Saturday, 28 January 2012

On Duvet Covers & Sleep

I'm not materialistic.  I'm really not.  I don't care about what I do or don't have.  But there is one service that I am certain would make my life a happier one if I could afford to pay for it: I would like every single item of bedding we own to be made of high thread count Egyptian cotton and for somebody to wash it and iron it for me and change the beds every single day.  Can you imagine that?  Every night would be a clean sheets night.  Heaven.

Pre-child, I was very fussy about where I would choose to sleep and what I would sleep on.  My husband introduced me to Travelodges early in our relationship (see? I am that posh that I'd never stayed in one pre 2006).  The horror.

"Richard, there is a pubic hair in this bed."
"Pick it out."
"But I'll know it was there."

And, true to my word, I stayed awake all night thinking about the pube.

I could also not sleep in beds on which there was a stain on the sheets or a smell that I disagreed with (say, an unidentified fabric conditioner), or had been washed in biological washing powder or, as was the case when I was doing my PGCE and the only place I had to file my gazillion ring binders and text books was under the bed, a bed that has work underneath it.  Easy care sheets and duvets were tolerated but felt nasty on my skin, and anything the slightest bit bobbly was an abomination.

Since having a child, however, I have discovered the following to be true:

1. It is entirely possible to sleep on a bobbly easy care sheet.
2. It is entirely possible to sleep under a duvet cover with a stain on it.
3. It is entirely possible to sleep in a bed that has had breast milk leaked into it for 3 weeks and a sizable blob of baby sick stagnating on your pillow.
4. And a skid mark from when a nappy went awry.
5. And if you finally decide that this is all too disgusting and rip all the sheets off with the intention of changing them but get distracted when your baby manages to crawl into the bathroom and dive head first into the toilet, it is also entirely possible to sleep in a bed that has no sheets or duvet cover or pillow cases on it at all.
6. There is now all sorts of shit under my bed - some work, some books, a lot of Thomas the Tank Engine figurines, a discarded used pair of Huggies Pull Ups occasionally.  Guess what? I can still sleep.
7. You could empty the entire contents of an intimate region epilator into my bed and I wouldn't even notice these days. Because I'd be asleep.
8. You can sleep on the sofa.
9. You can sleep on the hall floor with your head resting on the first stair.
10. What you can't do is sleep in any bed which also contains a child who's hell bent on sleeping horizontally and kicking you in the face every 30 seconds.

It really is quite amazing what sleep deprivation does for your standards.

Despite that, throughout the entire first 18 months of Rory's life, I had one fantasy and one fantasy alone:  It involved leaving him with somebody else, going to a hotel on my own, removing my clothes, sliding under the cool, crisp cotton hotel sheets and sleeping for an undisclosed period of time.  There was none of that "oh no, how could I possibly leave my precious baby?"  Bollocks to that - I was knackered.  It is a fantasy that still sees me through the tough times even now. That and the one about paying someone to iron my bed sheets every day.  Until I can afford to do that, I will have to continue to sleep in carnage.  I don't mind too much - it reminds me that although I've come a long way, there's still a good amount of time to go before I finally emerge from the challenges of early parenthood.  I'll know I've got myself back when I start kicking off about toenails in the bed again.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Low Calorie Arse Cake

I know, I know, I haven't updated for quite a while.  I've been snowed under here, people.  Busy busy busy.  My poor child is looking at me with sad eyes and asking if we can do baking because I've paid no attention to him for the past fortnight.  I know what he really means is "Can I stand on a chair and throw flour all over the kitchen, crack an egg on the floor, then mix it all together while you're not looking and use it to re-grout the tiles again", but I have serious Mummy Guilt, so that's what we're going to do this afternoon.

Meanwhile, pop over to where I have a new bi-monthly guest spot and read my post on how to eat cake without getting fat.  You know you want to.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Meet the Veggies

Recently, I won a big Abel & Cole veggie box from a competition over at Kerry's brilliant blog, Life as I Know It. (Go and check her out, especially this post about when she volunteered to drive her daughter's classmates to their school trip destination. I'm still laughing now).  Anyway, look what turned up on my doorstep this morning:

Lovely.  A big cardboard box of goodness.  Rory helped me to open and unpack it.  Then this happened:

This is Geoff, a bad-ass celeriac and his various minions.

And this would be the King of the Pastry Cutters: all round good guy and poster boy for plastic bakeware headgear.

"HELP, HELP! If only there was someone who could save me."

"Fear not sire, for I am Wonder Carrot.  I will defend you with my magic cloak of Bounty-the-Stronger-Soaker-Upper"

"Take that you scoundrel."

*but Geoff was too strong for Wonder Carrot*

"NO! Anything but the grater. Please, not the grater. AAARGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh..."


Slow news day here, folks.  Slow news day.

PS  Could this be the end of Wonder Carrot?  It's all down to YOU.  Phone up Abel & Cole on 08452 62 62 62 to order a veg box.  Tell them that I sent you (look in 'about me' for my name).  This will mean I get a free veg box, meaning that my family can be nourished and blah blah blah, but, most importantly, this gripping saga can continue.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Product Review: Fancy Dress Outfitters Wolverine Costume

I received an email from Fancy Dress Outfitters well before Christmas asking if Rory and I would like to review one of their costumes.  "Hell yes" was my response.  We love dressing up in this household, so any excuse is fine by me.

First, we had to choose a costume from their website.  Tricky.  If only Rory were a bit younger, I could have got away with getting him something like this and making him wear it to playgroup.

Alas, he has reached the stage of knowing his own mind, so this was out of the question.

However, on seeing the superhero costumes, his eyes lit up like catherine wheels, and we eventually chose Wolverine:

They sell a toddler version too, but as I'd been advised that the costumes come up slightly on the small side, I decided to order the one above in age 3-5 so it had lots of growing room.

The costume arrived the next day really well packaged, and the excitement was palpable.  Rory was flinging his clothes off before I'd even got it out of the packet.  Here he is modelling it.  He is doing his 'superhero face' apparently.

Thank the Lord that those claw things in the previous photo don't come with it; we'd all be bloodied and battered and quite possibly dead by now if they did.

Reviewing then had to draw to a halt for a few weeks as Rory was ill and not in the mood for playing superheroes, then I was ill and not in the mood for taking superhero 2 year olds out on secret missions.  Cut to a couple of days ago when we were both well enough to leave the house again.  Cue the music:

According to Rory, the Wolverine costume from Fancy Dress Outfitters makes you run faster*.

There he goes, pegging it down the middle of the road.  God, I'm a rubbish parent.

It also gives you the ability to JUMP IN PUDDLES WHILST LOOKING COOL*.

What's more, you will be able to balance precariously on a high wall whilst running away from Mummy*.  Skillz.

What it doesn't do is stop you from slipping on a drain cover and falling flat on your arse.  Fortunately, superheroes are easily healed by a kiss and a cuddle from their mums.

Rory was in his own happy world of secret missions the entire time.  He didn't stop grinning once (unless it was to do his superhero pout), and a highlight was when he shot MAGIC POWERS out of his hands with a "PSHOOOO" noise at some men who were out walking their dog, cue 3 grown men and a toddler playing X-Men on the roadside at 11am on a rainy January morning.

As with all the best adventures, it ended with being covered in mud which gave me the chance to test the costume for washability, with top results.  I'd definitely recommend these costumes to anyone who has a bit of Christmas money to spend for their child.  Lets be honest though - it was always going to be a good review.  As my friend Nick said, "what's not to like about a Wolverine costume?"

*May or may not be true.

Disclaimer: I do not work for Fancy Dress Outfitters, nor have I been paid for this review.