Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The Gallery - Outside my back door

I am so lucky to have some wonderful scenery just outside the back door.  I live on the edge of the North Yorkshire Country Moors and it is just beautiful.  So I have a few photo's taken over the last couple of weeks for you

Initially my hazel tree, which we planted 3 years ago when we moved in, it is budding and makes me feel like spring is here.

The Sea, I am blessed with two little boys who love it almost as much as I do and could sit for hours and watch it with me.  This was taken on Sunday.

Finally my boys, it doesn't matter what is outside my door, as long as they are both there with me.


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

British Mummy Bloggers Carnival

So roll up, roll up and let me  present to you the wonderful world of British Mummy Bloggers.  I am Mummy Mad and I will be your ringmaster today, for what will be an exciting show full of ooo's, ahhhhs and ehhhs!

So without further ado let me introduce the entertainment:

Red Ted Art shows us how to make a party Bag in  her first VLOG
She also tell us about her travel strike on her other blog The Good Life Blog
Zooarchaeologist tells us all about when Fifi went on a rampage in ..........
20 something Mum is thinking about Modern Day Dating- How Do They Do It?
Fraught Mummy at Brits in Bosnia (soon to be back in Britain) has a post on why do people not vaccinate their children
Tiddlyompompom give us some sage advise on things to avoid saying to a pregnant woman.
Babies who Brunch has regales us with tales on Transatlantic travel with a toddler
Nova at Cherished by Me tells us about little M's best friend
Whilst Jo at Slummy Single Mummy lets us know about her peferct day
Insomniac Mummy has been thinking about returning to work and the realisation that she is more than just a mother.
Kate from Mums the word, tell us how a friendship shaped her life
Jude at Artful Adventures is pondering what our childrens artwork reveals
Mediocre mum has told us all about the Funniest Bits of Childbirth 
I would also like to introduce to you to some mysterious creatures over at Amelies House, apparently you can only see them if you are young , so I am ruled out!
Young Mummy reminds us there is No I in Team
Home office Mum is basking in The heady heights of celebrity.
Kate from Mums the word, tell us how a friendship shaped her life
Ellen from a Bun Dance has had me in tears with this wonderful tribute to her brother  Bye then, Nat. It was fun.
Muddling along Mummy  tells the Politicians please leave your families out of this election.
From Marketing to Milk post is Warning: employee overtaking on the right
A Modern Mother discusses being a mum in your 40's 
Sandy from Baby Baby  has been Crying in Clarks
Annie from Incessant ramblings tells us about Being a mum
Dawn from The Moiderer was left wondering if had been mother day
Lou from Archers at the larches has a 5 year old Thunderbird puppet in the house
Amy from one more means four tells us all about eyes

No that is not a fire eater, it is just Bare Naked Mums pants, which are on fire for all the little white lies she tells her children.  I do hope it is now warm enough for Victoria from Its a small world after all as she needs Heat

Whilst the rest of us are watching the entertainment  21st Century Mum is busy wondering Have We Become a Generation of Paranoid Mummies.

Karen from Learning Made Fun is dreading the Easter Holiday Disruption, she needs to take a leaf out of The Frugal Family's book and get the children making their own Board Games or Cathy at Nurturestores Cress heads.   She could even follow Really Rachael's rules for Hide and Seek.

And whilst we have all been enjoying the show Trish from Mum has gone to.. has been visiting Rome and (not so) single mum is moving to Spain.

Please also pay a special visit to this lady who hasn't been feeling well enough to face coming to the carnival, but has written a very brave piece on how depression doesnt make her feel worth of their love.

Whilst we have been watching the tightrope walkers, Liz at Living ith Kids has been very busy helping her son fulfil his ambition to be a knight

Now the carnival is at an end you may want to step in to Mrs Hot Cross Buns kitchen  or join Kelly at her place for a little bit of Dreaming.  I do hope that Mrs Mummyslife hasn't upset you with all this talk of arguing.

Helen at cheeky wipes has been busy saving a life  and hopefully Ali at Motivating mum has been having a baby, her post is all about not selling yourself short and very inspirational.  Whilst we talk about baby's take a look at Red and Relief from Baking Mad Mama.

Finally something for you all to ponder Ella at Most/Least has been asking if she should come out?

I would also like to let you know about the MAD's, which are Mummy and Daddy (MAD) Blog Awards, celebrating the utter brilliance of British parent blogs.  There are some fantastic parent blogs our there and I have introduced you to only a small amount.  The British Mummy Bloggers Ning has over 1152!


Monday, 29 March 2010

Children's Craft Showcase - Easter Eddition

I know it has been a while since I last did a craft showcase, but real life has been getting in the way of our crafting mojo, plus the first glimpses of spring have had us out and about as much as possible.

However, with Easter Nearly upon us we are starting to do a few more things and I have seen some wonderful inspiring Easter Craft post out in the Blogging community, so without further ado, I would love it you would like any children's craft posts you have and I present my Easter Edition.

Easy Easter Chick Cards


Googly Eggs
Glue Stick
Foam or card for beaks

Fold card in half and draw and then cut out a semi circle, it doesn't have to be perfect remember, in fact having a flattish bottom allows for the card to stand better.

Stick on feathers as wings and tail and add an eye and a beak - how simple is that!

Again almost too simple, but perfect for little ones to do all on their own.

Home Made Painted Pots

I did this tutorial over at Kelly's A place of my own for the blog swap, but it is a perfect craft for over Easter with the children, so please pop on over and take a look.

Paper Mache Tissue Eggs


Egg shells
Paper Mache Glue
Tissue Paper or Newspaper

We have been collecting eggshells for planting our seeds in and rather than blowing out and decorating eggs, we decided to have a goo at piercing two halves back together and then covering in paper mache

We have been lucky enough to receive some wonderful packages in the post (more about them next week) and decided to recycle the packaging some wonderful tissue paper.  So we tore the paper in to pieces, which the boys adored doing.

For the glue I used some paper mache paste we had in the cupboard, which as bought from Asda a while ago, but you can make your own paste from flour and water.

The boys then used the tissue to cover the eggs and hold them together.  This was a really fun, but very messy project and the eggs have quite a time to dry (ours are still wet 2 days later!)

We plan to decorate them further with some beads, glitter and ribbon and hang from our twig lights.

So if I have inspired you to get crafting with your children, or you have any recent children's craft you would just like to showcase the, please add your link below:


Sunday, 28 March 2010

A Pause in Lent - Stories of Jesus for Children

For most of us reluctant worshipers the closest we get to explaining Christianity to children is Christmas, when Jesus was born and Easter when Jesus dies.  This has certainly been true for me.

Now As I have said before, I do class myself as Spiritual, although I am not sure which part of any organised church I belong too, but I feel it is important for my children to have an understanding of the Bible and these stories for a number of reasons.  It is super for morals, it helps explain good and bad in very set black and white ways which are easily understandable for children and it reminds me of my childhood and going to Sunday School which I adored.

I have been really lucky in that Angela of Tracing Rainbows wrote a wonderful letter to my boys discussing the first Easter story with them and it couldn't have come at a more apt time, as Maxi is a narrator in the school Easter Assembly.
So when Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup said she was going to do a series of posts next week on The Stories of Jesus for Children, I was overjoyed.  We have had some wonderful discussions at the dinner table this week about Jesus and I know religion isn't every one's cup of tea, but as far as I am concerned the more my children are aware of and understand then they armed with the information to make informed decision of their own in the future.

So pull up a chair and come and join us, if you want to and share this wonderful time of renewal with your children and explain that Lent doesn't have to be all about giving up tangible things.


Saturday, 27 March 2010

Politics, what I would like to see

The wonderful Emily over at babyrambles has done a recent post on politics and the fact that the parties seem to be focusing on us mums quite a bit for this coming election.

The thing is I started to reply in a comment, but released if I didn't stop the comment would be larger than the post! So I decided to do a post in homage to the original

So what issues are important to me?

Firstly as a stay at home mum finances are key to me. MadDad and I struggle by and I mean struggle, we are getting deeper and deeper in debt each month. It was our choice for me not to work when the boys were this age, at what other age in their lives do you get to spend this much time with them, to influence their opinions and thoughts and to enjoy having fun with them. Yes our choice, but with the age gap, it was kind of a Hobson Choice, as childcare for two was pretty prohibitive.

Now had I returned to work I would have been entitled to tax credits, which in my opinion is like the government paying me a little extra money to help me afford childcare costs whilst I work. So in my very basic mindset, they are paying me to pay someone else to look after my beloved children whilst I go out to work. Why?

Why not pay me a little bit extra to be able to afford to stay at home and look after them myself, surly as their mother I am the best person in the world to look after them at this age.

Which brings me on to my next bugbear, education. I want my children to have the best education possible, in the local school. I want this to happen without the worries of SAT's. At six the most pressing thing I was concerned with was which Barbie should ride the white horse and why is Ken called Ken and not Buck Rogers?

We complain that children are growing up too fast nowadays, well hell what do we expect with this sort of thing going on in our society.

But the thing is, this is the least of it. Maxi is bright, as it mini, it is no longer the elephant in the room, we are all out and proud, but the school don't want t make a thing of it, they are happy for Maxi to do year 3 maths and aid and assist him where they can, but they don't want to fill out all the forms etc stating this is a fact. Why I hear you ask? Well if they did, then the LEA would be round, they would be pushed in to looking for additional funding for him and in all likely hood they would be learning targets.

What are we doing to our children, why can the government not be happy in the judgement of the school and its teachers. We are. We entrust them with our most precious items, our children.

Then there is learning to swim, when I was at school we went swimming once a week for the whole of my primary years, now they get to go for one year (if they are lucky) and that is that. The government goes on about child obesity, well is swimming not one of the best exercises you can do as a child. Oh I am getting so angry.

So Politicians if you want to know what is important to me, you need to start listening. and by that I mean listening to all us mums.

Oh I am not so fickle as to vote for you as your wife has nice hair, Liz at living with Kids has covered that wonderfully well and far more eloquently than could over at her blog on Kidstart.

I am not as immature been concerned about your choice in biscuits, which seemed to be the overall outcome over at Mumsnet. Family are what matters to me. So instead of trawling the Internet get out and about, meet the mums at the school gates and the ones who are forced to use the after school club. Start asking them the questions.

But more important that asking the right questions, to the right people, it is about delivering on the response, not just spurting platitudes. 

Finally I heard David Cameron this week commenting on Sam's pregnancy and it made my blood boil, when he commented that he was delighted, but yes it wasn't the most convenient timing. What a thing to say, why count he have just said that they were very pleased and this child was very wanted. End of.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Writing Workshop - Do not be defined by what you can be, rather who you can be

What can I say about a mothers love, the love I feel for my two boys
The need to give them happiness throughout their lives
To see joy in their faces
To be privileged to experience with them so many firsts.
First Steps
First Smile
First tooth
The first feel of sand in their toes
To be able to pick them up after their first fall.
To be able to give unconditional love.
To love their faults.
To instill in them the morals of their father.
To teach them to be righteous men, with big hearts and a strong comprehension of good and bad and the sense to make the best choice.
To go down the right path.
To be blessed with experiencing wonderment.
To introduce them to Father Christmas and to instill in them that giving is better than receiving.
To watch them grow and blossom
To find the love of their lives and watch them mature
I am truly blessed with two wonderful boys and the chance to make a difference

I wrote this on 22 August 2006, when mini was less than two months old and Maxi was just 17 months old and it means just as much then as now, if not more.    I wrote it after a 2am night feed and was unable to get back to sleep, whist I watched mini sleep peacefully. 

I chose option 3 What do you secretly dream of your children doing?

When I think of what I hope my children may grow up to do, there isn't one job, one career that comes to mind and that is OK.  I am resigned to the fact that I place more emphasis on who they are and who they can be, rather than what they can be.

The one thing they do both know, is that they can choose to be the best that they can be and that I will always be there.


The Gallery - Me

Me, a really hard one for me to show this week and also they don't define me totally, they have shaped me and who I am for the last 2 years, so I proudly present:

My scars, or at least some of them!

When MadDad first saw them, they were red, weeping and looked as though some one had butchered me, they were not symmetrical, neat or tidy in any way, mainly due to the sepsis and subsequent operation I needed.

But now they are mellowing, they are white, silver and raised, they run from under each armpit and meet in the middle with a vertical scar running up towards my collar bones. 

They brought out different emotions in each of us.  He hated them, they made his angry, frustrated and upset.  To him they represented the surgeon and body's failure to deal with the reconstruction.
To me they brought relief mainly.  I was relieved that my breasts were gone and couldn't harm me, but they also made me feel less of a woman, less attractive, especially as I was used to having 36GG ones.  

Now with the help of counselling we have both reconciled our feelings and they are just me.

This was inspired by Tara over at Sticky Fingers for The Gallery


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Blackpool - The British Glee

All this talk of Glee, has had me thinking.  Now I really like Glee, it pretty much does what is says on the tin and I Sky+ it and watch it when Maxi is at school and Mini at preschool, but I kept thinking it reminded me if something.

So let me present you Blackpool.  A BBC production from a while back (2007)

OK so they sing over the songs, but it was wonderful, ground breaking and it had David Tennant in it, what more could a girl ask for.

Oh and the songs were so varried it made great viewing.


Monday, 22 March 2010

Sunflower Club

We are taking part in Nuturestores Sunflower Club and have been busy planting our seeds. We are using single giant sunflowers and have decided to start them off inside, as last year our sunflowers were pretty late and lame!

So we decided to plant our seeds in egg shells, as sunflowers don't like to be transplanted and this is a great and Eco friendly way of doing this.

Both the boys love gardening which makes my heart sing and we will be planting more seeds over the coming weeks

We put one seed in each egg shell and covered with more soil.

We are going to be doing a scrapbook like Nurturestore have and keep a record of growth etc over the coming months too.  When I asked Mini what did the sunflowers seeds need to grow, he told me that they need soil, water, sunshine and lots of love.


Sunday, 21 March 2010

Spiritual Sunday - A pause in Lent week 5

Firstly an update on the shouting.  We have had a few relapses, but it is actually getting easier.  I have noticed a real difference, it is not my first reaction a situation.

Also the fact that I have been unwell has meant that the volume button has had to be turned down with the boys too.  This is good news, no actually this is great.  On the few occasions I have had to raise my voice the impact has been immediate and it feels good not to be all fishwife.

I have been discussing Jesus with the boys and they are both finding it hard to comprehend about the resurrection, so I have bi passed this for now and we have been discussing the fact that Jesus was aware that his death was near.  This seems to sit fine with the boys, infact death is not a thing to be feared in their eyes.  It is a natural progression in their eyes.

Part of it is down to their Grandpa being a farmer, so everything is black and white with no in between, part of it is down to their innocence and their trusting in what Mad Dad and I say, which is fine, but it does make it hard to sometimes deal with the bible.

So peeps, I need some help here, we need some help.  How would you discuss Easter with a 3 and a 5 year old, they are both bright and love to learn.  I would like some ideas on way to explain this to them.

MadDad is a very lapsed catholic and Easter doesn't hold any pleasure for him at all and that is not what I want for the boys, so friends I am all ears.


Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Photo Lottery

I have been tagged by The Musings of a geriatric Mummy and I am sure someone else too, to do the Photo Lottery Meme, the rules are:

1. Open the first (oldest) photo folder in your computer library
2. Scroll to the 10th photo
3. Post the photo and the story behind it
4. Tag 5 or more people to continue the thread

OK the oldest digital photographs I have on the laptop are from 2003 and our trip to South Africa. This is the tenth one and not all that stunning in its imagery, but as a part of modern history it is just beyond my comprehension.

For this is the cell that Nelson Mandela occupied for approx 18 years during his imprisonment on Robben Island. He was finally released only 13 years before this picture was taken on 11 February 1990 (he didn't spent the last part of his sentence on Robben Island).

The whole tour of Robben Island was very emotional, as we were shown round by an ex-prisoner and oh my it was certainly an eye opener. The hardships that these people endured. The hard labour where they were forced to work in a Lime Quarry and were refused a lot of basic medication.

We were amazed by South Africa when we visited and had the best holiday ever. You have to remember that this is a third world country, with such a mixture of first and third word, that it is mind boggling.

The people we friendly, the hospitality excellent, the food was outstanding and the scenery well out of this world. One day we hope to be lucky enough to take our boys and show them.

Plus I am very envious of anyone who is going to the world cup. They will have a fantastic time, in a beautiful country that has come such a long, long way since the days of apartheid, but still has a long way to travel.

I need to Tag 5 other people to do it too and I am going to tag some of the new people I have been introduced to via The Gallery

Mums gone to....

What's happening at my house

Barefoot in the Kitchen

Freckles family


Now if you have tagged me recently, please can you drop me a line, as the flu has fried my brain and I can not find my notebook where I write all these things down - doh, I am having a homer moment as we call them.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Calling for entries for the Next British Mummy Bloggers Carival

It seems like eons ago I put my name down to host one of the wonderful Mummy Bloggers Carnival and finally my time has come. 

So I would like to put a shout out to everyone out there to send me their best post of the past month for the next carnival which will go live on Tuesday 30 March.

There is no theme, just send me the link for the post you wish to include, oh and daddy bloggers are welcome too!

You can either leave me a comment with the link on this post or e-mail me via muminthemadhouse at orange dot co dot uk

I have a hard act to follow, have you seen the current carnival over at Baby Baby, well done Sandy.

Want to know more then mosey on over to British Mummy Bloggers and the BMB Carnivals

The deadline for post submissions is midnight on Sunday 28 March.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Dear So and So

Dear Breast Cancer
I found out you had took another member of the family yesterday. It makes me so sad and angry to see you focusing your attention of the female maternal line of my family. You are an evil shit and I will not succumb.

A tearful MadMum
Dear Mum

I am sorry that they (the powers that be) feel that you do not qualify for a stair life, but shouting at me isn't going to get you one either.

Your exasperated daughter

Dear GP

Flu, what real flu, you have to be kidding me, what with vertigo too. How can I bloody manage to look after myself let alone anyone else this week.

A not very good sickly person

Dear Friend

Thank you from the bottom on my heart for going out of your way to take the boys to and from school and preschool this week. You have gone above and beyond.
An amazed and very pleased to have you MadMummy

Dear MadDad

I am more than happy with my wonderful "Lucozade and ice cream marriage", hearts, flowers and candles are all all over rated anyway. Love you.

Lets have an early night (wink) MadMummy

Dear Maxi

I do hope I haven't passed on my fever to you dear, but with a temp of 39.9 it seems like a possibly may have.
An ever kissing MummyMad

Dear School

Just stop already with the charity days. Yes the boys will come to school in sports wear and bring £1 each. Yes they will both walk, run or crawl a mile and I will give them more money and yes they need lose change as you are going to make a sports relief logo of coins in the school hall. I am happy for you to send begging letters, just don't tell the children how much you expect them to bring in

A skint parent

Dear Brother

I know you are a man and I know she gets on your nerves, but just put up with mother this week please.
A stern older sis

Dear Sleepiness

I could really do with you having a chat to you mate insomnia this week. I want to knock the sleeping pills on the head, but he isn't making it easy for me.

An in charge MadMummy

Dear Pain

Please see the above, I am going to manage so give me a break please.

A determined MadMummy

Inspired by 3 bedroom Bungalow's Dear So and So.


15 years ago my body let me down

I could go down the I have a genetic spelling mistake and my body is my biggest enemy, route,  but been there done that and there is something more apt, something more perfect for today.  As today is my 15th Wedding Anniversary.

Picture this I was 21 years old and we had set the date, MadDad and I.  March the 18th 1995.  The dress was bought, the hair was planned.  I had the tiara and the veil.

We had been together a year, yes not long in the scheme of things, but we knew that it was the right thing to do, in fact I had knew that MadDad was the one from the minute I met him when I was 16, but he was taken and that is a whole different post!

We had decided that we would announce our engagement and the date for our wedding a the same time and we also decided we didn't want a big engagement, so September 1994, we told our parents we were getting married and there was 6 months to plan it.

Long enough to get everything in place, but not too long to start fretting about things and also not long enough for the costs to get all silly.

Everything was in place, just the final little bits to sort, nothing major and then I realised that I couldn't see right, that road signs weren't clear and that there was something wrong, so off to the opticians I went.

It was a disaster I was short sighted and I needed glasses.  The optician was baffled as I had only had my eyes tested 6 months previous and the deterioration was pretty serve.  So I needed glasses.  I went home and I sobbed my heart out.  I was so upset.  I got some glasses and I hated them.  I didn't want to wear them to the wedding, but how would I see anyone.

So back to the opticians I went to ask about contact lenses.  Yes I could have some, but they would be pretty expensive, in fact they were going to cost in excess of £100 and it was £100 we didn't have, especially as we had just found out MadDad had been made redundant.  So I went home sad and defeated.

The next day I received a phone call from the opticians to go back in and collect my lenses, I was baffled, he went on to explain that my mum and dad had paid for them for me and that he wanted me back in so that I could get used to them over the week before the wedding.

So on March 18 1995 I walked down the isle to here comes the bride and I could clearly see MadDad looking at me with tears in his eyes.  I could see the congregation, I could see my mum crying in the front pew and I was overjoyed.  As I walked down the isle Mrs Mad to I vow to thee my country I could see everyone looking at me.  

Yes my body let me down, but my family didn't.

Marring MadDad was the best thing I ever did, it was the best day of my life and I love him more today than I ever though possible.  So I want to say thank you, my soul-mate for being there for me through thick and thin, sickness and health and for being the constant companion by my side.  I love you.


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Gallery - Colour

This weeks Gallery prompt was Colour, now there are lots of colourful things round TheMadHouse and I couldn't settle on one and plus I am feeling pretty under the weather.  I have flu (real flu - I don't think I have ever had it before), with vertigo thrown in for extra measure and didn't fancy looking though my laptop image archives.  

So I grabbed the camera and have taken three images that represent a snapshot of life  in The Mad House.

Our art wall in the kitchen, ever changing, but always a colourful expression of the boys artistic endeavors

A vase of daffodils in the kitchen, these are starting to turn a little, but don't fail to make me smile

Lego, pretty self explanatory!


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