Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Open to the elements

This week is turning out to be fairly tough for me for a number of reasons.

However, I was reminded this morning that there's always someone worse off than you. Today it was the lady who was power walking to work some 200 yards in front of me. She was wearing a short flowing skirt but unfortunately the bottom of it had caught in her waist band, meaning that there wasn't any skirt at the back. She'd also, rather unfortunately, chosen today to go commando.

So I may be sitting in the office rather than lounging in the sun today, and I may also have a slight (ahem) hangover to contend with, but I'm pleased to say that for the moment at least, I'm wearing all my clothes.

Friday, 25 May 2012

These shoes ain't made for walking

Yesterday I spoke at an event for working Mum's in senior positions in media and marketing (M3). It was really great to meet a like-minded group of women - but I almost didn't make it.

Before 9am I had tantrums from C, left my phones at home and had to go back and get them, a pregnant lady throw up on the train (not on me thank goodness), underground trains were up the spout and traffic was gridlocked London meaning I had to run to my event in shoes that definitely weren't made for anything more than looking pretty! When I turned up I have no idea if I managed to look cool, calm & collected or beetroot red and like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards! (I can tell you that I definitely had blisters!).

The day progressed in a similar vein and the icing on the cake was when I limped past our local art gallery after work and read the sign on the window: "This gallery is closed for refurbishment. Our next exhibition will be "strange breasts".

I couldn't get that out of my head - wondering how on earth you would fill a whole exhibition on strange breasts and, to be fair, who would attend. So I looked it up on the internet and was a bit disappointed to see the exhibition would be on "strange beasts". I'd either read it wrong or they'd had a typo on their notice!

Monday, 21 May 2012

This Jack's clearly a dull boy

I was reminded this morning of the English proverb that states:
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". 
I was reminded of it as according to C's school that must be what I am!

They sent numerous letters home last week stating that the following days are coming up (paraphrased):

- Victorian day - please get your little one a victorian outfit to come to school in - can be purchased at the attached URL for around £15. How much??!!- for one morning at school?. Alternatively please view this website and make a similar outfit for you child Erm. I work full-time and really don't have the time (or the skills!) to do that. £15 it is then.
- Jubiliee picnic - please send your little one in something red, white and blue, with a picnic blanket and join us at 2.45pm for a picnic. Lovely. When? Thursday. Oh. I have to work
- Mufti day - please send your little one in non-school uniform with a £ for charity. Okay - they can have that one.
- Parents afternoon - instead of parents evening we have parents afternoon. Please book in a time to talk to C's teachers between 2pm & 4pm one weekday. Oh. Again. I work.
- Summer term production - this will be afternoon in June. We hope you can make it. Again. Not to sound repetitious or ungrateful - but I WORK!!

Question - is it like this with all schools or have we just managed to pick one that caters mainly for stay-at-home parents?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

You're a sexist lot!

Hot off the press, here are the sexism survey results:

- 100% of you think sexism is still rife in this day and age (based on my previous post - couldn't agree more!)
- Interestingly 50% of you identify sexisim as just a male to female thing (50% as both)
- The most sexist among us are (allegedly) aged between 51-70
- The least sexist among us are (allegedly) aged between 0-18, followed closely by 19-35
- 40% of you believe you're secretly a bit sexist!

Well. I would write more but apparently it's back to the kitchen for me!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Alice Cooper in the mirror

Last night E decided to step it up a notch. Apparently K and I are getting too used to functioning on a 4-5 hours sleep a night, so he dialled it up a bit.

His strategy was simple but deviously clever. Scream from 8pm-2am and then wake every 15 minutes from 2am-5am (5am being morning time in his head).

K got the tougher end of the deal - he took the earlier shift, trying desperately to pacify the crying little man for hours on end. I got the easier end of the night where E's energy was obviously waning and he could only manage to get me up for 5 minutes out of every 15. Not enough time for me to sleep, but enough to lie down and get comfy before volting out of bed again!

So K and I are now battling through a day at work. I'm pretty sure I look like Alice Cooper as I fumbled the eye-liner this morning but couldn't be bothered to redo it. I'm also not convinced my outfit is quite right for the office - but I did a quick check and as I seem to be wearing the right amount of clothes that will have to do.

Today is definitely not a day where I can say that I successfully manage my work/life balance!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sexisim is alive & well and living in Surrey

A few weeks ago I posted that we were looking to move. Things escalated quickly - we accepted an offer on our place, found somewhere we wanted to move to, got the solicitors involved and I'm guessing that exchange of contracts is in the not too distant future.

We made a decision that we'll get people in to help us pack and move. Trying to do everything ourselves with two little children just doesn't feel plausible. So I got a few quotes in. One of the companies asked if they could come round to have a look and tot things up properly. Fair enough. Like the initiative.

The doorbell rang at the arranged time (good sign that he's prompt) and I went and opened it. The guy (let's call him Jim Davidson for the purpose of this post) marched straight through the hallway, past me completely, in order to shake K's hand and introduce himself. Hello? What am I? Scotch mist?

For the next 30 minutes he proceeded to totally overlook me. "What job you in K?" "And how's work going then K?". "What's the market doing to your job K?". K was starting to look fairly uncomfortable by this stage. Jim then started on the banter about the "little women" and how they "bleed us dry - am I right, eh, am I right?". At this point K's face was saying "abort, abort!!! My wife is about to explode".

Now don't get me wrong, I'm 100% sure that Jim can do his job, and it's more than likely we'll go with his company. After all, he showed initiative, turned up on time, gave us a good quote and obviously knew his stuff. However, if in the time he's moving us I hear one more sexist quip he may well be getting a tongue lashing in return.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Don't fall on your nose

On Saturday afternoon we took C to his first Rugbytots session. In preparation K "reminded" him of the rules.  He talked in depth about the scrumage, discussed the ruck, commented on positions and penalties and then checked to see what C had picked up. This is what he got back:

"Come on England (C is always England!)! Run really fast and fall down on your nose, and get up and run and kick the ball at the goal really high and it may have snow on it when it comes down. Don't miss the goal."

Well... it's not perfect but it served him well in his training session! I reckon he's a natural.

Friday, 4 May 2012

A pineapple on my head

First of all - a huge thank you to everyone who's been so supportive of us trying to E the help he needs. We'll keep you posted on how the appeal goes.

As we were getting ready this morning, C commented: "Mummy - I really do need to go to school today to do my important work as I just don't have time to do it at home because I'm so busy". (Ensuring that the play doh is firmly stuck to Mummy's work trousers and "posting" money into the radiators takes a lot of time and planning you know).

This got me thinking about multi-tasking and how whilst it's possible (and indeed necessary) at work, it's not the easiest thing to accomplish at home.

At work, it's very usual for me to be on a conference call whilst finishing up an article. Or to have a number of different ideas on the go at the same time. Having said that, I did overhear a colleague on the phone in the office the other day saying: "Oh, I'm sorry, can you ask me that question again please? I was multi-tasking so wasn't listening". Erm. Not quite sure you've got the hang of multi-tasking there mate!

At home though, multi-tasking doesn't seem to work so well. Having a number of things on the go at the same time just means the house looks like a bomb site and if you add the children into the mix nothing ever actually gets finished!

I also don't really like "multi-tasking" my children. I did do it the other day, but I ended up feeling as though I'd missed out. Basically, C talks so much that every now and again I tune out and do something else. He was chatting away about how much he'd grown overnight and how he was so tall now he could almost touch the sky. It's a conversation we've had many time before so I turned my hand to something else whilst making the appropriate noises. When I started listening again it was to hear the words: "..and then I just put the pineapple on my head and went away!". I have a feeling that was a story I would have like to have heard!

So perhaps I just need to accept that whilst I may be able to juggle numerous things at work, at home, it just may not be possible. Easier said than done though!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

People power

Yesterday we heard back from the DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and they told us that we weren't entitled to any help from them as they felt E was a completely "normal" baby for his age.

K and I would absolutely love for this to be the case, but unfortunately it's not.

We're realistic enough to know that when a genetic test comes back saying that your baby has Williams Syndrome - then he has Williams Syndrome.
We're realistic enough to know that when your baby has a heart condition, a hernia, various other medical issues and a team of professional carers, then he's not completely "normal".
And we're realistic enough to understand that when, at the age of one, he's only rolled over twice, can't move or crawl yet and he doesn't sleep for more than 4-5 hours a night - he's not completely "normal.

None of this changes the fact that E is a wonderful little man and one of the happiest babies I've ever come across (!) but we do need the experts to help us encourage him to reach his full potential.

So we're asking for your help please. I've put together a short survey - just 4 questions with multiple choice answers that we'd really appreciate you answering. It should only take a minute. We'd just like to get as many people as possible telling us at what age their child started moving and how many hours they generally slept through the night at the age of 1. We'll then package the result with letters from the Williams Syndrome Foundation and information from E's medical carers, and hope that the DLA come back with a different answer.

You can answer the questionnaire either by clicking on this link: or by clicking on the box-out to the side of this page.

Thank you!