Twenty-somethings

I followed a bunch of bloggers on twitter today. My grand plan is to follow, be inspired by their energy and regular posting, and thus start posting regularly again.

Hahahahaha.

Realistically, however, I’ve already noticed a worrying trend amongst these ~cool~ bloggers: they’re all young twenty-somethings with no kids, no mortgage and very few of the responsibilities and boring bits of life dragging them down.

(That’s not a diss on these bloggers, rather just a reflection on my own boring existence.)

Of course this made me think back to my own heady days of popularity and millions of pageviews and comments and general life-validation through the medium that is the blog, and I realised I too was a young twenty-something with no kids, no mortgage and few responsibilities.

Obviously the key to being a successful blogger lies somewhere in that revelation… time to sell the kids and the house I guess.

Monthly post to confirm not-deadness (and other exciting news)

Not sure I made that blog title long enough?

Anyway.. hi, here I am. Not dead. Which you probably already know because you all follow me on social media. Don’t you?

Things have been a bit hectic lately. Last time I spoke to you I was just starting my new drugs. Which … oops, haven’t taken them yet today —interlude— …which seem to be working fine. I mean, I guess they are because after the weird zombie-no-feelings period I just felt normal. And normal is good, I like feeling “normal”. I can function, take care of my kids, not shout at everyone / everything, and generally just get on with life.

They haven’t been the miracle cure for my motivation that I was hoping for. I still seem to have issues with lack of coding mojo, and have to force myself to work, but we can’t have everything. This was especially problematic in February when I was ill and the kids were ill and everything went disastrously wrong and I did about 10 hours billable work, but I am vaguely back on track now so as long as I can do two months work in March, I’ll be fine HAHAHA BYE SAVINGS.

To add to the risk factor of my currently complicated catch up lifestyle, I’ve ‘invested’ in (that sounds way posher than the reality) a new project which will add to my current site portfolio expanding my passive income earning potential in the long term. Hopefully. If I can get the work it needs done. You can probably see the flaw in this plan…

Boring work stuff aside, I’m approximately 2 months off getting married and haven’t planned anything. I’ve lost 3 pets in as many months (predator, illness and old age respectively). And, the house stinks because the kitten I got for Gaz for Christmas keeps shitting everywhere.

But at least I feel normal now.

Chaos

As you may have figured out from my sporadic blogging of late, I’ve been a wee bit busy. Cramming in ALL THE WORK before Christmas so that I can have a proper holiday; trying to get kids in the right place at the right time for nativities and dinners and parties and this, that and the other; car disasters (mid section of the exhaust fell off, brakes and tyres buggered); home disasters (dishwasher keeps flooding the kitchen, oven is still fucked from last Christmas, tumble dryer jams the timer… nothing like a fire risk to keep you on your toes) and all the bits in between.

I’m only blogging now because technology has chosen THIS MOMENT, where I have literally got more things to do than minutes to do it in, to have a dick fit and completely fail to work. My internet connection is sporadically dropping to the speed of dial-up and my once trusty & reliable laptop seems to have decided it’s had enough and is mysteriously ramping up RAM usage and dying on me every 4-6 hours. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m TERRIBLE at making back-ups I’d have taken a bloody hammer to it by now.

I have done very little in terms of Christmas prep, given the bare minimum of thought to my kid’s presents (basically throwing any old crap into my Amazon basket and hoping for the best) and even then not bothering to unpack it when it arrives: my hallway looks like Santa’s bloody grotto and I daren’t open any of it because if I do that I have to find somewhere to hide what’s inside. The only problem with this method of storage is that I have genuine non-Christmas deliveries somewhere (pet food amongst others) which is kinda necessary for my animals but could be in ANY of the boxes… and knowing my luck, the last one I investigate.

Oh well, it’s nearly Christmas. Ho ho ho. Now where did I put those mince pies…

Day in the life of a WAHM

It’s Tuesday morning, 6:50am. The kids have just asked me if it’s morning yet and can we get up, and I send them back to bed knowing full well the alarm is going to go off in 5 minutes, but every second I can spend tucked in bed wrapped in limbs and duvet improves the chances of me not being a grumpy arse when I do get up.

7:05am — oops, I realise I must have forgotten to turn the alarm on last night. Drag my weary butt out of bed and get the kids out of theirs.

The next hour is a confused, frantic mess of breakfast choices, getting the kids dressed and hair brushed (urghhhhhhhhh worst part of every morning), me showered / dressed / protein shake in my gob, feeding the cats and getting everyone out the door. We’re running 10 minutes behind schedule.

8:10am: chuck Izzy out at the school breakfast club. She loves going, because it means she can have a second breakfast and it’s usually poached eggs.

8:25am: drop Olly off at nursery: his favourite lady is there this morning, so we have a smooth and smiley handover. This allows me to recoup some of the earlier lost time.

8:30am: arrive with a client whom I have committed 8 hours a week to, split over 2 days. It guarantees regular income (so a bit of stability for me) which pays my childcare bill, allowing me to do all my other (more profitable) work.

Work work work.

12:30: home time

12:45: raid the fridge for anything vaguely edible

1pm: catch up on e-mails, social media

1:30pm: remember I’m supposed to be working, close down twitter

2pm: remember I’m supposed to be working, really close down twitter this time

2:05pm: realise that the spreadsheet I’m working from is out of date (probably because I haven’t updated it)

2:15pm: chuck some notes in spreadsheet, mark things completed, email to client in anticipation of call at 2:30 which is probably going to be a telling off because I expected to have other bits done by now (August was a disaster work-wise)

By 2:20pm I’m already sweating. Not because I’m hot (hello, Britain, September!) but because I hate phone calls. There’s something about not being able to read the body language and facial expressions of someone that reduces me to a jibbering wreck.

2:32pm: Desperate for a pee and the call is already late, what do I do, what do I do?

2:33pm: Risk it.. sit down, start to pee, phone rings. Pee faster, pee faster! Grab phone, accidentally cut him off.

2:34pm: Call back, telling off for slipping deadlines and unclear communication. Oops :(

2:58pm: Joke about pee on twitter, suddenly remember I need to pick the kids up. Forget sometimes there’s an “M” part to this WAH thingy.

7:53pm: Sit back down at computer somehow having lost 5 hours to feeding, bathing, bedtime stories and the like. Suppose I best get some work done. Ooh, what’s happening on twitter….

Getting “Bulky”

When I started lifting weights I had several conversations (Facebook chat counts as a conversation these days, right?) with friends about how I wanted to build some muscle but I didn’t want to end up looking like this:

female bodybuilder weightlifting
(face hidden because it’s not my intention to shame this woman)

I know that a lot of women don’t lift because they’re worried about “looking bulky” and that it’s mostly bollocks (because women don’t have the same body composition / hormone levels etc as men, so don’t end generally end up looking “bulky” by accident!) but I figured I was going to be lifting so much I might genuinely end up looking a bit more muscley than I intended.

Hahahahahahaha. I was such a dick.

I have now been lifting for ~6 months give or take (including some weeks skipping workouts because I was ill or lazy). Six months in I am only just getting to the stage where you can maybe tell I lift if you see me unflexed. If I flex it’s more obvious, but I also look constipated, so I try not to do it in public too much. But the point is, how bloody naive was I to assume that lifting a dumbbell a couple of times a week was going to make me look even close to that? I couldn’t have disrespected the work that female pro bodybuilders put into their bodies any more if I’d tried.

I still don’t want to look like that, far from it, but I certainly have a lot more respect for women who can do that and who put that amount of time and effort in. Just building the small amount of muscle on my arms that I have got has been bloody hard work. (These women still remind me of David Dickinson though.)

So this week I did this…

jem on eggheads

Programming Sucks

Websites that are glorified shopping carts with maybe three dynamic pages are maintained by teams of people around the clock, because the truth is everything is breaking all the time, everywhere, for everyone. Right now someone who works for Facebook is getting tens of thousands of error messages and frantically trying to find the problem before the whole charade collapses. There’s a team at a Google office that hasn’t slept in three days. Somewhere there’s a database programmer surrounded by empty Mountain Dew bottles whose husband thinks she’s dead.

— Programming Sucks

The Important Things

bacon-sarnieKarl has taken the kids out for a few hours so that I can get some work done, so I’ve started with the important things:

  1. Had a wee in peace
  2. Had a hot cup of coffee
  3. & had bacon sarnie all to myself.

(I’ve also emptied and scrubbed the bin, done the dishwasher / washed the bits that wouldn’t fit, scrubbed the sides and put away some dishes. It’s amazing what you can fit in half an hour when there’s no kids underfoot.)

I suppose I should actually do some work now, though…

How not to do blogger outreach

I think I’ve probably mentioned before that I get a lot of PR / “blogger outreach” emails. There’s something about having squeezed a baby out of your nethers that makes companies think you’re happy to hawk their wares.

Most of these mails go straight to the bin. Either they’re generic “hi pls link our product” spam from a mass mail program or are from an agency that has picked my email from a list of mommy bloggers and hasn’t bothered to read my contact / PR page (it’s always obvious).

Rarely though do I get mails which, on the surface seem OK, but scratch away a little and you can see that they’re actually bloody awful. Case in point:

bad outreach mail

Let’s count the ways in which this fails:

  1. Misspelled my name – probably my biggest pet peeve (but at least they didn’t call me Jim…)
  2. Address from “Sandra” but mail headers say it’s from Ivan
  3. Empty compliments – since when has my site been approachable? People are usually complaining that my tagline puts them off!
  4. Bollocks about loving giveaways. I think I’ve done 2 over here?
  5. Wrong niche – I talk about parenting and household stuff primarily, not BS nutritional supplements
  6. Wrong side of the planet – why is a US based company wanting a UK based mum to promote them?

Blogger outreach. Is it really that hard to get it right?

Under the Sofa

I didn’t think it had been that long since I cleaned under the sofa last. And yet, having just done so, I found…

  • teething toy
  • rattle
  • pair of pants (Isabel’s)
  • 2 socks (1 x Isabel’s, 1 x Oliver’s)
  • large Lego wheel
  • 8 mega bloks
  • 1 bulldog clip
  • number 3, number 8
  • 1 hairclip
  • 2 hair bobbles
  • 1 hair elastic
  • 1 mussel shell
  • 4 crayons
  • 2 wax crayons
  • 1 HB pencil
  • 1 fabric watermelon piece
  • 1 flip video camera
  • 1 cork
  • 87 pence
  • 1 piece of chalk
  • 1 mobile telephone (old)
  • a whooooole lot of dust & cat hair!

Ooops.

Judgeypants

I got the judgey death stare from another mum in Tesco this morning.

I can’t quite figure out if it was because Isabel was stropping, or if it was because I told her that if she didn’t stop stropping I was going to put her back in the trolley seat (Isabel, that is, not the other mum).

I’ve not done too badly I don’t think, this is the first one in 3 years. That’s not to say it’s the first I’ve had, just that I’m usually oblivious. Still, it could have been worse. Imagine the look she’d have given me if she’d heard our giggling 10 minutes earlier about the willies on her anatomically correct Schleich horses.

That time of year…

I know when cold and flu season is approaching for one rather unique reason…

Hits to a rather, er.. “interesting” old post of mine fly through the roof.

I have to say, if men suffer from sore testicles when they get a cold, it’s no wonder they moan so much. I can’t imagine that’s much fun. Oh wait, probably a bit like bleeding from your uterus once a month… I feel my sympathy draining away! :P