Tuesday, 6 April 2010

One last favour to ask...

This will be my last post on this blog. (As a result of all this drama last week.)
My blogging adventures will continue, but they'll be over at: www.kookyboutique.blogspot.com - it used to be a blog I used just for shameless self promotion and crafty stuff, but the plan now, is that it'll be an all en-compassing corner of the internet for me to write about family, arty crafty stuff & everything inbetween.

I've given the place a little makeover, still some tweaking to do, but hopefully you'll like it.

The favour I need to ask, is of anyone kind enough to be linking to me - please please please could you check your blog rolls/link pages & change any links to this address, to my new one: www.kookyboutique.blogspot.com - and while you're at it, please do become a follower over there, and/or subscribe to our feed, which is here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/HCrA - Thank you!

And that's the end of an era!
I'm a little sad, a bit scared (going 'public' - eek!), but excited too.
Thank you all for the lovely emails & tweets & support. Hopefully see you over at my new 'pad' :) xx

Thursday, 1 April 2010

It's not goodbye, just au-revoir.

So today, I had to delete a sprinkling of malicious comments from this blog.
Why? Well, I guess because some people are just so unfulfilled by their own life, that they feel the need to amuse themselves by picking away at the happiness of others.
Which is sort of tragic really.
What's worse, is it's not the first time.

And I know, I should rise above it, be the bigger person, not let it get to me...
And up till now, I have done.

But frankly, I'm fed up & I've had enough.
Yes, I'm pretty much certain I know who it is, no, I'm not going to go into details.
This blog is more or less anonymous - hardly anyone from my 'real life' even knows it exists - the spiteful troll in question has put some effort into finding it, which is kind of even sadder.

I considered just deleting the whole thing but have decided against it.
I love this blog, and it holds some really good memories.
What I am going to do, is export Life with a Little Dude into my other blog - http://www.kookyboutique.blogspot.com/ - yep, I'm coming out! Which is actually pretty scary - I like that this place was quite anonymous & private - but that privacy has been invaded & tainted, so screw it. At least by going public, if this person persists, they will get found out, and I can deal with it head on, on my own terms.

The only problem now, is will you all come with me?
My other blog isn't a 'mummy blog' per se- it's a mixture of stuff, including my shops and the like - it's actually been pretty neglected lately, so this might even turn out to be a good thing (silver linings and all?)

Will I still be a 'mummy blogger'?
Or just a blogger who happens to be a mummy?

I don't know.
But I do know, I can't face deleting anymore personal attacks aimed at me or my man or my baby, it's exhausting.
So, this seems like the best idea.

Come and visit me - http://www.kookyboutique.blogspot.com/ see if you like it, and if you do, please please re-add me to your google reader!

And to the hateful little person who forced me into this decision, please don't think you've 'won' in anyway. Every nasty word you've sent only goes to prove how much of a loser you are.
Perhaps a hobby's in order?

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Complete and Utter Let Down

The anticipation had been building for weeks.
We weren't sure exactly when it would it happen, which only added to the suspense.
Each morning was filled with hope. Excitement that today might just be the day.
But no. No change. Not yet.
Try again tomorrow.
We wondered what it would be like.
Would we love it?
Or had we built it up too much?
It had been a long wait, but it would be worth it - right?
We heard whispers on twitter that there had been progress.
Every spare moment was spent waiting, hoping to catch a glimpse.
So many near misses.
Then finally, just before a Sky+ episode of In the Night Garden, finally, we saw it.
The cBeebies Springtime song.
Wasn't worth the wait.
What a complete and utter let down.
Oh well, perhaps it'll be a grower?

This is a light hearted take on prompt no. 2 at Josie's writing workshop this week:
What eagerly anticipated experience turned out to be a complete and utter let down?
And for the record, no, I haven't really spent the last few weeks eagerly anticipating it. Though I was getting pretty bored of the fake snow ditty before every Night Garden.
(The 'Zing-Zillas' however, well, I do hope that's as good as it looks... ;)

Don't forget to head over to Sleep is for the Weak and check out all the less foolish entries - there's a serious chunk of talent over there every week, so clear an hour or two, grab a cuppa & enjoy.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Gallery: Outside my front door...

Oh I do like to live beside the seaside... well, not quite. I used to live right on the seafront, but the Mr & I moved a little out of town before the Little Dude was born, so now the seaside is actually a 15 minute walk away, but it's still pretty lovely.

For The Gallery this week, Tara wants to see where we live.
(Is she planning a bloggy-world tour? Who knows.)

Anyway, here's where we live:

Officialy, we live in the West End of town, see:

Like i said, not quite the seaside, we're all about the funky old town houses and lots of trees round these parts. I like it. It's quiet, but close enough to town to not feel isolated.

Take a stroll down this road though, and...

Voila. Le Seaside :)
Sadly, we got no sand. Just pebbles, and a whole lot of these:

but I do love it. The Little Dude & The Dog & I have racked up many miles walking up & down the front in all weathers, and it's very therapeutic to just sit on the pebbles and watch the waves crash.
Don't head down there too early if you're looking for peaceful meditation though, the fishermen will have beaten you to it:

From my days of living right on the front, I know all too well that they are early birds, and speaking of feathered friends - they don't half excite the seagulls. A hundred seagulls shouting their beaks off at 5.30am is NOT a fun way to wake up! (good practice for having a baby though I suppose)
That said, the fishermen do leave some interesting stuff lying around from a photo taking point of view:

Other than that, it's not the most exciting stretch of 'beach' ever - though it does have one claim to fame. Remember that story a couple of years ago, about loads of wood mysteriously washing up on the South coast? Well, that was us, see:

and yep, you bet I was one of the geeks down there taking photos of it!

Of course if you walk further along the promenade, there's The Pier, and The Pavillion & The shops, but I think I'll call it a day for now & maybe show you those another time.

So there you are. That's where I live.

Don't forget to go check out the rest of The Gallery too - it's getting bigger & bigger every week, loads of good stuff to look at.

The Stokke Xplory - Why it's worth the money.

A couple of weeks ago, The Little Dude, The Daddy & I were in town enjoying the sunshine, when we bumped into friends who had recently found out they were expecting a baby.
It was the first time they'd seen The Little Dude in his Xplory, and they both got all excited as it was the stroller they had their hearts set on, despite never having seen one in 'real life'.
They asked the question everyone asks - is it really worth the money? And we answered yes. A million times yes. And here's why...

It looks fabulous. Sorry, but it does. Call me superficial if you like, but fact is, I have to push it around everyday, and I like that it's pretty!  And of course it's a very unusual design, which attracts attention - a lot, it's a great conversation starter! There's a gorgeous rainbow of colours to choose from too, which isn't always the case with cheaper models. (We have turquoise, and I love it :D)

But of course, looks are only skin deep, so what else does the Xplory have to offer?

The height factor. Baby is positioned much higher than in other pushchairs, away from the ground, away from dirt & pollution, and up where the action is, closer to mum or dad, with a much more interesting view of the world. My little man loves being able to see what's going on and doesn't stop chatting while we're strolling.
Also, we don't need to worry about finding a high chair when we're in cafes and restaurants, in the Xplory, we can scoot The little Dude right up to the table. Perfect.

Comfort. Stokke are all about a baby's comfort, and they know what they're talking about! The seat has three positions - upright for when baby's awake and taking everything in, slightly reclined for chilling, and fully reclined for snoozing, and the footrest is fully adjustable too.
In short, it's an incredibly comfortable, smooth ride for your little one.

User Friendly! That said, Stokke have the pushers interests at heart too!  The Xplory is a dream to push. It is so easy to manouvre, the handle is completely adjustable for maximum comfort, and despite it's quite large appearence, it handles tight corners and narrow aisles with ease.

Stairs aren't a problem either - a quick clunk & the Xplory flips on to two wheels so you can pull it behind you easily - also perfect for 'off roading' on the beach, which we do a lot of living on the coast.

Huge shopping bag. Might not sound important, but to me, a non driver, it is! Most other models I've tried, have tiny baskets, so I ended up trying to push The Little Dude home whilst also lugging bags of shopping - not fun. With the Xplory, at first glance, you think 'It's tiny, I'm not going to get anything in there' - you'd be wrong. When unzipped, the bag magically expands to a tough, durable way to cart all your shopping home. I love it.

It's built to last. As I said, I don't drive, so my Xplory basically goes everywhere and has clocked some serious mileage, yet still looks brand new. The chassis is solid, the wheels are super sturdy, and can't be punctured. The cushions and the hood are made of gorgeous fabrics - soft, yet hard wearing, and so far showing no signs of wear and tear.
(And I'm sure if we ever decide to have baby no. 2, our Xplory will easily be up to another few thousand miles!)

In short, it's a fantastic stroller, superbly designed.
Yes, it's more expensive than most, but it's the only one you're ever going to need.  I know lots of parents who bought a complete 'travel system' who have then gone on to buy at least one or two 'cheap' strollers as their babies got older.  I won't need to do that. The Xplory will be The Little Dude's ride of choice right up until he's walking.
I think that, together with all the advantages and perks both for you and your baby definitely make the Xplory worth investing in.

(And in case you're wondering, our friend's Xplory is being delivered next week ;)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

When my little man grows up...

It's workshop time again over at Sleep is for the Weak, and prompt number 3 got me thinking:
What do you secretly dream of your children doing? We all know they are not us and more than anything we would want to see them happy, but sometimes a wish to live vicariously through them is unavoidable. Confess your secret dreams for them.

As The Little Dude's birthday looms ever closer, I've been doing a lot of pondering about how fast it all goes, and a lot of suddenly realising 'oh my god, he's actually going to like, grow up and stuff?!' - because when I was pregnant, I always knew I was having a baby - but didn't really give a lot of thought to the fact that my baby would soon turn into a toddler - then a child - then (OMG) a teenager - and eventually - (gulp) - a grown-up!
So then, what are my dreams for The Little Dude?

Well, obviously, I want him to be happy and healthy and content, whatever he decides to do with himself.
I want him to live life to the absolute max, to explore, have adventures, and as much fun as possible along the way. (Preferably without breaking any laws, please and thank you.) 
I want him to find the love of his life (who I will instantly approve of & we'll get along famously for evermore) and be blissfully happy.
But all of those, while very good intentions, don't make for a terribly exciting blog post. So, let's get vicarious.

I want him to be rich and famous.
Rich enough to be able to say 'There you go mummy, there are the keys to that huge country manner you always wanted.  And yes, you have your very own pond, complete with ducks.'
Famous enough for 'Hello!' to call me up asking for an interview & wanting to do a photoshoot at my fabulous country manor home, just because I'm his mummy.

But, not so rich that he loses all sight of what really matters in life, and not so famous that he loses all his privacy and has to search through streams of gold diggers to find his true love.
Johnny Depp's a good role model - superstar - talented - gorgeous - but still a proper family man, with his head screwed on. That'd do nicely.

So, how to achieve this stardom?
The Daddy and I differ there - he's hoping our little man will be the next Steven Gerrard & captain the England squad to world cup glory. That, or become the next big thing in Hollywood (presumably so he could pull strings & let Daddy realise his own acting dreams!).

Me, I'd rather he was a rock star. If there's one thing I hope to pass down to my baby boy, it's a love of music.  (He's already showing a leaning to loud Indie rock, which makes mummy very happy!)  I'd love him to see the world while playing to huge arenas of people, singing amazing songs he's written that will still be around for his children to enjoy. That said, I'd be constantly worrying about him hooking up with whoever fills Amy Winehouse's shoes in years to come. *shudder*
Perhaps a famous TV chef instead - the next Jamie Oliver? That would be brilliant. He could come to The Manor and cook us scrumptious feasts.  And Jools Oliver is lovely - so theoretically, chefs find nice wives? Well, we all love a man who cooks I suppose!
Or maybe, he could invent something so spectacular that mankind ends up wondering how they ever lived without it?  Then he could be rich and famous beyond his wildest dreams, but still be anonymous if he liked.
(Would you really be able to spot Bill Gates in a crowd? I honestly couldn't!)
Of course I'd also love him to inherit my artistic talents, and if he could make his fortune from it, then fantastic!  But even in a vicarious daydream, I know the term 'struggling artist' exists for a reason.

Ultimately though, it really is all about him being happy, healthy and content.
So long as he achieves those, my work is done.
And however he decides to go about it, I'll always be proud of him.
And however tall he gets (I fully expect him to be towering over me by the time he's 12!), he'll always be my little boy.
And I'll always love him more than I ever thought possible.

So - what are your wildest dreams for your offspring?


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Gallery: Me!

Have I mentioned that I love, love, LOVE The Gallery?
I do, I really do.

This week, Tara's prompt is... 'Me.'
originally, I thought about taking new pictures of things that are important to me, and make me who I am (my sketchbook, my iPod, the Little Dude & The Mr & The Dog...) but, as is normal, time got away from me, so instead, I went through my old photos, picked some favourites, and you get this:

From left to right, Me =  a fiancee, a mummy, a friend to many, a lover of fashion (that's me lusting over Karen Millen pretties in Bournemouth), an arty crafty chick (not really evident in this pic, but it's the one I use on my columnist bio at ArtFire, so sort of makes sense), a girlie girl (feeling the hello kitty love in Leicester Square), a boozy floozy (though also a complete light weight since making a baby), a music lover (that's me at Hyde Park waiting for Blur to rock the bejeesus out of the place.), and a domestic goddess. Well, trying to be.

So there you are, that's me.
Who are you?