yeah, I did make the yummiest chocolate biscuit cakes in the whole wide world. I have written the recipe below; you should try them! The kids love helping me cook, but sometimes for me the ‘cooking with 4 kids moments’ are not as fun for me as they are for the kids: they sit on the table; squabble over utensils to lick; are far too slap-happy with the ingredients, wildly flinging the likes of flour/sugar/butter/salt, and as I cannot stand mess, I have to put my own concerns on a back burner and really try and do a convincing job of loving the moment and joining in.
Taking on a supervisory role, I try not to let that cross into an ‘ok, let's just let mummy do it all shall we??’ role. The eggs, omg eggs, the cracking of eggs results, without fail, are full of teeny, completely impossible pieces to get out, and usually our baking times are such that the kids bake for themselves, as they are now very used to the crunching of lil bits of eggshells in their creations…….We listen and bop sporadically to a bit of Stevie Wonder, and Mitzi is still convinced that he wrote his song Isn’t She Lovely all about her. Well, you try and convince her otherwise...! Great, isn’t it? At that age kids are brimming with their own self-worth, their beauty, the fact they have inspired some of the greatest tracks ever written, their ability to pump (both loudly and smellily(!)) ….I wonder how long it takes us as parents to wring them dry of all that….!

After today, I feel wrung out, and I hope the rain, rain goes away and comes back another day……..

recipe: 2x 250g bars dark melting choc, 100g raisins, 50g butter, 1 big cup cornflakes, 250g coconut biscuits.
method; melt chocolate and butter, squish biscuits, add biscuits, raisins and cornflakes to melted butter and chocolate. pour into a tray, leave in fridge to set, then enjoy. yum.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

At this precise instant, he lifts his head and boom! I have a bleeding fat lip to go to school with……great, how to explain that without it looking dodgy and, ow!

This morning I lean down quickly to give my husband a loving kiss on his head (no he’s not an Umpa-Lumpa, he’s still in bed for once! At this precise instant, he lifts his head and boom! I have a bleeding fat lip to go to school with……great, how to explain that without it looking dodgy and, ow!

After all the illnesses we seem to have been suffering from since summer ended, a big family trip was called for yesterday to check in, be poked, prodded, pulled in many areas, and collect numerous prescriptions for various afflictions….. that done the doctor informed us that I would have to give Alex a tetanus injection after he has incurred an injury by getting a shard of metal from one of the letter boxes he delivers to, which has gone nasty, and with one soldier down I am obliged to do all the collating as his poor lil finger hurts too much, bless……(I reflect on my kinder thoughts for 'writing nicely' purposes!).

Alex almost resents my suggestion that he props himself up naked against a wall and I, blindfolded, hoy the needle at him and see where it lands……suggestion dismissed, I commence hygiene procedures, washing up to my knees and elbows and donning some scrubs…..(my normal clothes, as some know I have now twice been mistaken for my own children's granny(!), so at a guess I am not the mirror image of Pamela Anderson…..). Surprisingly, it all goes well. I was terrified and a little excited at the same time: I have never given anyone an injection before (as I am not in the medical profession, it would be a little weird were I to be giving out injections......). The dedicated body part was his arm, and he survived, I survived, and so (thank goodness) did his arm. He is now good to go for 10 whole years, clever me!

I finally also got round to stripping the dog, Oliver, of his manhood, doghood rather, today. Oh, no, I cut his hair off, not his bits! He sits and shivers now, looking wan, and he is, I see, traumatized by my lack of dog clipping skills. I think he reckons that on dog walks now he will be cussed by the other dogs and shamed.

Well, another dog has arrived to be looked after, although I am not quite sure how it happened. A friend has decided that with all the living beings in the house, another one won’t be noticed. I think she left him here in the night with a note, and sped away in a getaway car. I shall be revising my friends list, as her dog, Driver, is a 40kg mother of a beast, and at 2 years old is taking out the kids, other animals and me!

I am determined not to be taken out! I will not let a dog get the better of me, I will survive! as the song goes……..I hope……. 
TUNE! my life would be a lot easier if everyone just did things MY WAY!!!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

(they always come in pairs, I half expect to see an ark parked up on the corner)

And what do you know…..the Jehovah’s witnesses have found me again. I tell you what, whatever I may think of them, they have a bloody good homing instinct for their prey…..! I have been hounded by them everywhere I lived in England, from Leighton Buzzard to the north coast, Whitby. This was one of the major influencing reasons why we moved to France…….. but they found me here too. Unbelievable, this is the third place I have moved to in France, they followed me somehow to my second address, after having earbashed me for 18 months in my previous address, then found me at my address here. Incredible, as I left my address with no one. I was aware for a few hours of a couple of dudes wandering aimlessly up and down the road on mobile phones, looking. They finally rock up (they always come in pairs, I half expect to see an ark parked up on the corner) and explain to me they realise I was not interested, but they thought if they could just have a few more minutes of my time…….I look at them, smile politely and tell them they are welcome to enter, but I will be going inside, and they are to remain in the garden with the Rottweiler who we rescued from a dogs’ home, with whom we are having training issues with, he keeps mawling jehovah’s witnesses slowly to death…….they chose to go their own way. One month later (they are like periods the JWs turn up every month and they are no less than total pains in the ass) they are there again. I look at them in total disbelief, and this one time I actually slam the door in their face, because it is clear to me now they so not understand words. Today, I received a magazine, an effing Jehovah’s Witness magazine, with a price on in, a monthly subscription charge. When did I sign up for that?? When I came back from Never Never Land right before I had tea with the tree elves?? I honestly have no idea where they get their stamina from……

Well, there are more bank holiday days this week, and what in between those and the strikes the French insist on having every week or so, the kids are rarely at school. There is no school on a Wednesday anyway, so organizing your life on a level other than a kid level is nigh on impossible for me. I have decided to give up hope of ever doing anything other than 4 kids, 3 cats, a dog and 4 chooks, this, as they say is my lot….dun dun dun (now to seek out that safe place)……
I crash early tonight, well 11.30 pm, and before I go to bed I hear a bird doing an impression of an owl call, in wonderment I ‘shhhhhhhh’ Alex to listen ……..'yeah babes, I imagine it probably actually is an owl just doing an owl noise, wouldn’t you think??’ firmly put in my place, I realise sometimes the pressure must get too much and I have the most insanely dumb moments to cope…

TUNE! I am SUCH a fan of The Beatles, and this song rules;……

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Alex and I are veggie, so the soup is not for us, I must tell the chickens this, the kids are old enough to defend themselves…..

I got everyone off to school as normal, apart from mitzi who has another ear infection, was up all night on and off and has puss seeping out of her ear, straight up….nasty. I walk back through the door after setting the chickens free, feeding the frenzied birds before they peck my legs, to the phone ringing whereupon a woman informs me if I do not pay her the 700€ phonebill at that second (8.52 am Monday morning) she was sending me to court, I told her she was going to have to explain exactly what she meant as I was unaware an amount of money like this was outstanding, she then tells me ‘madame, you can not sing us that song, (I really wasn’t singing, I must have a beautiful talking voice though…..?!) you’re going to court’ with that she hangs up. Great start to the day, I a) have to work out what on earth it is all about, and b) how rude and c) bollocks.

So next up I get the remaining kids in from the car (I had momentarily forgotten them….) make a coffee, we make bread, hummus and a carrot and chicken soup, the chickens decide to come in the house at this point, and I am overwhelmed with guilt at the fact that I am about to serve my kids their relatives (no not the kids’ relatives, the chickens’…!). the chooks are shooed back out the door and I add a veg stock cube to the soup in the hope it may disguise the odour of the chickens’ relatives boiling away in the pan……….Alex and I are veggie, so the soup is not for us, I must tell the chickens this, the kids are old enough to defend themselves…..

The weather has been awful recently; rain, rain and more of it, except yesterday, when it hailed, huge great hail came thundering down. I checked out the window and saw the chickens going bananas, running round like, well like headless chickens! Right, up to me to don my galoshes, wellies and herd them into their house. On opening the door I am pelted in the face by hail stones, which do hurt by the way, and with shoes, as I cannot face the wellyboot hunt any longer (looking for things nearly tips me over the edge every time….) on I am royally drenched whist trying to keep my eyes open enough (for fear that if they are open a hail stone may knock one out, and I would rather not be known as Mummy Cyclopes…..) to round up the chooks into their safe place (ooooo I’d like a safe place, I’ll look more closely into that). They flap about madly, I slip over, although I don’t really care as I am already in an extremely wet place, but I succeed!

I will sleep well tonight……

TUNE! you have to check this out, Alex's fave band, and a cool version. bit o Zepplin....

Monday, 8 November 2010

I actually got bin juice in my eyes tonight, and then snapped my mop clean in half whist trying to remove a particularly sticky mass on the floor..........

What a weekend, it is over now though I can reassure myself. It was a great Sunday in fact, Monty’s 7th birthday was brilliant, he got 4 big boxes of star wars lego which he and dad were at for hours……..

It was going alright the Saturday, well my family’s version of alright which maybe if there is a scale, we are at one end, although who can say what is at the other end?? I digress, a long awaited outing, treats for the kids, a trip to Anglet to merry-go-round it, icecream it and beach it for a few hours. On the drive there it’s fresh weather, but doable.  Unbeknownst to us, the one day we pick to go there is a GTI car race, cars parked everywhere, we could hardly get down the roads, they’ve blocked off most roads anyway so we are restricted in direction and in speed. There are men, woman, kids, guard dogs, wolves (ok no wolves, but there may as well have been) all reflector jacketed up looking as important as a dandelion, gesticulating like mad men, as the French seem to enjoy doing more so than other countries (true story) but thinking, genuinely, that they are escorting the queen somewhere. Somehow we take a wrong turning and end up in the race! 4 kids in the car, the dog, us, police cars start to follow and we realise the 3 cars racing are revving and bibbing us from behind. The kids think it’s brilliant waving and bonjouring them. We did escape, however, despite all the gesticulations and Alex is convinced that we won too……..

I think in future it would be better were I to avoid merry-go-rounds. I actually feel quite resentful and angry to the dude who was quite happy to let me accompany Esmie on the teacup ride. It just kept spinning……and spinning…..and spinning. I tried to focus my vision on the pink rabbit smiling at me, but I was almost retching I felt so ill. Never again. Oh and then the icecreams were bought, we sat on the beach, and the heavens opened……nice.

Back home I start the evening clear up after I put the kids to bed, cat pooh out of the pot plants (the kitten we adopted back in the summer is used to s*itt**g in mud, so continues to do so in my pot plants….) 3 cats, 4 chooks, the dog fed; bins changed; floors hovered, mopped……. and I actually got bin juice in my eyes, then snap my mop clean in half whist trying to remove a particularly sticky mass on the floor..........

TUNE! check him out......Xavier Rudd rules man, ignore the poor recording, but listen to his talent!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

I was hoping the gargling would numb my throat which felt like ninja hamsters had been scratching around in there for nuts during the night.

Downing effervescent paracetamol at 7 am this morning (yes, I missed the 6.30 alarm….) I was hoping the gargling would numb my throat which felt like ninja hamsters had been scratching around in there for nuts during the night.
But paracetamol are, in a word, rubbish and I have struggled all day today with throbbing throat and glands and all the rest…..
School run was as usual calm as u like, especially seeing as I got up late, was ill and had run out of porridge. Old homemade bread from yesterday will do, they won’t notice. But Monty Buster (nearly 7) couldn’t swallow it (he has tonsillitis), Lola Grace 5 ½ looked like I was making her chew snakes bums, Mitzi joy (4 ½) bless her told me it was a ‘bit nice but not much’, and Esmie Rose 2 ½ just gobbled it down (she’s still young enough that she knows no different yet….!)

These days are sent now and again, well, most of winter in fact I end up colded/ flued/ some kind of somethinged up and the kids come back from school with everything going round France. Then of course there are things on the news you have to watch out for too, France are still going bananas about swine flu and each time I go into this particular pharmacy for drugs there is a peculiar woman who maybe quite justifiably, but to my mind not that justifiable as I have actually done nothing other than speak, hates me, straight up. I am regarded as a disease carrier who should be ringing bells, 3 times now she has told me she reckons I have pig flu.

Any how, my chores are mostly done, because with 4 kids, 3 cats, a dog, well 2 at the moment including the dog I am looking after, 4 chickens and oh yeah, there’s my husband Alex somewhere in there too…..I rarely STOP! Unclean kids, dirty floors, no meals cooked, starving animals, crinkled clothes, fill me with horror, not least because I feel one day, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but sometime, there may be a knock on the door from peoples to cart me away……the Jehovah’s witnesses perhaps! Which reminds me, but it can wait for tomorrow…..!

kid's film to check out: how to train your dragon. wicked. even if you are a growed up!
my song of the week which we have been blasting and bopping to: