September 2014

As I made my homemade fish pie I thought to myself how lovely it is to be able to make a home cooked meal as the children play happily in the other room. There won’t be that many opportunities like this when I’m back at work. I actually don’t know how I am going to do it. Mealtimes will have to be like a well oiled machine planned and organised well in advance. How leisurely my life feels at the moment. Even though the house permanently looks like a bombs hit it I have time to do some of the things I love, cooking, baking, knitting, writing blogs, etc. The ability to look after my home and family above everything else is wonderful. How lucky am I ?

Met some of my mummy friends today. Another nice perk of maternity leave, all these mothers meetings over coffee or lunch. Some are returning to work like me, counting the days, like me. Others are lucky enough to not have to go back to work (lucky cows). Am soooooo jealous ! The reality of returning to work is becoming closer. As I get my boy ready for school I wonder what it will be like when I can’t do that every day. He needs me there, right? As I dropped him off at school today he went to sit at one of the computers but got told abruptly he couldn’t by one of the other children. I of course step in (as he starts to walk away) and tell the other child he can and I make sure he does. Mrs protective mother looking after her boy! If I hadn’t been there he wouldn’t have stuck up for himself but I guess he will have to learn to. Life’s lessons learnt every day. Yesterday we nearly had tears as I dropped him off at school. Boy clung to my leg tightly and said ‘please don’t leave me here mummy’. Broke my heart. The teacher in the end had to come over and pull him away from me distracting him with an activity. So sad. That’s what schools about, I guess he needs to toughen up. Sad really, my sweet, soft little boy needs to grow up! All change.

My baby still won’t nap during the day. I was lucky with my boy who slept all the time, yes ALL the time. He had at least two long naps of at least two hours (sometimes four) during the day and slept all night. Lucky me! But I’m lucky if I get half an hour a day when I’m at home this time round. 15 minutes it was the other day. Just enough time to fold up some washing. Ooh lucky me!! She’s much better if we’re out actually and sleeps quite well in the car or pram. It’s enough to get me out of the house at least, the thought of her having a sleep. So much to do today at home though, if she will let me! Precious precious time though, so making the most of it.


Stick up for yourself my boy!!

Stick up for yourself my boy!!

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Chuffed to bits with my homemade blackberry cake. Lovely warm with double cream! Diet slightly out the window today! Blackberry picking is something we love to do. My boy loves eating them straight from the bramble. I’m slightly less worried about washing them first as it looses some of the appeal for my boy and therefore incentive to walk. So we let him. In Ended up breastfeeding my baby half way down the field in the blazing sun. Far from ideal but you manage don’t you? Got a lovely lot of blackberries. Plenty for a cake, a crumble and some for freezing. I also made some jam today from plums my hubby brought from one of the houses in the lanes. This was my second jar of plum jam which is already disappearing. Mmmm yum. May try to save this one for a Christmas present.

Soaking the blackberries to  Wash out all the bugs!

Soaking the blackberries to
Wash out all the bugs!

It’s so lovely to find my inner domestic goddess and have the time to some if these charming things. I’ve made jam in the past but not for a long time. I even entered the village show this year. God how old do I sound?! Never thought I would see the day. But off I went with my Victoria sponge and raspberry jam, actually believing i could get a rosette! But I never even got runner up, how disappointing. I’m obviously more competitive than I realised as I was actually gutted! At least I’ve checked out the competition for next year!

My yummy homemade plum jam

My yummy homemade plum jam

I have to laugh. How different my life is at the moment compared to when I am working. Life’s all about my family and home life at the moment. I love it. Never thought I would, but I do. This time of focus on my children and home is so precious. I cherish every day. I’m a million miles away from my other life in an office dealing with senior professionals and their many complex issues. I love my job, always have done, but I think I love this current life a little more. Ok, a lot more. At the moment.

It’s been a privilege being around for my boys first day at school. When for others it is a given. It’s great being here for my boy as well as looking after my new baby. How smart my boy looked on his first day at school. The one and only time he will look so pristine and perfect in his school uniform. He was so proud of himself as he walked to school, book bag in hand. Love him. This moment in our lives only slightly tainted by the fact he was the only boy wearing a red jumper when all the others wore blue. Why didn’t someone tell me? (Have ordered a blue one now). Hate that he might feel different to everyone else. Blending in at school was so important for me when I was at school. There was a slight tear in my eye as I left him on that first day. Such a moment in our lives. My boy, of course, completely oblivious to the significance. It’s a new chapter in his life and mine. A learning curve for all of us. I don’t know what I’m doing when he brings his first book home in his book bag. Surely he can’t read after just one day??!! Luckily we have a parents training afternoon on how to help teach your child to read and write. How different it is to when I was at school. He even came home with a self portrait he did on a computer and he can use a mouse……he’s four….what the hell?

My boys smart school shoes, still clean!

My boys smart school shoes, still clean!

I really cannot keep up with the speed my children are developing. It’s so scary. And I’m privileged enough to enjoy it every day at the moment. Imagine how quickly it’s going to pass when I’m back at work? 100 days to go…

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I’m so ready for my boy to start school, I thought to myself today as he disobeyed absolutely everything. But tonight as I sit here I am teary eyed at the thought of him starting school. As I watch another episode of one born every minute it only seems like yesterday he was born and new in my arms. Blink and it’s gone. I need to cherish every single moment of my baby girl being a baby. It goes so fast, too fast. It’s lovely when they are so in need of you. My boy has become so independent now.

Last evening I ended up taking my baby girl to hospital. She had a fever all weekend which I put down to her latest immunisations. But then she developed this rash and cried all day long, yes all day. It was a virus. Better to get it checked out given the rash I thought. So I’m ironing my boys school uniform tonight instead of last night (I had planned to do it last night to save me stressing tonight). Once again it is a manic evening of dinner, dishes, bathing, nappy changing, breastfeeding, teeth cleaning, bringing in washing, etc. and it’s late by the time I sit down. Very late. Hubby has gone out (lucky him). And who knows what time my baby girl will wake. Her sleeping is all a bit all over the place since she has been ill.

My best moment of the day has to be when we were at the park today. My baby girl decides when we get there a.) she is hungry and b.) she wants to do a massive runny poo. Great. So I breast feed her in the park and tell my boy to be good as I’m feeding. And he’s fine. Great, stage one successful now to stage two. So I lay my baby girl on the grass on her change mat and say to my boy ‘don’t run off stay where I can see you’. So mid change what does he do? Of course he runs off. Oh shit. Ok, what shall I do, leave my baby rolling around on the grass with poo seeping and dash after my boy? Or just continue with the nappy and pray my boy hasn’t gone far? Well, I left the nappy seeping, spotted my boy and shouted at him to come back. How out of control I must have seemed to others. I could feel the disapproving glances. More because I was changing my babies nappy in the middle of a park on the grass than for shouting I bet. I felt out of control for a few seconds. When I had completed the change and had my boy back I had stern words. I don’t think anything sunk in though. As we walked back to the car with him running off and refusing to hold my hand I said ‘roll on tomorrow when you start school!’. But I don’t think that now.

I’m thankful I’m on maternity leave to see my boy off tomorrow for his first day at school. It’s a scary thought and I’m sure is the reason why I’ve been feeling anxious all week. What a big boy. Make the most of being there to drop him off and pick him up I thought. I love being here for him (even if he thinks he doesn’t need me!), just as his mummy, nothing else but that. 103 days to go.

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110 days to go…

5 weeks in to the school holidays and I sat there this morning on my sofa looking at my boy (4 years) and baby girl (4 months) without an ounce of motivation to get up and do anything.  Nope not a thing. I knew if I didn’t I would regret it as my boy would be climbing the walls, his demands increasing at pace and my baby would not want to be put down or nap so probably would  moan ALOT.  So I sat there and text anyone I could think of with children to assist me in my mission to keep my children busy, happy and entertained.  It’s always easier when other parents and children are on board. But no one was available (sigh and sad face) so it was all up to me today.  So I had no choice, I had to find some get up and go. After 30 mins of pondering the web for ideas to entertain my lovelies, I made the decision to take them to a local animal attraction about 45 mins drive away.

So I packed the car, the kids and off we went. How peaceful it is whilst driving I thought. My boy now has an in car DVD player to keep him entertained.  This was supposed to be a temporary arrangement whilst we holidayed in cornwall but I have come to realise it is an absolute must in order to avoid ‘are we there yet’ every minute of every journey be it 5 minutes or 5 hours.  I watch his face in the mirror and his changing expressions as he watches his movie (so cute).

When we get there my boy not satisfied with heading to the attraction we had planned to visit, spots another one on the way and virtually begs me to go in.  Me being soft of course agrees, knowing we would end up doing both anyway. What the hell, it will pass more time I thought to myself.  So I dodged and dived my way through a very cramped and busy attraction (obviously not designed with prams in mind) with a 4 year old who kept wondering off and with my baby asleep in her pram thinking ‘please don’t wake, please don’t wake’, getting generally hot and bothered.  Asking strange men to help lift the pushchair up and down steps (cringe) added to the fun.  We make it to our original destination and whizz round so quick it hardly feels like we have been.  You never get a chance to look at anything for more than a second with a 4 year old!

So next it was lunch, ‘can I have this, can I have that…’echoing in my ears. And as always I’m looking for that more private spot in order to breast feed.  Only to realise that by sitting next to the glass inside the people sat outside can see me in full view! Never mind, I care slightly less these days.  It’s the usual routine of opening all my boys food so he can get to it all without complaining (scrapping the rule of eating sandwiches before crisps for ease and reduce whining), cutting my food in to bite size pieces so I can eat one handed and latching the baby on before the crying accelerates. And we eat, all of us together, almost in quiet. As I eat I’m planning the journey back to the car in my head.  I knew there was a reason to save the ice cream for the walk back to the car, my boy walked all the way back no complaints AND holding my hand! Score to mummy!

So after a successful trip with basically my boy getting almost everything he wanted along the way (including a mini dino in an egg which slimed the inside of my car) and baby sleeping a lot (whoop whoop) I was surely in for a chilled out afternoon…actually no.  There’s dinner to make, breakfast dishes to do (left this morning in haste), washing to put on and dry, hoovering to do, nappies to change, baby to breast feed, snack to make for my boy, 30 day ab and squat challenge to complete (am stretching whilst writing this)…..I’m pooped and not in a very good mood!

So as well as venturing out on our trip and the usual daily tasks there’s been poo on the floor and sick down my cleavage, super fun!! I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.  I have realised I am actually expected to be superwoman.  This has become increasingly the case since my maternity leave started 4 months ago, whereby for some reason people (namely hubby) seem to think I now have an easy life and have all the time in the world. For example, to keep the house looking like a show home.  I wish!! Why should my hubby do the dishes when he has been at work all day? Ironically he wants to walk out the door the minute the kids are screaming and being difficult, admitting then that it’s actually hard work! What I would give for a day at work for a break! I don’t mean it of course. I am actually devastated at the the thought of leaving my beautiful babies in the hands of others.  My emotions are torn between resentment for having to go back to work and an ambition to go back to work and do well, to better my childrens lives.  My role as a mother versus my role as a professional manager. Two separate identities. I assume this is a common conflict for a lot of working mothers.

How will I cope when I’m back at work?? Ah well 110 days to go. Not that I’m counting. Many more ventures to enjoy before that!

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