Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Funny Moment

My mum died 6 years ago and she has been on my mind a lot lately what with Mother's Day and all but today I remembered one of the funniest moments ever with my mum.

She had been seeing Steve for a few months and has decided he wasn't the one and told him so  A few days later I was at her house when he rang.  He obviously had not got the message.

My mum told hm in no uncertain terms that it was over.  I know, doesn't sound very funny does it?  My mum loved her music and always had it on fairly loud.  Throughout the duration of this phone call, blaring our of her stereo was Stereophonics singing Have A Nice Day!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Same Genes

I sometimes wonder how two children created from exactly the same gene pool can be so different.  There is of course the obvious; one is a boy, the other a girl.  I get this bit, oh yes because this bit I learnt in school. 

It’s funny how we associate the good things we see in our children with ourselves and the not so good things with their other parent!  I will do my best to be honest but I am also biased.   I have tried to assess my children’s' personalities and work out which parent they get certain traits from.  In some cases they get it from both - double whammy!

He is definitely an introvert - this is me!
He sees everything as a competition - Dad.
He is charming - Dad again!
He can be stubborn but as this particular trait is a double whammy he is not too bad.
He is quite unadventurous with food (me) but loves being adventurous in other ways (Dad)
He is very analytical (double whammy!) but it is always fact based analysis which is his Dad.
He is emotionally transparent - me, I can't hide my mood!

He gets on with everyday life with a fun and mild mannered approach.  He will explode emotionally every now and again but generally he is quite calm and happy.  He is the child that always has a practical answer for everything which makes it very hard to argue against.  His little mind is always on the go, mulling something over.  He loves his sister and will even tell us off and put himself in the line of fire if we upset her!

She is a complete extrovert in every way possible - 100% Dad.
She is very stubborn and shows all the signs of making full use of this double whammy trait.
She is adventurous and shows no fear - Dad.
She is loving and kind - me of course.
She is also analytical but it is more emotion based.  She can sense the mood and adapt to it easily.  The analytical part is both of us and I would put the emotional bit down to being a women rather than being directly from me!

Food is very important to her.  She will blatantly lie about not having meals to get sympathy and food.  Lying is a new skill to her and one she is perfecting with ease.  She can use emotion like I never imaged a three year old could to get what she wants.  She is a very cheery child but can change her mood in nano seconds and if you saw her having a strop you would think she is the most spoilt child you have ever seen.

Overall it seems they are actually quite similar, they just use their traits in different ways that make them appear different.  That concludes my very scientific assessment of my children's personalities.

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Party

So the after all the planning and agonising the party has been and gone.  Overall it was a great success and my son enjoyed himself.  There were a few unexpected surprises though!

First is the help girl.  This was a six year old girl who wanted to help with everything rather than participate in the party.  Every time I turned around there she was smiling up at me asking what she can do.  I am slightly ashamed to admit that all I wanted was for someone to take this bloody child away and let me get on with being hostess.

Then there was the runaway.  I actually felt really sorry for him but still my son's enjoyment was my priority and he was making it hard.  He was dropped off by a boy of about 12 who left no contact details in case of a problem.  Every other parent that dropped a child off gave us their details.  The problem was he kept running away, I mean out of the hall and down the road!  My husband chased after him numerous times and even spent half an hour trying to walk this boy home!  He was eventually picked up by the same boy that dropped him off.

These are the things that no one tells you about otherwise no child would ever have a birthday party.  My husband has made it clear to our daughter that she is not having one until she is six.  She will be four in July.

There is also the stress of being the best hostess ever to all the school gate mums that I detest so much.  If you have read previous posts you will understand why!  There was no way I was giving them anything to moan about.  As I thrust the rather overloaded party box into each child’s hand at the end all I could think was beat that!  So childish but I can't help it.

As far as my son was concerned it was the best party ever so I consider that a job well done.  I am not going to do it again for a few years though!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Working From Home

Sounds great doesn't being able to work from home but the reality is usually very different let me tell you!

This week due to circumstances beyond my control I have had to work a couple of days from home.  For the company I work for this also happens to be the nastiest week in the whole financial calendar.  Not a great week to not be in the office.

Knowing that I am working from home the first thing I do is check my emails.  That way I know what is coming and what I need to do when I get back from the school run.  Sounds very organised but the truth is it is chaos.

After the school run it is just me and my daughter at home.  She goes to nursery at 12.30pm so until then I have to be worker and entertainer.  This is where I have discovered something about myself.  I had never realised the drive to work was so important to me to be able to function.  It is a 15 minute drive during which my transformation from mummy to worker happens.  The reverse is true on the way home.  Working from home takes this away; suddenly I have three seconds transformation time if that.

I have to switch from typing emails about forecasts and actuals to my boss to appreciating a lovely scribble my daughter has drawn.  When it came to getting her ready for bed that night she told me to wait a minute a she was working and needed to finish this.  Hmm, I wonder where she heard that.

When I am at home my connection to works server is slow.  I can make a cup of tea and put a load of washing in by the time it has managed to open our management pack.  I then click the refresh button and wash up.  I then sit and watch the little green line moving along my screen showing me the progress of saving it.  I watch it in a zombie like mode trying to predict when the next little square will go green.

Communication with the office is via email or telephone and I take full advantage of the fact that they cannot see me if you know what I mean.  I dread the day when work laptops come with built in web cams and we have to use Skype.  I will need to make more of an effort with my appearance when working from home and I need to be aware of what is on the wall behind me!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Gone Fishing

Now I don't get fishing.  To me it is the most boring thing I can think of doing bar watching paint dry.  Why would anyone want to sit on some dodgy chair on a slippery, muddy bank waiting for a float to dip or a buzzer go off?  The fact that you throw the fish back only serves to prove how pointless fishing is, to me.

A fishing session is my husband’s idea of bliss.  Now as I have already confessed I don't get it but I do get the need for a little time to yourself occasionally.  It is something I am constantly longing for and rarely get.  When I do get it I squander it by worrying about him and he children, pathetic isn't it?

My husband has been planning his fishing trip and up until a few nights ago thought I knew nothing about it.  He hasn't been all winter and is weighing up this weekend as an option.  He has been planning this for sometime yet had not mentioned it once to me.  I am not a snoopy wife but he has not yet realised that although he buys fishing stuff through his ebay account he pays with my paypal account because his is empty.  I get an email thanking me for my purchase every time!

I also tidied up our favourites menu the other week when my brain just could not take anymore hedging questions.  I found many fishing destinations saved as well as the forums discussing them.  He also makes his own boilies as bait so he has been checking out his last batch to see if they are still useable.

My women’s intuition (and my husband's silly mistakes) told me the fishing trip was imminent so I asked him.  He smiled a very large smile which turned into a grin.  He then started giggling and said "Well I was thinking about this weekend".

I often under appreciate him so I relented, smiled back and said "Ok then".  I might not get fishing but if that is how he wants to spend his me time then so be it.  He is due a bit of time to himself.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Farewell ...

Just for a little while.  I have exams at the end of February so I have to commit my time wholly to that until then.  Believe me this is not a prospect I relish it merely has to be done.

There a quite a few approaches to studying.  During my sudy years I have taken 10 AAT and 9 CIMA exams so I have tried a few of them.  When it boils down to it there really is only one approach that works.

I have tried the winging it approach which was semi successful in the early days but it got me in the end.  So I switched to a read and re-write the text book in full approach.  This means that you will have fully covered any topic that appears in the first half of the text book.  The other half, well you're back to winging it.

It was then I realised that you had to know the syllabus to understand where the majority of the marks come from.  By default you know which topics to cover fully and which to make sure you are briefed about.  On top of this the biggest thing of all, question practice.  It really is the only way at this level.

So I will return in early March ready to blog!  Until then take care and when I come back I will teach you all about Michael Porter and his theories.  Maybe not.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ethical Principles

As a studying accountant CIMA's code of ethics is pretty much tested in every exam going.  That is how important they feel it is so I decided to apply their code of ethics to my parenting skills!

First up is Integrity.

Having told my children about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy I am not sure I can claim that my integrity is intact.  The worst lie I have told them probably has to be that the ice cream man only plays his tune when he has run out of ice cream.

Second is Objectivity.

When my children argue they both get told off.  How can I possibly be objective when I have a 6 year old and 3 year old telling me a la Shaggy - It wasn't me?  In order to be objective the facts need to be established.  Working out which one is lying is almost impossible which means I cannot be objective.

Next is Professional Competence and Due Care.

My mothering skills are not bad by any stretch of the imagination but I am not sure I could claim to be entirely competent.  Can any of us?  I have made many mistakes here, some of which I have repeated!  As for the due care bit well, I have sent my son to school ill (In all fairness I thought he was faking) and told my daughter that the imaginary spots on her face were tired spots because she hadn't had enough sleep.  They were not actually imaginary, she did have a rash which I saw as soon as I put my glasses on.

Then we have Professional Behaviour.

This one is laughable!  There is no way I could describe my behaviour as professional at all times when dealing with my children.  In my capacity as a professional mummy I have told them off and made them cry in public and on the odd occasion I have sworn with them in earshot.  Blown it then.

Last we have Confidentiality.

Nothing in our house is confidential anymore.  I have broken every confidence my children have told me by telling their dad!  A house containing two or indeed any small children can never be confidential.  Once they start talking you have had it.


So it would seem that my capacity as a mother I fail completely to adhere to CIMA's code of ethics and I think it would be fair to say this would apply to any parent or carer.  I am not alone!

Please tell me I am not alone.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Getting Older

Getting older kind of creeps up on you.  You don't notice it happening, it all happens in the background until the day it slaps you in the face and laughs.  Getting older always gets you in the end no matter who you are.

Tomorrow is my birthday and in my head I am and always will be 25.  Reality however is that I will actually be 34.  OMG 34!  Next year I will be ticking the next group up on the age range boxes on forms.

Like I say in my head I am 25 but my body does not seem to take any notice of my brain, oh no, it just carries on merrily ageing and ignoring my resistance.

The other day I was driving along listening to radio one when this song came on.  I immediately screwed up my face and muttered under my breath "The crap they come out with nowadays".  My finger pressed the button to change the station.

That was when getting older slapped me.  Horrified at my own ageing thoughts I pressed the button to change it back and endured the song.  It was my way of denying I was indeed getting older.

It is not until it does slap you that you realise it has been there for a while, slowly moving in while you are blissfully unaware.

The signs were definitely there, I had just never acknowledged them.  Saying things like "Oh that house looks nice, I love what they have done with the garden" as we drive past.  I can remember being a child in the back of the car while my mum and dad had similar conversations.

I tried to do a roly poly for the kids not so long ago and ended up pulling a muscle in my neck.  Yes the signs were absolutely, without doubt definitely there.

Have you had your slap from getting older yet?  If so please tell me - I could do with a giggle!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My Night Off

I have been looking forward to this night for a couple of weeks.  I have had to travel to our head office for a meeting which involves an overnight stay in a nice hotel with everything paid for.

This meant an evening of being relaxed, well fed and possibly very well watered.  A night of peace and quiet.  Needless to say I was secretly pleased to be having a meeting.  It was a finance meeting as well so it was worth it.

This was my plan:

4pm - Leave office and go to hotel
4.15pm - Arrive at hotel
5pm - Eat Dinner
6pm - Start Online Course
8.30pm - Finish Online Course
8.35pm - Be in the bar with a vodka and coke
9.30pm - Retire to room, slob out and watch telly
10.30pm - Go to sleep

The actual reality was very differant.

Firstly my sat nav refused to recognise the hotel.  Now I am seriously crap when it comes to directions so the sat nav was my lifeline in unfamiliar territory.  As I had not left the office until 4.50pm I didn't arrive at the hotel unil 5.37pm.  It should have been a 15 minute journey.

My course starts in 23 minutes which means there is not enough time to eat.  Never mind I had a cunning plan.  I nosied round my rather nice room and logged onto the webinar.  I am an accountancy student so I will not go into the details of the tutorial but I had planned that at break time (7.15pm) I would order room service.

The only food the offered as room service was pizza.  Now this would have been fine but we had gone to Pizza Express for lunch.  More pizza was not a good idea.

When the session eventually finished at 8.50pm (It should have been 8.30pm) I was feeling more than pee'd off, I was flipping starving as well.  I ordered the burger and chips (much better than pizza!) and ate it while watching One Born Every Minute.  I am typing this in the adverts!

I am also missing my husband and the children and starting to feel a bit fed up.  Hey ho, another vodka and coke and I will be fine.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

What Is Harder Than Being A Parent?

Being a step parent.

I became a step parent before I became a fully bona fide parent in my own right.  I was only 19 when I met my husband along with his 4 year old son from his first marriage and for this I am grateful.  Too naive to know better.
I actually believed that it would make no difference to our relationship, He was only 4 and we had him to stay every other weekend.  I was seriously under prepared for the situation I was about to freely place myself into.
The fact that my husband made it very clear from the start that his son came first only made me want him more.  I had found a proper man who took his responsibilities seriously not some idiot who thought getting pissed was high up on the list of his priorities.
It is all the firsts that you have to deal with that makes it difficult, especially when you have no prior experience of children.  The first time on our own, the first time I had to tell him off and the first time I had to get him dressed.  With my own children these things did not even warrant any thought or pre planning, they were just dealt with.
The problem with step children is that they are not yours.  That might seem like an obvious statement but with step children every single interaction with them in the early days is cause for dilemma.  You don't want to upset the child, your partner or the scariest of all, the Ex.  Your mind races through all the potential consequences of the actions you are about to take and by then you have left it too late.  As we all now know you have to nip it in the bud to avoid full scale tantrums no matter how old your child is!
It is massively worth it in the end that I will say but you will have to jump through some hoops mostly held up by the Ex.  If you are the Ex I hope you can understand that as the other woman we try really hard to do our absolute best but sometimes we get it wrong.  You are the expert so help us out!  Little things like letting us know that the child doesn't like carrots really make a difference.
The most important thing I learnt was that regardless of your partners relationship with their Ex you must remember they are the child's mother/father and that child loves them dearly.  Don't slate them in front of the child; you will not ever achieve anything from it.
Oh and if you are the Ex please remember we are not trying to be their mother, hell no that is your job, we just want to make everyone happy and we are terrified of getting it wrong.  Please don't rub salt into our wounds if we do.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Party Games

As you will know I am planning my son's sixth birthday party and I need to draw on your experience regarding a few things.  Here are my questions:

  1. Is it true that every layer on the Pass The Parcel now has to have a treat in?  This didn't happen in my day.
  2. Is Musical Chairs too dangerous for 5/6 year olds?  It wasn't in my day.
  3. Does the party food have to be healthy?  In my day the whole point of party food was that it was unhealthy stuff otherwise where is the fun?
  4. Am I being delusional thinking that the disco man will run the party while I sit back and enjoy?
  5. Is it true that I can't be biased when judging musical bumps?  Not in so far as ensuring my children win - that would be too obvious!
  6. Do I have to feed the parents that decide to stay?  They didn't stay in my day, couldn't wait to get away in fact!
  7. Does Sleeping Lions really not exist?  I was kind of counting on this as a potential game for obvious reasons.

So thanks in advance for you illuminating answers.  Just so you are aware, I already know what I want the answers to be I just don't know what the actual answers are!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Back Handed Compliments

There is no one better in the world than your partner at giving you back handed compliments, at least that is my experience.

It was my husband’s birthday this week.  He works until about so I had from when I got in from work at until then to make myself look good.  As any women knows trying to make yourself look good while cooking dinner, bathing children and finally getting the children into bed is near on impossible.  But it is his birthday so I was going to make it happen.

He walked through the door as I was taking the steam rollers out of my hair so I had just about achieved my mission.  Nice dress, make up and hair done and I will admit it is a long time since I made that kind of effort. My husband is used to seeing me in work clothes or jeans and leggings which have become the lifeblood of my wardrobe.

I also had a fantastic girly moment with my daughter as she watched me put the rollers in.  It was just on of those magical moments that I will treasure for ever.  She should have been in bed but I just couldn't resist her wide eyes and smile as she said "Wow mummy what are you doing?  Wow can I have some?"

Anyway I digress; the next day at work I received a text from my husband.  It said

"By the way hun you did look really nice last night ..."  At this point I am thinking things like, I am so lucky, he is wonderful, and I love him so much.  I literally felt my heart swell with pride.

It carried on

"Forgotten how good you look when you make the effort" Cue my heart deflating and my thoughts rapidly changing direction.

So you might want to show this quick giving a compliment guide to your other half, or if you are a guy take note!

Step 1 - Think of what you want to say
Step 2 - Chop the sentence in half
Step 3 - Say the first half of the sentence
Step 4 - Ditch the second half of the sentence

And voila!  One happy lady!

What is the most bank handed compliment you have ever been given?

Friday, 27 January 2012

Party Politics

Open Letter To All School Gate Gossips

So it would seem that not inviting all 57 children in my sons year to his birthday party is the current topic up for discussion.  There are a few things that I feel need to be pointed out.

Firstly, my son can invite who he wants to his party.  If that does not include your child then I am sorry, I do genuinely feel bad but at the end of the day it is his choice.

Secondly, if he has not invited someone then he does not like them.  In a six year old's mind it is as simple as that.  I appreciate that this may sound harsh but he knows his own mind and will have his reasons.

Thirdly, when going through the list of names kindly provided by his teacher he was quite clear about the yes's and the no's.  Both his Dad and I double checked the list with him the next day to ensure he was definite about his decisions and he didn't change one name.  Not one.

And last but not least, not all of you invited him to your child’s party.  Maybe you should have a think about that.

The school run is my husband's job and he is much more diplomatic than me so think yourselves lucky because I am not sure I could be quite so polite about it.

The thing I detest most of all is the form of revenge you have taken.  My son’s best friend lives in the next street so they walk to school together.  This means that my husband walks to school with another woman.  It does not mean he is sleeping with her. 

Maybe you should all concentrate on your own lives for a little while.  Some of you certainly need to.


The Working Parent

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Irritations - My Top 5

There are certain things that really irritate me.  I should point out at the outset that I am referring to extremely unimportant things at really do not matter at all, they simply irritate me.

So here are my top five irritations with a quick explanation as to why they made the list:

  1. Starburst - They are, and always will be Opal Fruits to me and that is all I am going to say on the matter.

  1. Business Talk - When someone says things like "Let’s touch base" or "Joined up thinking" I just want to laugh at them.  It is an overwhelming desire that I have to bury deep inside while I smile and carry on the conversation as though I totally agree with their sentiments.

  1. When people say 110% - As in "I put 110% effort in" - No you didn't because the maximum amount of effort you can put in is 100%.

  1. Food Shopping Etiquette - You are there to buy food so why do you have to stop in the middle of an aisle to have a conversation with someone else.  Move out of the bloody way or I have a three year old I will set on you and believe me she does not take any prisoners!

  1. Text Speak - CU L8Ter - Looks more like a number plate to me rather than a sentence.  It takes me 10 minutes to work out what the hell your text says rather than the 30 seconds it would have taken me had you used proper English that I understand.

So what are your pet hates or irrittions that really are not worth the amount of stress they seem to bring out in you?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Just A Quick One!


This clip has now been remove from BBCiPlayer!  If I can fin it elsewhere I will update the link!  Sorry!

Just a quick one tonight as I really have to get started on studying again.

I had to post this as I have not laughed so much in ages.  I watched Live At The Apollo on Saturday night and there is one bit that every parent of young children should see.  It is Shappi Khorsandi talking about a recent experience with her three year old.

She starts the story by saying about a time when she went into a shop with her three year old and the shopkeeper was a dwarf.  I promise it is not offensive.

What I want to know is would you all have answered the three year old's question in the same way she did?  I know I would have. 

The link below is to BBC IPlayer.  Scroll to 22.40 minutes in and watch.  I guarantee you will laugh!

Shappi Khorsandi - Live At The Apollo

Sunday Funny

A fun linky hosted by ActuallyMummy and Mammasaurus - Come and join in!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

One Ponce At A Time

My kids are always making me laugh with things they say.  Generally the best bits are when they are speaking to each other unaware that I am listening.  These conversations give me such insight into their thinking and usually involve me killing myself laughing in the kitchen hidden from view.

Last night I tucked my daughter (aged 3) into bed after picking a book to read.  She insisted that she should read the book to me so I let her.  It was a small nursery rhyme book that told the story of Little Bo Peep.  She made sure I was covered with her quilt asked me if I was comfortable and said she would begin.

"One ponce at a time the lady lost her sheep"  Well that was it - I just could not stifle the uncontrollable urge to laugh out loud which I got told off for.  "It's not funny Mummy the lady is very sad"  This just made me laugh more!

I should add I did correct her, "It is once upon a time darling" I said it my best mummy voice and so she started again.  "One ponce at a time ..."  Cue me laughing even harder.  By now my daughter was starting to get cross and we had caught the attention of my son (aged 6) who had to come and see what was going on.

Both of them looked at me as though I was some kind of nutter as I had no explanation as to why I was laughing so much.  By this time I was hysterical, it wasn't just what she had said but the way they both reacted to me laughing about something that in their eyes was just not funny.

My daughter then said "I think you should go Mummy, I want to read to Daddy because you are being silly".  On my way down the stairs I heard her say to her brother "Mummy is silly isn't she?  She shouldn't laugh when the lady is sad" to which my son replied "Don't worry Daddy will read properly with us"

Well that was me told.  Daddy was dispatched upstairs to restore order, he read to our son first and then our daughter with me ear wigging at the door.

"I am going to read to you Daddy, one ponce at a time....."

Friday, 20 January 2012

No Regrets

Robbie once said (or rather sang) "No regrets, they don't work"

I have to say I agree!  There is no point in fretting about what has already happened - you can't change it.  That said we all have regrets and I think it is how you deal with them that is important.

I have two regrets.  One is that I didn't appreciate my mum more when she was alive and the other is that I didn't do what I am doing now ten years ago.

The first one I think we all have when our parents leave this mortal earth.  My mum seriously did my head in most of the time.  She was moody, difficult, always negative about everything and nagged a lot.  I had convinced myself that I didn't need my mum anymore, I was a grown up for goodness sake!  It was not until she was gone that I realised I couldn't cope without her.  She did so much more for me than I ever gave her credit for.  I hadn't realised how much of an emotional crutch she was for me, listening to my whinging about things that, if I am honest, are really not important and offering support after every mini (and the occassional mega) row between me and my husband.

The second one is that I didn't study ten years earlier, then get married and have kids.  On a very basic level the regret is more about the order in which things in my life have happened not what has happened. 

It would not have been possible to do it in the order I wanted to as I would not have been a confident enough person back then.  The marriage had to come first as the majority of my confidence in the early days was down to my husband.  He is such a forward thinking person and sees obsticles as challenges.  Not the approach I had at all when we first met.  I would see a brick wall and think thats it then, the end.  Whereas he would see a brick wall and say I'll go round it then or over it if I really have to.

The first regret is one I will always have somewhere deep down inside of me, maybe one day I will bury it so deep I can't find it.  The second is a pointless regret to have and one I only allow myself to have it when I am feeling very sorry for myself!

As I said earlier, I cannot change what has happened in the past so the best idea is to concentrate on the future and decide how I can make it the most fantastic, fun and comfortable future it can be!

So, all together now ...

"No regrets, they don't work!"

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Party Bags

At some point during my party planning I came to looking at party bags.  Now, when I was a kid these party bags were basically bags of crap with a slice of birthday cake, my how things have changed!

Now they seem to be another thing that as parents we are measured by.  It is all about party bag snobbery and keeping up with the Jones' nowadays.

As this is my first attempt at organising a birthday party for my soon to be 6 year old son I did a bit of research on various parenting forums and the like to find out how go about it all.  This is when I came across a party bag thread discussing what people are putting in them, and I discovered a whole new world of rivalry.

Prior to reading this particular thread my idea was along the lines of a Power Ranger loot bag containing a balloon, a piece or birthday cake, a small bag of Haribos and a small cheap plastic toy of some sort.  Like I said, earlier a bag of crap with a slice of birthday cake.  After reading this thread it is clear I am going to have to buck my ideas up!

Some people actually put books in them, now surely that is going a bit far isn't it?

Realising the inadequacy of what I had planned I got searching on ebay for ideas.  Firstly a loot bag was no good at all, no it had to be a party box a la happy meal but a bit smaller.  These are slightly more expensive but hey think of the kudos points!  I have bought plain ones that I am going to print Power Ranger labels to stick on.

Then there is the contents.  So far I have:
  • Power Ranger sticker
  • Small tub of playdoh
  • A rocket balloon
  • A cupcake
I am also planning on buying bouncy balls and Haribos to put in them.  The Haribos might not make it though as I might eat those myself!  I should explain that the tubs of playdoh were bought for christmas but both my husband and I bought the same thing so this is bit of a cheat really.  The cupcake is because I have looked at getting a birthday cake big enough to feed 30 kids and they wanted £70 so we are going to buy a small cake and put cupcakes in the party boxes.

As yet I have not actually added up how much this has cost as I think it would freak me out, however I have been totally sucked into party bag or in my case party box snobbery and for some weird reason that I don't fully understand, determined to impress my sons peers parents.  It would also be good for my son to be the cool kid for one day!

I do not know why I feel the need to ensure his boxes are the best boxes that his friends have ever seen but I have shown some constraint - there are no books!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Yummy Mummy ... Not!

I am taking a break from the party planning posts today to have a bit of a rant!

The phrase "Yummy Mummy" bugs the hell out of me.  Unless you have an army of cooks, cleaners and nannies how on earth are you supposed to achieve the status of yummy mummy?

At what point can you class yourself as a yummy mummy?  Is there some secret scoreboard somewhere that you measure yourself against?

As I work I do have to make a bit of an effort when going into the office but I know there are occasions where I definitely do not look my best.  I try to make sure that this does not happen often but it does happen.  When I work from home it is usually done in my dressing gown and slippers with unwashed hair tied bag into a scraggy pony tail.  Thank God my boss cannot see me; goodness knows what he would make of the sight of me.  They have just introduced skype though so I will need to ensure that my web cam is permanently broken (sorry kids but you are likely to get the blame for this!).

My weekends normally involve housework, washing and studying so they way I look is not exactly the top of my priorities.

Trying to be a yummy mummy just adds to the pressures we all face as parents, as if there isn't enough to worry about.  If I am not a yummy mummy what am I?  A scummy mummy?  Not sure I like that idea at all!  As women we all like to look nice, it makes us feel good about ourselves but the thought of society looking at me and deciding if I am indeed a yummy mummy takes away the good feeling and replaces it with self doubt and anxiety.

That said I still want to be one!

If anyone knows where the secret scoreboard is please let me in on the secret, any inside information is always useful!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Party Planning

Ok so we have a venue and we have entertainment and although this proved more difficult than I thought it would be it was nothing compared to the party ettiquette we had to consider.

I hadn't even realised there was such a thing until we sat down to work out who we should invite.  For background info, my son started school last year and was in a class with a boy who was bit of a trouble maker and my son was finding it difficult so when they moved up to year one they were put into seperate classes.  This leads to a dilema!

We had already decided that we should invite everyone in his class, around 30 children.  A few of his friends however were in the other class so do we invite the whole of that class too or just his friends?  Believe it or not there was a lot of toing and froing over this!  The decision has now been made and it was not either of those options in the end.  His teacher gave us a list of all the names of the children in the two classes and my son just said yes or no to each name.  All in all it ends up being about 40 children invited.

As I have lost blood, sweat and tears over this decision (a bit dramatic I know!) I can only hope that the invitees (or their parents) have the courtesy to let us know if they will be coming.  I do have a secret weapon on this front, my husband!  He can chase up the mums at pick up time and as he used to sell cars for a living he will be able to be nice about it and get a response whereas I would probably be grumpy as in my mind I shouldn't have to chase them up.

While on the subject of invites I can't believe how expensive they are!  I have bought some nice paper and we are going to make our own.  We will be doing our first test print tonight so best I get on with it.

If you know roughly how many children we can expect to turn up unannounced please let me know as I need to do the party boxes.  More on those next time!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Party Planner Extraordinaire

Christmas is done and dusted, the studying is on hold until results day so you would have thought I would take this moment in time to relax a little.  Not a chance!

My sons sixth birthday is in February and we have decided he can have a proper birthday party.  This is my first task in my newly added job of party planner.  I mean, how hard can party planning be?
We have changed the date once and we are on our third and hopefully last venue.  The theme is Power Rangers and this cannot under any circumstances be changed even though my son did keeps changing his mind and flitting between Power Rangers and Ben 10.

The day was set so I rang our perfect hall and asked if they had it free.  They did - excellent!  I rang the disco and they were also free!  How easy is this party planning lark?  Once the disco was confirmed I rang the hall back to book and it had gone.  Someone else had rung in the intervening two days (I did this over new year) booked the hall for our date.  So on to hall number two.  My husband visited it to check it out but they were only available on the Sunday and not the Saturday as planned.  I rang the disco, re-arranged for the Sunday, paid the hall and breathed a huge sigh of relief!

Later that night and my husband and I chatted we both came to the conclusion that the hall we had booked was probably going to be too small for the number of children we wanted to invite.  After a flurry of phone calls yesterday we have a larger hall with better table and chairs and much better kitchen facilities.  The booked hall was cancelled and we have lost our money but never mind.  I have not yet rung the disco to change the location - I just can't face it!

As if that isn't enough there is still loads to do!  Party bags, birthday cake, invites, tableware and covers, pass the parcel and goodness knows what else.   These are all post subjects in their own right so this is to be continued ......