Wednesday, 1 July 2020

re: Social traffic


here it is, social website traffic:

Full details attached

Jerald Jiminez  

Unsubscribe option is available on the footer of our website

cheap viagra to grow your penis

order today, cheap viagra


Tuesday, 16 June 2020

re: Rank 1st in google with Content Marketing Strategy

Get your business to the next level with a solid Content Marketing strategy

Nohemi Nimmons  

Unsubscribe option is available on the footer of our website

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

re: I need social traffic fast


here it is, social website traffic:

Full details attached

Pamila Papineau �

Unsubscribe option is available on the footer of our website

Saturday, 30 May 2020

re: re: improve serps

Hi again
here is the service I was telling you about

thanks and regards
Roy Degarmo

Sat, 30 May 2020 04:06:40 -1100 tr, 19:37 dia-das-maes_8.htmlnoreply
<> raše:
Ok, send me the link, I need the ranks to be* fixe#d urgant&ly.

Friday, 29 May 2020

re: Additional Details

hi there

After checking your website SEO metrics and ranks, we determined
that you can get a real boost in ranks and visibility by using
aour Deluxe Plan:

thank you

Thursday, 21 May 2020

business account information - important

Hi Indigo

Good afternoon, I hope all is well?

Sorry to disturb you which can only possibly be a very busy time for you. I am reaching out as I come across your establishment through Google and was wondering if you can help?

We're trying to work with local businesses & communities by providing COVID-19 social distancing awareness through posters/banners plus PPE to keep your staff and public safe - We're a local print & business supply company with 20+ years experience and not looking to profit largely from this like newly formed companies.

Ahead of the government back to work steps, we just want to introduce ourselves and see if we can assist in any way in your preparation?

Kind regards,

Paul Symonds
CEO, Founder & Head of Worldwide Sales

LBF International Limited / 

(T) +44 (0)20 3559 1112

(M) +44 (0)7710 179519

LONDON Level 5, Tower 42, Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ / HONG KONG Level 14, 183 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong

Company Registration No 10500845 & Vat No 264 0695 93 & EORI Vat No GB 264 0695 93 000

You may unsubscribe to stop receiving our emails.

Monday, 4 May 2020




---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: CM Faculjak <>
Date: Monday, May 04, 2020 11:22:35 AM
To: <>

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Friday, 27 March 2020

Thursday, 12 March 2020









From: CM Faculjak []
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020 09:35:29 AM








Saturday, 15 February 2020



CM Faculjak

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: CM Faculjak <>
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2020 10:25:17 AM
To: <>

Monday, 3 February 2020

New Order

My name is Johnson Arnone, I saw your advert on, and I will like to place an order with you. kindly confirm to me if you accept pick up from your store by our shipping agent ? and accept wire transfer as form of payment? Please advise.

Waiting to read from you soon.

Best Regards
Johnson Arnone

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Monday, 7 October 2019




CM Faculjak


Saturday, 3 August 2019


CM Faculjak

Friday, 8 March 2019

Fwd: Hi Cfaculjak


CM Faculjak

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: CM Faculjak <>
Date: Friday, March 08, 2019 04:14:28 PM
To: <>

Monday, 4 February 2019




From: CM Faculjak <>
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2019 10:44:50 AM

Thursday, 24 January 2019


From: CM Faculjak []
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:23:18 AM







Friday, 14 December 2018




---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: CM Faculjak <>
Date: Friday, December 14, 2018 08:45:07 AM
To: <>

Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 bubbye

I hardly knew ye

photo from
This is the very first year I feel no anticipation of the new year.  This year has been big in many ways. A move. (again) A baby. (so happy) A boy turning 3.  (wha?) A readjustment. (ongoing)

As they say with small children, the days are long and the years are short. 

My Greatest Hits lists feels more like the The Things That Kept Me Sane List. 

  • family hugs - especially when requested by the boy
  • Words With Friends
  • iPad
    - where've you been all my life
  • local in law grandparents - solicitous, cheery, generous, helpful, solid
  • Alice - the most cheerful person I know who wakes with a smile and explodes my heart.  My best girl. 
  • Derby stores: bagel Thursday, animal crackers and good cheddar
  • generosity and connection of siblings
  • Newnham - so local, so easy, so friendly, so freaking quaint
  • St Mark's playgroup Toddles
  • Newnham friendly real-deal mums
  • Lewis - my threenager. My mood mirror. My challenge. My golden smarty. My best boy. 
  • Cousin's Butchers steak pies
  • Mushroom Park - watching Lewis conquer each playground as he gets bigger and bolder
  • Mark's great day rate keeping us in organic fruit and taxis
  • Lewis dates - babychinos at Bills/Giraffe
  • Netflix (in bed)
  • The Market - for a destination, for bread, for interesting goods
  • Mark- biker commuter, bring home the bacon, dedicated to our small people
  • Lewis Glasgow Birthday weekend and reunion with our pals
  • Number 18 bus full of Newnham grannies, taking our weary, fully loaded pram + 2 into town for 2 quid
  • Becco Butterfly owl sling (where Alice spent the first 6 months of her life)

I guess when I write it all down it underscores for amazing things are. Hard sometimes. Fun usually. But very very lucky girl I am. 

I am realising -- this life is my happy ending. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

eyes up

Today I thank my husband and co parent.  Because of him I've had the last 2 Saturday mornings "off" ...

Just me. Doing things.  I've chosen low hanging fruit -- the most crucial of my personal beauty needs to address first... hair and eyebrows and feet.  Doesn't take much to recenter me. Or make me feel the gentle wave of a perspective re-jigger.

Yes.  taking care of myself feels vital.  Small gestures of pampering feel miraculous. The simple act of walking alone down the street feels freeing and light.  My brain synapses are re-aligning.  Oh yes.  I am still here.

Makes me feel hope for more time.  To write. Read. Think. Plan. Want. Dream. Sleep. Miss. Remember. 

And the small time loosens the vice-grip of managing and shuffling and carrying and feeding. Keeping hunger, sleep and mood regulation all in balance for 3 people. 

Yes. There is a life inside of me still living.

Even when all eyes are used to pointing down.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Complaints I retract

When we first moved back to Cambridge I was in deep stress. Veerrry pregnant and exhausted and in a chronic state of worry. I found loads of things to complain about. Adjusting was Hard Work. Hell, walking was hard work.

Time, she is a funny bird. Three months in and life is lighter. In the spirit of gratitude and keeping my heart open to more goodies, I retract the following grumbles:

1) We have no community here.

We moved into one of the nicest family neighbourhoods in Cambridge. Within weeks we met and befriended 3 families On Our Very Street. All super nice. All with kids. We found a playgroup At The End Of Our Street. Hello Handy. There we met several more very kind folks. Then you add the butcher, the local chemist and 2 local shops within 2 blocks who know us now (because we frequent them every freaking day) and -- boom-- community. I can walk through our hood and run into people to chat with. I Love This.

2) The English aren't as friendly as the Scottish

Perhaps this is still a bit true. But the English warm up nicely. They might initially look at you loud American talking to her rowdy toddler with quiet disapproval but on 10th viewing they realise you are ok and start to engage. Old crabby people smile at the antics on the bus. And no one No ONE can resist the soft and sweet charms of a newborn.

3) It is hard to get around

Well, I am no longer pregnant, nor recovering from a section. I am getting used to teeny narrow sidewalks. I figured out the buses. The bus from our neighbourhood changed (yay!) the fleet to a pram friendly model so we can take it. Lewis rides his tiny red balance bike through our neighbourhood errands. We can walk 4 minutes to get to a kick ass play park.

We have library cards
We have 'regular' hangout spots

In short, we belong. Which in essence is really what anyone wants. To be known. To be seen. To be understood.
For this, for this time, however long we are here, I am grateful.

Sometimes I feel tired of beginning again. We have moved and moved and moved. And I need to remind myself that how I show up is what I shall receive. Reap what yee sow. We are never 'done' with new experiences and growing if we are open to the new and unknown next thing. And man, it is way easier to ride the wave of change than trying to paddle against it.

I hope I can remember this the next time (and I can count on a next time.-- we all can) I am stiff arming some new change.

For now, a bus ride, a friend, a smile on the street and knowing where to go feels very very lovely.

P.S. Plus I am writing this while getting a pedicure while the tiny girl sleeps on my chest and the sunny boy plays with his grandparents. I have MUCH to be grateful for.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pause: 2 years 10 months

A big boy
Running with ease
Climbing with confidence
Conversing with charm
Biking fast and sure on red balance bike
Listening to EVERYTHING
Curly gold sunshine hair
Can shout NOOOO to shake your brain fittings
Knows everyone's name and how they are related, where they live
Loves a tv show obsessively -- repeated in the dozens and then abandons them utterly and completely
Could eat cherries, chocolate, crackers and fresh peas exclusively.
Loves cars, trucks, buses, diggers
Enjoys hiding from monsters and crocodiles
Baby Alice is cute and for hugging with whole body weight yet cries too much
Puzzles puzzles puzzles. Especially if they have cars, trucks, buses or diggers
Excellent lunch date
Safety commissioner reminds us to walk on the sidewalk, not get too close to the edge and not to stick fingers on a cage
Infectious enthusiasm for exploring, adventures and co piloting daddy's bike
Loves the concept of underpants. Not using nappies less so.
Blue eyes that startle by sheer size and loveliness
Can change from light mood to temper storm with aplomb
Has taken it as his job to close all open gates in Cambridge
No more naps but will rock a 12 hour night sleep
Darling, sweet, confident, challenging comfortable, friendly, promising, loving, gorgeous boy

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

She's ...


Monday, 4 June 2012

my dears ...

Dear Baby Girl-

You are supposed to come out on Wednesday.  This freaks me out a little. Not just that we 'know' when you are arriving (which indeed feels strange) but also because I feel I haven't prepared myself emotionally and mentally to be 100% with you yet.  We just moved houses. Countries. And life has been really busy getting sorted. Your brother is lovely and has also been really really taking up a lot of energy since we have been in our new house. I am equal parts excited and nervous about how he will be with you. He has been telling everyone he has a sister in his tummy and talks about you, knows your name.  I hope when you are here he will understand that you will need me. A lot. And that he can share me with you with a bit of patience. You can see why I am nervous.

I am just starting to get really excited to meet you. Girl. Brown eyes? The recessive blue gene again? Pointy chin? Baldy? Who are you going to be? Will you be a easy going person? (your gyrating and dance moves this last month make me think otherwise)  Or will you be all energy/all day like your brother?  In my heart I hope you are a relaxed kid. And if you aren't we will work with it.

Mostly know we want you here. We are ready in all the ways that matter. Our hearts and our love is on deck, ready to welcome you into the world, our family. Life. Come safe. Come healthy. Come.

Dear Big Boy-

You ARE my big boy, as you keep reminding me. And you are also my baby as you keep reminding me. I know things have been so different at our new house. You have adjusted so beautifully to all the new circumstances, people, situations, I am amazed by you. And now we bring in a sister for you, making things all manner of different again. I worry that you will be OK with more change. And with my arms being full of baby when you are so used to them being all yours.

Know that you, my best boy are always going to be that. And I hope that your new role as big brother is as fun and sweet as I imagine it to be... in time. I understand that you might not think so for a while and I totally get it. I hope we can be understanding as you get used to it all. Together we can figure out what it looks like. You will always be my beloved baby.

Dear Husband-

It has been a rough 3 months. And we are finally here. Cambridge. Job. House. In. Baby. It has been a really tough time for me. And you. And we are here. We made it.

I wish we had more time to be just us for a bit before a family of four.  I miss our time together. And things are as they are. I trust that we will grow through this and with it as our family reforms into some new shape. And we will eventually reclaim our couple hood. Or at least steal moments to drink wine in the garden when the kids are asleep. (that WILL HAPPEN, right???) Thank you for your patience with me. And for creating order from chaos. For showing up for us when we need you. For being the devoted dad you are. And for knowing what's important. We'll need more of that in the months to come. I can't wait to see you with your baby girl. I hope she doesn't take too much advantage of the softie you are in  your heart.

Dear Me-

You have been doing the best you can. I know this. It hasn't always been pretty, and I know that this move has tested your innards a bit more than you banked on. But you did it.  See how strong you can be? And I know you can be strong again for baby girl. Surgery isn't fun but your body is super capable of fast healing. You have enough love for all the people who need you, including you.  Be brave. Allow yourself to be excited. Things will be OK. Let go of the control and enjoy the ride.

Dear Rest of my Life-

I am sorry I haven't been paying attention to you... brain, family, friends, blog, fashion, healthy eating, news, facebook. We've had the waters rising up to our chins. But I imagine them receding. In time. Please be there when we come round to the present tense. I'll need you a lot for comedic relief and sanity.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012


I am lying on my bed while 5 Glaswegian men with a mostly unintelligible brogue pack my family's most precious and useful belongings and cart them down huffing and puffing down 2 flights of stairs into a 2,300 cubic feet volume moving truck.

I am lying down not to be a princess. Or because it is the only soft spot left (which it is.)  It is because I must. All my cells are crying to stop.

All the culmination coming to this day... the worry about money, the fret about a job for Mark, the decisions about moving, about selling, about nurseries, the finding of a neighbourhood, a house to rent, the culling, the good bye-ing, the minutia of moving and quotes, and millions of squillions of details... it is all coming to its ready to pop head.

It is now all happening ... the domino has been tipped and I watch as many many more fall into place and they click click click taking this life, this world and change it into the next.

I lie down because I am overwhelmed with this truth.  And my baby girl inside is heavy and I ache. And I feel unable to watch the dominoes straight on. I can see them from the corners of my eyes. And it is enough. I have been in the drivers seat or the map reading seat for most of this journey and now I want to be driven.

Wake me when we are there and you need to put the flowers in the vase, arrange the pillows and stock the fridge.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

will be missed

The fact that we are moving is quickly shifting from an abstract, scary future event into a hard and present tense fact. We have movers coming to quote. We have lease papers to sign. We are selling some of our Giant American furniture that fits our Giant Glasgow flat but will be ridiculous in our tiny Cambridge terraced house.  I have change of address things to fill out for the mail redirection. We have a new nursery for Lewis all signed up. I have started good-byeing, knowing that in 2 short weeks or so, we won't (gulp) LIVE here.

It always helps me (as any of you regular readers know) to list it out. Properly annotate just the very things I am processing. It helps me move through the treacle.

So my beginnings of my endings here. I am sad about leaving Scotland. Full-Stop. It has been a most welcoming country. It likes Americans. It  is not pretentious or snobby or competitive. It has a live and let live feeling. And a sense of culture and collective spirit that is enviable. People are friendly. I have friends.  I have people. It is home. And I hope in some ways it always will be. 

In no apparent order, things I will miss:
  • Hearing random bagpipes playing
  • Kelvingrove Park- so close, so big, our big garden 2 blocks away
  • An Clatchan cafe's easy, perfect park location, caramelised onion sausage sandwiches and open toy policy, a respite for the weary parent with great cake and an outside seat to watch the playpark while you sip
  • Biblos chocolate cake, reliable lattes and owner gossip
  • The 44 bus
  • Grassroots Charlie, always ready with a fun chit chat and a welcome for a local shopper
  • Kilts
  • Seeing wedding parties walk down the street to the civil ceremonies place
  • Lupe Pintos access to all things Tex Mex and oddly necessary American things
  • Our large, tall rooms to roam all on one floor
  • Having a baby in the familiar if imperfect princess royal hospital
  • Dear pal Rhona, real talk and real laughing with kindred spirit, movie nights at GFT
  • Acorn Nursery's sincere and relentless staff friendliness
  • My sunny yellow kitchen so lovingly upgraded by Mark
  • Scotland's space, absence of crowds and heat
  • My dear fellow mothering pals to commiserate and kvetch with, learn from, and watch our littles grow big together. I am sad I won't be here for more of the journey together. 
  • My supportive and earthy acupuncturist Maureen, seeing me through 2 natural pregnancies
  • My first home purchase of lovely historic flat with 16 foot ceilings and more rooms than we knew what to do with
  • The place where I became a mother, we became a family and Lewis had his first home
  • The toy room, TV room. big bed, tiny bed
  • Friendly, open non judgemental Scottish people
  • Kick ass curries
  • Trips to the elephant museum/transport museum
  • Park Circus views
  • Glaswegian blether 
And when it makes me too sad, I try to think of the things we are looking forward to in our relocation to Cambridge.

  • more chances of actual sunshine
  • flat biking 
  • a truly international community
  • a (more) non smoking & healthy environment
  • English country pubs
  • being a 1.5 hour drive away from grandparents
  • no more climbing 50+ stairs to our flat with a baby, a toddler, a pregnant belly or shopping
  • the Cambridge market
  • seeing old Cambridge buddies
  • another step closer to home
  • train ride easy access to London
  • coming full circle to where I started my UK adventure and Mark & I stopped just dating and started our lives together
  • posh accents
  • seeing Mark Love his job again
  • my baby girl being born English
 So as I process and we move forward at a speed I feel a bit dizzy from, it rips the band aid off. It would always be hard to leave. I would always be sad. Maybe fast is better. Maybe, like Lewis like to say, we are sailing to the sunshine next.  And that can only be good news.

    Thursday, 5 April 2012

    come together. right now.

    I can scarcely believe I have stolen this slice of the clock to sit and reflect. It feels suspiciously intended for me to gather and comment.

    Moving house, late stage pregnancy, managing toddlers, selling a flat: what are things that are complicated. what are things that are stressful. what are things that are tiring.

    All true. And yet, here I am with an hour on my own. Chores done. Lists crossed off (for now). And  a sense of not calm exactly, but more okay-ness with it all.

    I feel like I have been staring at a mountain of puzzle pieces that someone dumped out -- all the same colour and no picture as a guide. Daunting and brain-achingly big. But somehow we've managed a few of the edge pieces together ... and a few of the central ones. I still don't know where many of the pieces go, or what the picture looks like, but I now see it is possible.

    It helps and soothes enormously that my partner is deeply committed to problem solving, puzzle piecing and is not scared to put an excel spreadsheet to good use. I just keep turning the pieces over and lining them up. Once in a while I find one that fits.

    No big lesson here or lofty epiphany here, just a deep sense of relief that things, which seemed endlessly complicated, are actually fitting quite nicely. 

    Sunday, 18 March 2012

    sharp left turn

    Image: cbenjasuwan /
    We have been sadly been living a Bon Jovi song ... living on a prayer. Which is a bit tough for an agnostic and a very lapsed Catholic.

    Jobs end, money stops, mortgages and bills carry on.
    Not real fun.
    And now, we are half way there (continuing my Bon Jovi theme.)

    A nice juicy contract position and a future to lean into ... ahhh.

    And it is in Cambridge.

    Not. Glasgow. Not even Scotland.

    So here we are on the eve on this all beginning. The kick off.

    After a long, cold winter of worrying and waiting for change, tomorrow it starts.

    Tomorrow he begins this job.
    Tomorrow we begin time apart while we work on moving forward.
    Tomorrow things change.

    I think the AA serenity prayer is particularly handy right now.

    As well as trust. Faith. Hope. Connection. And most of all love.

    We know that as long as we are together, happy, healthy and comfortable, our home is together. And that together is just going to be somewhere else.

    Selling the flat, packing, moving, explaining it all to a 2.5 year old all while carrying the load of a 3rd trimester at my advanced maternal age with my tiny tolerance for chaos may test my mettle. And my sanity.

    So we take this sharp left. We aren't sure what it looks like. Or how it will be. But does anyone? Every time the Universe has asked demanded change and I can go without attachment and with an open heart and a clear vision, it has blown my expectations wide.

    So we begin with eyes open, hearts full.

    Friday, 24 February 2012

    sheer poetry

    Every once in a while you come across a new idea that some smart person has executed and it makes instant sense.

    Thanks to my dear friend and inspiring human, Hanna Cooper, I've been turned on to a brilliant site.

    Simple, inspiring and the kind of thing that stops you for that oddly important moment to get out of your grumbling navel-living and gives you a tiny peek into your bigger world.  Which feels like a deeply welcome respite.

    It is called Bentlily: one poem a day, the art of noticing your life -- and the inspiration of a woman called Samantha Reynolds.  It is poetry about love, parenthood, the beauty of nature, creativity and this tender and curious life. Yum.

    You sign up to get a new poem every day, handy-like in your email. I've only gotten two so far and I am already hooked. You can even make an "insta-poem" and use this cool little app to create your own poem by providing key words.

    Here was yesterday's poem by guest poet Grace Kenina.

    The next act

    Being present
    does not mean ignoring
    the future

    plan for the next act
    of your life
    as you would a special guest
    coming for dinner

    scrub down the unkind voices
    the ones that tell you lies
    like you are not

    write love letters
    to your future

    stand knee-deep in the moment
    feel the buttery mud under your boot
    the blunt air of winter

    press your attention
    against your breath

    look deep inside

    tomorrow’s dreams
    are already

    Thwack. It hits me centrally in my solar plexus. As I stand precariously on the tippy top of a next chapter, it reminds me to relax into change. I want to feel the buttery mud. And trust that tomorrow's dreams are on their way.

    Poetry. Like music. Like art. Like beauty. Can serve to remind that the world is bigger than your walls, more magical than you imagine, and offers slender slices of hope.

    I urge you to not deny yourself that.

    Saturday, 4 February 2012

    talking bout my girl

    I was just looking back at old blog posts to see when I started to look actually pregnant and not just like I have a big gut (about 5 months) and I was reading old posts from that time of pregnancy. I was to interested. I was so switched on. So passionate. So not exhausted.

    So I am 21 weeks pregnant now with our baby girl child and I have yet to really think of what it is going to be like, much less what is happening down under. In one short birth experience have I become so blase and uninterested? What a difference experience makes ... takes a lot of the unknown and the fear out ...

    I find that what I am doing now, besides eating chocolate digestives, is thinking ... this is a GIRL.

    Girl. Girl. G-I-R-L!

    Purple things and hair treats and the possibility of not having to brooooom cars (or not as constantly), of mother/daughter closeness, of adolescence and menopause clashing, of being a woman role model. Funny, I didn't feel those things when we were expecting a boy ... what did I know of a boy? Foreign country. And they still are .. lovely & different. But girls ... I AM one. What am I expecting to be different?  Easier? Harder?  I guess I think I have expectations, which I really did not with a boy.

    Must try to erase those expectations as girl or boy babe... this is a new person, first and last of her kind, true original.

    As she continues to grow and become more of a peson, I want to remember to honour this soul, this individual as she comes and just hope and pray she likes stripy tights.

    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    birthday eve

    photo from
    Tomorrow I am 44.  Forty-Four.
    It has a nice, even, symmetrical quality about it, even if it is a number that feels a bit too big and a bit too foreign. In my mind, I think about 38 is right.
    Even more so, since I am now 21 weeks pregnant with a baby girl child.
    Being 44 and half-way there to birth is far more knackering that it was at 41.
    I am tired and not so very patient.  Makes me want to take a bit of stock on just what and where I am today on my birthday eve.

    I am:

    • pregnant
    • almost 44
    • OK, we covered that
    • tired
    • ditto
    • often blank of mind when I have 10 minutes of quiet
    • in love with my bed
    • illogically laundry obsessed
    • disinterested in most current affairs
    • nervous if I don't have both a book to read and a book to listen to
    • eating much cheese
    • scared to drive our newly acquired car (I haven't driven in the UK since the DAY of my test. In 2006. Hello)
    • worried about having 2 children drain my waning energies
    • worried that child 1 will be sad not to have his mum all to himself 
    • worried that I have no recall on how to care for actual baby
    • realising this list is not as whimsical and light as I imagined it
    • trying now to think of really positive things
    • blank of mind
    OK. Let me try something else ... here's what I want for my 44th year
    • endurance
    • patience
    • flexibility
    • light-heartedness
    • giggles
    • family hugs
    • embracing change
    • ever expanding love supply for all my important people including myself
    • financial stability
    • ability to find the silly
    • be the best mother, partner, daughter and friend I can be
    • appreciate the many magical tiny moments I have each day
    • one eye on the horizon so I can picture where we are going and start to get excited about being there
    • gratitude for the ways which I know, I already have all of those things

    Saturday, 31 December 2011

    greatest hits 2011

    thank you 2011...

    • fitflop slippers
    • eternity scarf
    • daddy pig
    • the good wife
    • part time nursery
    • bbc radio 4 extra
    • blakley fit eddie bauer trousers
    • curly wispy lewis hair
    • FJF tribute to quiet hero
    • motherhood friends
    • babychinos
    • expecting baby number 2
    • family, nuclear, extended and inherited
    • full conversations with Lewis
    • owning a car
    • perfect pancake pans
    • staying

    Thursday, 20 October 2011


    I am having a really good birthday.
    Celebrating the day of the birth of boy, that is.

    Simple day: his parents, grandma, home made pizza, grandma- made white cake with chocolate frosting, red balance bike, red balloons (and a giant somewhat scary mylar "2" balloon) cards, books, digger wellies, car garage, playdoh, singing the happy birthday song AND blowing out the candle 5 times, and enough adorable clothes to make his mom happy. Enthusiastic opener, polite and equal attention to all (except the clothes). Time and the park, time at home.

    And best gift of all is that all, he is napping. RIGHT NOW!

    Happy Birthday, all of us. 

    Thursday, 29 September 2011

    brave new look

    or just lipstick on the pig?
    Here I sit. A blessed Thursday of nursery for L, work for husband and no clients for me. The list of things to do is as tall as me. Time, particularly the solo variety, she is rare and she is precious. So what have I done? Spent 2 hours monkeying about with my blog template. (whaddaya think?)

    I have been enraptured by the parenting blog brigade lately -- with really insightful and smart posts.   They are prolific. Posting near daily. New things to say. They all have nifty bespoke headers, copyrights, and all seem to be well connected to each other, with squillions of followers.  How do they have time for this? Do they not sleep or need to watch all their DVRed shows? Do they have children who sleep in their own beds? Do they not need to shower at night? Do they not obsess about the laundry?

    Now this little blog, born in 2004 never set out to be more than an online account of what new groceries I found in the UK or the fancy accents I was hearing and feeling cool about being an expat.  And it has morphed, along with the rest of my life into coaching, marriage, moving, pregnancy and now parenting. I want the look to morph too!

    I envy those fancy blogger people with their links to their facebook pages and smart subscriptions and fresh, new things to say.

    Today I changed the look (thank you people of blogger). Today I change the sheets.

    Tomorrow may I be fresh. Tomorrow, may I be insightful. Tomorrow, may I be smart.

    Wednesday, 24 August 2011

    pause: 22 months and 3 days

    sweetie grin
    Almost two years old and it just gets more interesting. It is so nice to be able to have a conversation (of sorts) and make each other giggle. Our boy is outgoing, strong, remembers the weirdest (and forgettable) incidents for a long time, like buying a new broom or seeing a dog swim in the river.  Remembers people he's met and says bye bye to the taxi, the house, the cat on the street or the checkout lady at Tesco.  He can cling to my apron (literally) or run off with to the swings without a second glance, depending on mood.  He gets car sick after 15 minutes, loves to push his own pram, and still has the prettiest blue eyes.
    • understands pretty much everything you say, possibly I am sure even the swear words
    • comfortable chatting away: favourite words ''tiny', 'winnow' (window),  'oh dear' and 'wow' and 'what's daddy doin?', 'lewie do it" and 'home'  and noo neeee (for fire truck noise)
    • loves diggers, dirt, water (drinking and pouring) swimming, books with diggers, Peppa Pig (daddy pig especially), throwing balls, climbing (especially ladders), spinning things, his friends Kit and Jamie, splashing in puddles in his boots,  sticky tape, going to the cafe in the park, and blowing raspberries on mummy's tummy
    • before going to sleep, recounts highlights of his day to himself, processing people he has seen, the story lines of Peppa Pig, particularly exciting trucks or events like mommy breaking a cup.
    • likes to choose his clothes and is very particular about his shoes
    • loves dried apricots, cheese, toast, peas (frozen and cooked), sausage, noodles, ice cream, apples cooked in butter with cinnamon and brown sugar
    • fights naps and bedtime sleeping and loves cuddling
    • pushes kids big or small when he is tired or frustrated (we are working on this!)
    • is very attached to his parents, his pram and his little man cap
    • very much wants a bike or a scooter (shhhh- 2 year bday is coming!)
    While they say it doesn't get easier, after spending the morning with 2 friends who have 2- year olds AND 6-7-week old babies, it sure feels easier than that. I need to relish Lewis walking up the stairs, pulling off his own socks and having an opinion about what's for snack.  His smallest independences are all victories. We are still learning so much together. Parenting is getting more fun and more rewarding (like the requests for "hand mummy"), I realise the stakes are getting higher. He is a squirmy, adventurous, curious boy. Keeping him safe and letting him explore are proving a tricky act to balance. 

    May I continue to be the best parent I can be and may Lewis forget the swear words, or at least use them only at home.

    Friday, 19 August 2011

    our quiet hero, now rest

    My Dad died a few weeks ago on 27 July.  He had a rough few years with his health, battling (and winning) lung cancer and heart surgery, with long, hard won recoveries. He recovered enough to enjoy a bit of this summer, taking a coach trip with the Korean War veterans to Washington DC, seeing a few local baseball games with my Mom, riding his bike, eating McDonald's ice cream cones.  But it was an infection from his surgery that got him in the end. He died in no pain, with no mental anguish, with my Mom, 2 of my siblings and the nicest nurse with him.

    I am fresh back from my visit home to say my final good bye to my Dad at his funeral. It was a hard, loving, emotional visit that had flashes of normalcy and many sweet laughs as Lewis entertained and provided a tender elixir to the heaviness of the days.

    Along with my Uncle Dave and a fellow Gray Beard, Korean War veteran friend, all of my brothers and sisters and I spoke at my Dad's service. The service was fitting to the man, simple, lovely with a military respect of the 21 gun salute and buried in his favourite green fleece.  It was an honour to speak of my Dad and I share my words here.

    We have heard so many themes today about Frank, solid, loyal, kind, dependable and fun.

    Until now I haven’t realised what a quiet force my Dad was. He was often in the background but he was always there ... steady, strong, available.

    In my job, I often ask people what they want people to remember them for.
    I can’t help but think Dad would be so happy and proud to hear that his small and large kindnesses, his friendly and warm company and his steadfast presence made us all of feel loved, safe and taken care of.

    And I don’t think I ever got to thank him for that.

    So now I take my moment to say thank you, Dad.

    • -     For being the man that drove me to endless tumbling and random events all my childhood, with Sports Talk on the radio
    • -      For being the best looking Dad in the pack
    • -      For always smelling like clean aftershave
    • -      Magically changing all my crumpled singles and big pile of change waitress tips into nice, clean 20s
    • -      For wearing his kid’s logo wear with pride, or at least making us feel like he was proud.
    • -      Playing with my fingers in church when I was little
    • -      For being the man who documented things like the date we got a new toilet seat
    • -      And taking pictures of things on TV
    • -      For showing me that being a dad often means eating burnt toast and the black jellybeans
    • -      Having the perfect architectural penmanship
    • -      Hiding $50 bills at my house, for me to find later
    • -      With limited success, trying to teaching me and Gary to bowl – shake hands with the ball
    • -      Showing me that arguing bitterly with you spouse over Christmas tree lights is an annual event that your marriage will survive
    • -      For forever cementing that lunchboxes should always smell of bananas
    • -      For walking me down the aisle at my wedding
    • -      For making me feel safe
    • -      Driving us home from the lake and feeling so utterly secure that we always fell asleep that 45 minutes
    • -      Insisting on filling up gas in  your car
    • -      Hearing Mom and Dad’s low murmur voices in bed talking at night
    • -      Warming up the car and scraping off the snow for you on cold mornings
    • -      For being there when Lewis was born … 16 days late, and being the first person to call Lewis “sweetheart”
    • -      For the example of hard work  -- like the rings he made for all his kids and for Mom, taking silver dollar coins and painstakingly pounding them into simple, string silver rings… much like Dad himself.
    I know Dad was always so happy when he and Mom were on their annual vacations in Florida. He would go for long solo walks on the beach, in search of sharks teeth, sand dollars, and maybe a bit of chat with other folks he’d meet along the way, collecting scraps of information to report back to Mom.  He was tanned, happy, relaxed and utterly in his element...

    I like to imagine he is on one of those adventures now – enjoying the view, collecting unexpected treasures, and forever basking in a beautiful sunny day.

    So now we are all back at our respective homes. Back in the business of living. People have been heart-breakingly kind. Death does that. It shows our underbelly and our collective circles of friends and even acquaintances rally to hold our net. Makes us feel very very human and very alive in our pain. Now we are all sorting this through and feeling the soft spot where my Dad lived in each of us. Feeling lucky to have had him in a way we never acknowledged before.  Feeling just that much closer to each other than before. Feeling what's missing and holding on to what's not.

    Our quiet hero, my Mom's rock ... now rest. 

    Wednesday, 13 July 2011

    good bye dear friend

    Dear bed,

    I think you may as well know. We are getting a new bed tomorrow. I am truly excited. A Superking (which is a normal King in the US). It will be HUGE. I look forward to the acres of space for all the sleeping beings in there. I look forward to a fresh mattress. New sheets. Yum.

    And yet, yes, I am sad.  I have always thought one of the most depressing sights was seeing a discarded mattress on the side of the road, awaiting the garbage men. No doubt that mattress was the refuge of many wonderful nights of sleep, love, tears, conception, naps, cuddles, piles of clothes, and comfort. Seems so wrong to discard it all naked and stained to the world's cruel view.

    We got you when you were going to be just "Mark's bed" in 2002 in Washington DC. I remember helping pick you out in the shop, feeling very grown up and proud that I was being consulted for such an intimate  purchase. I was the girlfriend and it gave me peace to think I could contribute my opinion on such a long term item. I remember thinking you were worth every penny for your pillow-top dreaminess.

    Who knew that 9 years later I would be saying good bye to you after making you my own.

    I have always loved you and felt you were a safe and welcoming place I could hide, dream, escape and unwind. You've earned your retirement. You sag. You've been subjected to all manner of new stains and indignities thanks to a new family member. And, bed, don't take this the wrong way, but you may have bugs.

    We had some good times. You've seen us through 5 moves in 3 countries and never let us down.

    Thank you for being such a good resting place. And don't worry, the nice men who are bringing your replacement to us will wrap you up and take you to your final sleep.

    Night night.

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    the great unsaid

    for sale at
    I just read this on Honest 2 Betsy's blog -- "This isn`t an everyday blog. It`s not even an every week blog. It`s a when-I-have-something-to say blog."

    Well said. I feel very much like that. And I guess the things I have to say have been said in my head. Are they blog worthy?

    Such as:

    -How cute is my boy, who is starting to use two words together like "tiny spoon" and "mommy, in"
    - This weather sucks. May and June were 100% dismal. Gray, raining and cold. Even I, who hate the heat, was grumpy.
    - I need a new look. My style is slowly disintegrating from new mum dishevel into toddler mum frump.
    - We need to get a plan.  We have an income. And it is not ideal. We need to pull up our socks and get ready to make our changes happen. Life awaits and we are both sick of the holding pattern.

    So, some items noteworthy, some trivial and many, many days of laundering, errands, toddler enertainment, trips to the park, big coffees to go, picking up small cars off all surfaces, making breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for 2 males in my home.

    Mombie mode is a murky gerbil tunnel. Occasionally you get a glimpse of the outside world, but then you remember that you need to get home for naptime. Maybe even yours.

    Friday, 10 June 2011

    why the playground scares me

    I'll be the first to admit it. I am impressionable. If someone I like and respect tells me something or points out something to me I hadn't seen before, the seed is well and truly planted.

    My grip in my parenting is often wobbly. I am finding scores of really interesting blogs and reads about kinds of parenting, ways to be positive, be connected, stay calm,  be an example, etc. It is just the kind of reading that hooks me and also frees me. Gives a bit of direction to point my sorry ass self in when I am stuck with my own temper or cluelessness about how to best help Lew.

    (Here's just a few I am particularly obsessive about consulting)
    So I read these and I feel good. I feel like I have some ways to "be" and a bit of extra confidence that I am doing OK by my boy and not totally screwing him up yet.   We are happy, we are connected, we are making it!

    And then we go to the playground. The playground in the park near our house is really designed for bigger kids, but tell that to sweet Lewis, who has been conquering the big steps and big slide since he was 1.  It is fun it a little daunting to let him explore and play, albeit with a sharp eye, possible hovering and lots of "carefuls".  He loves being around other kids and part of the "scene." 

    Here's where I go tense and want to leave:

     ... the big kids come.  3-5 year olds are HUGE. They are STRONG. And FAST. And truly are not yet wired to care about a toddler's feelings ("Go away" "Stop following us" or ignoring small Lew's wave hello) or well being as they zip by him or knock him over. So that gets me. I don't expect little kids to get it. I do expect their parents to be 1% watching though. And so often they just aren't paying a lick of attention.

     ... I also sometimes see parents treating their kids in a very different way than I want to treat mine.  Not listening. Bullying. Not watching. Ignoring. My stomach knots. I know know know that I do not have the answers and everyone deals in their own way.  My parenting instincts are mine -- I get that. It is just very hard to witness upset kids being ignored. Here I am full frontal faced with my fears of bad parenting. And. I. Must. Flee.

    I sometimes think Lewis and I need this cocoon of time together for me to get better and clearer about what kind of parent I want to be. My impressionable side at this point simply cannot watch parenting behaviour that I do not want to copy.

    I do not want to judge any parents. I don't WANT to be judged. It is a serious job and  we are all in our own boat. And yet I find that my incredibly helpful resources (see above) direct me in such a different way.

    Until I can start to look at other families with more compassion, and be more rooted in my own gentle parenting, and Lewis can get up those slide stairs on his own, I think you'll see us at the playground only during the quiet hours.

    Hopefully I'll be listening to Lewis, letting him play without too much direction, helping when he needs it, watching him, giving lots of love and we'll be walking home holding hands. 

    Friday, 3 June 2011

    for my next act

    I feel like I should be ready for something.   Note the *should* in there. Never a good sign.

    Much of me thinks the next thing is another baby. Body= ready. Husband= ready. Brain= ready. Age=hurrythehellup.

    But at 43 (gulp) things are not instant. And what to do with my few available waking energies and fleeting moments. I know I can make laundry obsess-er, meal planner, nap police and supply manager a near full-time job.  While is it not entirely 'un' satisfying, the bloom is nearing its peak on household running.

    I don't have much energy to do anything very time consuming or brain taxing.

    Mostly, I find in the few spare minutes to myself, I want very much to read. And then very much to sleep. And possibly have some time to stare at the TV with sole control of the remote.  The end. That feels almost enough right now. Yet, I judge.

    Coach? Surely I could be using my nice coaching abilities to reach out, do more get more clients, learn more things.

    Exercise? I see new-ish moms in the park, running in a pack with their prams all a jiggle, encouraged from a skinny guy wearing shorts and asking for "10 more" push ups.  A real workout? (Besides the 54 stairs I carry a 26 pound boy up thrice daily.)

    Clean? Well, that seems much more like home-making again. And really.

    Write? My pal Lexie always has something new up her sleeve and has written a little book. I am envious of her enthusiasm and determination. I'd love to write something more substantial then the 5 items needed at Sainsburys on tiny scraps of paper.

    It all seems a bit daunting. Just going into town on my own feels a little like I am visiting a foreign land. I am not sure I am really ready for any big changes. Except the kind that take 9 months to cook.

    My next act.

    I know there is one. I just don't know what it is.   I hope it is something really interesting and compels me and calls me forward to be brave and stand tall and feel alive and do my best. I hope it involves a costume change or two. I hope it emerges slowly and when I am ready.

    But in the meanwhile, this intermission feels important.  Now I just wish they'd quit yelling at me to take my feet off the seats.

    Friday, 27 May 2011

    ode to Fridays

    • a slow, unfocused walk
    • closing my eyes for whole moments 
    • entering the inner world of my clients and being in someone else's shoes for a while 
    • walking up and down each aisle, giving my full consideration to the vegetables 
    • noticing the faces as I pass by unencumbered and on my own 
    • the loose end jobs tied 
    • contemplating the state of my fingernails and my wardrobe
      • another cup of tea
      • home in peaceful order
      • 7 hours of being just me

      Friday, 20 May 2011

      19 (really??) months

      Lewie loving Lambie
      Alas, I look up and notice the time.
      About a month since I last blogged.
      About a minute since I did my last load of laundry.
      And a million seconds of L's everyday getting bigger.

      Today, my sweet sausage is 19 months.
      Closer to two years than to one.
      He is a boy.
      A mama loving, dadddieee playing, wheel-obsessed, charming small person.  He knows who he is and says no when he doesn't want something. Although he still says it so sweet (noo noo) that the novelty hasn't worn off.

      He discovered the love for stuffed animals lately, which melts my own personal heart into a quivering sop.  He kisses them, he feeds them (hello gross, stained furry mouths) and he gives them tight cuddles. Right or wrongly, I feel a certain pride that he may have learned how to treat his fuzzy pals in a gentle way, hopefully because we treat him that way.

      It is a reminder that we are his models for human behaviour.  How to manage not getting our way, how to be when we are tired, how to treat each other, how to take care of ourselves and how to interact with the world. 

      I must say I am enjoying this part of parenting way more then the wordless babe stage.  Now we communicate and we share and truly *do* things together. I feel and see the impact.

      It is tender and hard and lovely and scary.
      He sees us.
      He is listening.
      And is waving hello to make friends on the playground. And kissing boo boos - mine and his own.  And throwing things when he is angry. And melts into a fury when he is tired.
      Oh yes, he is watching.
      He is holding up a giant mirror showing me how I am.
      What a powerful little mirror.
      Hope I can keep seeing sweetness and be brave enough to change for both of us when I don't