Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too Busy To Blog

No time for frivolous internet idleness. (Don't look at my Facebook, because you might think I DO have time for frivolous internet idleness.)

But no really, between rehearsals, work, completing my childminding application (more on that later) and keeping the house clean - oh yeah, and those kids, they take up a bit of time - I really haven't had much time to just relax.

But now, with the house clean (don't look too closely at my kitchen though) and about six loads of laundry FINALLY folded and sorted, I am going to go do something I haven't done properly since Monday...

I'm taking a shower.

No, to hell with it, I'm taking a BATH. And you know what I'm gonna do? Do you want to know?! I'M GONNA SHAVE MY LEGS. Yeah, take THAT, over-crowded schedule!


P.S. Things to add to the above time-killers that I need/want to fit in: tennis, sewing, and Gaelic lessons.

P.P.S. What the heck is happening with time? Did someone speed up the life-clock? It's near the end of January. Huh?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Naughty Words

I've always heard how nursery totally messes with your child's linguistic habits but hadn't seen it myself yet.

Until this morning.

I made the girls toast and set before Fifi a toast rack which she loves to use when there is toast. Her response?

"Ooh, it's the toast hingmy!"

Ugh. If there is one West-of-Scotland-ism that I hate most it is without a shadow of a doubt THAT word. It is sickening. It is ugly. It sounds like someone clearing his throat of a giant phlegm ball. From the moment I arrived here, it was the word I loathed the most. Many other strange Scottishisms I've eventually picked up - glaikit, eejit, bisom, minging, boggin', pished, crabbit - but that word... "hingmy" still makes me want to puke.

I don't often make a fuss over my kids' language. If I hear them repeat a "not nice" word, I try to not make a big deal over it, only gently correct, because I figure making a big deal over it will only increase the interest in that word. Fifi's come out before with a few choice words (most likely learned from music actually... we still haven't gotten around to censoring our car music), and I always reply with something like, "Fifi, that's not a nice word. Some people use that word, I know, but it doesn't sound very nice and it makes some people upset to hear it."

But when she called the toast rack this morning a toast "hingmy"? My response: "Fifi! That is a terrible word! We don't use that word in this family! Where did you ever learn that word?!"

She could've dropped the F-bomb and gotten a calmer response. Ew.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fifi's Glasses

Just over a month or so ago, an optician came to Fifi's nursery to do a routine screening. I was given a note saying her vision on one eye appeared reduced, and she'd be scheduled for another screening at the hospital. That screening was today, and I was really nervous about it. She's only a wee thing, and it seems such a shame for such a wee girl to need glasses. But I tried to stay positive and think that maybe it would turn out a false alarm.

We went in this afternoon, and Fifi was an absolute champion. They gave her a few eye tests, like watch this ribbon, which box has the ball in it, what colour is this, etc. They then put wee little opticians spectacles on her (cute ones that looked like little flowers) and did a proper eye test, where she held a sheet of 6 different letters and the nurse held up a card with the letters ranging in size and had her pick from her own card which letter she was pointing to. Sure enough, as the letters got smaller, Fifi's ability to pick them out lessened.

She was then given 'magical eye drops' that would make her eyes 'shine' (e.g. dilate). We went for a wee pancake and juice in the cafe while we waited for the drops to work, then went in for an actual eye exam. The optician checked her eyes with a flashlight and all the rest and concluded that she did indeed need glasses. My heart sunk. Fifi seemed happy enough, but I had to fight back a tear. She was written a prescription for glasses and away we went.

Next stop was Reid Mackellars to look at glasses. Luckily (for us) the NHS provides certain styles of glasses for children, so we looked at the free ones first. Fifi had her heart set on purple ones, but there were no purple ones in the free section. She found a gorgeous little pair of purple ones that even I admit I was tempted by, but finally I decided on the pink free ones. She was a bit disappointed (though the pink ones are lovely on her, very suitable for her hair and skin colour), so I made her a deal. If she takes very good care of her pink glasses and shows us how responsible she can be with them, we will buy her the purple ones. She was satisfied with that.

I know that it's good really that she's getting these. At her age, there's a chance glasses will correct her vision impairment, and she won't need them forever. But on the other hand, she's so young, and I don't want her to be considered the nerdy kid for having glasses. Which is why I really could've been swayed with the funky purple ones she liked! (Also, I figure once the novelty wears off, it's gonna be hard to get her to wear them, especially if she's not that keen on them!) But oh well. Glasses aren't the end of the world. And I have a feeling that little girl will know how to rock them. She's pretty confident, and I think she has the ability to totally make them look cool. One thing I swear: I will NOT make her ever wear dorky glasses for any reason short of absolute poverty.

She'll get her glasses in about a week. I'll post pictures of them then. I'm glad Fifi's so excited about them. I've been acting really excited too, for her sake. But inside, I'm just a dorky kid with glasses myself, and I am pretty upset for her.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Positive Outlook for the New Year

Thank you God

Thank you God, for all I have to do today.
Thank you for this sink of dirty dishes,
It shows we have plenty to eat.

Thank you, for this pile of dirty, stinky, laundry,
It shows we have plenty of clothes to wear.

Thank you for those unmade beds in there,
They were warm and so comfortable last night
And I know there are many who have no beds.

Thank you for this bathroom complete with all the
Spattered mirror, soggy grimy towels and dirty commode,
They are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator
That needs defrosting,
It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers
For two or three meals.

Thanks God, for this oven
That absolutely must cleaned today,
It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that grass that needs mowing,
The lawn that will need raking, we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you even for that slamming screen door,
My children are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord the presence of all these chores awaiting me
Says you have richly blessed my family.
I shall do them all cheerfully
And I shall do them gratefully.


-Author Unknown

Copied from the Motivated Moms website. Go get your chore schedule, it's only $8/£5.50!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

40 Questions

40 Questions I Answer Annually:

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Bought a tent and went camping with my family. Granted, we only went once, but I blame it on having started too late in the season. This summer, we'll be ready to go first thing.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
Last year, Scott and I made resolutions for each other. Neither of us succeeded. I was supposed to get back into writing poetry. I wrote about one poem. BUT I did get back into something else... Theatre!

This year I have a long list of resolutions:
*Maintain chore schedule (I did okay on it last year, but could do better this year)
*Eat a healthier diet
*Blog more
*Finish reading through the Bible
*If I remember the rest (I've not actually written them all down), I'll add them (maybe).
*Stop shouting (full stop)/ control anger

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Amanda and Rodger had Eilidh, Sheryl and Novi had Kayla.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My friend Shirley's husband died this year. I just can't imagine.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Tain in the Highlands was the farthest I travelled.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Money. Any amount of money would do.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory?

9-11 of September was Footloose. I'll remember that. And I'll remember 4-6 November when we went to Glenmorangie House!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Auditioning for and performing in my first on-stage theatre show in ten years! Everybody cut Footloose!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting signed off as a Breastfeeding Network Supporter. That one still stings.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than the usual colds, etc.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
That bottle of Glenmorangie Original that won us our free trip away!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
It's hard to answer this question, but this year I think I'll say Scott. Not only does he work his bum off everyday at a thankless job, but he then has let me go out several nights each week to play rehearsals and nights out with friends too. And that's besides the nights I'm working. He's been so patient and understanding about my newfound hobby. And encouraging too.

And beyond that, he's really been there for me as I go through all the emotional ups and downs I've experienced over the last year and a half with my parents' divorce. He's a really good, wonderful, loving husband. I even forgive him for not taking out the trash as often as he should. (But hey, boy, do it anyway!)

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I think it's time to change this question. I never give it a serious answer, because the Blogosphere is not the place to hang your dirty laundry, or talk about people who have appalled or depressed you. So I'm changing it to...

13b. What regrets do you have about the past year?
Geez, I've replaced a hard one with a hard one. I regret the way I've spoken to my children on many occasions. Yes, Lolly is in the midst of her 'terrible twos' and Fifi can be a trying four year old, but some days I've just not been the mother I want to be to them. I hope I can change that.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills, bills. Wasn't that a song by Blaque?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Footloose! And then getting the part of Shelby in Steel Magnolias!!

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2010?

The Decemberists - Hazards of Love. Oh my heavens' sake, why did it take me so long to get into them? Only one other album has ever moved me so deeply, and I'll remember lying on the carpet in the living room in the dark, listening to this album late at night, trying to learn every word of every song and just feeling more alive than I ever have before. (Which is the same memory I have of that other album, Flaming Lips' Yoshimi, only that carpet was in mine and Katie's duplex in Fayetteville, and the carpet was nicer.)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? just as happy with the same moments of great sadness.
thinner or fatter? fatter, but maybe that was just the New Year's steak pie.
richer or poorer? I daresay poorer. Sucktastic.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Tennis, healthy eating, reading.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Shouting at my little darlings. I really need to get on the Agnus Castus (mark that up there on my resolutions.)

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Kids woke us up at 6. Santa had been. Opened presents. Kids peaked and crashed by 7. We all went back to bed except Fifi who stayed up playing with all the new toys until we got back up around 9.30 or 10. Then we had Christmas dinner at in-laws with Scott's family (minus Faisal, who had to work.)

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
My mom and my dad. Separately. (Cue sad moment.)

22. What's your best memory from 2010?
Hmm. Trying to remember early on. But definitely performing in Footloose is one. Playing my first game of tennis in the summer with Kieran is another. Getting drunk with my sisters-in-law Katie and Rebekkah and my mum-in-law Marion and pouring our hearts out to each other, that is a great memory. And a great early on in the year memory would be going to the Tontine with Maria for our 'weekly' session (it happened that once) and getting drunk and making all kinds of plans that of course were ridiculous once we were sober. Ah, and even though it just happened, I think my night out with Carol and Maria to Flava and (again) getting drunk and having a great laugh with two of my favourite people in the world should be included. And speaking of favourite people, all summer hanging out with Heather and her wonderful daughters made for a very happy summer full of memories.

But best of all? Glenmorangie House with Scott and close friends.

23. How have you seen yourself grow as a person this year?
Yikes, easy on the hard ones (I made this one up last year). I've realised that maybe I'm not the kind of mum who can handle having hundreds of kids. I apparently do have a limit, which, while in the serene breastfeeding baby stage I never realised. But I've also realised that I control my own temper and my own attitudes and I just need to do that more often. I've learned I really, truly do need ritual and organisation in my life to keep me calm and sane. I've also (surprisingly) learned that I need a life outside my home. I've been content to be 'just a mum' up until this point, but now my kids are getting older, I've come to realise I need 'me' time again. As much as I would like to have at least one more child, I'm not sure I could go back to all that again. I guess I've just learned I am not and cannot be supermum; I can only be what I am, but on that I can improve.

24. What was your favourite TV programme(s)?

My new ones this year were Bodies and Glee.

25. What one special thing would you like to do in 2011?

I'm adding to this question. It will now be:

What one special thing would you like to do in 2011 and what other special plans do have for this year?
I'm doing that because what I would LIKE to do and what I PLAN to do are two different things, usually. I would LIKE to go back to America one last time before Fifi starts school. Won't happen though. :( I PLAN to become a childminder and start contributing again to our income. (TinyTalk, by the way, is actually doing much better this year, which is what I hoped for last year. So yay! But it's still not a stable enough income to live on.)

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
I didn't read a lot this year, which sucks but I've been rereading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner and it is pure breaking my heart all over again. Big recommendation, folks.

I also read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Maybe not one for everyone, ha, but it has been excellent for me, the hippy natural girl.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Decemberists. Who I'm going to see in February! (Also going to see Ben Folds in March, but he's hardly a new discovery for me. Though his new album is new. And it's gooood.)

28. What did you want and get?

The part of Shelby in Steel Magnolias. And a job at Blockbuster.

29. What did you want and not get?
A trip back to America for my ten year high school reunion.

30. What were your favourite films of this year?

The Greatest and My Name is Khan. Both made me cry numerous times throughout. So, so good.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 28 and had a murder mystery party at my house. It was good fun.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

My year was actually very satisfying as it was. But yeah, I guess having gone home for reunion would've done it. But hey, we're in a depression. I'm lucky we are doing as well as we are.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Allowing myself to still feel young enough to pull off 'young' fashion. I allowed myself to wear shorter skirts with leggings, skinny jeans, and dresses with tights and ankle boots. Thanks, Thomas, for thinking I was only 19! It did my self-esteem wonders.

34. What kept you sane?

Developing my own life again. That includes going to rehearsals for shows, playing tennis, and getting into some new music. On the family front, spending time with people like Heather and Maria REALLY helped. They are both so motivated to do fun, outdoorsy stuff with their kids, and Heather in particular helps me feel calm and eager to control my anger when the kids are driving me bonkers.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Strangely, Leonardo DiCaprio. Yeah, I'm not 17 again (but I did love him in Titanic), but no really, he's been in some great films recently. Shutter Island, Inception, yeah, he's kinda gotten hot again.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Global Warming. Is it or isn't it?

37. Who did you miss?
All the mums I used to spend so much time with, but that I stopped seeing when I stopped doing breastfeeding support. I still see the IBfM committee at meetings, but feel very out of the loop now. So I miss those girls.

38. Who was the best new person (people) you met?
I met so many lovely people doing Footloose (and panto), it would be hard to name them all, and I wouldn't want to offend anyone. But I'll go ahead and give the short-but-by-no-means-conclusive list: Pauline B, Pauline C, Kieran, Lee, Lynda, and Jacqui T. There are so many others to add, but those are the people who have actually been in my house, so that's got to mean a bit more than just 'show-friend'ness. (But I'd still want to add Julie and Gordy who have not been to my house but that I *heart*.)

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

I think I covered that in the how-I've-grown-as-a-person question... or maybe I just answered the wrong question up there. But a valuable life lesson? Grow to trust yourself and accept yourself, particularly the stuff you don't like or don't want. You don't have to tell other people what ugliness exists, but once you've acknowledged these things you see in yourself, you can begin to change them. But if you hide it from yourself, it just lingers and eats away at you and will even spill out when you're not being careful. And if there is something you like in yourself that you are afraid to show, try showing it in little bursts and see where it takes you (like auditioning for a musical!)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
There's no business like show business
Like no business I know.
Everything about it is appealing,
Everything the traffic will allow.
No where could you have that happy feeling
When you aren't stealing that extra bow.

There's no people like show people,
They smile when they are low.
Yesterday they told you you would not go far,
That night you opened and there you are.
Next day on your dressing room they've hung a star'
Let's go on with the show!
I must be on some kind of New Year 'Spring' Cleaning sort of thing. I've been organising and cleaning like crazy. (No, I'm not pregnant.) I think a trip to IKEA is in order. No, scratch that. I KNOW it is in order. And Scott is going to take me tomorrow morning. I can't exactly afford what it is that I want, but I'm getting it anyway. Surely the joy of an immaculate kids' room is worth a little nail-biting until pay day? And besides, if I don't buy it now, the sale will end and I'll have to pay full price for it, so why wait?

I've also been motivated to organise because Thursday evening, Fifi and Lolly's Christmas present from Musha arrived - their new doll house. So today, since they are are Granny and Grampa's house, I built it (with only a tiny bit of help from Scott when I stripped a screw trying to force it in). Then I needed a place to put it where it would be safe but accessible. So I rearranged some stuff in the kids' room, rearranged some stuff in the study and then rearranged some stuff in the living room to make it all work. Now their lovely new doll house is set up in the living room (where I can watch they don't destroy it), and it makes me ever so happy. I purposely ordered (well, it was 'from' Musha meant he sent me the money for it and then I ordered it from here) one that was unpainted and unfinished so I could do the decorating myself... with maybe a BIT of input from the kids. I'm going to paint it, wallpaper the inside and maybe even carpet/tile. I can't wait! Project!!

(I always wanted a doll house. Scott thinks I'll enjoy it more than them.)

(It even has a little toilet!)

So now, it's time to go to Andy and Marion's for our traditional New Year's Day steak pie dinner. Mmmm. Last night we had a Hogmanay party at our house, but so many people cancelled because of illness that it ended up being only Scott and me, Sarah and Ian, and Matt and Cheryl. But saying that, it was a great time and I really enjoyed the whole night. We drank mulled wine, wound Scott up by discussing our conspiracy theories (I think he nearly exploded at one point), and generally had a great laugh. Cheryl and I *almost* put in the Dance on Broadway for the Wii until we realised that at that very moment, we were three minutes away from midnight, so we ended up celebrating instead. I'll need to just Dance on Broadway by myself (unless any of you are takers and want to come over??)

So anyway, today is the start of all my various resolutions. I'll see how well I do with the 'healthy eating'/'common sense' diet thing. Considering I ate homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I'm not off to a good start. But that's the beauty of this diet. It's just a GENERAL eat more healthily diet. No rules, just common sense.

Happy new year!