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If you’re looking here than that means you haven’t yet found your way to my brand new site

http://sleepisfortheweak.org.uk

So what are you waiting for! Get your ass over there! (…and don’t forget to re-subscribe)

thanksverymuchbye x

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Moving On Up

suitcasesMorning all,

Just to let you know that Sleep is for the Weak will be taking a short hiatus for a couple of days while I transfer everything over to a brand new hosted domain!!

I know… it’s very exciting. I’ve given into blog envy – fed up of being jealous of all your gorgeous widgets and add-ons! This new site should allow me to obsessively tweek to my hearts content

Stay tuned for details. I’ve never attempted anything like this before so if you hear screams and curses eminating from the Staffordshire area then it’s probably me trying to get to grips with it all.

Wish me luck!

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I have a confession to make to you.

I am having a love affair. A passionate, toe tingling, heart-wrenching love affair.

I have all the usual ‘being in love’ symptoms. That slightly ill feeling. Random transitory moods of weepiness alternated with extreme euphoria which I can’t quite verbalise. Obsessive thoughts and lying awake at night thinking about the source of my affection, what I want to say to them running round and round my head in an endless loop. An overwhelming, raging guilt at my neglect of my family, friends and the housework in favour of my new love. Paranoia (maybe they don’t love me back, maybe I’m not good enough!), and taking every single fleeting opportunity to sneak away and dirty myself in its embrace.

I should probably explain (and quick before my husband reading this at work falls off his chair).

It’s not another man. It’s this damn writing business.

I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s all I want to do. All. The. Time. God I’m a little sweaty just sitting here typing. I almost cried with relief when Kai decided he was tired and needed a nap. Just so I could sit and fire up the laptop with shaky hands and blissfully tap out some words.

Is there a Writers’ Anonymous group or something? Cause I think I need a referal.

*sigh*

But that’s the problem. That’s what’s making me weep into my keyboard and mope about like some pretentious, post-modern artiste with a floppy fringe and leggings and a wistful look. I’m NOT a writer. I don’t even pretend to be. I have no experience of it. In fact, this blog (and couple of others on various topics peppered about the bloggosphere) are the sole fruits of my writing efforts.  

But, but, BUT! I think I want be… or at least… oh I don’t know.

I’ve seen you fellow bloggers. In you ‘About Me’s. You list yourselves as writers, or freelancers, or ex-copy writers, or editors or whatever. And I internally seethe. At your confidence, your skill, your experience. Or even worse – you DON’T put ‘writer’ in your intro but instead scream it with every glorious, perfectly constructed, flawless entry.

I bet you have perfect hair and shiny teeth too. And tidy houses. I just know it. Oh how I hate you.

Except I don’t of course. Because I secretly love you. Love your lives, love your talent and your creativity. It’s what brings me back to your blogs over and over, leaving hesitant, unsure comments, or not doing so and slinking off unobseved because all I can think of to say is “I wish I could write something so beautiful”.

How did you get where you are? Where does a mummy blogger with appalling spelling and not one creative writing course to her name even begin? What is it I even want? What does this annoying internal yearning mean?

I guess I just have to write. ‘Writer’ seems an accolade I am a very long way from deserving. But I guess everyone has to start somewhere and I think maybe here is ‘it’. And hopefully I’ll figure out what what the hell it is I’m looking for and what I want to write about along the way.

God this is all sounding very pretentious isn’ it? I’ll stop now…

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Kiss Kiss

I have been lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of some particularly spectacular kisses in my life.

The first of any real significance must have been when I was about 8 and I fell head of heels in love with a boy a whole dizzifying year older than me. Him and his younger brothers would come to our house after school till their mum finished work and the two of us in secret, with me wearing my bridesmaid dress to look more beautiful, would reenact the scenes of many a Disney movie with numerous chaste but passionate kisses. Sometimes for real. ON THE LIPS. I can still feel my skin blushing. We’d quickly get bored and rejoin the boys in favour of wrestling matches (which I would win) and ingenious and complicated games involving dressing up and making maps and me being in charge and generally finding excuses to sit on the middle brother and beat him to a pulp. But still. Significant. 

Then there was rather a lot of kissing between the ages of 15 and 17 that shall remain mysterious and vague… you know who you are (male population of a small Staffordshire town).

Now we get to the good ones.

I have just turned 18 and am being kissed on a bridge under the stars. This was a earth-moving kiss, a life-changing kiss. Shortly afterwards the words “I love you” were uttered for the first time and truly meant and understood. And privately I vowed never to kiss another in my whole life.

Flash forward through gazillions of equally spectacular and earth-moving kisses, and an equal if not greater number of mundane “have a good day” kisses that still manage to make my knees go a little weak. All on the same lovely pair of lips. The lips that smiled and kissed me on our first night in our very first home. The lips that said “I do” on our wedding day and kissed me in front of all our family and friends as I quivered and tried not to cry, feeling like I was going to drop dead of sheer unequivocal joy right there and then. 

Jo Kissing Ant   First Dance 2

 I have had unrivalled and privileged access to those lips, and them to mine, for nearly a decade.

Until now.

For now our precious boy, born of those same kisses, has now discovered kissing all for himself.

He puckers up his little lips and leans forward full of all the seriousness and intent of any leading man. Each tender kiss accompanied with a little “mwah” to really seal the deal. Repeatedly kissing daddy is now a new favourite pastime; Ant can barely leave the room for two minutes at a time without being wooed. I don’t get quite as many but seem to have been targeted for the more serious kissing practice in which the baby bear fights to hold my head still and plant repeated, dribbly, open-mouthed and earnest kisses on my surprised lips.

Needless to say Ant and I are enamoured with our little Casanova, taking every opportunity to sneak another one in at every available opportunity. I imagine the novelty will wear off sooner or later, especially if Bad Mommy Moment’s wonderful recent post is anything to go by, but for now, well, we’re loving every wet, perfect smacker.

Who knew one kiss under the stars would lead us here?

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I think it’s about time I introduced you to a few of the other supporting cast members in this strange surreal stage-show that seems to be my life at the moment (I think I shall name it “Talking Bread People On Ice”). You’ve met me and you’ve met Kai, and you haven’t run away yet. Let’s see after this lot…

Introducing: my family. Who have all been given super-hero secret identities for the purpose of this narrative.

THE HUSBAND (a.k.a The World’s Most Patient Man)

DSCF2916Super Hero Powers: King of the random fact and endless movie trivia. Able to put up with wife’s irrational, slightly bi-polar behaviour and giant paddys without even a flicker of annoyance. To laugh and make-fun of aforementioned irrational, bi-polar behaviour thus defusing tense situations with ease (It is very hard to stay stroppy with someone calling you a “big head pixie wife” over and over again). In similar fashion has a unique ability to come up with new and interesting ways to make the Kai-ransaurus laugh – including such popular games as “Ninja Dad”, “Sock-Ear Dad” and singing and dancing to such self-penned classics as “Just A Little Nugget Of A Poo”.

Can magically produce cups of tea and treats at much needed moments. Champion Washer-Upper and ‘tidying’ in the form of putting things in giant neat piles.

Generally just a complete super-star. I’m still wondering quite what I did to deserve him and hoping very, very hard he doesn’t figure out his misfortune and do a runner anytime soon. I am currently having to share him with the love of his life his new HTC Hero phone but I think I’m safe as long as it doesn’t develop an app that cooks his tea.

Kryptonite Style Weaknesses: Colds, or illness of any sort. Anything breaking, especially something gadgety and electrical, is likely to bring on apocalyptic style melt-downs.

Super-Hero Accessories: Mobile Phone. Crisps.

Most Likely To Say: “Did I mention my phone can scan the night sky and tell you the constellation you’re looking at? No? Well it can” and “Do we have any snacks?”

 

THE MUM

DSCF2542Super Hero Powers: Green fingers able to grow vegetables of monumental size and deliciousness. Increasingly talented post-modern flower arranger. Spectacular ability to piss off the Christian Right at her local church with her ‘lifestyle’ choices, being both gay and a Christian and generally lovely and hard to dislike however much they try. I’m trying to encourage her to start a guerrilla flower arranging campaign and fill her church with phalic symbolism but she’s taking some persuading…

One of her greatest abilities is to have a busier social life then me and be out most of the time. Hence my longstanding and fulfilling relationship with ‘answering machine mom’ in her absence. Currently sailing the Med in an enormous boat, living it large, and being generally fabulous. The most empathic and caring woman I know. I love her and am so proud of her I could burst.

Kryptonite Style Weaknesses: Rampaging Badgers in her vegetable patch. Anything even vaguely sentimental or emotional likely to bring on fits of ‘leaking’ from the eye area.

Super-Hero Accessories: A pair of deadly, poison tipped secateurs. A rainbow fish window sticker. 

Most Likely To Say: “I’m sorry I’m not here right now. Please leave your message after the tone”.

 

THE STEP-MUM

DSCF3308Super Hero Powers: My mother’s lovely wife. Ability to spot dust and dirt with radar-like precision and attack it in on sight – she would put the Stepford Wives to shame with her tireless enthusiasm for housework. Michelin-star standard cook (I’m thinking of moving back home just for the cooking). Enjoys arguing for fun and has an impressive ability of making out she knows a lot about something when she actually doesn’t. Vicious competitive streak – don’t expect her to bail you out of jail in Monopoly. Has a tendency to fall fast asleep mid conversation and then wake up and join back in when you’re least expecting it.

Also the most generous, thoughtful woman I have ever met.

Kryptonite Style Weaknesses: Time. Having absolutely no concept of it what so ever. Thinking that a spare ten minutes is ample time to clean an already clean bathroom, paint a shed and have a shower. Currently battling with her arch-nemesis the evil PHD monster that eats up all of her time and attention. Oh and fluffy socks that leave bits on the carpet.

Super-Hero Accessories: A hoover. A slightly evil cat.

Most Likely To Say: “I’m working from home today” and “Do you want a coaster for that?”

 

THE DAD

5775_1196691005268_1468270467_30538510_7495257_nSuper Hero Powers: Extraordinary ability to be loud and command everyone’s attention, making everyone like him in an instant (especially old ladies).  Deserves special mention for being mostly responsible for my sense of humour (and thus this blog) having given me and my brother the very finest comedic education. Tireless campaigner for naughty children the world over – what this man doesn’t know about Governmental Children’s Legislation just isn’t worth knowing. Published author of several absolutely-not-boring-in-the-slightest but impressively influential textbooks.

Globe-trotter adventurer extraordinaire. Witty, brainy, unbelievably generous and warm hearted and deserving of several shiny certificates for bravery and coping skills. Has the ability to look EXACTLY like Captain Birdseye when he grows a beard. Has successfully fought off a mid-life crisis so far but I fear it is only a matter of time.

Open to offers (rich, successful, sane women only please – will be vetted by daughter).

Kryptonite Style Weaknesses: The recession and it’s spectacular timing, arriving as it did at a time when he is trying to sell two houses. Illness – which needs immediate treatment with sympathetic noises and a comic.

Super-Hero Accessories: A bum bag. A jaunty walking hat and shorts in all weathers.

Most Likey To Say:“Compare the Meerkat… dot com” and “It’s a Kai bear after all” (to the tune of “It’s a Small World”).

 

THE BROTHER

n514046766_2037215_4614311Super Hero Powers: World’s most devoted Uncle, ability to make Kai weak with excitement at merely the mention of his name. King of the argument, serial Devil’s advocate. Scarily clever and disciplined. World domination could quite easily be his if only he put his mind to it. Currently dabbling with being a young professional graduate after playing with being an unemployed bum for a while but not finding it to his liking. Does not yet own a Blackberry but, much like dad buying a sports car, I fear it is only a matter of time. DO NOT challenge him to an argument on any philosophical or religious topic. HE WILL WIN.

His hair should get a mention all of it’s own (probably counts as a side kick) given it’s amazing ability to resist all forms of grooming and being water repellent.

My partner in random humour. Still makes me laugh more than anyone else in the world. My best friend.

Kryptonite Style Weaknesses: Stupid ignorant people (same as me) who will never fail to bait him into an argument. A complete inability to concede a point or back down in a ‘discussion’. Taking his glasses off (no he’s not Superman – just can’t see a thing). An irrational fear of mime artists.

Super-Hero Accessories: A big cup of tea. A copy of Nietzsche “The Gay Science”.

Most Likely To Say:“Do you fancy a cuppa?”, “Did I ever tell you about the time I was relaxing in a Budapest Spa…” “YOU’RE WRONG! REALITY IS ONLY A MATTER OF PERCEPTION!” and “Yeah? You fight like a cow!” (I could think of about a million more but won’t).

 

So there we go. My family ladies and gentleman. They assure me they are all delighted to meet you.

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Kai and I were supposed to be at ‘Krafty Kidz’ this morning (aliteration and creative spelling? You just know it was going to be all kinds of fun!) eating getting covered in paint and causing plenty of nice middle-class organised mayham. We are, however, not.

An old friend decided to pop round for a visit instead. But not a nice old friend who arrives with flowers and home-made biscuits. No. An old friend with teeth.

Yes folks, my very best friend the pain fairy has been to visit.

Kai has thankfully decided today is a two nap day (thus doubling my amount of sitting-on-ass time) so I do at least have some time to sit and put my feet up this morning and try and distract myself from the army of tiny microscopic beavers who seem to be gnawing at my joints, crapping in the resulting orifice and then lighting that crap on fire.

And because misery loves company, and because I know you’re all dying to get to know me better I thought I would sit and regale you with the story behind why there are a million tiny Yaks stampeeding all over my bones. And crapping on them. And lighting that crap on fire. See? I’m getting better with the metaphors! (And you just KNOW who that last one was for…)

I have Fibromyalgia.

Which is…well… actually they don’t actually know what it is too be honest. It’s kind of just a name for a collection of pretty horrible unexplained symptoms. Pain being the most obvious one. Delightfully agonising, unrelenting, ten billion woodpeckers all going to town on my deep muscle tissue pain (ok, I’ll stop with the metaphors now). And fatigue, lots of that. Plus the odd bit of incapacitating muscle stiffness, fog-like disruptions to my mental systems, and pins-and-needles alternating with completely numb limbs.

It’s quite a party I can tell you.

As I said we don’t really know why. The current theory is that it’s a neurological problem, with some schools of thought throwing in an auto-immune element or chemical imbalance. It’s probably a bit of a mixture of all three but the neurological explanation has always held the most water for me.

I reckon it’s a wiring problem. And the little man sitting at the control console in my brain likes to drink. And smoke dope. Plus I think he has a bit of a Kai-like tendency to find button pushing irresistible. It probably goes something like this…

Tiny Man: “Oh look there’s a lovely shiny button!”

Me: “Don’t you touch that”.

Tiny Man: “Understood. Nope. Definitely not touching. Umm…just out of interest, what does it do?”

Me: “That’s the button you’re supposed to press when I burn myself with the iron or trap my finger in the car door or push a giant watermelon sized baby out of my vagina. It’s the PAIN button tiny man and you must not push it unless you have a REALLY good reason”.

Tiny Man: “Right. Gotcha. No pressing of the button unless pain is justified. But… it’s just so shiny!”

Me:”Oi! I can see your finger on it!”

Tiny Man: “No no my finger’s just RESTING there, don’t worry. I won’t touch it honestly, I won’t…

PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN

Me: “ARggghhH!HH!”

Tiny Man: “Ooops”

Me: “TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF GOD DAMN YOU!!!”

Tiny Man: “Umm… about that. I don’t seem to be able to. You see my mate popped over before with these DELICIOUS brownies and some beer and I may have inadvertently got some on this here brain console and now it won’t switch off. Sorry”.

Me: “ARggghhH!HH!”

Tiny Man: “Don’t worry! I’m sure it will right itself in a few hours, or days, or maybe weeks… it’s no big deal!”

Me: “BASTARD!!!”

I hate that tiny man.

Now I should point out, I’m pretty used to this by now. It’s been going on since I was very small, managing it has become second nature and I’m better now then I have EVER been (and actually have been since I became pregnant… hmm… hormonal element maybe? Partly the reason I’m so reluctant to give up breastfeeding yet! I reckon that glorious prolactin is the only thing keeping me going!). It’s not so bad these days, I’d even use the word ‘remission’. It just enjoys popping by ever so often to bite me on the ass when I’m not looking and remind me it’s still there.

It’s not always been so managable though. I spent most of my teens either on crutches or hobling round like a granny with a walking stick (did wonders for my high-school cool factor I can tell you), and most of my early twenties in a wheelchair, confined to bed or sofa for most of the day. To say it hasn’t been easy is an understatement. Not helped by the fact that a small proportion of the medical community still think it’s an entirely imaginary disease. Yep, that’s right, they think I’m a mad person who makes up the fact that I’m in pain to get attention. Isn’t that just what you want to hear when your 14 and think you might be dying because the pain is so bad? Alternatively they just thought I was just a HUGE drama queen who excessively exaggerated what are normal every-day aches and fatigue. Nice huh?

I can assure you that this is not the case. The pain is very real. I’m not an attention-seeking mad person. I am not over-reacting or a big wuss. The fact that I managed to give birth on two paracetamol and wiff of gas and air I hope proves that, as does the fact that I managed to keep smiling through the many tests and painful procedures they subjected me to as a child to prove whether or not I was making it all up.

But it is, I’ll admit, a bit of a mystery.

In any case, it doesn’t matter. I don’t really care who believes me anymore. I’ve got a handle on it and get to live a relatively normal life so I feel lucky. Other people with the same illness don’t do quite so well.

It’s been a tough journey but my goodness am I stronger for it. And that has to be a good thing.

Anyway, I hear the sounds of a little man stirring (no, not THAT little man – the nice one that will greet me with cuddles and kisses).

Catch you laters.

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Sometimes people ask me how I can manage to keep my patience with Kai through it all. This picture is how. Because no matter how bad the night’s been this is what I get to see when we all wake up*:

 

Kai-ranasaurus

Did I mention I love this boy?

*cot for decorative purposes only.

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