Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Who said romance is dead?

I'll let you into a secret. I'm not romantic. Father Badger is the romantic one. One year my birthday present was a flower every Monday morning for a year, and he didn't miss a single week. Admittedly one week the flower was an ornamental cabbage but it does at least have originality!

The past few Valentine's Day presents have been homemade truffles (yum!) and one year a cookery book, which could be considered dubious on the romance front if you don't know him - the way to his heart is definitely through his stomach. I have to admit that I don't really subscribe to the whole Valentine thing (you see that romantic side coming out of me?), but I do get a card, mainly because I enjoy looking around for something fun and non-slushy. All I need on Valentine's Day is a hug and for Father Badger to tell me he loves me, but we do that every evening anyway.

Lately I've been getting really down about the remaining baby weight that isn't coming off. I do admit that it's at least partly due to the cake and biscuits(!), but when I don't get a good night's sleep I honestly struggle without a sugar fix. And I don't believe I've had a good night's sleep in the last year (probably sounding very familiar to you all...).

So... what do you think Father Badger gave me for Valentines Day this year? It shows that he cares, that he (sometimes) listens to me and, although again it's not what some would call romantic, I love him for the thought he put into it.

He got me three sessions with a personal trainer! Time to shift those lardons...

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, 20 February 2011


OCR. It's a bit like OCD but rubbish, quite literally. My name is Mother Badger and I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Recycling.

Over the last week or so I've been clearing out the kitchen. First it was the pan cupboard (empty, clean, put back minus the grotty one that puts nonstick coating in your food). Next the crockery (do we honestly need 40 mugs?!). Then on to the store cupboards...

I honestly didn't realise our kitchen was host to such a random selection of out of date ingredients. We have almost-full jars of spices that expired three years ago (obviously bought for a recipe and never used again); two untouched bags of bread flour, purchased several years ago in a fit of enthusiasm for wholesome 4am baking sessions ready for pre-commute breakfast (which unsurprisingly never transpired); the packet of strange purple seaweed with indecipherable Chinese writing and no use by date.

The obsessive tree-hugging green in my head refuses to allow me to simply chuck these foodstuffs in the bin, so I have spent the afternoon (and a good part of my evening) systematically opening jars, cans and packets, depositing contents into the food recycling bin, then assessing how much of the packaging can be recycled.

OCR. You saw it first here.

Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Five things that make you feel good

Having discovered memes recently (being a bit new to the blogosphere), I've now stumbled upon another one, started by the lovely Scottish Mum. The idea is to celebrate ourselves as hard working mums and focus on the warm and fuzzy, the positives and come up with a happy list! Off limits are the techy-geeky things that we know we like (Twitter, blogging, etc.) and to focus on the things that lift our spirits. Oh, and go put your blog URL into the linky at the end of my list.

Five things that make me feel good...

1. Chocolate.
Perhaps chocolate could be seen as a little predictable by some, but tough: it does make me happy. I am fussy though. On the whole, chocolate should just be chocolate (unless we're venturing into the realms of truffles, which are a whole different ball game). Don't waste space where chocolate should be by mixing in nuts, raisins or wafer. Don't even get me started on Maltesers - why on earth do they fill perfectly good chocolate space with that horrible biscuit?! Dairy Milk is good, as is practically anything from Hotel Chocolat. Hot Chocolate, for the record, is an imposter and simply doesn't make the grade. I'd rather have a cup of tea.

2. Music.
That's probably a bit generic. There are some songs or pieces of music that just "do it". Some give that warm fuzzy feeling - check out Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting for example (which no doubt gives away my goth teenage years). Some leave you with goosebumps, hairs standing up on your arms: the Janacek Sinfonietta is one of those for me. There are many others, perhaps a future blog post to show the playlist to my life so far...?

3. Achieving.
I write lists. I need to get to the end of each day and feel as though I have "achieved", and go into a mini-meltdown in the evening if I feel as though I haven't. The only way for me to deal with this is to write down all the things I'm trying to get done over the next day/week/month and draw a satisfying line through each task as it is completed - that way I can look back at the end of the day and get that warm fuzzy feeling that means I "achieved". I'm a stickler, though: I wrapped a parcel a few days ago, wrote the address and affixed stamps, but didn't allow myself to cross it off the list until it had gone in the post box this afternoon.

4. Order.
Together with number 3, this is going to make me look a little OCD. I like things in their place, preferably in a logical order. With books that's alphabetical by surname. With CDs it's alphabetical by band name but grouped by genre. I really hate it when a CD is put back in the wrong case. Father Badger has the opposite approach to me: if he can't see something then it has been put away, truly "out of sight, out of mind". This leads to me either not being able to find what I'm looking for (because it's been squirelled away in the least logical of hiding places) or making surprise discoveries of things I hadn't been able to locate (e.g. the missing dinner plate of a set in a carrier bag in the cleaning cupboard - no idea why). It messes with my mind and I will need therapy.

5. Father Badger and Baby Badger.
I know, how soppy! Both of them have the ability to drive me insane, but when Father Badger hasn't been hiding spare cutlery in the junk drawer, and Baby Badger is happy playing and gives me a gummy (with three teeth) grin, I am truly happy. I can't imagine my life without either of them and I'm a very lucky girl.

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Badger eats giraffe

Today is the second day Father Badger has been ill. He has that horrible stomach bug that seems to be doing the rounds. Baby Badger and I seem to have escaped... Crossing my fingers...

On a purely selfish note, I'm exhausted. Father Badger hasn't been able to help so I've been pretty much flying solo for 48 hours, and Baby Badger is teething. It has not been relaxing.

One thing helps - good old Sophie the Giraffe. Baby Badger has been chewing her head so hard she squeaks!

Image: www.sophielagirafe.co.uk

Monday, 14 February 2011

A sad day

Today has been a sad day. It's a long story...

Three years ago our family of Mother Badger, Father Badger, A-cat and W-cat were joined by S-dog: a bumbling grey ball of fur. S-dog came to fetes, welcomed postman and delivery drivers into our house, went to obedience training (with mixed success - he understood ok but sometimes just couldn't be bothered) and generally became a huge part of our lives.

Something went awry about 18 months ago. Something spooked S-dog. No idea what. Maybe it was adolescence kicking in? What we ended up with was a 10 stone dog that was a happy companion most of the time but defensive of his food and aggressive to visitors. Perhaps worst of all, he bit me twice while I was pregnant with Baby Badger.

That might have been the final straw for some, but we love him and feel a huge responsibility to give him the best life we can, so we consulted dog trainers, brought in a behaviourist and spent a year trying to sort out his behaviour. The result? A much improved S-dog but still not an animal we would consider letting near Baby Badger until she was much, much older. We realised that we couldn't guarantee keeping them apart without excluding S-dog from family life, and he deserves so much more than that.

Which leads to today. S-dog has gone back to the family that bred him. They still have his father and one if his litter mates. The aim is that they will help him overcome whatever has made him nervous and find him a new loving home.

I know that we have done the only thing we could for the sake of our daughter, but it hurts.

Image: www.henson.com

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