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

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

 

The Woman You Are…

The Woman you are…

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During all our lives we wear a multitude of different hats depicting our role at any given time. Most of the time we seamlessly switch hats without noticing. It becomes the norm. Sometimes we wear more than one hat at a time, balancing them all precariously on top of one another whilst spinning plates with all the jobs each hat’s responsibilities entail.

 

But, occasionally we have a moment of realisation of the hat we are currently wearing. Occasionally life seems to go in slow motion. You are consciously aware of your role; how it must be carried out; who is benefiting from it; what you need to do within it. Moments like this are odd. They are profound and in a way they are like an outer body experience; looking at yourself from the outside, seeing yourself for the woman you are in that moment.

 

From what I can make out my hats are the following:

Mother

Wife

Daughter

Friend

Colleague

Employee

Pet carer

Grand-daughter

Cousin

Niece

Daughter-in-Law

Sister-in-Law

And I am sure that this list is not exhaustive.

 

Recently we had a bereavement and during the final week of our loved one’s illness I was so intrinsically aware of which hat I was wearing at each given moment in time.

From the time I took phone calls as Daughter-in-Law, to waking Hubs after his night shift and driving him to the hospice as Wife, speaking with the Twins as Mother, crying to my parents as Daughter, venting to my best friend as Friend, hugging members of the family as Sister-in-Law, Niece.

 

And through all of this most raw and recent of experience, I realised that there is a hat which hasn’t surfaced in a while. It’s been buried at the bottom of the hat box; dropped down the back of the sofa; forgotten about and left in the boot of the car; left on a park bench somewhere waiting for the right breeze to gently blow it back to me once more.

Which hat is this? The one labelled Me. The one where I can for a few moments amalgamate all other hats into the same. The one where I can take comfort and peace of mind in knowing what I like to do, for me. This hat is the sunroof of my soul. Once I have it on I can open up that sunroof and breathe in the air of what makes me, me.

 

My love of dance and the primitive beat of the music, my dreamer qualities, my desire to create art, to write, to paint. And yet at times, my need for stillness and mindfulness; to indulge in some self Reiki; to live in that very moment and soak up all it has to offer. To watch that cloud slowly travel the sky or wait for the Robin to come back to my garden fence. He always does. And to sit there and wait for him is a blessing. To watch that old lady cross the road whilst I sit at the traffic lights and wonder what is her history? Was she a spy in the War? Was she an international journalist writing articles on iconic Hollywood screen legends or was she a Mother to 5 children who has felt that unconditional love and nursed each of her babies through illness?

I don’t get to wear my Me hat much but when I do it sure feels good. I don’t feel selfish when I do wear it. I feel honoured. I feel that I am the luckiest person to have this abundance of different interests to fulfil me.

If you were to ask me which is my favourite hat then it would be impossible for me to pick one but my top choices would be Mother, Wife, Daughter and Friend.

Whilst I relish my Me hat, I also genuinely feel equally happy when they are all teetering away up there, jostling for position!

I feel it is vitally important to acknowledge all my different guises but equally so it is important to locate that missing one when you can and tell yourself this is me and I like being me.

 

Maybe by taking a step back from your busy lives and taking stock of your hats you may notice that you too have a hat that has been missing for a time. And you may like to try to relocate that hat and reunite it with it’s owner.

Which hats have you worn today?

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The Aloha Mummy 🌺

 

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

Mum… aka Costume Designer & Wardrobe Mistress!

 

As a Mum who has spent an. awful. lot. of. time. working on stage and off in various theatre productions over the years and having a bit of a thing for good costumes, plus who’s Hubs and Twins all have great fun when it comes to fancy dress, I feel it only right and proper that I rise to the occasion for the school production!

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This year Twin 1 and Twin 2 are both guards in a somewhat alternative production of Robin Hood. Sounds fairly simple…I stupidly thought!  I had envisaged raiding the fancy dress box and extracting a selection of swords, shields and plastic helmets along with a mixture of random chain mail vests.

Oh-hoho-No! Twin 1 and 2 were playing the parts of 2 guards. Guards who worked for the Sheriff of Nottingham and also Guards who were to be in the castle of Prince John. The Sheriffs guards the Twins told me (and the script costume backed up) would need to be simple and that they would need a stick or a sword. The Prince’s Guards would need a more ‘elaborate’ costume due to the fact that they had no lines (Sheriff Guards did have lines. So, drab costume with speaking part v. flashy costume but don’t expect to hear your little one’s voice!)

Now, I will admit that I do like a challenge and I do love my sewing machine and Hobbycraft! (Our fancy dress escapades are always very thorough and to date I have made 2 sets of original Willy Wonka vests, a Captain Jack waistcoat, Jedi master and Jedi apprentice costumes and back in the early days, a ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat’ on Costume, ‘Chick Chick, Chick Chick, Chicken lay a little egg for me’ costume, shepherds, spacemen and camels!

I set to, designing a costume which would be suitable for the necessary quick change, but was very aware that there would not be space for an entirely separate costume to be stored during the performance (school hall jobby – no wings, no costume rail! Just the Morrisons carrier bag on the floor which if rustled too loudly would detract from the main performance!)

Just like Baldrick, I had a cunning plan! It mainly involved cardboard, spray paint, stencils, Velcro and material. Make the armour with different sides so that the costume can just be swung around 180 degrees to reveal the other side. Genius! The boys loved the idea! They decided that the Sheriff side should be silver with a black stencil of a guards helmet and that the Prince John Guard side would be gold with a red stencil of a shield sporting (wait for it!)  a star, a crown and a sword! Owwww-kay.

We had plenty of spray paint lying about following previous fancy dress creations – plenty of red in fact as we had not that long before made a post box for Twin 2. Yes, you read that correctly – a post box! They had to go incognito for the day and the child who could not be identified by the head teacher would win a prize. Twin 2 came up with the idea of being a post box. We made a giant box into his disguise and bless him he did actually walk to school inside it!  Every now and then he would duck down when he heard people coming closer, just on the off-chance that they might believe this was a real letter box and post a letter! Anyhooo, back to the Guards armour situation!

The Twins each designed a stencil and together (having sprayed the card either silver or gold) we cut them out and lay them onto the breast plates. We then sprayed the chosen colours and actually they looked pretty good!

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The final part they both insisted on having was capes…..Sheriff guards to have a black cape, Prince John guards to have a red cape. This is where the sewing machine came into play!  After a dash around Hobbycraft to purchase the cheapest material they had I managed to whip up 2 double-sided capes. These would need to be flipped over (with the use of Velcro!) when the armour was spun around.

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Finished off with some dressing up chain mail vests and hoods (plus my 2 long sleeved black tops!) the Twins look pretty darn good! What could have been something quite complicated turned out to be a great simple idea!

The play went well, the costume changes were succesful – the correct guards turned up in the correct scenes phew! – and they both remembered all their lines!  Huzzar!!

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Well done kiddos, love you oodles!

The Aloha Mummy

Diary of an imperfect mum

It’s that time of year again…for the S.H.I.T.S…

At this time every year I get the S.H.I.T.S

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Now, before you start reading let me just put you straight – this is not a post about bowel movements. It is not a post about toilet habits, nor is it a post that ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith would be remotely interested in.

 

This is a post about our house and the invasion that occurs every year. By beasts. Mahoosive, scuttley, black, speedy, nasty, creepy beasts. I am of course talking about the 8 legged menace House Spider (Jeeeez it’s hard to even type that word!). Male or female, all I know is that they rock up, waltz in and assume that they can live here. Well NEWSFLASH you little creeps – You Can’t! Now beat it!

 

Since my childhood my Mum has always dealt with these invaders. I was shooed from the room whilst Mum fetched one of Dad’s boots and ….well, let’s say bashed the hell out of them. This was fine as I never had to deal with them. Until I went to Uni. Then I had to toughen up. But I found that having been out of the room when Mum had dealt with them, it was nearly impossible for me now, a grown adult, to cross back over the room threshold after I had left to get kitchen roll or some kind of removal device. Plus, if I left the room then the little fekker might hide – then I could literally NEVER go back in the room, traumatised in the knowledge that it was lurking in there….somewhere .  The thought of not knowing where it had retreated to terrified me. I would much rather be stuck in the room watching it, intensely, whilst calling for a housemate to assist me.

On one occasion in my student flat there was one crawling around the edge of my sunflower mirror (I was a teenager in the 90’s give me a break!) I backed out of the room, my back pressed against my cupboard and without taking my eyes off it got my flat mate up; Rugby player, sports student, student union security  – you get the picture, a big tough guy. Having woken him he grudgingly came to my aid making digs all the time at how wimpy I was and why could I not handle a spider. Then he saw it – ‘I’m not going anywhere near that’ he yelled!! Now, I had debated for what seemed like an eternity, which flat mate guy to wake and I’d chosen this one because I thought he would be the one least likely to rib me for this incident the following morning. His exclamation obviously woke my other house mate – also, male, rugby player, sports student, union security. Luckily, due to the wuss-ness of flatmate numero uno flat mate mark 2 honed in on this side of the situation and not my initial need to get rid of a spider. I was left unscathed whilst numero uno had to put up with weeks of spider jokes! Thankfully mark 2 house bud scooped the webby blighter into an old Chinese takeaway tub and disposed of it on the otherside of the road from our flat. Yes. I insisted he walk outside, cross the road and deposit the critter as far away as he would take it, given that it was about 1am. Thanks mark 2! Love you for ever!

 

So, bang up to date now and being a mother and very often dealing with these things in the dead of night (bloody typical isn’t it!) because Hubs is on a night shift I have developed my own unique and highly effective way of dealing with these….creatures.

I have a well chosen shoe of Hubs’ on the landing – it has been selected for its smooth sole – nothing worse than scraping spider guts out of a shoe with deep treads! I also have a selection of sprays on hand – hairspray of the strongest variety, Raid, Febreeze and even Hubs’ deodorant! In the time since I have become the woman of the house – just over 14 years now since we bought our first little flat, I have developed the necessary skills to cope. Oooh, I feel I’ve come across all Liam Neeson!

 

 This mainly involves me psyching myself up. And this is where the S.H.I.T.S come into play.

These quite simply, are the

Spider

Hysteria

Induced

Tourettes

Syndrome

My language becomes foul!

 

When the Twins are around it takes every fibre in my body not to let a bluey slip and I have developed the knack to substitute certain words. So far I have managed to keep their ears innocent. But by gum it takes some doing! Not only do I now have to focus on a) where the beast is, and b) what implement I have to use but also c) the words I am using to summon my courage. (Now I just have an image of He-Man in my head!) When I’m alone I have no qualms! I’d put a sailor to shame!

(Only with less glitter and lightning and considerably looser abs!)

 I would have thought by now that the Spider community would have heard rumours of this mad woman and that the warnings would be shockingly stark. Surely mother spids are telling their babies never to go near the house of ‘that lady’, surely by now I am the Halloween story used to scare baby spids into good behaviour.  I mean come on! This is the woman who after a dose of raid, a good stamp, a hurl of abusive obscenities and even uses a chopstick to finish it off when it hides betwixt carpet and skirting board!

 

Now, I would just like to point out, that I am not proud of this side of me. I would give anything to be able to calmly collect the beastie up and escort it outside whilst having a little giggle with it about what a silly sausage it has been, but I just can’t do it.  I have tried all manner of beast catchers and removers but they don’t work for me. Especially when the bastard decides to run up the bloody pole of the removing device, right towards my hand. Nu-uh! Not happening.

So unless I have a miraculous shift in personality or bump into Derren Brown, then I’m sorry but the lady’s not for turning!

 

Our house is full with 478 conkers this year, yet I know that I will still see a spider breezily sitting atop of one offering up a cheeky wink! I know that despite the carpet spray I have covered the house with they will still enter.

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I just pray to God that I don’t have the experience that my dear friend Charlie’s Mum had…seeing two of the fekkers bumping uglies on top of her kitchen worktop.

 That my friend would be the final straw and I would have only one option left…

 

 

 

The Aloha Mummy

(genuine wildlife lover – just not ‘them’ in my house.)

Diary of an imperfect mum
Mumzilla
R is for Hoppit