Wednesday 1 December 2010

Snow Business

We have snow! Last day of November and first of December and there is snow!!! I bet there will be a heat wave next week!!!!

I was a little more prepared this year and bought Callum a sledge at the weekend. Callum still isn't quite sure about the snow, he needs to build up a bit more confidence. I reckon, if he went out with Stuart, he would grow to love it more because Stuart is good at instilling confidence in Callum when things could go either way.

I have had him dressed up a bit like Maggie from The Simpsons today. Layers, layers, layers. Today he wore

All in one outside suit thing
2 x pairs of socks

Might be a bit overkill but I remembered hating the cold and snow when I was young until my cousins handed me down a snow suit.

I took Callum out in the sledge when I picked him up from nursery today. We had to pick them up early for safety reasons so picked him up about 3.15-3.30pm. He had already got the idea of what the sledge was for when we bought it as he jumped straight in it and demanded to be dragged around the kitchen, so when I got it out this time, he was happy to get in it. I pulled him up and down the road a couple of times and around the block. He was loving it. Didn't go too far though as it was getting late and near his tea time. Am looking forward to taking him out with it again when I get the opportunity. Much better than my tea-tray & tie combo last year which he hated - he he. Now I just need to find a safe hill to slide down - and I might just take Callum with me too :o)

Monday 22 November 2010

We are pretty lucky really

Just thinking about how lucky we are with Callum really. Don't get me wrong, he certainly has his moments but there are many times where he has been an absolute dream and so easy.

Thinking back...

  • The fact he refused his dummy at about 4 months old so doesn't suck a dummy or a thumb.
  • Started sleeping through the night at about 6 months (seemed like forever at the time but considering I know friends whose children still don't sleep through)
  • Is the most helpful little boy if I include him in what I am doing.
  • On a similar note, he is good at tidying up, putting things back in the correct place (exactly), putting things in the bin etc.
  • And, the latest thing being, we moved him into a big boy bed (well converted his cot bed into a bed) about a month ago and he has been amazing.
So, Stuart was away for the weekend, and I decided I'd destroy Callum's cot bed. So I pulled the whole thing apart and put the correct parts back together again as a bed. Callum tried to be very helpful too, trying to screw in the bolts etc.

When it was done, Callum loved it straight away and got in. However, it was a while before bedtime so I eventually persuaded him to get out and play for a bit longer. He was no trouble going to bed that night and it has continued that way. I checked on him before getting into bed myself for the first few nights (or Stuart did). He had two occurrences of falling out but has otherwise been fine. We (well I, and then convinced Stuart it was the right thing to do) decided not to go with the bed guard as his bed is sooooo close to the floor that it wasn't going to do him any harm if he fell out and I figured he had to learn how to stay in. After all, we went without a stairgate to teach him how to come down the stairs properly which is a hell of a lot more dangerous than him falling out of bed so it seemed a bit silly to then be all protective about the latter. It seems to have worked. If he stays at anyone else's house in a bed I will still use the guard if it is a high bed.

So another big Tick for my little man :o)

I'll just try to forget about the times he is a little terror, had issues with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, eating, his crawling, walking, level of talking - none of that la la, I can't hear you!!!

Callum is being a real Daddy's boy at the moment. He has been for some time so this is nothing new but it did start to get to me over the weekend. Don't get me wrong, it has its advantages when Callum is insisting that Daddy changes his pooey nappies, but I also know that I have to care for Callum for most of the week and I need to be able to bath him, get him to bed, get him up in the mornings. It is hurtful when he wont go to me but previously I remembered that it was me that Callum came to for quite some time in the beginning. I felt it was only fair that Stuart had his time. But it had started to step up a gear. Stuart has been wonderful. I kind of had a little strop about it and he has immediately tried to discourage Callum from doing it and trying to encourage him to go to me. In fairness, I do think the reason Callum was more difficult about it this weekend was because Stuart had picked him up from nursery, looked after him and put him to bed on the Friday then put him to bed when I went out on the Saturday too. It does often appear that whoever puts him to bed the most becomes the flavour of the month. And Callum does really miss Stuart during the week or when he doesn't see him. I got lots of cuddles at bed time tonight, though, so all is well again.

Will post a picture of Callum in his bed when I take the photos off my phone.

Thursday 14 October 2010

A non-Callum/non-Mummy post (sensitive)

Sorry for hijacking this blog with something non-mummy related but even mummies suffer grief - often more than they should in a lifetime! But, it was something I wanted to talk about and I had no other suitable forum to do so.

Anyway, we had some sad news this week. My Uncle (my Dad's brother) passed away on Monday following a fight against cancer for almost a year. And fight is the word! My uncle could do little to fight actually against the disease but he fought hard to keep hold of his pride and dignity. Over the past few months he suffered a rapid decline to become a man that was unrecognisable from the one he was. He was a tall, stocky man but to see him just before he died, he was literally skin and bone and had aged about 20 years.

This weekend, I was in Essex for a wedding. As I was going to be close to where my Uncle lived I decided to go and see him. It wasn't an easy decision. When my Nan was ill I made a conscious decision not to go and see her because I wanted to keep my memories of her when she was well, not for my memory of her to be of how she was when she was ill. With my Nan, though, it would have meant a journey specifically to go and see her. This time, I was going to be in the area anyway and thought I would really regret being so close and not going to see my Uncle one last time. That may sound like excuses to some but neither decision was taken lightly.

I am so pleased that I did see him and think it was the right decision. Yes, he was unrecognisable to the Uncle I remembered before he was ill; Yes, it was uncomfortable, for want of a better word. But I don't regret saying one last goodbye.

What I think is strange is how the human mind copes with such tragic occasions. When I left him that day, at several points through the afternoon/evening and for most of the journey on our way home, I cried. When I wasn't crying, tears were never far away. It hurt to think of the man before and to see what he had become. The next day, I was a little stronger and went to work as (almost) normal but he was always on my mind. I hadn't slept well for the past 3 nights because he was on my mind. Then I got THE text. My phone beeped and I saw it was from my Dad and new this was the text. It took a minute to sink in but then I cried. I ran to the toilet and tried to compose myself. I thought I should tell my Line Manager as this would mean there would be a funeral and I would need to arrange leave from work. As soon as I got in her office, I broke down The poor lady to have this woman burst in to tears on her and garble a message about her Uncle. She was lovely though, made me a cup of tea and sat down talking to me until I felt ready to go back to my desk. She said I could go home if I wished but I preferred the distraction that work would offer. Again, tears were never far away but I managed to hold it together for the rest of the working day and even most of the evening at home.

Then the next day, everything felt a little easier. I haven't forgotten him, I still think about him a lot but the tears aren't bursting at the tear duct seams. It has only been a day but already my mind is trying to heal the hurt. I can talk about it matter of factly. Don't get me wrong, I am still just as upset. If I was to think about things in the same way as I did when I saw him or the day he passed away, I would be just the same as I was then but it is like my mind has distanced me from the pain and has put in a block. I was worried that I would only be able to remember him as I last seen him and the old him would be forgotten but that hasn't been the case. I struggle to remember him as he looked on Sunday but the picture of the old uncle comes springing back. It is like trying to remember a man you have just met compared to one that you have known all your life. To me, they weren't the same person, which probably explains why my memory works like that.

I wonder if I am normal. I have always known that I am good at diverting the pain of such occasions so that I can deal with it but then I wonder whether I am actually dealing with it or instead burying my head in the sand. Will it come back to bite me at a later date.

The funeral is on Wednesday next week. I know I will face the pain once more then. I also know that everyone deals with grief in their own way. But is there a 'correct' way to deal with grief? Am I cold hearted? Should there be an acceptable time period and does it change depending on how close you were to that person?

I guess, for me, time may tell...

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Thomas aholic

I guess nothing unusual for most mothers of boys around the world but Callum is definitely well and truly into his Thomas the Tank Engine. Helped largely by us I imagine but he always talks of Trains, Thomas (or Momous as he calls him), Choo choos etc. He loves his Thomas t-shirts and everytime we go past a railway he points it out and says Momous. He has gone to nursery today as Thomas as they had to go dressed as their favourite character for charity.

Callum talks and copies words a lot more now. He is trying to count but unfortunately can only really say 2 and maybe 3. So his counting just goes 2, 3 (too, tee), 2, 3, 2, 3...

Callum has been doing some really good jumping for a while and loves doing it all the time. Very cute. He used to say "mou" for bounce but has started saying jump instead.

He is also getting better at walking up and down the stairs. He has to hold on to something and usually a hand as well but will attempt it if no one is around. I'm fine if I am at the bottom of the stairs but it scares the life out of me if I am at the top looking down.

I have recently been showing Callum photos of him and the family and he really enjoys pointing people out and me naming them. He doesn't necessarily remember all their names yet but he does try to say them. He knows the obvious ones of course - Mummy, Daddy, Callum and Lotte but will say after prompting, Grandma, Nanna, Grandpa and any others that we point out. If you catch him in the right mood he will also say something on the phone too. You do need to catch him in the right mood though.

Bit disappointed again with Callum's next developmental check by the Health Visitor. Basically it was a letter asking if there was anything we were concerned with, compared against a list of milestones they should be reaching. If we were concerned with anything they would arrange a phone call or a visit. I was so cross that they weren't going to do a proper check that I put a couple of things on the form regardless. One was about how to encourage Callum to walk more when he is more than capable and the other, which is actually a genuine concern, was about his coughs that he always has. I was privileged enough to receive a phone call, which I missed so picked up the message. When I called back, the HV had no idea what it was about or why she had called until I had to spell it out for her. I told her I was worried about his adenoids and she concurred and recommended we get him checked out. I can't believe they aren't interested in seeing him for themselves. No height and weight check, no hearing check - everything is just taken on our say so. I am trying to tell myself that it is probably because they concentrate on those families that obviously need the help and we must be low risk as I know most other people (including in the same area) have received proper 2 year checks but it still annoys me that we don't seem to get the same 'service' as everyone else.

Anyway, I did take Callum to the Dr and she is hesitant to go down the adenoids route yet as that will inevitably mean surgery and wants us to wait a couple of months to see how he goes. So, still waiting. If I see blood in his cot again, I am taking him straight back! In fairness, he isn't too bad at the moment, he just has the occasional cough to clear the catarrh. I've renewed his inhaler again which may sort that out. Although the Dr did recommend trying for a bit without it. I guess we just need to wait and see now.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Mummy's Little Helper

Callum is being a great little slave...I mean helper at the moment. I love it, and trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

He helps me cook (put vegetables into pots/saucepans once cut; stir; mix ingredients; chief taster), helps me take delivery of and unpack the shopping, stack and unstack the dishwasher, put things in the bin, sweep up. Its great. If I ask him to help mummy, he stops whatever moaning he is doing and eagerly steps up to the challenge. I'm going to make him read this post when he is 10 and wont do his chores to earn his pocket money....maybe I should be thinking about pocket money now....or maybe not, he doesn't know chores = pocket money yet .

Other things I love is his doing yoga to Waybuloo (Children's programme) and singing 'Chuggington' (another Children's programme).

Apart from the fact he is currently upstairs in bed whining 45 mins after he is meant to be asleep tonight, he has been really good at going to bed for a while now. Makes nights like tonight seem so strange.

We still have many episodes of him asserting his independence and freedom of choice!!!! Mainly around getting dressed in the morning. We have so many fights about swapping his pj top for a t-shirt.

We are also having a nightmare with him insisting to be carried. It drives us nuts. He is more than capable of walking and a fair distance too but he will take a couple of steps and then cry to be picked up. I'm really trying to be tough and make him walk by leaving him (when safe to do so) but I can't stand all the mum's looking at me as if to say "you cruel mum, he just wants a cuddle". A friend at work gave some advice to play games and keep him distracted all the time when walking. He said his child was like it for a while but playing games with him helped get him over it. Another friend recommended making sure he had something to hold like a toy or anything really as that helped both her children. I will try the above and report back soon.

We have just had a letter through regarding Callum's 2 year Health Visitor check. There was a checklist of milestones that he pretty much met all of so guess we are happy with his development. It would still be nice if they actually did a personal visit though. I feel like everyone else gets a personal visit and a higher standard of service but we keep missing out. I am trying to myself that it is probably because we are one of the lower risk families and they try to concentrate on the higher risk families and those that really need the support but I feel it would be so easy to hide from people any development shortfalls or deny anything was wrong or worrying.

Nursery were saying today that he seems quite advanced in his awareness - especially when he is observing or joining in with the older children. Always good for a mother to hear that as you do nothing but doubt their development etc.

Callum is saying lots of words now. Think I might have said in last post that I've lost count. His favourite saying is "all gone now" but says lots more and combines more than one word together. I loved it the other day when he came up to me and wanted what I had in my hand and wanted to give me what was in his hand and said "swap mummy" - he hadn't said it before and surprised me. It shouldn't have done as I am always saying it to him - usually telling him to swap something from one hand to the other so I can put his coat on or seat belt. Was so clearly said though. Must seem silly for me to get so excited over such a small thing but I love every new word he says. He is also 'usually' quite good with his manners. Apparently, much better than the older children at nursery. He says "yes please" and "thank you" all the time now - I am now trying to teach him to say "no thank you" when he doesn't want something rather than just scream or shout!!

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Callum's First Foreign Holiday

Overall, we had a lovely time on holiday in Portugal but, like Callum's Birthday, there were disappointing moments.

Firstly, I just can't help but say 'I told you so' to Stuart. Stuart had booked a taxi to take us to the airport. Already, a couple of days before the airport I was feeling anxious about it getting us to the airport just 2 hours before we were due to take off. For me, this is unthinkable. I usually aim to get to the airport 3 hours before we fly but actually end up getting there nearer 4 hours before. There have been a couple of times where the check in desk hasn't even been open yet. Stuart did remind me of when we went to Gatwick (which is where we were flying this time) when going on holiday with my family and there was nothing open early in the morning. As we were getting to the airport early again this time (aiming to get there for just after 5am) I could see his point but I was still uncomfortable with it. I was worried there would be a big queue, as the check would have already been open for an hour. I had this vision of our usual eating breakfast somewhere with a drink, doing a bit of shopping and then going through to departures to see the aeroplanes with Callum.

In reality - The taxi turned up a few minutes late, we got to the airport about 30 mins later than planned, in fairness, the check in queue wasn't too bad and moved quickly and likewise for security but then we got Callum dressed, I bought some glasses, grabbed a MacMuffin from MacDonalds and they were calling us in to departures. We put Callum on a little ride and they were calling last boarders - we had to do the run to departures (why does your gate always appear to be the furthest possible gate away when you are running late?) and there was no one left in the departure lounge. I was hastily, in a more haste less speed type of way, trying to close up the pushchair and shove it in the buggy bag. We eventually did it got on and sat down, and to my relief another couple of passengers got on after us - we weren't the last, hoorah!

Because we had got Callum up so early (about 4.15am) he wasn't in any mood to fly. We didn't have a window as it was between the seats. My hopes were raised when there was a little boy in the seats behind us who was all keen and wide eyed. He held a little of Callum's interest but not for long. Callum wasn't fussed with his breakfast and was generally grumpy. Thankfully, it wasn't a long flight but by the time we were landing, we were that family with young child you didn't want to be sitting near! It was then, I realised we hadn't dosed him up with calpol. It was too late by then but I tried to give him some at that point. He ended up squeezing most of it over me!

Flight finally over and we collected luggage and found our coach. Callum enjoyed the coach journey then fell asleep - yay! It was only a short coach ride though - both fortunately and unfortunately.

When we got to the hotel it was about 12noon and the rooms weren't ready until 2pm. They had a luggage storage area though so we dropped off our luggage and quickly changed into shorts and then had a nose by the pool. We had a quick drink by the pool and Callum was very excited to see the pool and wanted to go in it there and then. We decided to explore and find somewhere to have lunch. Callum then began his hunger protest! He hardly ate anything at all for the whole holiday unless it was a crisp, chip or cheese!

After some lunch, we could check into our room so it was a quick unpack and change into swimming stuff so we could go jump in the pool. Frrrrrr - it was cold. But once you were in you got used to it. It was hard for Callum being so cold though. He wanted to stay in but he would be shivering and turning blue around the lips.

That evening we walked to find the bars and restaurants and somehow managed to find Albufeira Old Town by following some dolled up girls. Callum fell asleep on the way down there which we thought was a result - only to wake up halfway through our meal - and wasn't a happy bunny. We threw the end of our meal and drinks down our neck and got him to sleep again eventually.

We had our Welcome Meeting the next morning. The scary shark mascot was mildly interesting to Callum for a bit but, as long as these meetings always are, their inevitably became a point where we had to tag team - one of us had to stay in the meeting and the other one had to take Callum out. However, we did find out in the meeting that their was a 'strip' as it was actually called in the other direction to which we walked the previous night. We thought we would check it out that evening. Yep, we found Brits Abroad Street. We weren't impressed and made the decision to go to the Old Town. We got a taxi and we didn't go back except to hire a car!

Rather than going into detail about every day, I will now try to summarise.

We ate out in the Old Town every night except one night where we ate just outside in a posh restaurant for Stuart's Birthday - believe me it was brave going there with Callum with the mood he had been in all holiday.

Callum's mood was mainly grumpy with happy moments. At the beginning of the holiday, Callum loved the pool and was quite confident but by the end of it it took some time to build his confidence. We took him in the sea a couple of times too.

Some nights we managed to get Callum to sleep in the pushchair quite easily, other times it took a little more work but we usually got some time to ourselves (with Callum in the pushchair of course).

Callum's highlight of the holiday was this little train that went in a circle round from the Old Town, near our Hotel and The Strip and back to Old Town. We managed to go on it 4 times in one day!

One day we went to a water park. It was the coolest day and quite windy which meant it was particularly chilly getting in the water and took us all a little while to warm up to it. There was a kiddy playground bit for Callum with lots of little slides and he was allowed to go on one of the bigger slides on our laps. Then we tagged team again with one playing with Callum in the playground bit while the other went on a couple of big slides.

As previously mentioned, we also hired a car. We hired it for 3 days and one day drove to Spain - why not do 2 countries in one holiday. Found a lovely gorgeous beach at this little place called Isla Christina.

We also tried to do a couple of other sight seeing bits but there isn't really much to see in the South of Portugal.

As I said at the start, overall it was a good holiday, but it also had its moments.

Thankfully, the flight home was at a more decent hour of 11am. We had enough time to eat some breakfast and do some shopping at the airport and still get to show Callum some aeroplanes. We had a window seat and pretty much managed to entertain Callum for the whole flight (still didn't really eat his meal again. A couple of nibbles here and there!). We had also remember the calpol before the flight this time. Then minutes before we started the descent, he fell asleep. Stuart was disappointed Callum didn't get to watch the plane land out of the window but at least he was crying this time.

Home Sweet Home.

Callum appears to be much happier to be home and has mainly been in a fab mood (except a small hiccup this morning). Long may it continue!

Portugal again next year....someone accidentally booked this year's holiday for next year. We purposely avoided the area we are going to next year just in case we saw it and didn't like the look of it. To be honest, I just hope Callum enjoys it more. We kept a few things back to do next year so I'm sure it will be fine.

Terrible Two

So much to write that I am going to break it up into 3 posts for you. First post - Terrible Two!

It was Callum's Birthday on 2 September. I had managed to arrange to go into work late and Stuart went in a little later too, so that we could enjoy opening presents with Callum. I'd arranged with nursery that I would take Callum in about 11-11.30am.

We got up, dressed and went downstairs - eventually. Callum was in one of those moods where he didn't want to do anything you wanted him to or he should do.

I gathered Callum's presents and cards together in the lounge and he got straight into opening them. In fact, Stuart had to stall him so I could hurry back from kitchen.

He had already had his main present from us and Grandparents, which was a bit big to fit in the house as it was a trampoline.

We...I mean he loves it (he he). Actually, he is a little too light to bounce on it on his own at the moment so we have to go on it with him...well, that's our story and we are sticking to it ;o)

Back to his other presents, he got lots of nice things - a farm, a truck, money, puzzles among other presents - but I think his favourite thing (at least for the morning) was his froggy umbrella.
He insisted on having it up in the house.

After presents were opened, Stuart went off to work as he had a meeting and Callum became difficult again. First he wanted to go with Daddy, so I thought I would take him out as there were bits I could do in town. He then refused to put shoes on. Then didn't want to put his umbrella down to get in the car. It was one thing after another. He just didn't want to do anything he should,

He wasn't as bad in town but wasn't easy either. I would have taken him to the park but I just couldn't wait to get him to nursery which was sad. I was a bit disappointed it hadn't been the lovely morning I had hoped. But I had taken a cake into nursery for him to share with his friends and I knew he would have a lovely time there and much better than spent with me anyway.

He had a grumpy face when I took him to nursery but apparently he did cheer up.

They told me that he was smiling and excited when they brought the Birthday hat out but was in shock when they put it on his head - he didn't move.

Again, it was disappointing not to be able to have the cake with him and see his face. Nursery said they have taken some photos which they would send me but I have not received them yet. I had a quick look at the photos on their camera though.

He was a little better in the evening - helped by him having his new toys to play with.

I'm hoping that his grumpy, difficult mood wont linger too far into his twos. Hooray for Terrible Twos!

Sunday 29 August 2010

2 minus 4 days

Still nearly 2.

We had a lovely day yesterday. We decided, as we are going on holiday 2 days after Callum is 2, and we are both working on his birthday (though will be going in to work late), to celebrate his Birthday just as a family on the weekend before. So, decided to go to Chessington. We were thinking of the Zoo but didn't want to go into London and the only other Zoo is further South which I didn't think would be a good journey to make on a Summer Bank Holiday!!! So, we thought Chessington might be a better bet as they have the Zoo and rides.

We had a lovely day. Apart from one 2 minute blip, the weather was pretty good all day. We saw some animals, including gorillas, lions, tigers, sealions and lots of fish and lizards. We also went on a few rides. We were prepared for it being busy because of it being a bank holiday but were still surprised that we had to wait for 30 mins or more for some of the children's rides. Still, we probably went on more than we normally do when it is just Stuart and I (and usually friends) going on the big rides. We went on some flying elephants (twice) which Callum, for some reason, called Moomas. We went on them twice as Callum could see them from another ride in the afternoon and was pointing to them saying Moomas pease. We also went on the cars that go round a track (2 diffrerent types), the merry go round and the skyrail. Callum was so good all day. It wasn't fun for him having to queue so long for rides and he just doesn't understand the concept of queueing but he was very well behaved. Especially as he didn't have a nap all day. Far too exciting to nap!

On Thursday, we will just go into work late so we can enjoy the morning with him opening his presents. Think I mentioned last post that we were going to, but we have bought a trampoline for his birthday with the help of grandparents. We did start putting it up today but then it chucked it down so will probably finish it tomorrow. After seeing how much fun Callum was having on some trampolines yesterday, I can't wait for him to see it.

Speaking of which, Callum can now jump properly...leave the ground and everything. And I mean from the ground, not whilst on a trampoline. Clever boy!

He is getting better at scribbling. Sounds a funny thing to say but can't quite call it drawing. I have just noticed he has better control over the pen/pencil and drawls circles now rather than just back and forth. He is learning new words all the time. So much so, I have lost track. He is really good at his colours and has started to get interested in counting (though can't actually count yet).

I am really looking forward to our holiday to Portugal next week. The first time abroad with Callum. It is the first time in years and years I've been really excited about a holiday. I know it wont be as relaxing as holidays used to be, what with having to watch Callum like a hawk near the pool and stuff. But I just can't wait. To see his face when we see the aeroplanes at the airport and to be in and out of the pool, to go to the beach. Not to mention for us all to see some sunshine. The holiday can't come quick enough.

Thursday 12 August 2010

23 months - eek nearly 2

Wow, less than a month before my little boy is 2.

Well, a lurgy disease finally caught up with Callum. This week he caught Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease. It is a pox virus that is similar to Chicken Pox virus. However, the spots are smaller and seem to congregate around the obvious hand, foot and mouth area as well as bottom/genitals and knees. It is one of those childhood diseases that you normally get before you are 10. You can be quite poorly with it but thankfully Callum has been quite happy...just contagious.

It did mean we had to keep him off nursery a couple of days - Tuesday and Wednesday - but they were happy to accept him back today even though he still has spots. I think it is because the main infectious period is 3-5 days including the 3 before any spots show. As long as you are hot on hygiene then it seems to be OK.

Nursery had dropped a uniform on us! They have bought in a polo shirt and sweatshirt in a multitude of colours for all children. We are not too impressed for many reasons.

  • One being the practicalities of it. They currently change them in the afternoons into clean clothing so they don't go home dirty. They did say they wont continue with this so, as long a they aren't sick or have a nappy explosion, they'll go home in whatever state they are in. Problem being, they play with water, paints, dirt!!! Even if they don't change them they are likely to need a change of top for the next day - making a need for 5 polo shirts and a few sweatshirts for winter. At this age, you can't expect them to try to stay clean - being this age is all about exploring, getting dirty and having fun.
  • This leads on to the second concern - the cost. With this number of 'uniforms and then they grow quite a bit in a year. This is all on top of a 5% fee rise in September. Oh and the uniforms have to be in place in September and can only be bought from the Nursery.
  • Then there is the very non-uniform uniform! There is about 8 choices of colours for the polo shirt and 6 for the sweat shirt. They are hardly going to look 'uniform'!!
Ultimately, I just think they are too young to have a compulsory uniform. I'd understand it more if it was optional for pre-school and would probably take part but for a 2 year old (or 1 year old as that is the minimum age of admittance - though they have taken younger), I just don't think is practical. In fact, I have no doubt that it is purely a money making scheme for the nursery - to fund the Manager's new nursery and the extensions to the current one.

Phew! Rant over, I'll get off my soap box now!

On to more positive things.

Callum is still attempting new words. He said cuddle today. He can now say blue and red. He can say train, plane, car, outside, on. Starting to lose track now as there are new words all the time. Sometimes they are not the clearest of words and non-toddler speakers may need a translator but he is making progress. He is trying to join more than one word together too. I didn't count 'all gone' as it is more of a phrase whereas now I think he is trying to say things as two separate words in a sentence. For example 'light on'. I am pretty sure, before long, we'll be hoping he'll shut up again as he turns into a little chatter box.

So, with the big 2 approaching, thoughts turn to birthday presents. We have decided, with the help of grandparents, to buy him a trampoline. He just loves bouncing! Not a huge one, probably about 6ft. It is meant to ok until they are about 10 so should last him a while. Not sure that we will actually do much to celebrate it - mean mummy - but we are going away 2 days later and I realised last year that they really aren't that aware yet. Maybe I'll bake him some cakes and go out somewhere he'll enjoy with him the weekend before. We'll do something next year when he'll appreciate it more.

The NCT mums are arranging a group birthday celebration so, assuming we can make it, he'll do something to celebrate.

Sunday 25 July 2010

21.5 months

Callum's really trying with his talking now. He tries to copy lots of words we say and learning new words all the time. He isn't the best at completing the words but starts them all quite well. For example, bus is bu and van is va etc.

New recent words:

Oliver & James (apparently said at nursery)
coptor (helicopter)
says dangdoo more regularly now
bye bye
bittit (biscuit)
ball is still not clear but getting better
bow (means 'pick me up' and bounce)
lellow (yellow) and a couple of other colours - though most colours are lellow regardless of what they really are
wower (flower) - that's my favourite. I didn't realise he could say it but he wanted me to draw something so started drawing a flower and he recognised it and said 'wower' - I was so proud

I am really trying to get him to say his name but not having much luck. He doesn't even attempt it at the moment.

He natters on all the time and at nursery as well as home. Think he is really coming out of himself at nursery now. Although I do worry about him picking up bad habits like hitting, though I imagine all children go through a stage of hitting. He sometimes does it when he is frustrated but sometimes he does it playing. Another 'phase'!

He has certainly been a lot more fun and happy recently. Weekends and evenings are a lot more enjoyable. He is also a lot easier to put to bed in the evenings too. He goes into his cot find and
even points to go in there. He may moan for a bit but he is generally happy to go.

He loves aeroplanes and spots the tiniest dot in the sky and recognises it as an aeroplane. He points to them all the time.

Oh, we took him horse riding last weekend. There is a Shetland pony (Harry) where my
friend rides and she asked the owners if he could come and have a little ride. He had a little
hat on and a back protector. He wasn't sure at first but once Harry was moving (led by me) he
really quite enjoyed it. We have a couple of photos which I need to upload but will post one on
here once I have. We went on quite a long walk too.

He didn't stay on the pony for the whole time but stayed on for about half hour. I even got to have a ride of the horse my friend rides too :o) - not the Shetland, I would have squashed it. Her horse was 17+ hands. Huge! Just really makes me miss riding and want to do it more!

We have taken Callum swimming a couple of times now at the leisure centre near us with slides. We did buy him some armbands last time to try to give him more confidence moving away from us. He loves jumping off the side of the pool into the water and actually tries to jump where we can't catch him. Really looking forward to going on holiday with him.

The only difficult times we have had recently is with him occasionally pushing Stuart away. Stuart has been working really hard recently - nothing new there but often he is late home and has been working over the weekends too. I think Callum pushes him away as a kind of punishment which I think hurts Stuart a bit, understandably. We have spent some nice family days together too though. We went to watch the Farnborough airshow yesterday - Callum spent the first half of it pointing at every plane. He handled the noise quite well, though did a couple of times discretely move closer to Stuart to feel a bit safer when the really noisy ones came past.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Shhhh, don't tell Mummy I can talk

Callum seems to be talking in secret at the moment. I've been worried that, although he is saying words, he didn't seem to be saying very many and what he does say isn't particularly clear to anyone other than us. As always, it is hard not to compare to other children his age who say some really good, solid, clear words. I raised it with nursery and asked whether he should be saying more and speaking clearer and they weren't concerned. Then today they said they caught him speaking more in secret when you think you can't hear. Sneaky bugger!

But I think they are right. Sometimes, he catches me off guard and says a really clear word and, because it is out of the blue or a new word (or both) you think you must have imagined it.

He did a lovely little song in the car today too. I couldn't understand any of the words but it was in tune perfectly to ging gang gooley gooley gooley ging gang goo, ging gang goo (is that how the song goes - remember my friend singing it at Brownies but wasn't a Brownie myself). When I acknowledged it he went stum!

New not so clear words are:

Truck - dwuck
All gone - gall go
Thank you - dan du

Grrr, and another one that he said tonight that I can't for the life of me remember. Rubbish!

A funny thing tonight - he was watching In the Night Garden and the Tombliboos (for anyone who knows what the hell I am talking about) kept nodding their heads and he was copying. Nothing new there. Then he saw Lotté washing herself which looked like she was nodding her heard, so he started nodding again but noticed she was getting her chin right down to what was effectively her chest to wash that part of her fur and he was trying to copy her. Very cute!

Another thing us alcoholic parents have taught him is how to say 'cheers' and clink his cup - think Stuart can take blame I mean credit for that :o) but probably shouldn't be doing it with beer in his cup.....only joking, its with his milk cup....with milk in it!!!

He understands loads now. He had tipped his puzzle pieces of one jigsaw out on the floor on one side of the sofa and then bought the empty tray round to me. It is one of those ones with shapes cut out of it. I would say to him "go and get the truck" and off he would go, pick up that piece and bring it back, fitting it in the appropriate whole. He was very good at it so definitely understands the words. He is starting to notice the picture on a puzzle now, if it is a full picture puzzle and in books is pointing at things for me to say what they are. I think we'll get there.

All this said, he is still very private with his talking and has to feel completely comfortable in his environment before he talks. He chatters all the time at home (whether it is actual words or gibberish) but hardly says a thing when anyone other than Stuart or I are around. I feel like people must think I am making it up when I tell them what he can say as they never hear proof of it!

Oh yes, nearly forgot. Callum does lovely closed mouth kisses now and will give you a kiss without you even asking. He'll come past you, grab your face with both hands and give you a little closed mouth kiss on the mouth - awwwwww! I love those moments :o)

Tuesday 8 June 2010

21 Months

Every day is completely different to the last at the moment. One day is good, another could be hard work.

Callum is so fiercely independent but he also gets so frustrated when he can't make me understand - and likewise, I get frustrated when he doesn't understand.

His speech is coming along but at a slow rate and his words aren't clear. Sometimes, I can understand what he is trying to say, but it doesn't sound much like the word and I'm not sure anyone else would understand. For example, I think he says "lolo" for "all gone". I had thought he was trying to say "Hello" but then realised he mainly says it when something is empty or he doesn't want anymore of something. He does also say it when reading his bath book as the Octopus waves hello, so who knows.

I still find it so hard to know how to discipline him. I know I should be consistent but I am also trying to do different things to see what works. I try hard not to get angry at him but then I end up feeling like he is getting away with murder and it is not how I want to raise him, which then makes me cross. I keep telling myself, it will be easier when we can communicate with one another and I can explain and reason, but then worry it will be too late and I will have started bad habits.

Gah! I know this is how so many other mums feel but I so wished there was a step by step manual!

I am also worried a bit about his behaviour at nursery as he has started hitting. I know it is mainly out of frustration from not being able to communicate but it isn't something I want to encourage obviously. I hope it is just another 'phase' and one he grows out of quickly.

Its not all hard work though, there are good days. He can be so lovely. Especially when he gives you kisses.

We all had a lovely day swimming the other day. We went to the leisure centre in Guildford. The swimming pool is great with lots of big slides, wave machines, fountains. Callum loved it. There was this little slide that he would climb up himself and go down. Then he just decided to go down head first into the water - it was only shallow but still a face full of water. He loved it. Stuart and I also took him on one of the big slides too, on our laps.

I also took him to a farm the other weekend. He loved feeding the sheep. It was so cute. He kept trying to feed them with one pellet squished between his fingers but would then get scared. Then I showed him how to open his hand and feed them and he loved it. We also went on a tractor trailor ride which he wasn't that bothered about - and to be honest, nor was I! Been on one tractor trailor ride, been on them all! We did see lots of animals and he was going on really big slides on his own. I'd definitely take him again.

Anyway, early start for me tomorrow. So off to bedski with me!

Tuesday 4 May 2010

20 Months - 3 InTENTsive nights

Oops, been a little while since I've updated this. Must not let it slip now I'm working.

Well, we are just back from our first proper camping trip with Callum - tent and everything, none of this cheating caravan lark like we did last time! Oh, how I missed the caravan! It was Bank Holiday weekend and I had booked a weekend away as a surprise for Stuart and Callum (and me of course). I had wanted to go to Camber Sands as I have a great memory of going there when I was a kid - lots of sand dunes! However, there is only one campsite there that accepts tents and that was full so we went just up the road to New Romney.

I really liked the campsite. It wasn't amazing but it had the key benefits - free hot showers and nice toilets, a bar which sold food, entertainment and an indoor heated swimming pool.

We got there between 7 and 7.30 with an already grumpy Callum in tow - tired and fed up of being in a car. We tried to put up the tent as quickly as possible but imagine it was way past 8pm once done. I got started on cooking dinner while Stuart tried to get Callum to sleep. It took me an hour too cook a 20 minute meal and Callum was still awake at the end of it. We (well I as Stuart didn't know where we were going) had hoped that Callum would be ok co-sleeping in between us on the mattress. Unsurprisingly, with everything being exciting and new, Callum wasn't interested in sleeping. He did eventually go off near 10pm. Stuart and I hurried our dinner down and then with nothing better to do we went to bed too. I tried to curl around Callum on my side but there really wasn't much room for the three of us. Soon after going to bed, Callum woke up and then didn't want to go back to sleep. He hated being on the bed, hated the sleeping bag cover. Sometime in the early hours, he eventually fell asleep laying next to the bed with his head on the mattress. But then the rain kept me awake! I woke up feeling very tired and like I'd done a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson!

Callum woke grumpy but cheered up with some chocolate buttons (after his coco pops) and a swim in the pool. We had a fish and chip lunch in Dymchurch and then went to Camber Sands in the afternoon - I was determined to go there. There was the occasional sunny spell but it was very cold and windy but hey! We went over a sand dune and splashed in the waves. Couldn't quite believe there were children swimming in the sea.

We decided on a different tactic for this night. We went to the clubhouse bar to eat dinner, taking Callum in his PJs. After dinner, we let him have a bit of a run round with the other children and then near his bedtime we put him into his grobag and gave him his milk. We then put him lying down in his pushchair, covered him with a blanket (like we did in Cornwall last year) and then walked up the road to the nearby pub. He slept while we were out and then we just transfered him into bed. This time we had made a makeshift bed out of blankets for him (we had tried unsuccessfully to find a camping shop to buy him a mat or single mattress). He had a really good night's sleep, only waking once to climb into our bed, just to climb back out again. However, I was kept awake by the rain.

The next day we woke to a very very wet day. Undeterred, we headed to the Hythe - Dymchurch - New Romney - Dungeness Railway - the world's smallest public railway with steam trains going up and down. We braved the rain throughout the day to go up from Hythe to Dungeness stopping briefly to look at the model railway museum at New Romney. We went up the lighthouse at Dungenness and jumped in lots of big puddles as well as getting rained on lots.

I was in much need of a nice hot shower by the time we got back to our very wet tent.

We went for a lovely meal at the pub we had been for a drink in the night before with a still very grumpy and difficult Callum. Though, in fairness, he hadn't had much sleep during either of the last two days. We then went back to the pub on the campsite for Callum to have a bit of a runaround again and his milk. Unfortunately, Callum nose dived off a chair and whacked his tooth and cut his lip open on a table -queue lots of tears and blood and it was too painful for him to drink his milk. We eventually calpoled him up and eventually he calmed down and managed to drink some of his milk through a straw. We then settled him again in his grobag and in the pushchair where he went to sleep super quick and we relaxed in the pub. He woke when we walked back to the tent but we snuggled him in bed with us and he quickly went back to sleep again. He woke a couple of times but not too bad. The wind mainly kept me awake.

On the Monday, we pretty much got up to a sunny but very cold day, packed up the tent with a still grumpy Callum.

When we got home, I think none of us could have been more pleased than Callum to get back to his toys and a nice warm and dry environment.

So, after that epic, what else is new.

Everything is 'look' with Callum - his main word. Though has said teeth and cheese and others a bit more now.

What I really love at the moment is his singing. He sings all the time. Especially, Wind the Bobbin up and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Its just so adorable.

He loves being outside and putting shoes on - even if they are two left shoes of Stuart's!

He is fab at walking now and is even working up to a run though not quite there yet.

He really likes puzzles and is really quite good at them too. Which means he is good at putting train tracks together.

He is also pretty good at climbing now. He climbs onto the nursing chair next to his cot, up onto the arm and then swings his leg over the top of his cot. He does then get stuck there with a leg either side (ouch!) but it is frightening that he is able to do it!

As for me - the work/housework/life balance is still keeping me on my toes but the good news is we have found a cleaner who is starting next week. I can't wait!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Nearly 19 months old

20 March 2010 - Callum finally walks!!!

Incredible, it finally happened. Callum decided to do more than just a few steps and walked back and forth up and down the kitchen for ages. ..and then took it further and started to walk around the house.....and then....he started kicking a ball - all in one day!! So proud of my little man. He has continued to do lots more walking too. It was starting to feel like we would never get there. Unfortunately, the video is too big for me to upload to here so if you can access my Facebook, check it out from there.

Now for something completely different...

Callum is now settling in to nursery really well. In the beginning, he was getting a little bullied by the other children as they used to steel his toys or pick on him and he wouldn't do anything about it but apparently he is now starting to be a bit more assertive. He still isn't quite himself but is coming out a little bit more each time. He is more quiet at nursery than he is at home but they saying a real cheeky side is starting to come out. They didn't believe me at first when I told them he could be cheeky but they are starting to believe it now. Apparently, he waits until they have packed up the puzzles and then tips them all on the floor. He also throws blocks from the stroller through the bars of the stairgate they have at the entrance to the room. But he only has to smile and he is forgiven.

They have had confirmed cases of chicken pox at nursery this week and we thought Callum was coming down with it too. He got a really high temperature on Friday at nursery and has been a bit under the weather and fighting a high temperature Saturday too. But today seems much better and there are no signs of any spots so looks like a false alarm. Obviously, not out of the woods yet as there is quite a long incubation period for chicken pox (as you may remember from a post I did last year when I was on chicken pox watch for a few weeks) but looks like it will be work and nursery as usual on Monday - phew! I'm worried about taking more time off work to look after him as I haven't earned any more holiday yet (I have to earn 2 days every month I work) and so would probably need to take it as unpaid leave. Also, we really want to go on holiday later in the year and I am worried I will need the days I do earn to look after Callum and then wont be able to go on holiday.

Although Callum isn't saying many clear words, you can see he is really trying to say them. He studies my lips when I say something and you can see him mouthing the word too and then he tries to say it. He has said cheese and teeth before but doesn't say them regularly.

We took Callum swimming again the other weekend. He loves it and is so confident in the water still. He stood up and jumped in from the side once and did lots of sitting down and 'jumping' into the pool (not sure how you can jump when you are sitting down). He was also getting out of the pool and back in again on his own and he was blowing bubbles. His head went under the water so many times and he just thought it was funny. We tried to not to rush to pull him up so he can learn to do it himself so was under there for a few seconds but still didn't mind...or drown! He still can't right himself but I'm just pleased it doesn't phase him.

I'm very excited that we are going to try to go on holiday abroad this year. I can't wait to take Callum on his first sunny holiday out of the UK. It has been long overdue for me too. Got to wait until September though. At least it is something to look forward too. I can picture us all playing in the pool or in the sea. Its going to be great!

Thursday 4 March 2010

18 Months

Wow! Two days ago, my little boy was 18 months old! And a little boy he seems to be now rather than a baby!

What a week. This is what was meant to happen:

Saturday - pick Stuart up from Airport as he is home from India
Monday - start my new job and Callum starts full time nursery
Friday - Stuart and Callum have day off and take me to airport. I go to Edinburgh

This is what happened:

Saturday - picked Stuart up from airport as home from India (all good so far)
Sunday - Callum suffering with his cold but we decide to take him to softplay in the morning in the hope it cheers him up. And it seems to. Then in the afternoon - blurgh! He is sick.
Monday - I go to my first day at work and Stuart has to take day off to look after Callum
Tuesday - as above
Wednesday - take Callum to nursery as Stuart has meetings and I am still on my first week. Get call from nursery and I have to go and collect Callum as feeling very sorry for himself. Continues to be sick.
Thursday - I take day off work as Callum is still sick - go to Dr and the poor sausage is riddled with viruses. Cough virus and tummy virus and virus is also making his eyes sticky. To top it all off both today (Thursday) and yesterday he has been teething too!
Friday - will hopefully go as planned as it hasn't happened yet (is tomorrow in case you couldn't work it out). I'm sad that I will have to go away and leave him when he is unwell :o(

It was always going to be an emotional week but feel like someone wanted to really test me!

I feel guilty and feel that I've not been able to make the best impression at work taking time off for looking after Callum in my first week. They have been really understanding but doesn't stop me feeling bad.

I also have huge mummy guilt for taking Callum into nursery before he was ready so we could go to work. Feel quite selfish.

So, Callum still hasn't had his full week at nursery - in fact he had less than 1/2 a day this week.

And I haven't had a full week at work yet.

On the plus side with work, I think I'm going to like it and feel like I am already fitting in well with the team. I'm sure the usual insecurities will pop up at some point but at the moment I am feeling positive about it all.

While at the doctors earlier, I asked briefly about Callum's walking and whether we needed to be concerned if he was making efforts to walk or because his left foot is slightly turned out. She wasn't concerned and says that it often happens but tends to all sort itself out in time.

Sorry, jumping back and forth with subjects but just watching Callum. The change in him over the course of the last 11 hours is quite amazing! He started the day really weak and moaning almost constantly. Picked up when he had his milk but as he threw it up halfway through, at the end and then after a second watered down bottle, went quickly back to weak and moany. Felt very sorry for himself at the doctors. He had a couple of sleeps on the sofa and on me. Then he was beside himself with teeth pain for a couple of hours. Now, after eating a slice of toast and marmite, is crawling around, laughing at himself making silly noises, wanting to do a puzzle. I hope he stays like this and this is him nearly recovered! I am apprehensive about it being the case though as this is a similar pattern to yesterday.

Right - super stinky nappy to change. Had the worst one I probably had to deal with since he was born earlier! Straight in the shower with him! They are none to pleasant right now!

False alarm, thankfully - just a smelly trumpet!

Thursday 18 February 2010

17.5 months

Don't even ask about the walking! I'm bored of my own typing on this matter - just know, nothing much has changed.

That aside, we seem to have entered the other side of the weeks from hell! And, even better than that, I dropped Callum at nursery today and there were NO tears. Woohoo! Apparently, he was really happy and lovely all day. Even giving the carers kisses. I'm so pleased. I hope it stays like that. He was a little bit stroppy when I got him home but in a spoilt kind of way. Like when he doesn't get what he wants. I can live with that though.

I think the bad weeks were caused from a combination of being ill and teething. I think he is getting his back molars from what I can feel. They are not through yet so imagine the bad times might not be gone for good but am just enjoying the good times why they last.

Callum has been experimenting with a few more sounds recently but hard to know if we have any new words as such. I often think he says 'pretty' and I think he was trying to say 'light' tonight.

I have finally got my work start date. I start work on 1 March. So, full time from then! Full time mum to full time work, full time mum, to full time work. Posts should get interesting from then I imagine!

Monday 8 February 2010

17 Months - I've completely lost track or weeks etc!

I am knackered! We are having a few sleep and tantrum issues at the moment - thankfully not at the same time but could be related.

Firstly, we are having huge tantrums which appear to be for no reason. He may not want me to change his nappy so this is where it will begin and it will escalate into full on throwing himself on the floor and around the room, crying and screaming. He will start pointing out to the kitchen and will point at something (normally the biscuit tin) and if I try to offer him something else, he will cry and scream more - even when I do offer him the biscuit (not a habit I want to get into by the way - tantrum = biscuit) he will refuse it and cry and scream more and point to something else. If I offer him water he wont take it. I have tried to ignore him and I have tried to distract him. Eventually, he does calm down and he will then accept some water and food (non-biscuit related but something like toast). I still have no idea what really caused it and how it escalated so much. I have tried to give him calpol in case something is hurting but that turns into a fight itself and he gets quite aggressive hitting the spoon out of my hand. There have been 3 or 4 of these over the last week!

In addition to these tantrums we have sleeping issues. It used to be, when we gave Callum his bedtime bottle, he'd be happy to finish it in our arms calmly watching his music/light thing. Then, when he had finished, he would hand back his bottle then we would put him in his cot and after a little moan he would go to sleep. Now, he wants to sit up and play with his music/light thing and is very awake (though yawning and clearly tired). We eventually get him to finish his milk and put him in his cot but now he talks for about an hour (sometimes longer) before he eventually goes to sleep. Then, again, 3 or so times in the last week he has woken up between 4 and 5am and wont go back to sleep. He will sleep in my arms but as soon as I transfer him into his cot he wakes up again and stands up. I have tried not getting him out of the cot and trying to settle him with stroking his head, which will normally work, but now he just lays there wide awake and cries as soon as you stop with no sign of going off to sleep. I hate doing it but to get any chance of sleep at all, I end up taking him in the spare room. I still don't get a hell of a lot of sleep as he will usually chat or play for a while. I am also frozen when I'm in there and usually, when he finally does go to sleep, I get stuck in an awkward position. However, at least I get to lay down and doze at the very least!

Now, both of these things are supposed to be very typical of his age and development stage. Apparently, when a toddler learns to walk, his brain starts to get very active thinking about his new skill. They also get very frustrated around this age, with their limitations - both in actions and communications. So, I know it is very likely just a phase and will be over in a couple of weeks - with any luck! But in the meantime, it is killing me! Stuart is worried about when I start work if he is still waking up. At the moment, I can only think for the here and now and will cross that bridge when I get to it. He may be over it by then.

Mum said that once he is walking around properly, he will tire himself out therefore sleep better - I hope so.

On the walking front, as you may have guessed, he still isn't fully walking. However, today he was in the middle of the room, stood up and walked to me without any coaxing or anything. I nearly didn't even notice him do it. This has got to be a big step in the right direction and, hopefully, full on walking is just days away. I feel like I am a stuck record with this at the moment!

Callum had his swine flu jab last week. He was having one of his grumpy days in the morning and I wasn't particularly looking forward to it but, apart from getting upset at the time of the jab, he turned into a really happy boy! It was like whatever had upset him before wasn't as bad as the jab so he was counting his blessings and being happy! Other than that, no other side effects. Not even a sore arm, from what I can tell.

He did have the sniffles before and they did seem to get worse after but don't think this is related. He has a cough at the moment which isn't helping with the waking in the night. I think this is probably what disturbs him and then his mind kicks into gear and he can't sleep.

We are worrying about me going back to work with there being a chance of Callum waking in the night a couple of times a week when I heard a radio debate, prompted by a woman who said she went back to her job as Headteacher 7 hours after giving birth. I think she was mainly going in to show off her new baby but she did get straight back into work - taking her baby with her. I seriously don't know how she does it. She must have one of those rare babies that sleeps through from day one and just fits into mummies life. Fair play to her but not something I would want to do or even think I was capable of. That time was all about us all getting to know each other. It was important to me for Stuart to take paternity leave so there is no way I wouldn't take some time for maternity leave. Apparently, it is law that you must take 2 weeks leave after the birth of your baby otherwise the company faces paying a fine. Not sure of the full details of that though and maybe this woman got round it by not properly working for 2 weeks or something. She was headteacher in a boarding school so I imagine her work and life is quite different to the everyday mum.

Friday 29 January 2010

16 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Days

Good news - last Friday, I finally got to my pre-pregnancy weight. I think, the last time I weighed myself before getting pregnant, I was 9st 12.8lb - last week I weighed 9st 12.6 lb and this week, exactly 9st 12lb. Only 4lb to go now until my 'ideal' weight. Can't believe it took me nearly 18 months but I got there eventually. Finally starting to feel a 'bit' better about myself. Completely lost my boobs again - gone back to the saggy bags that I had after I stopped breastfeeding. Seems you can't have it all! Now just need to get the exercise going again. Went for a 2.4 mile run yesterday and am going to military fitness tomorrow - wish me luck, eeek!

I've finally had clearance from Occupational Health at the new job and they are now asking for my references. Hopefully, they will come back to them quickly and then I can sort out a start date. I am hoping for Monday 8th February but the agency said that might be a bit too optimistic - we shall see. One thing I'm excited about is that the Occupational Health said they do exercise classes like circuit training and boxercise. It is the boxercise I'm really excited about. Fit Debbie, here I come! That is 'fit' as in healthy, by the way, not 'fit' as in "she's well fit" goodlooking!

Callum had his 3rd day at nursery yesterday. He really cried and screamed when I dropped him off. I tried to settle him with a toy but was just really clingy. I tried to let him know that I'd be back later and tried to keep it all cheery cheery but just had to leave him in bits.

Thankfully, he was fine when I went to pick him up. He didn't notice me and was just playing with a walker/trolley. I wouldn't say that he looks like he is happy and having fun but he did look comfortable and confident which is important for me. I would have found it hard if he was hiding away in the corner somewhere looking miserable.

I know he'll get used to it when he goes full time and it will become routine and the norm. Silly me is then worried he'll love going to nursery so much he'll prefer it to spending time with us at weekends! *mental slap around the head* - I know I'm just being silly and it'll be fine. Its hard not to let these thoughts slip in though.

Callum has started trying to stand on his own again without holding on to anything. He often stands then falls over immediately but he is trying regularly. He is also getting more confident about trying to walk - though he is still not walking. He can turn around on the spot on his own, although he is a bit wobbly. He does like to drag these things out! He walks on his knees quite a bit and gets around like that or through crawling.

Thursday 21 January 2010

16 Months, 2 Weeks, 3 Days

Well, today is Callum's second day at nursery and it was much harder to leave him than last week.

Last week, he was reaching for me when I left and cried when I picked him up. They told me that he had enjoyed meal times when he was happy and quiet but in between meal times he had whined.

This week he was really crying and reaching out to me when I left him. I wish that I could go in with him for a couple of minutes to set him up playing with some toys and then I know he wouldn't think twice about me leaving.

I think, if this was 2 months ago, he wouldn't have been in the slightest bit bothered and wouldn't have even looked around for me, but recently he has got really shy with people he doesn't know or clings to me when we first go in somewhere, even if it is familiar to him. Even when people visit us, so in his own home, he goes shy.

In some ways, it is very cute as he snuggles in to me and gives the other person a little shy smile. But I liked it when he was really confident and now I am worried that I am leaving him at nursery at the time when he needs reassurance and it could make him more clingy and cause separation anxiety.

I'm not regretting taking him to nursery. If I have a regret, it is that we didn't put him in sooner. Well, I guess that was the intention but circumstances with sorting out childcare vouchers meant it didn't happen. Nevermind, when he goes full time, I bet he'll love it and forget who we are :o(.

Regarding progress with the job - we are just waiting on the occupational health interview now. It got postponed from the first week in January because of the snow and they were sending me out a new date. I rang up on Tuesday and apparently it was meant to be that day. Frustrating to miss it but have booked in an appointment for next Thursday now. If that all goes well, as I am expecting it to, I should receive my final offer and then look to be starting about 2 weeks following that.

I'm getting in a panic now about all the people I want to see and all the things I want to do before I start working! Eeek!

Did I tell you Callum's latest word is 'shoes'. Very cute. I think anything you put on your feet comes under 'shoes' but he is learning.

Still now walking though. I'm sure he could but just doesn't 'think' he can. He was walking into a room yesterday and was holding onto my finger. My hand had a glove on so I carefully slipped my hand out of the glove so he was still holding it and he stood still and then continued to walk forward. He then fell over but only because another child walked into him. He is much better at it than he thinks he is. We should really try to encourage him more.

I took him for a walk to the shop Tuesday with his trolley. He loved it and did really well on the way there. Virtually ran all the way to the shop - well, about 2/3rds of the way. But then it became very hard work as I kept having to carrying him and the trolley. And then on the way back I had the milk too. He really wanted to walk so kept asking to be put down but then was too tired to walk so kept going down on his knees. We stopped for a rest in the park and bumped into Lou, Ben & Toby. Toby was happy to push Callum half the way home while he was sitting in the trolley and then I carried Callum while Toby pushed most of the rest of the way home. I was shattered when I got home.I was going to take the pushchair with me so that I could plonk him in that when he got tired of pushing the trolley but once he got behind the trolley he was off and I didn't get time to get the pushchair out. He would have been out in the road before I knew it so just left it in the car and chased after him. Not again - next time the pushchair is definitely coming with!

Wednesday 13 January 2010

16 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days

Well, last week's weigh in day showed a 5lb loss, which got me nearly back to my pre-New Year binge! Been really good on diet so hoping that I am continuing to lose at a steady rate. Its been really tough with feeding Callum his usual diet. Especially as he hasn't been well so has often left a lot of his dinner. He very often has a cheese related dinner. I never realised how tough it would be to give up cheese for a month. Sometimes it is torture! I was trying to use up a cheese board we bought for Christmas and didn't eat so made Callum a pasta dish with blue cheese sauce. Firstly, I have to test whether it is cool enough to eat by touching it against my lips, then he left about half of it (there was too much there to start with). It took all my strength to just throw it in the bin. But, I did it and am proud of myself!

So, as I just said, Callum has been poorly. Last week he had a high temperature and was pretty miserable. Then he wouldn't sleep on Saturday night. Stuart and I were up with him for most of the night. We brought him in to our bed in the end but every time one of us moved he would wake up screaming. Stuart got up with him early in the morning in the end so I got a few hours sleep. I so appreciated him doing that. So then a tired Stuart had to entertain a grumpy, tired and ill Callum - I didn't envy him.

His cold eventually broke out on Sunday and then on Monday, he was much happier. Although stuffy with a croaky voice he has been lovely the last few days. Its like he appreciates what it is like to be well and is extra happy because of it. His croaky voice is quite cute!

We have had lots of snow over the last couple of weeks. Last Tuesday/Wednesday we had 6-9 inches. That hadn't thawed completely before we had another couple of inches last night. We have spent a lot of time indoors but have managed to get out occasionally. I walked into town last Friday, I think it was. I had to get some emergency supplies - i.e. bread & milk - so I walked down to Sainsbury's (which must be about 2-2.5 miles walk) with Callum on my back. It was still too scary to drive so thought the walk would be good to get us out of the house too. It was beautiful and I took lots of photos. Will try and upload a couple at the end of this blog. Going there wasn't too bad but by the time I had got to Sainsbury's and walked around shopping, my back was really hurting. I stopped for a hot chocolate before making the journey home....up hill! Was shattered by the time I got home, but still pleased I had done it. The walk was twice as
hard on way home because I had put the milk in the backpack which made it heavier!

As long as Callum is wrapped up warm and it is made fun, Callum is happy in the snow - especially if he is practising his walking! He wont let me go inside the house if we have been out until I take him for a walk up and down the road!

We made a snow bunny in the garden today :o) - First time I've made anything other than a snowman in the snow.

Again, he was happy to walk in it but when I left him propped up against a tree, he wasn't so keen. But then I plonked him on the snow so he was sitting in it and he realised it wasn't so bad!

So, Callum still isn't walking on his own. He does like to stand on his own without holding on and then gets all pleased with himself and then did decide to try to walk to me the other day but forgot about the big toy car garage in the way. I moved the obstacles out of the way and then he did a really good 5 steps, paused to regain his balance and then did the final step. He is taking his time but I guess he is a perfectionist like his mum and dad!

Callum still hasn't had his first day of nursery because of the snow. He is due to go tomorrow but since we have had more snow, not sure whether that will happen. I hope so. Not sure if we still have to pay for it if they close the nursery again. They sent me a text message on the Wednesday last week saying it had closed but I haven't heard anything today. We shall see. I'll update again after if he does go.

No more news on the job front at the moment. I was meant to go in for an occupational health interview last Thursday but that too was cancelled due to snow. Now I am waiting for a new interview date and time to come through the post.

Speak soon. Some more photos of the snow:

Saturday 2 January 2010

16 Months, 4 Days


Well, the diet starts today and I was very disappointed when I weighed myself this morning and checked back on where I was last year. I weigh the same today as I did on 3 February last year :o(

Must try harder this year!

So, 10lb to go to pre-preg weight, 1 stone to goal weight. The plan is to lose the 10lb by 5 March (Weigh day is Fridays and 5 March is the first Friday in March).

Now, enough moaning - that's no way to start the new year! On with a Callum update.

Well, still no full on walking but lots of practicing with the maximum steps taken being about 6. Still, I don't think it will be long. He is standing unaided lots more now too. He loved showing off his new walking trick to everyone over Christmas to New Year. He also learnt to stand up from being on the floor (i.e. from crawling) unaided. I couldn't believe it the first time I saw it at mums and then Stuart saw it a bit later that day. He hasn't done it much since. I think there is too much around to help him and so he doesn't think to try, just uses the support because it is there.

Callum has given us lots of lay-ins until 8.30ish over the Christmas period but, unfortunately, I think it is having a knock-on affect to bedtimes as there has been a couple of times this past week that he hasn't gone to sleep until over an hour later. It wasn't until about 9pm last night. Normally, during the week, we wake him up at 7am to stop this and then he is ok if he sleeps in a couple of days at the weekend without it affecting his bedtime but I think a week of it is starting to make a difference. Oh well, only two more sleeps until Stuart is back to work and it is back up at 7am again. Going to miss Stuart when he goes back to work :o( It has been lovely having Stuart home for the whole time too so we have been able to spend loads of time as a family.

Callum got very spoilt over Christmas (as did we all). I wont list everything but among the stuff he got were, Happyland sets, playmat, train set with Thomas and carriages, clothes, an aeroplane toy that makes noises, not to mention a whole stocking full of bits from santa. He has been pretty good over the whole holiday period too.

Now we just need to try to store it all and still keep the place looking relatively tidy! Stuart bought some storage boxes and I am sad to say that I got excited by the fact we have more storage for Callum's toys. They are still a bit of an eye-sore in the lounge as plastic boxes don't look pretty but at least they are behind one of the sofas so you don't notice them too much when sitting down. I still need to go through all his toys and put some stuff in the loft. I might move some of his toys to his room too. After all, he does have a toybox in his room!

Not really much more to report at the moment. Callum starts his first full day of nursery next Thursday so I'll probably have more to update after then.