We all know that men are better drivers

Journey Into Space featured on the cover of th...
Journey Into Space featured on the cover of the Radio Times. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you agree with the title of this post?

How does it make you feel?

“Hell, yeah!” “It’s about time someone came out & said it!”

Cross? Furious? Heading straight for the comments section, angry fingers at the ready?

Or: “Yes, perhaps: but you’re not supposed to say things like that, are you?”

Continue reading “We all know that men are better drivers”

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Listography – 5 Reasons I Know I’m a Social Media Addict

For Kate from Kate Takes 5’s great Listography blog-hop meme linky thing

1) After I say something a bit sad I make a little frown. In my head I’m seeing a  😦

2) If I won the Lottery I’d probably run outside & shout “I WON THE LOTTERY! RETWEET!”. After tweeting it & Facebooking it, of course

3) I find sitting on the toilet an excellent time for thinking up good tweets

4) I find reading the tweets of those watching a TV programme is usually hugely more entertaining than the programme itself

5) First thing I’ll be doing with this blog post after I’ve written it? Tweeting it & posting it to Facebook of course!

Why not have look at the other “5 reasons I know I’m…” lists at Kate’s blog: it’s a free-for-all this week!

The Things They Say & Do

Jallie are at an age now (23 months tomorrow) where they seem to say or do something new every day: living & learning with them, watching them grow & develop, is wonderful.

That’s why I usually have no shortage of ‘3 Brilliant Things’ to record daily over on my blog of that name, when I make / find the time that is.

I’d thought also to do a weekly highlights post here, & was going to call it ‘3BT Tuesday’ or something equally catchy. Then I saw that Chris over at Thinly Spread has started a weekly linky thing called “The Things They Say & Do”, where you post memorable things your children have said or done over the last week & link the post to her blog.

So I put 2 & 2 together & came up with a brilliant idea: if your daughter slags you off on facebook, don’t go on YouTube smoking a fag & shoot her laptop with your gun: not helpful*

After I got that sorted I thought it might also be good to combine my 3BT thing with Chris’ linky, so here it is:

On Tuesday Ellie copied me spinning a teaspoon around in a cup with amazing success: great fine motor skills!

On Wednesday after treading on my sore finger, with her boots on, over a wooden floor (I may have said “Ouch!” or something similar) Ellie looked straight at me & said “Sowwy Daddy”.

Jake, to me, on Thursday: “I like Ellie”.
Me: “You like Ellie?”
Jake, nodding & smiling: “Yeah”. He then walked over to her & gave her a great big hug.

Ellie yesterday, sitting on the floor after falling on her bottom: “Hello Daddy. Hello Mummy. I fell over”.

I hope Chris doesn’t mind me doing more than one! Why not have a look at the other posts there, they’re funny 🙂 

* I kid you not 

It’s About That Time Isn’t It?

We’re about 6 weeks into the new year, the middle of February. Most of us are back at work or whatever our usual daily grind routine is. Long behind us now are thoughts of presents & stockings*, jolly fat bearded men dressed in red**, tinsel, baubles, decorated trees, reindeer, wall-to-wall chocolate, competing with the neighbours to be the first house to simultaneously drain the National Grid & be seen from Space,

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...
Image via Wikipedia

We’re about 6 weeks into the new year, the middle of February. Most of us are back at work or whatever our usual daily grind routine is. Long behind us now are thoughts of presents & stockings*, jolly fat bearded men dressed in red**, tinsel, baubles, decorated trees, reindeer, wall-to-wall chocolate, competing with the neighbours to be the first house to simultaneously drain the National Grid & be seen from Space, fighting with drunk Aunties who insist of cheating at Cluedo (I mean really: who cheats at Cluedo?!)***, & dreams of a White Christmas.

Life for most of us has pretty much returned to normal after the mad excitement (or otherwise) of the holiday season.  Plenty of time.

When / if we think about it some of us may be pleased & annoying, others of us disappointed & annoyed.

What am I on about? New years’ resolutions!

By now I reckon those of us who made any will have figured out if we’ve been able to keep them or not.

I, as I often do, found myself doing it backwards****. I didn’t resolve to do anything differently, but found myself doing things differently anyway & kind of realised I was acting out my non-resolutions. I then wrote about them, as you do.

So how am I doing?, I hear you cry.

I’m still not active on twitter, apart from posting links to blogs (yes, mostly mine). TICK

I’m using facebook more. Although not much more. And the main family members I have who are there just don’t use it that much! HALF TICK

Blogging. Most of any spare time I’ve had to myself this year has been spent blogging. I’ve found, read  & subscribed to loads of great blogs.  I’ve taken part, both in posting & reading / commenting, in great linky blog-hops like The Gallery & Silent Sunday. I’ve Gok Wanned my blog, & learnt a few tricks of the trade. Although the main reason I blog is for my own enjoyment, it’s nice to know that others appear to enjoy it too, & my posts have had many more views & comments than last year, & more subscribers. (Thank you). I managed nearly a post a day in January, although I wasn’t aiming for that. I think then that that’s a TICK

I’ve realised though that I simply can’t maintain this pace! I’m pretty sure that in 1 weekend I read & commented on every single post in that week’s Gallery & Silent Sunday. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been commenting on blog posts from a week ago & longer: that’s because I’ve fallen behind in the blogs that I subscribe to, & I do like to read every one. And that’s just the email subs, I’ve hardly looked at my Yahoo Reader! (I vastly prefer subs by email, by the way; if the option is there I take it. I find RSS annoying by comparison). Also: I’m tired. And there are some signs of writer’s block. And I have a sore arm. And… (internal censor: Shut Up!)

The upshot: something’s gotta give. I can’t stand to be anywhere near my TV in case I glimpse its “Why are you neglecting me; I thought you were my friend?!” accusatory stare. And I miss playing Guild Wars.

I will definitely Carry On Blogging though, just maybe not as fervently.

So, all in all, I reckon I get a ‘B’ for my early-year non-resolution-keeping exam.

And you, dear reader…?

* Well, except it was Valentine’s day yesterday…

** ditto…

*** Sorry, getting a bit too personalised there

**** Well, it was – oh, never mind


I am Resolved

New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t make ’em, as I don’t keep ’em.

I only made 1 last year:  to make no New Year’s Resolutions. Which I immediately failed, obviously.

This time of year there are inevitably lots of blog posts of New Year’s Resolutions, & I’ve read quite a few good ones.

This one though, ‘My Online Resolutions‘,  from the excellent Him Up North’s blog made me realise something: I seem to be carrying out my New Year’s Resolutions without actually having made any.

“Huh?!” I hear you say. It’s OK: I get that a lot.

Well, I’m doing things differently this year. And it’s because I’ve decided to do so. I guess you could say I’ve resolved to do so.

I haven’t actually sat down, as I have done in the past, & said to myself: “Right: this is what I must do with my life this year”. That does, however, seem to be what is happening in practice.

So here’s what I’m doing differently this year, at least in my online life:

1) Twitter. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Twitter.  “I love it; it hates me”? Maybe! When you have responsibilities though you can have too much of a good thing. Twitter is fabulous fun. I’ve met so many fantastic people there, we’ve shared jokes, sad stories, music, films, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried,  participated in & even started hashtag memes, & generally had a great time.

‘Time’. There’s the rub, as my mate Bill once said. Working from home, & at present being pretty much a SAHD, (someone really should come up with a better acronym for stay-at-home Dads…), Twitter is always there, always available, on my office PC, on the laptop, on my iPod Touch. And there’s always something happening. It is a constant distraction; & I’m easily distracted. With baby-care taking up so much of my time I have to make the most of it to do what must be done. So often Twitter has eaten up too much time. I’ve tried just lurking during the day, the ‘no-typing’ rule, but that only had limited success.

I believe it’s known as ‘Twittaddiction’.

In the evenings I also found that a lot of the really fun messing about also resulted in my not getting on with other interests I’d had lined up for whatever spare time I’ve had.  It’s very easy to get carried away, especially after dark. All work & no play may make Jack a dull boy, but all play & no work can make Jack a bit over-excited 😉

So I’ve had to re-evaluate where my priorities lie, & as a result I’m taking a break from twitter.

I’ll still be sending tweets from my blogs when I’ve made new posts, auto-tweeting music links from my iPod, & my automatically-produced newspaper is still about. But that’s it.

Will I go back? How long will I be away? I don’t know.

Will I miss it? Yes: everything about it. What I’ll especially miss though is the daily contact with the so many terrific people I’ve met there.  So to all of my friends there: Thank You. For Everything.

I am still about online though, which brings me to:

2) Blogging. I’m doing more of it. I’ve been looking for & have found some great blogs, especially ones similar to mine: Dad blogs, parents of twins blogs, & have linked to them in my ‘Blogroll’.  I’ve subscribed to more blogs, I’m commenting more. On my own blogs I’m posting more, & linking up with other blogs & blogging resources.

And you know what? It’s great fun. It’s sociable, it’s a creative outlet, it’s therapeutic, I’m learning about other peoples’ lives & loves – some similar to mine & others very different  – & in more depth. In short, it’s enhancing my life. And that can only be a good thing.

3) Facebook. Yes I use it. I’ve never enjoyed it as much as Twitter. I have a much smaller circle of friends there, & I want to keep it that way: quality not quantity. So I’m using it more. And that leads to:

4) Family. I want to keep in touch with my family more; not easy when most of them live so far away. Many of them use Facebook. I have noticed that some of them even have telephones. And houses, with addresses attached. And emails. All of which I want to use more.

Ultimately that’s what this is about: doing the right thing by my family, especially for the sake of my beautiful twin babies. And of course being nice to my wife. I’m sure she must read this sometimes… 😉

So: keeping my New Year’s Resolutions without making any? I reckon I could be on to something here!

Alive and Kicking

We’ve just come back from our 33-week scan: only about 3 weeks til Launch Day now! (Gestation is generally about a month less with twins).

Have I mentioned that my wife is pregnant? With twins?

We love the scans: we get to see our babies moving & living. Every time they seem more & more human, separated from us seeing & interacting fully with them just by skin & tissue. Of more practical importance is that the hospital staff are able to take size & weight measurements & give us feedback on their growth.

Well, we’re amazed: they are now 5lb 8oz, & 4lb 12 oz! They’re already above average for singletons, & twins are meant to be smaller! I’m thinking “rugby player(s)” already. They’ve grown enormously in the 2 weeks since our last scan: my dear wife must be doing something right. And hopefully I’m contributing by doing my job of looking after her & preparing for their arrival.

They’ve gained one & one & a half pounds in just 2 weeks: they’re exploding. My wife is almost constantly complaining about feeling sore & bloated & is now having trouble just moving around. No wonder! She decided to go for a marathon waddle in the park on the weekend: I had to go & rescue her when she ran out of steam. Getting out of chairs, putting on tights, bending over has also become difficult.  I’m happy to do anything I can for her, but I’ve made it clear that I am *not* wiping her arse for her: that’s a job for the robot butler.

She’s also being kicked. A lot. And elbowed. And pushed. And scraped. Then there’s the twists & turns, the jostling. Shaun White & his Tomahawk has got nothing on these 2! Every scan seems to have them in different positions. They seem to be using her bladder as a trampoline, her lungs as punchbags. What they’re doing to her perineum we don’t want to know.

Despite the discomfort, indigestion & breathlessness: she loves it. I of course even more so, as I get the benefit without the cost. We’ve recently felt (& possibly heard) them hiccupping. I’ve put my hand on her belly & watched my fingers bump up & down.  She can lie back & watch her belly undulating, like that scene in “Alien” (which of course has an underlying  theme of family & motherhood).  We are already playing with them: if we feel ‘a bit of baby’ sticking out & give it a poke, they’ll poke back. It’s like facebook with skin! Of course they might just be saying “Oi! Stop poking me, you big oaf!”.

One evening last week I decided it would be fun to hold her belly & jiggle it up & down while going “Weeeee!”. The response I got was amazing: they were in a frenzy of movement for several hours afterwards! They seemed to enjoy it, & I know I did, but I don’t think my wife did; &  I probably woke them up. I haven’t done that again.  I’d like to though 🙂

I don’t think there’s any way I could have prepared myself for how this feels. You read & hear about it so I knew the theory, but the feeling of touching my unborn children through my wife’s belly & having them respond to my touch, feeling that we’re playing together, is indescribable: a joy I never could have imagined.  Whatever happens in our futures these are moments that the both of us will remember &  treasure for the rest of our lives.

title courtesy of Simple Minds