On Halloween the children and I spent the day apart in three different places and completely bypassed the day. I know it’s something that I’ll have to get used to from now on; one year we’ll get to be together for special occasions and the next we won’t. It’s the way our world is now and all I can do is get on with it, suck it up, man up and carry on regardless. Instead, we celebrated Halloween in our own special way when the children came home. We wrapped up warm in our coats and gloves, loaded the pushchair with milk bottles for Gabriele and torches to see in the dark and set off on an hour and a half walk in search of a pumpkin, star shaped chocolates and ingredients for cakes and bread. A bit like the three wise men in the Nativity only our beards are obviously much longer than theirs!
Returning home with our treasures in the pitch black of the evening, fireworks lit up the sky all around us as we walked home and the children jumped and pointed and ooh’d and ahh’d at each whizz and crackle and burst of bright colour in the nights sky. With cold little red noses we trundled into the kitchen, washed our hands and pulled up some chairs to the kitchen side to bake, carve and knead whilst singing along to the radio and it was so lovely. We decided to carve a family inspired pumpkin instead of a scary belated Halloween one, but unfortunately I won’t ever be able to brag about my knife skills. The final piece, if not a little square and clumsy, came together to show Millie, Gabriele and I stood holding hands with a love heart above us and it was so cute to see the children mesmerised by the flicker of the candle we lit inside. The children got covered in slimy pumpkin insides which I’m still finding stuck in strange places and Millie merrily collected the seeds in a pot to dry out and eat later.
I used the flesh to make a spiced pumpkin and red lentil soup for which we baked little heart shaped bread rolls that we topped in sesame seeds to take to lunch the following afternoon at my parents. We’d also got the ingredients to make some firework inspired fairy cakes for afters; and in a powder cloud of flour, eggs, butter and sugar, Millie whipped her way through the weighing and mixing, scooped it into cake cases and popped them in the oven like a row of proud little sponge soldiers. Sitting on the table when the cakes had cooled, Millie and Gabriele stuck milky magic stars and sugared buttons ontop of the cakes to resmeble fireworks and they looked and tasted amazing.
It’s moments like these that I cherish more than anything else on earth, to spend time with my children and to see them smiling and laughing. It doesn’t matter if we’re a day later in celebrating than the rest of the world because we still got to do it, just in our own special way on our own special day. And as my two little angels fell fast asleep, tummies filled with warm bread, sugar and seeds, I couldn’t help but smile as I lay between them on the bed stroking their hair and tucking them in. My beautiful little cubs, they make me so proud my heart just swells with love for them and I have to stop myself from smothering them in kisses and rubbing my nose on their faces when they’re sleeping, I can completely understand why cats nuzzle their kittens so much! They are totally edible.
Millie returned to school at the start of this week following the half-term holidays and she started singing club after school. My washing machine was on overdrive to have her P.E kit, uniform and holiday clothes all clean and fresh for the new term. She was ecstatic over staying an hour later at school on Thursday for singing club with her friends and came gliding out of the double doors like a popstar with the biggest smile on her face at the end of the lesson. I’ve heard it through the grapevine that the children could be performing the songs they’ve learn at a concern in town for Christmas so I’ve got my tissues and big grin on standby to be number one cheesy mum in the audience. How lovely it would be for Millie to perform with her friends on a stage!
Millies second milk tooth had been threatening to come out all week when it started twisting around and jolting out at a funny angle but she didn’t quite have the courage to wiggle it free as she said it was too sore and it felt funny when she chewed. Just before bed as she brushed her teeth the other night she came running into the bedroom smiling like a vampire with blood all around her mouth and chin and a tiny tiny white tooth balanced in the palm of her hand much to my horror and surprise. She was so excited to have knocked it out when brushing her teeth and giggled feverishly about how she would be seeing the toothfairy again when she goes to be bed with it under her pillow.
Ah yes, the toothfairy. I sadly missed her first tooth when I was out for my birthday, but this was my debut night to do my motherly dental-duties and I nervously wanted to do the winged-one justice. Eyeing up the bloodied sharp little tooth that Millie had so proudly handed me the first thing that came to mind was her rolling over in the night and it getting stuck in the side of her face, lost down the side of the bed or worse still, eaten by Gabriele. I thought of putting it in an envelope but didn’t know the specifics of how my mother had dealt with the dental dealings of Millie’s first tooth; so through fear of continuity we placed her tooth under the edge of the pillow and I waited with baited breath and a pound coin pressed within my clammy palm as I watched her drift off to sleep for my moment to make the exchange.
And I can proudly say that my pitch-black fumblings were not in vain, for she woke up in the morning jumping for joy when she realised the toothfairy had visited and this time delivered her a shiny gold coin instead of a handful of change from before when my mother hadn’t had a pound in her purse! We went shopping today and with a bit of support from my purse Millie bought a white board, marker pens and some pretty hair clips which she’s been writing short stories on and practising pictionary. Success!
At the weekend I sold my beloved two-door Mercedes C230 Kompressor, excuse my whilst I dry the little tear from the corner of my eye; in exchange for a five-door Volkswagen Golf, taking off my little treat hat and putting on my sensible family driver’s hat. What a sacrifice, but I have to think practically. My Mercedes was my weekend car when we had two in the family and now the VW is my one and only sensible Mummy Taxi for the children, pushchairs, shopping bags and all of life’s little journeys. I know that I’ve made the right choice of car because the boot is bloody huge and to be able to open the door to get the children in is a breeze compared to rolling back seats and stooping in the footwell. I can’t help but feel that I’ve lost out on the thrill of driving when I put my foot down and I’m no longer slammed to the back of my seat, but if the classic ‘no pain no gain’ were to apply to this situation then I’ve certainly gained what I needed as far as family transport, but feel the pain of losing my supercharged love. Time is a healer and I’ll no doubt have a nice convertible when the children reach shoulder height.
The whole time I’ve held a bank account I have never misplaced or lost my bank card, that is until the day that I purchased my car when I got to the counter to pay and was greeted by nothing but reward cards, receipts and a cookie token in my innocent looking purse. And I laughed at the cliche of it all, that old chesnut eh, “oh I must have left my money in my other purse” feel free to insert a sarcastic eyebrow raise here. After a few minutes of searching my handbag it suddenly dawned on me that I’d left my bank card with my mother when we went shopping together a few days before; Gabriele had needed changing and I’d put my pin number in at the checkout and left her to finish wrapping and collect the bags as I nipped out. She’d obviously put it into her purse and forgot all about it until now. Thankfully Natwest let me withdraw the cash with my driving license and my day was saved! God knows what I would have done if I’d have filled my tank with petrol at the station or put my weekly food shop through the checkout and gone to pay without a card. Of all the days and all the places!
I’m now seven weeks into my twelve week training program with P90X and really enjoying it. I’ve never felt so strong and energised, but come the evening I’m out like a log and giving baby Gabriele a run for his money on how sound I sleep. So long insomnia, hello coma. The routines are no doubt a challenge and doing them for at least an hour a day seven days a week is such a killer, but at the same time it’s given me focus, determination and a finish line to strive for.
I work so well in life when I set myself goals and push my limits, I process the world in numbers, results and growth; so in charting, blogging and reviewing my progress it totally scratches that itch of wanting to better myself and achieve more. I love a good challenge and this is certainly keeping me on my toes. So many people have asked me how I find the time to do the routines everyday and my answer is I just do. Whether it means getting up an hour early or going to bed an hour later I fit it in. Instead of watching tv I workout, when Gabriele has a nap I do my warm up and cool down, and in between the school run, housework, blogging and errands I get in my routines. I don’t make time, I find time, I see what needs doing and I manage my day around it so that everything is allocated a slot and dealt with in order of importance. Yes I get tired and yes I feel like giving up and crashing out on the sofa being a lazy turkey, but I know that I don’t want to fail because I’ve already come so far, so I make myself do it. It isn’t easy to break through the wall when you ache and you’re lethargic, I’ve been on my period this week and feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, but I get angry and tell myself that bus that just hit me isn’t going to get away with a hit and run, I’m going to chase it and get justice. Each step that I take, each routine I complete is one more closer to the finish line. The seconds will turn into minutes, the minutes hours and the hours days and before I know it I’ll be twelve weeks in. I’m already half way so my mantra is simply to imagine that all I have to do is repeat what I’ve already achieved.
I had a fantastic motivational chat and workout with two Boditronics fitness models Frankie Boers and Steff Nobel this weekend, and seeing how strong and dedicated they are really fuelled my fire to push myself to be all that I can. It is life changing to come across people who inspire and motivate you and we can learn so much from the strength and journeys of others. I love that there are powerful women out there breaking the stereotype and lifting the world on their shoulders. We should all strive to do the best that we can in life, to raise the bar and go that extra mile. We are an incredible species created from potential and we owe it to ourselves to explore that in every which way possible. Dream, believe, achieve.