How to survive a PTA meeting in 11 easy steps.

Every school has their PTA and as much as some members can irritate to the nth degree, they are a welcome and supportive asset to the school. I myself have in the past been an active member of the PTA (just a minion you understand, no real responsibility!) but since the birth of Bubs have taken somewhat of a back seat. There are always more willing Mums than I these days!!

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Now, don’t get me wrong, the PTA is a vital lifeline to the school – any school will agree (even if the teachers on occasion have to lose their staffroom… and biscuits… to a meeting) they have an important role to play, and it goes without saying that events, trips and sporting events can and are often subsidised by a little pot of funding from the PTA. But, there are some Mums who I have encountered in the past whose lives take the following path of priority: Eat, Sleep, PTA, Repeat. Or as I like call it, Eat, Sleep, Playground Tactical Attack, Repeat.

And, whilst I am grateful to their hard work and dedication, I feel that they should be able to switch off. To enjoy the time us Minion PTA members call…Life. I mean come on, no-one can really survive on knowing the face painting lady’s home number, being on first name terms with the Booker staff, agreeing to wear the local printer’s t-shirt and advertise his business due to the fact he printed out the Summer fayre banner at a cut price. Surely no-one is happy to be more in control and have more awareness of incomings and outgoings of the PTA funds than of their own bank account!

As a voluntary secretary for a toddler group I completely understand how difficult it can be to rally people and turn reluctants into helpers. It’s hard work to encourage parents to run a stall at the summer fayre, to put someone in charge of the ‘Chuck a Sponge’ stand or ice pop sales. Come on it’s not for everyone! The ‘thrill’ of Hook a Duck, the ‘anticipation’ of the ‘Golden Lolly Stick Lucky Dip’, the small matter of engaging with everybody else’s kids on either a pissing down, empty playground event or blisteringly hot summer fayre when the playground actually sticks to the soles of your flip-flops, is not for the faint hearted. And, to be honest we all know that the Dad’s who have been roped in to help, actually don’t care one jot to be on the rota for the beer tent or the barrel-come-furnace which is the PTA barbecue! (the same one you still remember from when you were a pupil at the same school!) The bbq, which like a blacksmith’s fire, either singes your eyebrows from 50 paces or leads to a school closure following a questionable pinkish sausage and mayo that’s been festering in the sunshine all day, resulting in an unexpected bout of food poisoning! I know. I have been there. But, I was not one to let a voluntary committee take over my life!

As I sit back and enjoy my current role of PTA occasional-helper-outer I have noted the best way to get selected for the job you wish to take on, how to avoid being lumped with some job nobody else wants to do, how to stay sane during an event/meeting/fundraiser and above all, Survive a PTA meeting.

Here follows, in 11 easy steps, my offering on how to survive said gathering!

  1. Get there early- suss out the meeting venue, plot where best to sit (see points 4,5 & 6),  tinker with the thermostat, (there’s nothing worse than a winter freeze meeting but equally if everybody starts to swelter then chances are the meeting will end swiftly!) get a tea or coffee whilst still warm and be first to the choccy biccies. Also by saying hi to the General at the beginning you will be swiftly forgotten about once all the others arrive. Can you remember who performed first on the final of Britain’s Got Talent? No? My point proven!
  2. Sit with a like-minded friend. Buddy support is super important. You are there for one another, you’ve got each other backs, you are the knee nudge when the treasurer comes in sporting a new haircut trying to be down with the kids and wafting her newly dyed unicorn coloured tresses about!
  3. Do not drink alcohol (most of our meetings are held in the local pub!). This is of utmost importance. If you wish to escape with no more than a bundle of raffle tickets to sell, stay off the hard stuff!! Too often have I witnessed the unwitting self-sacrifice of a Mum happily quaffing a vino and suddenly finding themselves in charge of booking the dj from the local radio to open an event.
  4. Do not sit at the front. If you do not want to be an eager beaver position yourself wisely. If you are in direct line of sight you will be a) allocated most jobs b) be expected to volunteer c) targeted to suggest others who will be good helpers d) mending the hot water urn when it packs in half way through the evening.
  5. Do not sit at the back. They look there. They specifically look there! And they will find you! Like the teacher who always knew when you wrote a note at the back of class and passed it along the line, they will be on to you. They will hunt you down, embarrass you and guilt you into running the birds of prey tent. Be warned. To them you are the proverbial rabbit in their Red or Dead designer headlights!
  6. Sit behind the PTA “Chosen One”. This is tactical. By sitting behind the Chosen One you will be able to a) offer support for their nominations, b) agree with their ideas (not too convincingly though otherwise you only shoot yourself in the foot) c) look involved from the General’s point of view and therefore be bypassed as it will be assumed you are onboard with the Chosen One’s allotted task.
  7. Offer input to a subject that has already been clearly and safely nominated to another (unwitting) Mum. If not as in point 6, then general support for the Mum in the back row who has been caught slurring her words and now running the tombola.
  8. Take the sprogletts’ Dad with you. The appearance of A Man will throw the whole meeting into disarray!! He will be cooed over, eyelashes will be fluttered, seats will be offered, induendo jokes will be bandied about – Hell, you might even be able to sneak out the back door and leave him there to fend for himself! Just make sure you have given him all the info he will need about all the other attendees, otherwise it’s just like leading a lamb to the slaughter, poor thing!
  9. Again, Do not drink. Stay strong! You have made it this far! You are soooo close to the end, do not give into the power of alcohol! Lemonade. Lemonade. Lemonade. You can drink once home and toast your survival!
  10. Prep kids to arrive 30 minutes from the scheduled end (note I say Scheduled end… the meeting will undoubtably run over at least by 60 minutes). By having the kids swing by following the end of their playdate at another friends house (see point 11) you have the perfect opportunity to up and leave. You have shown your face, been involved in discussions and applied yourself in the role active PTA minion. Now though, duty calls and Motherhood beckons. So, ‘So long’, ‘Toodle pip’, ‘Don’t stay too long!!!’ you call breezily as you soberly float out the door, leaving all those fearful, envious, wine flushed faces behind you, safe in the knowledge you only have a 30 minute stint on the cream tea tent to cope with!
  11. Arrange a play date on the evening of the meeting. You clearly have to be around for all children under your care and would not dream off shirking off your Mummy duties!!

So take heed. Do not say I haven’t warned you!! But whilst I urge you to keep your wits about you when dealing with any PTA event, please also remember that they do do a grand job for the school and your kids. They’re just (sometimes!) annoying.

And pushy.

And loud.

And bossy.

And irritating!

Right I’m off, got to talk to a man about the price of scones!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

Don’t drink and babyproof.

Let this serve as a message of both the evils of alcohol and the expectations of babyproofing late at night.

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We’re at that stage again, 10 years after initially living through it with Twins, where Bubs is now a) mobile b) curious and c) a bit of a tinker!

We have different furniture now and as a result all of our original babyproofing mechanisms are either not functional or lost.

It’s taken me longer than it should have to research, compare and order what I though we would need and even then, to actually get around to fixing it all up has taken longer than I anticipated.

It all culminated in, one night, a sudden urge to ‘proof’. This was instantly flawed as the first item I had,  a flexible sticky pad device suitable for cupboard doors, appliance doors and even toilet lid stated in the instructions to remove the back of the adhesive pad and leave for 24 hrs to obtain ‘maximum sticking power’.

Hmmmm. I’d hope just to peel, stick and go. Bob’s your Uncle, Fanny’s your Aunt and Wendy’s your long-lost sister!

But no. That wasn’t going to happen. I obediently peeled of the backing and left for the recommended 24 hrs. Only problem was that 24hrs on happened to be a Friday night. Wine was opened. Wine was drunk. Wine was taking effect.

It was about 11pm when I noticed on the dining table two exposed sticky pads. Now, sober me would have tested the stickiness and carefully aligned the pad and consequently release mechanisms, to the perfect setting, providing easy access for all those with dexterous finger coordination and knowledge whilst at the same time preventing entry from curious fingers and clumsy hands.

I took the pads, stuck them on, gave an extra push for luck and went to bed.

Next morning came the cry of ‘Mum, what’s this on the cupboard? We can’t get to the Wii! ‘ (yes, we still play on a Wii!)

‘Just squeeze the top and bottom buttons and the latch will spring off!’ I replied in my mission accomplished, carefree, hey-ho voice!

‘It’s not working!’

Right! I’ll show them!

Oh. Hang on. It would appear that I had positioned the releasing mechanism directly behind the cupboard handle and there was no not enough space for the full release and removal of the latch part.

Thinking quickly here I opted for the Oh it’s OK we can go in from the other side – routine.

Only, um, no. We couldn’t do that either.

It would appear that on the inside of the cupboard I had stuck the babyproofer way too high and now it was impossible to get anyone’s fingers, even those of a slender 11 year old, on the top release button as there was no space between it and the roof of the cupboard.

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To top it all off it wasn’t even fekkin straight!! Now that’s not me at all! Things are always aligned, neat, tidy, just so. But this was an abomination! An insult to my perfectionist nature; and by gum that adhesive had stuck well!! That whole ‘leave it exposed for 24hrs’ instruction had clearly been correct despite my arguments against it saying how I had expected it to just have to ‘dried up’ left uncovered.

(Either that or it was just sticking even more firmly to spite me. The little bugger.)

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No words were exchanged.

Just a look.

From Twin 1 to me. And then from Twin 1 to Twin 2. Then from Twin 2 back to me.

How could this have gone so utterly wrong I asked myself!  And then I realised the error of my ways.

1. I had drunk 2 glasses of wine.

2. I am a total lightweight.

3. I couldn’t do the proofing in the night I had planned.

4. The proofing exercise had fallen on a Friday due to point 3, and that Friday had unintentionally turned into a Fizz Friday.

4. I had become tired due to my alcohol consumption and just ‘bunged it on’ by only the light of a lamp, on my weary way to bed.

5. I had held little faith in the sticky pads and fully expected them to drop-off over night only to be found the next morning with the sticky pads rendered useless due to the attractions of carpet fluff and passing cat fur.

Luckily, I do have a fail safe ‘tool’ which surprisingly solves a multitude of differing household problems. (You should so get these, they come in pairs and everything!)

The tool I refer to is the humble stick of chops; a chopstick! This baby has unblocked sinks, retrieved keys, finished off spiders in hard to reach places, to name but a few uses, and now it had another skill to add to it’s CV; ‘Outwitter of babyproofing buttons!’.

By sliding the chopstick in above the top release button and under the cupboard roof, thin end first, I was able to slide the rest of it through the small gap and as the chopstick became wider it pressed the release button down. By using my own finger to simultaneously release the underneath button the whole catch fell away with ease and the cupboard could be opened.

Step 1 –

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Step 2-

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Step 3 –

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Taadaaa! I took a bow watched on by two rather unimpressed faces!

So there my friends endeth the lesson! Thought shalt not drink and babyproof! Unless of course you want a wonky, bodged babyproof/childproof/adultproof lock that one can open, or you have a cupboard that you REALLY don’t want get into. Ever again!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

Cbeebies Bedtime Story…who would you choose?!

We’ve all been there, with a snoozing baby or young child on our laps as the Cbeebies bedtime hour draws to a close and the bedtime story begins.

I am sure you are probably aware but recently, there has been a bit of a Mum Frenzy over the Tom Hardy appearances. For me, personally, yes he appears like a lovely gent but it got me wondering who I would personally choose to read a bedtime story at ten to 7 each night.

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I have drawn up my preferred choices, they may not be to everybody’s taste but for me they would round the day of nicely.

I suppose this post is similar to ones on the subject of who would you invite to dinner if you could choose anybody at all. So, have a think and after reading my choices please do let me know your choices! Top 5’s! (Blimey choosing just 5 is really tricky!)

Re-aaaally tricky!

And so, in reverse order…

Number 5 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Derek Griffiths. This is a throw back to my days as a teeny tot watching Play School, Play Away, Look and Read, Bod, Mio Mao, Super Ted and even more recently in Sarah and Duck! Derek Griffiths – who is actually the voice who introduces the bedtime story – is a class children’s presenter. You may have noticed him pop up during the Cbeebies Christmas Carol pantomime a few years ago? I had a tear in my eye to see him still working on the tv and filling me with lovely childhood memories. A quirky, cool, loveable guy, not dissimilar to Danny John Jules (who by the way would also make a superb choice…see what I did there?! Snuck in a double 5th placer!!) of such fame in children’s land as Milton Wordsworth in Story Makers with the characters Jelly and Jackson, played Barrington in Maid Marian and her Merry Men (going back to Broom Cupboard days of CBBC there!) .

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Number 4 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Joanna Lumley. What a classy lady, what a relaxing voice and also what a wicked sense of humour! I am quite sure she would entertain not only the children with the story but also the parents (and grandparents – Grandad Aloha always held a torch for her!), with her cheeky looks-to-camera and her knowing eyebrow raises!

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Number 3 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Jon Pertwee! I adored Worzel Gummidge as a child and would often be found in the garden pretending to be Sue and talking to the washing line pretending the pole was in fact Worzel (I know I know!). With his ability to bring characters to life and wonderful variety of voices he would be a delight to hear read some children’s books . His gravelly voice would just melt into my surroundings and I would be drawn into the book completely.

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I’m also going to do something a little bit cheeky again here…I’m going to double this choice up with Sean Pertwee, Jon’s son. You may know him as Albert in Gotham. Another whose career I have followed (and yes he is rather yummy too!) and have grown to love his work.

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Number 2 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…David Bowie! Now this may seem an odd choice but it all stems from watching The Snowman as a young child. They don’t show this version on the tv at Christmas anymore and it always irritates me!  The classic and true version of The Snowman in my heart features David Bowie and the start with the magical scarf. We the viewer are led to believe that this grown man was in fact the child in the story, bringing it even more to life. He speaks with his mysterious wonderment and leads us into the forthcoming story. It adds to the magic! He would absolutely be my number two choice simply down to the magic of his aura (I know getting a bit hippy-fied but I care not one jot!) .

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And top of the list for the Aloha Mummy Choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…So if I’m taking the Tom-crush-Hardy route here, then for me there is no other possible choice! Steve Backley! Yes! That’s right the Olympic medal holder Javelin thrower. He has long been a crush of mine right back from about 1993, possibly even earlier! So this selection is totally (for me anyhoooo!) down to the pure swoonsome nature of the man himself. Strong, confident, driven, gorgeous, tall, sexy eyes, cheeky twinkle, gorgeous, big, funny, gorgeous (have I already mentioned that one?) Focus Aloha Mummy, Focus! He can play golf, he can throw a long pointy stick (a bloomin’ long way!), he can ‘dance’ on ice (I use the term dance very loosely here but in fairness he did well for a giant of a man who has had two hip replacements!), he can participate wonderfully on Question of Sport and he has a tummy tingling voice when commentating on the athletics these days , and I feel that this distinctive voice would be a real asset to the bedtime story slot! (Yes I would be glued to the screen too!)

So in summary, Stevie-babes would totally be my Mum-Frenzy-Cbeebies-Bedtime-Story choice!

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And now, do please let me know! Are you firmly in the Tom Hardy camp or do you have a deviant nature like me and secretly (or not so secretly!) hanker after a random choice of Olympian?! I look forward to reading your comments!

The Aloha Mummy

Rhyming with Wine
Mummy in a Tutu

My Petit Canard

Mummascribbles

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

When you worry for a Rock Star!

There are some things in this world that are quite literally a phenomenon. Giant’s Causeway, Murmurations of Starlings, bioluminescent waves in the ocean caused by phytoplankton swarming, the Aurora Borealis, the list goes on and on and on.  But, I have one more phenomenon to add. It is not one of nature but one of human creation. It is an entirely manmade phenomenon and it is this…The Gum of Grohl.

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Now, unless you are in fact one of these bioluminescent plankton, you will already have heard of and know a little about the rock singer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist that is Dave Grohl. He is of course, one third of Nirvana and now the front man of the frikkin fantastic Foo Fighters, amongst many many other pies, of which he has his fingers in. He is a legend. He is a scamp. He is funny – seriously the music videos! He is friends with Jack Black. He is a gent – responding to the wishes of 1000 Italian drummers to play in their country. He rocks a cheeky tash as well as he slinks about in women’s clothing; there seems to be no end to this mans obvious talent! Right down to his gymnastic gum antics!

He has the ability to chew gum for the entire duration of a gig – a highly charged energetic, dynamic, spectacle where he will leap, headbang, rock out- like only The Grohl can. Hell! He even fell off the stage, breaking his leg, said to the crowd in a most nonchalant manner ‘I think I just broke my leg!’, got carried off on a stretcher and returned back to the stage on a stretcher to finish the gig, after his leg was set in a cast!!! (seriously look it up on You Tube!) As if nothing more had happened than a plug had fallen out of the sockets of one of his amps. This guy is hardcore, down to earth-ness, plain awesome! In a re-write of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory he would so get cast as Violet Beauregarde – and he would own that part! But I do worry!

I worry that at some point his little (as he clearly must have in there) hamster cheek gum storage will let him down and that that bad boy piece of gum will hop to the back of his throat! I have sat through many a tv gig (I am yet to see them live) and wondered a) how can he sing so enthusiastically with the gum in there? Thought b) how does it not just drop out onto the floor? Worried c)please don’t choke! and pondered d) what must his stomach acid be like?!

One moment of Grohl Gum hilarity came when, during a live gig, he got some of his minty gum saliva on the microphone and was harassed by a bee which had been attracted by the sugary sweetness! Only the Grohl!

I have read that he has said the reason behind his excessive chewing is to help lubricate his mouth and to help him scream better! Well, he certainly does scream well…

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By all accounts, the favoured gum!

photo credit ajournalofmusicalthings.com

If for some unknown reason you have not yet succumbed to the ways of The Grohl, I urge you to do so. If you like showmanship, honesty, integrity and out and out fun in your rock stars then this is the guy to watch. Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

From reading my previous post The Choreography of Birth you will see that Hubs and I are rather fond of the Foos. Hubs being the young rocker who converted me, a Steps loving, Bryan Adams word perfect, Nirvana dabbler, REM sing-a-longer rather non-rocker, into the rock loving woman I am today!

Yes, I know. But, rock is good. I even earned serious Wife Points when for our 6th year Wedding Anniversary celebrating Iron, I booked tickets to fly to Ireland and see Iron Maiden!

I wonder which anniversary I can get away with buying Foo tickets for? Is there a Gum anniversary?!

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picture credit drummerworld.com

The Aloha Mummy

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

The Choreography of Birth

My need to plan and organise has been with me from a very young age. Always keen to be super efficient and know where I’m heading, I find that list making has been my friend. A good friend. One which I can rely on to pat me on the back when I have crossed a lot of jobs off but also one who crosses it’s arms , tilts it’s head to one side and raises it’s eyebrows when I have not ticked off quite as many jobs as would be acceptable!

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I always like to start each of my lists with the following…

‘Write a list’

That way I can instantly cross something off of the list once it has been written! It’s a sense of achievement (albeit a blatant cheat!) that gives me that positive air and means that, even if I fail to complete another item on the list, I have in fact done one thing from it!

I am the same with my choreography and my music choices at work – movement has to fit the music perfectly, the music has to be the right piece, timing is everything and atmosphere created by the piece is hugely important.

So, when we were preparing for the birth of Bubs I wanted to have a CD to take into the operating theatre with me as we knew from early on that we would have to have a c-section.

It was the same with the boys although not so long in the planning as their c-section was only decided quite close to their actual arrival.

Now, you may notice that I have said CD – yes, I am that old fashioned, no I don’t have an iphone, and I’m pretty sure that our Ipod is way out of technological date! With the Twins birth it was straight forward…

Choose songs

Download or ‘rip’ a cd onto the computer

Create a playlist

Burn onto a cd.

But at a visit with the Consultant where we asked him if we could have a birth cd with us for Bubs’ birth….he looked shocked, was taken aback , was almost agog at our cd retro-ness. ‘Oh, well, I’m not sure if we even HAVE a cd player in there these days! You can always sync it or Bluetooth it from your iphone though, just create your playlist and it will be fine.’

Right. So now what. Hubs is working, I’m at home on long term sick leave and really rather inept at anything to do with the iTunes store on the computer. Plus, I like lots of songs. Lots and lots…………and lots.

This was going to be a mission!

I actually started out quite well, figuring out how to add existing songs to a new playlist and even purchase songs that we had not already ripped to the computer. But as this progressed so the playlist grew and grew. If I had been having twins again the duration of this playlist might be fine but as we were having just the one there needed to be some editing!

I spoke with the Midwife and from my previous experience with the Twins, managed to get a fairly accurate rough timeframe. There was a song that if possible I would dearly have loved Bubs to be born to.  Crikey, the dance teacher part of me is taking hold and I’m actually choreographing the birth!!!

After several weeks of analysing my playlist, making sure I had songs on there that I loved and Hubs loved, and checking to see if they flowed well into one another, we had our music. Hubs did ‘something’ so that the playlist was on his ipod (and I burned a cd as well just to be sure!).

On the day of Bubs’ birth we double checked with the consultant about having our music and he was more than happy…the anaesthetist on the other hand seemed a little dubious – he was normally the one to choose music if there was no birth music brought in by the parents to be, and from what we could make out it was all rather dramatic, some babies being born right on the crescendo of Zadoc the Priest!

Once wheeled into the operating theatre and the whole procedure began, our music was gently playing away in the background. It helped calm me instantly and there were some very pleased faces and comments from the members of the birthing team in the room with us! Comments like ‘It makes a nice change to have some different music playing.’ ‘Oh haven’t you chosen lovely songs!’ ‘I love this song!’

The timing of my ‘choreography’ was a little off and so Bubs was not lifted from my tummy during the song I had earmarked (Twinkle Twinkle into Mr Blue Sky – for the lyrics of ‘How I wonder what you are’ and ‘Welcome to the human race’!) but, and how strange is this, she was in fact lifted out during the same some as the Twins! They had been born only a minute apart and so shared their song; but now Bubs was part of it too! She was born at the very end of the Sweet Child of Mine and into Times Like These!!

Most importantly I feel, was that by taking in our own choice of music we were able to focus on something positive when we were actually feeling really rather scared and apprehensive about the whole procedure of a c-section. It just helped us to relax and to have something familiar in this clinical, environment.

If you are debating whether or not to create your own birthing playlist to take with you be it for a c-section, water birth or vaginal delivery I would strongly urge you to go for it. You may need a long play list if you are going through the full throws of labour and birth or you may need one which just lasts an hour if you know you are to have a c-section. Either way it allows you to bring a little part of you, your personality, and your tranquillity with you into a place that may feel daunting and at times scary. Your tunes are personal to you but I’m happy to share our playlist for Bubs.

Here goes…

At the River – Groove Armada

Carnival of the Animals Aquarium – Saint Saens

Bring Me Sunshine – Morecombe and Wise

Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Everlong – Foo Fighters

Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

When You Upon a Star – Cliff Edwards

White Sandy Beach of Hawaii – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

Sweet Child of Mine – Guns & Roses

Times Like These – Foo Fighters

Where Will The Dimple Be – Alma Cogan

Constellations – Jack Johnson

From Here to the Moon and Back – Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Jeremy Jordan

Lady of the Sea – Seth Lakeman

Better Together – Jack Johnson

Mr Sandman – The Bert Kaempfert Orchestra

One Day Like This – Elbow

Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader

Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

And there we have it!!

What are your birth cd choices?! What have your little ones been welcomed into the world listening to?!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

Mummuddlingthrough
Diary of an imperfect mum
My Petit Canard

It’s the Humidity… (or is it the Hormones?!)

So before pregnancy my hair was sleek,  flat and poker straight. (You may say, limp/ lifeless and fine!) Since my pregnancies things have somewhat changed!!

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As a teenager I dreamed of having hair with volume and bounce. My best friend had a spiral perm and it looked ace! That’s for me I thought and convinced my Mum to book me into her hairdressers to get my own perfect perm.

I remember it vividly!  The smell of the ammonia, the blasting heat whilst I sat in the giant plastic hood dryer, the sophistication of reading a magazine whilst ‘having your hair done’ watching the perfectly coiffed women check their nails and request more coffee from the young apprentice.  I felt great!

The reveal came, spray and mousse applied and the mirror held behind me to check out the new locks.

They looked pretty damn good bouncing away! I literally had just stepped out of the salon when I had to walk home. Not far and not really that long a walk but by the time I’d got home the curls had dropped and I could see them sliding away.

That was the end of my perm phase and so I tried damp plaits over night, pink foam bendy pipe cleaner type things, all manner of suggestions to achieve this curl-icious look and all the same things happened. Glorious bounce in first reveal but by the time it came to leave the house for school (a mere 45 mins later) they’d drooped. A bit like Droopy’s ears but with a tiny wave at the end. I couldn’t understand it! My hair was fine, smooth and easy to style so why would nothing hold?

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I gave up, admitted defeat, threw in the towel!

All through Uni it was straight, maybe a bit fly away but straight.

When I met Hubs it was straight. Straight on Millennium NYE, straight on our engagement party, straight on our wedding day. Strrrrrraight all the way up to the birth of our twins.  Then it all changed….

Soon after their birth the hair right at the back of my head was looking rather wavy. Still straight at the front and sides but the back was very different! Alien almost. Not what I was expecting, or by any way used to! Imagine if you will Bonnie Tyler at the back meets Cher at the front. Classy, I’m sure you’ll agree?

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I bought GHDs and just got on with life. A few times I tried to embrace the wave and bought all sorts of natural wave enhancing potions but none really worked. It was either dropping out or crisping up with the solidified mousses.

Abort!! Return to the GHD’s!

Ten years on and I was pregnant with Bubs. My hair was uber glossy, thick, voluminous and looking bloody brilliant!!  Pregnancy hair suits me!

Then, yesterday after the gym I just couldn’t be arsed to blow dry so I left it to air dry. Oh Me Oh My!!  The curls!!  The curls!! And now at the sides and front too! No longer do I simultaneously look like Bonnie Tyler at the back and Cher at the front! These curls are actually lush!!

Very similar to ….

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and also a little bit…

monica

thetipsyrunner.wordpress.com

As I’m trying to grow my hair longer for the Summer I am happily anticipating rocking the Boho surfer girl look. But, I need help and advice! How do I manage these ringlets of magic?! What products should I choose to use?!

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hairstylestars.com

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And so I throw it out to you, your advice in your battle with the frizz,  your tips on creating these waves and curls that Mermaids dream of! I’m all ears….!

Also, have you experienced this phenomenon of pregnancy hair hormones? Did they visit you like Sleeping Beauty’s Flora, Fauna and Merriweather and completely change your barnet?! Are you happy with what they’ve granted you or is it more like a curse from Maleficent?!

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I’d love to know!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

Diary of an imperfect mum
R is for Hoppit
My Petit Canard

The Beautiful Trainers!

Oh they are so pretty! Hubs gave them to me for Christmas and I love them!

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When I was a dance student oh so many years ago I had this gorgeous pair of Adidas Gazelle Shell toe trainers, white with silver stripes. They have, until recently, been with me through thick and thin! From falling in rivers on Dartmoor to getting a make over on the day we did splatter paintings with the Twins when they were 3, to becoming my treasured and comfy gardening shoes.

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Then came the day. A damp Autumn day in the garden. When I returned indoors my foot was wetter than the puddle it had walked through. There is was. The end of the trainer; a big part of the sole had come away from the rest of the shoe.

Gutted doesn’t even come near!  Now, I can hear you loud and clear! Its only a shoe! They’re only trainers! Don’t be so materialistic!  And yes, I agree with you! But these shoes were beyond comfy, they were an old friend!!

The time had arrived for me to part with them. I couldn’t actually bring myself to do it. I left them in the garage and instructed Hubs to  do what he must. When I next entered the garage….they were gone. I began to imagine for myself a little scenario. I pictured my trainers going up in a little glitter cloud of dust and that when that dust settled the trainers had magically disappeared. Passed on to another place where old trainers go to be happy.

It took me a long time to want to replace them. It was a tough decision but ultimately one I needed to do so. However, finding a replacement was not going to be easy.  There were no rescue centres for abandoned trainers, where a youthful pair of pumps would be waiting in a glass shoe box, gazing out at prospective new owners with their big, soul searching eyelets. No. No Battersea Daps Home for me.

Instead I happened one day to come across the right pair. As if by magic. As if my old trainers were in fact reaching out to me from another realm and telling me that now was the right time. My period of mourning could come to an end! There they were. Adidas Superstar Women’s Iridescent Dubai. Dazzling white with the colours of tropical waters glinting along the 3 stripes. My heart was taken. And my Christmas wish list begun.

Hubs did great and found the perfect pair of these beauties. I tried them on and they look gert lush. But. And there is a but.  It’s January. It’s a mild January. It’s a mild January in Devon. There is mud everywhere. I cannot bring myself to taint these gloriously white trainers in reddy-pink mud. Their first outing cannot be into this carnage. Springtime I have decided will be much more acceptable!

And so they sit in their box, eagerly awaiting the day when they get to do what all trainers are born to do. Dance across (dry) grass, skip through (non-horse pooed up) country lanes, jump over (non-gritted) roads and run along (non high tide seaweed strewn ) seafronts.

The time will come my friends and when it does it will be a glorious day. And I know that I will love those trainers just as much as my first ones!!!

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The Aloha Mummy 🌺

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

When your life becomes a gif!!!

Over our first Christmas and New Year as a family of 5 I have had the highs and the lows of trying to organise. A.Lot of stuff, keep everybody happy, make sure we see as many family members as possible and still have that time to hunker down in pj’s in front of the fire whilst munching on cheese footballs, chocolate covered Brazil nuts and mince pies.

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With Hubs working Christmas Day day and a Boxing Day night shift all of the above has been full on! Oh yeah, and we also needed to find time for the 5 of us to have our own crimbo celebrations!

As a huge lover of I love Lucy I feel that the following can quite simply and effectively illustrate me this festive season just passed.

When the realisation of Christmas shopping hit home…

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But then I remembered (blame the baby brain folks!) that I had in fact already bought most of the gifts in the January Sales, online as I was housebound with the pregnancy…#smug

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Whilst wrapping gifts in a super organised manner..

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Watching Hubs/kids wrap their gifts…..

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When I remembered a gift I had forgotten to wrap and that it was still stashed in the attic!

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The debacle with the gingerbread house template. The roof was far too small. Yes I measured correctly. No it wasn’t my fault. Yes the template was wrong!

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The moment when we substituted the crap template roof for giant slabs of chocolate (which actually looked much more like tiles and looked great once the icing sugar snow was dusted!)

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And what I did to the original WRONG SIZED template…

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That moment when you open a gift that you bought for yourself to be from someone else to you – utter surprise…believable? Much?!

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Singing at the kids school Carol Concert…in Church…without a song sheet…but vaguely remembering the songs from when I was at Primary School…playing Angel Gabriel!!

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The obligatory game of Charades after dinner…I do get into the spirit of things!

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One glass of Prosecco …yes…ultimate lightweight! I just don’t have the time to drink these days!  Or the money!

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I think I looked remarkabley like this as I went through the tub of Celebrations and ‘bagsied’ all the Malteser sweets…then stashed them in a very high up cupboard that the Twins can’t reach!

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When Hubs asked for a Christmas card to write for work colleagues after I had already finished with cards put them back in the attic and was asked to go and fetch them again!

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Helping out Santa by having a little nibble of the (somewhat dry) Mince Pie…good job there was a snifter of brandy to wash it down!

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Oh yeah, the dubious drunken lighting of the Christmas Pud…thank God shell suits are no longer a thing! They’re not are they? Please no!

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Ah, when Hubs had finally finished his Christmas shift pattern and we could snuggle and watch Morecombe and Wise, wear our new fluffy socks and be amazed that all the kids were actually asleep at the same time…at night! Woohoo!

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New Years Eve! HootENANY!!!

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Waiting for the delivery of this years January Sales bargains for Christmas 2017…if I smoked….which I don’t!

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Certainly felt this way after a whole box of Just Brazils!

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Trying on all the clothes I got for Crimbo…at the same time! Surely I’m not the only one who does this?!

And this! This is precisely how my brain functioned on my first Keeping in Touch day on Jan 3rd….JAN 3RD!!! Eeeeshk!

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And there we have it folks! My Crimbo and New Year in a rather Lucy shaped nutshell!

How was yours? Who is your gif alter ego?!!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

P.S this is how the gingerbread house ended up!

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I am not claiming any of these gifs as my own, all credits have been left on the downloaded images.

Diary of an imperfect mum
My Petit Canard

Twas the night before Christmas…Twin Styleee.

Twas the Night Before Christmas…Twin Styleee

Christmas 2007 – Twins 23 months old

 

This is a poem that I adapted way back in 2007. The Twins were ill, Hubs was ill, I was ill. It was one of ‘those’ Christmases where all the best laid plans…well, you get my drift. We were members of the charity TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth Association) and if you have multiples and are not already members I strongly advise you to check them out.

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And now, if you’re ready, I shall begin…

 

 

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house

Snuffling and sneezing and coughing rang out.

The Twins were in bed with their old faithful bears

Whilst Mummy and Daddy tiptoed quietly downstairs.

 

The presents were placed ‘neath the tree with care

All neatly wrapped and tied up with flair.

The kettle was boiled and two mugs were got

Filled with powder of lemsip and drunken whilst hot.

 

The cake had been iced and needed to set;

Final decorations were undecided yet.

Due to strange lumps and bumps the cake looked quite lame,

So it was easiest to ice it and name it a ‘terrain’.

 

On one side the icing had run down and bunched

We decided that this was the ‘planned’ avalanche!

A snowman, reindeer, Santa and greeting

Were bunged on the top with no care or feeling.

 

 Paracetamol, tissues and lozenges collected

They were administered, eaten or sucked as directed.

Our bedroom which (apparently) stank of Olbas Oil

Did nothing to ease u our flu-riddled turmoil.

 

The Twins had suffered with tonsillitis.

There had also been bugs of flu and conjunctivitis.

We offered pink Calpol and yellow amoxicillin

To two toddlers whose mouths just were not that willing.

 

When arrived the next day after a crappy old sleep

The four of us lumbered downstairs in a heap.

Twins managed a look of wonder and awe

Though their eyes were streaming and noses red raw.

 

Energy was spent after a very short time;

The novelty of unwrapping lagged and demised.

Two boys crawled up onto the sofa and chair

They looked so ill and poorly with snot encrusted hair.

 

We went to see the Emergency Physician.

I would never have predicted we’d be in this position!

Nurses and Doctors, Chemist and Porter,

We’d seen the lot of ‘em on a day we shouldn’t ought’a!

 

 But, their kind words of empathy eased us a little

As by that point our nerves were really quite brittle.

A time for laughter, for joy and for peace,

Had pretty much passed by us (for this year at least).

 

 With eyedrops and Snuffle Babe filling our pockets

We opted for Tunes instead of honey Lockets,

Balm tissues were used to soothe our poor hooters

And no one felt in the mood to ride on the new scooters.

 

Christmas Day night arrived and not soon enough,

As I sat on my bed with my inhaler…’Puff’

Next day would improve I hoped and I prayed

So that packages could be opened and with gifts we could play.

  

After spending next noon and eve at my parents dwelling

I returned to my own home with tear ducts a swelling.

Boxing Day Shmoxing Day Hubby had work that night

Leaving a Frazzled Mum, with poorly Twins, in a whole heap of strife.

 

With Twins snuggled in bed I sang comforting tunes

That sent them to dreamland in fidgety snooze.

The songs which were heard sounded different to normal

As interspersed with ‘aachoos’ they were far from being formal.

“Twinkle (Sneeze) Twinkle (Cough) Little (Sniff) Star,

How (Shiver) I wonder (Sneeze) what (Splutter) you are”

I tried to sing beautifully despite my blocked nose

Who knew what the hour would be when they next arose.

 

When I came back downstairs I phoned a helpline,

For parents of multiples having a really rough time.

Time after time the phone line was busy…

Maybe I wasn’t the only fraught Mum in a tizzy?

 

Although I couldn’t talk thru my stresses and woes

It was comforting to know I wasn’t alone; on my own.

Comfort in realising that though-out the nation

There seemed to be others in my situation.

 

Twas the night after Christmas when all through the house

Snuffling and Sneezing and Coughing rang out.

The Twins were in bed with their faithful bears near

Here’s hoping next Crimbo goes off with more cheer.

Here is to wishing you all a very merry Christmas. Enjoy the time spent with your loved ones, put up with those family members who ‘do your nut in’, play a naff game of charades with your Aunt who’s had too many snowballs, wear a daft hat for dinner and forget you have it one for the rest of the day, hold a red cellophane fish on the palm of your hand and analyse your personality, eat, drink be merry and love your crazy family!!

The Aloha Mummy

My Petit Canard
Diary of an imperfect mum
A Cornish Mum

The legend of the Meerkat Women.

So, since becoming a parent, there have been all but say 3 times where I have ventured into the grown up area of a swimming pool complex to check out the extra heated facilities…namely the hot tub!!

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I have been content with being clung to by Twin toddlers; gripped by their nails so tightly that the marks have still been there a week later.

I have been left for minutes at a time by confident little boys, happily pootling about on their own, whilst still under the constant. watchful. intent. gaze of their Mother.

I have been abandoned by racing young boys, diving like dolphins, practising handstands and collecting sinking swim toys from the bottom of the pool (whilst under the constant. watchful. intent. gaze of their Mother!) and now with a 7 month old baby I am back to the toddler pools which is great! I do indeed love it. No big splashy people, just the occasional panicked look from a Dad who has taken his teeny child out for a swim and has realised that he forgot to put the swim nappy on…we’ve all been there!

We recently had a little break away to the ‘Parc of Centres’ located next door to a huge animal wildlife park (Lions, Tigers, Rhinos…all the usual creatures you’d expect to find close by to a tree filled family activity park!). The pool here is great, huge, many different areas. We (rather luxuriously) hired one of their ‘Cabana’s’ (I know Mr Manilow was singing that song over and over in my mind every time I said the word …he’s right back there now all over again actually!).

The Cabana (Aloha Mummy pictures herself in a pink sequined bikini, tan fishnets, new Yorker shoes and giant pink feathers pluming in an arch behind her back!) is a little bamboo type hut located around the edge of the pool area which comes complete with a large TV, reclining chairs, safe, fridge and drinks (included in the hire price) and towels. We were even able to get a playpen too. Soooo good! It meant that we had a base which the Twins could come back to after a swim, slide etc , that Bubs had somewhere she could snooze (this also worked VERY well for the Grandparents too!) and actually somewhere we could change if we didn’t feel we could face the ultimate confusion which is the changing rooms there (that’s another post altogether!)

Back to the pool. With the bonus of having the Cabana (Aloha Mummy does a little shimmy across the dance floor in her head!) I was able to leave snoozing Bubs with the Aloha GrandP’s and head off with the Twins for an explore. After telling me that we were going on the Rapids (joy! thank GOD I was wearing my dignity maintaing surf leggings – I will never be without these, they are the purchase of the century for me!) I thought Ok, I can handle this! Twin 2 told me with utmost seriousness that you have to go over the levels head first. (Little …..blighter!)

First hurdle dealt with I emerged in much colder water than I had started, had no idea which way I was meant to be facing, didn’t have a clue if my contact lenses were in fact still in contact with my eyeballs, and was being swept backward by a current.

The Twins were in hysterics! As I regained my composure and managed to see out of one of my eyes, other people around me were in fact ‘hurdling’ the ledges , sitting on their behinds and sliding down in as sedate a manner as the rapid gush of water would allow. They would then plop down into the next mini pool before getting back to their feet or expertly floating along on top of the current and the water. Hmmmmm.  I looked at my Twins, who both by now looked like little Imps with cheeky smiles…nay…grins. ‘You told me you had to go head first!’ Laugh, chortle, snort, giggle, chuckle!!! Got me!

We completed the remainder of the Rapids with us all employing the hurdling technique (and me not being afraid that the Life Guard would tell me off for not going over them head first) and made our way back round to the warm outdoor pool and the hot tub pool.

This was more like it! The only problem was that I knew I would at some point have to vacate the hot water and feel ultimate freeze from any pool water I then chose to swim in. Nevermind, this was just sooooo waaaaarm! I sat there, steaming away with Twin 1 and Twin 2. As we were about to move on we were squished back into our seat on the wall by an influx of a group of about 8 young 20 something males and females.

Males – highly toned, Japanese style tattoos adorning their buff shoulders and biceps, manicured beards in place and trendy man buns atop heads.

Females – well at first I was highly concerned. They all looked like they were struggling to swim (and they were in still water nowhere near the Rapids). There they were, heads bobbing above the water, necks stretched as far as humanly possible, wide eyes moving from side to side but very little head turning actions and their little hands doggy paddle flapping away just under the water making minimal splashage.

I wondered what on earth could be happening – was this a new swimming stroke invented since my days of swimming lessons of butterfly, breaststroke and all that? Were they so slight (I mean there was not a wibble or wobble or teensy bobbly pobble on any of them – and you could clearly see that by the lack of swimming clothing. Bikini, we are talking bikini.) that there was a risk of being swept away by a slightly large man wading past them?

I sat back and observed. And then it hit me. Make Up!  These women were in full make up, as much as I would have worn on stage for a dance performance! Full face of foundation, concealer, blusher, contouring on point, bronzer, false eyelashes flapping about in the breeze, mascara, winged eyeliner and eyebrows that were totes on fleek (I know…get me and my down with the kids lingo!) – the whole shebang!! They were flapping about (albeit gently) with the little hands close to their chests and their heads balanced on top of their long necks looking just like meerkats on the look out.

I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I was to do a Miranda-esque ‘fall’ creating a big wave that would engulf them. But I didn’t. I am not that cruel. But in my mind…Oh in my mind it was hilarious!

Just then I realised that something else in the pool wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was one of those moments where you can sense something but you haven’t fully noticed it …yet. As I scanned the hot tub edge dwellers the light bulb went on. Ah, eyebrows! So many of the women around the edge had big, dark, drawn on eyebrows! And once it was noticed it became so surreal! Like a secret club! By that point I felt it was time to move on.

And so I took my slightly cuddlier than it used to be body, wrapped up in its dignified surf leggings and loose fitting tankini top, I took my own eyebrows which my body had conveniently grown for me, on my steam treated face and walked confidently past these women. These women who when they stood up crossed their arms to cover their belly (if you’re uncomfortable wear something different), these women who must be wearing make endorsed by the Olympic synchronised swimming teams that did not run, melt or smudge in these watery, steamy conditions. These women who did not feel confident to visit the swimming pool with their friends/lovers and go make up free. These women who feel that they have to maintain perfection no matter what.

As I walked past them I felt  a huge wave of happiness; of contentment. I have embraced my body post children. I dress how I want to, in a way that makes me feel comfortable. I am happy to go make up free. I am happy to make a complete, COMPLETE arse out of myself! This is what my children will remember when they are older. These precious memories of quality time we shared. I am so glad that I am who I am and the way I am. What a boring life the kids would have if I could never splash for fear of messing up my hair or makeup or heaven forbid, have a moment of madness!!

The Aloha Mummy

P.S. I cannot stress how practical and brilliant these surf leggings are! When bending down with Bubs in the toddler pool there is no worry about losing anything between your cheeks, when sitting down cross legged there is no fear of any sneaky hairs peeping out the gusset and therefore no need to retrieve or rearrange any part of the swimwear or your anatomy! Ladies…they are the way forward!

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My Petit Canard
R is for Hoppit
A Cornish Mum

 

Diary of an imperfect mum