Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Possibly The Most Expensive Cup of Coffee Ever...

On Friday night I was zipping around trying to get all the things I needed to get accomplished before Cybermummy done. I was a crazy person. My head was not on straight and as a result of this, my kids were acting like heathens. I should learn to slow down and take a breath every once in a while, but really, it isn't in my nature.

So, I had packed my children's clothes, toys, and toothbrushes into their backpacks for their weekend at their friend's house. La has a friend who has a sister who is in the same class as KiKi, their saint of a mother took in my two girls for the weekend. The plan was to be over at the friend's house at 7pm, but by six o'clock my kids were chomping at the bit to get over there. I figured we could leave the house, go on base and waste a bit of time before we went to their house.

Of course by the time I decided that I needed a cup of coffee while I was on base (to help me finish the rest of my packing of course) we were running late again. As I pulled up into the parking lot in the coffee shop I forgot to tell the girls to not open their doors like I normally do. The first thing KiKi did when I got into the parking space was immediately FLING her door open before I had a chance to get around to her side of the car, right smack into the side of the Toyota Camry that was parked next to me.

Great. Just Great.

I checked the paint job on the Camry. There was a gash in the paint clear down to the metal frame of the car.

Awesome.

So, I did what any frazzled mom would do. I went in and got my coffee and prayed the the car would be still there when I got back so I could write a note. It was still there when I came back. I left a note that said...

"I am so so so sorry. My daughter flung her door open and it hit the side of your car. I will be out of town this weekend, but call me on Monday. Again, I am soooo sorry. Kat. My phone number is xxxxxxxxxxxx"

It is Wednesday and they still haven't called. I just may have dodged paying for the most expensive cup of coffee ever. Or they could have their car at the shop getting an estimate for the damage. I really hope they just felt pity on me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Highlights of Cybermummy and The Most Surreal Experience of My Life

Ok, now that I have moaned about the one glitch in my day at Cybermummy, I really must tell you about all the lovely things that happened while I was there.

I started out my day by rushing around my house at 5:30 in the morning like a loon in order to get out the door on time. I know this isn't really news to you, seeing as I regularly post, tweet, and update my Facebook status to let the world know that my children were once again almost late to school, but on Saturday I really did almost miss my train. I actually left my house and returned 3 times before I actually left my house properly to head down to London. The first time I forgot a bag, the second time I returned because I forgot to take the chain lock off the front door so that my friend could let the dog out a couple of times while I was out of town, and the third time I was afraid that I hadn't relocked the back door on the way out of the house the second time I left. By the time I actually got on the road to Ely where I was catching my 7:26am train, it was 6:55...and it takes 15 minutes to get to the Ely train station from my house. I might have sped to get there on time.

I did make it to Ely on time to meet my amazing friend Liz (VioletPosy) for the train down to London. At the Cambridge stop, Karen (The Rubbish Diet) joined us for the remainder of our journey. I must have however been destined to be late to Cybermummy because our train broke down just north of Stevenage. We ended up getting to the conference just as the first of the opening speeches started. Only an hour after we had actually planned to get there.

I was so busy tweeting that I missed the entirety of Lord Facebook's speech. I did however manage to spot several of my friends and wave hello (priorities in order don't you think?) I then listened quite intently to Sarah Brown speech (while tweeting to find my friend Amy, who was sitting at the front of the room). In case you don't know who Sarah Brown is, she's the wife of Gordon Brown, yes THE Gordon Brown...as in the former PM of the UK. She was fantastic and down to earth.

After my first disaster of a session, I went to the Recharge Room that was hosted by Proctor and Gamble and got my hair done by one of the stylists there. Little did I know, apparently he is a celeb stylist. He was worth his weight in GOLD I tell you. He made my hair look fantastic. If anyone has a picture of me with my fantastic hair, please email it to me.

My second session with with Jay. I really cannot say enough about Jay. The session was about photography and getting the most out of your subject matter. Her passion and enthusiasm for photography and well taken photos could not be contained. I was actually impressed that she did not swear the entire time..probably because Sian was monitoring the session. This was my favorite session of the day. Not only was Jay extremely knowledgable about the subject (obviously as she is a professional photographer) but she was FUN.

My day of sessions ended with the Blogger to Blogger session where I was excited to hear Tara Cain speak about The Gallery. I might have a huge crush on her. I might have a really huge crush on her. She was one of my first readers and we have "known" each other for nearly 3 years. I feel like we have built our blogging chops together and I am so happy that she is "the UK's #1 blogger". She deserves the title. She is amazing and I really could sit here and GUSH about her.

I didn't go to the last session of the day because by the end of Cybermummy I was more interested in socializing than learning. At least I admit it. I actually met a girl that went to the same middle school as me at CyberMummy. Mind you, I went to school in the United States, not the UK. We didn't attend the school at the same time, she left the year before I got there, but it was still awesome to meet someone who had roamed the same halls as me.

My American posse was StayAtHomeBabe, Mommy_grrl, Michelloui, VeryBusyMama, TransAtlanticBlonde, and theBitchinWife. I love all these girls. They are amazing. My roomie Amy (theBitchinWife) completely made my Cybermummy. She and I were hooked at the hip after hours. We ended up going to a party together (I really don't want to say what sort because my Granny reads this and I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet....), then we went to the uber trendy Hoxton hotel and had a few glasses of wine (well she had tequila..) and then back to the Travelodge where we were staying.

At this point I must tell you about the most surreal experience of my adult life. It really was like a bad bar joke...you know "6 bloggers and a dwarf walk into a bar..." only there really was a dwarf there and it wasn't me hallucinating after a few glasses of wine. Apparently, Bakersgirl, Nickie, Amanda, Kate, InsomniacMummy had attracted the attentions of some choice cuts of Prime Grade A Bon Jovi loving men...one of which happened to be a dwarf. A really drunk dwarf. Amy and I ordered a pizza, because that's what you do when you leave an uber trendy bar and then head to your crappy hotel...and then joined the other bloggers who were at the bar...and the dwarf...and his buddy. Now, at one point the dwarf asked if I was Australian...which I'm not. But I could see why he was confused because my accent is a bit muddled. Then in the most surreal moment of my life, while we were talking to Kate, the dwarf started singing. Loudly. I think he was singing Bon Jovi, because he had apparently seen the Bon Jovi concert that had happened in London that night. It was epically funny. I actually can't put into words how bizarre the whole situation was. It actually felt like I was on acid...only I have never been on acid...Only in London.

By the time I had shared a cab back to Kings Cross with Michelle and Karen and then met MostlyYummy at Kings Cross I felt I was finally ready to leave Cybermummy...until next year...of course.

* I have just been corrected by Kate...the dwarf was singing Rod Stewart songs...(cause that makes it any less surreal)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Point of View- The Writing Workshop Fiasco

Let me preface this entire post by saying that I went to the writing workshop that was being presented by Sophie King (a chick lit novelist and journalist) with the best of intentions. It did not go as planned.

As a blogger who has been at this for just shy of three years, sometimes I run out of ideas, sometimes I need a bit of inspiration, and sometimes I just can't get the creative juices flowing. I went to the writing workshop at Cybermummy hoping that I would learn some techniques that would help to spark my writing fires, which have been simmering at just above ember levels lately (sometimes it feels like you have written the same thing over and over and over again). I didn't get that AT ALL. In fact that first half of the session basically had NOTHING to do with writing at all.

The first part of the session was spent on blog names or as Ms. King referred to them as "titles", now, I have been 3 Bedroom Bungalow for nearly three years. I have no intention of changing the name of my blog. My blog name is part of me. The Bungalow is my little slice of the Internet where I can write about my life. Ms. King did not seem to understand this fact about bloggers at all. Seeing as how she is a novelist and journalist, I let it slide.

At one point something sparked my interest and I raised my hand. Maybe I should have kept it down because by this point I had seen Ms. King suggest that a few people change the name of their blogs (including Nickie from Typecast) and say that writing about your disabled child wasn't really all that interesting of a subject because it wasn't really that topical (how insulting is that?). I don't really know. So, I explained how Dear So and So was a feature on my blog and explained the link up (meme style) and how I had participants each week...yadda yadda. Then she sort of cut me off. She then suggested that "Dear So and Whatever" -with a flip of her hand- should be an entirely different blog. At this point I sent out a couple of tweets.

"I'm sorry, but this writing workshop is rubbish"

"I'm sorry I don't have time to write 5 different blogs"

I tried to start paying attention again. Ms. King seemed to be transitioning into actual writing tips but they seemed a bit rubbish as well. I tweeted again based on one of the tips we were given.

"Writing funny rhymes/limericks? WTF? #cybermummy11 #rubishworkshop

and

"Apparently if you have a new idea, you need to start a new blog" #rubbishworkshop

I had no idea that these tweets were being broadcast on the big screen at the Pampers PR table. NO IDEA. I found out about that later and was a bit mortified, really.

At this point I felt I had been insulted and patronized. I wasn't learning anything I haven't already figured out in the past three years. Have I mentioned that I have been blogging for three years? My friend and I decided to leave.

OK, this is where I guess things went really tits up. Do you know how hard it is to leave a conference room when you are loaded down like a Sherpa with bags? I had on a rucksack and was carrying the swag bags that we were given upon entrance to Cybermummy AND a shopping sack with crisps in it. It wasn't exactly a graceful exit. I didn't mean to be loud when I left AT ALL. I just didn't want to waste anymore of my time.

*I* wasn't getting ANYTHING from this workshop. *I* paid £100 for my ticket to Cybermummy another £50 for my room at my hotel and another £30 for my train ticket down to the event. I didn't have a sponsor, all this money came out of my own pocket. I was really irritated (to the point of wanting to curse at Ms. King) because this session was a complete waste of my time and frankly my money. I had been insulted and patronized; probably not even intentionally. As far as I was concerned there were other things happening at Cybermummy where I may have the opportunity for me to actually learn something or enjoy my day; so I left.

I had no idea that others would leave.

If you got something out of this writing workshop, I am really happy for you. I heard it got better towards the end when Ms. King started focusing on writing. You know, what she should have focused on since she is a novelist/journalist and not a blogger (or at least not a blogger who regularly blogs).

Let me note, that I did go up to both Susanna and Sian, two of the organizers of Cybermummy and tell them why I left. I apologized for my bags being loud when I left. Anybody who knows me knows I am not mean or malicious; I was irritated but wasn't intending on it being a big deal. I did not intend it to be overtly rude. I just wanted to go enjoy the rest of Cybermummy. And I did. This was the ONLY negative experience I had the entire day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Gallery- 3 Word Gallery

When my Grandparents were here in April, we went to Bury St. Edmunds and we ran into these morris dancers. I was going to write a long post about Morris Dancing and how much I love it, but then I got side tracked (as I do often). Then I almost forgot about this picture (as I do often). But when I was looking through my photos for this weeks Gallery Theme, 3 Word Gallery, three words magically popped into my head when I saw this photo.




Only In England.




Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Paws Off My Stuff!

It never fails that when my husband leaves some sort of crisis breaks out at my house. This time, it has left me really shaken. Somebody broke into my shed in the back garden and stole my lawnmower, weed whacker, all the petrol to run the two, and my husband's ax. It isn't that my things are gone that bothers me, well that bothers me too, but more the fact that someone has been on my property snooping around.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened at this house. First the gate from my driveway was stolen. It was a big wooden gate, like the type that would go across a pasture, and it surely took at least two people to steal. The next incident was a speaker system that was taken from my friends truck that has been parked at my house for a while. Now, all the gardening tools stolen. So, yeah, I am pretty miffed now.

All of these things that have been taken seem like crimes of opportunity. A sitting car that nobody pays attention to, a gate that is not often shut or opened, and my shed didn't have a padlock on it like it should have. However, now I am afraid because I don't know what else these criminals have seen that they want to take.

I considered moving. Actually, that is still on the table. My husband really wants me to move onto the military base. I really don't want to move because of the pain in the butt it will be, but I understand his point of view. I have spoken to my landlady and she agreed to make some security improvements, which makes me feel a little bit better. I went and got a bunch of padlocks which I am determined to put on anything that could possibly be locked up.

I just hate feeling like this. I hate feeling violated. I hate thinking the worst of people and right now I just don't have very much faith in the world at large. Stupid criminals.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear So and So...Someone Didn't Get The Memo

Dear Mother Nature,

By my calculations you are roughly 3 weeks late on bringing the summer to the UK. Could we get on the ball please? I am tired of having to wear long sleeves in the middle of June! I want to wear my cute summer clothes. I want to bare my pale white legs to the world in an attempt to get some semblance of color on my body before I go back to my hometown in July and scare all the beach goers with my nearly translucent skin. I need my vitamin D from the sun!

*fingers crossed and ready*, Kat
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Dear Cybermummy Attendees This Year,

I have been asked to give cartwheel demos in the hallway of the Travelodge by a few of my friends. Don't let me do it with a dress on please? Also, make sure I am nearly halfway sober when I do it. I really don't need a trip to A&E (the ER) that weekend.

Love, Kat

PS- SQUEEEEEE I am so excited!!!
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Dear Friend Here Locally,

Oh my goodness you lot have been fabulous these last few weeks! I have really nearly not had a single moment to myself, which is fantabulous. It gives me a lot less time to miss my husband and stress out. However, my blog and house are suffering a bit. I try and try to clean my house and yeah...I try and try to blog and yeah... I've got to get a better system!

Completely drained but thoroughly entertained, Kat
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Dear Kids,

Keep your hands and feet to yourselves. I am really tired of dragging you apart like a pair of rabid dogs. I thought boys were supposed to act like this, not girls!

Love, Mom
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Dear Parents In General,

Get involved at your child's school. Don't just sit moan about policies and extra curricular activities, do something about it. Join the PTA, volunteer in the class, help at discos, movie nights, etc. If you have a talent, your child's school will help find a way to share it with the other children. If you work, there are still ways to be involved. Believe me the school is always looking for extra resources, an extra set of hands, or an opinion of how things could be done better (even if it is just a suggestion to one of the parents on the PTA). Do it for the kids.

A Frustrated PTA Mom, Kat

PS- And for those who are already involved at their child's school, THANK YOU.
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Dear Readers,

Have a lovely weekend. If you have a letter that you need to get off your chest, don't forget about Dear So and So. Link up!

Love, Kat
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball Season

I remember as a child, every spring piling into my mother's van and heading to the ball fields. It was an important time of the year to me a child. I loved sports. I grew up in a household where playing sports was important. We watched a lot of sports on television (football being my favorite-American football, not soccer mind you)(My dad called Soccer a communist sport because you couldn't use your hands)(It was the 80s after all). Playing sports however was the biggest thrill. I loved starting off each year by going to the sports store and picking out a new glove, some cleats (plastic spikes shoes to help keep your grip on the dirt) and trying out every single bat in the store- even though I knew there was no way we were getting a new bat too.

Baseball season was fun. I loved every second of it. It didn't matter if it was sitting there in the grueling hot sun watching my younger brothers game, with a snow cone slowly melting down my arm, or playing in a game of my own; it was all fun. I also made a ton of new friends each summer and would spend time between games down by the creek that ran along next to the fields skipping rocks and finding crayfish with my new friends. Then of course getting yelled at by my mom for coming back to where the adults were sitting soaking wet. As kids do.

So, this year I signed LaLa up to play baseball. I think I am almost more excited than she is! She and I have been spending a bit of time in the afternoons in the backyard practicing her batting stance, and hitting the ball. She is actually getting pretty good at making contact with the ball and of course will be hitting home runs in no time. However, much to my chagrin she has taken to calling baseball...cricket. My poor confused child.

So yesterday evening I took her out into the back yard again for more hitting practice and tried to explain the rules of baseball. It was a bit like the comedy classic bit "Who's on First" by Abbot and Costello.



Me- "So if you get 4 balls, you remember pitches that go outside the strike zone that you don't swing at, you get to walk to first base."

Her- "Why would I want go to first base?"

Me- "Because that's how you score runs."

Her- "Which way do I run?"

Me- "To first base"

Aye yai yai...I have a lot more explaining to do to her. You better believe that I will be in the stands though, cheering on my poor confused daughter- who is destined to play first base for the Chicago Cubs (when baseball starts signing girls)- and doing my best Harry Caray impressions.

Holy Cow!!!!




Here's to Baseball season.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Karaoke Song Meme

My buddy Liz, tagged me in a meme last week and I have just now got round to answering the question. If you were at a karaoke night and you got to pick any song to sing, what song would you sing? This is such a difficult question for me! I love so many different types of music and how do you narrow it down to just one song!! Can we do a montage? No? Fine!

So I have had a bit of a ponder on this question and I can say without a shadow of a doubt I would sing this:



Mind you, I will charge extra if you want to see me do any of the following: Cheesy 80's dancing, chest bumps, back flips, line dancing, hair flipping/shaking, popping and locking, and break dancing; all of which was in that scene of the movie Footloose.

I guess since this is a meme I should tag some people. I am going to tag: NotSupermum , Jess (and you aren't allowed to pick Shoop, Jess!), and StayAtHomeBabe.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dear So and So...Yes We Can

Dear General Public,

On behalf of my friend D from High School, I would like to state that irregardless is not a real word. It makes poor D want to stab himself in the ears with pencils each and every time you say it. Apparently, D also has a magnet that attracts people who use this word too him as well (including an English major who should know better). Regardless of if the word is in the dictionary or not, you should note that it says that the word is "nonstandard", which means it is incorrect. Please refrain from using this word; I would hate to see D's ears bleed.

Respectfully The Grammar Nazi with a Soapbox, Kat

PS- D was a really good tuba player back in the day, it would be a shame for him to lose his hearing.
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Dear WeightWatchers,

I lost another pound and a half this week, bringing the grand total to 18lbs so far. I am so proud of myself, but I honestly couldn't do it without your help.

Love your Happy Customer, Kat
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Dear KiKi,

Tomorrow is your birthday and I can't believe tomorrow you will be my five year old. You have become such a lovely child, well minus those little flares of temper you seem to exhibit on occasion (but you're a Gemini, so it is to be expected). I love your precocious nature. I love that you are independent and a bit sassy. I love that you take life as it comes at you with no fear of what the future holds. You are growing into such a big girl, but you will always be my baby.

Love, Mom
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Dear Readers,

If you have any letters of your own please link up!!!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Love, Kat
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Do Something Silly Saturday- Chubby Bunny

Do Something Silly Saturday was born of my reluctance to actually be an adult. I decided that I will try to do something silly and post on Saturday (though not every Saturday) a video of me and possibly the kiddos doing something silly.

Today, we are playing "Chubby Bunny". If you don't know what Chubby Bunny is, well, it is where you stuff a marshmallow in your mouth and repeat until you can no longer say "Chubby Bunny"...enjoy.

PS-I was making sure LaLa would not choke on the marshmallows, no children were hurt in the commission of this video. It was a good time, promise.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dear So and So...Half Term Hell

Dear Children,

Those things on the side of your head are called ears. Use them.

Love, Mom
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Dear Children,

I am sorry the trampoline is broke, but you still have to play outside.

Love, Mom
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Dear Children,

I have a cold and don't particularly want to play outside with you. I will go out for a few minutes, but then I want to lay on the couch and die. Thanks.

Love, Mom
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Dear KiKi,

I can't believe you taught yourself to ride a bike without training wheels! Good job!

Love, Mom
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Dear LaLa,

Thanks for sharing your bike with your sister. That was awfully nice of you!

Love, Mom
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Dear Readers,

If you have your own letters, please link up!

Love, Kat
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Feature-Do Something Silly Saturday

Sometimes I think as adults we start taking life too seriously. Little room is left for just having a bit of fun and a laugh. I say, I need to reclaim my fun side. I need to be silly. I want to play childish games and do silly things!!! I also think I should film them and share with you. I don't don't really know if I think I should make it a meme like Dear So and So... (though I do love Friday's with a passion because of my little rant time).

So, I have decided that I will try to post a video on Saturdays with me (and probably my kids) doing silly things. It could be jumping on the trampoline (well, when it is fixed) to playing a silly game. As long as we have fun, it will be made available to you. I just hope it will inspire somebody to not take life so seriously and have a bit of fun.

I really don't know how this will work out. I may only post this every once in a blue moon, I just thought it would be a laugh. Look for the first video this Saturday.