Thursday, 29 December 2011

Our Pea Green Christmas

Christmas inside Our Pea Green Pod was wonderfully cosy & relatively peaceful (if you drown out the giddiness of Eldest kipper due to being entirely spoilt!)

I cooked my very first Christmas dinner (duck, rather than the traditional turkey) which was surprisingly successful & we have been enjoying duck sandwiches & bubble & squeak for the past few days! We had a real tree which smells divine & a mountain of presents, the like of which I have never seen in my life. The girls were very spoilt indeed!

Christmas was mainly hand made this year. I wanted to make Christmas as warm & as perfect as possible despite having practically no budget & so I had been knocking up a few bits & bobs for the past month or so. Some of these I sold, but others I kept for our home.

I thought I'd share with you a few of my Christmas bobs, all of which are exceedingly simple to make (hell, if I can, anyone can!) & I hope you enjoy & maybe even get a little inspired!

For the children (including the big we had some little stockings to go on the tree. Eldest was thrilled that Santa had packed hers with nuts & chocolates & candy canes.

 For our tree I made some little felt bits & bobs. So simple - just felt shapes stuffed, with a blanket stitch around the edge & with buttons or sequins or bells for decoration. For some of these I used buttons from my Grandfathers old button tin which are actually older than I am! I love the idea that in years to come I'll be able to tell the children where they came from & how I used to love playing & counting the old buttons in that tin as a child.

I also had these gorgeous little wooden toadstools which I found in the local gardening shop. They were only 60p each & I treasure them! They complimented our little peg soldiers wonderfully. As a child I used to make these with my mum & they hold much sentiment for me, as well as being very cute & simple indeed! I can't wait to paint more with my girls & create warm memories for them when they get older.

For the mantelpiece & fireplace I made some bunting which I love, using some sumptuous Christmas fabric. I also had a few toadstools dotted around, some lovely thin holly tinsel which was a bargain from the range & complimented our usual fairy lights which hang there all year long. 

But, for me, the thing that really made our Christmas absolutely Pea Green was these two glittering faeries (even if the littlest one was a wee bit unimpressed at everything due to lacking the motor skills to actually open or play with presents or the comprehension to know what the heck was going on!)

Hope y'all had a wonderful one & that the New Year holds lots of magic for you. I think it shall for us!

Monday, 19 December 2011

NOT a New Year Resolution!

Well my lovely readers, I'm currently laying in bed at my in-laws with a snorty-snuffly baby to my right. Apart from that I'm having to write this using my iPhone, I feel very relaxed (which is remarkable for a visit to the in-laws as I have a few ex-in-law-related-fucked-up-issues that mean that I am constantly on edge about making the right impression or being judged, particularly with regards to my parenting skills), except for the small issue which has been creeping up on me for the past few weeks or so. This is the issue of my itchy fingers (please note: not a contagious or repulsive disease rather a want to write).

Since I had the wee one I have barely blogged. I have been rather busy with both of the terrors but also with Christmas too & to be perfectly honest I don't feel I have had all that much to blog about either. With the new year approaching fast I'd like to find a little more time & substance about which to write.

I am not one for resolutions as I am the useless type who can't stick to them, in fact if a resolution is made I usually tend to do the exact opposite - it must be the rebel in me (or that dick head part we talked about) - so I shall tactically pledge this year NOT to blog more, NOT to get a life & find something interesting to blog about but positively, definitely & absolutely to give up eating crisps & chocolate & drinking copious amounts of cocktails & Guinness & dancing like a twat whenever I go out with the ladies. Not to mention a little bit of NOT catching up with those fabulous Grooving Mums. If you haven't all ready then please check out these fabulous & inspirational ladies by searching #groovingmums on twitter or going over to the Kate on Thin Ice blog (that last bit was what you should do, not in any way what you shouldn't do. I know, it's got a little confusing now!).

You see what I did there?

Here's to reverse psychology, lots of drunken "dancing", & a bloggerific 2012!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Confessions of a Total Dick Head

Since finding myself responsible for not one, but two ever-needing & ever-wanting children it has become a daily ritual for me to have an extravagantly long shower, during which interruptions are completely ignored. Eldest whinging? Baby wailing? Not my problem. I should probably add that I make sure all their needs are met before showering, I don't just ditch them & run, so any complaints are simply attention based & can wait for half an hour.

Shower time is adult time (not like that), it is brain time, it is time for me to think. You know, like wot real people without kidz can do, init.

Usually shower time comes complete with it's own playlist. If my iPod were picked up by a stranger they'd be forgiven for thinking that it belonged to a woman in her mid forties rather than one in her early twenties (apart from a few give-away tracks) but that, my friends, is just how I roll.

Today I was listening to a spot of Beautiful South. The track that got me thinking was 'Prettiest Eyes'. It is one of my favourites. If you aren't familiar you can check it out here. It is basically a song from the perspective of someone who has been with a woman for 60 years. It got me pondering about the nature of relationships, particularly my own (of course) & wondering whether I'd ever experience long lasting love & security in the same way in which older generations, particularly my grandparents' generation seem to experience but which our society & culture seems not to allow room for.

Today, we are told that we have more freedom. We are told that we can have it all & we seek things like fairy-tale happiness, yet it seems to me that increasingly less people have long lasting, happy relationships. Do we set ourselves up for disappointment?

I look at my Mother's parents who have been married for 50 years, this year. They have always been happy, as far as I can tell. My Mum always tells of how she has never seen them argue. My Granny always tells her that that was because they never let her see them argue. This speaks volumes to me. Communication & honesty with each other & to yourself is key, there would be problems if you didn't occasionally quarrel but to find long-lasting happiness through this is exactly what I'd like for my future, but like anything in life, a relationship that lasts is something that requires hard-work & zeal from all involved & if there are children then it is important to think of their happiness first, as you would in all other aspects of life.

Looking at my mother, who is in her mid (to late, ahem) forties - & from whom my taste in music mainly comes - she is currently settled. When we talk about relationships she always jokes that she 'has been through quite a few men' to get to my step-father. I doubt she has been through as many as me, in my notably less years, though I never point this out to her! My Step-Father is, in my opinion (& I'm fairly sure in hers too) her perfect match. I love my Father, but I would never wish for my Mother to be with him. I was young when they divorced, only one year old, but I know in my heart that they aren't compatible, in fact I find it hard to imagine that they were ever a couple. My Step-Father & Mum have been together for about 15 years (I think), but they only married four years or so ago. For some reason I feel that there will never be any reason for them not to grow old together.

The example set by these people in my life is one that I find admirable & somewhat awe-inspiring. I want that for me & I hope that I am headed in the right direction. I have made mistakes. What I am about to share with you I have not shared with anyone outside of my circle of friends & I am certainly not proud, nor can I find any justification for my actions, but bear with me - it bears relevance & is only partly a selfishly placed confession.

My last relationship lasted about a year & a half & was with a guy who I had been acquainted with since college. He was very closed emotionally, but basically a nice, fun guy. I think that I fell in love with him, perhaps in hindsight not in a deep sense, but it was love nevertheless & he loved me too, but he was incapable of saying so. At first, 'the wall' was something that drew me to him - I have always liked a challenge - but as our relationship became more serious & we moved in together the very thing that drew me to him initially was what I came to resent. I couldn't break down 'the wall', not fully & I became increasingly insecure. It wasn't his fault, it was just how he was, but looking back I worry as to how he will ever truly be happy if he can't express such crucial emotions. We became more & more distant from each other. I think that we were both equally to blame for how the relationship deteriorated but the end came when I slept with somebody else. More than once. I'm not sure he even knows now that I was cheating, I wasn't big enough to own up to it, but he wasn't stupid. He left & that was that. I have never felt particularly sad that the relationship ended, it had most certainly run its course, but I feel ashamed that it took me such a cruel & selfish act to realise that it wasn't worth putting in the effort any more. I justified my actions at the time because I felt hurt & rejected, humiliated even, but it was always clear that I was, for want of a more eloquent phrase, just a total dick head.

My point is that I have been hurt & what is worse, I have hurt people along the way & though I feel remorse for some of the more selfish things I have done in the past, I don't regret them because I have always learned from my experiences. I have learned what I want to be in life (faithful, accomplished, hard-working, loved) & equally what I do not want to be (a total dick head).

I think what people lose sight of, in today's 'instant satisfaction' society is that a relationship, like anything, is something that requires input. People chase the dreams of looking beautiful, becoming rich or famous & having a fairytale love, but that simply isn't the case. I'm sure we all know the reasons for all these fucked-up delusions people of our generation suffer & the arguments as to why it is probably wrong yet so difficult to change, so I shan't drag it up, but I think that if we are consciously wanting to change something about ourselves for the better then what I have learned in my relatively few years of dating & loving is that to get more out of anything you must put more in, & what is more you must put it in to the right places. It is nothing profound, it is basic common sense, but I believe that it's something that from time to time, we can all lose sight of.

As for now, I feel very lucky. I have a relationship with someone who is worth every last scrap of effort. I also have two beautiful girls who deserve a happy upbringing, or at least a Mum who isn't a total dick head.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hello, World.

Well, friends, it has been a while, hasn't it?

As most of you may know or have guessed I have had a break from blogging & generally from the world not for some lame reason but the rather excusable reason of having given birth to my second & equally as beautiful little girl.
This is her at a few hours old. She came on 25th November at 5.34pm, weighing 6lb 14oz. Perfect.

I have so much to say & I'd certainly like to share with you all my experiences of birth, maybe not the embarrassing & gruesome bits. Shamelessly unsubtle plug, but you can read Daddy's blog here, which give his experiences of our girly's birth, but for now I am just  going to share with you a few wondrous things about motherhood doubled, & the joy of non-pregnancy.

  1. The excruciating cuteness (though occasionally this borders on nuisance, but alas, I can't get mad) of Eldest Daughter (formerly just 'Daughter') as she coos over her little sister & 'helps' us change nappies.
  2. The new found ability I have to bend down, shave my legs, cut my toenails, put my socks on, fit through small gaps, not fall over, sleep in any position I so wish & various other trivial things that I used to take for granted.
  3. Eldest's new obsession with boobies & when she sees a cow, telling everyone who will listen "Milk comes from cows...& BOOBIES!".
  4. The comparative ease of caring for a newborn baby to that of a 3 year old.
  5. Mouldy cheese.
  6. Amazement at how poo can be yellow.
  7. Double the amazement at how yellow poo seems so much less disgusting than brown poo.
  8. Selfishly, being thin again.
  9. The prospect of running again, but not the prospect of the first run, after not exercising for 9 months. If you see a tracksuit-clad, ear-muff-wearing heap in the local area, please take me home.
  10. The incomprehensible way in which you can fall so overwhelmingly in love with a tiny person who cannot even communicate with you & who knows nothing of this world. I never thought I could feel the same way as I feel about Eldest, but what do you know?
It's all good so far.

Just look at these two. How can it not be?