“And onto them a son was given”

25 12 2013

Master Lumpy

 Master Lumpy 2As some of you may know FFOMC and I recently had our 20 week scan. Although we both wanted to know the gender of our baby, we decided to keep it a secret until Christmas Day as a special present.


The wait has driven us both crazy, but it was well worth it when we received the amazing news this morning that we will be having:


Very appropriate for Christmas and the best present ever.

Mum and Dad-to-be are delighted with our little one affectionately known as Lumpy for the time being. He got more presents than we did and is already a much loved and treasured addition to our wee family.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – 2014 will certainly ring in the changes for us 🙂

Lumpy meets Granny and Grandad

28 10 2013


This weekend marked another important milestone for Lumpy. FFOMC and I made a trip to Northern Ireland to celebrate our baby news with my family. FFOMC went into overdrive, checking the all knowing oracle that is the internet for information about whether or not it is safe for me to travel by plane, to add to his ever growing knowledge about enjoying a healthy pregnancy.

We arrived on Friday evening to a warm reception at Belfast International Airport where Granny and Granddad admired my already visible bump before treating us to pizza and drinks by the fire – for me this meant just under half a glass of red wine (although it was a damn good one) followed by lots of Shloer.

On Saturday my sisters, their partners & my two lovely nephews arrived in my childhood home for a catch up before a Halloween party that evening complete with decorations, supper and fireworks. The fireworks were operated by FFOMC – sure I may not be able to fly but the soon to be father can play with matches and explosive material!

Telling close family friends about Lumpy was great – I explained how I have spent three months working on my Halloween costume before revealing that I came as a Mummy – hugs and congratulations all round 🙂

Sunday meant a visit to a carvery at The Stormont Hotel before a return trip home which was surprisingly stress free despite the storm warnings.

It always surpries me how quick these visits home seem and especially with such big news to share. I mis everyone already and am keen to organise my next visit – although my family may need to come to me next time as I am assured it will be become increasinly unsafe for me to fly myself 🙂

Visiting the Folks

9 09 2013


On my most recent visit to see my family in Northern Ireland they expressed their dissatisfaction at how rarely FFOMC and I visit. It was pointed out to me that August marked my first visit in two years and we struggled to recall when FFOMC was last in Northern Ireland to visit his in-laws.

However an opportunity has presented itself and my Mother is in the process of sorting out flights for us to stay for a couple of days over the Halloween half term. I could not be more excited.

When I was still living at home Mum and Dad started throwing an annual Halloween party. They really went for it with decorations, sparklers and fireworks, bobbing for apples and other such festive activities.

I love the idea of introducing FFOMC to this tradition. I can picture him nestled in the family fold, competing with my brother-in-laws, assisting my Dad with the more troublesome fireworks and donning the mandatory mittens before spelling his name in the air with his sparkler.

Mum has been super organised and has started rallying round and sending invites and has already secured verbal RSVP’s with intentions to attend.

It is great to have a big family event to look forward to especially at the beginning of the school term when the summer holiday already feels like it was months ago and Christmas is still a far off dream.


“I wanted a Big Yellow Teapot but I got a Red Mushroom!

29 08 2013

Big yellow teapot

I do not see my sisters very often. When I do spend time with them I am reminded of how nuts they are.

There is always a tendency to reminisce when family and old friends get together and my trip to Northern Ireland was no different.

We were enjoying watching Baby TV with my nephew and giggling about our own childhoods.

Christmas was a popular topic and we all found ways of torturing our parents in our own unique ways.

We all had experience of coveting the most wanted Christmas gift – making it extremely difficult for poor Mum and Dad searching for “Keepers”, “Mr Frosty”, “My Little Pony”, “Care Bears”, “Polly Pocket’s” and many others. But we also recalled some more specific problems we caused during the season of good will to all men.

I started to ball rolling when I walked to the post office to personally post my letter to Santa. When Mum and Dad suggested I write my list they were informed that I had written to Santa and that he knew so they didn’t need to worry about it.

My younger sister asked for what sounded like a “tuck” – Mum and Dad didn’t know either. She received a Truck but to this day no one actually knows what she asked for and whether this gift made the grade – but I must hand it to my parents for not permitting gender stereotypes to dissuade them from their purchase.

As we giggled our way through this discussion my baby sister was most indignant when she said “You think you had problems – I asked for a Big Yellow Teapot but I got a Red Mushroom”.

It is amazing how these experiences are both unique and universal. Christmas was also a time when we were close as a family and it’s amazing to think that these fond memories keep us close after all this time.

We did not choose to be divided or predict where our lives would be today but I love my little sisters to bits.

Sometimes in life we get the big yellow teapot we asked for and sometimes we realise that the Big Red Mushroom is a great alternative.

mushroom house

Good Deeds

25 06 2013


I am the eldest in a family of three girls. Thanks to, what I understand was extreme tenacity on the part of my parents; I have been blessed with two wonderful younger sisters.

Sister 1: Mother to two wonderful boys with a loving partner who is a fantastic step-father to her eldest son. She is plagued with constant anxiety about the well-being of all of her “boys”. Working life has been a struggle due to finding a work life balance and being treated poorly by former employers.

Sister 2: Owner of two gorgeous Labradors and wife to a loving and romantic husband. They are desperate to be parents and are in the process of trying to start their own family but ongoing ill health is a major barrier to both their financial position and their prospects of becoming parents.

Sufficient to say, both of my sisters have a hard time. They are not in particularly well paid jobs and seem to be first in line when it comes to adopting additional difficulties in their personal circumstances – they have both definitely drawn the short straw.

As the eldest I am ashamed to say that I am not around anywhere near as often as I should be as I moved to England in my late teens and even worse with building pressures in my own job, I missed both of their birthdays in April this year – EPIC FAIL!

I did buy them cards. However they are currently somewhere on my dining room table and I would need to enlist a team of archaeologists to unearth them from the ever increasing volume of teaching debris before I could consider posting them.

However I came up with a master plan. I hoped to show up unexpected in NI for a surprise weekend and take Mommy and my two baby sisters on a spa day. The plan was flawless but due to my own circumstances this never happened – a new plan popped into existence.

My parents have added to their bucket list their plan to take all of their girls on a holiday with their partners and children. FFOMC and I have been wracking our brains to work out holiday plans that will suit. Sister 2 was first and she enjoyed a fabulous cruise with hubby and parents.

In little under a week Sister 1 will take a 2 week all inclusive holiday with Mommy and Datty and her partner and 2 children. She is concerned about finances. I can understand this. After all even on an all inclusive holiday, you want options and having some spare spending money available just in case – is something of a necessity!

I had decided to deposit a small amount of money into both sister’s bank accounts as a belated birthday present.

Following a FB conversation when Sister 1 revealed her anxiety about finances I brought my plans forward and made the deposits before telling her to check her bank balance. It was not a life changing amount of money but the reaction was heart warming.

It is so amazing to be able to treat the people you love. I hope my both enjoy spending the money and that it eases whatever pressures they are currently under. Any time I am in a position to help I fully intend to do so – I only ask for photos showcasing their happy memories with their respective partners and families.

The lies we tell ourselves

16 03 2013

Perfect Parent

At work today I was feeling quite smug after dealing with the challenging behaviour of one of my more enthusiastic students. Before I could stop myself, I not only imediately entertained the lie that entered my mind, but even worse, I uttered it aloud and in the hearing of my colleagues.

“Kids are easy to deal with; I’m going to be a great Mum”

My colleagues laughed and colour rushed to my face. I suspect that this statement will come back to haunt me at some point in my future life especially as I realised I was only half joking.

I think there must be something in our genetic make-up that convinces us that we are the exception to all of life’s major rules. With regards parenthood it seems that when you reach a certain age, a light flickers into existence bringing with it the certainty that ‘things will somehow be different for you’. Despite all evidence to the contrary, common sense evaporates at this point and leaves in its wake the faith that you will be the best parents on the planet and that problems encountered – by ALL other parents in existence – are due to the fact that they are not equipped with your unique skill set.

This starts long before couples decide to start a family.

For years my husband and I have sneered at parents unable to control their children’s tantrums in shops and restaurants – after all we have watched Super Nanny Jo Frost numrous times so we would know exactly how to address this negative behaviour and put an end to it with minimal fuss, perhaps even encouraging a standing ovation from witnesses of our parenting skill.

Of course our children will be well mannered, docile and compliant, because we will have taught them well and they will know that type of behaviour is and is not acceptable.

Our kids will also think we are cool – this is without question. After all we listen to rock music, have both ‘considered’ getting tattoos and we both wore our hair in dreadlocks at one stage in our early 20’s. With this rich history and experience of living life and being young at heart, our children will aspire to one day be as cool as we are – won’t they?

Also; despite having spent my entire adult life trying to avoid pregnancy, there is no doubt in my mind that the second I decide it is convenient and I actually want to be a Mum, it will happen instantaneously. I have no specific reason to suspect that my ovaries will share my sense of urgency when the time comes, or that my husband’s ‘little swimmers’ will have the super human power and speed that is expected of them (rivalling even ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ superman). When I set my mind to something I expect it to happen yesterday and as I have had such a cavalier attitude towards starting a family for so long – always citing the justification that “there is plenty of time” – Mother Nature will no doubt adhere to whatever schedule I deem appropriate.

Immediately following the moment of conception I will instantly eliminate all bad habits and turn into Martha Stewart with a beautiful, organised, clean and tidy home. I will develop the desire and inclination to bake stuff and prepare homemade jams and marmalades for the breakfast table. I will have a talent for knitting and a thirst to undertake craft projects involving sugar paper, sticky back plastic and copioys volumes of glitter.

Then there is the process of giving birth – come on now, it can’t really be that bad or people would stop doing it!

My children will obviously be high achievers at school and excel in the creative arts. My calendar will be filled with reminders of the numerous concerts, plays and art exhibitions I will be expected to attend and this will only increase when the board of governors or parents teachers association begs me to join them and offer my guidance and expertise once they have discovered that I am such an inspirational Mother who has raised and nurtured such a wonderful family.

My common sense approach, patience and wisdom will ensure that I am in equal measures: nurturer, guru, sage, mentor, teacher and friend.


While my head is currently residing in ‘cloud cuckoo land‘ regarding the demands of bringing up a young family, my more grounded colleague pointed out that ‘good’ children would bore me to tears and that without a little bit of naughtiness my offspring would lack personality.

This is perhaps true. But for now I am holding on to the lies I keep telling myself because if parenting is as hard as actual parents make it sound – I think I will stay as I am…CHILDLESS.

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Fantasy Cast List – My brothers in law

8 03 2013

The family has spoken and a decision has been made. I can now reveal the celebrities who would play the partners of my two sisters in the movie version of my life.

Baby sister’s husband would be played by: MEATLOAF

Alan scooped my baby sister up like a Bat out of Hell and she thinks he is a Dead ringer for Love

Alan scooped my baby sister up like a Bat out of Hell and she thinks he is a Dead ringer for Love

Middle sisters partner would be played by: WWE STAR JOHN CENA

Gentle Giant Roy may have a wrestlers build but he still hasnt managed to pin down my sister - where's the ring?

Gentle Giant Roy may have a wrestlers build but he still hasnt managed to pin down my sister – where’s the ring?

For earlier posts about my fantasy cast list check out the following links:



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