Sunday, 6 March 2016

Celebrating a job for life

I've always enjoyed celebrating Mother's abs Father's Days.  Long before I became a parent,  I knew it was something I had to do.

I've always appreciated the things my parents have done for me,  and the love they gave no matter how I behaved.  They could be angry with me,  SO angry, and deservedly so,  but I always knew they loved me and would always be there for me.

Now I'm a parent and the days seem to slip by too quickly.  Sometimes I worry that I'm not doing enough,  but then I stop,  take a breath and just know that even on a bad day when I haven't sorted a nice dinner or I'm behind on the washing and his Pj's are not as fresh as they should be,  I stop, I remember that those things don't matter.  He won't remember.  He'll remember that instead of doing all the housework or hanging the clothes out to dry,  we were jumping in puddles,  painting pictures,  racing cars and enjoying cuddles.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Time for an adventure

About a month ago, O started showing lots of interest in his mum and dad's trips to the loo.  He would sometimes ask to sit on it, but only fully dressed.  He also started asking us to check his nappy and would say "poo!", sometimes he'd only pumped, other times he'd had a wee, but either way he was conscious of what was happening and communicating it.

The idea of toilet training has been on my mind for a while and honestly terrifies me - ha ha!  We've had a potty kicking around for a while and apart from one very flukey wee it's generally been kicked about or used as a hat.

I decided to just skip the potty and invested in a family toilet seat.  Oscar's loved being a big boy sitting on there every so often and has his own step to climb off.  Actually he uses the step to climb up to the windowsill and steal my toiletries.

Two nights ago while getting ready for bed he was rather insistent he wanted to sit on the toilet.  After the third visit he finally had a wee and was so excited :)

The following night, we were getting ready for bed and he asked for the toilet again.  This time he got it first time. Then this morning again, and this afternoon before his nap.

Woah!  My "baby" is toilet training, he's not a baby anymore.

We're on an adventure and I'm so proud of him.  Wish us luck!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Grabbing Opportunities

I absolutely love it when your plans are changed in the blink of an eye into something you wouldn't ordinarily do but which turn out to be even better.

Today's plan was to drop D off at work, go buy a raincoat for O and head home.  Very simple and not very exciting, but a plan that I actually felt a bit stressed out about. 

As I wandered around that large well known chain for baby and children clothes and supplies I heard a voice talking to me (not in my head,  I hasten to add), and without even thinking turned around and said,  "OK". It's one of those vague responses I tend to do when I'm not concentrating or haven't heard properly and I'm too embarrassed to explain I'm deaf and didn't hear. 

What had I just committed to?  Apparently the photographer had a cancellation and I'd agreed to fill it.  PANIC!!! I immediately questioned how much it would cost,  and was pleased to hear it was free. Where's the catch I thought,  and asked.  No catch, one free image emailed within 72 hours,  and we can choose to purchase any others, or not.   Nothing to lose really,  no commitment to buy.  No bank or card details provided,  all safe. 

The session lasted about 20 minutes,  and O really enjoyed himself.  We're going back next weekend to review the other photos and decide if there's any we want,  I can't wait! 

While we were in a fun and adventurous mood I decided not to go straight home.  A purchase of a raincoat and a bargain puzzle in the sale, O and I set back out to have a mooch.

For a while now I've wanted to get my eyebrows threaded (long overdue!) but am never alone to do it, and couldn't work out logistically how I would do it,  but this time I thought sod it,  I can do this. 

O was in the sling,  so I switched him round to a front carry and joined the queue.  I did catch some puzzled looks but adopted my,  "we're having fun and I don't care face".  Music was playing in the background and O was getting quite bouncy.  We had a little jive together, and I quite forgot we were in a shop,  in a queue, with people watching, ha ha! 

When it was my turn,  I sat down in the chair,  and slipped my arms out of the straps so O just sat on my tummy while the girl worked on my eyebrows. He thought it was hilarious but very quickly decided it was the perfect opportunity to just have a cuddle instead.  It couldn't have gone better. 

To some it may not seem like a big deal but it just reinforced to me that really all you need is to be positive and believe anything is possible and what seems like a challenge can be awesome,  and fun. 

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Time to plan

In 1976, the Chinese Year of the Dragon, the hottest summer in history (at that time), I came rushing into this world. I think many of my family and friend would agree the Year of the Dragon is fitting for me, and suits my forthright, argumentative and fiery nature.

It's now 2016, the Year of the Monkey, and I feel it's definitely going to be full of some monkeying around. In August I'll turn 40, and I don't want to just let this pass by without proper celebration.

I'm not one for big loud parties and huge celebrations, but I do want to do something that makes this birthday memorable.  I want to be able to look back on the day and know that it was special, never to be repeated, and cherished.

When I look back at my happiest memories, it's never anything huge, it's the little things, the things that have taken time, thought and care, not the huge gestures or the expensive gifts and public demonstrations of affection.

It's been the impromptu moments and decisions to take a roadtrip, but it's also been the meticulously thought out but carefully planned cosy times.

I can't quite decide how I want my 40th to go this year. Do I want to be home? Do I want to be with family,with friends, with just my Other Half? Do I want to make a day of it, a weekend, a week even?

I've only got 8 months to work it out......

Sunday, 8 November 2015

That wonderful time

It's that time of year again.  Halloween and Guy Fawkes is over (although the blasted fireworks keep going off),  and our thoughts turn to the next big thing in our social calendar


Don't get me wrong,  I love Christmas,  Always have done, but as the years go by I'm becoming increasingly disappointed with how materialistic it has become.

This year we've spent a grand total of £30 on our little one, but the money is irrelevant. We've chosen small things which he will get so much enjoyment out of and more importantly we can play with together, and spend time together with, as a family.

My memories of Christmas as a child were all about the family.  Spending time together,  playing laughing and caring for each other.  I can still remember the build up to Christmas, buying the tree together, decorating it and singing the Christmas Tree song.  Dad would 
make his Rum Baba(?), and mum would be in charge in the kitchen cooking up a storm.  I can remember helping in the kitchen, although this was probably actually limited to fighting with my brothers over who licked the spoon, and who got the bowl!  

Christmas day itself was a morning of opening presents, and getting dressed up in our Christmas Day clothes before heading over to my Grandparents where the whole family would meet up to exchange gifts, drink coffee and eat too many sweets.  We'd all return to our own homes for Christmas Day dinner. Poor mum would be stuck in the kitchen putting together a feast, Dad was in charge of distributing the sherry and lighting the Christmas Pudding.  Afterwards there would be a brief spell of just lounging around, playing with our Christmas presents, occasionally playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, before helping mum lay out the table for the Christmas tea.

The family descended to ours in the evening.  In a good way, it always felt so much longer than an evening.  I can remember me and my cousin disappearing upstairs to put our make up on and do our nails, giggling and laughing and feeling super grown up.  Running from room to room, annoying the boys.  There was always a board game that the whole family would sit around and play. Particularly memorable was my eldest brother's game of Pass The Pigs, with hilarious consequences.

These days it seems to be spent travelling from house to house, a constant exchange of gifts, constant scheduling and arranging, trying to fit in seeing everyone.  A day of rushing, and not enough playing.  Checking what we've got and rushing to the sales to buy the things we didn't get.  By the time Christmas is over a holiday is needed to get over it.

I want the Christmas of Christmas Past.  I want it to be about sharing the love, spending time with people we care about, eating too many sweets, and playing lots and lots of games.

Bring back Christmas Past I say, bring back the fun and the laughter, forget about how much has been spent and who received what.  Focus on  the family and friends we're proud to call our family. Nothing else matters.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

A child of many names

As I sit here waiting on my little one to wake up it occurred to me just how many names he has.  Of course he has his birth name and we do use it,but we also have a lot of pet names for him, which he will respond to, and other ways of referring to him.

Take this for example, when he wakes up from his nap, I can almost guarantee that I will say something along the lines of "Hello, gorgeous, did you enjoy your nap?"  When he sees his dad, he will probably call him"mate", as in, "Hello mate!" and start trying to play with him.  The way his dad and I refer to him is very different and is probably more about our language and communication styles.

Then we have pet names.  I can't even tell you where they all came from, how they all started, but each and everyone of them makes me smile, especially when he recognises them as him.

The first one was probably by my lovely mate who took his initials and called him Ogl.  Sometimes we vary it and he has Ogl Sprogl.  The most frequently used is "Poo", and many variations of this.  We also have Oscasaurus as a result of a gift from his Nanny and that just stuck.

Before he was born, he was Wrigglebum, and that has stuck, he's still a wrigglebum now and can't sit still for more than 2 minutes.

His dad has a number of other things he uses but they're not very polite so I won't repeat them here - ha ha!

How many different names is your little one known by?

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Growing by the day

Before I had Oscar, also known as BOD (Before Oscar Descended), I used to go to Slimming World. I was definitely on the chubby side but lost about a stone and a half.   It took me a LONG time to lose that small amount as boy do I like my food. As well as liking my food I have a very bad habit of eating when bored and hitting sugar when I'm a bit stressed or worried about things.

Anyway,  the reason I lost weight initially was because I always worried that if I had a child I would struggle to keep up with him if I was overweight.  I wanted to make a huge change for the better. Once I discovered I was pregnant I was even more determined and monitored my weight while pregnant just to make sure I wasn't gaining more than I needed to.

Then Oscar arrived, also known as LAD (Life After Delivery), and I had lovely new mummy friends. We never went too far, and get togethers invariably involved lunch out somewhere, and quite often cake.

I got back into some really bad habits,  and apart from walking places, my exercise just went out the window. LAD was very chilled and I stopped being bothered about my size. My amazing body was feeding my baby and that was all I cared about.

Then I returned to work and all those leisurely lunches and coffee mornings stopped.  Oh, yes, everything goes back to normal right?  Nope. Work is full of goodies and work doesn't fulfil me like being at home spending time with the wee boy, and I'm forever distracting myself with food,  cakes,  sweets and crisps.  Whatever I can grab to be honest.

Combine that with being super tired all the time,  never exercising and eating rubbish at home,  I'm starting to resemble a blimp again.

Trouble is I have no idea how to motivate myself again. I need a goal, I need a plan.

Until I work it out, you'll find me in the corner eating cake.