So it wasn't until recently that I realised that my life moves from one trauma to the next without so much as a day off. It is to be celebrated that my business is flourishing in this dire economic climate but that brings interesting issues all of its own.
I am busier than I have ever been - but in a good and positive way.
I went it alone in the big bad PR world because I wanted to be here for my children. Granted I did only have two when that decision was made and there have been times in the last ten years when I should have been at home but work won.
The most notable being taking just two days off to work to have FunnyGirl by elective CS. To think that I was back at my desk after just a weekend in hospital is quite frankly shocking to me now. But you do what you have to do when you work for yourself.
So this week I hit my biggest work / family dilemma to date.
DinoBoy has been trying desperately to get into the school cross country team for a whole year. On Friday he comes home with the news that he knew would make me smile.
"Mum, I've made the team!" he beamed as he flew through the door.
He thrust a letter into my hands.
Problem - first race, next Saturday when I am booked to give a seminar at a conference in Birmingham.
OK - so this doesn't seem all bad. His dad could take him right? No. The girls have dance rehearsals on a saturday morning, that would usually be my bag - but hubby was already booked in to hold the reigns.
As we dont have any family close by we are kind of stuck. The girls have to be at rehearsal and on top of that I dont want DinoBoy making his first ever team run without me cheering him on.
I hate to let people down but ultimately I had to remind myself who all of this is for.
And its not me....
I'm really sorry if you were planning on coming to my seminar on Saturday but how about I send a few TwitPics of DinoBoy instead?
Do you think that your baby has what it takes to make it as a child model?
Leading nursery manufacturer Prince Lionheart (UK) is searching for a baby to appear in a photographic campaign later this year.
The winning baby will also receive a one year contract with leading children’s model agency Bizzykidz and a selection of Prince Lionheart goodies.
They are looking for bright, beautiful and lively children who are outgoing and love being in front of a camera. So if you think your baby has what it takes, is aged between 6 and 12 months on the closing date of 30/09/09 and you live in the UK,
As the closing date is just a few days away - and the postal service is pretty rank right now please feel free to email entries. Please include all of the information requested on the application form.
This is one of FunnyGirl's very first model shots - she peed all over the photographers floor, as I wanted the real nappy effect without the wrap - looked good but she left a right mess!
My Saturday review is coming a tad late this week but excuse me if you will. It has been a fun packed few days.
I got back from the Cologne nursery trade show last night to be informed that the interview that I had done for My Child had just been published. Little old me.. My Child's Favourite Mummy Blog.
Before I had a chance to completely unpack it was back in to the swing of things with the kids. Saturday is always pretty full on for me. FunnyGirl has her first dance class at 10am, but this morning she had an extra practice class thrown in at 9am for tomorrows disco comp.
I was merrily faffing around when it dawned on me that it was 8.20am, and I hadn't even been in the shower.
What ensued was a whirl of shampoo, toothpaste, hair brushes, leotards, toast and packed lunches. And I have no idea how I managed to wangle us all into the car just a short 25mins later!
I would usually sit and write a leisurely Saturday Review whilst the girls were tucked away in their classes but I had forgotten to charge my laptop - and I didn't have the power cord!
After growling at myself I realised that it was probably for the best and I set about enjoying sitting and talking to the other mums. Not so much as a single tweet passed my phone! And it left me feeling a total sense of relief and empowerment tied up with a nagging realisation that I never 'switch off' these days.
So, for this weeks Saturday Review I decided to talk about something that I love. Yes me, not my children but something that makes me happy. A selfish bit of self indulgence if you like but hey, we all need that every now and again.
Everyone who knows me knows that I have been a huge, massive Smiths fan since I was twelve years old. A little too young perhaps but I have big brothers who influenced my musical taste massively (apart from their Iron Maiden and Hawkwind phases that is!)
I cried myself to sleep every night throughout my teenage years listening to Morrissey's prose and queued for hours wearing my Smiths T shirt in the harsh midlands wind and rain with my big bro in the hope of getting into Mozza's infamous Wolverhampton free gig for him to abort a couple of tunes in due to the mobbing of his fans.
That may have been back in 1988 but as some musical tastes came and went I have never stopped listening to Morrissey and The Smiths and I have to admit that it does make me smile when I hear FunnyGirl and ModelGirl singing along to This Charming Man - or their current fav 'I Have Forgiven you Jesus'!
I have soaked up every written word on Morrissey and Marr through the last 25 years or so years and I know that their music had a huge effect on who I am as a person. That intrigues me.
Who would I be today without that huge influence?
Whilst knowing with adult clarity that my hero was not who he seemed at the time. Outwardly dressing in 'charity shop' clothes whilst blowing thousands of pounds in Richard Creme's Manchester fashion forward boutique.
The Smiths were full of contradictions that as a teenager I didn't have the ability to see. Yet this has in no way clouded how I feel about them or their music.
Morrissey it seems is not a nice man. Prone to firing people through his PA, only to re hire and fire them once again. His fellow Smiths (bar Marr) have all at one time or another been wrangled up with the courts vying for a fair and due settlement of monies made during their hey day.
Alas Morrissey and Marr had failed to put their verbal agreement with their fellow Smiths past a single lawyer and quite rightfully the courts saw their 'agreement' for the true act of bullying that it was.
For once Morrissey's charm failed him and the judge stated that he (Morrissey) was "Devious, truculent and unreliable when his own interests were at stake."
But unable to accept the courts (fair) ruling, Morrissey did what he does best - and turned the whole sorry affair into the controversial track 'Sorrow will come in the end' and took the case to the appeal courts. An action made all the more ridiculous for the fact that Marr didn't contest the courts original ruling.
The case was rejected and Morrissey complained to then Prime Minister Tony Blair (who was not interested) and even more oddly to the Queen! (yes she of all the earlier lets bring down the monarchy 'The Queen is Dead' et al).
Unable to stir an interest with those that he had striven to fall he decided to move to America rather than paying the cash that was quite rightfully owed.
The Smiths - their new legacy, tainted by the money that had seemed so carefree back in the halcyon days of NHS glasses and Gladioli spilling from pockets.
All this aside. Morrissey remains as one of the biggest influences on my life. I have teenage friendships formed through our shared Smiths love that time and distance cannot sever.
I chanced upon one of those stupid Facebook apps recently 'Which Smith's song are you?'
Unable to resist I duly typed in my answers to rewarded with "Reel Around The Fountain" (at least in my personal top five Smiths songs, along with if you are interested - Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me, Never Had No One Ever, I know It's Over and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.)
My eighteen year old son loves them and my next door neighbour (the only one I have in our little village) is as big a fan as me! My children moaned beyond their days when I announced that I had tickets to this years tour (only for it to be cancelled... a sore throat apparently though he had seemed fine when given that rather uncomfortable grilling on Jonathan Ross's show). They wanted to see Morrissey sing too - and more than Girls Aloud(?!)
I have passed on my love of The Smiths to all of my children without uttering a single word about what they mean to me. Which I guess is proof (not that I ever disputed it) that their music shaped me.
For 5 and 7 year old girls whose regular music tastes go no further than the obvious Hannah Montanna, The Jonas Brothers, High School Musical, Girls Aloud (and the odd bit of Take That). I do find it odd that they know all of the words to (at least) ten Smith songs...
I have been (like a true fan) taken completely away from what I sat down to write tonight - and that is a review of the newest and most comprehensive insight Morrissey and The Smiths.
Mozipedia, is a total must for any fan but be prepared to have your inner beliefs to the trueness of 'the great Morrissey's' gift for putting your inmost turmoil into song rocked to the core as Simon Goddard painstakingly lists all of the movies and plays that some of your top all time lyrics were blatantly lifted from!
Yet still, my love cannot be tainted! Mozipedia is quite simply one of my favourite books of all time. The only downside is that my enjoyment of it has been restricted to home - as it's just too big and heavy to stick in your bag to read on the train (perhaps his enigma is fading for me, there was a time when that wouldn't have bothered me at all!)
I can only marvel at Goddard's thorough and unrelenting shredding of everything that I believed in during my teenage years but I really struggle to put the (huge) book down.
If you love The Smiths - or someone you love, loves The Smiths - there is no better declaration of your love for them than buying this book.
Thank you to the fab Louise at Ebury Press for sending me the book - along with my apologies for taking so long to write my review, but hell - there's a lot to read!
Available from Amazon for a range of prices - you know how it works! Though heaven only knows why you would want to sell this book. It is one that I will never part with (even though I have promised to lend it to my neighbour! I may have to buy him his own copy!)
If the truth be told when I wrote the last post on my travel trauma's I truly didn't intend for there to actually be a part 2 but here I am writing once again of my total inadequacy as a lone traveller.
So on Wednesday I was flying to Cologne to go to the large nursery trade show there. I've been a specialist nursery PR for the last nine years but I have always managed to get out of going over to the show as the flights are rubbish.
My quip to my clients is totally true... I work for myself so that I can be at home for my children and not away for days at trade events.
OK, so things haven't really worked out like that this year and I've been away more than I have ever before. This Cologne, however - there was no getting out of it. So I booked my flights, one of my clients sorted out my hotel (thanks G, you are a star and looking mighty fine with that big baby bump too..).
Tuesday night came and Yan dutifully booked my meet and greet parking at the airport. I was packed and ready to go.
Wednesday morning arrived. I took the kids to school and drove straight to the airport giving myself plenty of time to before they flight.
On arrival at the airport I handed my car over to the nice man and went into the terminal. I had a good look at the board but there were not flights to Cologne - or even Germany for that matter listed at all.
I took out my paper work and guess what????
I was at the wrong airport! My flight was leaving from East Mids and here I was car less and about 35 miles away in Birmingham...
I called the parking people back, who were by the way totally fantastic (NCP if you are interested). They brought my car straight back to me, without so much as a snigger from the driver. They also issued a full refund to my card and they were total stars!
I jumped into the car and they opened the car park barriers without me having to ask - thought I can only imagine how they were laughing in their office.
Luckily its was just a case of me jumping onto the M42 and getting to Easy Mids as quickly as I could.
As I arrived a check in a guy joined the queue behind me.
He asked me if I was going to the show in Cologne and I told him that I was. He then asked me if I would check in one of his bags for him as he was going to be over the weight limit.
Was he serious? With the morning that I was having! I could almost hear the tick tock coming from inside his case!! Which with all probability was my own heart that was still threatening to stop at any minute from my self inflicted blonde adrenalin surge!
I only have baby clothes in there he assured me. Ummm, well with all honesty I would say that too if I was about to blow up a plane but for once the timing was perfect and I jumped forward to check in leaving the crazy man behind.
Adventure behind me, I am now back at the airport with out any problems waiting for my flight home.
I'll report back to let you all know that I make it in one piece!
We are as you know big Annabel Karmel fans over here at MummyTips. She does have a firm association with weaning and first food recipe's but her books don't stop there. If you are stuck in a rut for family mealtimes then look no further than the Annabel Karmel Family Bookazine.
Packed full of ideas for the whole family, the bookazine is a fab cross between a regular cookbook and a magazine at a great price.
The eagled eyed among you will already have spotted FunnyGirl making her carrot chopping debut on the cover, as you can see, she was taking the whole thing very seriously using all the carrots in record time!
There are four bookazines through the year, each one with seasonal recipes that are really tasty and easy to cook.
Look out for the Autumn issue out at the end of this month. Back issues are available from Amazon and yes that is ModelGirl on the Spring 09 cover.
£5.99 from Amazon, supermarkets and leading newsagents.
I know that it isn't really the done thing to gloat about the good times but as I was interviewed by a journalist today for a feature called "My Perfect Partner", I thought that if there was ever a time to come out loud and proud - then it's now.
I had a troubled past, lots of people do. But the day that I walked into my hubby's office to pitch my pr services to him I knew that he was the man for me. My saviour if you like. Luckily for me he felt the same way - thought he has since admitted (on camera to a lady filming from the BBC, thanks), that he thought I was a bit weird. You see I wasn't dressed in usual business attire but lets just call that PR license.
I won the pitch and the rest as they say is history. In January we will have been married for ten whole years. I find that quite difficult to get my head around if the truth be told, when you are young ten years sounds like a lifetime but the reality is that those years have simply flown by.
Three beautiful babies and a number of business ventures have kept us busy whilst allowing us both to work from home, together.
Whilst we have had our issues they are few and far between and resolving them has just made us stronger.
He came to a crossroads work wise at the end of last year and with the kids and my support we gave him that push to strike out and take a chance on a career move that would fulfill him.
So from ad man to designer. His first collection produced, photographed and ready to go. It's an exciting time for us all.HiscollectionisstunningandIamsoproudofwhathehasachieved.
Duetothenormalitiesofeveryday life (and school holidays) I couldn't be with him at his shoot last week and I know that he could have done with my support but I also had the confidence that he could do it alone. I was right, his pics are amazing. His styling spot on and his choice of models perfect.
This morning after I dropped the bambino's off for their first day back at school we had a full on full collection styling session. Dresses, shoes, jewellery, dresses, jackets, more dresses....
How many women are lucky enough to get to properly styled by their hubby?
The result of this mornings styling was a new dress for me. Just me - a one off and I am excited beyond words. The dress is the business and I will be flaunting it for the world to see in the shoot for the Express article.
So, the journalist asked... "Why is your partner perfect?"
"Simple" I replied. "He is my best friend in the whole wide world."