One Of Those Weeks

One Of Those Weeks

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One Of Those Weeks

It really has just been one of those weeks and it isn’t even over yet! My week thus far has been a shocker at best, a down right titanic sized fail at worst. This little ol’ thing known as life sure can be a journeyI didn’t earn the accolade of “It could only happen to me” without some blood, sweat and tears. 

I am ashamed to admit that I’ve had one of those weeks when I have really being suffering writers block. There has been a serious lull in my creativity. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. I have felt so poorly I was actually in bed at the beginning of the week. I am safely back in the house after our weekly market & butchers shop. PJ’s already on, and duvet at the ready!

Even when its one of those weeks – Shop Local

As we were passing, It would have obviously been terribly rude to not buy some Lamb & Mint Sausage Rolls from the fabulous Market Cafe. Speaking of which, I definitely didn’t “help” a child to eat it. I am 66.6% “Healthy Eating Helen”, thinking about what I am fuelling my body with. Then there is the other flabby third of me smuggling a square of dairy milk every now and again. Like I say, it really has been one of those weeks. I’m hoping that we all have a similar percentage distribution…I would love to say it was 80/20 but I would definitely be lying.

I have invested in a snazzy granny trolley and can often be found towing it one armed to and from Knutsford. I also spied a new stall (might not be super new as I’ve been out of action for a while) offering a solution to the plastic epidemic. Plastic Free Weigh sounds right up my street, I am forever getting mad with unnecessary things coming covered in plastic. I am far from perfect, but if we all make little changes, it will have a big effect! I can’t wait to peruse when I am not herding cats, I mean kids. Told you it had been one of those weeks!

This isn’t an ad by the way, but a real passion of mine.  When I “retired” this year, I made a huge effort to buy local. After all, we are a community, I would hate to see the local markets and high streets die.

The Tiger (Mum) who came to Tea

So, as I have previously moaned, it really has  been one of those weeks. Things just seemed too go to shit. Me, my health, my parenting, the kids, well, life. And then I made an epic fail.  Have you ever accidentally “Tiger Mummed”?

I endeavour to portray an honest account of motherhood, parenting, life, cancer and all that it entails. I admit it, I definitely have. And I suffer from “Oops I did it again” syndrome too.  

Growling girl with Facepaints on - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

I would give my last breath to my children. They stole my mind, ruined my body and inherited my soul.  But, I am very sure it is going to be all worth it. Honest.

The definition of a Tiger Mum is:

“a mother who is very determined that her child

should be successful and makes them work very hard”

according to the Cambridge dictionary. And I think I am inline for 10 out of 10 for enthusiasm, let alone effort. The words seem to flow out of my mouth before I realise I have even thought them! In my defence, I’ve felt like a fire fighter fighting against my own self combusting flames. I have barely managed to think straight, never mind outside the box! We all have them don’t we? A week where there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for things going wrong. And it just goes down as one of those weeks.

How did I get it so wrong?

When did I get it so wrong? Parenting Fails & Pigtails

It hit me, like a bullet between the eyes. I was so desperate for Team Twiglet to be successful in all that they do, that I haven’t seen  all the things that they don’t do.  And I don’t just mean not  making their beds. 

The grace, prowess and tact I thought I had instilled, I would even go so far as to say drilled, into all of my children, some how seems to have vanished. Some time, when I clearly wasn’t looking or parenting. We now shout, at each other, and that is not something I am proud of.

Given my failings, I am trying to rectify where we seem to have found ourselves. This weekend we are employing Elsa’s way of thinking: We are going to let it all go. Start a fresh on Monday, with a clear head and a happy heart. Put last week in the “one of those weeks” box.  As Parents, Hubs and I also hope to enter back into the parenting saga with a more positive head. 

As twins, 2/3rds of Team Twiglet have always had to split their parents. When number 3 turbo charged her way into the world, we seemed to adopt the “divide and conquer” mantra. I ended up plumping with the girls and The Hubs with Thing 2.

This isn’t gender related by the way. It is just Hubs doesn’t come equipped to save the world every time he leaves the house. Therefore his ability to take two children may well push him over the edge. For someone who can’t cope if he doesn’t have a plan, he sure as well can cope with leaving the safety of the house without any saving equipment.

The Perils of a Freedom Wee-er!

This problem has lessened somewhat a decade in. For example; we no longer need nappies. Way back when, they were the cause of many disgruntled ramblings on my part. The problem was  exasperated by the fact Thing 1 wore Pampers and Thing 2 wore Huggies.

Laugh as you might at the ridiculous notion,  when you’ve been pissed and shat on as many times as I have, decisive action was needed, and rigorous nappy testing ensued. 

Babies bottom with a heart on it - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

The conclusion was fewer Poonami’s per twin per day if they wore the ones that fit them best. They just happened to be different brands. As you guys already know, it could only happen to me!

Picture this: The Hubs opens the baby bag. (Hahaha, sorry that made me laugh). Just kidding, he didn’t take it with him. On my instruction he opens the baby bag I packed and carried, to get a nappy out for Thing 2.

He pulled out a pampers, followed by a sock (and we’ve been blaming the washing machine all this time!), a gross bib, questionable remains (did the sniff test – inconclusive results) and at last another nappy!

Elation washed over me as I stood up to sneak around the bench. It was a lot less hassle than getting up and leaving Thing 1, or worse tandem change! She has always had the potential to blow a place down with her wailing. No idea who she gets it from…….

I went in for the emergency change in the hope that no staff were looking or that it stinks that bad you have to vacate the building. Both highly probable.

Parenting Fails & Pigtails Love Bubble - careful it might POP

The Luuuurve Bubble, Baby!

With a perfectly placed needle into my bubble, I realised he had indeed, gone for the double and pulled out another pampers. Thing 2 has  a notorious reputation of the freedom wee, so speed has always been of the essence.

Not something my husband often exudes (nor does Thing 1), unless he can see an Irish Pub in the distance, in that case he practically transforms into Usain Bolt.

Despite The Hubs speed, well, lack thereof, I made it with seconds to spare.

The bubble of pride for not getting pissed on was quickly followed by a Wife skill I am proud to share with you, the all knowing “I should have just done myself” death stare.

Fast forward 10 years and it is still very handy in a plethora of circumstances. My favourite being when the Hubs has done something exceptionally reminiscent of thing 2’s actions a mere second earlier. Engaging Chara’s death stare stating he needs stop talking through his food and chew with his (god damn mother fluffing) mouth SHUT. (autocorrect changed that to SHIT 3 times, shit, I fear I need to widen my vocabulary)….…

The Sniff Test

Why do we always feel the need to sniff something that we are grossed out by? Like the aforementioned remnants of something that could, and I emphasise the word could, be a banana. But as I couldn’t be trusted to recall that days shit-cycle on The Hubs command, there was no guarantee it wasn’t an escape-poo. As a nation, why, if something is weird or gross, is our go to response to put it near our face?! “Oh yeah, I know, this icky thing of undetermined source looks gross, lets sniff it”.  

I guarantee should you find yourself in this scenario, you or one of the people in your immediate vicinity will sniff it because they “just wondered what it smelt like”.

I would put money on it, but I don’t know how to.

Bet Me Up, Baby!

As a naive 30 something *cough cough splutter splutter*  I tried to put a bet on. Not your every day bet down at the nags (did I get that right?!), but one that I had hoped would be a sure fire thing. My beautiful SIL is expecting bubs numero tres. Both my niece and nephew have arrived on their actual due date! So I wanted to put good money, well, two whole English pounds, on it as a sure fire win.  

So off I popped to town with the intention to go in to the betting shop or the bookies (I am so down with the lingo (who even says that anymore, I really need to be refitted with a shit filter)).  I need to have a bit of confidence to go in somewhere I am unfamiliar with and ask a question that could either be expensive or stupid.

As I am sure will not come as a surprise, I was not brimming confidence that day, as a result I walked straight past said betting shop. I am a creature of habit, one whose only experience of placing bets is when I have tagged along, either inebriated or pregnant (wife brownie points I am still reaping the rewards from) with the boys to a casino, but I never fully have any understanding of what’s in play.

You’re everywhere and no where Baby!

Needless to say, the bet wasn’t placed in person. Then we decided to google, in the hope that surely there was a way to put this extravagant bet on. All of this effort to put money on a date. What were the chances? I have no idea, but I think I should have called them odds. Landed on a betting website and I was truly mesmerised! All these flashing lights are so pretty, oooo are you getting sleepy yet, yes, yes I am take all my money, its not true what they say, the house doesn’t always win*. 

It probably is true to be fair, well from what I can figure out anyway. Maybe I need to learn the rules before I make such assumptions! But alas, no bet was placed and irrelevant of when my next niece or nephew chooses to enter this world, their arrival will not make us (naturally, I would have split thee winnings, given you know, the giving birth bit) millionaires. Damn it.

The cute baby smell will more than make up for it I’m sure. Well, lets be honest a million quid would be a nice icing on the cake, but a new addition to our ever growing Cheshire family is just perfect. 

Baby Bump with pink & blue ribbon - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

But hurry up will you, we are itching to meet you and Mama Bear is ready to POP! Let the eviction begin!

As I am accepting my fails of this week, I am hoping to put last week to rest and start a fresh on Monday. Hopefully with a new niece or nephew swathed in my arms, whose arrival incidentally may not make it a hat trick, it really has been one of those weeks,

*not based on fact, I think I heard on a TV show, either that or it was my Daddy putting the fear of god into me about gambling. On that note, if you or someone you know is affected by gambling please visit https://about.gambleaware.org for more help and advice.

Back to Basics – SEO

Back to Basics – SEO

Every Day I’m Waffling

Back To Basics

To be fair, back to basics is pretty much how this week has panned out. Post op, Ive not been feeling myself, and it has seemed to be the best tact to take in multiple situations. My facial expression opposite says it all! I have however, been cheered up by the slogan on this fabulous, flamingo pink jumper and it couldn’t be more accurate. (Thank you to one of my all time besties for such a fabulous treat, you know me so well, I shall be seen wearing it forever more!). You can find this fabulous jumper here http://www.cocaranti.com 

or here https://www.wildfox.com ).

Albeit, the “thinking about” isn’t about to change into “going to” the gym any time soon I fear. It is more truthful to say I am “Pining about the gym” it is after all, one of the things I love most in the world.

I say one of the things and not the main thing because, aside from the obvious kids, The Hubs, The Fam & Friends etc etc. My most favourite thing in the whole entire world is ….this is going to come to you as a complete shock, as it has never, ever been mentioned by me before………wait for it……….

is the suspense killing you yet…..

WIIIIINNNNEEEEE.

I bet none of you saw that one coming. 

This week has not been a good week. Between shoulder spasms, tears, staples and sleep deprivation, I appear to have also lost my usually fantastical (ha) sense of humour. I have sat down to write witty, engaging, SEO friendly content about 100 times – with absolutely zero success. So instead, I am going to ignore whether or not this #blog is, or is not, ticking all the right boxes and go back to basics. I’m thinking more toast, less Yoast. (which, should you be needing to find out vital stats for your blog is awesome by the way, it just doesn’t taste too good with butter https://yoast.com ). 

Lets go back, waaaaay back, back to basics and what I do best. Waffle complete and utter tosh to all you lovely folk in the hope it raises at least a smile or two. Ironically, currently as I type, only one half of my face can smile. If I concentrate, (big ask I hear you say), I can get the other half to work a bit too. 

However, I dribble when I drink and that’s pre-wine, and I can’t guarantee the food on my fork makes it into my mouth in the way expected of fully fledged adults. My eating habits resemble those of Thing 1 and Thing 2, and that is most definitely NOT a good thing. I also can’t be certain whether I’m chewing the food I have put in my gob or my tongue – either way its classed as protein I guess?

So, going back to basics to means I need to get one thing off my chest. The whole algorithms, SEO, DA, PA is BORING. There, I’ve said it.

BORING. BORING. BORING.   

 My goal is to grow with this blog, to align with fabulous readers, likeminded brands and creatives, and ultimately  showcase my wonderful waffle to the world. I endeavour to catapult my social presence, and one day be cool enough to become that coveted thing known as A Success. Currently, my only hope is to align with brands who need help marketing contraception I reckon. Having 3 kids under 3 sends even the most normal of people bonkers. I was disadvantaged from the off, as not normal to start with.  

Or, maybe I could be an anti-influencer? Work with rival companies and spoof their competitors. Hey, I reckon that’s a business idea right there, what do you think? Are you in? Reminiscent of Punk’d way back when MTV only had one channel and Ronaldo debuted for United.   

I have to confess, I used to try to be cool. Those who know me personally, please feel free to belly laugh at these attempts, mostly found in the late 90’s blessedly before social media was a thing. A big hello to those who know me through this blog and my internet documented fails, check out https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/friyay/ and the rest of my site, where I can guarantee you will get a feel for my general, and life long ability to find myself in situations that can only happen to me.

Today, I look ghastly. I don’t reckon all the make up in the world will make my face or my staples look any better. It’s a shame it’s not nearer Halloween, because I wouldn’t need a costume. Thank you to all those that have just fleetingly thought I’ve never needed a costume because I naturally look scary enough. Or that I have Casper the Friendly Ghost nailed  365 days of the year. 

Im also devastated to say that I don’t think I can fly (yoga or aviation) anytime soon. My head feels like it weighs about 50 stone, oh no wait, that’s me due to the disastrous number of crumpets I’ve consumed and inflicted on my ever expanding arse. My head is more like 5 stone perhaps. Fun Fact of today: The average human head actually only weighs between 10 – 11 pounds…

https://www.brainstuffshow.com/blogs/how-much-does-the-human-head-actually-weigh.htm  

Can you tell its the Summer Holidays and I am trying to entertain Team Twiglet with random fact finding expeditions due to the disastrous weather? You can actually ask Alexa anything. And yes Thing 2, she does indeed burp. I am not convinced using Alexa fits in with my back to basics philosophy of today, but nobodies perfect. 

Unfortunately, I  feel like my head has the potential to physically hang off, reminiscent of Nearly Headless Nick for all those Muggles out there. In fact, if I sneeze, I reckon my head might actually fall off. I also have “cough fear” in so much as my insides might end up outsides should I have to clear my throat. I have to admit, I have reached the stage now where I am sick of the muscle spasm, my head feels like I’ve lost a round with Tyson Fury, and my neck resembles a zipper.

Shit day all round I say. 

As the saying goes “If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry”. My darling Sister-In-Law produced the photograph opposite using this app https://www.faceapp.com in the hope of raising a smile. Despite her best efforts, it has genuinely filled me with dread about how bad I am going to look when gravity takes hold and my nose trebles in size! I mean, I know your nose never stops growing (this could well be less fact, more fiction akin to when your ‘Rents tell you if the wind changes, your face will stay like that), but seriously, with that nose, I’m giving Shrek another run for his money. 

https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/my-blog-and-i-readership-or-really-sht/

I am however about to download it and use it as this afternoons Wet Play entertainment given the dire weather July has offered us thus far, given the fact we are already week 2 of the Summer Holidays. Why is it only ever sunny when they are in school? 

So whilst this waffle isn’t SEO friendly, it is making me feel better, and hopefully resurrecting my love of writing funny’s. I I feel as though I have got myself so lost in trying to figure out how to make Parenting Fails & Pigtais “work”, Ive forgotten why I began inflicting my waffle on you lovely folk in the first place. 

I am taking up this minute piece of binary 0’s and 1’s to make you, me and anyone who cares to read this, laugh. I can assure you, my life, my attempt at motherhood and all that goes with it, is most definitely, unequivocally NOT Instagram friendly. For example, when I decided to use washing up liquid in the dishwasher one time, because I had run out of tablets. DO NOT DO THIS, unless you want a Foam Party circa 1999. It did smell far better than whatever that foul stuff was that we not only voluntarily got sprayed with, we actually paid for the privilege!!! This would have been an ideal time to go back to basics and actually just do the washing up, karma totally got me back.

Whilst attempting to use my business but drug fuddled (legal ones only) mind these last few days, Ive been researching social media content, and how to schedule posts in order to stay current and relevant.

Do you know there is a national “Talk in an Elevator Day” coming up. An actual day, dedicated to talking to someone in a lift. I am super tempted to get myself a little chair, a coffee, and park myself in a fancy one in Selfridges or somewhere, and see how long it takes for security to arrive.

“Gosh, sorry Mr Security Guard, Today is National Talk in an Elevator Day. I am fulfilling my duty on behalf of our nation. Oh, the chair? I went with comfort, you know, my dedication to our nation has meant I have been here a few hours already. I used my initiative. In fact, I bet there is a National Initiative Day too, I shall research and get back to you. Please come in, mind the gap, I shall now talk to you whilst ensuring you reach your desired destination. Oh shit, we missed your floor, not to worry, we can go back up again.” Cue some big burly dude taking me, my chair and luke warm coffee out of the building via the fire escape to avoid bringing any further shame to the fabulous store that is Selfridges.

Guys, may be it’s not actually a terrible idea? It would certainly make for a good Vlog. Think flash mob? But for now I shall leave you with my none SEO, DA, PA box ticked waffle, because sometimes its nice to just write, 

My 15 Year Thyroid Cancer Cancerversary

Undeterred even After 15 years

Fifteen Years, a touch shy of half of my entire life, I have been living with Papillary Carcinoma of the Thyroid. Or, in its most basic form, Thyroid Cancer. I would much prefer it was called Thyroiditis but hey ho, what’s in a name any ways. Actually, when it comes to the word Cancer, quite a lot. I was 20, green from too many nights in Student Union at Wonga or Pounded (classy bird me) but also because I didn’t know what was ahead. I was fairly confident in my google analysis * that shit was about to get real. 

I was referred to A&E by a Uni Doctor who said I was being a hypochondriac and there was in fact nothing causing the referred pain in my arm. My then boyfriend dutifully came with me (thank you) to have an X-ray done, in the presumption that I could have a fracture of some sort from over doing it in the gym. 

The SHO that saw me that day, saved my life. As new to his profession as I was to hospital departments, he thought outside the box. He examined me, and after a chat asked me if it could be anything to do with my thyroid problem. With biology never being my strong point, I laughed and muttered something to the tune of “I don’t think I have a thyroid”. In my feeble defence, I thought it was something you got when you started menopause, despite this reasoning having zero scientific substance behind it.

 X-rays began, my collar bone and chest, in the inference the arm pain was referred. Within 2 weeks, despite the arm pain still bothering me, I was to become a statistic, a number on a very, very big spreadsheet. A would be happy-go-lucky Aston University Student with an awesome family, friends, boyfriend (not Facebook official mind – it didn’t exist in those years the dinosaurs practically roamed the earth) and dream job potential on the horizon. And then, within half an hour, I wasn’t any more.  I was a cancer patient.

Thyroid Cancer Patient 101

My first operation was pretty immediate, but began and ended with no removal of the disease. It was too advanced for my first surgeon to be confident to tackle. He personally accompanied me to meet a Man-Who-Can (they even have those in the medical field!) on a Saturday morning in Birmingham, passing over the reigns to the dude that is the real hero in this story. Professor John Carmel Watkinson, or as he is now affectionately known JW.

His manner was tongue in cheek, to the point and informed me in the nicest possible way – “he would see what he could do”. Beyond that, there were no guarantees. My Family and I quite literally placed my life in his hands and with that I signed my life away for what would be the first of many operations to rid my body of this evil beast.

The one thing cancer never took from me, was my stubbornness. My determination to never let it win. Which is testament to the support network I have around me, who remind me of this resolve on the days it starts to falter. I did all things I shouldn’t do –  I ran a half marathon, I went snow boarding and turned into a Giant Bruised Peach, I travelled, I went on a boozie holiday with the lads and 2 girlfriends. I climbed a mountain (literally as well as figuratively) I got engaged, I got married and the sprinkles on my knickerbocker life – I had 3 beautiful babies who I am honoured to call my own.

 

If you would have approached me 14 years ago and told me any of the above was remotely possible, I wouldn’t have believed you. I went into self destruct mode a touch. Out a lot, even when I shouldn’t, drank a lot, even when I really shouldn’t. I lost some serious chapters in that time, because I would drink until it didn’t hurt any more. Not physical pain, more emotional pain. I was as the old saying goes, drowning my sorrows. Which doesn’t work. 

It took some harsh words from my parents for me to pull my socks up, well actually I needed to find them first, and get myself together to handle the annoying thing known as The Real World, even if that included Thyroid Cancer.

Pep talk worked, and I met a new boyfriend, who became a fiancé, then The Hubs and Team Twiglet swiftly followed. Not bad for a 20 year old given weeks to live. I wasn’t privy to the seriousness of my health for a long while, I think that level of protection has aided me so very much. Annoyingly it did mean that I have been to Australia for a day trip, but then that’s another story.

Thyroid Cancer has become who I am, but it doesn’t define me. It doesn’t, contrary to popular belief, make me live each day to the full. I appreciate it should, but the same shit goes down when the kids melt, the dryer packs up and then an error code comes on the dishwasher. Those kinda days aren’t good by anyones standards. And if they’ve never happened to you, I need your secret because believe me when I say

It always happens to me!

With another op date looming, Im quietly going about today – hubs doesn’t realise the significance this day holds for me. Firstly its one of my absolutely Besties birthdays (Happy Birthday Aunty Lyds, still sorry I ruined your 20th), Its my Gramps anniversary and whilst his pain and suffering needed to end, its oh so quiet without his happy little songs filling the room. And finally it is my cancerversary. Time really flies when you’re having fun/kids/life/cancer…..

 

*If you ever find yourself awaiting medical results of any kind – DO NOT GOOGLE – its is hands down the worst thing I did, and from that day to this, I have never done again. Find genuine and useful resources through Macmillan or Butterfly. Feel free to reach out to me too, if it is of any help helen@parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk 

Thank you Cancer…

For behaving. The Christie’s has finally called! And you will be pleased to know I am not in terrible shape! I can continue to Wife, Mama and waffle away at you for many moons to come! The Parenting Fails and Pigtails blog began to encourage my little brain cell to do some positive thinking, rather than just over thinking. Cancer has a funny way of creeping into your thoughts, particularly about 3am.

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Hi Ho Silver Lining

There is nothing worse than the dejected feeling that comes over you when a Homesense trawl is fruitless – overkill? 😂

My fluffy bunny premonition was indeed spot on, but I was proud of my resolve to only window shop. I didn’t even buy a candle! Not one! I may well now be perusing eBay for a new desk project for Imi, she is in need as she has grown and bashes her knees now on the previous eBay find. Why do they have to grow? I’m sure she is still 2 and 3/4 as she would always so proudly announce.

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