I am not a mummy

As you all should know by now, I am a mummy to two beautiful boys.  Gning was born in September 2011, and Donut in June 2015.  Both are my world – always have been, and always will be.

I always looked forward to the day that my first born could speak, and he would start calling me “mummy”, but that was never the case.

His first name for me was “mama”.  It then moved on to “mumma”, and I absolutely loved it.  It wasn’t going to be long before he could say “mummy”.

Gning was about 18 months old when we were in a hotel, at Schiphol (in the Netherlands) when it first happened.

Hubby, Gning and I had one room; and across the hall, my mum and dad had a room.  Gning kept pointing to the door, saying “nanna”; so I opened the door, and he toddled on through, and knocked on my parents door.  They let him in, and about 15 minutes later, my mum was knocking on our door with the baby…  I opened the door, and he practically jumped in to my arms.

“I don’t know what he’s trying to say.  He keeps saying “me me” and knocking on the door, pointing,” mum said.

I looked at hubby – neither of us had a clue what he was trying to say; but Gning kept hugging me, and saying “me me”.

It was towards the end of that week away when we realised what he was saying.

Hubby asked Gning, “where’s “me me”?”  Gning kept pointing to me…

Fast forward to when he was about three.  He was still referring to me as “me me”, although we had now adapted the spelling.  Well, it was actually Gning who confirmed the way we would spell it, as he had been learning how to write his name in nursery.

One day he came home from nursery with a card he had made for me.  Inside, it read:

“Mmymmy

love

Gning*”

*(real name was written – not Gning)

I asked him what the “mmymmy” said, and he replied, “me me”.

I think it’s funny, that people still ask “who’s me me?”  I am then able to relay the wonderful story that started in Holland.

It’s just stuck since then, and I love it.  I’ve never met anyone else who is a mummy, called “mmymmy”.  He knows that I am mum, and mummy, and he thinks he’s being cheeky now when he says “ok, mum”…

I have repetitively told him that it’s ok to call me mum or mummy, as I am all of those titles; and once he asked me if it’s ok for him to call me mum now.  I replied that of course it was, but he’s never changed it.

More recently, Donut has started saying “me me” and pointing to me…  It’s definitely stuck, and I just love it.

So, if you know us personally, and if you ever hear my boys say “me me”, they’re talking about their mummy.  Their mum.  Me(me).

Hi. My name is Barbara, and I am a coffeeholic.

Ever since I can remember, I have been a coffee drinker.  My dad used to give me tiny cups (no exaggeration – my mum made me my own little cup in her pottery class – smaller than an espresso cup) of coffee when I was a child (no, there’s no age limit on drinking coffee in the UK).

I can remember waking up on a Sunday morning by the smell of freshly percolated coffee, coming from the kitchen.  Shortly afterwards, the smell of sausage and bacon would follow.  That was my indication that dad was up, and a hearty, full-English breakfast would soon be on the table.  Now-a-days, even though I still love a full-English, it’s known as a ‘heart attack on a plate’.

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So yesterday, I visited a beautiful place called Inglenook Farm (in Rainford, Merseyside) with a friend.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, the distinct smell of lavender hit.

There are a few shops at the farm –

  • African Dream, which sells ‘fair trade’ items such as ornaments, hanging decorations, jewellery and clothes.  The lady that runs the shop visits Kenya and South Africa regularly, and purchases the items directly from the people who make the items.  That way she ensures all monies are going directly to supporting the creators.
  • Boonric Gallery, where beautiful, original paintings and drawings are displayed and sold.  We met one of the artists there, and had a bit of a chat to her whilst admiring her work.
  • The Makery.  Unfortunately this was closed, but it had a sign in the window that stated it had arts and crafts for kiddies.
  • The Farm Shop.  Now, this was a bit of a “bank breaker” for me.  If I had the money, I probably would have bought everything in there.  From fresh, organic fruit and veg grown on the farm, to chocolate and cakes made there.  From handmade, cold-compressed soaps to pure essential oils…  All were made on the farm.  This is where I bought the coffee.
Image courtesy from the Inglenook Farm website

Image courtesy from the Inglenook Farm website

On a shelf, towards the exit of the shop, it was there.  Jars of coffee beans, each with their own distinct flavour, were available to open and smell.

The two coffees that I recall had unusual names…  “Witches Brew” had a coffee strength of “4”.  It smelled strong, but to me, it was more of a Columbian scent of a bean.  Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of Columbian coffee.  The second coffee that I recall was “Devil’s Delight”.  This had a strength of “5”, and a beautiful smell.  I think I could have just eaten the beans directly.

Two options were available for the Devil’s Delight.  Whole beans and ground, for a cafetiere.  I had to purchase the latter, as I am not privileged to own a percolator.

packet

I did intend on trying the coffee last night, although with having a little Donut around, I thought it best for me just to go to bed instead, ha ha.

This morning, hubby dearest had made me my usual Kenco coffee, but a fussy Donut meant that it had gone cold before I actually managed to drink it.  I was then offered a fresh cup…  I asked him to make a batch of the Devil’s Delight, as I wanted to see what it was like.

The packet was opened, and the smell leaked out of the bag.  Hubby pulled a face, exclaiming “that’s potent!”

cafetierre

The cafetiere was filled enough for two mugs, and left to stand for a little while.  It was thick – just how I like it…

I’ve always joked, saying that I like my coffee strong enough to stand a spoon up in it.  Looks like I got what I like.

cup

Well…  I’ve finished my cup.  Yep.  I think it was strong, but I can’t comment.  I’m still feeling as ‘alert’ as I did before.  Which was half asleep.

So now I’m left with an even more grumpy Donut:

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and an incredibly skanky cup to try to clean…

skankycup

I’m starting to think that I am immune to the effects of coffee.

30 Day Writing Challenge – DAY 3

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

Empty promises

Promises can be anything at all.  From saying that you will phone somebody later, or that you will buy a particular something from the shop to an oath made to God that you will look out for a child, and be a part of their lives (i.e. becoming a Godparent).

It’s all too easy to say “I promise” to someone, but it’s also really easy to not follow through with it.  A promise is a commitment…  A promise is a vow.  A lot of the time, a promise is made verbally.

It really winds me up how some people can just throw away a promise like it was nothing to them…  Or at times, like it is a burden.  I know of one particular person who has made a very important promise appear an inconvenience.  This is not only a disappointment, but a regret for me in asking this person to make a promise in the first place.

Arsehole Shoppers and Being Invisible

Now, I’m not going to go in to great depths with this one, as I really could write an essay on this matter.

You’re walking around Asda (or the like) with your trolley (shopping cart), you turn a corner in to another aisle, and hey presto!  There’s a group of people blocking the aisle, having a catch-up chat, because they haven’t seen each other for such a long time.  I mean, who can blame them?  Of course you need that catch-up chat when you’ve not seen each other for 24 hours.

I have noticed that since I first had Gning (my gorgeous 3 year old), whenever I went out shopping with him – or now Donut – I have become invisible.  I’m pushing Gning or Donut (or both) around in the trolley (or pram), and all of a sudden, I’m the one who is blocking the aisle…  Only I’m not.  I’m the courteous shopper, who will not walk down the middle of the aisle.  I’m the one who is practically knocking things off the shelves so that other people has the ease to get past what would otherwise be a pain in the neck.  Afterall, I do have two children with me.

It’s like when I took the pram out, when Gning was only a few months old.  I went in to a shop…  I can’t remember which one it was…  Maybe the pound shop, or Home Bargains…  I was pushing him down the aisle – again, hugging the side of the aisle – when that “oh my gosh, I’ve not seen you in hours!” group stopped in front of us, blocking any possible escape route ahead.  I politely said “excuse me”, expecting them to budge over, and all they did was look at me, and carry on.  I had to repeat my polite request for them to shift out of my way twice more.

Believe me.  Being invisible isn’t that great.

30 Day Writing Challenge – DAY 1

List 10 things that make you happy

1.  My husband.  Of course he makes me happy…  I wouldn’t have married him if he didn’t make me happy!

2.  Gning.  My eldest son.  His sparkling eyes, handsome face and beautiful personality.  He never fails to make me smile and / or laugh…  He is so intelligent too.  I have a feeling his intelligence is going to be his downfall when it comes to schooling; but that’s another topic.

3.  Donut.  My youngest son.  He may only be a baby (5 weeks and 2 days old), but he can already light up a room when entering.

4.  Chocolate.  I’m a woman…  What woman doesn’t love chocolate?

5.  Camping.  I mean real camping, in a tent – not caravanning, which some people say is camping (by the way, that’s called caravanning, NOT camping *rolls eyes*).  I’m talking about real camping too…  No electricity hook-ups, no laptops…  Believe me.  I used to know someone who took their laptops camping, and they had a blow-up settee and ‘port-a-loo’.  There’s just something about being under canvas in the middle of nowhere.  I guess it’s because it’s something that I have done since I was a baby (I was 3 months old when I first slept in a tent).

6.  Scotland.  It’s true that Scottish history is full of tragedy, but there is a certain romance to it too.  History, the clans, the music (especially bagpipes), the scenery of the Highlands…  People have said that I do have an obsession.  To be honest, I can’t deny that I have.

7.  Ancient Egypt.  It’s the Gods, Goddesses, culture, architecture…  I’m fascinated by the meanings behind the temples and tombs…  I would love to be able to read hieroglyphics too.

8.  Stonethwaite.  For those of you who are not in the know, Stonethwaite is a tiny hamlet, in the district of Borrowdale, in the Lake District.  The Lake District is a National Park in the county of Cumbria, in the north-west of England.  Stonethwaite valley campsite was the first place where I crawled.  The campsite is set on farmland, next to a wonderful stream, which is amazing to listen to when you’re drifting off to sleep.  Follow the water upstream, and you will eventually come to a little known secret…  The stream becomes surrounded with rocks, and if you are brave enough, the water is certainly deep enough to swim in.  I have done it many times, although I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have an immunity to cold water.

9.  Birds.  I am an Ornithologist.  To a certain extent.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not Bill Oddie, but I do know a tad about those feathered creatures.  I’ve kept birds all of my life – primarily zebra finches.  I have successfully bred them, and I did actually write a “keepers guide”, several years ago.

10.  Writing.  Whether it’s a short story, poem, review or blog post, writing has always made me smile.  The only problem I have (which long-term Insanely Normal followers will know) is that I suffer horrifically with writers block.  Meh.

So there’s my 10 things.  What are yours?

Every penny counts…

I decided last night that I was going to be taking part in the “Money Savings Challenge” this year.  It sounds relatively easy enough, and from my calculations, I could very easily put away just over £1,300 by the end of the year.

I have made myself a spreadsheet to work by, using Microsoft Excel.  There are several columns, one of which is the date, where I have made a list of the date of every Wednesday throughout 2015 (see picture a little further down).

The name of the game is that you put away £1 in the first week of the year, £2 in the second week, £3 in the third, etc., so you eventually put £52 in the “pot”.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 15.02.17

(Click to make the image larger)

The way I have thought about it, even if I can’t make it right the way through the year, by the time “Donut” appears (due 13 June 2015), I will have saved £300.  That’s already a lot of money.

If I can last right the way through to making a final payment on 23 December 2015, I will have saved £1,378.  Wow!

I did originally think about buying a money box – one of those that you cannot get in to without “breaking” it open (with a tin opener), but I thought that was too easy.  Instead, I have renamed two of my online savings accounts in my bank – One is now entitled “Savings Challenge 2015” and the other is for “Holiday Savings 2015”.  (I’m just going to be throwing whatever I can afford at the time in to the holiday account…)  The only problem I have there is that both of these accounts are easily accessible to me via my online banking, so this will still take some self control.

Here’s to having a bit of “pocket change” to play about with in the next several months 🙂

So how about it?  Will you take on the savings challenge too?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

This is the final post of 2014.  For after this, I shall never make another post again this year.

2014 has been a mixed bag of emotions.  There have been ups and downs, laughs and tears, good and bad news…  Much the same as every year.

There have been a lot of ‘firsts’ in the household…  Gningy started “school” (nursery).  Hubby has been working full time since May (first time in a long time…  Jobs are just so difficult to get here).  I found out that I was expecting ‘Donut’.  Gningy, hubby and I took our first family holiday abroad.

Hmmm…  The year has been rather uneventful, other than the above.

Anyway, tonight I shall be raising a glass (of non-alcoholic substance) to 2014, and I shall raise it again to welcome 2015.

So long, 2014.  It’s been…  Interesting.

The Holly & the Ivy…

I have had the most unusual past couple of months…  Some amazing news, a holiday, another bad spell at work, and more…  I think it’s about time to say hello to all of you again, and I shall get you all up to date!

It’s the first of December today.  Where on earth did that come from?  It was my sons’ third birthday; I blinked; and now I’m here…

I think I need to share a picture with you…

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Oops, did I just tell you all something big..?  Ha ha, yep.  That’s my boy!

Not long after the above was discovered, we jetted off for a week in the sun to Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands.  It was a great holiday, although I can’t help but feel that I slightly ruined it for the little man and the hubby, as I was terribly sick for the whole holiday.  All I wanted to do was sleep…

Anyway; a couple of weeks after our return, we got this picture:

Donuts first picture

This, everyone, is “Donut”.  My little man decided to call the baby Donut, until we know whether it is a he or a she…  Although, I am convinced that it is a girl…  Shall we take bets?

My estimated due date is 13 June 2015.

That near enough brings you up to date with me, other than the fact that I am still suffering from pregnancy related sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness), and I have been signed off work by the doctor for a few weeks to recover.  It’s official…  I am suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe sickness).

Oh…  One more thing…  The Christmas tree is up 😀