Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

The only way is Honest.

Sometimes, something gets me so wound up and riled that rather than just  taking some deep breaths and counting to ten I have got to get it out of my system. I have got to share my ranty thoughts with the nation. Apologies.

So…I might as well just launch into it…I’m talking about the story of Natasha Argent cheating in last week’s London Marathon.

Last Sunday, as thousands of people were celebrating their own personal victories having run the Virgin London Marathon, Natasha posted pictures of herself with her medal as if she were a part of that club. People congratulated her and she accepted their praise and compliments. How could she accept those words when she knew it was all a lie and how on earth did she expect to get away with it?

Natasha, James Argents sister from The Only Way is Essex, has now had her results removed from the VLM site and has apparently returned her medal. That must feel pretty bloody awful but hopefully a lesson learnt.

My husband has just asked me whether I’ve ever made a mistake. Clearly I have. Loads of times and I am sure I will continue to do so. He said it isn’t fair to chastise someone when none of us are perfect and I totally agree. I am not writing to be cruel. I am simply offering my take on the situation.

Times have changed. Today people can become famous instantly for no good reason. You can be an internet sensation on the cover of a million magazines without having a skill or any talent to your name. The public seem to crave ‘news’ about who’s fat, thin, gay, straight in, out and anything in between and there is a seemingly endless stream of Kardashian wannabes that are willing to feed this addiction. Don’t get me wrong, this Big Brother generation has also given rise to incredibly ambitious and talented individuals who have used the boom in social media to market their businesses and get to where they want to be but perhaps they are the exception rather than the norm?

 

In the good old days you had to really graft for stuff. Most ‘Famous People’ were famous FOR something, a skill or talent that they had practised over a long period.

There was no instant gratification.

And there’s the problem. Real life can be tough. Running a marathon is tough. It takes work, it takes dedication and above all, it takes TIME.

If you are used to getting things on demand, without putting in any work or time or real effort, that’s a foreign concept. Training for 16 weeks over the freezing winter months isn’t going to happen.

 

I honestly believe that Nataha (and Jade Goodie when she gave up part way through the marathon and joked beforehand about her lack of preparation) thought that you could turn up, have a jog and collect a medal. Job done. Well, thankfully, feats like running a marathon will never stop taking time, effort and dedication. That is why not everyone does them.

If I’m honest, I know myself that I should have put in more time. I should have got out of my comfort zone more with my training and diet. If I had given it my all, whatever my finish time, I would have been able to look myself in the eye afterwards and feel a genuine sense of pride. As it is, I’m pleased to say I have completed the London marathon 3 times and in doing so have raised over £10,000 for charity (don’t even get me started on how let down the charity she was running for have been) but,  should I get a place in 2017 I want to do the event and myself justice.

I want to be able to say I did my best and really, truly mean it because, but, if I  don’t, at least I’ll only be cheating myself.

The only way is honest, with yourself and with the outside world too and I think that a lot of people would do well to remember that.

Have a lovely bank holiday!

Much Love,

Muma.

XxxX

 

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A body shaming babygro…ENOUGH!

Last night, when scrolling through Facebook pre bed (as you do) I saw something so screwed up and grotesque that I did a double take.

You might have seen it yourself by now, if not, check out the picture below.

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What the actual Fuck?! I am sorry to swear but seriously, Seriously, WTAF.

What has happened within society to make putting this on a babygro even remotely acceptable? I DON’T GET IT.

As I said on my Facebook page, the worst thing is the number of people that that got past to physically be stocked in a shop.

1) The sad mind that has clearly heard or felt this way so many times they thought it was the norm

2) Their boss or whoever okay’s designs before they’re made up into a sample

3) A buyer for at least one store (I’m saying store because it was in America)

Did anyone stop and question what they were making? What message this would send out? Just to clarify quickly here, I’m talking about the thigh one…The one pretty clearly aimed at the female side of the market.

The owner of the Wry Baby brand that created the babygro in question has been quoted as saying that “they want to make the whole parenting journey as fun as is humanly possible”.

Well slap my thigh and call me Jessy, haven’t you just brightened my whole trek through motherhood by selling this absolute piece of crap.

Just for the record, that isn’t what I think of as fun. I like a giggle- I can even retell my whole hideous birth story for comedic effect now. I regularly make light of my non exisistant bladder contol, the fact that the bulk of my wardrobe is now from Tu at Sainsbury and all manner of crazy shit the kids get up to but (and call me crazy here) body shaming and being so blatantly gender stereotyping is sad, not funny.

 

It is sad because other kids will see that, they’ll ask what it says and then they’ll wonder what it means and who knows how deep that seed will be planted. I don’t want my gorgeous, sensitive, growing girls pondering who hates their thighs and whether they should too. It is hard enough to keep that rubbish out of my own head let alone theirs.

Being a girl, being a woman today is hard. It’s a damn sight easier than it was by all accounts but it’s still no walk in the park. So much gravitas is still placed on how you look as oposed to who you are, what you enjoy, what you’re interests are and what you stand for.

 

As I walked to the doctors the other day I absentmindedly looked down and thought woah, those legs could do with trimming down a bit- a thigh wobble ain’t a great look in a threadbare legging but actually, those very same legs ran a half marathon a few weeks back and they reguarly walk my girls to pre school as well as strutting their stuff down a catwalk last month if you please. And, they can still, on a good day and after a couple of shandys, get behind my head…Lucky old Mr L hey… (this is starting to sound a little weird- almost as if the legs do these little jobs independent of me- which they don’t!)

What I am saying is I am more than the sum of my parts. I am more than my thigh wobble. I am more than a pair of droopy boobs, described by our youngest recently as “very sad and empty” I am way, way more than an out of control pelvic floor.

I am an intelligent, loving, grafting mother who is raising her daughters to be all that and more and the mums that I know are doing the same with their girls AND BOYS. So I will carry on with my running and exercising- to keep my body and mind happy and healthy not narrow and thin which seems to be the way Wry Baby rolls.

Happily, through the day the number of people that have commented on this image makes me think that the pendulum might just be starting to swing the other way again with women appreciating their bodies for their strengths and treating themselves with more love and kindness. If we treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same compassion that we do to our children that can only be a good thing- for them and for us.

Night night all.

Sweet Dreams.

 

XxxX

 

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How to Run a Marathon (when you think you can’t run a bath).

Ironically I am writing this post from my sofa, with a delicious G&T (and an equally delicious husband) for company however, since the clocks sprang forward last week my social media feeds have been rammed with talk of lighter evenings, perfect for getting out and today it has been all about final long runs, tapering, ice baths and Paris…For runners, the arrival of April means MARATHON SEASON and I challenge any one of you to watch the coverage of the Marathon in 3 weeks time and not:

  1. Cry your head off
  2. Want to sign up

Though I would never be so bold as to call myself a ‘serious runner’, I suppose I have a bit of experience having run the London Marathon 3 times. It is the only marathon I’ve ever run however but I do plan on ticking off some others before I hang up my trainers.

Here’s my take on making sure you get the best out of your marathon experience where ever and when ever that may be. Who knows, you might even feel inspired to sign up yourself…

OK- First things first, lets get the disclaimers out of the way- I am not a medical expert, in fact, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in anything so take this advice in the spirit in which it is intended and, if you’re not sure about anything health related, check with an actual expert- not Google.

Right, now the ugly legal side of things is out of the way, here’s my marathon brain dump on…running a marathon.

  1. You can almost certainly run a marathon.

Even if you are reading this having not seen your toes since 1996, I reckon, with the right preparation you would be able to complete a marathon. I’m not saying it would be fast, I’m not even saying it would be in the next year or 2 but getting fit (or fitter) can be done with planning, perseverance and determination.

One of my favourite quotes is

the body achieves

So, if you want to complete a marathon you just need to tell your body you can (and then check with an expert, get fitted for a sports bra and a pair of trainers and perhaps download the Couch to 5km app as a starting point.

 

2) Run for a cause

A cause needn’t be a charity- maybe the cause is yourself but whatever your reason, it needs to be a compelling one because sometimes, getting motivated to go out for a run is tough. You will need motivation to keep you going.

Point to note- If you’re applying for one of the ‘big’ marathons via their ballot and don’t get a place be wary of accepting a charity place for a cause you don’t truly care about. The first marathon I ran was for The British Heart Foundation. I lost my daddy unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was a little girl and I wanted to raise money and honour his memory. It worked. I raised over £4,000 but these days fund raising can be really hard. Every man and his dog is climbing mountains, giving up alcohol or bathing in beans for charity these days and if you aren’t genuinely passionate about what you are raising money for it will be harder. There are so, so many excellent charities out there and they are all worthy so have a good look and do your research. Equally, there are loads of brilliantly organised marathons that do have spaces so, if it’s more about the distance and proving yourself to yourself then they might be better options. Check what your options are here, I think Chester (2nd October) is excellent.

 

3) Find a community

Whether this is a group of mates, a local running club, your gym or an online community find others with a common passion and goal. They will be your cheer leaders, your support network and the ones you share PB’s with, injuries, fears and feelings in a way that non runners just won’t get. If there is a Park Run local to you GET. ON . IT. They are an excellent way to boost confidence, speed and meet people.

 

4) Take it as seriously as you want

When one of my best friends ran the marathon he stopped drinking on New Years Day, treated his training like a second job and got injured with 2 weeks to go falling off a curb. I on the other hand took it a little more with a pinch of salt- I trained a fair bit but no where near as much as the training plans recommend, didn’t really amend my diet and got round in a little over 5 hours. Looking back I don’t think either method was ideal. I am disappointed I didn’t put more in but I still had an absolutely incredible experience and raised a whole load of money for an incredible charity.

 

5) Prepare for an emotional Rollercoaster

I applied through the ballot for a place in this years VLM and was gutted when I didn’t get a spot. I applied through a couple of charities that are very close to my heart but didn’t get in with them either. I was shocked by how disappointed I was and I know I’ll be feeling it all over again when I watch the coverage on 24th April and hear the amazing opening score.

Those that did get a place however will have had months of

‘YES- I am nailing this’

to

‘What was I thinking- I can’t run a marathon, I can barely run a bath’

and every single emotion in between…often all experienced in the time it takes to do your long training run on a Sunday morning! These feelings (in my experience) are easily dealt with with a hot bath, a good cry, a glass of red, bar of chocolate and a bag of chips but that may have been my downfall!! Some days everything will go like a dream, you will feel as if you are running on air and could go on forever, other days it is like pushing water uphill with a rake and I for one have never been able to work out WHY.

The marathon week is something else all together- you’re stressing about a last minute injury, carb loading, getting enough rest but not over sleeping and missing the start. The weather, the water stations, the toilets and everything else in between and then, when you see the crowds, hear them shouting your name and willing you on, when you read peoples reasons for running and make your way around the course it is quite simply an incredible and very humbling experience- I am getting emotional thinking about it now. At some point you’ll find yourself crossing the line, collecting your medal and wondering how on earth you got there. It is an amazing, amazing experience and one that I am so so pleased I took on.

So, there you have it- my take on marathon running. In short, it can be summed up as follows:

whether-you-think-you-can-or-think-you-cant-youre-right

and I am telling you now, this girl can AND WILL again (and hopefully in under 4.30).

Go on; Just do it, GOOD LUCK.

With love,

Muma.

XxxX

love-your-body-and-be-healthy

 

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Memories Matter

Today has, pretty much been a perfect day.

It began when our littlest stroked my cheek and told me it was morning. She had already clambered into our bed at around six so the fact that she’d gone back to sleep at all was very welcome. 7.07 is a far more acceptable wake up call!

We had a cuddle and read “We’re all going on a bear hunt” followed by a book about farm animals followed by “We’re all going on a bear hunt” again by which time we were joined by the big little. All very sociable and civilised. We padded downstairs for breakfast using ‘quiet moutheses’ to talk as daddy had a work do last night😉

Normally, Saturday is swimming day but, this week is a pretty big deal in Leary land…The girls have their first big ballet performance so today was the final practise.

I duly fashioned 2 scraggy buns out of their rediculous bedheads, decanted them into their leotards and balerros and whisked them off to the local hall for a rendition of “Me and my teddy bear” followed by “12345”.

Now, at last week’s practise the littlest got stage fright, pee’d in her leotard and promptly fell over, on stage due to the tinkle on her tapshoes. My heart broke for her but it was hard to verbalise that as I was simultaneously choking on my laughter.

Today, they were both perfect. The whole class were. My face ached from smiling, my eyes pricked with tears of joy and pride and I knew that I would treasure that image of my babies on stage yelling about their teddies forever.

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Later on, in a rare example of spontinaety I headed over to Liverpool for a look around the shops. Since discovering that gift cards have an expiry date my Christmas vouchers have been burning a hole in my pocket so, I hot footed it to Liverpool 1 and my spiritual home of John Lewis.

In the homeware section I was met with a display of Cornishware pottery which stopped me in my tracks. I was transported back to my childhood, to Earl Grey tea and Lemon cake, to Ludlow and my Grandma’s kitchen with fond memories of baking and sewing and spending time with my cousins because  when all’s said and done, the battle of wills about not washing up or putting elbows on the table all fade and become rose tinted or at least sepia toned!

It made me think of an event that my friends are hosting in a few weeks called Memories Matter. An amazing event to raise much needed funds into research of dementia and Alzheimers. In her latter years my Grandma suffered with the disease and to say it is cruel is a vast, vast understatement and anything we can do to gain a greater understanding is so important.

Memories are like a comfort blanket, a way back home when you’re all at sea. They ground you and are a blue print for the way you do, or don’t want to do things going forwards. Memories really do matter.

For that to be taken from you, for only confusing fragments to remain so you are left feeling that the word you are searching for, or that holiday you went on or the child you raised are somehow beyond a veil, an opaque curtain that you can’t reach behind is devastating. For the sufferer and those watching the illness take hold.

There’s no telling which memories will mean the most to our girls as they grow up. It may not always the big gestures or the expensive holidays and trips that take poll position in people’s minds and that’s okay, in fact that’s pretty perfect. Hopefully, some of our chaotic, mostly mundane but occasionally exciting life is creating memories that our girls will treasure for a lifetime.

Perhaps when I’m long gone, they’ll catch a wiff of my perfume and recall our mad morning routines or hear James or The Ramones on the radio and think back to dancing in the kitchen with their daddy and I. Maybe they’ll hear a smoke alarm and think of our family dinners!

This blog is a tiny way for me to record some of the most significant milestones of Leary Life. And, hopefully, if the time ever comes, it will act for my girls as their own comfort blanket so that they will know that they are loved beyond measure whether I can  tell them or not.

Happy Mothers Day my darling girls.

You have given me the huge honour of calling myself your mum. I love you both until the seas run dry; and that will never happen.

Muma.

XxxX

PS- If you’d like to know more about Memories Matter, search for it on Facebook. It is in Paradox on 20th March but tickets are very limited.

 

 

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Get set for Geronimo 2016!!!

 

GERONIMO 2016.png

I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it. Don’t panic, I’m not about to lose control but I definitely like it! GERONIMO IS BACK for 2016- Hooray!

Last year we were lucky enough to be invited to be one of the official bloggers at the first Geronimo festival at Tatton Park. We had an absolutely brilliant day and I know that lots of you did too. Due to last years success the festival has expanded and the fab festival will now book end May with a weekend at Harewood House, Leeds on 1-2nd May and then, at the end of the month Geronimo will be back at Tatton Park. That’s the bank holiday entertainment sorted then!

Wondering what’s in store to entertain your brood? Geronimo is aimed at families with kids of 12 and under and focuses on family time and imaginative play in beautiful surroundings.

Last year the 3ft and Under Zone was a real winner for us- there were chilled out tents for feeding, changing and just letting the little ones catch their breath- it was really well thought out! Not surprising given the event organiser is a dad of 7!! This year the little ones can enjoy a fun class with Tumble Tots, take a ride on a balance bike or take a dance lesson with baby ballet. For the tiny tots, simply chill out in the baby yoga tent. Bliss! 

 

 

geronimo bethan

Happiness! 

Now the girls have found their feet and are certainly getting way more daring and adventurous I fear the calm of the baby zone will be lost on us but that’s ok- there’s loads more to look forward to…

There is an incredible array of different zones and activities but here’s the top 5 of what we’re most looking forward to this time around:

  1. The Adrenaline Zone will challenge even the bravest adventurers with tree climbing, den making and a thrilling zip line that will reach speeds of up to 60KPH! For those who like things a little less fast paced, there are fencing and archery taster lessons and Parkour sessions where Geronimites can learn how to jump and roll like a Pro.
  2. The girls were absolutely in awe when we took them to a circus last year in New Brighton so I know that the Circus Zone will be a hit- there’s a breathtaking aerial trapeze show and the chance to give plate spinning and stilt walking a go…Plate spinning is basically a metaphor for my life so I should have that one nailed in no time! This zone also includes a full circus show and Circus fudge will also be performing his show from Glastonbury festival – don’t miss it!
  3. Bethan asked me today when she could go on the telly to do some cooking, talking and singing so I am sure we’ll be spending some of our day in the Theatre Zone, with Pocket Story Theatre – winner of the primary times children’s choice awards at the Edinburgh Fringe. Fabularium is the most eccentric of travelling shows and Les Enfants Terrible present the Imaginary Menagerie; travel with Dr Longitude as he regales you with his strange stories and takes about his travels….I just hope they can get a word in when ours are there!
  4. Drums make me happy- I was reminded of that during last weeks Winter 10km so I can almost guarantee that I’ll be doing some embarrassing mum dancing in the Library Zone where we can join in some Bollywood dance classes or shake our booty at Zumba or enjoy a gigantic drumming session. I will be trying to beat a hasty exit before the Frozen singalong though. So. Over. It!!
  5. Last year we loved taking a load off and getting involved with the cooking and Creation Station workshops and I am sure we’ll be all over the Funky Junk Zone.  this time around also. The girls are all about card making, cutting and sticking and any sort of making at the moment and when you add hair braiding, face painting and fairy making workshops into the mix this has got ‘coffee break’ written all over it for me and Mr L!

 

Aside from all of that they’ve brought back the big guns in terms of kids entertainment…Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Alex Winters and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle will be around for daily meet and greets, appearances of the main stage and lots of fun, songs and silly slapstick comedy you know that you’ll be laughing along as much as the kids! 

bloom

Totally mixing with the A List. Bloom = BOOM

The countdown is on! 

See you there- keep your eyes peeled for our competition.

Geronimo Bar

Just in case you’re still on the fence! 

Muma.

XxxX

 

Tickets are on sale NOW priced from £18.50pp.  A ticket for Geronimo Harewood also includes access to Below Stairs of the House.

 

 

 

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F’in Friday #01

Well, it certainly seems that the old adage is true…the older you get the quicker life goes.

Today is the fourth Friday in January. January 2016. 20 actual 16. RIDICULOUS.

We are nuts deep in the longest, coldest, skintest, most depressing month of the year. In fact, Monday 19th January was named ‘Blue Monday’, officially the most depressing day of the year- nice!

Spring is an age away, payday is still a distant speck on the horizon but hark…what’s that thud…oh, the credit card bill reminding us of panic purchases and festive excesses. YEY.

So, thanks to all of this you might think that F’in Friday is basically a blog based moan fest but no- in fact I am feeling pretty content with my little lot at the moment.

image

I have much to be grateful for- including my health and so F’in Friday is simply a space for me to document what I am doing health and fitness wise each week, the new things I’m trying, the stuff I’m enjoying and what I’ll be giving a wide berth in future maybe! Here goes…

FATNESS:

We don’t have scales at home. I can’t see the point- I know when I’m eating well and doing the ‘right stuff’ and I know when I’m buying 3 creme eggs for £1 and eating them all in one sitting. When my maternity jeans are snug ( and the little little has celebrated her 3rd birthday) I appreciate that steps need to be taken! So, in the interests of research this week I used one of those weighing machines in Boots…I hadn’t anticipated that it would announce to the whole shop that I was weighing myself but still- we have to start somewhere and that was it. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but it sure as hell wasn’t that I am 1/3 fat. WHAT?! 33.2% of me is basically lard…my body fat is almost in the POOR category…That has got to be a mistake I thought so I stomped up to Tesco and did exactly the same thing (get a second opinion and all that!) Tesco felt only slightly differently- 28.7% fat- still falling outside of the ‘normal’ range…

The plan is to weigh in weekly and hopefully see these figures move somewhere closer to the GOOD range.

FITNESS:

A fab week on this score- My friends and I completed the Liverpool Winter Run on Sunday and it was a really great experience. Yes it was Baltic- we drove through sleet and snow on the way but starting and finishing in the Echo was a stroke of genius and I would definitely be up for doing it again. I like to have a little run out. It is good for my head, a brilliant stress reliever and I have come to really enjoy it and I never thought that would happen!

 

I finished in 1hr 2mins so there is some room for improvement there too. My aim is to get around 50 mins by the end of the year.

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I have also sweated it out at Commando this week- an outdoor circuit training class run by an ex-marine. It is brilliant-Tough but once you’re able to walk again you feel pretty good- promise!

I am really chuffed that this week also saw a little running group start in Heswall- It was a trial for a new location for  Rachel’s Mums to Marathons and is literally open to anyone who fancies taking up running. I know that there are people rolling their eyes, saying they couldn’t do it but I am telling you now- barring serious injury or actual medical advice- you can. Give it a go and tell me you don’t get a buzz from getting further than you thought you could.

FOOD: 

I am a massive fan of smoothies and juices and I have these 2 most days- I love them;

Ginger Zinger

  • Juice of a 2cm chunk of ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Teaspoon of honey to taste.

Put all the juice into a cup and top up with boiling water- add honey to taste. If you are an organised type you can do this in bulk and freeze into icecubes and then simply make up like a cuppa each morning. Lush!

Green Goddess

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 handfuls of spinich
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 an avocado

Juice the cucumber, celery and spinach, add the lime juice and then blend in the avocado. Yummy! (honestly)

FASHION: 

I would love to be a Sweaty Betty aficionado, I love Super Dry, Adidas and all the others but realistically at the moment I am buying my sweats in Sainsbos. A solo trip to the supermarket is basically akin to a spa treatment when you’re a parent!!

Last week I spotted this beauty and the slogan is something I absolutely believe in.

Sainsburys body achieves top

No midriff showing whilst mid plank here! 

It’s open at the back but the tie at the bottom keeps in in place and with a long sleeved top underneath I think it looks really fab- even if I do say so myself!

FAD:

I am calling this a ‘fad’ because so many people think that it is. I don’t and hopefully my results in the coming weeks will show why I am a convert and distributor of the IT WORKS products. Their most well known products are “those crazy wraps”, they have been great for my wobbly mum tum but I took some time off over Christmas and definitely  need to get back into my ‘wrap routine’ and for various reasons that hasn’t happened…yet. I am taking the HSN and Greens daily though and do feel way more energetic and my hair and nails seem to be growing with gusto at the moment.

HSN

 

 

The products are fairly new to the UK but I am slowly building up my team and letting more people know about the products so if you’re interested in finding out more feel free to contact me, I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

So, that’s my first F’in Friday.

I would love to know what you’d suggest in terms of diet, exercise and things you do to help you feel your best.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Muma.

XxxX

 

love-your-body-and-be-healthy

 

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First World Parenting Problems #627 The scooter battle

Yesterday, following what seemed like an incredibly long break for Christmas and New Year, normality and routine resumed when Mr L returned to work.
Thanks to inset day the ankle biters and I are settling into things more gently but did at least get dressed before 2pm and I didn’t fill my face with crap so I guess we’re getting there.
As the little little turns 3 next week (WHAT?) We finally got round to writing the invites to her party and, to give people the best chance of being able to make it (although frankly it would save some cash if they were otherwise engaged) we decided to take the invites down to nursery to be put in the lucky recipients bags ASAP.
The big little wanted to scoot there….

Now, I have opinions, plenty of them as it goes and, both general life and motherhood have both had an amazing ability to smack me in the face with them and force humble pie onto my plate in generous helpings over the years. That being said, I ain’t never going to be ok with coke in a baby bottle for a toddler (true story) or spray on tight white leggings and a skinny black thong on anyone other than Kate Moss so, I don’t think I’ll ever truly lose my inner Hopkins but these days I do tend to be more of a lover than a fighter, we’re all on our own journey blah blah blah.

One of the groups of people I used to be all judgy with and internally tut at were the parents who carried their children’s shit.
You know who I mean- the exasperated parent struggling with the pram and the trike on the way home from a “nice family day at the park”. I was all,

it’s their stuff, it’s their responsibility. I’ll tell you one thing for free- you’d never catch me doing that.

HA FREAKING HA HA HA.

Let’s think for a minute about the sheer lunacy of this shall we?
After an hour of preparing to leave the house with wee stops, shoe vs welly rows and scratching snot off your only cleanish top your finally on the move. #winning
You have 20 yards of wonderfulness where it’s all counting cars, commenting on local flora and forna and perhaps an approving look from an elderly passerby before the inevitable whinge…guess what…they’re bored of scooting/pram pushing/dolly carrying.
Whatcha gonna do soldier?!

Argue with a halfling who is so little they are unable to go to the toilet unaided, about the fact that they made the consious decision to bring their dolly/pram/scooter to the park/shop/any other place parents venture with them and, less than a nano second into that journey (but just far enough from the house or car) they change their teeny tiny minds and now want you to carry it.

Lets think about how that might end shall we…
a) with said child accepting the error of their ways, apologising for their embarrassing gaffe and then scooting happily home where everyone laughs about it with a nice glass of chablis
b) with said parent slamming themselves in the face for believing the halflings promises that this time things would be different and they would definitely scoot the whole mile and a half to the shops and it would take less than a fucking eternity to do so.
c) passers by calling the cops and social services after seeing a grown person rocking and crying in the street like a Romanian orphan with a bemused toddler next to them asking their dolly why they never, ever listen to mummy.

Well friends, today as the custom built micro scooter took another chunk out of my shin and the heavens opened whilst I pushed both girls in the double buggy with a slow puncture, I felt karma on my shoulder laughing her ass off.
All this in Dry January?!

First world parenting…The struggle is real people!

Loads of love,

Muma. X

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Guess who’s Back…

Happy New Year! Sorry- bit late for that I guess but previously regular readers of this blog will know I’m not one to set the clock by!

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post. Over 3 months. Crazy how time flies.

I started blogging in 2013 and absolutely loved having the space to get my scrabbled little head out there.
Sometimes I was funny, sometimes serious, sometimes I reviewed stuff, but I was always me and always honest and people actually liked it  (they told me and I was shortlisted for an award n stuff!) and then I just stopped.
It wasn’t a consious decision. One day just rolled into another and I got out of the habit of it.
I stopped thinking I had stuff to say. There was, and is, the huge humanitarian crisis in Syria, people closer to home like my lovely friends Julia and Liz were talking about really seriously sad and difficult times and it felt to self indulgent and ungrateful to be whinging about the kids or Mr L.
Other bloggers were going absolutely stratospheric like the incredible Mini Travellers and the fabulous Honest Mum and guess I just thought oh fuck it, my little blog is never going to take off like, what’s the point. Somewhere, I lost the ‘space and time for me element’ but today, today after a long time I feel like I’ve got stuff to say and so, whether or not people read it, whether or not my blog builds again or I find the energy and momentum to take it the places I want it to go, I’m writing it so- enjoy, it feels good to be back.

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How we can all help to #SaveSyria

Following on from yesterday’s post about my beautiful baby turning 4 and the literal ocean of difference between our lives and the desperate plight of the Syrian refugees I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of practical ways that we can help.

syria pic

As you probably know by now there are thousands of people arriving in Calais without even the most basic items. The camp is growing daily and ensuring there is enough food, clean water and warm clothing for everyone is a huge challenge.

Support groups collecting and transporting donations down to Calais are springing up all over Britain and the North West is no exception. My friend Genna set up a page late last week hoping to be able to take a vanload of items and the response has been overwhelming. There are now over 1000 members of the group, growing numbers of donation stations, pick up and drop off points and local businesses getting involved to support too.

If you would like to donate items, money, a collection point or anything else all the information you need is on the Facebook page– it is a closed group so you will need to ask to join but the basics are outlined below- if you can do ANYTHING to support we would love to hear from you so please get in touch.

THE BIG PLAN:

Between now and the weekend of 19th/20TH September items are being collected in various locations throughout the Wirral and Liverpool. Over the course of that weekend the wonderful people at BayTV have offered us space everything so they will be ready for the first trip to Calais on the following Friday.

The items most in demand are outlined below- if you could donate anything it would be hugely appreciated. Additionally if you are able to collect donations from others or offer storage space please do let us know.

We now have a central store for all items once sorted if we have too many for the first trip and, as we know, it is not just Calais in this situation so we will be keeping up to date with all guidance on where needs support and amending our plans if necessary. The most important point is that anyone in need is supported and knows that there are people that care about their situation.

What is needed:

In order to be as time efficient as possible it would be amazing if you could bag and label all donations

eg- Mens clothing,size L in one bag, womens shoes, size 5 in another.  

Please label them clearly so when we come together we easily join items together.

CLOTHES

– Shoes/Trainers (size 7-11) (no city shoes or high heels)
– Jackets (no wool)
– Socks
– Hoodies
– T-shirts
– Belts
– Tracksuit trousers and Jeans (32-36)
– Wooly hats
– Gloves
– Scarves
– Underwear
– Waterproof clothing

OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT 

– Tents, Shelters, Tarpaulin, Canvas sheets
– Wooden Pallets (used for elevating off wet floors and as fuel)
– Travel bags- Candles / Torches / Lanterns
– Batteries
– Sleeping Bags / Blankets
– Cutlery
– Bowls / Plates
– Sports stuff – footballs /cricket /volleyballs etc- Puncture repair kits / Inner tubes etc- Spades- Buckets
– Camp Cookers
– Pots and Pans
– Umbrellas

Toiletries

– Soap
– Shampoo
– Toothbrushes/toothpaste
– Razors
– Toiletry bags
– Body lotion
– Shower gel

Other

– Bin Bags
– Cleaning products
– Washing up liquid
– Washing powder
– Anti bacterial sprays
– Games – backgammon/chess etc
– Water carriers
– Medicines – paracetamol /aspirin etc (other medicines have to be given to doctors in Calais as need prescribing)

Food

Garlic
Ginger
Sugar
Salt
All non-perishable food
TINNED kidney beans, white beans, chick peas, green beans
No pasta, NO couscous, NO bulgur, NO oatmeal
Oil
Tomatoes sauces, pastes, tins
Spices
Long Life milk
Tea/coffee

How to get it to us:

I am not going to list the various drop off points as there are far too many and some of them are private addresses so please join the group for this information.

If you are in the area and already working on donations and planning a mission to Calais it would be great to hear from you so we can coordinate all the local efforts and make sure no time or money is being wasted. Let’s work together to support these people in such desperate need.

If you have donations but can’t get them to a drop off point we have a group of lovely runners that will collect from Southport, Liverpool, Allerton and Wavertree and more being added all the time.

As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking and will cost a lot in fuel so there is also a Go Fund Me account to help pay for fuel and fund the trips gofundme.com/zd3agk4w

If you’re not local to the NW there are still plenty of ways to help: TEXT 70008 and the word SYRIA to donate £5

  • Have a clear out and take anything you no longer need or want to Oxfam to support their Syria appeal.
  • If you’re in or near London on September 12th get yourselves down to the ‘Solidarity with refugees‘ protest.
  • Join in with Save Syria’s Children Charity Challenge and take part in a challenge to raise awareness and help raise money.
  • Donate to a charity that has a Syria appeal, such as Syria Relief, Muslim Aid and Save the Children; they all have direct appeals so you know your money will go where it’s meant to. 
  • Sign the petition to get more refugees into our country, Germany is doing a brilliant job of welcoming refugees- we could do the same.
  • Share this information with your contacts so everyone is aware of practical ways to help.

THANK YOU.

Lots of Love,

Muma.

XxxX

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Now you are 4.

To my darling, darling girl.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Today you are 4.

Four whole years old and I have never loved you more.
You have been in my life and my heart forever it seems but I know I lived a life before you. Without you.
An unrecognisable life, one with improptu beers and meals and holidays and disposable income and late nights and lie ins.
But all of those days led me to here. To my life as your Muma. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m sorry that you are (again) getting quite a somber and earnest sort of birthday blog- but I have to write from the heart and this is what’s written on it at the moment.

You are my baby and I love you.
With every fibre of my being I love you.
Always.
You and your sister and your Daddy mean everything to me and I would walk across hot coals to keep you safe and happy.

bethan 4

I want to write a carefree and funny post about all the wonderful things you do. All the reasons I adore you and I’d chuck in a couple of the ways you wind me up but that will have to wait. I need you to know this;

On your birthday we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. There are mummy’s and daddy’s just like yours who don’t know what to do or where to turn to keep their families together.

After they put their babies to bed each night they plan and they whisper and they panic and they argue about which is the least risky risk to take.
How can they protect their children and allow them the childhood and the lives they dreamed of for them.
Do they stay, Do they go- where will they be least marginalised and where do they have the best chance of rebuilding their lives.

For your birthday we have bought you lots of lovely things:
A nurses outfit and a book about the body because you always talk about being a doctor when you grow up.
A ‘wibbly’ dolly and her own potty because you want a baby like your baby cousin that you adore
Some wipable books to get you ready for school because you simply can’t wait to be a big girl.
You have been given a train set and a cake making box and lots of other amazing treats. You are a very lucky girl.

But one very special thing I want to give you is the knowledge that the country you live in is a kind one, it cares about its neighbours and it wants to help. There are groups and individuals all over the country whose hearts are breaking just like mine to see so many people displaced and afraid and misunderstood.

I want you to know how important it is to speak out and try to make a difference even if it feels as though you are standing alone. It might be scary but it would be a far scarier world if people didn’t and you’ll never be alone because I’ve got your back. Always.

I want you to know that any tiny thing you do to help someone else is important and valued and precious.

I want you to know how very, very lucky you are to have a home and food and heat and light and power and an education.

But most of all I want to have the luxury of not knowing any of this. To have the opportunity to play dress up and lego and colouring and trains and cooking without knowing how hard and difficult the world can be and how high a price baby’s just like you are paying.
I want you to be my baby awhile longer. Safe, Loved and blissfully unaware.

Happy Birthday my darling, darling girl.

I will love you until the seas run dry.

And that will never happen.

Muma.

XxxX

If you would like to join the effort to support the refuges there are lots of was to help- there are groups sending essentials to Calais the Wirral group is here– search on line for your local one.

THANK YOU.

#everyhumanmatters

AYlan Kurdi's body being recovered from the beach.

AYlan Kurdi’s body being recovered from the beach.

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