Monday, 30 September 2013

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait (September)

September has been an up and down month.

I haven't really got much to report so I fear this months Me & Mine is quite poor.

For those who don't know, I had a serious case of food poisoning which, in total, took me almost 2 weeks to recover from. This has meant that a lot of our plans for this month have been pushed back.  Matt was amazing whilst I was ill. He took good care of me and looked after the children whilst still working - which wouldn't have been possible without the help of my parents.

It was Matt's 37th birthday on the 12th but he was away with work so we planned on celebrating when he got back which, incidentally, was the day before I fell ill.  We had plans for fun filled weekends which had to be cancelled and then we found ourselves at the end of the month with very little to show for September.

Thankfully the weather was kind to us this weekend just gone (I'd totally missed the weekend previously which was warm and sunny being laid up in bed) and yesterday we headed out on a family adventure exploring the fields at the back of our new house. It was just nice for me to get out of the house as a family of 4 and be able to enjoy the fresh air for a while.

My Nikon camera seems to have stopped working (yes, I'm slightly angry but that's another story) so this was a capture on my iPhone whilst we were out exploring. You'll notice we have an extra family member this time. Del The Welsh Dragon. She was visiting us for the weekend from MC's school so we've had to take pictures of our weekend adventures and MC and I are going to sit and write and draw about the weekend in 'Del's Diary'.

This weekend was also TC's 18 month birthday. I can't believe how time is flying. It doesn't seem all that long ago since he turned 1 and now, here he is half way to being 2. I'm forever thankful for each day that he's here with me.

It's my birthday in less than 2 weeks and we also have a Day Out With Thomas planned in October so hopefully next month will be a good one.

Me and Mine A Family Portrait

Head over to Lucy's lovely blog and check out more Me & Mine posts...
dear beautiful

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Baking - What Mary Berry Doesn't Tell You

As this post goes live, millions of wannabe bakers across the U.K. will be sat watching The Great British Bake Off. Me included!


A simple word.


A simple food.

Simple and nutritious - packed with protein and minerals.


They now scare me a little.

You see, eggs have taken a whole week from my life. Well, if I'm being honest, food poisoning has taken a whole week from my life.

Food poisoning is the worst thing ever.

I can honestly say that I've never felt so ill in my entire life. Apart from maybe mastitis but I was over the worst of that in a couple of days tops. No, food poisoning, wiped me out to my bed for a whole week.

At first I thought it was caused by a takeaway curry I'd eaten that night, but no.

The innocent act of baking resulted in 6 days in bed, two phone calls from doctors, two trips to the doctor, a hospital visit at 1am, 2 injections in my ass and 5 days without any food at all.

I was also off social media.

*plays highly dramatic music*

Yes! It was that serious!

*shocked face*

It may sound overly dramatic but those who saw me at my worst (only Matt, my Sister and my parents) will know how bad I actually was. I was weak and teary. A wreck. In agony. Unable to eat, unable to get up but unable to sleep or do anything.

Yes, 6 days in bed.

Any mother will know this is serious. Us mums don't get ill. If we have flu we soldier on, we fight through it when all men fall to their beds complaining they're dying. "Even my finger nails ache!" they cry whilst we mutter under our breath, juggling 10 or more tasks.

Nope, this wiped me out good and proper.

So, what happened? Did I eat a dodgy egg?


Did I eat raw egg? (I know you're all reading this thinking I licked the spoon whilst rude!).


To be perfectly honest, I'm quite careful with eggs. I always wash my hands after breaking them and I never ever lick any cake batter if it contains raw eggs (I know, I'm so restrained!).

Just a short walk up the road from where we now live there's a great local farm shop selling a vast amount of fresh produce. It's lovely. I used to drive there from where we used to live to get fresh produce but now I'm lucky enough to live so close.

Friday 13th (how apt!) was the day before I became ill and I'd been busy as it was Matt's birthday on the 12th. I decided to bake him a sponge cake as he'd been away with work for his actual birthday and we also had his parents arriving the day after.

I got the freshly laid eggs from the farm shop and cracked them into the bowl.

I washed my hands.

I returned to the bowl to mix the cake batter.

Nothing wrong there you may say.

I'd cracked them into the bowl. That was my mistake.

The eggs were freshly laid. You know the sort? Straight out of the chickens backside, freshly covered in lovely chicken poop.

Even though I'd washed my hands I then returned back to the bowl to mix and grabbed the edge of the bowl.

That's it.

That's all it took to poison me.

Obviously my hands must have gone into my mouth at some point after that and the deed was done. Less than 36 hours later I was in utter agony.

Sadly, I'm old enough to remember old Eggwina Currie causing outrage in the late 80's. Since then I've always been well aware of how to handle eggs but obviously not enough. I guess I just never thought it would happen to me.

Over the past couple of days, since my recovery, I've heard from people who have also been told that you should always wash your eggs before use (but they never do) and people who lick the batter (naughty naughty).

I've had a couple of interesting conversations with our local environmental health officer and he said this type of food poisoning is common with bakers. Obviously the cake is fine but often the person who baked it becomes seriously ill from handling contaminated eggs. So all you budding Mary Berry's and Paul Hollywood's, take heed!

There you have it.

I wanted to blog about this to warn people to be more careful with eggs. Apparently if you're using 'fresh from the arse of a chicken eggs' then wash them first and break them with a knife or into a separate cup that can be washed straight away. There's something old Mary Berry doesn't tell you on the TV.

I wouldn't wish food poisoning on my worst enemy.

Serves me right for trying to be the domestic goddess I'm so very clearly not.

*runs off to buy shop bought cake*

Thursday, 12 September 2013


I've never been known for my strong stomach.

In fact I always recall an incident whilst shopping with my mum and older sister years ago where a bird decided to empty its bowels from a great height into my sisters hair. My mum, armed with the kind of tissue that mums generally carry around with them (you know the ones they put up their sleeves and then pull out, spit on them and wipe your snotty face), proceeded to wipe the offending bird crap out of my sisters hair.

I gagged.

I mean I really gagged.

It was disgusting. My stomach was convulsing and it still traumatises me when I think of it all these years later. I don't ever remember feeling so repulsed.

Things have changed though.

I think once you have children you seem to obtain a stomach of sheer steel. No longer do I buckle at the sight, sound or smell of poop*. No more do I wretch when I see a big greeny hanging from a nose* Even upchuck doesn't faze me*

No, I am a changed woman.

I wish the same could be said for my daughter. Mini Cheddar appears to have developed my weak stomach and she will gag at pretty much anything. I tried to get her over this problem when Tiny Ched was about 8 months old. I asked her to wipe the smallest (I mean, it wasn't even the size of her fingernail!) bit of spit-up from his chin. She wretched like he'd just curled one out in her lap!

We haven't had an incident for a while so I didn't think anything of it when TC had a bogey hanging from his nose in the bath last night.

Not able to reach for a tissue easily, I wiped it with my hand to wash it away.

A simple enough action.

Every mum has done it.

MC didn't think it was simple though. She saw what I'd done and started gagging.

"Oh don't be so silly, it's just a bogey!", I said laughing.

I think the mere mention of the 'b-word' sent her over the edge!

Next thing I know I'm seeing her vomit her entire dinner up. She vommed everywhere. Yup, everywhere in the bath.

"MATT!" I screamed, hoping my husband could hear me from his office.

He came running upstairs and into the bathroom to see MC, now standing, still gagging and upchucking into the water whilst I'm trying to grab sponges and toys out of the vom and pull the plug.

Meanwhile, little TC who is only 17.5 months wondered what this strange part lumpy, part wispy stuff floating in the water was and decided it would make an interesting play toy.

MC saw him grab the vomit which only made her chunder more.

It was a scene worse than a disaster movie.

MC is scarred for life about bogeys and I'm left with a bath, toys and a baby covered in vomit.

The incident will be forever referred to as 'bogey-gate' in our house and will go in the book of legendary stories with the 'pootastrophe'.


* So long as it's from my own kids, obviously :)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Darkened Room

I sit here in a darkened room.

My back against the cot, I sit here for what seems like an eternity. I don't feel the pain of the cot bars digging into my back though.

I just feel you.

I feel your warmth. I feel your heartbeat. I feel your body one with mine. Just like we used to be when you were inside me.

I sit here in a darkened room holding your tiny head in my hands. Not ever wanting to let you go.

I sit here after calming you down. Cold and teething are not your friend tonight. You love your sleep and it pains me to see you so upset.

It's not like you. You're usually so happy.

You've been so difficult today but I don't mind. I don't mind one bit. For when I feel my patience wearing thin I imagine what life would be like without you.

Without you. I shudder at the very thought.

I have lots to do tonight but it can wait. Me time seems so pointless.

You are me.

I just want to hold you close forever. And ever.

I want to sit in this darkened room as long as I can. I sit here and the tears start to fall. They start to fall because I know that outside of this room there are other mummies and daddies who sit in the dark.

They sit there for different reasons.

They sit there without their baby.

Their baby is gone.

That baby could be tiny. That baby could be fully grown and left home. No parent should have to bury their child - whatever age.

I'll sit in this darkened room for as long as I want. I'll sit and I'll think and I'll be thankful. Thankful that even though this evening has been hard... are here with me.


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