Who I Am

Over the last couple of months I've been spending most of my time blogging and trying to establish a routine that I can stick to. So far it's worked pretty well and that's thanks to the wonderful ladies that run various linkys throughout the blogging community. Since the start of January I've ignored my book, banishing it to the archives and promising to come back - at some point. A few weeks ago I thought I would give up on it after all I'm only a housewife. Who would want to read something I wrote?

Well, it turns out I can't. Something in me won't let me forget why I started in the first place and that pesky muse has been tapping me on the shoulder for the last couple of weeks. It's time to get back to the book. This means I'll be very busy trying to edit what I already have while attempting to carry on blogging. The one thing you can count on is that I'll be here, every Thursday for #Prose4T because it allows me to be creative without the pressure of a novel. This week's poem is about me realising who I really am, probably about time right?

Who I Am

It is part of me, I know that now
It's who I am and here I vow
No more hiding, pretending you're not here
Glancing back and trying to be clear

I won't fight this inner need
I'll sit here and give the words to feed
Pages with prose full of truth and pain
Hearing my muse, hope she will not wane

Visions and words pop into my head
Even when I'm trying to sleep in my bed
I curse because the pen is gone
iPad in hand and switch it on

Prodding at the screen and then
Trying to go back to sleep again
On my shoulder my muse awaits
To whisper in my ear, create

This world that I've been trying to hide
Characters wondering why 'she lied'
Talking and acting in a way
I never expected, why would they?

These people wait for my fingers to type
Their next move, will they smile or gripe?
The world in which they live is just
In my head but now I must

Write the words and see what comes
I can't ignore my wonderful chums
Taunting and hounding their way back to
The computer screen and onto you

Stories in me want to get out
I tried to banish them but now I doubt
I'll ever escape my friends and muse
They won't go, they simply refuse

So here I am writing again
Their stories lay before me and when
The kids are at school and I have peace and quiet
I'll type their words so they don't riot

I'll no longer ignore that inner voice
I realise I have no choice
I create with words, sometimes wild and gory
I'm a writer, whether blog or story

So, I may get frazzled over the next few weeks while I'm trying to keep up the pace with story writing and blog writing. I refuse to let myself slip back into the 'lazy housewife' mode and let go of something I really love doing.

Prose for Thought

40th Birthday & A Proud Mummy

Right now I'm sitting in front of my Mac, the kids are back at school and a Gingerbread Latte is in my hand. Classical music is playing, the door is closed and I can start writing again, in peace! A fantastic Magic Moment in itself but not the one I want to write about today.

It was the hubby's 40th birthday on Saturday and I've been planning the celebrations for a couple of months now. His 30th hadn't gone to plan and I was fixed on this one. Nothing was going to go wrong.

On Saturday evening our family joined us for a meal at Chino Latino in Nottingham. A restaurant we've been to many times before Chino Latino turned out to be the perfect choice. We sat at the same table, chatting, and got to try each other's food. One of the great things about this restaurant is they encourage sharing. The decor is trendy and simplistic and the place is not rowdy like TGI Friday's sometimes gets. The best part is that the boys sat and enjoyed the same food as everyone else, no ordering from a children's menu.

My boys can be picky eaters; LP will say he doesn't like pizza if he doesn't like the look of one and BP will just decide he doesn't want to try new food. It can be frustrating at times but it doesn't make much difference however, at Chino Latino I knew it would. Chino's serves sushi, tempura and dim sum amongst beef, duck and pork, not really children-friendly food. I was concerned they wouldn't eat anything and the mother-in-law would have to make a trip to McDonalds on the way home.

My two champs did me proud, both of them tried anything we put on their plate, including the sushi. BP ate three whole sushi rolls, finished of Edemame (even when I'd only had a few!) and scoffed on beef fillet. He loved it all and revelled in the chance to try everything. LP loved the tempura and asked for more when it was gone. He wasn't so keen on the sushi but for a four-year-old that's understandable. He asked to try the fish cake and enjoyed it but his favourite part of the meal was when the rice came. He tried it and asked for more, I poured soy sauce onto the rice and mixed it in and LP finished off a whole bowl of the stuff! Having been concerned they wouldn't eat I was so pleased with the outcome of the evening. They'd both eaten loads, to the point that LP didn't want dessert! They wouldn't need McDonalds after all. 

The boys eating lots of food made me happy but what made me proud of both of them was their behaviour. They sat for two hours, ate food, drank coke and had perfect table manners. They thanked the servers and asked politely when they wanted more food, I didn't even have to threaten them. After the meal my boys went home with their nan and we had a night out. I was happy to let go of the 'mother stress' and relax with other adults but most of all I was pleased with the boys. They'd made the hubby's birthday much more enjoyable just by behaving themselves.

It's times like that when you realise you're doing it right. They may drive you mad all the time but they can behave when it matters and that makes it all worthwhile.

What makes you proud of your little ones?

Sunny Days

The sun is shining but the chill is still there
Kids outside, the football in the air
Through the glass it's lovely and warm
But it's still hats and gloves and jumpers to be worn

All over the garden different shades of green
A pink, a yellow and a red can be seen
Poking through the mud and opening out
The colours shine bright leaving no doubt

Little glimpses of spring popping into sight
More sun in the day and slightly warmer at night
The clouds overhead are less gloomy and dark
Blue skies in our future and the call of the lark?

The grass is growing and more birds in the sky
A chance to be without coats may be nigh
Feeling brighter and smiling, I can't wait to see
Sunny days and blue skies, truly happy I'd be. 

Spring Clean of the Mind

As a stay-at-home mum I have lots of jobs to do on a daily basis and most of you know what they are. The typical jobs that drive us mad and never go away, cleaning, hoovering, ironing, etc. Sometimes those that don't do our job think that we sit on our bottoms all day watching Jeremy Kyle on the TV, cake and tea by our side. Other's think that as a stay-at-home mum we must really hate all these jobs and would love to go out to work every day. The truth is that we all fall somewhere in the middle.

A lot of the time I hate all of my jobs, I hate that, half-an-hour after the hoovering has been done, LP will have a pack of crisps and get half the pack on the carpet. I hate that even after spending a whole day loading the washing machine, and dryer, and ironing the clothes, within two days I will have a very large pile of dirty clothes ready to be washed again. I hate dusting all the counter tops, window sills and tables only to have that dust settle again and again and again. Absolutely all of the jobs that I do are never ending, I have to do the same work over and over and sometimes that really gets me down. The feeling that I'm never making progress will fill my head and that darkness will grow until I can't keep it in any more and I will break down in tears. It doesn't happen often but when it does I really do feel like I'm not worth anything, as if the work I do doesn't count.

The strange thing is that even though this is how I feel about the housework I can also feel the exact opposite. As you've probably gathered, if you're a regular reader, there have been a few things getting to me of late and I've felt that breaking point heading towards me fast. I never know what to do when I recognise the symptoms and usually I will just face that breakdown and let it pass but this time I've managed to abate it. You'll never guess what did it... Cleaning!

I know, odd right? I didn't actually decide that I was going to clean to try and get rid of my building darkness, that's not something I would ever think of given that it's the cleaning that usually causes it. I have friends coming over later today and yesterday the house looked like it had had various bombs land on it. A bomb filled with toys - Lego, Moshi Monsters and super hero figures had landed on the carpet in the lounge. One filled with bread crumbs and crisps had landed around the coffee table and sofa and another filled with paper, crayons, felt tips and colouring books had exploded all over my dining table. My kitchen didn't look much better and I knew there was some serious cleaning required. I got stuck in to it and spent most of the day tidying things away and making sure the house looked respectable. The more I tidied and cleaned the clearer my head felt and when I looked at my gleaming kitchen I smiled. I was actually achieving something.

By the time I'd finished my whole body ached, my arms felt like lead and my legs didn't want to move but my mind was brighter, the darkness had gone. Not only had I cleaned my house but I'd cleaned my mind too, who'd have thought?

After the kids had gone to bed the hubby and I settled down to watch a movie and last night we chose Music & Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. If you love 80's music and romantic comedies then this is the movie for you, it's got all the necessary ingredients of a great movie. Before I knew it it was bed time and I realised I hadn't blogged at all so I took the computer upstairs with me to get on with some work. And that's when the internet decided to start playing up. I couldn't comment on the blogs I'd read and I couldn't post my own. That's what you get for living in a village I guess, intermittent internet problems. So here I am, early Wednesday morning writing my blog post.

I'm happy today, my darkness has subsided and I'm feeling bright and optimistic. Who knew cleaning could be so therapeutic?

How about you - is there something that's surprised you this week?

Mama and More
Post Comment Love

You Suck!

On Thursday I wrote the poem A Long Day Ahead about feeling alone whilst the boys were at school and the hubby was out. I found that I didn't know what to do with myself and the house was too quiet. This came as a surprise to me because usually I really enjoy that quiet time and taking advantage of being in the house on my own.

Well let's just say that that feeling soon disappeared. Thursday was their last day at school, Friday was an inset day and now they're on half term. Yep, that dreaded time when I have to find something exciting for them to do every day otherwise I'll be 'a shadow of my former self' by the time they go back. To top it off the hubby has another trip to London on Wednesday which means a whole day alone with the boys. I have a few ideas of things to do this week but some of them depend on weather, which is never a good bet in this country!

My plan for today is to take the boys to Wollaton Park in Nottingham to go on a dinosaur trek. They're holding a Dinosaur Week at Wollaton Hall and you can pay £2 to reconstruct your own dinosaur just like scientists do. This should be a great outing, Big Prince loves dinosaurs and has since he was two years old. A phase we thought would quickly pass but seems to have stuck, whenever he's given the chance dinosaurs is what he chooses to talk about!

We've spent some time playing games with the boys so far, the Wii U was definitely a good purchase. The game Wii U Party is probably the best thing for a family because you can all play together and this is the game we play in an evening. Last night we played, just like the previous night, and slowly I can see Little Prince getting better and better at his controls.  The first time we played Wii U Party he got very frustrated at a lot of the games, particularly ones where he had to point at the TV and press a button, his coordination is not quite there for that yet. However, steadily he is able to take part in, and enjoy the games and last night he beat his dad at a lot of the mini-games - he was very proud of himself.

What we found most amusing was when he beat his brother at a game and BP started to sulk, LP jumped up off his seat, danced around in front of BP and sang 'You suck, you suck, you suck, suck, suck!' Now I know I shouldn't have laughed but I couldn't help it, LP waved his finger at BP and wiggled his bottom and it was such a picture that the laugh just burst out of me. It's times like these that you spot their own little personality and it can be really entertaining sometimes. 

I wasn't really feeling myself yesterday but that glimpse of the person LP is becoming made me feel better. I love seeing their personalities evolve, watching what annoys them, what they love and most of all what they enjoy doing, it gives me an idea of the type of people they are going to be. I couldn't be happier with my boys and although I know those teen years are going to be hard I can't wait to watch them grow into well-rounded men. They make me proud every day (most of the time!) and even when they're fighting like cats and dogs I know they love each other really.

Do you have any exciting plans for your family in the half term? 
What little things about your children make you smile?

A Long Day Ahead

Today I have the house to myself, the boys are at school and the Hubby has to drive to London for a meeting. I've been looking forward to it all week because it meant I'd have the whole house to myself, it was going to be really quiet. What I didn't count on was feeling like I'd rather have all my boys at home with me. I normally enjoy this time alone but today, not so much.

A Long Day Ahead

I close the door behind me
Turn the key to lock
Press the buttons on the pad
And look at the clock

Only six hours to go
Til the house is filled with sound
Why do I want it so
Want you all to be around?

The silence fills my ears
So loud I want to scream
Throbbing in my head and tears?
I miss you, it would seem.

Never thought the day would come
That I crave the noise and mess
Being alone is no fun,
I never would've guessed.

A coffee before I reach my limit
Maybe that will ease my pain
Only five hours and 58 minutes
Until I see you again.

A quick poem written and I feel a little better. It's funny how you think you want something until you get it, only to find that it's not what you wanted after all. My boys, including the Hubby, drive me mad a lot of the time but they also fill my days with smiles and fun. I'm not sure how I would cope without them. A day alone has turned out to be a lot more boring than I thought it would and I can't wait for them all to get home. I think I may well insist that this doesn't happen again, maybe I'll plan a shopping day next time!

Prose for Thought

Thoughts of Yesterday

Thursday has landed again and that means it’s time for #Prose4T. I have to admit that I’ve struggled today, there was so much going around in my head and I couldn’t decide on what to write. I stared at the computer screen for a while and thought about my boys. BP is going to be turning 10 in August and this absolutely terrifies me, he’s already in that tween stage and has got the sulking down to an art. As I remembered him as a baby I was inspired and tapped out this little poem, I’ve said before I’m not very good at poems and this is probably the best I can do but I think it gets across what I’m trying to say.

Thoughts of Yesterday

Your blue eyes sparkle as you sit and play
I wonder where the years have gone
It seems only yesterday
That you turned just one.

You’re getting bigger, almost taller than me
Now, don’t you grow too fast
I remember you shouting ‘weeeee’
On your bike as you zoomed past.

I watch you sometimes wondering why
You have to leave behind
Your childhood in the glimpse of an eye
I want to just rewind.

I see my boy with sparkling eyes
Playing with his toys
Then blinking and looking up at the sky
He’s now one of the boys.

Double digits are about to land
In our house so loud
I wish I could make a stand
But I know you’ll make me proud.

When our children are babies we always have the people around us saying how we should enjoy the time while they’re little because it’ll be gone quick. I often laughed and thought it was ridiculous but you know what, they were right. Who knew? I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years since BP was born, we’ve done so much in that time and underneath the grumpy tween he can be very caring and sweet. I just wish I’d listened to those snippets of wisdom when I had the chance.

Prose for Thought

My Desert Island Discs

On Saturday evening I was thrilled to be tagged by Victoria Welton over at Verily Victoria Vocalises in the Desert Island Discs thingy. Just like Victoria I love music and it’s a big part of my life, I spend most hours in front of the computer with all different music playing and this is a great opportunity to tell you all what my favourites are.

As Victoria explains, you’re allowed to select 8 pieces of music, one book and one luxury item. I have to admit that I’ve been thinking about this all weekend and I’m still struggling a little bit but I’m going to try…

#1 - Turn Me On by Norah Jones

This was the song me and the hubby had our ‘first dance’ to on our wedding day. Whenever I hear it I transport back to that most awesome day, me in my glorious ivory dress and a great big smile on my face.

Game-free Afternoon

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this recently but my boys are gamers, they love nothing more that switching on the Xbox, picking up the controller and immersing themselves in the computerised world. Gaming is what they spend most of their time doing and when they’re not actually playing games they’re thinking about playing games (or nagging me to let them play games). If it’s not the Xbox then it’s the Wii U or the iPad and I often wonder what our life would be like if we didn’t have these things.

The police truck half-finished
Yesterday was a usual Sunday, the first thing the boys wanted to do was play Lego Marvel on the Xbox and being Sunday I caved. I let them play for a while and then braced myself for the complaints when I told them to turn it off. As usual there was lots of moaning and groaning and I got rather annoyed, I began to feel like they shouldn’t be allowed to play at all if that’s how they were going to react when I say it’s time to turn it off. I said this to them and only got more complaints. I gave up and went to sulk.

A little while later I wandered into the lounge to find that Little Prince had tipped out his lego onto the carpet and was trying to build a police truck. He asked me to help and I couldn’t resist so I rummaged in the cabinet for the instructions for a lego police truck and once I’d found it we set about finding the pieces. It took a while but in the end we managed to finish it. What amazed me was what happened after we’d finished. Instead of immediately asking if they could play games they both carried on playing with the lego. They have tons of mini-figs and love swapping the bodies around so they’d emptied all of those onto the table and they were playing cops and robbers with mini-figs! 

What I loved about yesterday afternoon was that they spent about 4 hours playing with the lego together with no arguments. This very rarely happens in our house and I was so pleased that they did it. I stood in the lounge doorway, just before dinner, and watched them for around ten minutes. I listened to LP as his imagination took flight and he was talking about superheroes helping the police and the robbers being bad guys. BP joined in and gave the mini-figs capes and made all sorts of fighting sounds. It was a really magical moment, especially considering that I hadn’t told them to take the whole afternoon away from the games and I think it did them the world of good. In future I may well designate Sunday afternoon as a ‘no games’ time.

The truck, a bit blurry - it's impossible to 
get a 4 yr old to hold still!