Down in the dumps

Sometimes I feel so empty. Like I’m broken beyond fixing. Psychologically. I’m very happy as a mom, our two girls are amazing (even though they drive me absolutely bonkers most of the time) but it all feels like a dream. As if one day I had to wake up and I would be all alone. No OH, no children, no house. Just me. And I would be more or less OK with that. Just missing the ‘dream’. I don’t know why I feel like that. I should be happy and thanking God each day for everything He gave me (which I am by the way). There are millions of people in the world who have nothing, who dream about things I have every day. I do consider myself lucky. If I think about life without my girls it breaks my heart. I literally feel like my soul is dying.

It feels like I can never be truly happy. I have trust issues. They range from tiny things to everyday things. And it doesn’t just involve my OH. Anyone that I know I cannot fully trust. Someone can say a simple thing like ‘oh I can’t go tomorrow because I have a hairdresser appointment’ and bam! My brain is starting to over think it, make stories up that they’re probably lying. They just don’t want to go with ME. My OH drives a van to work. If I see a van parked somewhere around our estate, even if it doesn’t have the right stickers, I become suspicious. I do love my OH but if I think about life without him I don’t feel as heartbroken as I possibly should. I’m more thinking along the lines ‘oh well, I’d just get on with it, I might even be better of alone with our girls, I’m on my own all day almost every day anyway’.

And what’s worse, sometimes when I walk somewhere, I feel like I could just keep on walking and not look back. Even though these thoughts/feelings don’t last very long each time, it must be wrong.

Seriously, I think I’m messed up. Where do these thoughts come from?? Who the hell thinks like that???

I started on anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-irritability tablets. I find myself shouting too much, loosing my cool way to quick and too often. And taking it out on my little girls is not fair. It’s not their fault Mama feels like she can’t cope, like she could run away, hide somewhere and cry. I cannot let this stupidity take its toll on the bond my girls and I have.

I really just want to be back to my- happy, free spirited, singing, smiling -self.

This may be just stupid babbling to some people but I don’t care. This is what I think. And I refuse to believe I’m the only one in the world feeling this way.

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Jackhammer

Our little girl wants to dance so so badly. She’s always prancing around to every music she can hear. One day we saw an ad in a local newspaper about new dance class for toddlers so we went there for a bit. It was 30 minutes of pointless running around and jumping to very noisy, well known songs for £3. Eventually we decided that she does exactly the same at home if not more and it costs far less, only some mama-impatience at constant repetition of the same songs… This one was overpriced for what it offered so we stopped going there. It was run by a lovely couple. She was a school teacher, he was a ballroom dancer and they had a little baby boy. Soooo adorable. But they had no clue how to run a toddler dancing class. No clue whatsoever.

There were some really nice parents. One mother in particular and we’ve become quite friendly overtime. Even went to her son’s 3rd birthday party. But when we stopped attending the classes, despite exchanging numbers, the friendship dissolved. I’m cursed.

Since our little girl still wanted to dance we’ve decided to do a proper search. Didn’t fancy ending up at a rubbish toddler group again nicknamed ‘dancing’ so it sounds more fun. Finally, after a long search for a good dancing school, we were recommended a very popular, proper dance studio which offered ballet and tap mixed together for toddlers. Well, that sounds a bit more like it doesn’t it? Oh how excited was our child on the way to dancing! She was bouncing in the car seat! We got there, signed her up and went to the class. Mirrored wall, wooden dance floor, little girls wearing tap shoes, it definitely looked the part. LG sat with others in the circle and waited. There was 13 children and 2 teachers. The music started. Everyone got up. They sing, stretch and laugh. All is well. UNTIL NOW. The teacher asks everyone to stamp their feet. My LG ran to me holding hands over her ears and bottom lip quivering. It was as if someone had started a jackhammer in the room. Can you imagine 15 people wearing tap dancing shoes stamping their feet in a confined space???? Ear deafening. They finally stopped. OK, I thought, maybe it was just this once, maybe they’ll do something a bit more proper now. Really? Nah! You must be joking! That was just naiive thinking. 15 pairs of feet stamping and jumping and tapping. Who wants a headache!!! Loss of hearing added as a bonus!!! No. Wayyy too much noise. My LG couldn’t stand it, she was terrified and became sobbing. That was enough for me. 45 minute lesson and after 20 we had left. If there is one thing in this world I will not stand is my girls crying because of someone’s inconsideration and lack of gray matter in the brain (not being able to think and look beyond money).

I’m basically lost for words. Nah, not really. I’m absolutely shocked. Shocked that parents can send their children to a place like this and think it’s OK because ‘my child enjoys it and has tons of fun! Oh yeah and its a PROPER dance studio!’. Yeah. Forehead slap. Never mind that the decibels are through the roof. Never mind that it is damaging your child’s hearing. But don’t worry. Look! There’s this AMAZING thing called GOOGLE where you can look for things and read very interesting articles. Like those about terrible implications of listening to ear deafening sounds especially to very small children. Jeez!! People!! A little more interest in your life, a little less competing with other parents. Rat racers.

Summarising. Our LG will not be going back to that place. Other parents do as they see fit. Their children not mine. I’ll try and find her a simple ballet class for toddlers. Where she can float like a butterfly and wear pretty tutu’s. I think at her age that is more than enough.

But then again, what do I know?

Don’t answer that….

Time for school!!!

Our little girl has started nursery today. She looked so grown up in her proper school uniform and jacket. And so excited! Couldn’t stop nattering from the moment she got up right to the school gates. Few children actually complimented her on being ‘sooo cute’.

Walk to the school is only about 10 minutes long but LG managed to trip over and acquire two cuts to her leg. Honestly! Way too bouncy is that child of mine. So you know how you hear about mothers who walk their precious baby to the nursery for the first time and then cry their eyes out because they have to leave them there all alone (as if there was no teachers, other children, mobiles didn’t exist and we communicated through smoke signals)? The mother cries, the child cries. Yeah… No… That’s not us. We’ve walked into the school, I reminded LG that I’ll definitely be back for her, gave each other a kiss and that was it. I went home, she stayed and played like a good girl she is. And when time came I came back for her.

As you could expect, when I picked her up, I asked some questions about her day. Apparently she had no lunch, teachers starved her (then found out she had a yogurt and orange juice) and she’s made a friend who she lovingly nicknamed ‘girl’. Honestly LG cracks me up sometimes with the stuff that comes out of her mouth. I can see her being one of the bossy children ie when it’s tidy up time she’ll be telling everyone what to do and where to put the toys. She already does to nher little sister. Bossy boots. Wonder who she gets that off? Ehm ehm possibly me, shhhhh!

Here, you have to stand in a queue and wait until teachers open the door. So while I’m standing there and waiting I watch other moms. And they’re all talking to each other, laughing, chatting about rubbish. And to be honest (get the violins out) I secretly wish I had a friend like that. Just to talk about rubbish with. Hopefully one day.

One thing I would like to be able to do is to stay with LG for at least one day, just to see what are they doing and how much fun they’re having. Think I would play with the toys too. Not sure about sharing…. but I suppose I would have to, you know, lead by example thing and all. Since this isn’t likely to hapen I just have to stick to playing with toys at home once both girls are in beds so I don’t have to share. Ha!!

High five!

During spring time, some years back, when I was young and beautiful, I met my OH. We both thought we were going to a BBQ at our friends house, instead we were set up on a blind double date with them (how could they!). It wasn’t love from the first sight, believe you me. He was nice, easy to talk to, not the most handsome man on earth but he had that ‘something’. And he came with a baggage. To be honest we both did but mine compared to his was like a drop in the ocean. Mine was a violent, cheating ex, his involved drugs, alcohol, attempted suicide, anger issues and hours of therapy to try and fix him. When we met he was on the mend but not there yet. So you see, since I’m always a realist and try to use my head instead of other body parts to think and make decisions, this little set up didn’t quite work out as our friends had planned. To start with.

We talked quite often and became friends. We would always meet in a group at our friends house so we were never alone. He kept asking me out and I kept saying ‘no’. I didn’t feel ready to start dating again and didn’t think he was in the right state of mind to start either. Eventually I did explain why I keep refusing (boy! Wasn’t he persistent! But in a pleasant way) and what I’d like him to change first before I even consider going out with him. We used to live in different cities back then so we didn’t see each other very often. Next time we met I couldn’t believe the change! Jeez! He took my words right seriously! Good. And so he always should. He was all grown up and mature. That was a man worth keeping as a friend.

I used to share a house with two other girls I worked with but wanted something of my own. He helped me move to my new house. It wasn’t a palace but it was mine, all mine and I could do what I wanted in my own HOME. Bless, all the way there he sat in the back of the van (as there wasn’t enough seats in the front), in the dark, holding my precious laptop.

On the first night in my new home I got ready for bed as you normally do, locked the door, put PJ’s on, brushed teeth, went to toilet for the usual etc. Got to the bedroom, closed the door, got in bed. Later on I thought I’ll go make a drink as I couldn’t fall asleep. Reached for the bedroom door and….. It was stuck!! Tried everything I could find to wedge the lock open but it was useless. I’m no burglar so I had no clue what I was doing. I was well and truly locked inside. Scary eh? Oh, and the amazing landlord didn’t leave me keys for the windows so they were closed. AND I couldn’t call him because he went on holiday! Oh great! I ended up calling our friends from blind dates as they lived not too far away. My current OH was there. They all came to my rescue. Had to break the window panel in the door because clever me left the keys in the lock. Duh! OH cut his hand open from the glass, some neighbours called the police (jeez! Thanks! But when we do need police for real, everyone is hiding) and I ended up on the blow up mattress at our friends house. Safe to say my 14hrs shift next day looked shaky. If I called in sick NOBODY would believe my locked-in-the-bedroom story.

Anyhow, since then me and my OH became even closer and five years ago we’ve decided to give each other a chance and become an item. Safe to say in those five years we’ve had ups and downs, lefts and rights and tons of happines.

I do moan about him. Because why not if he’s annoying me? It doesn’t mean I don’t love him or like him. It just means that there are certain things he does that make me want to stick a fork in my eye.

So raise your glasses to us. Pray that God gives me strength for the next five years. Or maybe not. Strength may be dangerous to have. Patience. Pray God gives me patience.

Beanies and sparkles.

I’m the one for weird food combinations. Well, at least according to the British people. My recent favourite is baked beans with 2-3 cloves of crushed organic garlic, smoked paprika, chilli, a bit of marjoram and tbsp of soured cream. For some reason I cannot taste the commonly available garlic, hence the organic one, it’s much stronger. I found myself adding sometimes even 10 cloves to the whole meal but it didn’t make much difference so I swapped. But my concoction is soooo yummy, you have to be brave and try it. However, I don’t advise kissing anyone afterwards, he he.

Beanies and sparkles. Yeah I know, it doesn’t make much sense. It’s something my 3 year old came up with. Don’t ask me why. No one knows what’s going on in a 3 year old’s head. Basically it’s steamed green beans with toasted breadcrumbs and butter. Delicious. And trust me – if my fussy-as-can-be child says so, it has to be. Even my 1 year old can’t get enough of those.

Broccoli and sparkles. Same idea but with broccoli. I can make any veg on their own and they’ll be left on the plates but as soon as I add said sparkles, that’s the first thing polished off during meals.

Chicken liver fried with onion. Now, why is that one considered weird?? Not to me but I’ve been told that chicken liver is for the dogs. You know, some people don’t know what they’re missing. Yum.

Frickles. Oh my. That is one that would make me come downstairs at midnight if someone decided to cook them at such God forsaken hour. There’s only one place in UK that serves them, Hooters in Nottingham. Oh, frickles are deep fried pickles. Double yum.

Mayo and ketchup mix. The combination itself is not weird at all but I do with it apparently is. Well, I use it as a dip for everything. And I mean everything: chicken, beef, lamb, fish, chips, crisps, pizza. I even add it to the bacon sandwich. Basically any savoury food that you can think of that can be dipped I dip in that. Apart from raw carrots. I dip those in cream. Weirdo.

Bacon, egg, cheese, gherkin and mayo+ketchup sandwich. What can I say. You have to try it to understand it.

Mushrooms fried with onion and melted cheese. Sometimes with leftover shredded chicken or pork, crispy fried. A little treat. 

Go on, I know what you’re thinking. But I dare you – try it.

I love (almost) everything that’s American

Exactly that.

Starting with American food (portions however are huge! And I mean HUGE), restaurants (even though at almost every single one is at least an hour wait for the table), life style (although to the certain extent), cars, shops and brands, yard sales, houses, accent (oh God! I LOVE American accent! It just makes me go weak in the knees) movies, music (lets face it – most of greatest bands come from America) and finishing on all-out celebrations.

I used to like to dream about one day traveling to USA knowing that it would probably never happen as the tickets are wayyyy out of my reach due to prices. So when two years ago my in-laws invited us to go with them for two weeks, all expenses paid holiday it was like a dream come true! Of course we said yes!

I think I should mention here that my OH’s brother and sister-in-law live there so we stayed with them, no hotels etc.

Our eldest was only 18months old back then but she was extremely good on the 8 hour flight.

We went to North Carolina the first week and stayed in the absolutely stunning beach house. Gorgeous beach full of seashells. You know when people talk about dream destinations? That was it for me.

corolla-beach Gorgeous beach, I could’ve stayed there all day long.

cape-hatteras-lighthouse-8Cape Hatteras lighthouse, climbed all the way up, what a view!

L2 A very similar house to the one we had stayed in, with it’s own private, heated pool, hot tub, a wraparound porch, a hammock and a 5 minute walk to the beach. Dreamy.

Second week of our stay we have spent in Washington. The city is beautiful. And one thing that I particularly loved is that all the museums and zoos are FREE to see!! Something we could do with here in UK. Maybe youngsters would be more willing to go there and enhance their knowledge if they didn’t have to pay for it.

One thing that suprised me nicely was the water. It had made my hair so soft, manageable and I’m not surprised that American girls have such gorgeous locks.

Maybe one day we’ll be lucky enough to go back there again.

Lemon and poppy seed cake

Yummy yummy in my tummy! As my 3year old would say but, oh my isn’t it just!

So this is one of my favourite recipes. And frankly a favourite of the whole familia too. It’s really quick, very easy and it doesn’t cost a fortune. The recipe is originally from a magazine series Baked and Delicious but I have adapted it slightly.

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LEMON AND POPPY SEED CAKE

180C, 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Method:

Cream butter and caster sugar together in a bowl. Gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and ground almonds, then stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds and water. Spoon into a loaf tin and bake until skewer comes out clean. That’s it. No egg separating and faffing with whipping whites.

You could leave it as it is or if you feel more creative you could add a topping.

This is where I adapted the recipe because I would have to throw the leftover lemons away. The original recipe calls for 3 tbsp of lemon juice and 3 tbsp of icing sugar. I squezze both lemons into a bowl, add around 3 tbsp of icing sugar per lemon, so 6 altogether and microwave for about 5 minutes. You have to watch it like a hawk as the mixture bubbles when it gets hot. When it does I simply take it out, stir and pop it back in. And repeat the cycle until ready. This makes a yummy syrup which soaks into the cake making it sooooo moist and delicious. You might think ‘hang on, there’s wayyyy too much syrup, it’ll make a soggy, yucky mess of a cake’ but trust me – it doesn’t. So be brave and pour it ALL all over the cake. Don’t forget to stab the cake lots and lots of times so the syrup runs all the way through.

Important: I find it easiest if I leave the cake in the tin, then there is no waste and while it cools, it gives the syrup chance to work its magic. Yes, it might make it a bit tricky to get out afterwards but trust me – its worth it. And if you use a silicon mould, its even easier.

I’m drooling already…

Now, if you for some reason are an icing fan (personally I cannot stand the thing) put much more icing sugar into the lemon juice until it becomes a white, runny, sticky gooiness. Cover the cake. For this you don’t have to keep the cake in the tin.

So there you go. If you’re bored one day and fancy something sweet but not extremely sweet, this is it.

  1. I have made it before without the ground almonds, it’s still just as nice. And no, I didn’t replace it with extra flour.
  2. Also, I’ve made it without poppy seeds, just lemon.
  3. One thing I did do and it made a difference was use extremely fresh eggs. It’s not necessary though.

I guess this is it.

Saturday morning.

I sit in the kitchen and watch my 3 year old play with a space hopper shouting ‘pop goes the weasel!’. She’s such a happy soul. Rubbish on telly as usual. Other half came back last night from working away for 3 days so I cooked a yummy tea thinking it would be nice to sit together and eat despite the late hour. In the morning our little monkeys wake up first. I bring them downstairs, make breakfast and we play. Later other half comes down. You know I like to think about our house as quite clean and tidy considering a 3 and a 1 year old running riot all day. Constant playing, cooking, tidying up, every day washing, drying and putting away, nappy changes, dirty clothes changes etc and making sure tea is ready every day (well, almost every day) for when OH comes home. In the end there’s only so many hours in the day. So when he goes to the kitchen and starts whining that there’s a little bit of oil in the pan from shallow frying AGAIN which for him obviously leads to the walls being greasy from splashing fat (what????) and he starts cleaning the kitchen because some crumbs are left from breakfast on the chopping board and few pans on the drying rack – my stress levels rocket! Seriously! This isn’t a museum. It’s a home where children live. Where life goes on every day. You cannot expect it to be like a hotel where not a sheet is out of place. Are all family men like that or just mine is kind of special? I wouldn’t mind all that but the way he’s sighing and commenting whilst cleaning what’s already clean makes me feel uneasy. As if he thought that all week, while he’s at work and I’m at home playing stay at home mum, I do nothing. I just sit on my backside keeping the sofa warm. It’s not fair. Sometimes it makes me wish we could swap roles so he could see what it’s really like to be a stay at home parent. But then his parents would have to go away on holiday or something as they are way too keen on helping (which is not a bad thing at all when you actually need some help). I honestly doubt he would survive. After a month he’d be begging to go back to work. But it would be sooooo funny to watch.

Eh dear… I love my family. Honestly I do.