Saturday, 22 December 2012




Silent Sunday

The end of the world

bit pissed off I wasn't a part of it to be honest..

Well.. that was a of a waste of time wasn't it!?

See you on the other side then?

Merry Christmas you BEAUTS

Much love, Misty & Family

xx

Friday, 21 December 2012

The one with the fish

Sometimes I sit and wonder, in 20 years time, what will I be doing? Not as in, will I be working for the same company, will I still be living in the same house? I mean more like.. will we still be using computers? If not, what will I be using? Will I still be on Facebook and Twitter (probably!) and will I still be interested in the same things? What comes after DVD's..?

We tend to generalise different generations. Well maybe not we, but I do. I seem to assume that everyone over the age of 60 enjoys gardening. Did they enjoy gardening when they were 20? Have they grown to love it or have they always enjoyed it?

Same with fashion. This may sound mean and also completely wrong, but a lot of old people dress the same; With their long floaty skirts and sensible blouses. Have they always enjoyed wearing these clothes? Did they always dream of growing up and having a blue rinse?

I suppose my point is, when I'm older, am I going to enjoy the stuff that the current older generation enjoy? I have never in my life took pleasure in gardening, but will that all change? Will I all of a sudden want a short perm? The very thought of having hair shorter than my shoulders fills me with dread. Am I going to start wearing button down dresses and Clarks shoes? (You know, those flat clog like things!?) As we get older, do our likes and dislikes change? Am I going to be 60 and looking over judgmentally at the Mother on the bus playing a game on her iPhone instead of playing with her daughter? (That was me by the way..)

The crazy thing is, all of these questions came from fish.

That's right. FISH.

(No, they didn't ask the questions..)

This isn't our fish, it's in a tank at our favourite store. It is EPIC.



Ross recently bought himself a tropical fish tank. He'd been banging on about getting one for months. I'd looked into getting one for his Birthday, for Christmas etc, but they were always too expensive. I didn't just have to buy a tank did I? It would be a tank, a stand, gravel, a pump, a filter, decorations, a heater. Oh and fish of course. I just didn't have the money for that. I also wasn't massively keen on the idea.

So when he recently saved up a bit of money for one and bought one secondhand from gumtree, I was sceptical. He was about to set up a ginormous water filled contraption in our living room and there was nothing I could do.

But I love it.

 

I could genuinely sit there and watch the fish swim about for hours. I know exactly how many we have, what breed they are, and whether they're male or female.

If you'd have asked me a month ago, I would have only been able to tell you the colour.

So why have I all of a sudden changed my mind? Why do I suddenly like having a fish tank? Why do I enjoy watching the fish swim around and noticing their personalities come through? Why do the colours of their tails and the decorations cheer me up?

 

Is it because I'm maturing? Have I grown up? Is a tropical fish tank something that adults like to own?

I haven't got a clue.

So many questions and absolutely no answers. Don't get me wrong, there's not a chance I would stick my hand in that tank, the thought of scales on skin makes me physically cringe. But, I will help pick which fish are going in to the tank. I think I have probably picked 90% of them so far. We have guppys, platys and mollys. We have a single angel fish and two swordtails. We even have a fighter fish.


They're just so pretty.

There, I said it. Pretty.

 

We even have babies. Our two swordtails turned out to be a male and female. Baby fish usually get eaten/killed when born in aquariums, but ours have lived. We keep finding another couple every few days. It's exciting.

 

I can't believe I just said that.

So will I like fish in 20 years time? Or will I be more into bird watching? That's very unlikely to be honest, birds detest me. 

It starts with fish, what next? You may aswell pass me my button down blouse and Nora Batty tights now..

 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Time.. Meme and Wine!

That title is such a lie.. I don't have any wine *sob* what is this!?

Gather round my friends, the beautiful Cas over at Mummy Never Sleeps has tagged me in this Christmassy meme! Now I'm usually not very fond of meme's.. they seem to be something you use just to fill up empty space on your blog. And that's EXACTLY what I'm going to do.

Can I hear you yell BLOGGERS BLOCK!?

Cheers.

Alright, so here we go.


What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

I don't think I can pin point one thing that I love. I love all of it. I love the excitement, the festivities, the parties, the presents, the booze, the laughs and the fact we can do all of this with family. It's just fun isn't it!? I enjoy buying presents for the people I love and I even *whispers* enjoy wrapping them! I like to see peoples faces when they open their gifts to see if they really like their present or if they are in fact just pretending. Usually they love it, I'm an awesome gift buyer.

But apart from that, I love it even more now that Princess is old enough to get excited about it. This year I am thriving off of her excitement. The way her face lights up when she see's the Christmas lights or a snowman (fake obviously, I mean, where the fuck is the snow? What is mother nature playing at!?) I loved taking her to see Santa Claus even though she was terrified of him and cried.
I just know that with every year to come, each Christmas will become more special.

What is your favourite make-up look for this season?

If I'm being honest, the fresh faced look. I've gone off make-up recently unless it's necessary. For example, if Princess has kept me up half the night, then a bit of concealer and mascara might be in order, just so I don't scare away the post man. For the past few weeks though, I haven't been using anything other than water and moisturiser, and my skin feels amazing for it. I never used to leave the house without make-up, scared of what people might think. But once I realised that I wasn't in fact hideous and making innocent children cry, I quite enjoyed being sans make-up. I might get a bit dolled up on Christmas Day & Boxing Day, but I don't have any particular look.

Real or fake tree?

I have never had a real tree *waits for people to throw tomatoes*. I don't know why, it's just never appealed to me. Just the idea of actually having to, you know.. look after a tree, bores me to tears. I can't even keep grass alive, never mind a flaming tree! Also, my front room is nowhere near big enough to fit a real tree, they're far too wide.
I would like to own a real tree one day though, just so I can experience that 'christmassy' smell you're all bragging about.


Giving or receiving presents?

This changes with age. When you're younger, there's nothing better than receiving gifts. However, the older you get, the more you appreciate the satisfaction present giving brings. Seeing that look of genuine surprise and joy on their face because of something you've bought specifically for them is a feeling you just can't beat.

What's your favourite Christmas film?

Miracle on 34th Street. I absolutely love Chris Kringle, probably the best Santa, ever!
I'm also loving Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas... and I don't care who knows!

What's your favourite Christmas food?

All. Of. It.

The Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, the chocolate, sweets, party food etc. You just cannot beat Christmas for amazing comfort food. All of that meat, yummmm!


And there you have it, my Christmas meme is all complete!!

So now, because I'm feeling all festive and in a giving mood, I'm going to tag some of you beauties!

*DRUMROLL PLEASE*

I tag:

Pressies by Pebbles

My Mummys World

Kip Hakes

Enjoy x





Tuesday, 18 December 2012

T'was the week before Christmas..

..and all through the house...

Everything went tits up.

That's right. TITS UP.

But it's okay, I've sorted it now. As usual.

Because once again, the Job Centre have decided to fuck me about.

Except this time do you know what they did? They suspended my claim! Do you know why? No, neither do they.

It all started on Saturday afternoon when my landlord called to tell me that my Housing Benefit had stopped as of the 3rd of December. I know it's the Christmas Post season, but 2 weeks late.. really? Anyway, I couldn't do anything about it because obviously the council isn't open on a Saturday.

Cue massive panic.

When Monday finally rolled around, I had a phone call from the Job Centre to tell me that my Job Seekers claim had been suspended on the grounds they were awaiting 'part time work confirmation'. This is because I earned £10 doing some ironing. In future, I'm not going to fucking bother being honest, because this is what happens. Apparently they needed confirmation of the part time work that I did before they could process my claim again. I told them they already had the proof - which they did. After I'd been passed through to somebody else who confirmed they had all of the correct information, they told me to wait for a call back from someone else. Fantastic!

I eventually got around to ringing my local council and asking them what was happening about the Housing Benefit situation. They informed me that my claim had been suspended because the JOB CENTRE had been in contact with them to tell them I had a part time job.

I DID A BIT OF IRONING AND EARNED £10! ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS!?

The council couldn't do anything until the Job Centre had confirmed that this was all some huge mistake and they could sort my claim out.

The Job Centre finally rang me back and I was told that my claim was actually suspend because of my 'availability'. At this point I was now ready to actually blow my lid. They make me travel across Nottingham every fortnight to sign on which takes all of 20 minutes, and now they're suspending my claim because of availability? I have made every single appointment and they have been at least 20 minutes late each time. Now tell me who's struggling with fucking availability.

The bloke on the phone actually had no idea what was going on and couldn't answer any questions. He did however tell me that the whole problem had something to do directly with the Job Centre where I signed on. My youth Job Centre, on the other side of Nottingham.

I attempted to call my advisor who was busy so instead I spoke to a female colleague. I told her that because I hadn't yet received a single payment from them, I was unable to catch the bus to the job centre to sign on on Wednesday due to having no money. So she told me I would have to walk. I asked her if she was taking the piss. It would take me over 2 hours to walk to the Job Centre and they can fuck right off if they think that's happening. What were they going to do? Suspend my already suspended claim? Nice one Nigel.

After my advisor had kindly finished his lunch an hour and a half later, clearly ignoring the URGENT note his colleague had left for him, he returned my call.

Do you want to know what he said?

He'd made a mistake.

He'd put in the wrong code when filling in the details about the £10 I earned.

I asked him if he knew what his 'mistake' had done.

It had stopped any money I was due from the Job Centre coming through. It stopped my Housing Benefit claim, WRONGLY. It caused me complete unnecessary and unwanted panic. I was upset, I was stressed and I was worried.

All of this, the week before Christmas.

It still isn't completely sorted. I still have to check with the council that they'll be helping with our rent at the end of the month. I have to harrass the Job Centre again to ensure they are in fact sorting my claim out. (That was following advice from the Nottingham benefit centre.. I am actually having to push them to sort out their own mistake.)

The ironic thing about all of this?

I have managed to find a job before they have even given me a penny.

The Job Centre have done nothing but treat me like the scum of the earth who is just looking for an easy ride through life. They have discriminated against me and made me feel three inches tall.

But now I have a job. I start in January.

And I can't wait to tell the Job Centre exactly where to stick their fucking money.

Once they've paid me what they owe me of course.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Advent Aunt Day 15: Making sure you ALL enjoy Christmas

Christmas is by far the most stressful time of the year.

Every single year, come December I always promise myself that next year, I will start the Christmas shopping early. I'm not the only one am I? I think we all promise ourselves this, so come December we don't have any of the added stress of present buying. However, it never quite goes to plan.

And it doesn't just stop at presents does it? There's the buying and putting up of decorations, deciding whether you will spend Christmas day with family or at home, where will you eat? What will you eat? And who will you spend it with.

I have attempted to come up with a fool proof plan to make sure that everyone can enjoy Christmas with as little stress as possible. Here goes:

1. Buy your presents early. I know, I know, it never really happens. But maybe just buy one a month? When your child, partner, family member, etc happen to mention something they like that they've seen, make a mental note and the next time you have some spare cash: pick it up. Honestly, you'll thank yourself later.

2. Don't take on the present buying yourself. For instance, don't feel pressured into buying your OH's family or your kids friends. If someone wants to buy a present for someone.. let them buy it. Even if they just make a list of what they want to buy and you make the trip yourself, at least you know what you're looking for. There's nothing worse than traipsing round shops armed with huge carrier bags. Shopping stress? What shopping stress?

3. Plan. Plan, plan, plan. Make lists, make notes, however you like to sort through the muddle that is wrapping, food shopping or turkey basting, make sure you know when you're doing it. I know that sometimes planning things down to the very last detail and taking away the spontaneity can make things boring.. but when you realise that instead of rushing about to wrap up the last of the Christmas presents, you can have a glass of wine, you'll be grateful that you did.

4. You know how when it comes to decorating the tree, you want to be that fun parent that allows their kids to help out? You want them to help put the baubles on and get wrapped up in tinsel. But then afterwards, when you turn on your twinkly lights and revel in the absolute atrocity of your uneven, patchy tree, you wish you hadn't? We've all been there. Why not buy your kids their own small trees to keep in their room? Let them decorate it as you decorate the big tree, that way they feel like they're helping, plus they get their very own Christmas tree. Also, you don't have to wait until they've gone to bed to re-do it all.

5.When you have some spare time, try and make decorations with the kids. Whether that be paper chains, bunting or letting them create their own bauble. They'll have fun doing it, it might keep them occupied, plus you'll have something special to hang on the tree.

7. Being stuck inside for long periods of time can stress us all out. We get under each others feet and we start to get cabin fever. Don't be afraid to brave the cold weather. Wrap up warm, take a trip to the park or to a childrens group. Even if you just pop over to a friends house, getting out of the same four walls can do you the world of good. It also lets the kids burn off some of that spare energy they've saved up for you!

8. Let other people help. Sometimes we can be too proud to admit we're struggling, but it doesn't help anyone. Allowing others to step in and lend a hand isn't a sign of weakness or inability to cope. In fact, you'll probably find your friends and family are more than happy to step in every now and again. Need someone to watch the kids whilst you finish off the last of your shopping? No problem, that's what Grandparents are for!

9. Following this: don't take on too much. I think we can all be guilty of not being able to just say 'No'. I for one am far too eager to please and hate letting people down. What I have learnt however, is that for the sake of my sanity, I do just have to say no. Taking on too much and agreeing to help everyone else usually leads to added stress that really isn't necessary. The odd favour here and there when you have the time to do it is absolutely fine, but agreeing to cook lunch for your friends whilst you still have a million and one things to do probably isn't the best idea.

10. Last but not least, don't forget to take time out for yourself. Have a hot bath, read a book, or maybe even just manage to finish that coffee whilst it's still hot. Remember that Christmas is about you too, not just about everyone else. I know they say that giving is far better than receiving, but treating yourself every once in a while definitely makes you feel better.

I think it's very easy to get sucked into the craziness that is Christmas. I'm not saying I don't enjoy it, because I absolutely love it. However, keeping everyone easily pleased is difficult and I think we often forget that Christmas is actually about us too. It's hard to remember that we should enjoy the running up to the big day rather than dreading it, especially in the midst of late night shopping and present wrapping.

Try to find the joy in the small things and keep in mind that Christmas is about family.. including you.



This was a guest post for BabyHuddle




Silent Sunday

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Attitude

Come on, admit it. Which one of you swapped my toddler for Damien the Omen?

No? Really..?

I am of course kidding. She's not really that bad. Most of the time.

Back in the day, I used to think that Princess couldn't get any worse. Her tantrums were astronomical, she was violent and she was nasty. But do you know what I find ten times harder to deal with?

Attitude.

Seriously Princess, at the age of 2!? Calling Mummy "stupid!" and stamping your precious little huge feet is not acceptable. Demanding that I make you a milkshake "RIGHT NOW" whilst attempting to push me towards the fridge, is quite frankly, not on.

Growling, teeth baring and scrunching up your eyebawlz in an attempt to protest is not an attractive look. You're cute babe, but you're pushing it.

I know I'm not the only Mother to deal with these trials. She's hit the Terrible Two's, that much is obvious. I just didn't expect so much bloody drama from a toddler. I mean, she's just learnt to talk, how does she even know what stupid means!?

Sometimes it's funny, but other times it's pushing me to the brink. I can ignore a tantrum or unnecessary screeching. But I can't ignore a toddler who is in my face, calling me names, making demands, smacking with force and generally being a cowbag.

That's right. I said it. I know you were all thinking it.

But it's all normal right? It'll pass? - Please say yes before I cry. *waits for sanity to return*


Then again, when I see her looking like this: fast asleep, mucky faced and quiet.. all is forgiven.

Until tomorrow.

And while I'm at it.. Come on Disney Jnr and bring out some more Doc McStuffin. It's the only bloody thing that keeps her quiet.




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thought of the week: Underestimation




For those of you who don't know us, or haven't seen on the blog, Princess has the most amazing curly hair. It's sandy blonde in colour with platinum highlights throughout which hang in beautiful ringlets.

Unfortunately, these ringlets only usually last a day. Once she has slept on her hair it becomes a matted mess of tangles and knots. Even worse, she hates having it brushed. We've tried detangle spray, conditioner, the works and no matter what, it always goes messy.

So we made a decision. At the age of two (which is probably long over due) Princess would have her very first hair cut.

The very thought had always filled me with dread. Not only because I was afraid that her beautiful curls would be ruined, but because Princess doesn't take well to new situations. She has never liked the Doctors - who can blame her with that cold stethoscope and those prodding fingers? And she absolutely loathed the Dentist - which I don't blame her for.

So you can imagine my anxiety at taking her to the hairdressers. The thought of having to make her sit in a chair, whilst a stranger attempted to brush and cut her hair filled me with so much angst, I almost didn't take her. To be fair, I assumed the hardest part would be to make her sit still for more than three minutes, never mind getting the brush near her head.

I spent the whole day beforehand explaining to her about what happened at the hairdressers. I told her a lady would let her sit in a special chair and look in the mirror (I appealed to her vain side - it worked.) I then told her that the lady would hold her hair and go 'snip, snip, snip' whilst doing the actions. We spent the day doing this, Princess pretending to 'snip' my hair and me hers. I encouraged her to tell people she was going to have her hair cut with scissors and when she was asked she said she was excited. At two years old I didn't expect her to fully understand but she seemed to have a pretty good grasp of what I had told her.

I still wasn't filled with confidence though. I was expecting tears, tantrums and shouts of defiance.

Imagine my surprise when my anxiety turned out to be completely unnecessary. She was amazing.

You might think I'm silly for regarding a first hair cut as 'amazing' but it's not just the fact she got her hair cut. It's because she let it be done. She was excited to get into the chair which was stacked with cushions so she could see herself in the mirror. She said "Hello" to herself and waved. She pointed to the counter and pointed out the objects she recognised: Brush, scissors, comb. 

And then she let the hairdresser brush her hair.

With an afro comb.Poor sod.

When she was eventually done with the combing, she started to seperate it. Princess sat so still, staring at herself in the mirror. The hairdresser told me she'd had quite a few toddlers fall to sleep on her because they found it so relaxing. That didn't surprise me, I love having my hair brushed/played with. Apparently, so does my girl.

Eventually it came round to the cutting. Princess actually seemed excited to see the scissors and enjoyed watching her hair falling away. Of course I saved her first curls and will keep them safe for as long as possible. My Mum still has mine!

When it was all over, Princess told herself she looked "beautiful" and told the hairdresser that "haircut my favourite". 

I couldn't have been prouder.

The moral of the story is: Never underestimate your child. Just when you think you know exactly what they'll do or how they'll react, they'll shock you.
 
Yes, I am aware you can barely tell the difference. Though she did have about 2 inches cut off the length.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

That thing that I don't have enough of..

This week alone, two of my fabulous blogger friends have posted about not having enough time.

I'm about to jump on the bandwagon.


Seriously, where does the time go? As I'm sat here typing this, I am realising I only have forty minutes until I need to leave to make a trip to the bank and take Princess to toddler group. I then have to come home, clean up and get the ironing done ready for tomorrow.

I also have to plan what to have for dinner, buy it and start making preparations. Although, if I'm being honest, I'm leaning towards frozen pizza..

Sometimes I sit down and think 'I don't understand why people complain about this Stay At Home Mum malarkey, it's EASY'. But on days like today, when I'm running around like a blue arsed fly on speed, I genuinely wish I was sat behind a desk somewhere typing out an email that I could stretch out over an entire morning. That's what you do when you work in an office right?

As well as all of this, I have been applying for jobs, signing on at the Job Centre, Christmas shopping, applying for more jobs, and trying to keep up with a toddler who is finding Christmas a little bit overwhelming.

And as if that wasn't enough, I somehow have to squeeze in a Doctors appointment so I can find out why I'm so damn tired all of the time. (Seems a bit silly now when I read this back..) I have narrowed it down to two things: Either my anemia is playing up and I need to go back on the iron tablets.. or I'm lazy. The latter is probably most true, but I'm fed up of feeling like I could just curl up in a ball and sleep at 11o'clock in the morning after I've just had a good solid 9 hour sleep.

Then there's Princess. Always Princess. Who runs around like she's just drank seven red bulls whilst simultaneously eating several packs of Haribo. She's so energetic all of the time. When she's not happy as larry and doing laps of the living room, she's throwing an all out belting, mother fucker of a tantrum and I'm left feeling spent and ready to collapse. When I'm not making trips to the supermarket or to the bank, chances are, I'm carrying a toddler over my shoulder or on my hip (which breaks my back btw, she's 3 bloody stone!)

Parenting is fun, no?

So I'm going to make myself a deal. I am going to take some time out for myself. Whether that be to read a book, write a blog post (and not hurriedly like I am now. Seriously, I can barely see my fingers!) or just browse on the internet. I will have a glass of wine in hand, phone in the other and I will enjoy a Twitter conversation like I used to.

If you don't see me for more than 3 days, send a search party. In fact don't..

Send wine.