The World According to Izzie

Mum of twin teens - nothing else scares me!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Never Trust a Teen With Your iPod

My daughters have been home (on and off) for the past 4 weeks and that means 2 things:
  1. There's always chart music playing somewhere in the house. 
  2. I have caught up on all the latest tracks I may have missed during the previous 3 months.
And whenever they're home, they run off with my iPod and download a selection of tracks that I may, or may not actually like. It's always amusing to find out what they've added to my playlist.

Here are the latest 3 tracks:

Pitbull - Timber ft. Ke$ha - This one's been in the charts for a long time and I can only begin to imagine how hectic Pitbull's days are. How many artists has he collaborated with over the years exactly? Does he wake up every morning and think only, 'Heck, who's video am I appearing in today?' I still love this, even though it was released back in December in the UK. Look out for some incredible line dancing and the adorable swimming pigs.

Enrique Iglesias- I'm A Freak ft. yep, you guessed it, Pitbull. To be honest, I wasn't convinced I liked this first time around - but it's definitely grown on me. Enrique turns forty next year, which doesn't make me old enough to be his mother, despite what my daughters might think. Warning - this video features a lot of scantily-clad females and only one scantily-clad male that, erm, sadly isn't Enrique. Look out for Enrique in glasses - cute.

Pharrell - Happy. I still love this song, even though it's been available to download since last year and we had a sneak preview during summer 2013, as it's the soundtrack from Despicable Me 2. It's impossible to listen to, without feeling 110% better than you did at the start. And why do I have an overwhelming urge to recreate the video featuring clips of my daughters dancing? You can only begin to imagine their response when I was crazy enough to suggest it.

I would like to thank Sophia and Olivia, for not downloading some of their more alternative music choices onto my playlist this time around. Although, I usually develop a taste for whatever they've downloaded eventually. I've even taken to Macklemore's Thrift Shop ft Ryan Lewis. Having heard this on the radio yesterday, I've decided that it's so bad, it's actually good! Sadly, there wasn't a clean version of the video to download on the blog.

I can't help thinking that there should be clubs for mums who just want to dance and have no one judge their moves. When I shared this thought with my daughters, they told me that was what housework was for! Ever feel like Cinderella?

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Mistaken Identity

Earlier this week, I bumped into a lady in the supermarket who obviously thought she knew me rather well. She greeted me with, 'Hi, I haven't seen you in ages, how are you?' As I was too polite to question who she was, I replied with an enthusiastic 'I'm good thanks, how are you?' All the while I was wondering, who the heck this person was and in what capacity I might know her.

I cast the net wide, thinking maybe she was a parent from school, an old work colleague, someone who worked at the doctors, dentists, opticians, or vets, and drew a blank. We continued to chat and I was listening for clues that might enlighten me further. None were forthcoming and so, I cast the net further out, thinking: someone from the charity I volunteer for, one of my daughter's friends from rowing, the wife of one of Mr A's business associates - all hopeless, I was none the wiser.

I tried to say nothing that might incriminate me (or any other member of the family) and I continued to bump into this person over and over, as we moved up and down the aisles. 'We must stop meeting like this,' she said, as we headed towards the checkout and I was thinking, 'Who the heck are you?'

I still have no idea who this lady was. She obviously thought she knew me quite well, but didn't refer to me by name, mention my daughters, or my husband. But whoever she was, thank you for completely baffling me earlier this week. I left the supermarket wondering if I was losing my mind, starting an early menopause, or possibly, both. Who knows?

To make things even worse, as we were leaving she added, 'We must meet up for coffee, I'll call you.' I can't wait. I'll have think very carefully about how I can work out who she is, before that happens. At time of writing, I am still waiting for a call.

Please tell me this kind of thing happens to you too?

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

House Rules

By the time you read this, Olivia will be back at university and there will be another tale to tell, about failing to leave the house on time, what she left behind and how we make the same mistakes over and over again.

I thought I'd write about having both daughters back for the holidays, before we head down the motorway to take Olivia 'home.' Apparently 'home' is now university - sob!

We collected Sophia from university on Mother's Day. This involved a round-trip of about 6 hours and we returned to discover that Olivia had made Aubergine Parmigiana for dinner. I was touched, especially as she usually makes student food and it's not the easiest of dishes to make. She had cleverly negotiated a back-up plan in case it all went horribly wrong. Dad was instructed to call, as we left Sophia's uni and if, at any time the meal went wrong, plan b was fish & chips from the chippy on the way home. I have to admit to being very impressed by her ingenuity.

Sophia nodded off in the back of the car on the way home, I couldn't help but look at her and feel nostalgic - how adorable are our kids when they're asleep? even as teens they look cute. I have also caught Olivia napping since she came back, I guess that too many late nights and studying hard catches up with them all eventually. She was curled up with her favourite cuddly toy and I like to think that he's good company when she's away.

We had to bring Sophia's printer back with us, as it's been playing up since just after New Year and she had been too busy to investigate thoroughly. Mr A took a quick look and could only nod his head in agreement.

Once at home, he investigated more thoroughly and asked if she'd stuck anything in there that could have caused a blockage. "No," came her reply, and this sounded sincere, but we couldn't work out why Olivia was giggling and made her escape. We know from experience that everything reveals itself when the kids have done something they shouldn't have.

Mr A concluded that there was something wrapped around the paper feed, and ran off with my tweezers in an attempt to extract the evidence. He re-appeared, 15 minutes later with an assortment of random c**p that should never be found inside a printer, this was mostly comprised of foil and glue.

Olivia was in fits of giggles, and apparently knew that her sister had put foil inside the printer, but didn't want to share that info with either of her parents. Was Sophia hoping that Dad would be too daft to notice? Or, was she thinking that it would have vanished all by itself without a shred of evidence? I am no closer to solving this particular mystery, but at least the printer is fixed.

Over the past week, I was reminded of what it's like to share a house with my daughters:
  • The house resembles a disaster zone; I have given up trying to keep everything under control. 
  • I am trying to leave my daughters to it, but occasionally dish out a reminder that at home, they are not actually students, but family members with an equal responsibility for sharing household chores. They agreed with everything I said, and went back to being themselves.
  • I have been told that I look like a muppet in a dress (I don't think this was a compliment).
  • The kitchen is open twenty-four-seven for meals and snacks.
  • The washing basket is overflowing - I have a theory they may have been stockpiling laundry for some time.
  • My new car has gone down a treat - I haven't seen it since they arrived home.
  • Mr A and myself have been heading up to bed early to escape the chaos, and have concluded that we're in need of a holiday
The cat however, was thrilled that her sisters were both home and hasn't stopped meowing since they arrived.

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 5 April 2014

What Kind of Mum am I?

Sophia & Olivia at 8-months
I was recently challenged by the lovely Cathie over at Wicked World of Lucas to write a blog on the theme of  'What Kind of Mum am I?' Cathie had written a very funny post all about parenting her son, Lucas and been inspired to write, after reading a thought-provoking post on parenting 5 children by Marie at Normal Everyday Life.

It's an interesting topic, and one I've thought about a lot over the years. Before having my daughters, I thought I'd be a real earth mother and take to being a mum, like the proverbial duck to water. Sadly, this never happened and my parenting skills are based solely on making it up on a day- to-day basis and doing the best I can. Just days after giving birth, I realised that I was completely clueless and to be honest, things haven't changed all that much.

I guess it's so much easier to be wise after the event, but the following points sum up 'What kind of Mum am I?' quite nicely:

I've written a birth plan and we're sticking to it!

After giving birth to my daughters, I re-read the birth plan and collapsed in a fit of hysterical, (but painful) giggles. Absolutely nothing had gone as planned and let's just say that, apart from the miracle of having 2 beautiful daughters, the experience was not a positive one.

My daughters won't have dummies, or suck thumbs!

What was I thinking? After only 6 weeks, I'd caved with Sophia and bought a dummy, if I didn't she'd have happily whinged all night long. Oh, and by 6 weeks Olivia had perfected the art of sucking her thumb. Fortunately, Sophia gave up her dummy around 18-months old, but cracking the thumb habit took a hell of a lot longer. As a result, Olivia ended up with braces and still has to wear a retainer. We did warn her!

I am going to be great at getting up in the night

Ha ha, b****y ha! Having done on-call for years before I had the girls, I was convinced that I'd be OK with getting out of bed. What I hadn't factored in however, was that each daughter took an hour to take a bottle, and required a feed every two and a half hours. The ever-patient Mr A shared responsibilities during the night, but quite often we'd both be in denial about who'd been up last and who had been fed! Honestly, sleep deprivation is the cruelest thing you can do to a person.

My daughters will never sleep in our bed

Sophia perfected the art of climbing out of her cot by 12 months and would toddle across the landing to sneak in with Mum. Sometimes, I was too tired to even notice, and other times I'd be happy she'd snuck in for a cuddle. She was however, one heck of a fidget and I'd always struggle to settle her back down in her cot when I'd decided enough was enough. As soon as Olivia was potty trained, she used to wake herself up during the night, head to the bathroom and then into our bed! This earnt her the nickname 'The Midnight Toilet Fairy.' Some mornings, it wasn't unusual to discover both daughters asleep in our bed, sometimes we didn't even notice they'd crept in. Sleep deprivation can do that to a person!

Having a third child

We always joke that by the time we had our third daughter, we had our parenting skills well and truly perfected. She's never given us a sleepless night, answered back, or left a trail of belongings all over the house, but then she is a cat!

Food will never become a battle ground

To be fair, we've never battled over food, if the girls didn't like something they were allowed to leave it and get down from the table. Later on, they'd be offered a healthy snack if they were hungry and to this day, they have a great attitude to food and will try almost anything. I am the exact opposite.

My daughters are most definitely partners in crime and I joke that they are individuals, with added twin factor to add to the chaos. Most of the time as a Mum, I think only that I'm getting it wrong, but I guess that not all my parenting decisions have been bad ones. I love both daughters unconditionally and remain completely in awe of the incredible futures they're creating for themselves.

And so, my final duty is to tag 4 lovely Mums to do this challenge. I've decided on:

Helen at Actually Mummy
Nell at The Pigeon Pair & Me
Catherine at Always a Redhead and last, but by no means least,
Kris at Over There to Here

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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