Formerly - A look at the ups and downs of life with a double pushchair!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lots can happen in 30 minutes

It's tough finding the time to train for a half marathon with 4 young kids. Dh knows that the Sunday morning 8am slot is my time to run and train but other than that I have to fit training in around A&E's sleeping patterns, my babysitter, dh and the short winter days which don't allow a lot of time for running in the daylight on the streets. Driving to the gym and back takes up 20 precious minutes when I could be running so all in all my training isn't going so brilliantly.

And so it was the other day when I decided I would trial an early morning run from home. Eldest daughter had stayed overnight at a friends house and A&E were already up and drinking their milk and hitting dh on the head with their bottles. Dh wasn't thrilled about the idea as he claimed he wasn't awake but I had brought him his necessary morning cup of tea and so all he had to do was to get boy in the middle up and dressed and watch A&E.

As I opened the front door to the cold, damp, foggy winter morning, I caught a glimpse of A&E peering down the stairs waving at me. However, this was my time and I was determined to stretch well and run a couple of miles before coming home by which time I assumed breakfast would be in full swing.

I ran my 2 miles and it took about 25 minutes. As I opened the front door A&E came running out of the kitchen towards me. They are just beginning to speak so I asked them "Where's Daddy?" The answer that came back - "Bed bed bed". Assuming they were wrong and perhaps asking for bread I hollered up the stairs "You're not still in bed are you?" With that shout dh clearly shot out of bed and in a panic ran down the stairs.

"Do you want to go into the kitchen first or shall I?" was all I could manage to say.

I think we went in together and surveyed the scene. There were miniature smarties covering the entire floor surface of the kitchen. My laptop was sprinkled with a fine covering of salt and the girls had clearly been in the process of heading towards the breakfast cereal.

Clearly A&E had enjoyed a fabulous 30 minutes on their own in the kitchen. I am just thankful they hadn't manage to harm themselves in any way. I was initally blamed because I shouldn't have gone as dh said he needed more sleep. Dh was blamed for being completely irresponsible. Then we looked at the clock and realised there was no point in blaming each other. With only 20 minutes to go before the school run I cleaned the kitchen and dh finally got boy in the middle out of bed.

Needless to say I haven't made it on another early morning run since.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

There's no-one quite like Grandma

My blog posts have been rather sparse over the past few months as I have been extremely focused looking after my dear Mum who sadly lost her fight to the terrible illness that is breast cancer some six weeks ago.

Not wishing to dwell on this sadness I wanted to dedicate this blog to her and the wonderful world of Grandma's.

My Mum, Grandma Elaine took on a completely new role in my life when I first announced I was pregnant some 9.5 years ago. Already a Grandma 4 years earlier when my nephew arrived she was very nervous throughout each pregnancy and she would tell anyone she met that she was an expectant Grandma. She took on her role of Grandma/maternity carer most seriously being there for my Sister and I each time. She looked after our older children while we were giving birth and prepared small meals when we came home from hospital so as not to overwhelm us. She washed and cooked for us and loved rocking a crying newborn to sleep whilst singing "Ai la loo" - a song she invented for them all.

As her grandchildren grew up she had time for each and every one of them. She knew all of their after school activities down to the time and location, she knew what made each of them tick. She carried photos of them all with her in her wallet and she was never shy to show them to friends, acquaintances or strangers.

Grandma Elaine never lived close by to our family. She lived in Sheffield but a few years ago they bought an appartment round the corner so when they came to stay they took over school pick ups and generally helped me out. Two years ago my parents retired abroad to live close to the sea and to my sister and her kids. They moved back for 2 months for the arrival of A&E and when A&E were 6 months old we spent a month living with them in their new home abroad.

My Mum was the centre of our family and felt it her duty to keep herself up to date with her daughters and all her grandchildren. If I phoned her one morning to say boy in the middle wasnt well, wherever she was or whatever she was doing she would call back later in the day to see how he was doing.

She had a special knack in always choosing the perfect dresses for her granddaughters and nothing gave her greater pleasure in the past 18 months in choosing two coordinating dresses for A&E.

She had plenty of time for cuddles, she loved reading stories to the kids and telling them wonderful stories of her childhood such as "Uncle Stephen and the sugar" whilst spooning in food and persuading them to eat. She sat through dire ballet shows, choral recitals and school plays and delighted in anything her grandchildren did.

All her eight grandchildren totally adored her and she will always hold a very important place in all of their hearts. I lost my Grandma (my Mum's Mum) when I was 13 and because my Mum kept her memory very much alive she was and still is an important role model in my life. I promise that Grandma Elaine will remain a key figure for my children throughout their lives.

There really is no one quite like Grandma. And here is Grandma 'Laine with my Dad surrounded by their 8 "chickens" in June this year.