I’m never drinking again!

No rest for the wicked! Daddy Chambers in full daddy mode despite his crippling hangover.

No rest for the wicked! Daddy Chambers in full daddy mode despite his crippling hangover.

BC (before children) I loved a good night out. A few drinks at home before heading to the pub was a weekend ritual. I’d even go in search of a party after whatever establishment I was in called time.

When I got pregnant with Aidan in the Autumn of 2012 the weekly ritual ground to a halt. My tolerance levels for drunk people when I’m sober is non existent.

Three years on and nights out for myself and Daddy Chambers are as rare as a good Irish summer. However, when a neighbour asked us to join them for a Saturday night out recently, we jumped at the chance.

Another neighbour kindly offered to babysit Aidan and Sarah and gave us strict instructions to enjoy ourselves and not return before 2am. I’m not usually one to do as I’m told but on this occasion I followed said instructions, I won’t say to the letter because I’m not sure what time it was when I turned the key in the front door on my return!

At 7pm both Aidan and Sarah were tucked up for the night so myself and Daddy Chambers opened a bottle of wine. Two hours later our taxi arrived, we bid the babysitter au revoir and made our way to join the neighbours in the local public house.

After a couple of hours we moved on to another establishment. The rest of the night, if I’m honest, is a bit of a blur.

At least Daddy Chambers had a bit of sense and left early-ish to relieve the babysitter of her duties but sense was never my strong point. When we started a sing-song in the corner of the pub I think we tipped the barman over the edge and we found ourselves heading home pretty soon after. Except I didn’t go home. No, I thought it was a fine idea to head into the neighbour’s house for another beverage or two.

I eventually stumbled in to bed at crazy o’clock and conked it but not for very long. At 6am Aidan was out of the bed and calling for us. Daddy Chambers very kindly arose first to tend to him. An hour or so later I was abruptly woken by a toddler jumping on my head and screaming ‘good morning mammy’ in my face. This is one huge disadvantage of living in a bungalow. I envy you folks who can close the stair gate and get a lie in upstairs, oblivious to the chaos that goes on underneath you!

At that point there was no going back. When Daddy Chambers arrived in I could clearly see he was under the weather so he went back to bed when I took over.

First up there was a dirty nappy (the younger one) to contend with; not pretty at the best of times but 100 times worse with a hangover. Back in the sitting room I decided to stick on the telly in the hope it would keep Aidan entertained as I curled up in the fetal position on the sofa. I was wrong. No, he wanted to play ‘horsey’, a game where he climbs up on my back and I trot him round the house and make horse sounds. After that I had to don a toy hard hat and pretend I was on a building site, fake hammer and all, and fix things. You name it and I fixed it! I fixed the sofa, I fixed the curtains, I even fixed a pair of socks he had pulled out of the chest of drawers in his room.

When Daddy Chambers finally arose I suggested we go to a local play centre in the hope that Aidan would head off, make some little buddies and be entertained, without our help, for a couple of hours.

In fairness that’s exactly what happened but we didn’t think the plan through. The play centre was wedged, packed full of birthday parties and what with it raining outside it seemed like every child in Kildare was in the bloody place. The noise of screaming kids did nothing to help the hangover and the over twos who were illegally playing in the under twos soft play area did my head in as I attempted to shield Sarah from their over zealous antics.

When our hour and a half time slot was up Aidan had to be dragged literally kicking and screaming from the place, while the chase after him round the car park outside was soul destroying.

On the plus side though bedtime was nearing. My stomach churned as I set about making them dinner but thankfully they both ate it without incident and two hours later it was time to put them in their pajamas and load them into bed after what seemed like two days rolled into one. Lunches for the following day were then thrown together, bottles made up and finally it was time for myself and Daddy Chambers to retire.

“I’m never drinking again,” I muttered to myself as I made my way down the hall. Or at least I need to realise that I can’t go out and skull drink the way I did BC. I’m supposed to be a responsible adult, on paper I tick all the boxes anyway. I have a mortgage, two kids, a family car and a pension but on Saturday night I foolishly returned to my youth and paid a heavy price for it the day after!

So if anyone happens to see me out in the future and reckon I’ve had one too many please point me in the direction of home or at least come and mind the kids the next day! if you’re interested in the latter you can contact me to arrange collection!

Morning madness with kids and a weird eye!

Morning madness with kids

Morning madness with kids: Aidan, just before he fired his breakfast at me!

I pride myself on being organised. I have to because I fluster easily. Very easily. This is particularly true since returning to work in June.

My freezer is full of dinners for Aidan and Sarah and some lunches. I don’t have time to be cooking when I get in from work so it’s handy to whip out a spag bol that has defrosted over the day and fill their bellies before they head off to the leaba for the night.

It’s only after they go to bed that the real work starts. Every evening a load of washing goes on, bottles have to be washed and sterilised and left ready for Sarah for the following day. Myself or Daddy Chambers chop up piles of fruit, make the sandwiches and pack it all into the kid’s bags ready to accompany them to the childminder’s house the next day. Dinner’s accompanying carb, be it pasta or rice, is cooked up, cooled and shoved in the fridge. I even go so far as putting the uncooked porridge into bowls with spoons for the morning (yes I really am that anal!).

With Daddy Chambers up, out and long gone to work before the rest of us arise, all the previous night’s organisation pays off. It makes for calm, stress free mornings.

Who am I kidding?! The morning madness with kids never ends! Stress free my behind. No matter how much organising I do, the proverbial still manages to hit the fan and I leave the house a dishevelled stress head!

Some mornings are worse than others. Take last Tuesday for example. I got up at around 6.30am and hopped into the shower for about 20 seconds. In the middle of trying to lob on a bit of make-up I hear Aidan bellowing ‘mammy’ down the hall so I leg it and get him before he wakes Sarah. Into the room he comes and within seconds he had covered his face with eyeshadow and spilled the glass of water that was on the bedside locker.

Next thing Sarah is awake so I stick on the television for Aidan and head into her. She smells like a sewer so I throw her up on the changing table and whip off the babygro to discover it’s a poonami. A baby wipe would not suffice in this instance.

I leg it into the bathroom with the soiled baby under my arm and put on the shower before taking off the nappy. I hose her down and problem solved. Until I turned around that is.

The television failed to hold Aidan’s attention, instead he was part taking in a dirty protest with his sister’s nappy that I had foolishly left on the floor!

I eventually manage to wrestle the nappy off him, clean up and march him back to the sitting room for a spot of Peppa Pig. I get Sarah dressed and plonk her on the bed drinking a bottle while I get myself dressed.

Next minute I hear one of the neighbours in my kitchen. She had found Aidan wandering outside in his pajamas after I forgot to lock the door when I put the nappy out in the wheelie bin.

At the end of my tether, I give him a bowl of porridge, which he throws at me, while Sarah pukes hers all over the fresh clothes. Time is ticking away at this stage, I need to be on the road. I change herself quickly and scrub the breakfast off the floor. I then herd Aidan out to the car as if he was a cow. There’s tears and lots of them for no apparent reason. He’s still bawling when the minder opens her door but at this stage I don’t care! I’m just glad to be handing the madness over to her.

When I hop back in the car I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. I have eye shadow and mascara on one eye, the other is as bare as a baby’s bum. There is porridge stuck in my hair; I basically look like a hobo. All my organisation was for nothing. I’m going to have to start getting up at 3am if I’m to get out of the house looking human and avoid the morning madness with kids. I take my hat off to mothers who arrive to work looking glam as hell, as I cower in the corner hoping nobody notices the weird eye! Even with mammy make up tips from my make up artist Pamela, I still look disheveled! 

So, just how do you other mammys and daddies manage the morning madness with kids or is that even possible?

x

R

My healthy and homemade tomato soup

homemade tomato soup

My homemade tomato soup

More often than not I find myself cooking separate adult and children’s meals, which is so time consuming. Tonight though I said I’d give some healthy and homemade tomato soup a try and when finished I modified two servings for Aidan and Sarah by adding mini pasta shells, peas and kidney beans. I must say it’s delicious in plain soup format and bulked up for the kids.

Recipe as follows: 

1.5kg of vine tomatoes

1 onion

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp of tomato purée

a pinch of sugar (in this case I used xylitol)

2 bay leaves

2 pints of vegetable stock (made from salt free stock cubes)

 

Method:

  • Cut each tomato into quarters. Chop the onion and carrot into small pieces. Chop the celery roughly the same size.
  • Fry the veg over a low heat until soft (approximately ten minutes)
  • Next add in the tomato purée and stir to coat the vegetables.
  • Add the tomatoes and the pinch of sugar (xylitol) and some black pepper. Throw in two bay leaves and cover and simmer on a low heat for ten minutes.
  • After ten minutes add the stock and bring to the boil and then simmer for 25 minutes.
  • All that’s left to do is blend the ingredients in to a lovely soup for a tasty lunch.
  • In a separate pot I cooked up a portion of baby pasta, frozen peas and kidney beans and added it to two portions for Aidan and Sarah. There’s loads of other things other than pasta, beans and peas that would work in this soup, such as chopped carrots, chick peas, noodles etc.

This homemade tomato soup is suitable for freezing and is great for the winter.

Looking for more of my recipes? Check them, and my favourite kitchen gadgets, out here.

x

R

The Chambers’ Dictionary!

It's Just a Phase 1-9-15

Speaking a second language will get you places these days. It can get you a job in Google, in Facebook and even in Ebay. The sky’s the limit.

I have recently learned a second language. It’s not German, it’s not French and it ain’t Spanish. It’s known as the Language of Aidan and it was pretty difficult at first but now I’m fluent. Sometimes I work as a translator for Daddy Chambers and anyone else that comes in contact with my two-year-old.

So here’s a wee breakdown; lets call it the Chambers Dictionary!

Babies – Matryoshka nesting dolls or in layman’s term Russian dolls. Not human infants.

Badah – Not closed or fastened. Open to me and you!

Bam – An animated children’s television series about a fireman and his fellow firefighters. To simplify – Fireman Sam!

Bawboo – a round, usually red or green, edible fruit of a small tree. In English, apple.   Bedjeez – any small, usually stoneless fruit, irrespective of botanical structure. E.g. Strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.

Bork – an instrument with two or more prongs used to handling food. AKA fork.

Deedaw – Female sibling. Named Sarah Chambers.

Dernaw – Any male called Dermot. E.g. Dernaw O’Leary.

Dodo – an Irish newscaster with RTE. Otherwise known as Brian Dobson.

Gaga – The father of one’s father or mother. E.g grandad.

Gammer – a tool consisting of a solid head of metal (but in this case a plastic mock one) used for beating metals and driving nails. In English, a hammer.

Guinea – any of the long, thin, separate parts of the hand, especially those that are not thumbs. Known to everyone else as a finger!

Ike – No, not Tina Turner’s former husband, it’s something that makes things visible or affords illumination. Known in English as light.

Keen – A soft substance that you rub into your skin. Known to the English speaking world as cream.

Mena – His very lovely little friend and neighbour. Her name is Mia!

Mika – No not the Lebanese British born singer who had a number one hit with ‘Grace Kelly’ In this instance it’s a small yellow, cylindrical creature with one or two eyes created by Eric Guillon. Most other people know them as Minions from the movie Despicable Me.

Mink – A liquid that is taken into the body through the mouth. In English we say drink!

Mote – A device that controls the operation or performance of an apparatus from a distance. I say remote control.

Nanny – Any female over a certain age. Even strangers. We know the term as a pet name for the mother of one’s father or mother!

Pud – A starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum teberosum L. That’s potato in simple terms!

Sasas – Minced pork and God knows what else stuffed into casing. Known to me as sausages.

Wickies – Corn kernels that burst open and puff out when subjected to dry heat. To me and you that’s popcorn.

Win-yow – a space usually filled with glass in the wall of a building or vehicle. AKA window.

And if Aidan is struggling to find the words, ‘no’ is the next best one. Actually, at two years of age, no is indeed the most important word in his vocabulary. Funny how he never mispronounces that one!

Do your wee ones have funny ways of saying things? I’d love to hear them.

Cot to bed with my toddler – how it went

Cot to bed

Cot to bed.

We recently decided it was time to move Aidan from the safety of, or lack thereof, his cot to a ‘big boy’ bed. The reason being he has mastered the art of scaling the bars and escaping. One Saturday morning recently myself and Daddy Chambers were awoken by the sound of our little Chopin belting out a few tunes on his toy keyboard after he had somersaulted out of the leaba. Cot to bed it was so!

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