Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Child Who Never Sleeps.....a short story!!!!

Let me tell you a story about a girl know. Many moons ago, back when flares and perms were trendy (i.e. the late 70’s!!!) a beautiful baby girl was born to a very glamorous couple. They didn’t have much but they had each other and were very happy. Now, although the girl was beautiful and cherubic and adored by all around her, as she grew, the girl never could sleep.

The Mother used to lie in bed with her daughter night after night after night, reading as many stories as she could lay her hands on. More often than not the mother used to fall asleep whilst reading and the girl would lie and look at her sleeping Mother but still couldn’t sleep herself. This continued even though the Mother had other children to take care of and then suddenly when the girl was a teenager something miraculous happened and she actually learned to sleep. The Mother praised be to God and since that miracle the girl has continued to adore sleeping and more often than not struggles to get up in the morning. She is still a night owl but she does actually sleep.

Fast forward thirteen years from this miracle and the daughter herself had a beautiful baby girl. This baby was very contented and from four weeks old slept right through the night. There was something a little odd about this baby though in the fact that right from being born she only used to sleep for about an hour in total throughout the whole day. From the age of 12 months she ceased to sleep at all during the daytime hours. As this baby has grown through toddlehood and well into her primary school years, it seems that history is trying to repeat itself and yet again this daughter doesn’t go to sleep well.

It’s slightly different, as generations are apt to be, but this poor girl just cannot get to sleep. Her Mother has given her permission to read for as long as necessary (as she doesn’t have the patience of her Mother before her and refuses to lie in bed with her child for hours on end) but she has to be reclining in her bed and not playing or messing around. A habit that has gotten much worse recently is a tendency to shout downstairs at least 10 times an hour that she can’t get to sleep.

As you can imagine this poor Mother is utterly at the end of her tether and may well be losing the plot totally. After phoning the Grandmother today for advice who laughed and then made the Mother recall her own childhood I say..............HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What on earth can I do?????? I have tried everything.....threats, punishments, taking her toys and/or privileges away and NOTHING works! Tonight we are trying the 3 strikes and out rule......she gets to shout down 3 times and then there will be no more interaction. Wish me luck.....................

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Save the Children - In Our World #PassItOn

As most of you have probably realised by now I'm a huge advocate for the fabulous work that Save the Children do, both at home and abroad.

I don't know if you remember or not but back in January, Save the Children launched their biggest campaign yet with 'No Child Born to Die'. Continuing with this campaign the Prime Minster David Cameron will be meeting with other World Leaders on the 13th June to decide on the funding for vaccine programmes. To this end Save the Children are taking three fabulous bloggers out to Mozambique including the lovely Chris who I met at the Save the Children conference.

The idea of the trip is to follow the trail of the vaccines from the factory to the cold store to the airport and then along the road to meet the children and families lucky enough to receive the vaccines. They will be tweeting, videoing and blogging their journey and showing us the problems that can arise from having to keep vaccines 'cold' whilst travelling through hot countries. Please take a minute to visit the girls @christinemosler @tchee @liliesarelike  and show your support and also to sign the petition here. You can also follow them on Twitter with the hashtag #passiton.

To help spread the word Maggie from Red Ted Art and Josie from Sleep is the Weak have created a cool linky to help raise awareness and to get as many people involved as possible. What they wanted everyone to do was to get their child to draw a self portrait of them now or in the future. Chick went with this for her current self portrait:

So cute!!!  This is what Chick thinks she'll look like in the future:

I love that the second picture is exactly the same but bigger and with a floral dress!!! I really hope that she sticks to her dream of becoming a Teacher too!!

Please, please take a second to sign the petition to the World Leaders by Sunday 29th May and encourage them to save 4 million lives in 4 hours. You can also join in with the linky and I'm tagging everyone and anyone who wants to be involved!

Thank you :-)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Tracks of my years

I'm in some weird funk lately that I just can't seem to shake. 

I don't know how I feel.....sad, maybe! Sad isn't the right word actually it's more.... 


but about what I don't know. Maybe sad is the right word and whenever I'm sad, like any typical girl I have to play a good weepy song.

It's just the most amazing song but I think what gets me is that it was filmed just before Johnny died and every time I listen to it I have shivers down my spine!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Law of the Playground

The playground is a harsh place....bitchiness, bullying, cliques, arguments......and that’s just the Parents!!!!! I loved school for the first 3 years and then rapidly went off it.......mainly because the Nuns who taught us were actually sent from the Devil and not the Lord! I never rediscovered my love for school whilst I was young and the only reason that I used to turn up was to see Nelly and Sarah, both of whom remain friends to this day.

Anyway, back to my original point.....the playground is a harsh place and every morning I thank my lucky stars that I’m not 8 and don’t have to go through the hell of school days again! Chick really struggles with her friendship groups and it actually causes me physical pain because I don’t know what to do to make life easier for her.

There is a girl in her class who I’ve discussed before and they really don’t get along. I’ve tried to encourage them to stay away from each other on the days they don’t get along and play with other people. I think the blame lays 50-50 between both of them but it really annoys me that Chick always gets the blame for everything that goes wrong and comes out of school crying.

The other problem is that her best friend out of school, doesn’t talk to Chick in school and it drives me crazy! We are now at breaking point with both of these relationships and I really don’t know which way to go. Do I wade in and have a chat with both girls? Do I speak to the Mums of the girls and see if we can all mediate between the girls or do I give Chick the tools to fight the battle with (which I’ve been trying to do!!) and let her figure it out herself?

Has anyone else had to deal with this with their kids? Any advice would really be gratefully received!!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Walk to School Week

As usual we are late to the party, but this week is National Walk to School Week and as you know we are normally up for a challenge. Kia asked us if we would join in and help ease the load of the estimated 20% of traffic that makes up the school run in the morning! You may remember that back in November I was car-less for a short while and even though it was freeeeeeeezing cold, I still enjoyed walking with Chick and chatting about the day ahead. I also found that we both arrived at school/work more alert and awake and ready to get on with the day ahead.

To help us along Kia sent us these walk to school kits:

Including a pedometer, t-shirts and some delightful luminous, reflective jackets which I look very fashion forward whilst wearing.............   The walk to school campaign does a great job in helping 1.6 million primary and secondary school children walk to school. Look out for more from us this week including pictures of us in our sexy jackets and anything else interesting that we happen upon during the walk!!! Let's hope the rain stays away too :-)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Guardian Q&A

I’ve seen this Q&A doing the rounds recently and I reckon it gives a pretty good insight to people. I think that it originated from the Guardian but I’m not entirely sure....please nudge me if I need to credit anyone else!!! Here goes:

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I’m not sure that there is a specific person that I admire but as I get older it tends to be people that help others.....carers, aid workers, nurses etc

When were you happiest?
I’m generally a pretty happy person but if I had to pick a specific time it would be when I lived in California and when Chick was born.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I don’t embarrass too easily but I would guess falling down the stairs in a nightclub, in a short dress and platforms whilst going commando......whoops!!! I’m sure that some people still have bleeding eyeballs from the incident!!!!

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
Erm.........the picture of me, Chick & Nelly that hangs on the chimney breast and the flights to Nelly’s wedding in Oz.....both worth every single penny!!!

What is your most treasured possession?
The picture above and my Vivienne Westwood loveheart shoes. The only other thing that I would save in a fire would be the LK Bennetts that my Brother and Sis in Law bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago!

Where would you like to live?
Ideally in California but I’d also like a holiday home in Norfolk!

What’s your favourite smell?
Freshly cut grass, Issey Miyake for men and Clean Cotton Yankee Candles

Who would play you in the film of your life?
I’d like to say Megan Fox but I think Dawn French is more likely ;-)

What is your favourite book?
In an ideal world I’d say something earth shattering or intelligent but my all time favourites are the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and Divas Las Vegas by Belinda Young

What is your most unappealing habit?
Erm........you would have to ask my friends this one but probably my vodka habit ;-)

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Urrrrggghhhh nothing.....I hate fancy dress as the picture below shows.....

What is your earliest memory?
My little brother Chris being born when I was 3. My Grandma took me on the bus to Leicester and we went and bought my Mum a box of Milk Tray from the bus station shop!!!

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
 Sadly enough my guilty pleasure is reading books that are aimed at a younger generation i.e. Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, the Redwall series!!

What do you owe your parents?
Financially.......gosh, I could never begin to add it up!!   Other than that my biggest thing would be independence and reliance on myself! The thing that I’m most grateful to them for is my brothers who also happen to be amongst by best friends...God, I’m getting soppy in my old age!!!

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Chick.........for not being able to spend enough quality time with her and for getting bogged down by work and paying the bills!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Chick, obviously......then shoes ;-)

What does love feel like?
A rollercoaster of emotion then a big warm blanket!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Awesome!!!  I use it constantly and drive the girls at work crazy!!

What is the worst job you’ve done?
They’ve mainly been ok I think.....packing cherries for a living wasn’t much fun but we had a laugh and it paid the bills when I was 19!!

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Honestly? The only thing I would change would be to check on my Dad that last weekend before he committed suicide and to say Goodbye the last time I saw him.

What is the closest you've come to death?
Me and my Uncle Blue went on a trip to Seattle in November 2001 and almost got murdered by a wino at a bus stop!!!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Chick without a doubt. Still kinda young though so ask me in another 20 years and I might have something even more awesome to add to the list!!

When did you last cry, and why?
I don’t remember but it’s always at something ridiculous like a film!!!

How do you relax?
Long hot bubble baths with a good book preferably when my gorgeous daughter is asleep and quiet!

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Not working!!! Alternatively a housekeeper/nanny type person!!!!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
-          Life is too short
-          Friends can come and go but family don’t!!!
- A good friend is worth their weight in gold.

I’m not going to tag anyone in this as I think most people have done it already but feel free to join in if you would like too.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The London Eye

I have a thing which drives me crazy about myself.......all too often I don't consider the consequences of stuff or think it through properly before I agree to things!! For instance........organising long train journeys and forgetting that Chick gets travel sick....... until we're actually on the train!!  So when I was talking to the lovely people at Superbreak about Visit London for the Royal Wedding and they offered us the chance to review the London Eye, I thought 'What a wonderful idea' conveniently forgetting how utterly petrified of heights I am....................

With the booking made in advance, on the day we headed off to the London Eye and collected our tickets. You can book a specific time slot if you want to but we decided that we would just book the date and then go towards the end of the day when it wasn't so crowded and didn't have to queue at all. The ticket office is very roomy and there are lots of helpful staff around which is always a bonus when there are tourists everywhere!!! We also bought a guide from there that opens out into a 360 complete map and only cost £1 which I thought was an absolute bargain:

You do have to go through security checks but it's mainly just looking at your bags and waving a wand over you......nothing too intrusive!! So once we were waiting on the platform to get into the pod.....the nerves kicked in and I suddenly remembered my fear of heights. When the doors closed and we moved out over the Thames, I may have started freaking out a little bit...............   I cannot begin to tell you how scared I was.......  On the plus side the pods are roomy and you can sit or stand and look out of the windows. Due to my crippling fear I may have sat with my eyes closed all the way around and not moved a muscle. 

Chick and my brother Chris (and the other 20 passengers!!!) had a good time, took pictures and looked at all the sights......the Gherkin and St Pauls Cathedral:

The brand new Shard building:

and of course the Houses of Parliament:

You couldn't really feel the London Eye moving even though it was quite a breezy day and I'm sure the view would have made it worthwhile if I could have opened my eyes but Chris assures me that you could see all the way out to Wembley in the North! Maybe we should have gone for the champagne option and that may have calmed the nerves ;-)

Check out the Superbreak website for their latest offers on London Hotels.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

* I may have stolen this from Carol as all my balcony shots were terrible!!!!