Parenting, twins, life, work and worries.

Preparing for Xmas!

Posted by shinymac on December 5, 2012

So I am the most motivated and excited that I think I have ever been about Christmas. This year I decided, in an effort to save money, I would endeavour to create my own hampers, and make everything in them myself, apart from maybe the odd candy-cane.

I started 2 weeks ago with Limoncello, and have 2 litres sat in the dark in my kitchen, infusing as we speak. I have had some whisky donated by my dad to create my very own version of Bailey’s, although I’m leaving that until a bit later, due to the double cream. I am going to create some delicious Christmas treats, and my pickled shallots are sat pickling in the cupboard, along with jars of grilled peppers in olive oil. Loads is going on!

Mark the Medium told me back in April/May time that I would be far more organised this year, so whether it’s because he inspired me to be, or whether he was actually predicting it, I care not. All I know is, that my kitchen and my larder cupboard are slowly getting filled with wrappings, ribbon, labels, bags, bottles, jars and extra special delights.

I just wish I was making one for myself! 🙂


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Invasion of giant rats!

Posted by shinymac on August 19, 2010

Right now I am so unbelievably glad I don’t live on the Ravenscliffe Estate in Bradford, who seem to be having an issue with absolutely ginormous rats.
I’ve just been reading about this here (and I don’t usually read The Sun, but I couldn’t resist this story), and I kid you not, my hair is on end, I feel sick, and I actually feel a little bit scared.

Have a look, but please put any food down first, and please don’t read if you are of a nervous disposition. I regret hearing about this now.

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Giving up the ghost

Posted by shinymac on March 8, 2010

Last Monday I turned my back on an old friend and started to literally breathe new life into my lungs.
I gave up smoking, and my goodness it’s been a slog, but manageable thanks to the glorious little plasters of nicotine that are seeing me through my days, and nights, and staving off the nasty cravings that plague me without them.
I did have a small lapse on Friday, but I’m back to it now, and determined more than ever before to not give up giving up.

In other news, I am still banging my head against a brick wall, but kind of in another sense, and I’m terrified that it’s going to end in tears, on my part. I am stupid stupid stupid sometimes, but sometimes your heart just takes over and rules everything, and that is exactly what is happening to me, and I just can’t stop it. If only my head had the willpower to overule everything else and make me sensible, and stop me from seeing perfection when in reality it doesn’t exist does it.

I can’t sleep, hence the rambling, and if all else fails, I’ll just blame the lack of smoking. Night.

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Schmalentines Day!

Posted by shinymac on February 8, 2010

Do you ever feel as though you’re banging your head against a brick wall and getting nowhere?
I’ve been feeling like that lately, a lot.
It appears that no matter what I say or how I feel, it is not being understood, in more ways than one, and I just feel exhausted and exasperated with trying to convey my feelings.

I sometimes wish I just didn’t have to face up to reality, that I could just be Mary Poppins, click my fingers and everything gets done for me with no qualms, no worries, no concerns and no issues.

Oh to have the simple life!

In other news, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, my first in aaaages as a single girl, and I’m not even dreading it. Considering a few years ago on this very blog I wrote about receiving a poem about my breasts written in haste, I’m kind of glad I don’t have to be upset with anyone for not getting anything this year. And I don’t have to get anyone anything too, so it’s a win-win!

I pity those stuck in stressy relationships all worried about what to do, how to force the issue of being romantic, when really it shouldn’t just be Valentine’s Day that you show someone you love them. If you really truly do, then you should make an effort to let them know every day in one way or another.

Maybe next year I’ll change my view on this, depending on my situation, although I doubt that will change, but for now, if it makes me feel better about the lack of roses, or chocolates, or even just a simple card, then I’m sticking with it!

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Chocolate, men, coffee – some things are better rich.

Posted by shinymac on January 29, 2010

Today I met with a friend for “coffee”. Nothing unusal there you may think, unless you really know me, and then you’d know that I don’t actually tend to drink hot drinks. Tea and coffee are just not my bag, but occasionally I’ll have a little sniff as I meander past the Nero’s and the Starbucks of this fair city and just think to myself “mmmmmm, if only it tasted as good as it smelled”. Also, I think I was always a little bit afraid to venture into the hot drinks club for fear it spelled adulthood.

Well dear internet people of the world, today during my coffee meetup, I discovered the most beautiful, delicious mocha coffee, topped with a chocolatey, caramelly, sweetness that just enveloped my tastebuds in pure heavenly delight! And to make it even better, it came from a new independent coffee shop just down the road, rather than a huge chain that funds chopping down bits of the Amazon, or the murder of farmworkers in the deepest, darkest depths of South America.

So as I sat catching up on a few months worth of goings-on, and planning future events, I suddenly realised something – I’m now officially a grown up, and it just doesn’t feel scary anymore.
Tomorrow I may even get myself a proper coffee machine!

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New Baby, New Life, New Start

Posted by shinymac on January 7, 2010

My absence from here has been well and truly noted. I have missed sharing my thoughts, memories and feelings with internet strangers or family, but I have had my reasons.
So many times I have come on and written up draft after draft about what has been going on, and how I felt about it all, but never published any of it – far too much information and personal stuff to share, so please forgive me for that, but it’s been, well, emotional!

To cut a long story short, the Ballad of Sinead and Alex came to an end when Gracie was 4 weeks old. Not entirely my choice, but sometimes love dies, and sometimes you are better off without it, and I know now that I certainly am, well certainly better off without that particular version of it anyway.

It’s been 7 months (!!!!!), Gracie is AMAZING! She has been my strength, so have Evie and Marley, and I know that having them to focus on has seen me through so many terrible times. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my moments, I still do from time to time, but I no longer think about what could’ve been, or what I should’ve done or said, or what I used to have. Now I think more about my future and what I want from it, and how to go about getting it, one way or another. I still get a little angry, but that’s not about what has happened in the past anymore, it’s more about what happens from day to day, and I just cross each and every river as and when it crops up.

The last 7 months have taught me so much. I now realise how important my family are, and I also have truly discovered how totally amazing my friends are too. There are a couple in particular without whom I would’ve shed more tears, I would’ve felt much more lonely, and I would’ve had a head full of anger and thoughts desperately needing to be vented. One day as I said to one of these friends that I still had many rivers to cross, he said to me: “You do, but it’s up to you whether you struggle to wade through them alone, use a boat, or with a little help, build bridges”. Well this person has helped me to build many bridges, and even carried me across a few of them so I didn’t have to walk them alone. For that, I will always be grateful.

Next post – far less serious and depressing – I promise!

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Gracie’s arrival into the big wide world!

Posted by shinymac on May 28, 2009

Gracie’s Birth Story – Thursday 21.05.2009 – 07:20am – 7lbs 5oz

The first sign of anything happening was on Monday 18th May, when I woke up to feel a gush of fluid, and realised my waters had broken.
The whole day was spent waiting for the contractions to come, and seeking out every little niggly pain and ache, all amounting to nothing. I went to pick my children up from school, and the water kept coming and coming – the walking was changing the baby’s position and forcing it out!
I decided I shouldn’t really wait around for the contractions, I needed to be checked by the hospital. I called them, and they said they wanted me in to be monitored, and to check for infection etc. So Alex came home from work, and in we went.
He took the children off to get some tea, while they monitored me, and after several hours, everything seemed to be fine, so they let me go home, but with instructions to return the following day and have more monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat, and temperature checks etc.

The following day, was even worse. I was there for 6 hours, mostly just waiting around, as they seemed to be so short staffed, and as nothing had happened since the waters going (apart from more and more waters coming and coming non-stop), I was getting really upset and frustrated.
They finally let me go at around 8pm, and I cried to the midwife when she said I’d need to be back the following day again. She took me to the desk and found the registrar, and she asked him the following “Please can you consider this poor poor lady for acceleration of labour tomorrow?” He confirmed he was happy to consider me for this, but it would all depend on their workload the following day, and who was in charge as well.
It made me more positive about going back the next day, and I felt a bit better.

During that night, I started waking up around every half an hour with tightenings which turned into pains, and as I got to Wednesday morning, they were coming around every 25-20 minutes and getting slightly worse, although still bearable.
I sent Alex to work, took the kids to school, told him I’d let him know when I needed him, and decided to ride it out as much as I could.
I went to the hospital on the bus, and tried to cover up my wincing when each wave of pain came! Once there the contractions were showing up on the monitor, but were not very strong just yet. They decided to send me home as the Labour Ward was very busy, and they said to come back tomorrow. I had a feeling I’d be back before then.

I went home, again! The pains increased and when they were coming every 12 minutes or so, I rang my friend, Louisa, (what an absolute star she was too!) to come round, as she was going to babysit for us when it all kicked off. She came, and helped me time my pains on the computer as I bounced on my ball.
They went from 12 minutes apart down to 3-4 minutes apart within about 2 hours, so I knew things were heading in the right direction.
I rang the hospital when they got more frequent and when they were starting to become unbearable, and they said to come in.

In we went at around 10pm and were put into a room, where I was examined. After ALL that, I was only a paltry 2cms dilated! I could’ve cried. The midwife said that there was no point in me going home, as things could go quickly due to my waters already going, and they had to induce me the following day as it would’ve been 72 hours since my waters went.

So I got comfy, although not for long. Within a couple more hours, the pains were intensifying. I had some co-codomol, and tried a bath, and had to have some anti-biotic drip put in due to the waters already being broken.
Suddenly, at about 3am, I was in the bathroom doing the toilet, and couldn’t get off it, I was squealing with the pain, and Alex rushed in and called the midwife. She examined me again, put me on the monitors and said it was time to go to the Labour Ward so I could have some gas and air.

Goodness me, that stuff helped, but it made me feel like I had a man’s voice, and made me talk some rubbish too!!! Apparently at one point I was talking about some man who dances with fairies in the park. And I also just blurted out “Well that’s no good is it? He’s in Afghanistan!” I had no idea who I was talking about at that point, until Alex asked if I meant my brother, and I realised I did, although he wasn’t in Afghanistan! It was sending me potty!
Things seemed to progress quickly once I was in the birth room, and I kept trying all kinds of different positions to get comfy, but I was so restricted, as they had to keep me on the monitors. I was standing up, on all fours, laid down, and just struggling to get comfy.

As it got to the pushing stage, the midwife was telling me to hold a deep breath in, use the gas and hold it all down to push, and I kept screaming that I couldn’t do it! I kept saying “I’m SOOO tired! I can’t even open my eyes, let alone push! DRINK! GET ME A DRINK!” Poor Alex kept having to feed me water.

It felt like forever, but I actually managed to push my little girl into the world in just a 20 minute pushing stage after pretty much 3 days of slowwww labour! The feeling of utter relief when you feel her flop out of you is amazing, and impossible to describe, but as soon as she was placed onto me, and let out a cry, my heart was filled with love and devotion to her. Alex had announced the sex to me, and that was a special moment that I will cherish forever.

I tore quite badly, so had to have stitches, but the worst part of that is the first time you go to the toilet as you hesitate and hold it in so much, once you’ve done it once, it’s fine

Gracie is a little angel already, and I am completely besotted with her.
At first I said “NO MORE EVER”. I’ve since changed my mind, if we had a larger house or money for a larger house, I’d keep going and going. The pain is just a small section of the whole experience, and is so totally worth every bit.

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Oops I did it again!

Posted by shinymac on March 4, 2009

And again, I have deserted this blog for months on end, and neglected it whilst I’ve nurtured the growing baby in my belly instead.
I’m now into my 3rd trimester, and after spending the second not really feeling pregnant, due to having plenty of energy, and feeling good, it’s now catching back up with me, as my boobs have turned into HUGE domes, and I am getting kicked to shreds from the inside out.

I’m still at the council, don’t know if they’ll extend my contract which runs out next month, but I’m hoping they do, so that I can at least have a job to go back to one day.

I’m currently suffering with SPD, a pelvic thing, and have physio (my 2nd appointment) coming up this Friday. I’ve also got glucose in my urine, so have to have a GTT test on Friday as well. Not looking forward to that, apparently they not only stab you with needles, they make you drink a disgustingly sickly liquid to see how well you handle it – mmmmmmm.
Right, well it’s way past my bedtime. I’m only up to give the washing time to dry in the dryer. Rock and Roll or what! x

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Posted by shinymac on November 22, 2008

Woah! Where have the 2 months gone?
Hmm…… what have I been up to for the last 2 months…… hmmm…. let me think….

WELL! I’ve spent much of it with my head over the toilet bowl, retching. I’ve gone off tomatoey foods, I have been more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and yes, I’ve been growing a baby in my tummy.

This is why I haven’t been around, coupled with starting work full time for the council, which has been far better than I could ever have imagined it would be.

I will update you all properly when I get a chance, but the X Factor has just come on, and I cannot live without my weekly fix of guilty pleasure trashy tv (weekly has actually turned into nightly with I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here coming on lately, so weekly is a bit of a lie really!).

See you soon x

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Strength personified

Posted by shinymac on September 27, 2008


From the moment I took my first breath in the world, nah, scrap that, from the moment I was conceived if we’re going to be picky, I’ve had a special person in my life.

Someone so special that she has been there for me, regardless of differences of opinion, regardless of location, and regardless of a couple of years of rebellion (which was really a pathetic attempt at rebellion to be fair – I was too sensible most of the time!).

This person, which is probably fairly obvious, is my mum, Marie.

She has shown me considerable strength throughout her life, and she has continued to smile and laugh, despite major set-backs in life, and despite illness over the last several years.

What an inspiration!

I’m so proud of my mummy. Happy birthday x

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