The morning I was rushed to hospital…

On 29 September, I had horrific abdominal pains, and I was almost calling NHS 111 for advice. I had the pains, cold sweats, and was feeling incredibly nauseous. Anyway, the pain went away, I went to bed, and I thought nothing of it. The following day I had another slight “attack”, but subsided within 20 minutes.

12 October 2017, at 9pm,  I had the start of a stomach ache again. I thought I had just eaten too much (pasta bolognaise and garlic bread…) I was in bed for 10pm, to try to sleep it off.

Hubby left for work for 1.20am (ish), going in to 13 October, and even though he didn’t intend to – his leaving disturbed me… Either that, or the pain woke me up, coinciding with him leaving.

Sweats, pain, nausea again… 2.10am, I call NHS 111. After a telephone triage, they decide that they need to send an ambulance – to check me over.

Next thing you know, hubby is home from work, and I’m in the back of the ambulance, on the way to A&E.

Several blood and urine tests, stomach and chest x-rays, and ecg’s later, the pain has subsided enough for me to be discharged, with the diagnosis that it’s more than likely my gallbladder / gallstones.

I’m now expecting a letter from my GP with an appointment for an ultrasound, so they can closer examine my gallbladder. This may mean an operation is on the cards…

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Oh, how life has changed.

It’s been exactly one month since my life changed, and I’ve been trying to work out exactly what I was going to write to update you all.

My hubby was offered a full-time job to start on 10 July, and if we were both to be in work, there would be problems with childcare.  Yes, we had the option to put the kids in to a private nursery, but even with both of our wages, this would leave us out of pocket.  So there was a decision to be made, and quickly.

On 7 July, I worked my last day with the DWP.  I am now a “full-time, stay at home mummy”.  I am now one of the people who I either envied… Or slated.

I was envious because they got to stay at home with their children.  They got to watch their children take their first steps.  They got to hear their children say their first words.  As a full-time working mum, I missed those moments.  I would never have them again, and it ruined me.

I slated the other “full-time, SAHMs” because they had no interest in working.  Their kids were in full-time school, and all they did was sit on their arses all day, watching Jeremy Kyle, or spending their dole money on alcohol and tobacco.  I am positive that most of the mums that fell in to this category were “baby boomers” – only interested in popping out another sproglet because they got more money…

Yes, I am one of those people who turns my nose up at the “minions”.  Yes, I do think I am better than all of the SAHMs that fall in to the latter category.

So now I can hear the comments, “what gives her the right to say that?”

Well, allow me to explain.

Today marks one month since I last worked for anyone.

Since then, I had enrolled on to an online course, and completed a new qualification.  I received my PDF certificate just a couple of days ago, and I am waiting for the “hard copy” to come through.  The certificate confirms that I had passed the final assessment with a “Higher Distinction”.  I have purchased various equipment that I will need to take my qualification further, started a Facebook page with my new “job”, created a Twitter feed, and built a website from scratch.  I am now “up and ready to go”.  My new career will allow me to choose my own hours; and means that I can do something that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, it’s the summer holidays; so Gning is off school for 6 weeks.  I’ve had my two boys with me 24/7 (almost) since I left the DWP – we have had days out, here, there and everywhere…

Gning has been off for 2 full weeks so far (we’re just in to week 3), and so far we have been to:

Acorn Venture Farm (Kirkby)

Gulliver’s World (Warrington)

Treetops (soft play centre in Golborne)

Heysham, Morecambe, Knotts End and Sunderland point (all one journey – Lancashire)

Martin Mere (Bursough)

Windmill Animal Farm (Burscough)

Speke Hall (Speke, Liverpool)

I don’t think the boys have done too badly so far, and there are still (almost) 4 weeks left!

I’ve started a scrapbook for them, so they can keep track of what they’ve been up to, in the summer of 2017.

So what else have I been doing?  I’ve kept on top of the front garden – mowing, raking and strimming.  The back garden is much to be desired, and I really need to get out there, but the weather has been so bad recently, it’d just be like walking in a swamp.  I’ve also scrubbed the kitchen; got on top of all the washing; cleaned the front room – several times; and kept on top of the bookings over at the village hall.

I’ve got lots of other plans, but I need a bit of a rest first of all.  These past 4 weeks that I’ve been off work have been a bit of a whirlwind…  The first 2 weeks, I practically did nothing.  My brain was set to “holiday” mode, lol.

Here’s me, Gning and Donut – I took the selfie yesterday…  I think being a full-time SAHM suits me…

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It’s another Blogiversary!

Today celebrates my 6th year of my Insanely Normal blog.

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It’s been fun, although a little slack, and I know that I have said it time and time again, but that can now change…  I have a lot more time to be able to publish, and I have all sorts of ideas!

So, without further ado, let’s revisit my top three posts…

At number 3…

This post has somewhat amused me since I published it in 2014.  It was a review (a negative one at that!  And badly wrote, haha) about a local franchised café.  I can remember visiting the place – it was bloody awful, and I imagine nothing has changed, because I’m still receiving messages agreeing with my post!  You can read about the Pound Café in Huyton here.

At number 2…

2015 seems to have been the year that brought in most of my subscribers (hello stalkers!), and top of the shot (again), was my Christmas Ham post!  My second most popular post in 2015 was for my slow cooker sausage casserole…  With just under 10,000 reads throughout the year, it definitely got the attention it deserved, ha ha.  You can try the slow cooker sausage casserole recipe here.

Drum roll please, because at number 1…

Every Christmas, I make a ham.  It’s by far the best thing I have ever made, and you all seem to agree, as the amount of views that post has received is amazing!  I first published the post in 2012, and it seems to be a recipe that is used right throughout the year, as it’s always my most read…  My “best” stats for this recipe was on 1 December, 2016, when I had a little over 4,000 views – just on that day!  You can read my Christmas Ham here.


So, it seems that my stalkers like recipes and negative reviews!  Ha ha.  Yes, those were my top three posts in the past six years, and other posts in my top ten include more recipes, a holiday post, and how parenthood drives me crazy.

So, here’s to more exciting times – more recipes, more random stuff, and I may even through in a mini-comp somewhere…

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).

A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

Phil Collins, born 31 January, 1951 in London, England.  He started as a drummer for Genesis, and when Peter Gabriel left the band, he took lead vocals.

Let’s face it.  He can’t sing.  Well, he can, but he’s certainly not got the best voice.  However, ever since before I came in to this world, I was addicted to the sounds and voice of Genesis, and later, Phil Collins.

Their music was constantly playing whilst I was in my mothers’ womb, and right up until now, my dad still plays their music loudly.

If I had to pick just one song, that ever has existed, to be my favourite, it would have to be Phil Collins’ version of “Groovy Kind of Love”.  It literally gives me goosebumps, and more often than not, a tear to my eye, and I don’t even know why.

Here’s the lyrics – the video is below.

When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue
When you’re close to me, I can feel your heart beat
I can hear you breathing near my ear
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love

Anytime you want to you can turn me onto
Anything you want to, anytime at all
When I kiss your lips, ooh I start to shiver
Can’t control the quivering inside
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love, oh

When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue
When I’m in your arms, nothing seems to matter
My whole world could shatter, I don’t care
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love, oh
We got a groovy kind of love

Introductions are long overdue

I think it’s about time that I introduced myself and my wonderful little family.

My name is Barbara.  I work as a Civil Servant, three days a week, and I also teach martial arts and self-defence in my own Kung Fu school.  I have lots of hobbies and interests.  So many, in fact, that when I reel them off to someone, they normally get fed up of listening ha ha.

I enjoy martial arts, dancing, travelling, camping, swimming, scuba diving, playing the bagpipes, reading, writing, playing on the xbox, crafting (jewellery and accessory making, cross-stitching), watching TV and films, listening to music (most genres), singing (even though I’m tone deaf – my little man appreciates it though ha ha) and, unbelievably, studying!  As I am not a student, I study off my own whim.  I enjoy improving my knowledge on Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, various places and the history of Scotland, and fitness techniques to assist in my martial arts school.  Some may say that I have a couple of unhealthy obsessions.  Thus being of Scotland and Ancient Egypt.  Quite a weird combination there, huh?  Oh!  I’m also an avid map reader.  I can look at a map for hours…  And yes, I am a woman…  And yes, I can read maps!  Wow!

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My husbands’ name is Michael.  We first met in primary school, at the age of 5 or 6.  All throughout our school life, we went to the same schools.  In some respects, we were even in the same classes, but we never spoke.  We ran in different circles, so why would we?  It wasn’t until 2005 when he messaged me on Friends Reunited, enquiring about the Kung Fu classes I held.  On 31 october 2009, we married.  The ceremony and dinner was an Autumn theme, and the party in the evening was Halloween themed.  Everyone was in fancy dress!

Michael works as a self-employed photographer.  He photographs anything from sitting portraits to full day weddings.  He has a rather extensive list of hobbies too…  Martial arts, photography, gaming, programming (on the PC for Android apps), travelling and camping. He also shares the unhealthy obsession of Scotland that I hold.

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On 12 September, 2011, a bouncing baby boy came into our lives.  William was a huge baby.  He was 10lb 8oz born!  My little squished face beauty.  After 30 and a half hours labour, my consultant decided that it was just too dangerous to continue, and I was rushed for an emergency section.  I was high as a kite due to all the gas & air I had been supping for 25 hours, and I really didn’t know what was going on.  I can, however, remember as clear as a bell when the surgeon held him up over the curtain, ‘congratulations, you’ve had a toddler – he’s come out wearing his school uniform and briefcase in hand…’  I took one look, burst into tears saying, “he’s not mine…  He’s Chinese…”  Bless.  William was huge!  He was bruised, swollen, and had a touch of jaundice.  Luckily, the jaundice cleared within 4 days.

My little man is 19 months old in two weeks.  I can’t believe where the time has gone.  Sometimes when I look at him, I still can’t believe that he’s here, and that he’s mine.  But on the other hand, I can’t remember what it was like before he came along.  I feel so blessed.

I would start listing his hobbies…  But being the age that he is, his list is not as extensive as mine or Michaels’.  Currently, William enjoys watching cbeebies (especially In the Night Garden), ‘splash splash’ time (baths), going out with his nanna and grandad, and general play.  He’s starting to grow out of the snuggling phase, but it’s still wonderful when he climbs up on your knee to give you kisses and cuddles.

This was taken when William was only 3 hours old…  Look at the face!  You can tell that I’m as high as the sky in the background 🙂

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And this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.  Oh, how the time has gone…

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