Persephone: Parent

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Operation…Yucky!

The lurgy has hit the household and I, once again, feel like I’m dying. It’s just a cold, maybe a mild flu (achey, hot sweats, cough, dizzy/feint spells), but I am always over the top dramatic. Lucky the lurgy hit after my day away at a convention in London. Technically it hit whilst I was away. Yep, the first time that Daddy had both children on his own all day long and they both slept, taking it in turns so he only ever really had one to deal with. Typical! It did result in me getting a message once I was on my way home –

Can you get a taxi from the station rather than walk? We have vomit.

Oh, dear. Elvis then slept all day Monday, too. Ahh, Monday, the day that was supposed to be our last day together for Robin and I. Elvis hijacked it. Tuesday, which was supposed to be the first of 9 super productive spring cleaning days ended up being me watching TV with Elvis (who was hyper and no longer sick, but we didn’t know that at half 7) whilst Robin had her first morning at nursery. Wednesday, which was supposed to be second super decluttering day became a 90% on it day as I started to feel the affects of the bug, but both kids were at the nursery and I got most of my to do list done.

So, today, Thursday, supposed to be day 3 of 9 of cleaning, decluttering, jogging, shopping, being me and being amazing… I slept in until 9am (Daddy did the whole breakfast and get to nursery on his own. He’s amazing), had a bath, ate cereal, watched The 100, bought cookies and cereal. Moved a box. Ate cookies. Tried to nap. Had lunch and lemsip. That was at 12 just before I headed off to pick up both kids. I started to feel better with that lemsip. I think I just needed that amazing rest. This illness has given me such a short fuse. Robin seems to have skipped it. Although this evening she kept crying for incredibly random reasons. She hit me in the face and I jokingly said “Ouch, be careful, no, that hurt.” No sternness in my voice at all, and with a smile. She burst into tears! Elvis has spent the week having what I guess people might call normal toddler temper tantrums, but they’ve been whiny.

“I don’t want to get up!” Whiny meltdown. “I want cinnamon squares.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to go bed.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to watch TV.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.”

Seriously, go the fuck to bed because I have an awful headache and want you to just stop fucking whining!

This week I have been far worse than shouty parent. I have been screaming parent. I have wanted to swear at my son. Because swearing tells the other person you mean business, right? I have come so close to wanting to hit him. Just. To. Shut. Him. Up. All because I was tired, drained and exhausted and my head hurt so much. But I went to bed for over 12 hours and spent Thursday morning doing absolutely nothing and I feel better. I feel no guilt because I wasn’t being lazy, I was being protective.

Yeah, I still haven’t done my first jog of 2016 (I had planned to jog on days 1 and 3), I still have a lot of things to do on my to do list, but my junk room is already looking more spacious, I still have clothes shopping to do for work (supposed to do on day 2), but I still have 6 days left.

Unless Robin gets ill. Let’s not go there.

Robin, who has taken to nursery like a pro. She’s even happy wearing her shoes now! Everyone keeps commenting on how good of a baby she is (yes, I kind of hate how a baby is judged by how well they sleep and what their temperament is like, but it is partly true, Robin goes to sleep easily, she is so laid back and easy going, she literally leans back on you and giggles looking up, if you aren’t there she simply bangs her head on the floor and laughs!) I guess in a nursery situation “good” babies are simply because they make the workers’ life a bit easier. Robin started crying in the garden, so she was taken up for a nap and was asleep in a minute. Because she rarely cries. She’s also not overly fussed to see me when I turn up. She’s incredibly content.

Oh, and despite his mood, Elvis came home from nursery this week with two sunflowers that he’d planted and a lovely Mother’s Day card with a tree handprint and pink finger print leaves (it’s Stickman’s family tree, apparently).

Before the lurgy hit, I had an amazing weekend. I did my weekly weigh in (forgot to post, but reached my first target! Whoop!), then I spent the day at the arcades and climbing castles with the family. Went on a date night with hubby and after a lovely meal, snuck in a cinema trip and watched Deadpool (weird, not quite my taste, but hilarious). Sunday I spent in London and met 5 actors from TV and film. I finally met Greg Grunberg and Miltos Yerelomou! I’ve waited years! I’m not sure I’ll do a weigh in this week as I still feel a bit rough and, quite frankly, I have a good reason for slacking. It’s not being lazy or indulgent, it’s trying to recover and resting. I guess I’ll count myself lucky that this thing hit once both were in nursery even if it only gave me a few hours a day rest!

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

I’ve finished another book! My first paper book since I finished a re-read of Clash of Kings somewhere during the past three years. I’m really impressed that I seem to actually be keeping up with reading. And enjoying reading again! My last few books have been easy reading. A few Hester Browne novels and the 3 100 books (which, by the way, is now really confusing me when trying to watch season 3), but I decided that I needed to up my game, I needed to jump back in to Westeros and I needed to read my Christmas present! And it took me less than a month, I think.

Not that I know how long it used to take me to read a book, but Knight of the Seven Kingdoms looks really big what with my copy being hardback and all. I have to admit, it took a while to get in to. Possibly because I’m not used to reading something like Knight or because it wasn’t quite the Westeros that I am used to, or simply because it was a new book. Just because I’ve read and enjoyed others set in the same universe does not mean I should get suckered straight in to something new. So, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms contains 3 of the Dunk and Egg short stories. The first is the set up and it was the hardest for me to get in to. It was probably the one I liked the least. Maybe it’s just my simple brain, but I spent half of it recognising names but realising that the Baratheon mentioned is none of the Baratheons that I know. Then I wanted to Wiki/google to figure out who each was connected to ancestrally. I’m always rubbish at remembering who’s liege lord is who, who is sworn to who, etc. I reckon I only know so much as I do about the ASOIAF novels because I’ve extensively read about them online. In retrospect, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms probably was not as “complicated” as ASOIAF, but I didn’t have as much background and I don’t think that was what I really wanted to read. Not right now.

I think that’s why the middle short story was my favourite, The Sworn Sword. It was simpler. It did talk about the Blackfyre rebellion and the allegiances during the war (which obviously aren’t a huge point in ASOIAF, so new to me), but on a very small scale as the story revolved around an incredibly small village almost and it’s immediate vicinity. I also loved it when we met the Red Widow and, yeah, just fell in love with her I think. The illustrations helped with that, too. I got an Arya/Ygritte vibe from her and loved the chemistry with Dunk. On to the third and final, The Mystery Knight, and, again, there were a few too many names and cover stories for my little brain to keep up with, but I did love the Bloodraven action. I was also glad that Egg was in the 3rd one less as I just have not warmed to him at all. Maybe part of my problem is visualisation – I watched Game of Thrones season 1 before reading all of the novels so I could see all of the main characters. Despite the illustrations, Dunk and Egg requires me to use my imagination. Maybe it’s the hours I spend alone with a baby who simply wants to chew everything she can pick up, or discussing Octonauts with my toddler who is Kwazzi (I’m Peso, btw), but I seem to be lacking in imagination.

I would also say that Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is not the novel to introduce someone in to the world of Westeros, in my opinion only. Because of all of the characters that are thrown at the reader. Then again, maybe I’m remembering Game of Thrones wrong!

On to my next book, another paper book as during my book decluttering I found an easy novel that simply screamed Read me! So whilst I have boxed up a huge pile of all the random novels I think sound quirky and buy from charity shops but still have not read yet, I kept one. Just one.

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CBT: Session Three – Oh, There I am! #PND

As I walked into the third session, I was still feeling so so down from the session before and then my failed attempt to socialise, that I wondered what the point was. But I wasn’t about to lose my place on the course and I really loved the creche aspect! Honestly, possibly not the best reason, but I’m not going to lie – it was not hope and optimism that made me go on the third week. Haha! The third session was all about rumination (I tick all the boxes, so, yep, I ruminate. A lot) and introduced SMART Goals.

Well, somewhere in the week afterwards, I began to see some light.

I think it happened when I set my SMART Goal in front of everyone in the therapy session. Because that meant I had to stick to it. Right?

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January’s Reading List

Way before Christmas I began reading Hester Browne’s Vintage Girl, or Swept off her Feet (Vintage Girl is a such better title, and why does it have two anyway?), I struggled to get in to it, but I think that was my issue, not the book’s. And I just finished it a few days ago. I love Hester Browne books and I think I only have one left to read, but I haven’t ordered it for my kindle yet. I do however have three books waiting on my kindle. Two Jackie Collins books that I got in the Black Friday sales last year and a freebie for a day called The Knokkits, which is written by someone I used to work with.

I don’t really know which to read next. I think I prefer the idea of The Knokkits, but then I don’t want to read two Jackie Collins in a row. Or I could continue with the GRRM collection of Egg and Dunk tales (I’ve read maybe 4 pages so far), but that’s a proper book.

Oh, and whilst trying to declutter, I found an old cupboard with some half read books in – another Jackie Collins, a Jordan/Katie Price book and another one possibly called Scandalous. Firstly, I started reading two of them as easy reading. Super easy reading, but cannot remember them at all so may as well start again. The Jordan/Katie Price one, I only started reading as it was a joke anniversary present from my husband almost 4 years ago. 4! Oh, my, God that must be the longest it’s ever taken me to read a book. Haha. It’s pretty rubbish. I’ll leave that in the book pile. And the other two really should be restarted as I have no idea what they’re about.

So, GRRM, The Knokkits or Jackie Collins? Or, do I download the next ASOIAF that I wanted to reread and put it on my kindle?

The choices, the choices… I think, as I just read a lovely, light, romantic, easy, chick-lit book where I may now be in love with Evie and Robert, the next one should be the collection of Egg and Dunk. Even though it is a proper book and not quite as easy to pick up and put down.

Honestly, if you’re looking for something heavenly happy to read, with pretty obvious couples, but interesting paths to get to the coupling, then read any of Hester’s books. My only real flaw with them is how they end. They are classic fairy tales, I guess, they end with a kiss, an assumption of a relationship and living happily ever after and it leaves me wanting more. After investing in reading, in this example, how Evie and Robert get to know each other and start, I want to see at least a bit of how it plays out. Ooh, and my copy had reading group questions at the end, which I would love to do. If I didn’t have so many other books on my to read list, I’d sit and write essays!

Fluffy romance read, presumably violent fantasy up next!

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Introduction To the Other Me: Two Words

There’s a side of me that I keep quiet about online now. It’s a side of me that was the first me on the internet, almost 20 years ago and over the past few months, slowly some elements have crept into this blog. I’m a sci-fi geek. I used to never talk about my love of TV, attending conventions and writing fanfiction, but I now have some TV based blogs on here. I have discussed my conventions on here. But my fanfiction has never appeared.

Until now.

Where I house my fanfiction online, it has work dating back to the early 2000s if not maybe late 90s and I was a very different person then. God, I was barely an adult. I’m not going to go into great depth about the stories that I have posted online for the world to read. I won’t go into graphic detail into why I write fanfiction, which my favourite show is or what my favourite pairing is, etc, etc. I go through random periods where I write and others when I don’t. I haven’t written in almost a year now, but I keep thinking about it at the moment.

If you hit the more tag, there is a story beneath. It’s based on a TV show that I watch and love but you truly, really don’t need to know anything at all about that show. There are barely any names mentioned and the piece is very different for me. It is one of a few pieces that were written to work things out in my head and as we approach the second birthday of my first born, this is the story I wrote for him just before he turned one. And I guess this post, the story beneath are evidence of a different me – the me that writes fanfiction and keeps it hidden like a dirty little secret and the me that I was before I was blessed with Elvis and then Robin.

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Potential Convention Plans 2015

Here are my possibilities:

 

Milton Keynes convention is on the list for the potential of attaching the trip to our staycation and because maybe Hubby and Toddler can go and do something else whilst we’re there and/or make a weekend of it. I’m still unsure of taking Robin somewhere overnight and especially all four of us being in the one room for a whole night!

The activities I’ve found in Milton Keynes are:

For Bournemouth, I already know about the Oceanarium, which we should be visiting for our staycation, and there’s the beach. What else could we do?

Any tips on hotel staying with two little ‘uns? Or on visiting Bournemouth and Milton Keynes?

Or taking babies and toddlers to a convention filled with cosplayers and famous actors/actresses?

~ P

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Newbie Cinema: Avengers Age of Ultron

When Elvis was about 5 months old, I took him to our nearest Odeon Cinema to a Newbie screening. We saw a random film really, we went for the experience, so when Avengers Age of Ultron came out, I hoped and hoped that it would be shown on a Newbie screening nearby.

And it was.

But Hubby couldn’t get the day off and it’s quite difficult to get to our local Odeon without a car. Searching nearby I found a screening on a different day at Guildford.

Newbie screenings are designed for parents with young children,  namely babies really. The volume is lower, the lights aren’t dimmed as much and everyone expects crying, screaming and other general baby/toddler related noises. At Guildford there was somewhere to leave your pushchair, but we took our pram in and sat at the back with it when Robin napped. I saw other parents easily manoeuvre their pushchairs down the shallow, long steps. As long as you don’t block the aisles/exits we were told it was fine to put the pram anywhere.

Guildford’s Odeon is kind of secluded. It has it’s own Costa with outdoor seating  and the usual cinema food. And I guess the walk to the shops, restaurants and coffee shops aren’t really that far but after getting there and wanting a drink, with baby in tow it felt like further away. There’s also a carpark attached to the cinema, but we parked the other side of town.

I also have no idea about the baby changing facilities because I just use a changing mat on the floor in the cinema (I’m going to miss enough of the film with random crying) – yes, that’s how light the cinema is.

I think the best thing about Newbie screenings isn’t fully the fact that you get to see a film without needing a babysitter, without worrying it’s going to be too loud or so dark that your child will be scared, but that when your baby starts crying (which they all do at some point), you don’t have to worry about annoying anyone.

The worst thing is the volume. Haha! I missed most of the farmhouse scene and all of the Banner/Widow talks because they whisper and the volume is low for all the film. Whilst you want the action scenes to be quieter, a remote control to up the volume would have been handy at times! Hubby also really disliked how light it was; he did not get the cinema experience. But we did get to watch the film!

I really enjoyed it. I loved the little cameos that some only lasted seconds, but are well worth it and fans would complain if they were missing. I loved the Banner/Widow scenes, or what I heard of them, especially after watching the first film the night before and loving the chemistry they had. I loved the Hawkeye developments and feared for him due to them. I loved the infighting and teamwork, they all just gel and pick up on each other’s next move before it can be vocalised. There weren’t as many perfectly paired scenes as Avengers Assemble, but in this film things are established and they are that team, they do know each other’s next move, they do all think together and fight together.

Or fight each other at points with perfect logic. I didn’t fully get all of the dream thoughts but my attention wasn’t 100% on the film all of the time (and apparently Black Widow’s links to Agent Carter which I have yet to watch). For that reason I do begrudge paying normal prices, but it is my choice to take my baby. Except at 11am on a weekday morning, when there are specific showings for older people and students – both at a discounted rate – who else is really going to be going to the cinema? That said, I, personally, would only do a Newbie screening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  especially as I wouldn’t want Agents of Shield to spoil a film! It also depends on your child. I would only take Elvis to a Newbie screening if it was a film he’d enjoy, but Robin slept and fed through it.

From the few shops in Guildford we saw, it looked quite good – a mothercare and Entertainer, Cath Kidston for those with more money and there were restaurants and plenty of clothes shops. As I said, the cinema seemed in an odd location with the entrance really hidden but I guess the town center is spread out more than what I’m used to. Next time I think I might go by train.

When the next Marvel film comes out, if I’m still not comfortable with a baby sitter for both kids, I’ll look into Newbie again and Guildford will be an option if I can’t get to my local. And the film?

It certainly fits with all the others, had a great feel to it, some funny moments and a decent baddie. Probably not as good as the first, but that had a bit more heart and Loki. I can see it as having set up a third Avengers and even the next Captain America. Its ending was perhaps a bit understated or maybe it was just me who felt sad at it ending. Shouldn’t it have made me a bit saddened and excited? I don’t think I felt either.

And the final line – I actually laughed out loud. I was the only one. Avengers…

~ P

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TV Watching: How I Met Your Mother

This is an incredibly late blog and, as such, I don’t think I need to put any kind of spoiler warning! The final season of HIMYM really disappointed me. The whole season. Each episode had me wishing for more. In fact the only one I remember enjoying was where we discovered Lily was pregnant – the only surprise in the entire season.

I guess Barney and Robin divorcing was kind of a surprise, but more disappointing given the circumstances, I mean had they actually even said their vows in the longest ever wedding?

Let me state two things – I do not ship any pairing in this show (I love Lily/Marshall and have a soft spot for Victoria with Ted) so I do not care who Robin ends up with. Secondly, I also don’t care that Ted ended up with Robin after everything.

What I do care about is that for 8 years I wanted to find out about the mother. I care about their relationship. And why shouldn’t I after an 8 year journey? But we didn’t get that, not in enough detail. Whole episodes didn’t even have the Mother in them. And I find that the truly unsatisfying part. Months after watching the final season I happened upon the first ever episode on TV (I rarely watch live TV) and I loved it.

I do like how they introduce Robin, everyone in fact, but also how Ted makes it clear that she is Aunt Robin. The kids at the end of the very first episode even point out they thought it was a story about how he met their mother not their Aunt Robin. I guess someone would then point out that the kids don’t need to know anything about after he met their mum because, you know, they lived it and we have seen points of Ted’s life post meeting their mom sans mom.

And that’s what gets me. She’s the point of the whole series. No matter how amazing Barney/Lily are, no matter how legen-wait for it-dary Barney is, no matter which side of the Barney-Robin-Ted-Victoria ship you’re on, the Mother is in the freaking show title and she got royally screwed over.

I saw the second to last ever Friends episode last week and it’s monumentally better. HIMYM has nothing to it regarding final episodes and the entire final season will remain a bitter thing. Even after all of these months.

~ P

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TV Watching: The 100 Season 2

Part way through season 2 I began reading the book and quickly, obviously saw the differences and similarities. The key thing I took was a potential Clarke/Bellamy pairing; I hadn’t seen it during season one. So there I am watching season 2 and I think okay, I can see a Clarke/Bellamy thing a bit. I say a bit but because I love me some Clarke/Finn pairing.

Season 2 was similar to season 1 – fast paced, plot twists that change the whole damn thing, not being overly soapy given the high percentage of teenagers and having character evolutions that seem natural as it happens but looked back on seem a bit far fetched.

Fast paced – the two seasons have covered, how long? A few weeks? Maybe a month. And how much has happened?

Plot twists – there was no way the Ark was going to come down, there was no way the Grounders would work with the Sky People. Each episode brings another huge game changer that often I don’t see coming. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the twists are obvious – there was clearly no baby left on the Ark with Jaha – others completely blindsided me – WTF, Finn! (I had to pause, rewind, cry and consider not watching it ever, ever again!)

As for the character evolutions, well, given the small time frame can someone explain Clarke and Octavia? How about anyone’s hand to hand combat skills? Or how many Grounders speak English? Or how quickly Sky People pick up Ground-ease? Why is there a Grounder language and English? How has Octavia, essentially locked up all her life, learnt to fight, hunt, track so quickly? How come Finn can trackso well? When did Clarke learn to ride a horse?

I guess the thing I truly like and admire about this show is they aren’t afraid to change things up. They aren’t afraid to literally change a whole section of the show – there is no Ark anymore, the children are not alone. They can give certain characters multiple second chances – Jaha on the Ark, Murphy on the ground – but give others no chance – Wells and Finn.

I may never forgive them for Finn, however I will keep watching! And was it just me who spent most of the tail end of the season kinda thinking there are more than just the kids now, the 100 remnants, perhaps donation could be the solution? But it wasn’t until the season finale that it gets mentioned.

Can’t say the Land of Light part interested me or the apearance of the uber amazing Erica Cerra, but I’ll see how it plays out next year. I feel like Clarke’s plot is done. I’m puzzled at how I seem to now find Bellamy attractive and I miss Finn. He and Clarke could have wallowed in their murderous genocidal acts together.

~ P

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TV Watching: Flash Season One

Okay, I’m on episode 15 and I don’t actually want to talk about the show so far in general – I’m enjoying it. I don’t like the idea of Barry/Iris. I love Barry and Papa West’s relationship. I’m not sure about how many people know the Flash’s identity and Wells was suspicious from day 1. I’m also unsure on how fast elements of the plot are moving regarding Wells and the Reverse Flash. But I trust Arrow so have faith here.

I watched episode 15 wondering if we’d skipped to the end of season 1. Iris admits her feelings. Barry admits his Flash-ness to the girl of his dreams. And Cisco… he learns too much (perhaps we learn too much) and Wells… it was heartbreaking.

I guess I’ve always seen Cisco as the classic, loveable nerd. He’s harmless. He’s loveable. He truly is your best friend. And then he shed a few tears, realising the truth about his mentor, the heartbreaking betrayal. Then Wells literally breaks his heart. I started sobbing (I am a hormonal mum) and declared I couldn’t watch it. For the record there have only twice before been deaths I can’t watch on TV and they were both due to violence not emotion. And, yeah, I’m known to cry at TV, but the look on Cisco’s face… heartbreaking, truly.

I’m assuming from the episode end that everything will change, Iris’ revelation will be known only by Barry, Wells’ by the viewer and Cisco will be his usual faithful, harmless, loveable, whole hearted self. At least it better be because I didn’t like either plot development!

~ P

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