Undecided (The Disco Hamster)

I am having some MAJOR swings up and down about moving house.

The estate agents told me if I want to get this Stamp Duty holiday which ends next March, I need to have found a buyer and a house I want to buy and exchange contracts by Xmas, as it’ll take at least 3 months to process everything. And that all the solicitors and banks are already getting backlogged with so many people desperate to move house right now, so a bank mortgage valuation that used to take 1-2 weeks now takes 4-5 weeks to get done and so on. So if I want to move I have to move fast.

One minute I think fuck it, I really love it there, and I really want to live there, and the kid’ll be fine and it’s SO lovely and there’s a great school and we’ll have so much more space and there are lots of other factors that will decide our future besides race and so on.
The next minute I think no, I can’t, it’s too much pressure to move and find the perfect house instantly and it needs to be somewhere we’ll be happy living for the next 20 years, and I can’t find that so fast, I need more time.

And I just can’t shake off the niggling feeling that I’m wrong about it all. Continue reading

Is my dream house a tiny bit racist?

Spoiler alert – the title of this post was deliberately provocative, extreme and a little bit silly, so there is no need to panic about political correctness gone mad and storm the gates in outrage or anything. 


So, like many of you, I love to spend my evenings in front of the telly, with a glass of wine, browsing Rightmove and Zoopla for the dream house I’ll buy after I win the lottery.
We’ve all been there.

I love my little casa and after 9 years I have finally got it just how I like it. I’ve converted my loft into the penthouse of my dreams, I LOVE my ensuite shower, I’ve done up my lovely little kitchen, and put my amazing jungle lemur wallpaper in my bathroom and generally decorated every room to my liking. However now that I have a toddler I also feel a little overwhelmed with all the toys and stuff and it feels a little cramped suddenly, especially my tiny garden. And also because I’ve just bought a massive tent and camping gear and basically don’t have anywhere to put it!

So you know, I dream about winning my millions and building my own Grand Designs mansion (I LOVE that show). Or buying a 5-bedroom converted barn in the Cotswolds with all the amazing features. But mostly it’s all in my dreams. Continue reading

Secret diary of of toddler…

“Came home from a full day’s playing at nursery SO TIRED I CAN’T REMEMBER ANY WORDS, and ALL I asked for was ice cream and chocolate and sweeties and my stupid mummy said no, so I was forced to lay on the floor and scream, and THEN she said I couldn’t grab the handle of the pan of boiling water on the stove so I screamed right in her face and punched her with my tiny fists so she would feel my wrath.

Then she said I could have an orange and I quite like oranges so I relented and agreed to stop screaming, but only for about 2 mins because the stupid woman peeled it wrong and I became INCANDESCENT WITH RAGE!!!!

Then I needed the potty and in spite of my terrible roars she insisted I wasn’t to put my hands into the poo, which is like totally oppressing my human rights, I mean I’m a strong independent woman and I can touch my own poo whenever I damn well please!!
Then I screamed some more so she would know how cross and oppressed I was, and threw a toy, which backfired and broke, so I cried about that for a while.

Then mummy said it was probably bathtime (the woman is OBSESSED with cleanliness) so I staged a protest on the stairs and decided hair-pulling would count as non-violent defiance.
I finally conceded to having a bath after my attempts to knock her over by head-butting her in the groin didn’t work. I pulled out the plug immediately because that’ll teach her to try and wash me! But then I got really sad because all the water was disappearing and I wasn’t actually finished playing in the bath. So I screamed some more, just in case mummy hadn’t noticed my displeasure.

She’s developed a slightly manic far-off stare and I can never be sure if she’s really listening to my concerns, even when I scream them directly into her face.

Mummy just DOES NOT understand what’s it’s like to be nearly three. Honestly it’s exhausting.”

Superwoman

Sometimes, as a single mum, you have to tackle things that are a little outside your comfort zone. For me, it’s mostly DIY, as I’m not a natural engineer, though I can usually manage to follow flat-pack instructions.

But I must say every once in a while I get an enormous sense of achievement from fixing or building things myself. Basically it makes me feel like a superwoman rock-star when I achieve something I wasn’t sure I could, without any help. So I thought I would brag about it. Continue reading

Camping

After months and months of lockdown, and the disappointment of our Australia holiday being cancelled, and our trip to France getting cancelled twice, we decided to book a camping holiday in north Wales with my mum and her partner, and my sister and her family. 

As I haven’t camped with a toddler before, I decided to upgrade my camping gear and bought an AMAZING new mega-tent, and an awesome king-size air mattress, and a fab new camping stove. I figured I love camping and will want to do it most summers so it’s worth investing in some good stuff. Also my single mums forum had recommended an air tent that you can put up and take down by yourself with very little effort which is ideal for me.

Here is the kid testing out the mega-mattress at home… It has a built in pump so can double as a spare bed at home too.

Continue reading

Lockdown Quilt

During lockdown I started on a new creative project to cheer myself up and help me keep busy, and five months later I have finally finished it! An appliqué quilt, but as I already have a winter quilt for my bed, I wanted to make it into a really bright, colourful, summer duvet cover instead. 

I spent ages deciding on the pattern I wanted to use, and finally discovered this gorgeous pattern by Laura Heine.

It’s a paper-piecing technique where you cut out the shapes using the template provided (its the same template for every square) and then use double-sided sticky paper (fusible web as it’s often known) to iron it into place on the fabric. Then I sewed around all the edges to hold them in place and stop any fraying. Continue reading

What a year it has been

On Saturday, the 4th of July, it was our one-year anniversary of becoming a family. 

And what a year it has been!

In adoption, there are many milestones that could be celebrated – the day I was approved as a match for her, the day I met her, the day she moved in with me (the day I brought her home forever), the day the adoption order was approved, and the celebration hearing date. I’d never keep track and can only cope with one big milestone a year, so I chose for us to celebrate our “Gotcha day” as the Americans call it, on the 4th July, which is the day I met my daughter for the very first time. 

I was so filled with excitement and emotions, it was such a vivid day for me, and she was shy at first, but as the day went on I got a little smile, and she played peekaboo with me behind a chair, and in the afternoon she put her tiny little hand in my hand, and my heart exploded with joy. 

That day was the greatest day of my life, and even just remembering it brings tears to my eyes, it was so special and amazing. And for her of course, it was the day she met her mama for the first time, even if she didn’t really know it or understand at the time. Continue reading

Potty Training Magic

Well, we’ve decided to attempt potty training….

This is something I had not realised everyone and his dog has an opinion on. It’s really hard to navigate when you are a first-time parent and you hear these type of comments ALL THE TIME…

  • “Oh god it was horrendous, one of the worst things we’ve ever had to do”
  • “Isn’t she potty trained already? Shouldn’t you be doing it now?”
  • “Just wait til they are ready, then they just do it by themselves, and it’s easy”
  • “Most of the other kids her age are already potty-trained…”
  • “With boys it’s so much easier”
  • “Oh you don’t need to read any books about it, they don’t need to be “TRAINED” – when they are ready they’ll just know how to do it and you won’t have to do anything”
  • “Good luck – that was the hardest 6 months of my bloody life”
  • “No but really, when are you potty-training her?”
  • “Don’t rush it, I see so many parents trying to do it before their kids are ready, and it takes ages”
  • “Don’t bother about all that – just let them run around naked for a while and accept that there will be piss and shit all over everything”
  • “Seriously though, when ARE you going to potty-train her?”
  • “My kids were potty-trained at 18 months….”
  • “My kids weren’t potty-trained til they were 3 or 4”
  • “My kid learned in 2 days and it was easy”
  • “My kid took 7 months to learn and it was hell”
  • “If you’re having to read a book about it, or ask for advice then she’s probably not ready yet, and you should wait”

and so on…. Continue reading

Bread vs Art

In exploring what else I could make with my sourdough starter, I stumbled across this beautiful example of Foccacia art – combining my love of creative arty things with my love of bread!

Naturally I had to try it out! (This pic below is not mine but an example of what I mean that I found on google).

So I decided to try making my own! Continue reading