@cosmicgirlie
...because Mocha Beanie Mummy done got new digs :D

Though I will leave this blog open (because I'd like to think I still own it a little), you will find all future posts over at my own domain (OWN DOMAIN. Just the very words so sexy).

If you read down this far then YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN REDIRECTED BY NOW!

Go to http://www.mochabeaniemummy.com/ or http://www.mochabeaniemummy.co.uk/ - they both take you to the same place. If you're getting odd maintenance pages or IP pages, clear your cache/internet history and then try again.

So see you later, blogger, and go and say hello Mocha Beanie Mummy in my (read that, "MY") shiny new little world.

Cheers blogger, it's been fun.
xxxx
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@cosmicgirlie
Yes yes, I know it's still 2 days to go, but seriously

WHOOOOOOOOO TWO DAYS TO GO UNTIL CYBERMUMMY!!!!!

I have my clothes sorted, I have my moo cards, train tickets are sorted (travelling 1st class there and back thanks to D!!! xxxx), conference tickets printed, hotel room booked, taking camera, lenses, MacBook Pro, iPhone and I am READY.

To all those who are going, I know that many people feel a bit funny about having their picture taken. I'm not official photographer for the day, but I'm hoping to get some half decent pics that could possibly be used by Cybermummy; if you ABSOLUTELY under NO CIRCUMSTANCES want to appear in ANY PICS at all, then please just let me know (politely!!) and I'll try not to catch you...though surely you'd want to be seen to be part of one of the UK's biggest blogging events so far :D

Go and visit the Cybermummy website for more info, including live blogging, tweeting and other regular updates.

I'll be tweeting and twitpic-ing throughout the day all being well; you're welcome to follow my tweet stream, just go to http://twitter.com/cosmicgirlie/ to see what I'm up too; expect possible drunken tweeting in the evening...

If you're going, please don't forget to come and say hi!
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@cosmicgirlie
A moment of peace.

I never felt it before. I didn't know what it was. Things have been silenced, and suddenly I hear everything.

The voice has stopped; other noises come through. Do I recognise these noises? Vaguely. I couldn't hear them so well before. I couldn't hear how much Noah's kisses meant, when he would stroke my arm and rest his head on my shoulder. I couldn't hear the volume in Isaac's cuddles and sighs on my lap, when he would snuggle against me and gaze into my eyes.

"It's ok Mummy. There's a lot of noise Mummy. Can you hear us Mummy? We're still here Mummy.

It's ok, Mummy."

I can hear them now, and I feel overpowering love for my boys.

A moment of peace.

Just a moment.

Like the sun, it can fill every void. Like the very sky above us, it feels like it could go on for ever. I couldn't look into it before. The shadows consumed me; my depression made it easy to turn my back on the bright blue sky, look away from the energy-giving sun.

I look to the sun now and bathe in it's brightness. I turn to the light and I smile. A true, rich smile. Things I have never been able to do before. I absorb the energy; I gain strength.

I am filled with hope. I am content.



-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

This post was written for Tara Cain's "The Gallery" and Josie George's "Writing Workshop"; please do go and visit to see more fabulous posts.
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@cosmicgirlie
Remember when I said Noah was due to go for speech therapy? And we finally had an appointment come through? And the speech therapist came? And she was lucky to leave the house alive without being stabbed in the neck? By me AND D? No? Did I not mention that?

Well allow me to divulge.

She came and brought along a buddy, ST#2 who was to watch and learn how to use the camcorder.

Yes, how to use the camcorder.

ST#1 was to film each of us interacting with Noah for 5 mins to see where we were going wrong.

Yes, where WE were going wrong.

I never felt such immediate hostility in all my days and wanted to stab her immediately, all the while saying "It's not you, it's your attitude".

In those 5 minutes, we were to behave completely normally as we do with Noah, not play up to the camera, completely ignore her and pretend she wasn't there. Yeah, of course, because Noah was REALLY up for ignoring ST#2 sitting on the sofa and a camera shoved in his face.

So I went first, D took Isaac out the room, she filmed. Now, if I were to REALLY do what comes naturally, I'd have left Noah to his own devices, picked up my MacBook or phone, and gone on twitter.

Then we swapped over; I took Isaac out and D played with him.

She then brought us back together to sit and watch what we had done. Nothing like being scrutinized within 15 minutes of her being in the house.

As I said, I should obviously have picked up my phone or MacBook. No. Instead I asked him what he wanted to play with, suggesting things to do.

EHHH - WRONG.

This is leading him and results in him not being able to express himself.


He pointed to a tiger on a piece of paper. I asked him what it was, he said (in his own way) "tiger". I asked him what it says, he said "ROARRR".

EHHH - WRONG.

This is asking him empty questions; if I know he knows the answer then I don't need to ask him any questions.


During D's turn, they played a bit of rough and tumble. D asked him if he wanted a dinosaur to play with as he seemed to be getting tired.

EHHH - WRONG.

This is directing his free play. There was no need to introduce a new toy and Noah should be completely in charge of what he wants to do. Even though Noah was happy to have the dinosaur.


D asked him if he wanted to introduce another dinosaur as we know he likes to make the two roar together.

EHHH - WRONG.

Directed play, deviating from his current interest. There was no need to introduce a second toy.


While we were watching ourselves be really uncomfortable, Noah asked for something and I gave it to him, prompting him to say "thank you".

EHHH - WRONG.

This is focus on a non-important part of his language and development. We don't need to concentrate on his manners; please and thank yous are not important at this stage and will most likely lead to bad habits.


After we finished watching the video, which was like being sent to hell on a razor blade, we had to fill in forms about how we could do better to help Noah speak, and what areas we need to work on until she comes back. Which I think is in two days. This all happened about 2 weeks ago.

Neither D nor I have picked up the sheets; at the moment I don't even know where they are. Down the back of the sofa, possibly. She then went on to (repeatedly) instigate that Noah wasn't speaking because we were forcing him too hard, and that he would speak when he was ready. Also, that at this stage it isn't the quality of his speech to worry about, it's the quantity.

ST#2 made a point of saying "well he's been interacting with me and I understand him fine!"

Seriously. Stabby McStabberson in the hizzouse.

Interestingly, I thought maybe it was just me being hypersensitive. But when I looked over at D, I realised he'd been quiet for some time, and the look on his face spoke everything I needed to hear. He was NOT impressed. And everyone else we've spoken to about the appointment have also said they reckon it was a load of bollocks.

The bright side? I spoke to Noah's nursery about it. They were horrified and told me they have a SENCo who can advise us on mouth muscle exercises and help him form his words correctly. They're impressed by his intelligence to communicate, and once they understand the various words, can't get over how good his vocabulary is. But like us, they agree that his formation of words, his pronunciations are way behind. And so they're willing to help and do what works best for Noah.

I didn't think it would be this hard. But at least we still have our own fun.


video
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@cosmicgirlie
Something...REALLY amazing happened today.

Actually, SEVERAL amazing things happened today, and I'm hoping my instincts and all don't screw me over in the next 24 - 48 hours.

A few days ago, I felt like I had no choice but to post "Conversations". I hear a Voice, The Voice, in my head, pretty much all the time. 24/7/365. I've heard it since I can ever remember; I became aware of it around the age of 13 or 14, and it took on a whole new strength when I was around 19 when my depression hit level 10 on the Richter Scale.

For a long time I wondered if I was schizophrenic; I had no desire to think these things, so it couldn't possibly be my voice, right? Why would I do that to myself? I argue with it daily and I'm constantly worn down by it; I have no way of changing it, but only to make it a little quieter some days. Those are good days.

Anyway, this Voice has plagued me for years, has pushed me to overdose on medication, has encouraged me to repeatedly try to take my own life, has destroyed much of the awesomeness I felt I could have become. It was the voice that convinced me to put my cello down, to never pick it up, to sell everything on eBay, and to not consider anything else. It was the voice who drove me to be the opposite of what I wanted to be.

So when I wrote Conversations, I had pretty much had enough. I was tired, it had been a difficult day, and the Voice had been plaguing me hard all day. What I wrote, was only a tiny snippet, and I didn't have the courage or strength to write the full force of what it says, or had been saying that day. Or even in that hour after D went to work.

But I had to get some of it out; I felt like my head might actually explode and melt and die, all at the same time.

And then people commented.

And it was surprising, because whilst I guess I knew people would comment, I was still cynical about what they would say. And then people responded more. Not just on my post in the comments, but on twitter too.

And then came more.

Then came blog posts. And I was so moved, so touched, so flattered. But I still couldn't see what was so special.

And then today, something...I don't even know. It felt like the impossible happened.

I suddenly had a flurry of emails, telling me I'd had maybe 10 new comments on that post alone, in a very short space of time. "What is this? Is someone spamming me? Why would they do that?"

And then I started reading the comments. And I was lost for words. I couldn't work out where they were coming from, and strangely enough, my first instinct was to thank whoever was sending these people to my blog. I checked Analytics, I checked feedjit, I tried not to panic. How could so many people I don't even know be so amazing all at the same time? It just doesn't happen. Why would they care? About me? How could they care about me?

And then, a lovely stranger by the name of @DaydreamFreak on twitter sent this out:

@cosmicgirlie If you want to thank someone thank @ItStartsWithUs for sending the email with a link to your blog post to the Love Bomb group.
It was out of the blue, but it lead me to find Nate St. Pierre, someone who, quite frankly, I wish I had met and spoken to years ago. He leads a group called It Starts With.Us, and my post was "subjected" to a Love Bomb.

Which is something that I think should happen to way, WAY MORE people.

It was amazing.

I'm very rarely moved. I'm very rarely fueled by other people's emotions.

But that post, of all the posts I've written over the last three years? I've never been so glad I wrote it. Not because it meant I got (at last count) 76 comments. I was already thrilled with the response before the Love Bomb.

No.

It was because of two things, both of which I'm almost scared to say out loud because I don't want it to end.

The first: I've reached people. I've helped people. In writing Conversations, I've (unknowingly) put my neck out to help others, to show others they're not alone. People have reciprocated so much that they've let me know I am not alone too. I urge you to read the post, and if you can relate in the slightest way? Then please, please, read the comments. Because I know they will help you too. And if they don't? Please write to me. Tell me. I want to help you.

The second: for the first time, in as long as I can ever remember, in maybe 8 years of making noise inside my head, and longer with me not knowing what it was...

Today?

The Voice?

Has been silent.

Right now, I'm crying. With happiness.

I don't care if it's back tomorrow, that's ok. I know there's hope. I know it's out there, somewhere.

So, thank you, all of you, every one of you who has contacted me in any way, for helping me find a moment of true peace.
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@cosmicgirlie
Week 16 for Tara Cain's "The Gallery", is creatures. I rarely take a decent animal shot, but then remembered something from a while back.

Whilst waiting for a friend to meet me for lunch at a pub near me a few months back, I grabbed my camera out the car and headed out to a field just around the corner from the pub. I knew there were horses there, sadly I don't think they're very well looked after, but I was pretty sure they were quite friendly.

I was right; one of them came over to pose for the camera.


Turns out he was quite keen to say hello and eye me up. :D

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@cosmicgirlie
Why do you bother? No one gives a shit, you know.

Shut up.

Oh come on, seriously. You parade around like you're some kind of big shot but no one cares. They all laugh at you, think you're just a joke.

Please shut up. Stop now.

So what's next? You put some Butterfly Catchers tunes on twitter just cos you played on the tracks, and suddenly you think everyone wants to hear?

But they said -

Who cares what they said? They're just being NICE. You are SHIT.

I just want to play.

Oh for real? Like you can even play? Did you listen to that recording? Did you hear how vile you sounded?

I thought it sounded ok.

Yeah you would, you're so full of yourself.

Why can't you leave me alone?

As if you could cope by yourself? How the hell would you survive? You're so pathetic.

No.

Yes you bloody are, you can't even stop a voice from talking to you in your head.

Yes I can.

No you bloody can't. I've been here for YEARS and still you listen to me, because you're useless. Plain fucking useless.

Leave me alone.

You already ARE alone. You're so alone it's untrue. All those people who you think are your friends? AREN'T. Fact.

Yes they are, they talk to me.

ANYONE can talk to you, you think that makes them your friend? You see how people shit on you and you call them friends? You see how people take advantage of you for years and you still want to call them friends? What kind of loser does that? YOU. Because you ARE a loser.

But they are my friends. They said -

People say all kinds of crap and you already know that. Can't you get over yourself?

I don't think I'm all that.

Yes you bloody do. You spend ages setting up your websites - you think anyone cares? You think anyone is really gonna give a shit what you have to offer?

But people asked me about -

People asked maybe TWICE about stuff. That does not give you the right to think you can impose your views on people.

They don't have to read.

But you want them to, don't you? Because you're such a loser.

No.

Yes you are. You think people would miss you if weren't here?

D would miss me.

No he wouldn't. He'd be so much better off without you. And Noah. And Isaac for that matter. They could all find someone else far better than you.

But I'm their mom. I matter.

No you bloody don't. Look at how you've crapped on D's day today. You managed to sort out 2 cards from the boys and do a cooked breakfast. Yeah, Happy Father's Day, applause to you.

But my back, the pain, it hurts so much and Isaac is poorly -

You have a lame excuse for everything don't you? God you're SO FULL OF IT.

But my back does hurt, it's not my fault Noah had that tantrum, I can't predict how a day will go, I didn't mean to ruin Father's Day.

Ruining things is your skill. You just had to step in and sort Noah out, because you resent him don't you? You can't deal with your frustrations like an adult so you take it out on him.

No I don't. I don't mean to. He's my son, of course I care -

Yeah because you have to. And now you're just crying because you can't face the truth can you? Hurts doesn't it? Truth hurts, doesn't it Jay? Fucking pathetic.

Please leave me alone. I'm just trying to do what's best for him. What's best for all of us. He was being naughty so he had to disciplined. We'd gotten lax with time-outs so we had to re-establish rules.

You know what? You're pretty defensive. Protesting a lot, aren't you? Who are you trying to convince? Me or you?

I'm not trying to convince anyone. Well maybe you...

Oh please. You don't know shit. You're just full of it.

No I know I was right to discipline, I'm sure I was, he was being naughty.

But you couldn't just leave it for tonight, could you? No. You had to put him in time-out leaving an awesomely bitter taste in everyone's mouths, including D. Can't say I blame the guy for going to work, get the hell away from you.

No he really does have work, he's busy.

Yeah. And like your mother spent so much time at church when you were a kid, wasn't to get away from you, she was "busy", right?

Yes, she had a lot of commitments, I mean yeah I missed her but she was busy.

You're so fucking gullible. So naive it's untrue. You should just go. Piss off, no one wants you here, no one cares. Piss off already. Stop thinking you're someone, admit you're no one, and just disappear.

I don't...I'm tired. Please leave me alone now.

You know why you're tired? Because you are WEAK. You can't fight me. You've never been able to fight me. You'll never get me out of your head. I'll be here. Forever. You can't get rid of me. You're so stupid and full of yourself you won't take drugs -

No, I just don't want to go through the hell I went through before -

Bullshit, you can't handle being seen as a failure -

Taking meds for depression isn't failure.

Yes it fucking is, you just can't bare to admit it. And anyway, if it isn't failure, what is it? It's because you're WEAK. And also? I know you're writing this post hoping that you'll get tons of sympathy. I can see through you, you're so fucking transparent.

I just want to get you out of my head. I just want you to leave me alone. I can't coop this up in my head.

Ok you know what? People will leave the sympathy. If you're lucky. And you know what? It will ALL be fake. They'll all be taking pity on you because you're such a fucking loser.

I'm not a loser. Please go away. I'm so tired.

You're tired because you're shit. Just go and quit now. AGAIN. Jesus you can't even fucking quit properly.

I want a break now.

Yeah you quit. Even though you're shit at it. And that's about the only thing you're good at. Failing at quitting. You are just a fucking joke. Fucking loser. Get over yourself.

I...

Yeah. Whatever, just shut the fuck up now.
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@cosmicgirlie
I've been bloody busy, working behind the scenes on some very small but very exciting things. Some of you will know I shed blood, sweat and tears trying to organise my photography site via wordpress. I'd only ever used blogger before, and so I had much to learn.

So when I finally got it set up, and discovered that Wordpress has the answer to all my questions (apart from anything bacon related, mostly) I thought I might try my hand at setting up a photography blog of my own, but geared towards helping others.

I haven't launched it yet because at the moment it's still just a domain name and some very bare, not very pretty bones, and a bag of ideas, which I'm waiting for everyone to point at and go "BWAH HAH HAH HAH!! Jay you are just a cock."

But here's the deal.

Remember a while back when I posted some pics here and you were all "Wtf? How the hell did you do that?"

And I was all "Ah it's easy! I'll do a tutorial!!!"

And then you were like "Ok, go on then."

And I was kinda "uh..."

And then silence?

Yeah well, um, I hadn't forgotten, see, but I was very wary about keeping MBM about my usual boring shit, and it not turning into a photog site.

I mean, ok, there's a shit load of pics, but I mean not that kind of photog site. And anyway, it turns out that some of you (and by some, I mean roughly 2 of you) have questions about how I do some of the stuff I do, including what I do on blipfoto, and various iPhone apps, and other random stuff I post here and there.

Plus, the Mighty Gallery on at Sticky Fingers brought out the hidden photographer in many of you, but I get sad when I see people say "Oh I would post but my pics aren't good enough", or, "it feels like a competition and my pics don't match up to everyone else's standards".

As I'm sure Tara would echo, it's NOT a competition, and I personally love looking at everyone's photos. This (potential) site I'm setting up is only to help you out with the small stuff; I don't claim to have all the answers and know how to do it all! I just want to help a little for those who want to do similar to me.

So...do you have a question? Have you seen something I've posted that you quite liked and wondered "how the hell did she do that?" Or have you taken a pic and are wondering how the hell you can improve it?

Then please get in touch.

Either leave a comment to this post with your question, or drop me an email at: cosmicgirlie(at)gmail(dot)com, or tweet me, or send me a text, or send me a messenger pigeon, or perhaps a telegram.

All being well, the site will go live in time for Cybermummy. :D


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@cosmicgirlie
Things are hitting fever pitch on twitter and in the blogging community as we get ever closer to Cybermummy 2010, the UK's first mummy blogger conference. And I have to say, even though BlogHer 10 is hot on it's heels, I am SO BLOODY EXCITED for Cybermummy!!


I'm a bit rubbish with the whole "Mommy Blogger" thing (whatever on of those actually is), not being one to review toys, or offer great baby advice, or...whatever, but I'm so looking forward to this because quite simply, my friends will be there and it'll be the best chance to put faces and voices to the MANY blogs I read when I'm avoiding the kids letting the boys get on with playing.

There's loads happening during the Cybermummy conference, though I've a sneaking suspicion that with the permission of Mummy Tips, I'll actually just run around taking maybe a billion pictures since I'll have my camera, photog gear, MacBook Pro and iPhone with me. Ohhhh yes. :D

So a lovely clever blogger by the name of Mummy Shoes has come up with the idea of doing a meet and greet, a bit of information about ourselves and some clues as to who we are.

As if you didn't know already. ;o)

Name: Jay
Blog: http://mochabeaniemummy.com/
Twitter ID: @cosmicgirlie (and @JayMountford if you want the "professional" side)
Height: 5ft 5 and a half. YES, and a half.
Hair: Yes
Eyes: Two
Likes: Bacon. And twitter. And also my camera. Maybe music. Sometimes playing it. My iPhone; it's pretty much glued to my hand. All things Apple. I struggle to walk past Radley and Nica handbags without stopping. And of course, cocktails.

I suspect I'll wear jeans and a smart top of some sort for the daytime, and a rather nice frock of some sort for the evening. Either way, I'll have clothes on.
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@cosmicgirlie
For me this has been the hardest gallery post yet. Not because the spectacular lady that is Tara Cain has landed a wonderful opportunity for us Cybermummy and sponsorship from Photobox (and it's a great competition and prize). It's not because I was intimidated by all the other amazing entries, which quite frankly, left me wondering if I was capable.

But because I had no idea how to sum up "motherhood".

Especially in one picture, that I have taken myself.

I've never felt like a mother. Even now, when Noah runs up to me and shouts "Mummeeee!" it still feels like he's talking to someone else.

Isaac toddles over (yes, toddles, the boy is walking in a fashion), and flops himself on me for cuddles. Yet I think he does it just because there's no one else around.

I never had that "special bond" with Noah when he was born; I'm not sure we ever did, and that makes me really sad. Is that why some think I over compensate when it comes to looking after him? Managing his well being? Is it possible to over compensate? I love him, of course I do, but I forever worry that I'm not close enough to him even though I'm his mother. Isaac was a little easier; perhaps the PND wasn't so cruel second time around? He shows nearly as much independence as his brother; they both often just get on with it.

Just the word scares me.

"Motherhood"

I don't think it's about me. It's about them.

It's about throwing them out into the complete open, yet protecting them with nothing but your heart. It's about not knowing what the hell is right around the next corner, yet paving out a path for them to follow and be ok. It's about helping them reach for the skies, yet making sure they stay firmly grounded. It's about being the biggest support they will ever need, but taking a step back and being ready to catch them when they fall.

It's about celebrating them.



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@cosmicgirlie
Noah: *face slightly contorted, turning red*

Me: Noah are you doing a poo?

N: No.

Me: Would you like to sit on the potty?

N: NO.

Me: Can you poo in the potty?

N: NO!

2 minutes later

D: Noah have you done a poo?

N: No

Me: Daddy check?

N: No, Mummy do it.

D: Mummy change your pants?

N: Yeah, Mummy do it.

Me: Don't you want Daddy to do it Noah?

D: No Mummy does it really good, doesn't she Noah?

N: Yeah, Mummy do it.

Me: *mutters: Son if a bitch!* Noah, ask Daddy.

N: NO!! MUMMY DO IT!!!

D: *snigger*

Me: But -

N: MUMMMEEEEEEE!!!!

D: Daddy go get some pants ok Noah? Mummy change you.

Me: ...Bastard.
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@cosmicgirlie
I haven't posted for a while because now that voting for The MADs has closed, I feel like a tiny bit of pressure has been lifted. Like, I don't have to pimp myself quite so much any more.

Not that I WAS pimping myself, of course, I would uh, NEVER do such a thing...

ANYWAY!

There's been shit loads going, left right and centre, and my head is buzzing in both good ways and bad ways trying to deal with it all.

First and foremost, Noah's potty training is going BRILLIANTLY. In the space of a week, he now only has an accident if he's completely distracted or if I'm being rubbish and forget to ask in over a few hours. And even then, he'll still hold on to it until he's on the potty. I'm incredibly impressed he's pretty much done all this himself, from telling us when he wants to pee, through to holding onto it and getting himself on to the potty when he's ready. Yesterday we had no accidents.

Poop of course, is a different story, but come on! The kid's only 2 and it's early days.

We DID have fun with Mme HV this week however. Remember me hankering on about Noah's speech? And they're all "He's fine, stop your whining, it's too early blah blah mother fricking BLAH"? And everyone else is all "Yeah he'll speak, Einstein learnt to speak eventually didn't he?" And I pretty much told everyone to "shut the hell up?"

Yeah.

Turns out he's speech delayed.

In fact, the HV's words were "Good heavens, his speech really IS behind isn't it? I do hope you've got him under referral! In fact I definitely would refer him RIGHT now if he isn't. Have you sorted out a hearing test? Has he seen a therapist yet? This needs to be dealt with immediately."

I wanted to take one of Isaac's dirty nappies, mix it with one of my snot rags plastered with FOF and make her snort it until she could sing Yankee Doodle Dandy in the style of Gordon Brown.

He's approximately 6 - 12 months behind, which I can deal with I already knew this. Sadly, I feel kind of justified in my worrying. I didn't want this, OBVIOUSLY, but I feel a little more confident in knowing I wasn't talking out my arse. On the plus side, the barrage of tests showed that all his other skills are at the level of a three year old, with his visual and social interaction skills being equivalent to that of a 4 year old.

Still? Of course I know he'll be ok. I don't doubt (and never ever did doubt) that his speech will improve; the whole point of me being a pushy pain in the arse was so that I could HELP him improve. I knew something was not quite right, so I wanted to HELP him.

Plus? When he says something to me over and over again and I have NO CLUE what he's saying? And he's trying his bloody hardest to tell me something and is getting more and more worked up because I can't understand him and I'm getting more and more upset because he's getting worked up and because I'm failing to understand him? I NEEDED to push this.

However, D and I were rewarded for our bloody big efforts in getting Noah to eat more foods. Suddenly, out of nowhere, someone opened a door and a shit load of light shone through it. Right onto Noah eating food in a restaurant, for the first time ever.



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@cosmicgirlie
So close. And yet still so far.


I wonder if I'll ever let go.
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@cosmicgirlie
A few people have seen my light art photography, and have assumed I've needed some ultimate fancy equipment to do it.


It's actually REALLY easy!!! I mean, of course, uh, it's bloody difficult and takes a er, special sort of um...

Nah that's cock, it's piss easy. Promise I will do some sort of tutorial on this soon. It'll be a laugh.

Those who follow my flickr set closely will also notice there's a whole set dedicated to my iPhone. And lastly, having fallen ridiculously in love with Hipstamatic, I've created a photography blog on Posterous to showcase my efforts with this iPhone app.

Incidentally, if you own an iPhone and don't have this app, then WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???? *SHEESH*

I'll just wait here while you go and get it.

In fact, here; I'll even throw you a link: CLICK ON ME TO GET HIPSTAMATIC

Trust me, apart from maybe stuff you buy for your kids, and food, and maybe alcohol, this could be some of the best money you'd spend.

I have to say, you have no idea how thrilled to bits I was (in fact, MORE than thrilled to bits) when Tara Cain chose my Bacon Blip on Blipfoto as the inspiration and theme for this week's Gallery!!

OH HELL YEAH.

Well I noticed lots of people were starting to freak the hell out about not having a good enough camera to meet this weeks task. Hell, I'M not sure I can meet this weeks task, I mean, what the hell can beat bacon?

(Seriously, I ate around 20 - 25 rashers of bacon in the three days we were at Centre Parcs, the majority of that being on Saturday and Sunday. And yes, I ate it so fast I couldn't even be arsed to get my camera out to take another pic of it.)

I had a look at some of the pics already submitted for the gallery - shit me you guys are awesome. Which hopefully makes me work even harder. Which is obviously a good thing, especially if it means I'll work off all that bacon. It's so brilliant and satisfying when people see that you DON'T need fancy pants equipment to get a good picture. I do not have any of that shit. I'd have to sell my kids AND my soul to afford that stuff.

Anyway, I put down my trusty little camera and went back to my iPhone, which has repeatedly been slated for it's camera which I'm now thinking is quite a shame.

(Huh...my space bar is dented?? ...or is that just bacon grease?)





And then I couldn't help myself, because quite frankly, I'm addicted to my camera.

(The following are also straight from camera with no special effects applied.)



And food.





And of course, bacon.


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Like the use of photography in this post? Then please feel free to vote for me over at The MADs awards, under Best MAD Blog Photography. Only 4 days left to vote!!! Many thanks :)

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@cosmicgirlie
Noah has officially commenced potty training. Without any prompting from myself, so of course, I'm IMMENSELY proud.

Because you know, I worked so hard to get here. Heh.

He's been asking to use the potty or the loo for some time now, and quite happily goes without fuss. Of course, I'm talking pee here. Poop is another story. We've caught one or two, and he's happy to do it in the potty or on the loo, but it's only day one without nappies, so let's just take one step at a time, eh??

D and I bought approximately 28 pairs of briefs for him yesterday. And by approximately, I mean EXACTLY. That way he has 7 pairs for nursery, 21 pairs at home, meaning roughly 3 pairs a day.

Oh how stupid am I.

He's doing pretty well I have to say, first accident wasn't until 11:30am when he walked over to me with a "cowboy" walk (legs apart, swaggering slightly) and a slight whimper. But he was ok, we whipped them off, sat him on the potty and he finished off.

We've had a further 2 accidents, and it occurred to me to put together a number of Potty Training Tips, which personally, I'm finding IMMENSELY useful. I suspect I may use these when Isaac potty trains.

Um, some of these may be from personal experience with Noah. Possibly.

1: If he's happy in just pants, then just leave him in just pants. You'll change his outfit 17 times.

2: Buy plenty of soap powder. You'll be washing a lot of pants.

3: Buy a shit load of pants.

4: Don't let him sit on your lap.

5: Spare clothes for both of you might help.

6: Buy a shit load of spare clothes

7: Carpets are not that great.

8: Get carpet cleaner.

9: Laminate flooring. Leather sofas. Um, downstairs loo.

10: Do not let the potty out of your sight. One in every room should suffice, 2 or 3 if you're lazy.

11: Ask every 30 seconds if he wants to go.

12: ASKING if he wants to DO a poo is very different to CHECKING if he's DONE a poo.

13: Every kid farts. Farts also smell.

14: Don't let him stand over his brother's head.

15: If you ask your friends for help, sometimes even the well meant advice isn't for all.
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@cosmicgirlie
I had to have a time-out. It was all too much. I don't cope like I used to.

Or, I cope differently now.

And it's ok.

D's family took us all to Centre Parcs in Longleat over the bank holiday. I went, I stepped outside, I took a deep breath, I listened, I stopped everything.


I'm not quite back up to par, but I'm getting there. I feel like I'm trying to start all over again. So just, you know, thanks for bearing with me. I'm still listening.

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@cosmicgirlie
A rage. A jealous rage.

I didn't see it coming, but oddly enough I half expected it.

All around me, people are doing amazing things. I have admiration for all of them, I really do. Every day, I learn about something awesome that someone else has done, or is doing, or whatever. I see the tweets, I read the status updates, I check my emails, I see the messages.

And I feel rage. A horrible, jealous rage.

It's pathetic.

In fact, if I just got off my lazy arse and tried to achieve something myself, I wouldn't have anything to whine about.

If I just got off my lazy arse, it would be a start.

If I just stopped saying "IF" and faced up to procrastinating like a dumbass, things would probably be significantly better.

I wonder if much of this stems from growing up trying to be the best at everything I can do, whilst never being good enough. The things that mattered to me, that counted, I worked so incredibly hard for. But it was never enough. So somewhere along the line, I started doing everything I could to please everyone else; to show them all that actually, I can be someone. Look, I am someone.

So what's holding me back now? Why don't I just go out there and say "Hell yeah, I can do that, just watch me."

I don't like to be competitive. But I want to be up there with the best of them.

I don't want people to think I'm arrogant. But I want to show the world what I can do.

I don't want to be in people's faces all the time. But I want recognition and respect.

I don't want to be dictated by everyone else. But feel like I flounder without help.

It's all so stupid it doesn't even make the slightest bit of sense. I know what I want, but don't see how it's possible without being really awkward.

I hurt this week. For some reason, I'm feeling more and more like an epic fail, with no particularly good reason. Once again, I set standards astronomically high, way beyond a place where I could ever hope or even dream to reach them. No one else puts this pressure on me, I do it to myself. And every day, I wish to god I could stop.

Because for once, just once, I'd like to be really happy with what I can actually do.
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@cosmicgirlie
I only posted about the Secret Post Club yesterday, but I have another one to do today because I had May's gift arrive this week.

It's a beautiful gift, which I will treasure immensely, and was clearly very well thought out by the delightfully sweet Laura, over at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy.

I obviously had no idea who my gift was coming from, but I suspected I might have a tiny clue when I saw the label slapped on my box.



The lovely Laura and I had had many a discussion on baskets of fruit on twitter, wondering what makes an effective basket of fruit, and whether we would be able to get a basket of fruit from our respective partners.

One of the gifts inside took my breath away.


It's a teapot.


Made to look like a Basket of Fruit.


See the beautifully protruding banana? Isn't it admirable?



Although Laura drew my attention to the touching plums. Personally, I couldn't take my eyes off the protruding spout. I thought the hole at the end was rather large.




And was also a little nervous that the tip looked a bit crusty brown. But that's ok, I'm not too fussy, I think.

Needless to say, I was keen to give it a test run, and see if that spout could pour it's juices out of the large hole like every good large spouted teapot should.

Since we rarely drink tea here, I had to fill it with an alternative hot creamy liquid, so as to fully appreciate it's abilities.

I chose my favourite mug; I call it "The Pussy", for obvious reasons. And for this Basket of Fruit teapot, it seemed completely fitting. I was pleased that the spout poured hot fluids into "The Pussy" really well, although I was a tad distracted by the growing bush creeping in over the spout.



I must have been a little in too much awe of the hot spouting creamy fluids into "The Pussy" because looking at the picture now, I see there was a little spillage. See it? That tiny little dribble on the bottom? I would have licked that drop off, but I don't much care for the taste of creamy fluids in my mouth, so there's creamy mess all over my surface.

I'm thinking I might accessorize it, but I obviously don't want to hide it's sheer beauty. And, as if this gift wasn't enough, Laura was most kind to send me a little book to read, perhaps while I indulge The Pussy with hot creamy fluids.

Someone said something about toilet humour, so I thought perhaps I would put it in the bathroom to read when I'm otherwise engaged?

In any case, I'll just say a huge THANK YOU to Laura for my beautifully innocent gifts and go back to admiring them in all their glory.
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@cosmicgirlie
Some people have the best ideas ever. I'm still in awe of fellow MADs finalist Tara Cain's idea for the Gallery, my other current favourite is Heather at Note From Lapland and her Secret Post Club (check out the badge just over there, scroll down, it's on your right).

Now, normally I'm just really excited to send a gift and await the reaction, but I was more excited for last month's as I discovered it was coming from Mexico.

Rawrr!!

I'm still trying to find out if I can get hold of her to say thank you, but April's gift was 3 delicious smelling hand wrapped soaps, and I suspect I won't use them, they'll end up in my underwear drawer making my bras smell nice.

Besides they're too lovely to unwrap. :)




Many thanks to Different Randomness for this lovely gift :D
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@cosmicgirlie
Here I am again. Staring down the barrel. Looking into the abyss. Reaching for my shroud.

I wish I were stronger. I wish people could look at me and say "Bloody hell yeah, that Jay? She's stronger than a strong thing which happens to be strong". I wish I had the strength to not even get into this situation, time and time again. I wish I had more strength to get myself out quicker.

I'm sat in my lounge, next to my patio doors into the garden, and the sun is streaming in. But it's behind me.



The sun is behind me and I can't look at it.

Or maybe I don't want to look at it. Maybe my black shroud is much more comfortable. At least then I don't have to deal with anything else. I don't have to deal with anyone else. I don't have to care.


I wish I had the strength to look at it.

I always thought it was easier to just keep my head down. Keep myself to myself. Let the world pass me by. I never wanted to be where I am, but I want everything I've got, and more.

But I can't even manage it.

I don't know what I want; maybe I'm too confused, maybe I'm too tired. Maybe I do want escape, maybe I want to run away. Maybe I want to forget all of this life, have nothing to do with it. Maybe I don't even want to pack a bag; maybe I just want to close my eyes and sleep. Maybe I don't want to wake up. Maybe I won't wake up.

If I could turn my face to the sun with the promise of something better, but stay asleep until someone could guarantee that for me...maybe that would be the ideal. Maybe I could bask in the warmth of the thought of better things. The blissful idea that there really is better out there.



It's easier for some. Some can shake themselves out. Some can make themselves feel better. Some have help. Many are strong. I don't feel strong. And that frustrates me. But I'm too proud to accept help. It's how I've always been, hasn't it? Too proud to accept help. What doesn't make sense is that it feels like I have nothing to be proud of.

And that just makes me feel even more weak.


I know I have to keep going. I know I have to open my eyes and look at what's going on around me. People will tell me not to be selfish, and to shake myself out of it. Think of my family, think of the kids. Do it for them. They're what matters. They ARE what matters. Does it matter how they see me?

Can they see beyond the fake smiles? Can they see me under my shroud? What if I don't want them to see me?

I guess that's what I do best. Fake smiles. Diversion and distraction. A bit of the colourful me. I'm just nervous that it gets harder and harder every time.


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@cosmicgirlie
So it seems, today is my 3 year blog anniversary! Or birthday!! Or...whatever it's meant to be called.

It seems blog birthdays are quite a big deal; I've watched a few people celebrate theirs with style, doing giveaways and huge posts and tweetups and parties and whatever else.

And I have to say I'm often a tad jealous, mainly because their blogs seem so popular, you know? So I reckon if my blog was bigger, I might give a way, um, a car?


Or how about tickets to a ball!!!


Or perhaps even family tickets to the zoo?


Yeah...I got nothing. So instead I'm just going to remind you how we started, all thanks to this little monkey.


Sorry, I mean THIS little monkey.


And of course, I'm so pleased we had another little one to add to the blog.



Happy 3 years, journey of the mocha bean(s) and mummy. It's been a hell of a journey so far. I hope we've got much more to share.
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@cosmicgirlie

I always feel like I'm waiting for something. I'm tirelessly working at something, anything, almost all the time. But somehow, it always feels like I'm waiting.

I blipfoto'd the above photo yesterday afternoon, and realised I was lurking in the kitchen stupidly waiting for them to suddenly spring open to see them bloom.

Dropping off Noah at nursery this morning, it occurred to me that for the umpteenth time I was waiting for September when he starts school properly and (selfishly) I'm not having to rush backwards and forwards. Don't get me wrong, of course, whilst I try my best to enjoy my time with him, I know that nursery is doing him the world of good (better than me? I don't know. It feels like it).

Hell, right now, I'm waiting for Isaac to go to sleep. I'm also waiting for my hair to suddenly have a massive growth spurt...

Last night I was up until around 1:30 am, tirelessly working away at my website, trying to improve it as much as possible, trying to raise stats, trying to get get noticed, trying to raise my rank in a google search.

I look at Isaac every day and wonder when he's finally going to fit into the next size up clothing all ready for him. Oddly enough, I don't look at him and wonder when he's going to walk; he's just started standing up unaided, but as a result of Noah walking at 8 months, I'm quite content for him to take his time...

Many days pass by when I'm waiting to get my camera out and do some extreme photography. Situation doesn't always present itself, for whatever reason, and then of course I berate myself for not making it happen. But seriously, how many pictures of my own children can I take before someone I get bored? Of course I LOVE taking pics of my own....but I always want to be that "something different", you know? I'm waiting for that very thing. That "something different". I don't know what it is just yet.

I'm waiting for the day that Noah can eat something without instantly gagging and barfing. It gets dull giving him the same foods and him struggling to eat new foods. He always tries them; he just can't seem to eat them. I'm running out of ideas.

It's all ok at the moment, though. I have patience; I have to. I can work harder, but I can't make things happen much faster. Especially things that are out of my control. But when these various things do happen, I'm pretty sure they'll be damn near amazing. Or at the very least, worth the wait in some way.



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@cosmicgirlie
Yeay! It's ANOTHER MADs post!! Because I haven't bored you with enough of those, have I?!?!?!!!? Well I'm supposed to pimp myself out and ask for as many votes as possible etc, but short of harassing celebs on twitter, I'm rubbish at doing that, and end up feeling immensely guilty telling people who they should vote for.


So I thought perhaps if I listed some of my better (photography) posts, pictures and themes and stuff, and then you can have a look, and then um, if you like them maybe you could have a think about nominating me and maybe voting for me and being nice to me and then maybe I might win even though I obviously would be really pleased if the others won but somehow I want to win and beat them all.

Please.

Uh...

Thanks.

Happy Birthday, Isaac - A post featuring pics from Isaac's first birthday and a video of photography from his first year

Oh. Hello Stranger - In which two of my worlds collide spectacularly.

There Are No Subliminal Messages - Um, there are no subliminal messages.

Then there are posts with the usual holiday snaps from my favourite place in the South of England.

Like to see collections? Check out anything about The Gallery, hosted by lovely lady and fellow photography finalist Tara Cain.

What do you do on your Sundays? Mine were Silent for a little while...

Or how about a photo meme? The Kreativ Blogger Award got me to dig out 7 interesting photos...

And in this post, I totally ranted on about how my blog is just AWESOME, and cinched the deal with some of the best photography ever.

(There's a reasonable amount of sarcasm there.)

Noah's second birthday was pretty good fun, and there's pics of cake. Which I made. Not.

And over the last year maybe, I've had some AWESOME FUN with light art, and if I pull my finger out I might even do a tutorial or something on this soon.

And of course, last but definitely not least, who can forget my tweet stalking of Stephen Fry? It's not really photography, but it is, and it's also a good example of how persistent I can be, when I want to be.

And now, for the finest example of my photography work, because that's what this is all about:
Best MAD Blog Photography

The Best MAD Blog Photography award recognises that some bloggers don’t just have a way with words – their pictures are just as powerful, and sometimes more powerful than the words alongside.



Just meeting criteria, is all.
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@cosmicgirlie
Over at The Gallery this week, Tara Cain's theme is "Men". Since (apparently) I'm all bolshy and stuff, I'm going to change it to "(Boys to) Men". Because that's what they are.

The testosterone in my house is RIFE. D is in the Civil Engineering construction something or other industry, the boys will scream for anything with wheels, and so needless to say, there are (noisy) diggers, trucks, scoops, dump trucks, cars, buses, transporters and all manner of god-knows-what in the kiddos toy box.

This is my lovely hubs, Mocha Beanie Daddy, known to you as "D". I blame him. But he's bloody lovely, as some of you already know.



This is Isaac. He will lay his hands on whatever wheels he can get.



This is Noah. He is happy to just have them all lined out in front of him and then watch a bit of TV while he can.



Either way, they're happy to bare their chests, smile at the ladies, and play with cars.



And they're all soft enough for a snuggle on the sofa in front of the TV.

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