I have no kids in the house. I fell asleep in front of Angels and Demons (which I never do - so much to do!) and now I can't sleep. I am in work tomorrow and Mr Gherkin is not. Why is this happening? Aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!
I am lying in Little Pickle's room with a sleeeping pickle in my left arm and a crick in my neck. I love this. That I have time to do this and that he lets me do his. `He has hand foot and mouth disease but is a darling with it and I am exploiting the opportunity to sneak a sneaky cuddle whilst he snores in croaky dreamland.
I am very tired. I have been up since 0535 with Little Pickle and at 0255 before that. It is 0013 now but still I feel the need to blog just to prove that I have not forgotten about this little baby too! Days are too short, nights even shorter. I will be up again in five hours and will put in a full day of "work" with my boys; yet still I look forward to hearing those first cries in the darkness from my little ones as it means that the fun is going to start again!
The hen weekend was a blast - just what the bride-to-bee wanted. There were 12 of us in 2 cottages by the beach in west Wales and we spent the entire weekend drinking wine, eating amazing food and celebrating being girly. It was a revelation for me as I can't remember the last time I was on my own for a whole day without having to be somewhere for someone. I could just be there for me which was so blissful! I had no mobile phone signal in the cottage, only when walking on the beach so I had plenty of time to just be by myself (and with the rest of the girls!) and be a girl myself - not a wife, not a Mummy, not a daughter, just me. I had forgotten what it was like to just be me and, well, what a nice girl I can be! It was good to go out and just take the things I needed and not have to cart around coats for the boys, wipes, nappies for Little Pickle, snacks for all and sundry and a pushchair! I had a wallet, cash and a phone and a jacket. All mine, just for me. It was very liberating and I spent the first few hours quite off balance and thinking that I had forgotten something or someone or that I should be thinking of someone else. It took me ages to realise that it was just me on my own. I liked it.
We spent Saturday doing outdoor activities like archery, clay pigeon shooting, pistols, baseball nets, crazy golf, scalextrix, go-carting and the competitive side of me came out. I thought I would be great at the baseball (decidedly average), good at scalextrix (crap), OK at archery (crap), good at crazy golf (good and terrible = average) OK at go-crarting (poor), good at pistols (average to poor) and OK at clay pigeon shooting (absolutely amazing!) I was disappointed with my overall performance (joint 7th) but chuffed to bits with my clay shooting! I was awesome and scored 56 points where the second placed person scored 26! Thank goodness for the performance which bucked up the rest of my scores! I will clutch on to that victory for a while and try to forget my crapness in the other things. I may become a markswoman. Shame I loathe and detest guns really! I was quite touched early on in the day when a bloke from another team who I know from about 20 years ago when I lived with my parents, came up to me and asked if the other girls knew about my "sporting prowess". I used to be good at sports in school but I had not seen Chris for years and years and was surprised he remembered me let alone that I was into my sports! That comment boosted my ego at the start of the day and made me all the more disappointed by the end!
Well the last 3 weeks have seen Cornichon start 5 afternoons a week in nursery of the local school. It has been quite stressful but is getting easier day by day. Today was good. He started crying at 9am with the plaintiff cry "I don't want to go to schooo-oool!" which lasted for a while until we went to toddlers at 10 then he was OK over lunch in a cafe (his usual crying trigger) and then did not cry at all on the ride to school nor in the waiting room nor when I left was he walked into the classroom! This is good! He responds really well when I tell him about how proud of him I am that he did not cry at all and about how I think about him whilst he is in school. Sweet boy!
Little Pickle seems to enjoy the time on his own with me too - we managed a trip around Asda at warp speed (for me!) and had plenty of time for playing with the steering wheel whilst waiting for Cornichon to finish. Poor sweetheart is not sleeping well at the moment and seems to just want me there in the room with him when he wakes. I must have spend an hour last night lying in the bed in his room shushing him - so much my lips were sore from all the pursing! I hope he sleeps well tonight as he is with Granny and Grampa tomorrow and Nana and Grampa on Saturday because I AM GOING ON A HEN WEEKEND!
I am super excited about this - it will be nice to spend some time with just girls and have a break from a male-dominated household! Don't get me wrong, I love life with 3 boys band I have never been a very girlie girl but sometimes it would be nice to spend some time putting make-upon on without any background comment or question! And there will be wine too...
Here's to a lovely weekend with the girls and missing my boys!
I have finally (in the second half of 2009) taken the plunge and had my hair straightened! After having brown (ALWAYS brown) curly hair for nearly 34 years and flying in the face (or fringe?) of fashion I took the crazy step of havingmy hair dried straight in the hairdressers this afternoon! Crazy fool! E-E-Everybody has their hair straightened and I have never been one to experiment in the slightest with my bonce let alone spend half an hour drying it and straighteneing it. I am much more of a leave-it-in-rat's-tails-after-the-shower-and-let-it-do-what-it-wants-then cover-hands-with-too-much-sticky-stuff-and-rake-rake-rake-it-bigger kind of hair-grooming routine. Today I had a wash and a cut (usual nothing exciting to make it curl up again request) and the hairdresser asked if I wanted her to dry it straight or curly. "Curly please!" was my immediate response and then I challenged myself and thought about the road less travelled. I asked her to try it straight and spent 20 minutes thinking how much I hated it and it made me look blurry and plain and ill. Then the straightening irons came out, slick... swoosh... swing... and here I am with lovely smooth shiny long locks! I really like it! Mr Gherkin loves it too - he said it was like having another woman in the house! Me liking the noticing! The boys are not here so I did not freak them out with it. I am sure Little Pickle would have had his hands in it soon enough anyway!
I am sure by the morning I will be back to stubbornly wavy curly hair but it was nice to be sleek and chic for a change instead of bedraggled. Note to self : seek out straighteners on freecycle...
I went out last night with Mr Cornichon, a good friend and her fiancé. We went down Mumbles (our old pulling ground!) and had a great night which was spoilt by the hangover today. The drive home was tough but I made it - thank goodness Mr Cornichon was driving. The boys were good as gold all day and considering it rained all day and we were stuck in the house they were brilliant. I am so lucky we have 2 good ones. Any other kids would have been torture today. I am OK now. I won't be drinking any time soon though. Well maybe tomorrow when the in-laws come over for Monday Curry Night. Damn it.
I am blogging this whilst watching a documentary called Naked Office where a small office goes naked for 1 day to get themselves working better together. I can't think of anything I would rather do less given my hang-ups about my stretched body and excess weight and don't start me on how I don't look after myself with lotions and potions. The idea of displaying any flesh to even myself is pretty grotesque at the moment. I am over-weight, although only 8.5lbs off my WW goal but I think I need to lower it again as I can't see myself being happy with just 8.5lbs more weightloss. It is strange but when I was at my slimmest (summer 2002) I was 9 stone 9 but I spent more time around 10 stone. I was fit and happy with my body and felt slim. I am now at 10 stone 8.5 so not too far off what I was and I still feel way too fat and wobbly. I think 10 stone is too much for me. I won't say anything to my WW leader until I hit it though. I could do with saving my weekly fee once I hit goal!
Coming back to the programme; I think that my disinterest in my job and team also would have me sprinting from any suggestion of nakedness at work. I dislike my job. I have nothing to say to my team mates and have made an effort to say nothing at work. I exclude myself from the public areas at lunchtime preferring to sit alone in my car rather than make innante smalltalk with people I dislike and have no interest in. It may sound harsh and cold but I like it this way. At 2 days a week It is not difficult to put a face on for 14 hours out of 168 (less than 10% of my time!) and they pay me for this face. Oh to be paid and not have to do a face. Oh to do THIS and get paid. You can't even see my face on here can you? I think my work face is my work clothing and to go to work naked without my work face and with my real "I Hate This" face would be too much to bear/bare(?). Work tomorrow. Joy.
Cornichon : ummmm guitars and CDs. They're important stuff.
Mr Gherkin and my brother would be so proud!
In Other News...Little Pickle is walking well now. He has been able to walk for ages but was choosing not to as his crawling is so good and so fast. Now he is walking about 50% of the time and crawling 50% of the time but he walks more each day. It seems to have been so long in coming! I am trying not to compare the 2 boys but it is hard not to. His talking and feeding himself is coming on really well now too. He fed himself a bowl of soup last week (OK he made a fair mess) and managed not to pick it up and throw it on the floor (until the end!). He can now say quite a bit, hello, up, mo (more) again, mum, dad, gampa, nana, car, lo (lorry),ba (bike), go, and understands so much more. I am so proud of my little man!
We took Cornichon to the nursery where he is going to start 5 afternoons a week in September. He really liked it and mixed with the other kids and was disappointed when we brought him home! I am glad he is OK about going in September. I was worried last year that having only just turned 3 he would be too young to go but I know now that he is going to have a blast and be fine going in September. My little man is growing up!
In the spirit of trying to blog more frequently here is another entry. I have nothing to report. But I am still here and pleased about it. I have just made friends on facebook with someone I thought I knew from school but I am really not sure about him. He kinda looks like Dai but I am not 100%. It has been about 20 years since I last saw him so I am guessing he has changed a bit and probably grown a bit but the guy in the pics only looks like him a little bit and has the wrong date of birth. He wants to be my friend though! I hope he does not turn into a stalker. Or that I don't turn into one either!
One week to go until Gareth's wedding. I should book the hotel I guess...
I spent today out with the boys introducing a bit of culture and education. We took a train to the museum! It was a fab day and we all enjoyed it (although Cornichon did want to go home when we were in the art gallery!) We went in the dinosaur exhibit and they both got a bit nervous and Cornichon kept reassuring me "They're not real, Mummy!". A good day was had by all not least because we were all out all day and did not spend any time hanging about the house which can be fun but does get tough if we do it too often. Now I am back in work I am going to try a bit harder to have quality days when we do stuff like this. I will, I will, I will!
This weekend was spent celebrating Little Pickle's first birthday. I have been thinking about how our family has changed since his arrival and how much I love being part of a foursome, since the fourth corner of the square came along. I really feel sorry for people who have "only" one child. I know that this is totally ridiculous as any one who has a child is incredibly lucky to have even one (I want to say blessed but being non-religious I am struggling for a better word than 'lucky') but that said having two is so rewarding, especially when I spy on the two of them interacting with each other. It makes my heart melt on a daily basis and I would never change a thing about it.
It was Little Pickle's birthday on Friday and Mr Gherkin had the day off. We all went to the new swimming pool down the bay. The boys loved it (as did Mr G and I) and Cornichon was in his element. I initially thought that he would be clingy and scared but he quickly warmed up and was off splashing on his won quite quickly. I really wish I could take them swimming more often. I think that Mr Gherkin and I will make more of an effort to take them in future as it was so great holding them so they could 'chase' each other in the water. We went to Pizza Hut after the pool and had balloons and a pizza buffet. Everyone loved this too especially the ice-cream help-yourself bar for afters! We then went on to an amusement arcade and fiddled about on the racing machines and Cornichon and Little Pickle loved this - riding real motorbikes! It did not get any better than that! Cornichon took a shine to air hockey too. We saved the birthday cake until we got home and had it for tea and Little Pickle loved it when we sang HBTY to him. I really thought he knew that the day was all for him and that he felt special for it too.
Yesterday was spent with Mum, Dad and Sister Gherkin and Mr Gherkin's Mum and Dad. They all came here bearing gifts and I provided another birthday cake and some cookies and biscuits. We ate junk and drank tea and played with yet more presents and again Little Pickle was in his element. Sister Gherkin stayed over last night and we went to the pub. Surprisingly we have never really been to the pub just the two of us before! It has always been with Mr Gherkin or Mum and Dad. We resolved to rectify this when she moves here in July. It was so good to get out of the house without the boys and Jon! I need to get out more and just be me. I need to get sleep too and just be awake too.
There are days when I am a good mother; I achieve things, the boys have fun and the house looks reasonable. Today was not one of those days. I am not getting enough sleep (not really though any fault of anyone else but myself I must add!) Little pickle is more or less sleeping through but wakes at 6ish every morning which is fine really compared to waking up 3 times a night but not fine if I don't get to bed until bleedin 1am! I am going to have a bath tonight (I have not had one for weeks!) and I have been looking forward to it all day. Beautiful lavender bubble bath awaits me and a good slice of my current book Room For A Single Lady and hopefully an early night. unless the pesky internet snares me again! Good night!
I have just discovered Wists! What a fab idea! I am forever finding stuff I love and covet but forget about them with the click of a mouse so wists seems like a fab idea for me! I can also tell people about the presents I really want instead of saying "oh, surprise me, anything would be fine" when asked what I want for my birthday! I could do some really damage to Folksy and Etsy! How exciting!
Well I lost 0.5 lbs this week in weight-watchers. I had no focus all week (so much for my hopes!) but I have regained focus today and yesterday and have a constant reminder to keep me in line - I am painting my nails, on nail a day for every good day when I stick to my tracking. It has worked for 2 days as I see my unfinished nails every time my grubby little mitts start to reach for the bad stuff and I am reminded how much I want 2 hands full of varnish! I know it sounds crap but it is working for me so ner ner ne ner ner.
I had such a terrible night's sleep last night it is unreal. I have been on autopilot all day - thank gppdness my sister came down to help with the kids. I think Mr Gherkin and I would have bickered all day if she had ot! Everything is OK now though. Little Pickle is asleep here on the sofa with Mr Gherkin and I really really really hope that he stays asleep for a reasonable chunk of the night at least. Up and down since 0152 is not a good way to start the day!
I bought a pair of curtains in a charity shop on Friday with the plan to unpick them and use the fabric for bag linings. The fabric is cream with a textured pattern through it and I think it will make good lining material. I just need to sort out my camera and post some pics!
Really need to get some sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppppp
I started this weight-watching week with a spring in my step and am adamant that I will lose more than 1lb on Saturday. Mr Gherkin and I went out for a curry last night and I must have had a bottle of wine to myself but I still managed to only go 4 points over and have made up for that already today. I am virtuous and so full of vegetables I may turn into a tomato! I have 12 lbs to go before I hit target (I have already lost 2st 2lbs!) and I would love to hit that before my brother's wedding in June. I have not bought an outfit for it yet in the hope that I will be 10st again! I will do it.
Not being at all religious, I was undecided as to what to do for the boys today. Sure they can have chocolate eggs but I did not want to do the American thing of an egg-hunt with yet more chocolate eggs (they already each had 3 from various people) and Cornichon would not really be up to a hunt anyway.
I decided on a visit from the Easter Bird (as prompted my Auntie M yesterday) only to find that I had no food colouring in the cupboard. I thought I would use my noodle and go organic and try dying some uncooked eggs with beetroot chutney overnight. THIS DOES NOT WORK. There was a slight tinge to the shells but nobody would be able to tell. I then found some green colouring and put it in the cooking water as I hard-boiled the eggs, only to find that the shells did not take on any of the green (apart from a bit one one of the whites that escaped and Pickle thought looked like a green poo!)
Anyway, the bird came and went like a flash (as he always does) and the fact that the eggs were egg-coloured bothered nobody (apart from me) and Pickle and Cornichon found a lovely tea-towel nest with 5 hot eggs in it outside in a plant pot and thought it was great. Pickle told me that they were the best eggs he had ever eaten and that he liked the Easter Bird and I was happy. I have to day that I ate most of the eggs but they were still great. Even though they were egg-coloured instead of green. I do not like green eggs anyway.
We had lunch with Mr Gherkin's Mum and Dad and the boys stuffed more chocolate there. I had trifle and a magnum and then chocolate pudding for tea. Weightwatchers has gone out the window today but I cooked up a load of veggies that were festering on the fridge tonight so I could well get back on board the WW bus tomorrow. I certainly need a boot up the backside on that front.
I have just realised that I have not introduced the tribe yet. More on that tomorrow.
Wow. After a 2-day long crushing hangover-type feeling, I worked out that it is due to caffeine withdrawal symptoms. I felt so rough last night I could not bring myself to blog and went to bed, sleeping through until 0550 this morning. This is phenomenal in the Gherkin Jar! Littlest Gherkin (Cornichon) has never slept through the night, until the night before last when he went right through until yesterday morning without a whimper (yay!) causing me to shun the caffeine for the first time in weeks and which brought on a cracking eye-ache all day yesterday which got worse by bed-time and carried on through the night and was with me when I woke this morning! I felt like I had a hangover which was somewhat unfair as I had not even had a glass of wine! I have been on decaff for about 6 years now and I love it but recently Cornichon's sleeping has been so bad I had to get my caffeinated friend back out and although it has only been 2 maybe 3 cups of (OK strong) coffee a day I can't believe I had withdrawals on my first day without any! What an evil witch she is. Give me her calming sister, Decaff any day!
I suppose a good way to start this blog would be to reveal some stuff about me...
I'm Gherkin. I live in Wales. I am 33. I am happily married with 2 fantastic little boys and I love spending time with my family. I love so many things but do not have the time to do most of them. I love crafting and making stuff and would love to stop time at the end of every day and spend a few hours pottering about with a bag of fabric scraps or a box of beads. Such a shame that life gets in the way so often and ironing needs to be done or bathrooms have to be cleaned! I love being active and am in the process of losing 3 stones in weight (just under 1 stone to go! Woo hoo!). I have recently resurged a love for gardening and am working on a vegetable patch and planting out a load of plants that are pot-bound and have been waiting to be planted for months. I love reading and have recently finished Memoirs of a Geisha which I could not put down and was sad to finish. I have a sleep problem (I don't get enough) but that can be remedied with a quick log off.
Inspired by another well-known blogger and subsequent blog surfing I have decided to hop on the bandwagon and get one of my own - so here is The Gherkin Jar. At the moment I am not sure which direction the blog will go in. I hope to record snippets of my life, my thoughts, feelings, ideas and maybe photos if I get around to it. I would like to be able to look back on this blog and remember cool stuff I did this year and see how things progress. I have a lot on my plate at the moment and I am sure much of it will come out at some point - keep your eyes peeled on The Jar!
I am a 38 year-old mum of 3 kids (Cornichon is 7, Little Pickle is 5 and Baby Gherks will be 1 in February) and we live with my lovely husband in beautiful Wales. I love spending time with my family, watching rugby, making cool stuff and finding inspiration for fun.