number crunching

Black eyes sustained by M’s: 1

Bump forms received from school: 1 (see above)

Shelving units to fall off the wall: 1

M’s underneath falling shelf unit: 1

Broken limbs: 0

Things I needed to achieve this week at work: 7,843

Things I actually achieved this week at work: 4

Number of times I cried: 3

Swear words muttered under breath: 1,673,289

Swear words said out loud in boss’s office: 5

Bottles of wine drunk: 2

quotes of the week

In the bank, paying in some cheques…

Little M: Mum, how long until we go home? *does little jig*

Me: Do you need the toilet

Little M: No.

Me: Oh. ok.

Little M: Mum, I need to go to the toilet.

Me: I don’t know where there is one near here. Can you wait until we get home?

Little M: *panic face*

Me: *panic face*

Bank Lady: There’s one in Mark’s just next door.

Me: GOOD NEWS! Little M, you just need to cross your legs until we’re done here and then we can get you to the toilet.

Little M: But mum? How will I walk?

Me: *Blinks*

Bank Lady: *SNORT*


Big M: Mummy, what’s your favourite fruit?

Me: Hmmmm, I think it must be pineapple.

Little M: Mine’s cake.


Reading Matilda at bedtime…

Little M: Mummy, if Matilda’s the daughter, what’s her brother?

Me: He’s the son. You are my daughter.

Big M: And I am!

Me: Yes. And if you were a boy you’d be my son.

Little M: I don’t want to be your son because then I’d have to have a willy.

two years

As if going back to school isn’t hard enough, today is also the two year anniversary of my mum‘s death.

Two years.

Two years ago the whole world changed.

Two years ago time stood still as we were willing her to let go, yet not wanting her to go at all.

Two years hasn’t lessened the pain.

Two years hasn’t closed that massive Mum shaped hole in our lives.

I guess no amount of time ever will.

Two years or two hundred years won’t ever change the fact that I miss my mum.





quotes of the easter holidays

Big M: So, apparently Jesus died on the cross to rid the world of all The Sims.


Me: Do you want a hot cross bun?

Little M: Yes please. The cross is on there so that we remember Jesus. And at the end of the story there is Jesus and dancing bunnies.


Big M: On Easter Sunday Jesus went to heaven.

Little M: NO HE DIDN’T! He went to Devon.


Little M: I don’t know any planets.

Me: Yes you do. Have a think.

Little M: Jupiter?

Me: Yes.

Little M: Saturn?

Me: Yes.

Little M: Australia?

Me: No, that’s a country. What planet do we live on?

Little M: Birmingham.





outdoor living

Five years ago today, around 2pm, we sat on our patio eating sandwiches, waiting for the removal men to turn up with all our things. At 36 weeks pregnant I was the size of a small warship. Big M was just M and only 2. Mr TOPP was just the same, with slightly more hair.

Our old house had no outside space to speak of, and with almost two Ms a garden had been high on our wish list when house hunting. As we sat in the sunshine, eating our picnic lunch, we agreed that we should get some garden furniture. We wanted the garden to be like an extra room, somewhere we all played and relaxed.

We wanted our children to grow up playing in the fresh air, whatever the weather. We wanted them to experience outdoor living, even though we live slap bang in the middle of a city. Over the past five years we have provided the Ms with outdoor games – a see-saw, a trampoline, skittles, paddling pools, to name but a few. But once the sun has gone in, or they have bounced themselves out, they’ve headed back inside.

Each year we have found a reason not to buy any garden furniture: we won’t use it, it hasn’t stopped bloody raining since May, you know how it goes.

Yesterday I finally decided the time had come. Mr TOPP will be enjoying the Italian sunshine, and I’m buggered if I am going to waste another summer indoors.

We got the table built in time for lunch. We also ate our dinner outside.

The only time we left the garden, pretty much all day was to go to the post office to send off for the Ms passports.

Once the Ms were in bed, I even went and sat outside, listening to the birds sing while I had a glass of wine instead of heading to the sofa and the tv.


Cheers big ears


Finally, five years – pretty much to the day – after we first thought it, we are using the garden as part of our home. Long may it continue.




Usually when we hit the school holidays it means I get time to post more here. Not so this time. And for a very good reason.

This morning, well before the sun came up, Mr TOPP set off for a three month stay in Rome. We have spent the first week of the holidays spending time together as a family before we had to say arrivederci.

Although the Ms knew he was going, it was only as they went to bed last night that it really hit them. Both got upset (understandably) when it was time to say goodnight to daddy for the last time for six weeks. I think that was when Mr TOPP started to wobble too.

Just after he left at 4.30am Little M woke up in tears.

Today was destined to involve chocolate and cuddles.

And the sunshine has helped too. In fact, today has been warmer here than in Rome.

The first thing we did this morning after coffee was print out calendars of the next four months for the wall and put key dates on. Most importantly when daddy is coming home for a week and when we are going to visit him.

I’m pretty sure that there will be difficult days in the next three months, but today the three of us have looked after each other, pottering around the garden, sneaking cuddles or holding hands when we needed to.

We’re going to be just fine.




made by me: february

When I set out my goals for 2015, I set myself the challenge of making at least one thing each month. I find creating things is good for me, and I need to make more time for it. I haven’t sewn for months, and I am beginning to twitch about it. Maybe now spring is on it’s way I will have the motivation for a new wardrobe…

In the meantime I have taught myself to crochet. I have discovered I like it waaaaaay more than knitting for several reasons, but mostly because

  1. it is quick (turns out I have the attention span of a goldfish and like a project to be finished quickly)
  2. I can still do it after a couple of glasses of wine.


So this month these things were made by me…

At the beginning of the month I made a Romantic Robot for Mr TOPP’s valentines present. It was the first proper crochet pattern I followed, and although he’s not perfect I’m super chuffed with him.


Keeping with the romantic theme, I made some crochet hearts.


I used this pattern and they were so easy to make I just couldn’t stop. Soon I had made 10 and I decided to string them together using this as a guide. They need a bit of spray starch to get them flat, but I think they look pretty cool.

So that’s what was made by me. What have you made this month?




quotes of the week

Me: I was just like you when I was a little girl.

Little M: Mummies can’t turn into daddies, and daddies can’t turn into mummies.

Mr TOPP: That’s right. But little girls can turn into mummies, and little boys can turn into daddies.

Little M: So one day I might be a mummy with big…fat…BOOBOOS?!!!!


Mr TOPP: Have you had a good birthday?

Big M: Yes. The best.

Me: Shall we have some garlic bread with tea?

Little M: No, I don’t really like garlic people.

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