Friday, 30 December 2011

Another day, a more upbeat post! 5 Weeks, 4 Days

So, after the moaning moray of yesterday, time for a more upbeat post.
Firstly, a conversation had with Callum:
Callum: Where's your baby?
Me: My baby? In my belly.
Callum: Callum too.
Me: Yes, Callum came from my belly too.
Callum: My baby's in my handbag
Me: Your baby's in your handbag?
Callum: Yes, your baby is in your handbag and my baby is in my handbag three (he doesn't get the word 'too' and says 'three' instead)
and secondly, an observation of Stuart.
He is so much more engaged with this pregnancy and baby than he was the first time. I remember first time round he said he found it hard to connect with the baby as it didn’t have an identity and, although he felt very nervous about the scan and he deeply wanted the baby, he said he didn’t feel too attached too it at that point – he had distanced himself from it in case the worst happened. Whereas I had expected to be like that but actually found myself quite attached already.
This time however, he is very protective of me, especially with Callum jumping over me and last night he kissed my belly and said “Hello Baby” – something he didn’t do until much later  in my pregnancy and appeared to me to feel quite awkward doing last time(preferring to stick to the lighthearted Darth impression of “I am your Father””). Not sure what it is, maybe being a bit older, wiser, and more prepared but he definitely seems different this time.
Typically, I think I’m the other way this time – preferring to stay a little distant!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Pregnant at Christmas, 5 Weeks, 3 Days

Before I got pregnant (or found out I was pregnant) it was not uncommon for me to drink a bottle of red wine several nights a week. At the time, I would wonder ahead to when I got pregnant and how I would survive without this staple red wine quota – I’d long for that glass of red at the end of a tiresome day (in a non-alcoholic way I hastened to add!! I did have the odd day off and a drop was rarely drunk before Callum was in bed).
I’d heard of others going off alcohol when pregnant but knew that could never happen to me. It didn’t with Callum though I didn’t touch a drop (except a glass on the day we found out) for the first 12 weeks and then only had the odd glass of wine or pimms or two a week for the rest of the pregnancy. I certainly didn’t go off wine but I didn’t crave it either as I didn’t feel I was missing out having the odd glass here and there.
So no one is more surprised than me to admit that I just can’t face the thought of a glass of red wine. It has been absolutely no hardship to not drink alcohol since the day I found out – its just like a switch that has been flicked. One minute I’d hanker for that smooth warm dark liquid coursing down my throat the next – nothing! No want or desire at all! Looking ahead to Christmas, however, I wasn’t going to miss out on my glass of Champers on Christmas morning and could imagine a sneaky glass of Baileys still being had.
Traditionally, Christmas in my household has always been a boozy affair and goes a little like this:
  1. Wake up to cups of tea, chocolate biscuits and the opening of the stocking.
  2. Get showered, dressed and head downstairs for smoked salmon, scrambled egg and Champers (some crazy people have Bucksfizz but I’ve never been too keen on the Champers & orange combo and who wants to water down the Champagne anyway???)
  3. After brekkie, we open tree presents while drinking another glass or three of Champers
  4. Then we ooh and ahh over our own and everyone else’s presents, sometimes make a dress change into new Christmas rags and make an attempt to make some floor space around the new presents while drinking our favourite long drink or a glass of wine.
  5. Dinner gets on the way and more drinking ensues while cooking and waiting
  6. Dinner is served and, of course, more drink in the way of wine is consumed
  7. After dinner there is Bailey’s & Brandy or some port and cheese for those who are inclined, followed by the Bailey’s & Brandy – sometimes separately or, if you are me, my mum, my dad or Stuart, you throw the two in together. We may help it along with a cup of tea/coffee.
  8. Then we continue with the Baileys/Brandy for the rest of the night while playing games eventually falling into bed around midnight!
So you can imagine, it was with trepidation that I approach Christmas and again I wondered how I would fair not drinking alcohol to the same quantities as I had on previous Christmases especially while everyone around me kept up the normal frivolities.
I allowed myself one glass of champers in the morning, one glass of ‘white’ wine (with apologies to my mum for all the rose wine she had stocked up on for me) with dinner and then finished the day about 5 hours later on a glass of Baileys. I would not consider drinking as much as that on any other occasion while pregnant but it was Christmas and there was about 3 and then 5 hours between each drink.
This amount was just right. I didn’t feel like I missed out I didn’t feel like I was the only sober one among a household of pissheads, I didn’t feel like a party pooper – I just had a really good time. I actually said that perhaps it was a valuable lesson learned as I actually probably enjoyed it more because of it!
One thing still typical of Christmas – I ate far too much!
It does appear though that pregnancy is affecting my eating habits a bit. Whatever I eat one day I can then not face for ages. I’ve gone off turkey (unsurprisingly), buffet food, Chinese, Thai, pizza, bananas among other things. I eat a lot of the time because I have to and because I feel sick if I don’t.
I have felt queasy off and on and have gagged numerous times on catarrh – the gag reflex is already much more sensitive. I would have been sick first thing this morning too if I had anything in my tummy.
The main issue with this pregnancy is tiredness. I really don’t remember it being this bad last time. I really could sleep my way through this winter. Just curl up in bed, shut my eyes, only waking for the odd (frequent) wee and water top up! I go to bed exhausted and wake up still tired then am tired throughout the day. The life of a hedgehog seems quite appealing right now!
Cue a run to the toilet to be sick! Which reminds me of another woe – the bloatedness. I get full up so quick and if I ignore this and overeat I feel sick again and tiredness makes me feel sick. Usually, it is just the feeling of being sick rather than actual being but if my gag reflex is triggered or I think too much about it….well you don’t need details.
But the bloatedness is horrible. I am already the size (or maybe larger now) than I was when I was 14+4 weeks pregnant with Callum because of bloating. My tummy feels hard and I feel uncomfortable all the time. I already look pregnant which surely isn’t normal for this stage! Its depressing!
Sorry for all the moaning but you’ve got another 8 months of this I’m afraid so you better get used to it! I’m not a bloomer that’s for sure!
…and someone told me the first 12 weeks would fly by this time! Its not!!!!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

And then comes the tiredness – 4 Weeks, 2 days

Well, both sets of parents now know – we told them at the weekend. I put a photo of the ClearBlue test inside their Christmas cards (and included ‘Dot’ in the sign off). Needless to say, they were all delighted.
It was also confirmed that my sister knew after my slip up with her husband!
Feels odd people knowing so early on but at least I can relax and not worry about slipping up (again) now they know. We’ll be telling my brother & SIL on Christmas day when we see them.
The tiredness has set in this week- more so than normal! I didn’t think that was possible., Everything feels like a momentous effort even when I’m not feeling exhausted but then in the afternoon the extreme fatigue hits.
Unfortunately, 3 year olds don’t understand this kind of tiredness! They’ve spent all their lives fighting it. Calluim and I had been to meet some friends in Portsmouth. I got home about 3 and collapsed on the sofa. All I wanted to do was sleep. Callum was having none of it and decided he wasn’t getting enough attention so weed on the floor! He has been doing really well at asking to go to the toilet recently so I know this was all for attention! Could be a long 9 months!
Stuart was wonderful – he came home earlier than he would have normally done, put Callum to bed and cooked me dinner while I tried to nap – unfortunately, I can’t do daytime napping (even when pregnant) its just not in my make-up! I dozed slightly and my body did that thing where your muscles relax and jolts but that’s about it.
I’ve had a horrible cold over the last 4-5 days which hasn’t helped and I’m not sure if it is a combination of this and the tiredness that has made me feel mildly nauseous. So here it begins!
On the other hand, I’m still in denial – keep doing knicker-watch expecting to start my period!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Not Easy Playing Santa’s Little Helper

Its Christmas again! Already? Surely it was only Christmas 6 months ago?

Actually,I think I’m just about there with the present shopping, having bought my last present today! Can’t say the same for Stuart though! But having done 96% of it all myself I draw the line at getting all my own presents, i,e, the ones for me from him and the kids (kids plural because our cat Lotté is a dependent too), and if he wont give me any ideas for his brother then he’ll have to produce something himself. So, as far as I’m concerned, I’m done! I’ve even managed most of the wrapping with just a few bits left to do which I’ll finish tonight! Can I have a gold star please? A medal? OK, a paper hat at least?

One thing I’ve struggled with though is the presents I’ve helped wrap for Father Christmas. I have used Father Christmas wrapping paper so Callum knows they are from Him and not from us but, to assist with the magic of Christmas I’ve tried to keep this paper separate and hidden from the prying eyes of Callum. Easier said than done in a 2 bed house with no storage!!!! The wrapped presents are hidden in the wardrobe ready for the elves to take them to Father Christmas with the wrapping paper hidden under the bed. Hidden so well that on about 3 separate occasions I’ve walked into the bedroom to find Callum playing with it! Hrmph!

Just like with the presents I’ve bought on behalf of Father Christmas. I’ve been helping him out as his elves were struggling to keep up with all the gifts because, apparently, its been a record year for the ‘Nice List’ this year, so the fairy on top of the Christmas tree tells me! How do you go shopping for a 3 year old when that 3 year old is with you! He had to have his Spiderman umbrella early as he saw it and then wouldn’t let it go when I bought it! Then I secretly bought 2 books which I managed to hide under the pushchair just for us to have an ice-lolly incident (who buys a child an ice-lolly in December?…mentioning no names but my eyes are looking in Stuart’s direction) in a shop which meant I needed to find a bag to dispose of the remains of the ice-lolly and the tissues I’d used to clean up – the only one I could use was the one containing these books. Sure enough, a little later he spots the books under the pushchair! *Sigh*

I’m no good at this secretive stuff! Next year, Father Christmas can do it all himself, its all too stressful. He’s been doing it for longer than me and knows what he is doing! Leave it to the professional I say!

At least it will all be worth it to see Callum’s face on Christmas morning!  This year should be the first one he really remembers – lets just hope that the memories made on the actual day are plenty and big enough to push out those less significant from the preparation leading up to it.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Palm meet Forehead! (3 Weeks, 1 Day)

What a bloody idiot I am! I’ve only bloody let the cat out of the bag to my brother-in-law in such a stupid way!
The conversation went like this when I called earlier today:
Dave: I believe congratulations are in order?
Me: Congratulations? Why? (heart rate starts to increase)
Dave: Cos you’re pregnant!
Me: Pregnant? Why would I be pregnant? (my mind races to think who could have told him – could someone from the weekend have seen another friend who called Dave (about a separate matter) and let it slip?)
Dave: Well if you don’t know that by now, I’m not going to tell you.
(it dawns on my….the house!!! I’m about to say when he continues)
Dave: No, I meant the house…unless I’ve stumbled upon something I wasn’t supposed to…?
(silence for about 30 seconds)
Me: *nervous laugh* er….maybe….
Dave then had the good grace to pass over the conversation and get on to the point of my call. The question is, will he tell my sister? I have a feeling he might not but is a big ask for a man not to tell his wife about something so big,  I’d understand if he did say something.
I feel gutted for being so stupid! If we' had been having the conversation in person rather than over the phone then I may as well have had a pregnant neon sign above my head it was so obvious!
In other news, my boobs hurt and I am doing well at playing the part of “angry mum”! I’m not quite sure if Callum is just going through an attention seeking phase where he is really trying to push boundaries and test my patience or whether I am just extra tetchy at the moment. I feel like I’ve been short tempered with absolutely no patience for about a month now! Just call me The Christmas Grouch!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Here we go again! (3 weeks pregnant)

Yes! That’s right! We are doing it all again. So, I’m blogging in secret for the next few months.
Stuart and I had decided to have a couple of months of ‘relaxed trying’ with the intention to get on with the trying properly in March/April next year.
One thing I wanted to avoid was having another baby in September!!!! With Stuart’s Birthday and Callum’s both in September, my nieces too, a lot of our friends have their Birthdays, anniversaries etc in September, it is also when we have previously aimed to take a holiday, it is a crazy month and I dread it every year. So, one thing was clear, I wasn’t doing it again. Because of that, I had worked out that I should avoid training in December or January because that was when Callum was conceived!
So, October was month one and came and went without success, despite noticing many possible symptoms and a day late period!!! I took about 3 tests which all came back negative!
Then it was November. November was a particularly busy month so opportunities for getting jiggy were minimal (MIL – you may want to skip past the finer details bit Embarrassed smile) but we managed once during prime fertility time. After confusing my period dates a couple of times in the previous months thinking I was due a period a week before I actually was, I had decided to track my periods so I could follow them better. I used an online site called which also notifies you when you are most likely to be fertile so I knew we had a chance but it would be our only chance and so a slim chance that we would be successful.
So, by the time we got to my period due date and I hadn’t come on, we took a test. Bearing in mind I was a day late on my last period, I could have waited another day but we were going away for the weekend and wanted to be sensible about drink. After the 3 tests I took last month, I realised this could get very expensive if I found myself doing the same every month of trying – what if it took several months, 6 months, a year!!! So I was advised to purchase some cheapy tests from Amazon. Rather than peeing on a stick these were just a thin strip which you had to catch your pee in a pot and then dip the stick in for 20 seconds. Then wait for 5 minutes. As we waited, sure enough, a faint line started to appear. It was faint but definitely a line. However,  we weren’t 100% confident with these tests and I did still have a ClearBlue test in my drawer so we decided to confirm it with that – it was a digital one that says the words “Pregnant” (or “Not Pregnant”) with the approximation of how many weeks pregnant you are. No need for a second wee as I still had the pot from the previous test so in we dipped and waited for a further 3 minutes. After about 1 up it popped! “Pregnant”!! Then we had to wait for another minute or so for “2-3 weeks” to pop up. So, there it was, no doubting it this time!
Some of you may have done the maths already, my EDD from conception date will be 27 August (from date of first day of previous period it will be 17 August)…yes, that is bloody close to September!!! I think I must have been calculating on the same basis as Callum was born 4 weeks early so this one, of course, will be too!!! Chances are, though, I’ll go full term and probably 2 weeks over, taking me into September and close to both Callum and Stuart’s birthdays!!!! Groan! Oh well, what’s meant to be is meant to be!
How do I feel? In denial! I keep checking my knickers for signs of my period! I feel like I’m a fraud – just because a white stick (or 2) has told me I’m pregnant, does that really mean I am? I don’t ‘feel’ pregnant! I feel like me – I had done a 4 mile run on the morning of the test – I feel like I could still do a 4-6 mile run this week (and am hoping to try!). The only symptom of pregnancy I feel – is the same one I got at this time last year. As soon as I get the 'your pregnant’ cue I start weeing for England! Well, in truth, I’m only a 3 times a day kind of girl so the increase is probably to what most people call normal but to me it seems excessive! Oh, and my boobs have remained fuller/tender as is often the case when I’m expecting my period but they usually go back to normal as soon as my period arrives. So hopefully the boobs I never got (which I have subsequently got from getting fatter) the first time round my arrive this time round!
I had a quick look at my blog when I first started, after finding out I was pregnant with Callum. Its uncanny how similar the thoughts and feelings are to the first time round. However, remember what followed, I will not be wishing for any symptoms to arrive – I remember that feeling of sickness all to well! If I can avoid that I wont be complaining! But my desire to continue to exercise etc is just the same and even the fact that I am unwell is the same! I had a cold then and this time I have a sore throat!
It looks like the symptoms started when I was 6 weeks so I’ll look forward to that (not!). The worrying thing is the tiredness. Apparently, around this time with last pregnancy I would feel exhausted by 4pm then perk up after dinner – sounds pretty similar to how I feel normally when I’m not pregnant, certainly over the past 6 months, so dread to think how I’m going to deal with the tiredness this time!
We told our friends again, the same ones as last time, Dan and Lou because we went there for the weekend and it would have stood out like a sore thumb if I wasn’t drinking (in truth, it wouldn’t as when we told them no one had actually noticed what I was drinking or was paying it any attention), and we also told the other friends that were there for the weekend too. That means, 6 other people already know. We will also be telling our parents on 17 December as they will all be in one place – with us! Again, it would be impossible to get through Christmas without them noticing I wasn’t drinking.
It would be my preference, this time, not to tell anyone but I’m just not the kind of person to invent some massive story or lie to cover up the truth – especially as they would guess I was lying anyway – what’s the point of carrying on with the pretence.
I hate telling people though – I hate the way the focus of attention is all on my (and Stuart of course). I want to shrink away and hide. It is lovely that everyone is excited for us but I just don’t know how to deal with that kind of attention. I was the same when Stuart proposed and when we got married. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. At the weekend,  I wanted to discretely tell them all by text and watch them slowly check their phones one by one and take in the news. He wouldn’t let me though so I had to be brave…and in truth, it wasn’t too bad!
Anyway, this post is turning into an epic novel so I best wrap it up now and no doubt I’ll be back before long moaning and groaning about all the things I hate about being pregnant.
Wish us luck for the next 8 months!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Sometimes they make you proud!

Today, Callum and I went to London to meet two friends and fellow bloggers, Sian (Pie and Bear) and Aimee (Perfect Bad Mummy). Sian’s cousin Boyarde was also joining us for lunch.

I was nervous for three reasons:

  1. Would they like me? (we hadn’t actually met before)
  2. How would Callum be on the 2+ hour train ride each way?
  3. Would Callum show me up in front of S and A and show me to be the bad parent I probably am?

I needn’t of worried. Well not sure on the first one but they didn’t throw things at me so I take that as a good sign that I was OK!

For the train rides, I was prepared – I had snacks, I had a sticker book, I had a colouring book, an activity book and a whole pencil case of pencils, I had a toy car and I had two story books! This kid WASN’T going to get bored!

Callum was very excited as soon as I told him he was going on a train. On the way there, he was more than happy to take everything in, stare out the window at the rainbow (“rainbow gone, where’s the rainbow?”), the cows (“I like cows”), at the sheep (“I like black sheep, baa baa black sheep mumble mumble wool”) and I fed him crisps, a few raisins and apple juice. He even came to the toilet with me without much protest! It was only towards the end of our journey that I broke out the first book (Mr Jelly) more because it was going so well, I didn’t want a sudden crash!

We then went to meet Sian in the main station (I only lost him for a brief 3 seconds when I was on the phone to Sian – he’d gone to pick up a train timetable because it had pictures of trains on it) and then make our way on the Underground to Covent Garden to find the Crème de La Crepe place (which we did just about) and wait for Aimee and Boyarde to join us.

Callum was so well behaved on the tube– again, fascinated and taking it all in. He walked without grumbling, pointing out the train posters in the tunnels of the tube stopping right in front of commuters who were surprisingly polite – I didn’t hear one tut! (more than I would have been when I was still a London commuter!), walking up and down the stairs holding Sian’s hand. Again, in the Crème de la Crepe place, apart from the odd growl at the neighbouring table, he was brilliant. I did fear a breakdown at one point when I cut his baked bean, egg and cheese crepe wrong or something equally as catastrophic but if anyone noticed they didn’t show it so think we might’ve got away with that one and he quickly got over it!

There was no way we could be so lucky on the return train journey home! We get back to London Waterloo Station, say our goodbyes to Sian (Boyarde had left us at the ‘restaurant’, Aimee at the Piccadilly Line) and checked the board! Delayed! Delayed! Delayed! Person hit by train means trains are delayed and subject to last minute cancellations and alterations! Oh joy!

Our train wasn’t even up there! It was meant to be at 16:04 (the time was currently 15:55) – the times of the trains on the board jumped from 16:01 to 17:01 with nothing in between! I spotted a supposedly earlier train (15:35) which looked to be a stopping train, which would mean much longer than the one we had booked but at least we knew it was leaving (albeit an hour later than scheduled) and who knew when our one or the next Bournemouth train would be.

As soon as the platform popped up I grabbed Callum and ran! We were getting a seat! Typically,we had to travel to the front 5 coaches – only when I was 2/3rds of the way there did I suddenly doubt whether I had understood the front of the train correctly, was it the coaches that would be at the front when travelling to destination or the 5 at the front closest to the station concourse? A fellow passenger kindly reassured me I was heading in the right direction and also commented he’d take Callum on his shoulders if it wasn’t weird (rather than me carrying him as I was), I was tempted to throw Callum at him as he was getting a tad (extremely) heavy but I wasn’t sure he was serious or I had heard him correctly! As soon as we reached the front 5 carriages and bypassed the First Class option which Callum was keen for, we all jumped on and I grabbed the first available double seats available.

The train soon filled up with many people standing or sitting in the aisles with their large heavy bags – I did feel a little guilty that we had hogged 2 seats rather than making Callum sit on my lap, particularly because I hadn’t paid for a ticket for him (don’t need to if under 4) but I was nervous enough of keeping him entertained without having to restrain him to my lap too. Again, I know that if it had been me in the aisles when I commuted to and from London and another person with a child on separate seats before I had children I’d have expected them to at least put them on their lap until the first station. Bad me! Felt even worse when a lady with a neck brace and crutches hopped back from further up the carriage due to some lady throwing up all over some poor unsuspecting girl unrelated to her! Honestly, I was just about to give up Callum’s seat when the gentleman behind me did first. Honest!

And remember all those people in the aisles – standing, sitting, big heavy bags? Well, just as Callum and I got comfortable, took off our coats etc, what does Callum do? Announce he needs a wee.Really Callum? Really, really? I wait 5 minutes “wee wee Mummy”. I look up the aisle to the toilet at the other end apprehensively! *groan*, *sigh* “come on then”, “excuse me, sorry, my son needs a wee, sorry, excuse me, really sorry, sorry, its my son he needs a wee, excuse me….” phew! we make it. Someone is wedged in sat leaning against the loo door, again “sorry, my son needs a wee”. Then repeat the above as we make our way back to our seat! Can’t complain though as he did ask and he didn’t have a single accident (wees or poos) all day – he asked every time (as annoying as it was, timed to just when I’d got a fresh cup of tea and the loo was outside the restaurant, up the stairs, across the courtyard where we’d inevitably got pounced on by the street performer!) and didn’t even he have an accidental dribble! Hoorah!

Thankfully, the part of the train that went to Bournemouth wasn’t the stopping service – that was the one that broke away at Southampton so it wasn’t as long as I was dreading. I managed to keep Callum entertained for most of the journey with all my supplies but there was the odd incident of standing up and saying “hello” to the people behind who didn’t respond so I guess they weren’t impressed, nor with the pointing at them saying “He’s sleeping” very loudly, also the occasional shout or scream of “NO”. Amazingly, I stayed calm at each ‘episode’ and managed to distract him quickly away from any persistent shouting or tantrum, though it was worryingly close at times.

Finally, it was with much relief that Bournemouth station arrived and we could get off the train before any big breakdown which I was sure wasn’t far away. Callum was obviously getting fed up towards the end saying “get off now?” each time we pulled into a station.

Still, he hung around on the platform long enough to wave goodbye to our train and we then started the slow, slow, slow walk back home in the dark! Our walk home took us past a chippy so, on a whim, I decided to treat us to sausage & chips as Callum still hadn’t had dinner and Stuart was out. Bizarrely , Callum also decided we were going to run all the way home – as difficult as this is when I’m wearing heels, it is highly preferable to the usual snail pace which would have meant very cold chips! Until the road on the entrance to the flats just before where we live rose up and tripped Callum up (mean road) so he decided to head butt it in return! So, it was a quick cuddle and carry home for the last push!

All in all, though, I consider it a thoroughly successful trip! Still, not one I’d be in a hurry to do again too soon!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

That’s My Boy!

A little late on the update but last Friday Callum had his first Parent’s evening at his new nursery just to provide feedback with how he is settling in.

Although we had a good idea how well Callum had settled into nursery by the fact that he was more or less happy to go (with just the odd one or two moans of a morning) despite only going on Monday mornings or Fridays. That still doesn’t stop you worrying that they aren’t making friends and are being left at the back of the group not wanting to contribute in group time.

We need not fear!

Callum is a very happy smiley boy who smiles and chats to all the children and staff. He approaches all the activities enthusiastically with a smile.


I asked whether he contributed to group sessions as I was worried he didn’t know enough to say what month it was, or what the whether was like outside and she reassured us that the way they approached this was to ask every child a question they could answer and would make sure everyone had answered something so they each had a turn to add a sticky picture to the board.

She did say that he was still playing alongside the other children rather than with them but I think that is still quite normal for his age and he is starting to make friends – well, he may call them friends, others may call them slaves or chauffeurs! Just like at Tulips, they have the same two-seater bikes and Callum sits on the back then summons another child over to the front to peddle him around! I like his style!

Again, Proud!

The only area we were unsure of was how much he is eating while he is there so they have kindly agreed to keep a food diary.

Otherwise! Big thumbs up.

But now we have to decide whether we’ll be keeping him at the same nursery when we move…would be a shame to move him when he has settled in so well and he is just starting to come out of his shell. And we may be hard pushed to get a nursery with any ‘outstanding’ areas in their offsted let alone all areas!!

In January, he’ll be going 3 days – Wednesday to Friday. I do hope the logistics work out that we can keep him there!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Wise Words of our Parents

I keep catching myself recently saying the phrases my parents used when me and my siblings were children. Then I groan – I’m turning into my parents?

The phrases I’ve found myself using in the past:

  • Don’t make me come over there
  • If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times
  • How many times do I have to tell you…
  • I’m not going to tell/ask you again (there’s a common theme then in the last three)
  • I’m going to count to 3 (it took a while to adopt this one but when I found out it worked…it has been not too often but often enough!)
  • It’ll end in tears
  • Don’t come crying to me when you hurt yourself (Stuart tells me its “Don’t come running to me if you break your legs” – seems to have got lost in translation somewhere down the line in our family)

Its not just me, I hear other parents do it too – whether I know them or not, you know they must be using the same phrases that were said to them, you can just tell!

  • If the wind changes direction, you’ll stay like that (I haven’t used this yet but can’t wait to do so!)
  • I’ll wash your mouth out with soap & water (my parents said it to me, hope I will never say it but did hear someone else say it the other day!)

I am sure I’ve said and heard more!

I wonder whether they will be passed on to our children or what knew ones there will be by then!

And, is it so bad to turn into my parents? I don’t think I’ve turned out that bad *twitch* *dribble* *twitch*.

Where Do You Blog?

Eek! The meme I’ve been dreading – to show where, exactly, it is that I write my blog, to decide whether it is saintly or slatternly - and I have the lovely Tales of a Twin Mum to thank (Love You! Sarcastic smile). So, here it is!

I’m actually scared to publish the picture and all I want to do is precede it with apologies and excuses! And to think it is actually looking fairly tidy at the moment!!! Although I could give many, I’ll just give you the one excuse – this is our temporary home before we buy our new place and we don’t quite fit in this one!! As for the other excuses, I’m sure you can make up your own as if you have kids (little or big (as in husbands)) and/or pets, you will know where I’m coming from!

OK, so I’ll stop stalling and just paste it in…


The first one being where I sit and my laptop the second being my view – Celebrity Masterchef at this precise moment in time! 

I guess it suits me as most of my blogging is done in the evening in front of the TV. We don’t have a proper ‘office’ space for me to sit at but, even if we did, I wouldn’t sit there as I like the comfort of the living room and company of my husband, cat and TV of an evening.

The sofa normally has a colourful (sick) blanket covering it – affectionately called a sick blanket, not because of its appearance or because it is covered in sick, but because it is the blanket my Mum crocheted when we were little and it was used to keep us warm when we were poorly! However, the cat completely misunderstood this sentiment and was actually sick on it!!! So it is currently drying by the radiator just out of shot to the right of the sofa after being washed!

Looking at the second photo – I’ve decided I can’t stand the curtains being open that tiny bit to make way for the flowers so have since moved the flowers and closed the curtains properly – that probably says a lot about me! I am trying my damnedest to ignore the coat hanging on the door as we don’t have anywhere we can put coats so it’ll just have to stay there!

There I go with the excuses again! I’ll stop now and hurry up and press the publish button before I chicken out! I’d call me slatternly!

Although, before I go…”TAG, YOUR IT!” (not all of you, don’t worry, just the victims I’ve chosen below – check out their blogs if you haven’t already!)

The Perfect Bad Mummy

Pie and Bear

Hopes, Dreams and Morning Sickness


Monday, 21 November 2011

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Supermum!

Glancing at my Netmums East Dorset email newsletter, I notice the “Homemade Hampers” article and my heart instantly sinks as I imagine all those Supermums (and Dads of course but I have only come across Mums personally) that have more than one child who are busy in their kitchens and such like happily making gorgeous homemade Christmas gifts and hampers a la Kirstie Allsopp style! It sinks because I know that’s something I could never do!

I see them with gorgeous country wicker hampers with gingham ribbons and cloth, biscuits, jams,chutneys, patés, pickled this and that! *sigh*.

My first thought is, how I’d like to be like them!

Then I see myself surrounded by ingredients, unfinished ‘treats’, mess, stress, and a manic child (singular) putting his fingers into every pie (literally) while I’m crying on the kitchen floor and think no, that’s not to me, I don’t want to be like them but I am in awe. I’d like people to see me in the same way as I look upon them – that’s different to wanting to be like them…well in my logic it is!

Some may say (and including or even especially those that do it) that it is just to save money but, to me, the time, effort, attention to detail on the presentation, the forward planning to get all the little jars etc that it takes and, being miles away from something I could ever do, takes heart and soul, thought, love. I think you are amazing!

Truly, I salute you, if you are that person. Personally, there would be nothing I would treasure more than receiving such a thoughtful and heartfelt gift (reading that back, that’s not a hint by the way…but if you have one spare Winking smile).

And how much do I have to pay you to do it for me and put my name on the from label????

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Today is THAT day!

It’s happened! That day that every parent dreads and hopes that maybe, just maybe, it wont happen with their child. Today was the day my child said “Why?”. The sequel to “”What ya doin’?”. In fact, today, it went hand in hand with that other parent’s favourite “Are we nearly there?”.

The conversation in the car on the way home from feeding the ducks today went like this:

Callum: Are we nearly there? (as soon as we had left the car park)
Me: Not yet, we’ve still got a way to go
Callum: Why?
Me: Silence (hoping it was just a random word and had no context)
Callum: Why?
Me: *sigh*, because we have only just started driving and we live quite a way from the park.

1 minute later:

Callum: Are we nearly there?
Me: No, Callum, we are only slightly further than last time you asked and still have a way to go to home
Callum: Why?
Me: *giggle* (it dawned on me that my child had turned in to a stereotype aged 3)

So, this is it, the battle of wits between child and adult begins. Who will outsmart the other first?

I have thought quite a bit about how I’d handle the “Why?” phase. I’ve had 3 good years to prepare. At least that is one advantage to Callum being a slow speaker, I’ve had 3 years without it to think and prepare. Three whole years of watching my friends’ frustrations as they battle with their child(ren) striving to always find some kind of answer to appease their ever curious little one and ending their barrage of whys before settling on “just because” or “because Mummy/Daddy says so and Mummy/Daddy is always right” or variations thereof. So, this is my theory:

I’m a trainer – surely, I can use my skills as a trainer on my own child’s development, yes? Of course its going to work!

As often as possible, when Callum says “Why?” I will ask him to first suggest a sensible answer of what he thinks the answer is. Only after I have received a sensible suggestion from him will I offer the correct reason (assuming there is an answer). The best way to learn is to find the answer ourselves, that’s what I’ve learnt in my own training…so this must work on a pre-schooler too? Yes? It will work wont it?:It has to work! I have no other ideas and I don’t know if I will cope with the constant repetition of the ‘why’ question!!! *takes another large glug at wine to subdue the grips of panic*.

Actually, I do have one other theory but it would only work for a slightly older child – look it up! That’s my theory – telling them to look it up! Google it! We are not breeding the Google generation for nothing!

But I am really, really hoping Callum will have grown out of the “why?” phase by the time he can read. If only he could read now!

Right! Time to step up the reading lessons!!!!! Its time we moved past “Curly C for Callum”!

Monday, 7 November 2011

“Mummy, I want Broccoli”

The words I never thought I’d hear my son say! And if you’re a long time follower of this blog, you’ll remember the earlier days and will understand why!

Seriously, he disappeared to the kitchen and I heard him open the fridge. The next thing he was calling me saying “Mummy, I want this”, I went to see what it was expecting it to be chocolate buttons or yogurt or such like. When I got in the kitchen there he was holding up said vegetable and said “Mummy, I want Broccoli”. Now, not normally one to refuse my son fruit and veg but it was less than 30 minutes to bedtime and he’d already eaten dinner at nursery plus a snack or two since being home. I didn’t now fancy cooking up some broccoli, so told him so and went back to sit in the lounge.

He comes into the lounge then holding a punnet of mushrooms “I want these”. Now,after all that stress before about how he was never going to eat a vegetable and now my son has gone the other way and turned into a vegetable fiend! So, again I say no, and I look in the fridge for something more suitable. I see a tin of beans in the fridge and think great, a minute or 2 in the microwave (still 1 of your 5 a day) but no, he didn’t want beans, He finally settled on a handful of black pitted olives! A 3 year old eating a bowl of black olives!!! Well at least I didn’t have to cook the broccoli!

So, how did we get to here.

For those that don’t know the past, we did Baby-Led Weaning with Callum. It is meant to bring many benefits, one of which is your child is much less likely to be a fussy eater as they are more open/willing to trying new things. Though, for this to be the case, you have to trust your child’s instincts to try food when they are happy to and to trust s/he will know what food they need at any time. It isn’t uncommon for babies/children to only eat one food for ages then suddenly they’ll reject it and start something else. If you don’t push them and trust them to do it in their own time, they will grow up to be much better eaters (or something like that).

That is easier said than done – when you are a parent and you see your child not getting a balanced diet with nowhere near their 5 a day (even though you continue to ‘offer’ a balanced diet) you start to feel guilty and worry that they are going to get ill or never going to eat a vegetable if you don’t do something, don’t start getting tough!

Callum was also a much better eater and tried a lot more foods before he went to nursery. He went to nursery full time at around 18 months and for the next year to 15 months he had the same meals every single week (a weekly menu that did not change ever week to week). We tried to offer him a variety at weekends but kids like routine and if they find routine they tend cut out everything else. We struggled to get Callum to eat a lot of the foods he was happy to eat before because they weren’t offered at nursery. This was different to him just not wanting them at that time and that he’d like them again later – the only foods he continued to enjoy were the same that were offered at nursery (with the addition of meat, he still liked meat).

Anyway, I was slightly less worried than I could have been because at least Callum still ate fruit regularly. In fact he was (and still is) a real fruit bat! But it was frustrating that he wouldn’t eat a single vegetable (again, even though he ate some, like asparagus, spinach and red pepper, before he went to nursery) and I didn’t want to make up his 5 a day with just fruit (and baked beans).

So here we are now. He happily eats carrots, broccoli, runner beans and peas. In fact, as you can see, he asks to eat them. He’ll go to the fridge, grab a carrot and chomp away.

So what did we do differently, what changed? We went back to the BLW way! We realised that if we were eating something enthusiastically and Callum didn’t have what we had, he would want it, so we would let him try it. We would offer him foods but if he didn’t want to eat or try them, we didn’t push it. I remembered my childhood - I was a very fussy eater. The more people made a fuss about what I didn’t eat, the more they teased me, questioned me, “just try it” they would say over and over again, the more I refused. “You’ll like this when you’re older” my Dad used to say. “No I wont, I don’t like it” I used to say. Now, my Dad was right, but if he knew this, why didn’t he just let me get on with it. I’d like it eventually so what did it matter that I didn’t like it right then. I’d probably have tried it and/or liked it a lot sooner if he hadn’t kept pushing. So we stopped worrying and stopped pushing Callum.

The other thing, I have always encouraged Callum to help me prepare food and cook. This isn’t something that changed but, since he stopped nursery full time and I’ve been a SAHM, he is able to help me a lot more often with preparing and cooking dinners – in particular, he’s own. He loves it and when he is helping me he is keen to try the ingredients we are using. He tries raw foods, he smells herbs and he tastes the cooked food (when I’m checking it for seasoning etc). Because he has been involved with the cooking of it he is usually happily eats it all up. Take spaghetti bolognaise. He helps me cook it and then gobbles up a huge portion. There is plenty left over so I put it in the freezer for a later date. Some time later, I take it out of the freezer for his dinner – he wont touch it!

Remember the basic rule of parenting. The more we stress over every step or milestone, the less likely they are to get there and all that happens is we get a few more grey hairs and knock a few more years off our life. If we have faith that they will get it in their own time, it will all just full into place. So why should food be any different. All I will say is have faith, trust they will get there in their own time, don’t ever stop offering them a wide range of foods but don’t push them, they will get there!

Oh, and don’t forget to look up how much counts as a portion for kids – it really did help to relax me when I found out how little it was. I had thought it was a lot more – probably thinking more in terms of adult portions.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"People Seldom Notice Old Clothes If You Wear A Big Smile”

(the title is a quote by Lee Mildon)

Sometimes I have to envy my son. Every season, he gets a near complete wardrobe change – with just a few items kept over from last year/season. Admittedly, we are only talking Primarni’s finest, but even a new wardrobe from Primark would be welcomed by me.

What is with this? What is with this guilt I feel that stops me buying that winter coat (only £45) when I don’t own another. If I don’t get it, I’m going to be pretty damn cold when the predicted very cold winter arrives. It isn’t even as if I can just layer up with lots of jumpers – I took the tough decision to throw out my 7 year old tatty jumpers when we moved (along with my 3 year old winter coat) to force me to buy new ones when they were needed.

Fair enough, Callum is growing and so when I saw this morning that the trousers I had put Callum in had turned into peddle pushers (and they weren’t the first pair I’d noticed do that), after I put the last pair of PJs in the wash bin, wondering what he was going to wear that night, pulled out the last long sleeve jumper from his drawer, I decided to accept defeat and head to the shops. When buying new trousers I checked the label of the old ones – 18-24 months (he is 3!!). No wonder his trousers were resembling shorts more than winter trousers!

So, it had to be done – Callum did need new clothes. The wardrobe change wasn’t just for the fun of it.

The quality isn’t great but it is good enough for one season and all he would do is stain them with mud, grass, chocolate etc and get holes in them so why spend money on them – and if I paid for the quality, he’d be wearing the same outfit every day for the next 3-4 months. I got 4, no recounted, 5 pairs of trousers, 2 t-shirts, a gillet type thing (?), 3 jumpers and a pair of PJs for £49.

So there it is – that is that winter coat I need. The truth is, adult clothes cost a lot more than kids clothes even in the cheap shops! That’s why I can’t justify it.

I’d like to say that its because I get this warm glow from ensuring my child is clothed (along with fed, watered, safe etc) – and yes of course there is an element of that – like there is nothing better than giving someone the most perfect present – better than receiving one yourself. But I want new clothes too goddamit!

I hear all my friends going out and buying new clothes and they all look so glamourous so why can’t I bring myself to do it???

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Encouraging Independence

I posted a while back in April, State of Independence, about how independent Callum is – or maybe how lazy his parents are!

I read an interesting article in The Independent recently, written by a fellow blogger, Katie Gunn called ‘The Lazy Mother’s Guide to Parenting’. Not only was it good to know I wasn’t alone but it was also good to hear that, actually, I am probably doing Callum a favour.

It made me take another look at Callum’s ‘independence’ and I felt an update post was in order.
We all like to eke out that time in the morning when your child is up and you want just an extra 1 or 2 minutes (or hours) in bed. Well, we’re no different!

So, when Callum comes in to our room of a morning wanting breakfast, we try to convince him to play in his room for just 5 more minutes…Callum, not content with this thought has often gone downstairs and helped himself to cereal, pouring it in a bowl. Thankfully, he tends to then leave out the milk but there have been occasions where he hasn’t and there has been a large puddle of milk on the floor – he hasn’t quite worked out control while pouring yet.

He even started to make himself a cheese sandwich once (I may have told you that already) – it was when Stuart had to work from home as Callum was poorly then had a miracle turn around following the wonder of Calpol! While Stuart was caught up with work, we think Callum may have got bored (and too hungry) to wait for him to finish what he was doing.

I may have, on more than one occasion, gone along with his wish to wear wellies when it is bright sunshine outside because it means he can get them on himself without my help. In fairness, he has Velcro fastening trainers now, which he can also do himself, so all good!

I have often gone out with Callum looking like I dressed him in the dark, because he has chosen his own clothes and, of course, I want to ‘encourage him’ to make his own decisions…! Sometimes, I can’t blame Callum for his poor fashion sense as I have chosen the clothes but I don’t tell anyone else that of course!

I have started to let him go into the men’s toilet on his own when there is a wait for the ladies’. It makes perfect sense to me, we can either stand in a queue until its too late and there is a puddle on the floor, or he can go in to the men’s toilets on his own – he insists on going in a cubicle on his own anyway. I now just look like a weirdo hanging around outside men’s toilets trying to sneak a look in every time the door opens…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!Winking smile.

Callum is still at that age where he is happy to do jobs for you and help. Like, get you a piece of kitchen towel or something from the fridge say, like, erm, a can of beer for Daddy maybe (ahem!). And we’d never dream of exploiting him for his willingness to help, nope, not us! We may finish a sandwich and put the plate down on the floor intending to take it out when we next go. Callum will see it, pick it up and take it out for us – and then follows a crash as it is thrown into the sink, but hey, its saved us a trip…and washing up too, if the said item hasn’t survived the sink throw!

The following is slightly less focused on laziness but more in wonder at what else Callum can do on his own or what he tries to do…
  • He can now stand up to wee like a big boy.
  • He has actually done the washing up a couple of times!! Admittedly, I did have to rewash most of it but he didn’t do too bad a job.
  • He takes the washing up for me and puts the clothes away – I then have the funny task of trying to locate the clothes later. He usually separates his clothes from ours and puts his own clothes away correctly (or near enough) but he hasn’t quite mastered Stuart and my clothes yet. The other day I opened a drawer and found all of our clothes in the one drawer. At least he tries – you’ve got to reward him for that.
  • He helps me put food shopping away – and again, often does a pretty good job! No incidents of finding items in strange places yet, which is probably better than I could say for myself, especially when I was pregnant! (tea bags in the fridge and milk in the cupboard!)
  • He has been able to wash himself and clean his teeth himself for a while – probably not unusual for his age.
  • He feeds Lotté (the cat)
  • I’ve mentioned before that he helps me cook all the time, even cutting vegetables.
  • He helps me sort dirty laundry and likes to help me add tablets/softener to the washing machine.
  • He sweeps and mops the kitchen floor
(ok, maybe some of those still are focussed on lazy parenting…!)

This post isn’t meant to be one of those “look what my kid can do” as in a smug mother who thinks their child is better than everyone else’s – its actually meant to be just in wonder, as a mother, of what my child can do…as in comparison to what my husband can do, say…

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Pick of the Cherries

Stuart (my husband) and I enjoy football though don’t go along to lots of matches, in fact we can both count on one hand the number of times we’ve been to a league game – one of which was at AFC Bournemouth but pre-Callum. That said, having recently moved to Bournemouth, Stuart has adopted them as his chosen team and I have been keeping an interest (not wanting to completely give up the batten for Southampton FC).

We did attempt to take Callum to a local football match where we used to live, about a year ago. Unfortunately, he was clearly too young and unwilling to sit still long enough to watch a whole 90 minutes so we soon found ourselves playing tag team to walk up and down pitch-side trying trying to keep him entertained.

When I was presented with the opportunity to attend AFC Bournemouth for their Family Football Festival and to watch them play against Bury to review it on behalf of Netmums, I jumped at the chance hoping that Callum was now of an age that his attention span may just about stretch to the final whistle, helped along by all the excitement and distractions that a Family Football Festival may bring. The idea behind the Festival is to introduce new families to live football to show that it can be an enjoyable event for the whole family and similar events are taking place at 39 other npower football league matches across the country in October and November – find out more about it on their Facebook page. This seemed like the perfect time to reintroduce Callum to football in the hope that, should it be a success, we could go to more football matches in the future – and maybe, next time, I’d get to see Southampton play.

The fun opened at Seward Stadium at 12noon with a 3pm kick off.  We got there early (too early) so took the opportunity to check out the club shop to purchase a Cherries scarf for Callum and then headed to the Legends bar for a spot of lunch.

Initially, I was a little disappointed at the number of activities/stalls on offer as I had expected something maybe a bit more spectacular but, actually, it was probably about right for the crowd. There were a couple of charity stalls selling raffle tickets and a spot the ball competition, a balloon modeller (is that what they’re called?), a surfboard ride (you know the ones – where they gradually increase the speed until you fall off in a mass of arms and legs, bucking bronco style), a game where you can see how fast you can kick a football, an inflatable/bouncy obstacle course thing, singing from the Funky Little Choir Company and a face-painter.

Callum’s earlier grumpy mood faded into history as his eyes lit up and wanted to try it all. We steered him away from the kicking a football game – I am sure they would have let him have a go but there was already a small queue of older boys trying out their skills so thought it would be better to lead Callum to a more 3 year old appropriate activity. That also meant bypassing the surf board but Callum was easily persuaded away when he saw the inflatable assault course - he kicked off his shoes immediately and the next we saw of him was him disappearing in a jump down the other side of the slide at the other end.

After a few runs we took him to get his face painted. The woman doing the face painting was very good and offered a wide selection of choices displayed on a catalogue of photos ranging from monsters to princesses to team themed faces which is what Callum chose with absolutely no influence from us of course…ahem (see photos). There were meant to be 2 face painters apparently but the second person couldn’t make it (due to illness) which was a shame as she was very busy making every face a work of art, which did mean quite a wait in between each face. She was worth waiting for, however, as she was very good.

Next stop was to get a balloon hat! The balloon modeller was brilliant, making balloon staffs and hats in a multitude of designs and colours - I even saw a monkey & banana hat and a fish caught on a fishing rod. We got a cool, very tall hat for Callum in the team colours which meant we were less likely to lose him in the crowd, mainly because I was running inches behind him apologising to all the adults he kept taking out with the top of his hat.

Fans (both children and adults) had been encouraged to come in fancy dress with a prize for the winner. Knowing Callum wouldn’t last 5 minutes in any fancy dress outfit, we ducked out of this one but Callum took a shine to a poor woman dressed as Elmo who kindly posed for a photo. Cherry Bear, the Club’s mascot was also present wondering around the stalls waving to young fans and posing for photos but Callum wasn’t so convinced.

Once inside the stadium, we were seated in the Family Stand. It was lovely to see so many families and such a mix of men, women, boys and girls in attendance filling up the stand. There were signs requesting supporters watch their language while in the family stand with a text number if someone was upset by language of another fan. This really gave the impression that the stadium values families. Everyone was impeccably behaved and created a pleasant environment for children. Although, there was one comical moment when a father hurriedly covered the mouth of his young son as he started to call out “The Ref’s a …” (allowing other adult supporters to fill in the blank with a word of their choice).

Callum was quite fidgety at the start of the game but, with the help of a clementine in the first half, a hot dog at half time and an apple in the second half (the apples are given out free for under 16s by the club), he made it through the game and I think quite enjoyed it – although disappointed at the end that he didn’t get to actually play ‘kickball’ himself. I would recommend taking lots of food/snacks/drinks with you if you are planning to take a 3 year old to the football to keep them occupied but would take your own as I did think the food available at the stands inside the ground, was a little on the pricey side.

Overall, it was an enjoyable day, only being let down by Bournemouth being beaten 2-1 by Bury. I would definitely take Callum back to the club for another match (armed with lots of food). I’m  a little envious, reading other people’s reviews of the Family Football Festivals that took place at other clubs as there were no tours, half-time entertainment, mascot races etc for us but AFC Bournemouth is only a little club and Callum had a great time which is what is important.


  • Reserved, free parking space in front of the stadium (thank you)
  • Elmo (for Callum)
  • Balloon modeller
  • Face painter


  • Price of food/drink in the ground
  • Not getting to meet any footballers (but that’s just me Smile with tongue out)
  • Bournemouth losing 2-1

A few photos of our day:

I am a member of the Netmums Parent Bloggers Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team from our database to review products and brands on their behalf. I am paid an expenses fee to cover my time but Netmums have no editorial control whatsoever about what I blog about. Being a member of the Netmums Blogging Network means that I can 'opt in' to try out products and brands and get my expenses covered but that I retain full editorial integrity.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Gush, gush, oh my, I’d just like to thank

I am very flattered to have received the award of “Versatile Blogger” from two fellow bloggers, Sian at Pie and Bear and Aimee at The Perfect-Bad Mummy. To receive the awards from these lovely ladies is truly flattering as they both have such brilliant and unique blogs themselves.

It still amazes me that anyone reads what I write (I’m still not entirely convinced they do) but this helps fuel my fantasy, so I am delighted to accept it as true.

So, having received this award, I must now follow some protocol by completing the following 3 steps:

1. Thank the blogger who has awarded me and link back to them

Big, HUGE, thanks to the lovely Sian & Aimee and again I share with you their blogs:

Sian = Pie and Bear A personal, yet light-hearted account of reaching parenting milestones. Just so damn gorgeous in looks and nature and produces stunning children – I just wish I could hate her but I can’t she is just too lovely!

Aimee = The Perfect-Bad Mummy Hilarious parenting blog that says out loud what we are all thinking. With her writing, she makes me feel I’m not alone in the daily motherhood battles as I read about events all too familiar which teaches me to see the funnier side of life as we now know it!

2. Share 7 things about myself

OK, so now the tough bit…if you read my blog, you probably already know a fair bit about me but I’ll try to think of something new:

  1. I got married to my lovely husband, Stuart, in 2006 to 30 friends and family in the lovely country of Cyprus. It was everything I dreamed it would be and would recommend it to everyone and anyone.
  2. I love singing...but before you start pleading me for my cd and expecting to see me as the next winner of XFactor…I cannot sing for toffee…though would give it a good go for a Lindor chocolate (that said, I’d give anything a go for a Lindor!). I sing all the time, in shops, in front of strangers (just loudly to myself mind, not as a performance), not to mention of course the shower and in the car (in competition with Callum) etc and I LOVE singstar!
  3. I have 3 tattoos,a fairy on my butt, a heart and swirly pattern on my lower back and a swirly pattern with butterfly on my foot. The latter being my first mother’s day present from Callum – does that go down in history as the most weirdest first mother’s day present ever?
  4. Bad Party Trick No.1: I can down a pint in about 6 seconds and was taught how to do so by a boy I used to go to school and work with but instead of beer, at the time, it was pina colada. I say ‘at the time’ not that it morphed into something else over the years (which of course it did) but because I have changed the beverage to beer following the lesson learnt at that time.
  5. Bad Party Trick No.2: I am really rather good at the ‘Cereal Box’ game. If you are not familiar with the game, you take a cereal box and attempt to pick up the box using only your mouth without any other part of your body touching the floor (or any furniture) apart from your feet. Once everyone in the group has achieved it, you tear off a layer, and so the game continues until you are down to a flat piece of box. If you fall over or touch the floor with another part of your body you get another 2 tries before you are out, unless you give up. The game is usually only suggested (and usually by me) after consuming far too many vinos and still, nine times out of ten, I get down to the flat piece of cardboard.
  6. I like football (playing and watching), climbing, horse-riding, drawing, writing poetry (both the last two I tend to do better at while drunk), body-boarding and more – alas, I don’t actually do any of them anymore as I have a child!
  7. My favourite flower is a bright pink gerbera – which was also the main flower used in my wedding bouquet…just in case you were thinking of buying me any..? No? Oh, ok then.

3. Pass the award(s) along to other newly discovered blogs

This is me, Fluff and all – by, er, me! Oh, is it not cool to plug yourself, is that not the deal…oh alright then.

Hopes Dreams and Morning Sickness – by Kay. She is new to blogging but is inviting you to share with her, her pregnancy journey for her second child.

Easy Meal Planner – by Alison, a true foodie. She offers reviews and experiences as she tests food and drink recipes and she’ll even plan a menu for you right down to the shopping list.

Just the two (other than me) for the moment as I have started following a couple of other new ones recently but access them through Twitter and haven’t yet saved their urls. Will update at a later date.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nursery Update & Another Funny

Firstly, nursery!

So, today is Friday, when he goes to nursery for the whole day.

We get up this morning and I say about going to nursery. The conversation goes like this:

Callum: “No, I don’t like it”
Me:  “You said you enjoyed yourself on Monday and when I asked if you wanted to go back Friday, you said yes – today is Friday”
Callum: “no, I want to go in the car”
Me: “What the car to nursery?”
Callum: “Noooooooo not nursery the car”
Me: “We can’t go to nursery in the car, its walking distance, we walk to nursery”

Anyway, we kind of leave it there and get ready to leave. He tries to suggest that we are going to the green man, as this is in the opposite direction to nursery but no, we don’t need to cross the green man to go to nursery.

Eventually, he seems to accept it. We have a little game of ‘running to nursery’ – odd child likes running with me.

We get to nursery and put his slippers on then he virtually pushes me out of the door. I thought we had a few more years yet before he got embarrassed of me dropping him at the school gates! There he is pushing me and saying bye and goes into breakfast. Fair enough! Guess he is settled now then!


So now for the funny thing…

Callum decides the other day he needs a tissue so goes off to get one. He comes back saying “tissue gone”. Remembering the kitchen roll was empty I tell him I know, I need to get a new one down (off the cupboard where its kept). He disappears again so I assume he has gone to the downstairs loo instead and think no more of it. Then Stuart and I hear “I’ve found it”. Stuart goes to see what he’s found and I hear Stuart laughing from the kitchen and saying “not quite right Callum but well done”…I go out to see what’s up…see for yourself, you’ve gotta love him!



Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Funny Little Man

Just a quick post to log a few things that Callum has said/done recently that have made me giggle…

  1. A little while ago now but Callum and I were at my mum’s (Nana's) enjoying the back garden and I was sitting with Callum on my lap. The topic of conversation turned to hair cuts. I said to Callum “We should get Nana to cut your hair, go and get a bowl and Nana will cut it for you” making reference to bowl hair cuts of my youth (luckily not me but there were many a terrible style at the hands of my mum – the nickname ‘sideburns’ may have been adopted for me at some point and my fringe may have started from my crown for a while!!!). The conversation moved on and we thought no more of it and I hardly noticed when Callum jumped off my lap. The next thing Callum walks out with a bowl in his hands. Mum and I are asking if he wants something to eat trying to work out why he is holding the bowl and he is now looking rather confused and tugging at and saying “hair” when it dawns on me – he has got a bowl so Nana can cut his hair! He he!
  2. When Stuart was in the bathroom shaving the other day Callum said something to him which Stuart misheard.

    Stuart: “Daddy is pretty?”
    Callum: “No Daddy isn’t pretty, Mummy is pretty”
  3. Callum has had a couple of bumps recently – one was falling off his bed (while jumping on it) and hitting his mouth on his toy box and putting his tooth through his lip. The other was less of a bump but he cut his finger with a knife when cutting vegetables with me. In both cases I have asked him to hold tissue pressed against it. The other day he disappeared for a couple of minutes and just when I was thinking he must be up to no good he came in clutching a wad of toilet tissue against his chin saying it was poorly. Now I hadn’t heard a bump, a yelp, crash, cry etc so was a little sceptical. He asked me to hold it but wouldn’t let me look underneath. Eventually he said it was ok now so when I took off the tissue, sure enough, it was absolutely fine. Strange monkey!
  4. While getting changed after swimming the other day, Callum roared so I said “are you a lion?”, Callum said “lion” pointed to my lady bits and then roared again. I promptly booked in a wax and have now ‘tamed my lion’!!!!! Surprised smile
  5. Callum loves singing very very loudly and equally as badly in the car. He doesn’t really hear or know the words to the songs so he either makes up his own or just goes “aaaahhhhh” usually. He often tells me off for singing when I sing along to the words as “no mummy, mine ding” (in other words he wants me to stop singing because he wants a turn). I keep telling him we can both sing together but he isn’t having an of it! This, alone, makes me giggle but today he was singing along to Matt Cardle’s new song “Run for your liiiiiiiiiiiife” but was instead singing “No more caaaaaaaaaaars” Laughing out loud

    No idea why, I think that’s what he actually thought the words were and he even congratulated himself when the song finished!

I will try to update with any new ones that occur – I’m looking forward to the funny stuff he will start to come out with now he is getting better at speaking. Though I imagine I’ll be regretting that when he starts to announce embarrassing or unpleasant things loudly in supermarkets while pointing at strangers. I’ve heard the stories from others so I am sure my turn will come.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Insecurities and Emotional Battles

Callum is having a bit of a hard time settling in to nursery. As is common, he plays when he is there but he really doesn’t want to go.

This morning was particularly tough. We started walking and talking about nursery and he said “I don’t want to go, I don’t like it” but I said he would have fun and play with lots of friends etc. Then when we got to the road that leads to his nursery road he stopped and wouldn’t go up it. He was saying “No, I want to go that way” wanting to continue on the road we were on. I had to pick him up and carry him there. He cuddled into me and made little whinnying noises. I took him in to breakfast and he held on tight to my hand not wanting me to go. I’m pretty sure as soon as I left the room he was better – one of the nursery carers sat next to him and started talking to him about his monkey (a stuffed toy monkey he took with him not anything weird!!!)

I start talking about nursery the day before he goes so he can prepare himself and on the morning I keep saying how long he’ll go for and when I will be there to pick him up. I’m trying to have something nice for him when I pick him up – either a little present or treat of some sort. On days (like today) when he is only there for half a day I ask him what he wants to do in the afternoon and we do something fun.

I am pretty sure its because he is only there 1.5 days – I remember when he was going to his previous nursery in Godalming for 1 day a week he never really settled until he went there full time. However, we can’t afford to send him there full time at the moment while I’m out of work. The days are split with the half day on Monday and the full day on Friday so I might ask to see if we can move the half day to be next to the full day.

The reason I am finding it so hard, despite my logical brain telling me as soon as I leave and the door closes behind me, he is happy as a sandboy and will be just fine, is because my emotional brain remembers when I was a 7/8 year old child. I wont go into detail but I was bullied by my cousin. My family used to be really close and pretty much every Friday was spent at my aunt & uncles (or so it felt to the younger me). My parents would stay there late and they would put me to bed there either on one of my cousin’s bedroom floor on a temporary bed or on the sofa in the lounge. What they didn’t know was my cousin was bullying me and so when I used to beg and plead that they didn’t leave me there when they left (to pick me up in the morning not because they didn’t want me any more I hastened to add!!), I really did mean it, I was petrified of waking up the next day in the same house. Often when I was asked if I ‘wanted’ to stay, my cousin used to hide around the corner and make me say yes when I soooooo didn’t want to. Anyway, like I said, that’s a different story and not one I’m going to go into but I said to myself as I grew up, I would listen to my child if s/he pleaded with me not to leave him/her somewhere. My parents trusted my cousin and they had no reason to fear something untoward was going on and just thought I was being silly and were sure I was having lots of fun. How were they to know?

Anyway, I picked up Callum after lunch today and I always take the chance when I first arrive to spy on him and, sure enough, he was happily playing. He gave me a big hug and then didn’t stop rabbiting to me. I asked him if he enjoyed nursery today and had fun to which he said a believable yes. I asked him if he wanted to go back to nursery on Friday and, once again, he said yes. So this has helped and reassured me that the morning faffing is just a little bit of insecurity and, naturally ;o), he’d just rather his Mummy got to enjoy his day at nursery with him!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Monkeying Around

Today we went to Monkey World near Wareham with a couple of friends and their 2.5 year old son.

We all had a lovely day and there was no risk of mistaking the boys for monkeys – the monkeys were the ones behind the bars silly!


But seriously, they were really well behaved and played lovely together. Callum was so excited about seeing the monkeys and playing with Tristan, asking “Where’s Tristan” every 10 seconds for the whole journey there and having to explain each time, he was still in the car in front of us.

So, obviously, we saw lots of monkeys and some up close. My personal favourites are the marmosets – so cute and small.


Around all the cages they had plaques up introducing the monkeys along with how they came to be at Monkey World – so sad to hear how they have been treated before.

It was a little expensive to get in - £11 per adult and £7.75 for Callum (charges started at 3 years old for children) but, if we had planned better, I imagine there was probably some kind of discount voucher out there and you could clearly see where the money had gone inside. It was very clean with lots of well made playground activities for the children and there were lots of covered enclosures with Perspex/glass separating you from the monkeys often allowing you to get quite close to the monkeys or see clearly without bars restricting your view. Callum was a little scared of the big cheeky chimpanzees that were banging against the glass and asking the public for kisses from the other side of the pane.


There were regular talks from the keepers throughout the day at different enclosures which we didn’t get to hear – we were there from about 11 until about 2.30 and could probably have spent longer there but I wasn’t too disappointed as I’d be happy to go back there (as I am sure Callum would love to) and this way it means we haven’t already exhausted the place – and next time I hope not to miss out the Stump-Tailed Macaques like we did this time.

Can’t believe I’m actually saying I want to go back as I’m not normally a fan of monkeys – far too intelligent and naughty because of it for my liking. Bloody typical that I was born in to the Monkey Chinese birth sign!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More to Me Than Mummy?

Recently, I've been feeling a bit brighter about life.

I've been 'coping' with being a Stay At Home Mum ("SAHM") helped by keeping my days busy. This week for example:

Monday - am: Callum is in nursery and went for a run (3.7miles this week!) then I cleaned (never enough time to do a whole house in 2 hours so half always remains unclean!!) before picking Callum up after lunch; pm: got the bus into Bournemouth for shopping and a play on the beach, walking back along the sea front in time for dinner

Tuesday - am: swimming; pm: wonder around Burley (small New Forrest village) then a couple of mop up cleaning jobs

Wednesday – Mum is over all day so will do a couple of mop up cleaning jobs, receive delivery of food shopping then head into town for a mooch. Hopefully, will squeeze in a run when mum arrives.

Thursday – Babysitting (well, he is a 12 year old boy, hardly a baby!!!) for my sister and getting an ooochy ouchy wax (say no more!)

Friday – Callum’s first full (after last week’s never happened) day at nursery when I will be putting my head down to study after a quick mum’s meet with some Twitter peops.

Writing it all down like that, there seems very little in there for Callum but we do something for him each day. Admittedly, more often it is the beach (its still a novelty) but sometimes it’ll  be the park, he enjoys playing with my niece, the visit to Burley today was for him so we could see some New Forest ponies. OK, so the ponies didn’t want to be seen today but we did see a couple of donkeys about 200 meters away. And, of course, the swimming this morning was for him – though I do enjoy it too.

But even keeping busy, and even though it sounds like I’m doing a lot for me, I still struggle mentally once in a while. Like today! I did enjoy swimming but then after swimming I just,well,couldn’t be bothered. I felt like saying “I’m booooorrreeeed” like I did as a grumpy teenager in the school summer holidays. I didn’t want to return home as I would have to clean and that was like my mum saying “well tidy your room if your bored”! But I didn’t want to do anything either. I’m spoilt, I live in a wonderful place but today I felt like I’d already exhausted a lot of it. I haven’t – there is so much I haven’t done or seen – but they are still the same ‘kind of things’ even if they are in different places. I’m feeling my rut closing in on me. I’m losing the will to want to look for work but am quietly panicking inside that this is it for the rest of my life and I wont be able to get back to doing the work I enjoy, have been building my experience up for, am becoming more qualified to do.

This ‘job in the pipeline’ is still there but I am waiting! Waiting for someone else to shout jump and I’m not good at waiting. Once someone has an idea, I like to take action immediately otherwise I start to get the fear that it’ll never happen…and often never does. I hate procrastinating.

But today, I am sure, is just a blip…tomorrow, next week, soon…I will be back fighting again, spurred on by a glimpse of a different future on a different day. There must be more to me than just being ‘Mummy’. Its probably just alcohol withdrawals – I had the wise (read crazy) idea to only drink alcohol at the weekend. Roll on Friday!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Poorly Prioritising

So, today is Friday - Nursery Day! Callum's first full day at nursery...but he is poorly :o(

It must be over a year since he was last poorly with anything more than a cold so I guess he was due his turn. I remember for the first year of Callum's life he didn't have a single bug! I breast fed him for first 4 weeks so he had my immunity (which I do think is rather good if I do say so myself!!!) but I was still amazed for a tiny new baby to not come down with anything for his first year in the world! I had just decided he must be a super freak of nature (a lovely one at that of course) that was immune to all the worlds bugs and that scientists were going to be taking samples of his blood to cure all manner of previously incurable diseases...then shortly after he came down with his first bug (I forget what it was now!). Anyway, apart from the first couple of months of nursery when he caught every bug going, as is the norm for starting nursery, he has been a pretty healthy child for his short 3 years of life.

So, it is horrible seeing him so sad and poorly. The first 45 minutes after waking up he cried. Nothing hurt, he didn't feel sick (though I'm not sure if he knows what this means), he wasn't tired, he just wanted to lay down in bed and have a cuddle (while still crying). I've no idea what is wrong with him and he doesn't have a temperature but he is clearly not I make the call! I ring nursery and tell them Callum wont be coming in today...and then fight back the selfish thoughts.

I'm clearly really lucky at the moment as I am still not working so I don't have to take holiday or parent leave etc so I should count my blessings. run...the study I had been putting off until today as I would have a whole peaceful day to concentrate on whole day of 'freedom'...sob. I don't get to have selfish thoughts when you are a put those thoughts into a little box, put on Bugs Life (for the 100th time) and snuggle up on the sofa under a blanket...there is someone more important than me today that needs me! And the only selfish thought I allow myself is "I've got to make the most of these cuddles before he grows up into a teenager and doesn't want a cuddle anymore!"