Mack’s Mindless Musings: An update for my daughter 17/07/2017

Mush,
You are a delight, a frustratingly relentless delight! Your mood changes with the wind and you have the emotional range of an 18 year old drama student. Your love for the most simple thing is infectious and your instantaneous rage is hilarious. I am seriously considering a test for schizophrenia.
So, what are some of your major attributes, your likes and dislikes that I think you may like to read about when you’re older? At the minute you love Lego! ‘Daddy play Lego, Daddy play Lego, Daddy play Lego’, you can continue with this until you get a favourable answer and if you don’t… you would think I just told you that I’m leaving and never coming back. You know exactly how to pull on the heart strings and you do it expertly. Suffice to say, ‘Daddy play Lego’, a lot! And I love it.
Furthermore you are now basically a mafia boss. You’re the ring leader of a tiny, weirdly eclectic gang of Lego people. To date the gang consists of, Lego Man with blue hat, Lego Boy, Lego Girl with blonde hair, Lego Girl with brown hair, Lego Lady, Lego Pizza Man, Lego Cat, Lego Dog, Lego squirrel and Romeo… Yes, Mum and Dad are most certainly lacking in inspiration on the naming front, even if Romeo was a stroke of genius. We do however make up for it in the Lego people recruitment department.
You also enjoy playing house with me, learning with your wooden alphabet board, working through your flash cards (you are obsessed with the panda card) and reading lots of books. A couple of your favourites at the moment are The Jolly Postman, The Dinosaur (Dowa) That Pooped a Planet, The Gruffalo and Beauty and the Beast. All of the above however wanes in comparison to your burning desire to look at ‘pikurs’ (pictures). When you’re happy, ‘pikurs’, when your sad, ‘pikurs’, when tired, hungry, moody or jolly all you want to do is look at pictures with Mummy or Daddy. It’s adorable.
You have recently learned how to say please and thank you. It’s one of the sweetest things ever but basically means you can now have anything you want. All you need to do is say ‘Daddy please’ and I simply can’t resist and again, you know it. Did I mention you’ve acquired a taste for chocolate and ice lollies? Although we all know Grandma is truly to blame here.
I try and take you swimming every week and you love the water. We sing Humpty Dumpty as you jump in, you love showering before and after plus thoroughly enjoy people watching. You regularly shout ‘hello man’ or ‘hello lady’ to absolute strangers. It isn’t embarrassing at all! You’re learning doggy paddle, like blowing bubbles and find it hilarious when I go under water. It’s one of the highlights of my week.
That’s enough for now, I’ll do another update soon. Just know that your Mummy and I love you very much, we treasure every moment we are blessed with you and miss you dreadfully when ever we’re apart.
I love you Mush.

Bobal’s Babble: We Are Only Renting; a Poem.

You tumbled into Daddy’s arms.

He placed you upon my chest.

Over my beating heart.

My heart beats for you.

Your eyes, unusually wide and black

Held our attention. Unwaveringly.

You are perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                We are now complete and

We want for nothing.

But one day you will.

One day you will want.

Want more than our choices for you.

And what’s more

We want you to want that.

                                                                                                                                                                                               Our love culminated in you.

You are our pretty, effectual bow.

We will forever more be bound

Through you.

Faced with our last day

We’d want it that way.

Just us three.

                                                                                                                                                                                                For a while

Too short a while

You are most content in our arms.

We are the Earth you orbit

And you ours.

But not forever.

One day, our Little Moon, you will leave.

                                                                                                                                                                                               You will start your own family.

For your last days

It’s them you’ll crave.

After all

We are only renting you.

We can’t keep you.

You must fly the nest.

                                                                                                                                                                                               Just us three will always be, our happy day.

But it can’t last.

The amelioration

which has already begun

will no doubt, be full of joy.

As we teach and you explore

We only hope you’ll make life your own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And then Precious Daughter, You will go.

Go out there.

See the sights. Meet the people.

Conquer the challenges. Enjoy the ride.

We will be here

Happy for You.

Learning once more to be just us two.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Knowing that

We are only renting

Means it is all the more cherished.

Each chapter, whilst fleeting, is treasured.

We hope this means we won’t stifle.

We want only for your flame to burn

In its own fantastical way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                We don’t hope to buy you. You were never Ours.

Always your own.

Our privilege, is to guide and teach.

Arm you with that which you need to get on.

We’ll expose you to lots, recommend and advise.

But in the end

Your path’s your own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As you once fell into Daddy’s arms

You’ll fall into a world of your own creation.

You’ll triumph. You’ll fail.

And that’s OK.

We’ll always be here to catch you.

After all, We’re only renting.

But you own us.

Every. Single. Brick.

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Bobal’s Babble: The Tale of the Mummy, the Mush, the Aunty and the Poo Raison. *warning – graphic content*

Hello, howdy, good day!

I appreciate we’ve been MIA over the past several… well months! But turns out a one year old keeps you more than busy!

Mush continues to brighten even the dullest of days with her quirky little traits. Such as when Mack or I are talking to someone, say a neighbour about the weather and mid conversation Mush’ll just shout “bye” and start waving. Or her extremely frustrating tendency to ask you to read book after book, listening attentively to each and every page until you reach the last page where she promptly jumps off your lap to fetch another book leaving you either feeling completely unsatisfied or shouting the last few lines of the story at a retreating baby butt. Or there’s her unparalleled love for emptying the dishwasher; how each of her plates, spoons and cups need to be licked before being put away in the cupboard and the last item she empties has to accompany her on her travels for the rest of the day. She’s a bundle of bizarre and we love it!

I could go on and on but I’ll leave you with this blog’s namesake story. Mush’s Aunty was visiting this week and volunteered to do bath time. Once Mush is settled in the bath, Aunty starts playing with her when Mush starts to trump.

“Bobal” Aunty shouts down the stairs “she’s pumping! She won’t poo will she?”

“Not likely” I assure her “she’ll squat if she’s going to anyway so just keep an eye on her.”

So Aunty and Mush happily get on with water fun. Rory laughing at her own bath farts and Aunty laughing at Mush’s inappropriate giggles. Only for Mush to suddenly Stand and Deliver… a poo!

Well panic stricken Aunty yells, “it’s happened.” I leg it up the stairs – kitchen towel and wet dish still in hand to survey the carnage. Bath toys, baby, poo bits and bath water are swirling around the bath, Aunty is dry heaving in the corner and Mush is laughing and splashing chaotically, seemingly having grown 8 more limbs and a sudden but single minded determination to drink the bathwater. Chaos ensues with me holding a naked and laughing Mush above the bath water yelling “do you want the baby or poo bits? Baby or poo?” Aunty opts for baby and sticks her on the potty whilst I futilely try and scoop poo out of the bath with another bath toy before all the toys are contaminated.

As Mush is now happily sat on the potty, Aunty also tries to rescue some of the toys, naively taking her eyes off daemon child. Well, sensing this is her big moment, Mush swiftly stands up, side steps 30 cms, squats and poos on the floor next to the potty.  Aunty drops all the rescued toys back in the poo bath to their demise in an effort to put Mush back on to the potty and clean up the floor poo given that I am elbow deep in bath poo.

Aunty skilfully manages to encase most of the poo in a wet wipe and put it in the toilet. That is most of the poo save for an undigested poo raison. Mush calculating, observes that I am busy navigating poo bath and Aunty is navigating floor poo so she lunges for the poo raison. Aunty and I both lurch for her arm, bath toys forgotten and manage to stop it reaching her mouth and then we prise open her chubby little fist to retrieve said poo raison. Bad idea. Mush’s only wish on Earth is to eat the poo raison and she immediately stiffens her body, throws her head back and let’s out an almighty paddy.  The biggest and loudest tantrum she has ever had. That poo raison was the most important thing in the world and nasty Mummy wouldn’t let her eat it.

Suffice to say once we’d finally got the little monkey in bed, the salvageable toys in the dishwasher, the bathroom scrubbed and ourselves washed; Aunty was significantly less enthusiastic about the prospect of doing another bath time and I haven’t eaten a raison since.

For more disgusting tales see Extreme Baby Flatulence or My Disgustometre or follow us on:

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Bobal’s Babble: A letter to Mush on her 1st Birthday

Dear Mush,

Today, you turned one and for some reason that makes me both really happy and really sad.

This year  has just whizzed by too quickly.

And I really did spend time drinking it in like everybody said to. I spent days where I did nothing but nurse and cuddle you. I watched you sleep. I took the whole year off work. But none of it seems to have slowed down time.

This year has been the quickest and most momentous of our lives. And because so much has happened I find myself forgetting details. Like your new-born smell or how teeny you felt in my arms when I nursed you in the middle of the night or even how floppy you were when you were first learning to sit. I know it happened but I can’t feel it anymore.

When I close my eyes I see your today-face with your blondey brown hair sticking out in all directions, your little button nose that wrinkles when you giggle, your perfect teeny mouth that so often forms a comically perfect ‘O’ when you yawn. But tomorrow you won’t look like that and it breaks my heart.  It’s like enduring little bereavements every day; my baby is slipping away and being replaced by this beautiful and perfect little girl. And so I try and soak it up but it’s like trying to hold onto water.

Yet, the maddening thing is, that nothing makes me prouder than watching you grow every single day. I live for the new things you do. Crawling and walking, roaring and kissing. It’s incredible watching you develop. When you first crawled I remember swelling with pride and
Your Daddy was more than disappointed to miss the first time.

You’re developing into this precocious and funny little madam. A fiercely independent little lady who wants to do everything on her own and despite being unable to talk uses her funny faces and little quirks to tell us exactly what she wants, when and how. For instance opening and closing your podgy little fist in the direction of your water/food/toy and shaking your head until we pick up the right one.

I keep on zooming forward to when you’ll be talking; excited to hear your words and thoughts, to your first day at school, will you love it? Or your wedding day; will your daddy cry as he walks you down the aisle (of course he will – he’s a big softy!) I can’t wait for every single milestone. In some respects it can’t come quickly enough.

Between mummy blubbers at how quickly it’s all going, and feelings of trepidation at the thought of our year off together soon coming to a close; I cant help but compare my present self to my pre-Mush self.

Without a doubt, you have irrevocably altered me. And I can never go back. You have given me a purpose I never needed that spans beyond any promotion, a joy that was never lacking before but some how now exists in earth shattering proportions.  You have given me a new found reverence for the fragility of life and wonderment at the miracle of it.

Impossibilities of impossibilities  I even love your daddy more. Seeing him fall so hard for you and worry about whether you have enough sun cream on, or enough bath toys or spending literally hours teaching you words and sounds, it fills me with the warm and fuzzies. I just love him so much. 

In truth you’ve both turned me into a big old ball of vulnerable love! But oh what a double edged sword that is. It means that I am a bag of worry and nerves, spending my time researching whether the tiniest bit of unnoticed mildew in a both toy that touched your bath water for a fraction of a second could kill you or whether the spot of eczema under your chin is actually early onset meningitis or insisting on getting life insurance; just in case.

It’s funny how new life makes you worry constantly about death. It’s crazy also how it makes you lose first hand fear of your own mortality. Indeed, I fear for myself in the sense of how awful for you not to have a mother but not in the sense of I don’t want to die. Of course I don’t (now more than ever) but keeping you alive and well and happy has taken priority over all else.

Both Daddy and I  have been consumed with this innate need to protect you from all hurt.  Though we realise we cant, we’re still determined to try. Even at the tender age of one, we’ve already had the odd occasion when we have had to reassure each other that unfortunately yet inevitably you will hurt and we can’t always stop it but, thank goodness,  we can always be there to kiss it better.

Today, on the eve of the rest of your life, I find myself wishing you good health and happiness  (what parent doesn’t). But most of all, little baby Mush, I wish you your very own child because, quite plainly,  I can’t see how it gets better than this.

All my love, now and forever,

 

Mummy

xxxxx

 

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Bobal’s Babble: 6 Secret Pleasures of Nosy People.

  • Looking in people’s trolleys.

Yes – if you’re fat and you bought cake; I’m judging, if you’re old and you bought condoms; I’m cringing and if you’re pregnant and you bought decaffeinated coffee; I’m sympathising. I accept that this is politically incorrect and judgmental but I never vocalise my inner meanness – they are my secret, nosy pleasures after all!

Being a keen cook I like to try and figure out the meals that the ‘just popping in for something for tea’  shoppers are buying ingredients for. Once I even found myself suppressing an urge to tell someone that thyme would go much better with their (assumed on my part) chicken risotto than the rosemary they had picked out.

I especially love trying to figure out the lives of these anonymous shoppers. A trolley full of milk, cereal and multipacks of crisps – Octomum? 5 boxes of cat food and treats and a microwave lasagne – crazy cat lady? Condoms, squirty cream and golden syrup – sexy time?

I actually saw the latter in someone’s basket at the checkout once and my first thought was to appreciate the brazenness of this guy; I’d have at least had to buy some other random items to cover up my agenda! My second thought was how sticky must that be? You know you’re a Nosy Parker when your mind wanders to the possible ripping off of a totally random person’s pubic hair in a golden syrup sex-capade!

2. Looking at people’s washing lines.

I think I may be alone in this but I find washing lines strangely interesting. You can figure out where people work, if they have kids, if they’re fat or skinny,  young or old and whether they follow fashion.

For weeks after moving in to our new house, I was obsessed with our neighbour whose garden backs on to ours as every day they hung out lines and lines of towels. How were they using so many towels? Were they really dirty? Obsessive compulsive? Battling a flood problem? One day I asked Mack about what he thought their deal was and he smugly told me that it wasn’t a house but a hairdressers!

3. Facebook Stalking.

Now this is surely common place nosiness? You are scrolling down your newsfeed when you see a friend has liked someone’s birth announcement. You find yourself wondering how heavy the baby was, was it early or late? is it cute? So you click on their profile. You then scroll down this stranger’s wall and see that they recently went to a wedding so you wonder what the bride wore so you hop on that person’s page and before you know it; you’re twenty clicks away from where you started and are reading about Mr and Mrs smith in Zimbabwe who recently vacationed in Hawaii.

4. Perusing the Showbiz Pages on the Daily Mail App.

My ultimate guilty pleasure! Why stop at localised nosiness when obnoxious reporters can stick there lens into the house of the rich and famous and report back to the likes of little old me. I find myself getting emotionally invested in these media personas so much so that I was gutted when Ben Afleck and Jennifer Garner announced their divorce. I mean, they seemed like the perfect couple what with her girl next door looks and him always taking his kids to go get ice cream.

Then there’s the sport of judging the outfits on the red carpet. Yes, Lady Gaga you look ridiculous! Not forgetting the exciting news that is just sprung on you – I actually found myself wondering how it was the Tom Hardy had managed to keep his girlfriend’s pregnancy a secret from me for so long!

And then there are the occasions I find myself getting annoyed at celebrites. Like, seriously – Kanye West, get over yourself!

5. Listening to people’s music through their head-phones/cars.

This is the ultimate game you can play with yourself. Look at a person, make a snap judgment as to what they are like and therefore what they will be listening to and then lurk behind them to see if you were right.

It’s especially fun when you deem the Barbie walking on the treadmill with a full face of makeup at the gym and decide that she is clearly listening to the latest sickly boyband to spy and find out she got ACDC or the like blaring. I make a point of then giving her the nod of approval – of course she just thinks I’m a werido and doesn’t realise that she’s just surpassed my oh so low expectations of her.

And cars. The motorway is great for watching people sing their hearts outs to various tunes. It’s so much fun to stare at them from your lofty perch on the passenger side and see them catch your eye contact and stop mid-verse! Plus, chances are they are listening to the radio so I like to make a sport of skipping through the radio channels trying to guess which station they are rocking out to.

6. Looking into people’s houses when you walk past.

Ok. I am beginning to sound like a creepy stalker. I’m not! Promise. I don’t mean sitting in the bushes, peering through your window; I mean that when I’m walking past, if their is a clear line of sight into your house; I like to have a glance. I like seeing the different décor people have opted for and at Christmas time it was pretty looking at everyone’s tree.

For instance in a street not so far from me; 3 houses in a row have the same red and pink flowery wallpaper. Isn’t that incredible? Not least of all because it’s horrible! Plus I like to infer how many of my neighbours are show-offs so deemed by me if they have windowsill decorations pointing out of their window for other people to look at instead of into the house for them to enjoy!

So there you have it – how many do you do?

P.S. You should note that I had a list of 10 nosy behaviours but Mack said I sounded way too creepy and that people would stop hanging out with me so I shortened it! I had no idea I was such a Nosy Rosie until I saw it in black and white!

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Mack’s Mindless Musings: All I Wanted was Some Shelves Next to the Fridge

One lazy afternoon in the no-man’s land between Christmas and New Year (the time where everyone wanders around bloated and confused, wondering what day it is) I was pottering around doing the dishes (yes Mum, this happens from time to time). Generally I was minding my own business while Bobal, her mum and Mush where just relaxing in the living room.

Whilst stacking everything away, in the intricate puzzle like fashion we have become accustomed to, I once again realised what a distinct lack of storage space in the kitchen we have. So I had a thought. A very ‘simple, quick and cheap solution’ came to mind that I stupidly vocalised to the family.

“Hey I know, wouldn’t it be great if we got a small set of shelves to put next to the fridge.”

Little did I realize what a mammoth mistake my musing was to be and the grave error of judgment I had just made.

What I assumed was a seemingly harmless thought, spawned a domino effect of apparently necessary jobs that formed in my wife’s mind and spewed out of her mouth. Adjustments that cascaded around my home like a tornado leaving no room untarnished. Here’s how the events unfolded:

Mack: “why don’t we get some shelves next to the fridge?”

Bobal: “Good idea, but I think we should move the fridge into the larder and put a big (expensive) set of shelves where the fridge used to be.”

Mack: “erm that’s an interesting idea…” *Mack empties larder and puts fridge in, assisted only by distant watching eyes*

Bobal’s Mum: “oh no that doesn’t work, where will the microwave go? What you really need to do is put the dining room in the living room, the living room in the dining room and move Mack’s office upstairs.”

Mack *looks nervous*

Bobal: “hmm, interesting but what about the litter trays…. that won’t work. We should put the fridge in the living room.”

Mack *unclenches and puts the fridge in the living room*

At this point Bobal’s dad arrives “what are you doing?”

Mack “I just want some shelves next the fridge.”

Bobal’s dad then suggests all previous suggestions before offering another option: “why don’t you put the fridge in the garage?”

Mack *looks nervous and feels he should climb into the fridge to regain his cool*

Bobal: “I don’t think that will work” *Bobal sees label on back of fridge* “aww, the fridge is called Cyclopentane. Where do you want to live Cyclopentane?”

*Mack shares a knowing, disaproving look with Bobal’s father*

Bobal: “how about in the office?”

Mack: *moves Cyclopentane to the office*

Bobal: “oh no there isn’t enough room in here with that couch, you should put the couch in the garage” (aka my gym).

Mack *moves couch into garage and wonders if he can quit being a husband and son in law… just for the day*

Bobal’s Mum: “I still think you should move Mack’s office upstairs. Why don’t you put the microwave here?”

Mack *moves microwave*

Bobal: “I think the microwave will work better here”

Mack *moves microwave*

Bobal: “I think you were right it looks better here but what about having it turned this way?”

Mack *moves microwave*

(Yes readers that’s right I haven’t spoken for 15 minutes, I now retreat to Cyclopentane and eat the Christmas chocolate he is hiding).

Bobal’s Mum: “What will you do with the larder now that it’s empty?”

Bobal: *super excited* “I should use it as my new office! You know, on account of me being a professional blogger!”

Mack: “Really?” (The larder is a tiny room underneath the stairs) “so you’ve decided to become Bloggy Potter? Harry Blogger?”

*stoney silence*

Bobal: “I want the unit in the living for my office and the draws in the bedroom for the living room.”

Bobal: “I think we should re-decorate.”

Mack: “ALL I WANTED WAS SOME SHELVES NEXT TO THE FRIDGE!”

Ahh the joys. To sum up, i wanted shelves next to the fridge. Bobal now has an office under the stairs, my gym has a couch in it that needs to go to the tip, Cyclopentane lives in my office, there are plans to relocate my office up stairs and re-decorate the house. We may be moving the living room to the dining room and the dining room to the living plus we still have no idea where the god damn microwave will go!

Moral of the story, you don’t need shelves next to the fridge… you’re fine, do the dishes and keep your mouth shut! 😀

Mack

 

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Bobal’s Babble: 4 Ways to Get Away With Arguing Around Your Baby

Mack and I argue. A lot. Not usually blazing arguments but bickering for sure. For the most part, this works for us. We have open communication and sometimes we don’t agree on things but c’est la vie. We are both big believers in constructive disagreements and part credit our 11 year + strong relationship to it. But since we’ve had Mush, we’ve had to up our game and argue on another level.

Can any of you parents recognise these arguing styles from your own experiences?

Style 1: the passive aggressive ‘whilst speaking to the baby’ argument.

Mack and I can have whole discussions with each other without actually even speaking to each other, by way of Mush.  For instance, me to Mush:

 “Oh look Mush,  Daddy hasn’t emptied the kitchen bin and hasn’t put the black bin out for the bin men. Silly Daddy. Daddy’s going to be hopping around outside in his dressing gown again in the morning.”

Mack:

 “If only Mummy had legs of her own to put the bin out herself, ey Mush? Maybe Daddy would do it if he didn’t have to navigate around Mummy’s shoe collection to get to the back door.”

Me:

“Well Mush, us girls aren’t in a position to relocate our shoe collection. Us girls have to stay shoe-nited.”

And so on…

Style 2: the hilarious non-profanity, profanity arguments.

When all you want to say is fuck, shit, bollocks but there are little ears about. For example:

When I trip over Mack’s dumbells AGAIN and want to say:

“Shit! My toe! Grr you’re such a knob head!”

Translates to:

“Cheese and rice! My toe! Grr you’re such a knob of butter!”

No word of a lie, we actually say these things.  Rather sounds like we’re cooking, doesn’t it? Another example would be when I dance around in front of the TV when Mack Is playing Halo and he wants to tell me to:

“Stop being a dick and move out the fucking way – I’ve got to capture the flag!” (Or whatever the aim of those ridiculous games is).

Translates to:

“Stop being a dick-tator and move out of my clucking way! *gaming mumbo jumbo*.”

Style 3: the creepy manic smiling snipes.

Where we’re both annoyed about something but Mush is sat in-between us, oblivious and we don’t want her to cotton on so we both hiss at each other through forced, toothy smiles which makes us look like Heath Ledger’s ‘The Joker’. In hindsight, this has got to be more worrisome for Mush than hearing her parents argue over who’s turn it is to wash up.

Style 4: the heated arguments that are called off by the parent who’s ‘loosing’ with the ‘let’s not argue in front of the baby’ Get Out of Jail Free Card.

These tend to be the real McCoy arguments. Those little niggles that have really got under your skin meaning you can’t help but argue.

In arguments there is inevitably a ‘winner’ and a ‘looser’ but Mack and I are so stubborn that even though one of us realises they are the looser (Mack!) we still argue to the death. Now we’ve got Mush though, at the tipping point where one of us realises they haven’t got a leg to stand on, that ‘looser’ parent will suddenly pipe up with a, “We shouldn’t argue in front of the baby so let’s pick this up later.” It’s never picked up later.

So there you have it. How to argue around a baby, as advised by pros.

 

For the sake of completeness, we find apologising with the baby is also a very effective tool for resolving arguments. The ‘looser’ parent just picks up cute baby whilst hiding behind her, dangles her in front of the ‘winning’ parent and in their best baby voice impression says “Soowwy!”

 

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Macks Mindless Musings: Bobal, a Contradiction of Cleverness

Those of you who know Bobal would probably agree that she is very, very intelligent. 11 GCSE’s (10 A grade or higher), 5 A levels at college, a degree and fully qualified as a solicitor. Suffice to say detailing my equivalent qualifications wouldn’t use quite so many characters. Finished high school… just. That’s it.

Her brain works at a level and speed that I can’t even begin to understand. More to the point I don’t think I would want to. I enjoy living in my oblivious bubble of stupidity far too much. With her detective like attention to detail and occasionally seemingly supernatural level of intuition; she really is one of, if not the smartest, person I know.

However, book smart and street smart are two completely different things. Being well read and common sense are undoubtedly at opposing ends of the intelligence spectrum. And evidently the senses of a common variety were being strictly rationed on the day of her glorious creation.

To give you a flavour of what I mean I would like to bring your attention to her geography skills. North, south, east and west seem to disorientate my wifey with a comical ease. We live slap bang in the middle of England yet Bobal still to this day will go up south to Scotland or down north to London?!?

Even whilst walking (be it in the city or countryside) she can become hilariously disorientated. When faced with 50/50 left or right directional decisions, she will impressively choose the wrong way 99% of the time. Even out of sheer dumb luck she should get it right more often. She defies logic and basic odds. It’s clear to me that her internal compass yearns for serious and extensive re-calibration however this is just the beginning.

The amazing depths of Bobal’s common sense deficit becomes most apparent with the attempted application of any and all sayings. Pearls of wisdom like ‘slept like a light’ and ‘out like a log’ will regularly escape her lips.

A couple other prime examples are ‘ as the bird crows’, aka ‘ as the crow flies’, ‘it’s a recipe waiting to happen’, this should be ‘a recipe for disaster’ or ‘a disaster waiting to happen’. I do love that combo.

Even more hilarious is when Bobal outright concocts her own words and or names for things. ‘Ball ball’ for ‘bauble’ and ‘counch’ for ‘couch’, where does the N come from?

The most entertaining part for me is the strength of her resolve when arguing her point. Adamantly telling me it’s a ‘landpost’ not a ‘lamppost’! And in truth it takes nothing short of a promethean effort on my part to convince her other wise as she always has a very logical argument to prove her illogical view. ‘It’s a landpost because it’s a post that’s in the land’. Who am I to argue with that?

To top it all off she blames all of the above on her mother. Her mother who actually gets all these sayings correct, calls a couch a couch and a lamppost a lamppost. Can someone please explain this to me?

It’s because of these idiosyncrasies that Bobal and I work so well as a couple, as we get to laugh our way through life. It still makes me laugh every time she utters one of her Bobal-isms. As Bobal says, a bird in the hand does you good.

Mack

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Mack’s Mindless Musings: My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions.

New year’s resolutions: lists of vague, wishy washy goals lacking any real substance or discernable point. Subjective rubbish open to poetic license and abused to suit your needs based on how you feel from time to time. For example in 2016 I want to be healthier, fitter, faster, stronger, wiser and generally more awesome! It all sounds like an attempt to be become the Million Dollar Man (I know what my first resolution will be!). In truth my own lists have likely been guilty of this in the past but not this year.

This year I don’t want a list entitled Mack’s inevitable failures but Mack’s realistic, attainable, worthwhile resolutions (obviously a working title). I will be attempting to employ a simple pnemonic used when outlining targets to ensure my resolutions have real purpose this year. This is the S.M.A.R.T method:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

With the above ‘loosely’ in mind here are my 2016 Resolutions:

  • Get fixed

Currently I am recovering from a torn left peck, have a fractured back in two places and a detached ACL in my right knee (plus a couple other bits not worth mentioning). It’s true, I have a body like a rich tea biscuit… I wish I was more like a hob nob. Anyway I digress, by the end of the year I want to be able to complete a one arm press up with my left arm, have my ACL re-attached (surgery) and have gained some answers regarding my back. Admittedly the latter is a little wishy washy but that’s because I have no idea what can be done with it yet.

  • Lose weight

Here we go, just another normal New Year wish. Surely everyone says this right? I thought about it for a while and considered other variations such as get fitter, eat healthier, train more but these didn’t fit the SMART method in any way, shape or form and were far too subjective for my liking. I am currently 96.6kg which is the heaviest I have ever been and I can assure you it isn’t a lean, good condition weight. I’m not typically a fat person, my ideal body weight is between 85 and 90kg when reasonably lean. My thinking is that if I aim for this weight threshold then I will, as a result, be fitter/healthier/stronger and blah blah blah…

  • Increase Twitter and Facebook following.

Bobal and I have only recently started blogging and in less than 2 months we have managed to get 1000 followers on Twitter but only 50 on Facebook. My aim, by the end of 2016 is 5000 followers on Twitter and 500 likes on Facebook. Challenge extended… challenge accepted!

  • Ban smart phones.

This is actually an old idea between Bobal and I that we found most beneficial and enlightening. It has regressed recently for a myriad of reasons but we both want to revive it this year. I’m not talking all the time but just on an evening when we should be enjoying each other’s company. You know; talking, engaging and generally having ‘human’ contact as opposed to Whatsapping each other on the same couch. I can imagine 90% of couples or families are guilty of this nowadays. Sitting in silence looking at their phones,  scrolling aimlessly through Facebook whilst you ‘watch a film’ no more for me. I love my wife and enjoy a lot (not all) of what she has to say ☺ so I intend to listen… most of the time.

  • Organize Money.

No, not spend less, earn more or save money. I simply want to ensure I know what money I have at all times by recording what I spend on a daily basis. Chip and pin, saving bank details onto websites and contactless payments have made spending feel more akin to a game of Monopoly than actually parting with your hard earned pennies. It’s lost that feeling of handing over cold, hard cash and has become disconected and somehow feels easier to part with. This for me is dangerous and I combat it with overcomplicated Excel spreadsheets but this year I will ensure I actually use them.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of work based resolutions. This is far from accidental. I love my job and like to think I am good at it however I have grown to realize that my job is a means to an end. It is what I do to raise funds for my life, my real life which is the time I spend with my friends, family, wife and child. With this in mind I will have no work based resolution this year ☺.

I am by no means sugesting that maintaining these resolutions will be plain sailing. There will of course be ups and downs, good days and bad but the trick is to appreciate the good, forgive your self for the bad, learn from it and move on.

Determination is about striving towards your goals long after your initial feelings have gone.

Have a great year everyone, I intend to.

Mack

Check out Bobal’s resolutions here

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Bobal’s Babble: My New Year’s Resolutions

Every year I, like millions of people everywhere, embark on a New-Year, New-Me agenda by way of New Year’s Resolutions. And I, like millions of people everywhere, break all of these promises usually by day 2, when I stumble across a Terry’s Chocolate Orange I had not accounted for in the pre – new year purge.

This year however will be different because I am counting on you all to keep me in check. I plan to record this year’s hopes and plans in the blogosphere and provide regular updates as to how I’m getting on. So here goes.

Firstly, pre – resolution so to speak, Mack and I have adopted a way of giving to each other within the annual tradition of making resolutions. For the last few years we’ve each come up with 12 favours that the other is to happily grant, on demand, throughout the year. For example, on my list is a full works bath meaning that upon my request Mack will spring up and run me a bath with my favourite smellies, book and refreshments (wine, wine, wine) before then taking over Mush Duty. These favours usually cost nothing more than effort and brighten up our year.

Now for the resolutions themselves:

  • I will get fitter, healthier and lose weight.

Who’s list is this resolution not on? I’m quite a fit and healthy person who likes exercise and healthy food so I’m never terribly out of shape but since I got pregnant with Mush, I’ve done nothing. NOTHING. I was struck down with the horrible Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction during pregnancy which rendered me on crutches and then since Mush (she’s now 4 months old) I’ve just acclimatised to being a mummy which I’ve found is an excellent excuse for eating what ever crosses my path. But enough is enough! I miss my abs!

As I believe resolutions are easier to follow when you are specific, I specifically want to reduce my weight and body fat percentage from 85.9kg and 29.3 % to 75kg and 25% by the end of the year. And I want to focus on my legs and core specifically as the former have always been my Achilles heal and the latter is shot to shit from cooking Mush.

I have never dieted before and don’t plan to start now so I am going to follow the old fashioned, ‘eat less and move more’ plan. Hopefully, as I get started I might have some tips for women getting back in to shape post-partum and in particular those breastfeeding at the same time.

  • I will significantly cut down on the amount of sugar I eat.

I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth – crisps and cheese were always by specific brand of poison (wine doesn’t count right?) but as soon as I became pregnant, suddenly all I wanted was chocolate. As Mack is a ginormous chocoholic I assumed it was just as a result of me carrying his child but since Mush’s arrival, I have still not been able to shake this sweet tooth.

This, along with the hidden sugars in everything, I am sure that I am consuming way too much sugar and I am willing to bet that I can find sugar-free alternatives to substitute into my daily life. I definitely do not have any lofty ambitions of cutting out sugar all together (what’s life with out a little bit of what you fancy) but I’m interested in what the effect will be of reducing my sugar intake. And, sorry to tell you this Mack; but as I do all the shopping and cooking – you will also be following this resolution too!

Plus this resolution conveniently helps with my first resolution – don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

  • I will continue to cut out caffeine from my diet.

Not one to do things by halves, when Mack and I started to try for a baby, I immediately cut out caffeine in drinks. I found it much easier to just cut it out then to keep track of what I had and whether is was within NHS guidelines. This meant that if I had some chocolate or was served a caffeinated beverage by accident; I knew that I was still way under the NHS recommendation. And I can honestly say that I haven’t missed caffeine.

I am extremely caffeine sensitive so one cup of coffee would give me an insane energy burst (and tummy ache/butterflies) which I felt braced me for the activity to hand – work/gym/keeping from that afternoon nap temptation. But, the last 12 months have been the most tiring ones of my life (first and last trimester tiredness and then new-born sleep deprivation) yet I’ve survived without pumping myself full of caffeine and I have felt better for it. So, I would like to keep this up beyond breastfeeding (with the exception of a celebratory Coca-Cola when I finish breastfeeding!).

 
  • I want to do a planned/structured activity with Mush every day (when not at work).

Free play and solo play are both really important (in my opinion) but I would love to make sure that I do a different more structured activity every day.  I think this will help Mush’s development, mean that I get to enjoy quality time with Mush and it gives me the opportunity to expose Mush to different things to see what she likes. I think it will be fun towards the end of the year when I have to think up activities that we’ve not done yet plus it will give my day a little more structure which can’t hurt.

  • No smartphones on an evening.

Hi, my name is Bobal and I am a smart phone addict. I did my best not to end up here. Once upon a time, watching other people being glued to their phones was my particular pet hate but I am now one of them. I can’t resist checking Facebook, my guilty morning pleasure is reading the Daily Mail via its App (not quite a broad sheet over a cup of coffee!) and I am part of so many Whatsapp groups that I am constantly receiving or sending messages (admittedly they are usually instigated by me and usually consist of photos of Mush).

But this year I want to reduce this. I don’t want Mack or Mush to only get half of my attention, I want to set a good example for Mush and quite frankly – I want to stop wasting so much time.

The plan is to generally make a conscious effort to put my phone down and in the evening to put it away. Mack and I have done this before and it worked really well but during the long and boring pregnancy months where I was confined to the sofa and then the middle of night feeds where you need something to keep you awake, the phone crept back.

Constantly having one eye on my phone makes me distracted and actually disrupts my sleep. Plus I’ve read several times (via Google, on my phone) that staring at a blue light (phones, TVs etc) just before bed can convince your brain that it’s daytime which makes it difficult to fall to sleep. And then theres always that temptation to check your emails which leads to Facebook which leads to an hour gone before you know it.

So bye bye phone, hello quality time with the family.

  • I want to finish a first draft of my novel.

As per my introductory blog, many moons ago I started writing a novel but never actually got further than a few pages (I am a master procrastinator) so this year I’d actually like to have a draft done by Christmas time 2016. I feel like this will be my hardest resolution as I never seem to find time to write it because it’s not something I feel I can dive into for 5 minutes at a time but if J K Rowling can start Harry Potter on a train in her mind alone then I can surely to something with laptop in hand! By the way, I do realise that my novel will be word of the day toilet paper compared to the genius that is Harry Potter!

  • Promote Mack and Bobal Waffle on.

Mack’s set some specific numbers that he wants us to get in Twitter and Facebook followers  in his New Year’s Resolution blog which I would also like to see met. I would additionally like to give Pinterest a go but apart from pinning photos of crafts and recipes I’ll never actually do; I’m not really sure how to use it. Does anyone have any tips?

 

So, 7 objectives and 12 months. Watch this space.

 

Check out Mack’s resolutions here.

 

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