> Mushypea, Sprout et al: 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Fourteen months

Life seems to have taken over and run away with itself these past few months although I do wonder whether that is just me making excuses as to my lack of blogging.  Time becomes increasingly precious and it is such a fine balancing act that some things have been neglected completely.  This, I assure you, has not been for lack of subject matter that I have wanted to write about but more due to my dire time management skills it seems.

Munch is now fourteen months old and he becomes this ever more forceful presence in our lives as his personality and sense of self develops.  Yes, gone is the babe in arms, gone is the being that listened when you called his name or said no - instead we have this loving, playful little boy that tests those invisible boundaries every day in the name of learning and discovery.  I have gone from the stay at home mum to the full timer that snatches precious minutes with her son and wanting to make the most of all days off.  My reality is that every so often I am praying for the return to work for the break; at work I can operate on auto-pilot and there is a rhythm that sits well with my personality. 

Since starting nursery Munch has been subjected to the sharing that is childhood illness. It was expected but it has seemed an endless cycle of colds, coughs and then there was the vomiting bug that struck and which he kindly shared with me and Sprout.  Our first family illness - hurrah!  It was awful, truly awful; being a parent cannot stop when you yourself are ill regardless of how sorrowful you may be feeling.  I don't want to have that shared experience ever again if possible.  Munch's illness has always taken hold on my days off which has meant they have been spent with a cranky little boy.  Throw into the mix the teething that is neverending and it has taken its toll on my patience - only the other week I turned to Sprout and told him I was seriously reconsidering reducing my hours next year.  I know it's a phase that his developing body is going through but it upset me so much that he was always fine when going to nursery but not when we were off together. I remind myself it's not always going to be rosy!

I am afraid to have to admit that I often question whether I could ever be a full time stay at home mum.  Sometimes the run of three consecutive days off work makes me want to cry as I realise that I do not have the patience, energy or know how as to how the stay at home parents manage the role 24/7.  Personally, I function better as a mother and person having that break away from Munch - does that make me a bad mother?  I feel as though my mothering qualities are not all there because of this but I know I would be hanging by a thread if things were different.

We had the excitement of going to get Munch's first shoes. That first visit ended with no shoes as his feet were not big enough!  Fast forward another few weeks and we handed over our hard earned money for the tiny shoes to be advised that he would need his feet measuring in another six to eight weeks. What?  No wonder it costs however many thousands to bring up a child is all I can say!  He now toddles about in the house and at nursery without hesitating; try putting him on his feet outside and he reverts back to the trusty crawl at the hint of danger - this is a work in progress indeed.

He is attempting to copy words we say now.  His vocabulary is growing in fits and starts but we are very proud that he has mastered "Ta"; manners maketh the man and all that.  He has dad, daddy, mama, duck, fish, shoes, sock, toes, toast, hiya, tickle, who's that, what's that and yes so far.  Munch babbles away and picks up different sounds all the times but is less than impressed with our understanding so Mummy and Daddy have some catching up to do.  It has been truly amazing how he learns and we constantly wonder how on earth the children of the world do it.  If I was to learn all the things they have to as an adult you would find me hiding under the covers in bed throwing a tantrum!

He giggles at the strangest things - the words mushroom and penguins no less.  I have no explanation but maybe he'll explain it to me one day.  We went through a period of Munch hating his bath times which lasted a couple of weeks and now we are back to him having fun in it. So much fun that he scoots to the farthest side away from us when it's time to get out!  He kicks his legs, tries to drink the water and stomps on the spot with a huge grin on his face.  It is a grin that is slowly filling with those pearly whites, he has four top and bottom now and my fingers have gone nowhere in that mouth for fear of having my fingers bitten off.  It is still safe to pop a finger down the side to check for molars but not for much longer I think.

Fourteen months our precious little boy has been in our home and what a journey it has been.  As Christmas approaches it is the family time we get to spend that is appealing. Am I ready?  Shhhh, I haven't even got one present yet and am in denial right now.  What have/haven't I done?

Until next time. Thank you for reading my waffle!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

366 days of Munch

 So, today our Munch will have been with us for a whole three hundred and sixty-six days - this is excluding the period spent lodging in my belly of course.

This day has arrived far quicker than either of us could ever have imagined and it has gotten more and more exciting as the day approached.  What do we do to celebrate this milestone?  We are marking today by spending it together as a family for it is the exact same number of days since we became one.  There will be celebrations held more for the benefit of us adults than for him once the weekend arrives.  The chances of Munch remembering his first birthday celebrations are very, very slim but as parents we will remember this day forever just as we do the day he arrived. (Should you like to read Munch's birth story you'll find it here, if you'd like Sprout's take on events you can read his here.)

Three hundred and sixty-six days of new experiences and changes and this is just the beginning.  We have both made our way through the maze of parenting and have survived with one child in possession of all limbs intact - phew, so far so good!  There have been no dropping of child incidents,  thankfully only one explosive poo episode and so far no vomit.  *touches wood and crosses everything possible*  We have had many an adult discussion when it comes to our parenting choices and in the main we have been in agreement or have come to sensible compromises for the sake of Munch.  Yes, we could both be stubborn but then that only takes away the enjoyment that is our little boy.

This first year as a Mum has been a roller coaster of emotions but the one that has run throughout is the sheer happiness our little bundle brings.  In the early days it was the grasping of my finger and the ability to sleep in my arms; today it is the toothy, beaming smile he gives which makes my heart shine with the love I have for our little boy.  I am sure if you cut the cells in my body and peeked at them under a microscope you would see an image of Munch in each and every one.  He has permeated through all aspects of my life and his presence is undeniable.  Munch gives me a new perspective on all things and so changes have been made where necessary.  He teaches me everyday what unconditional love is and how, as parents, we do everything because of it.

I'd be lying if I said that it has been full of birds singing and bright flowers as it hasn't at times.  The not so happy moments become an increasingly distant memory as my brain uses its space to keep the more precious ones permanent and this happens ever faster as Munch grows and develops into his own person.  There are so many memories already but my most precious?  The one of Sprout and I with arms around each other at roughly 2.30am looking down at our sleeping son who had arrived a little over 8 hours previous.  We had made this beautiful little boy and he really was ours to love and care for .... always.  He was real, our family was real, it was no longer just a dream.








Monday, 3 September 2012

Time Flies

Wow!  Where has the time gone?  It's been a good two weeks since I've had chance to sit and blog and it's frightening how quickly time seems to be passing by.  The past month has been a blur,  what with settling in visits at nursery for Munch and then my phasing back into work.  We are getting used to our new routines and so far, touch wood, I've not been late for work yet - phew! I do hate tardiness so it would've have wound me up if I had been.

Nursery has brought with it a mixture of emotions.  The first few visits were hard; I'd spent ten months in Munch's company and all of a sudden I had hours, then half days and finally full days without him. I felt lost and bewildered which made returning to work my escape.  I cannot abide being on my own - I never have and I don't think I ever will; when left to my own devices I need things to occupy me or my choice is to sleep to pass the time quickly if that makes sense.  Munch took to nursery very well, extremely well even.  He bonded with his carer and got to play all day with other children which he thoroughly enjoyed.  The change has been made easier as we haven't had to worry about him as much as we imagined.  Yes, there are a few tears as he was/is dropped off in the morning but these are short lived.  He has changed so much since being in constant contact with others.  He learns from them and comes home with new expressions and skills which never fail to amaze us and make us smile.

My return to work was smoother than expected and after a good couple of weeks of phasing in I will return to full time work next week.  My mornings are not very different other than my being aware of the clock to ensure we all get out of the house on time.  The early starts are more welcome as it is these hours which give me my main contact with Munch on work days.  The early feeds and that morning smile more than make up for the fact that I have probably woken sometime past 6.30am only a handful of times these past eleven months.  My life after work is tough going though.  By the time I get home from work Munch and Daddy have eaten and the bedtime routine is fast approaching. I normally snatch half an hour play and then bath, book and bed beckon - this has meant that I'm eating my evening meal on my own, which is a very strange experience, and it's later than I'd like but hey ho there's little I can do about it.  I would say that I have loved being back at work as it has given me new energy and vigour for the time that I do get to spend with Munch.  I've had the magical experience of a genuinely happy smiley face greet me when I get home; the emotions that beaming face conjures cannot be described using any words I know. 

This month Munch and I will be travelling to York for the Twitter/blogger meet up that I've arranged. This month Munch will turn one.  This month, I will be another year older too.  This month Sprout and I will have been fully fledged parents for a full twelve months.  This month is an extremely busy and exciting one - this time last year I had started maternity leave and was busy sitting on the sofa watching television and had finally succumbed to eating junk.  This time last year I was 'fat' and thanking the heavens I'd made it to September without popping.  What a difference a year makes huh?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Memories of Summer

First off, apologies for being a misery of late.  I've been suffering from the malady that is head up arse and have felt a black cloud covering my world.  I am prone to these from time to time, they creep up on me when change is afoot and envelop me to the point where I'm suffocating under the heavy veil of dark, sombre thoughts.  Change makes me reflect and reflection often carries with it the need to be better.  Anyway, time to step out from the darkness and move forward.

Summer has held little meaning for me since I started working.  I worked, and go back to working, in a place where there are no windows and thus should the end of the world be happening I wouldn't have an inkling.  Come rain or shine it makes no difference, I have the lovely florescent lights that tell me nothing about what time of year it is.

When I was a child we had great summers, in the six week summer holidays we would take day trips once a week to somewhere new.  I am the oldest of five and the five of us would go travelling all over the country.  We would make food to take with us; usually sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, crisps and drinks to see us through the day.  Come early morning my Mum would take us to the train station and see us onto the train before she went to work.  Those were the days when she made sure I carried plenty of ten pence pieces to ring her from the phonebox when we got there and in case we got stuck for whatever reason.  No mobile phones when I was young which gives you an indication of just how old I am.



One time we were hungry before the train left the station and so started diving into the sandwiches once seated.  I remember the guard standing outside watching us with the most amused expression and the five of us waving and grinning like it was the most normal thing to be doing.  When I think back now, my youngest sister could only have been 2 or 3 which made me 13 or 14 at the time, so yes, looking back I can see why he had that expression.

We went to Oxford on a day trip and had been told by our Dad to go visit the college he had attended.   It was quite a distance from the train station but we didn't realise that until our youngest sister complained that she was tired of walking.  Two of us took it in turns to carry and piggyback her for what felt like miles.  We got to the college, peeked through the gates, clicked the camera and that was that; mission accomplished!

If there was a tour bus we would always go on those as it took us to places we couldn't walk to.  It also served the purpose of giving us a rest when we were tired.  There was many a time towards the end of a day where we would be sitting on the bus going round and round the tour loop until it was time to catch the train home.

My second sister's birthday is in August and for her sixth birthday we had a party for her.  My parents had never done the whole birthday party thing so when we were old enough my first sister and I organised a party for her.  We were giving my sister something we never had when we were growing up, we had a party with just the five of us; it is one of the happiest memories from our childhood that we all share.  Sprout has told me often that it is the one moment in time that we have all talked about on separate occasions.  We had saved some money for party food, decorations and even had party bags to make sure her experience was a full one. We had burgers, played games and although other details have been forgotten I know we all had great fun.


All my memories of happy times and fun are always those moments I shared with my siblings.  The five of us are close, very close.  My Mum worked hard to provide the roof over our heads and put food on the table but in doing so she missed these moments but she had no choice.  As a parent myself,  I now look on those times and feel sadness that my own parents didn't play a part in those memories.  With Munch I want to be a part of his most happy memories;  to experience his wonder at discovering new places and to learn from him what it is to see the world anew.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Words

Words - we write them, read them and speak them.  We use them having given much thought and conversely, with no thought whatsoever.  Since becoming a fully fledged Mum with the arrival of Munch I have probably taken many to heart.  I don't know what it is but there have been words thrown in my direction that have either opened the flood gates or really got my defenses up. 

"It's not about you."
"Why don't you give formula?"
"You're making a mistake and you'll change your mind."
"I'm so tired."
"Why don't you do ..... , you have time."
"I go to work."

There are many more that I could add and have been said by all manner of those around me.  I swallow my own words as the torrent of verbal abuse that runs through my brain in the split second that follows is unreal.  If unleashed I know they would cut to the core and I am not one that likes to be hot headed when it comes to using my words, for once they venture forth from my mouth there is no way I can ever take them back and living with regret is not something I like to do.


It often makes me wonder whether people think before they speak.  We all have heat of the moment reactions and Sprout has always said that the words spoken in those moments hold some truth to them.  If this is true, then in my case I don't think much of those around me.  My first reactions are always extreme; my first reactions are always cutting my nose off to spite my face; my first reactions are always viscous, below the belt and I would be an utter bitch in the things I would say.  I know this about myself and stop.  I like to have time to calm down, re-evaluate the situation and think - this usually manifests itself in complete silence on my part, not helpful I know but for me it's better than the alternative.

Words can hurt and leave scars on us all.  I remember the phrases above because they hurt at the time.  They hurt because they showed little thought; little understanding; little compassion; little sensitivity; little tact and little diplomacy.  I am not faultless when it comes to using words.  I am poor in communicating my deepest feelings and often wonder if it is because I am afraid of the reaction once I put them out there.  Maybe I am overly sensitive as a new Mum seeing as my self confidence has taken a dive.   Do all Mums take comments as personal slights?  I need to toughen up and probably tell people to shut up and back off; maybe I need to stop thinking before I speak!

Monday, 6 August 2012

To be a gentleman

For those of you who have read a few of my posts, you may have noticed that I am a worrier.  Being a parent has made me worry more so as I do not want to screw up; I will never be perfect but I try to do my best to give our son the well rounded upbringing that I think is vital to help him succeed in whatever he chooses to do.

I read an article today on raising gentlemen and I agreed with all the qualities the author lists as what they see a gentleman to be in their home.  Towards the end of her article she discusses how she is going to raise her boys to be gentlemen.  The one that has made me write this post is her first point:

"Set a positive example. My boys are fortunate to have a gentleman for a father, but it also means surrounding them with positive male role models. They see their grandfather, uncles, and dear friends as examples of how to live with integrity."


I am sat here thinking and thinking about positive male role models that exist in our son's life.  Men that we come into contact with that we consider to live their lives honestly and with integrity.  Other than Sprout there are very few males in our lives that I want my son to look up to; I can count the many positive male role models we know on one hand!  I look at the males in Munch's life and think to myself, do I want our son to grow up and be like you?  This of course also applies to the females in case you were wondering.

I know that he will come into contact with many people of differing types and that we cannot have 100% control of that.  Some, he will be subjected to because ... well, because they are family and how do you rock that boat?  I cannot stop all contact with some individuals despite the increasing uneasiness I feel as he grows and develops.  How do you ask someone to stop being who they are because you do not want that type of attitude and negativity aimed at and around your child?  I have no idea where I would start that conversation so the option that I am happy with is to limit our son's exposure to it.

So, to start on this journey to raising a gentleman we'll start with two things - honesty and manners.  They cost nothing yet can prove hard to find at times; those are the building blocks we'll start with.  We can only make sure we put the groundwork in but as the quote says, " ...being a gentleman is a matter of choice."  In years to come that choice will be Munch's - we, his parents, will have to wait and see.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The beginning of the lasts

This time next week Munch will have his first settling in session at the nursery that we have chosen for him.  He starts exactly two weeks before my first day back at work; partly for him to get used to his new surroundings and new faces but mostly for me to adjust to being without him.  I am not looking forward to going back and I wrote about my feelings here.

This is my final full week with our dear, beautiful boy until our break in September and as luck would have it, it is this week that our bathroom is being done so we are stuck indoors!  Bah.  Our weekly routine of seeing all grandparents comes to an end as does the time he spends with his cousin.  We are about to deal a real blow to not just ourselves but to those around us too.  We have been in our current routine since the start of the year so we will all have been used to our comings and goings for a full seven months.

The grandparents have watched him grow and develop on a weekly basis; how we are going to fit visits in around us both working, running the house and family time we have not a clue.  How do we strike the balance and keep everyone happy?  The going to work and running a house has me scratching my head in wonder before I've even gone back yet!  In these seven months he has gotten to know his cousin and she him.  The jealous behaviour that we saw at first has been replaced with excitement and happiness when they see one another; the developing of this relationship I will work hard to maintain.  As a child I never got to know my many cousins; they lived on an entirely different continent which hampers things a little,  and so it has made me want to create a close bond between our son and his cousin.  I feel it part of our responsibility to forge the family relationship in these early years; our children can only have such relationships when us as parents work at making the effort and making time for them I believe.


Our weekly baby sensory group stops too.  I have watched him go from being the youngest to now being one of the older members and the time has come to move into the preschool group.  He has gone from being a babe in arms and having to be taken to the quiet area when he became overstimulated, to a mobile baby who is off exploring everything including the younger babies.  I will miss this group very much.  There are three of us Mums and there are but three weeks between our children; we have shared our experiences and watched as the boys interact evermore week on week.  Munch and I will be moving to the preschool group which fits in with my work schedule; they will be going to a different group - will our paths cross again?

Swimming has come to an end just as the little man was getting used to being in the water on his back.  Sprout and I have decided that we will go to the local pool as a family instead.  We will return to lessons once Munch is a little older and understands instructions but for now we want to keep him water confident at the very least. 

We have many lasts this week and are about to experience a raft of new beginnings.  There is trepidation as with any change but there is an air of excitement that exists too; as time ticks by there is a sadness as I say goodbye to this life which has given us both so much comfort,  Munch and I have had an idyllic seven months but we move forwards to pastures new of sorts.  Are we ready?  There are many, many firsts coming our way; we just need to remember to note them all down!


Monday, 23 July 2012

Mimicry

This week Munch will be ten months old; he has now spent more time with us than he spent in the womb, fancy that.  These past few weeks we have been subject to the ever increasing sounds that he adds to his babble and we listen as he starts to string them together.  Munch chatters non-stop; just like his Mum according to his Dad.  *scoffs*

As soon as that first bleary eyed morning feed is out the way Munch and I lie with our heads on the pillow, look at one another and the talking begins.  These first few minutes of our day make me smile no matter how tired my body tells me it feels.  He will adjust his head on said pillow until he is comfy; this in itself makes me want to squeeze him forever and then he tells me about his night.  I ask him questions, he babbles away in the pauses and we carry on talking.  Yes, I know I'm really talking to myself as I have no idea what he is babbling about, but we continue until he starts letting me know that it's time for breakfast.

When Munch is hungry you will find he goes silent, but only until the edge has been taken off.  Then he babbles looking at his food; looking at us and generally talks and talks and talks.  This past week he has been watching our lips more intently and has started to mimic sounds/words.  It started with Grandma clapping her hands and saying, "Yay, yay, yay."  She finished and in the next moment Munch repeated it.  He has never been one to copy anything we do, not even sticking out his tongue in days gone by so it has come as a bit of a surprise.  I can say "Hi" and he will do the same.  Sprout and I have been careful in what we say around him but with this mimicry we need to be even more aware of ourselves.  We don't particularly want his first word to be 'freak' now do we?  We are always calling each other freaks in a loving way of course but even so.


Posing for the camera
 
When we point a camera or our phones in his direction and call his name, he now looks straight into the lens and holds his pose for a few seconds to allow us to take his picture.  Munch is understanding more and more.  The rate at which he demonstrates this understanding is scary indeed! The other night I balanced a toy on Munch's head and asked him not to move so that it wouldn't fall off.  The concentration on his face was impressive.  It was the first time I'd told him not to move yet somehow he seemed to understand.  We did it again, and again he held still.  Now who taught him to do that????  Sprout and I were very confused as to where he got it from and I'll bet it won't be the last thing he'll pick up from someone or somewhere.  We went to a soft play centre recently and there was a little girl shrieking, he watched with interest and when she stopped he started shrieking in response.

So, we are now in this exciting place in his development where we are acutely aware of everything that he comes into contact with, all the more so as he is starting to show an understanding too.  We may walk past each other and give an affection grope of the bottom but I don't want Munch doing that to someone at nursery when he starts there do I?  It's not that we weren't aware previously but with his imitating others things get more complicated don't they?

Did your son/daughter mimic something where you wanted the ground to swallow you up?  Did they come home one day and do something that made you wonder who taught you that

 


Friday, 20 July 2012

50 shades of ....



In the distance she heard a murmur.  She listened in earnest with her eyes still closed and heard no more.  A swift movement next to her and the chill of cold air made the skin pucker on her legs with the sensation.  The electric current danced its way up her spine and with eyes still closed she nestled further into the warmth that she knew was awaiting her.  She had missed the warmth and had forgotten its soothing caress; she had wondered the feelings it would arouse as she reacquainted herself with it.  She bid it a loving embrace and she adjusted to a more comfortable position for the both of them.  If she opened her eyes now the moment would be lost and so she kept them firmly shut and allowed the warmth to wash over her and take her prisoner.

Sleep, how I have missed you ; )



Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Attention

I'm finding that attention is becoming a bone of contention.  I have a specific idea that I hold in my head as to what giving our son attention should be.  For me, it is undivided and given to him without question but from comments that have been passed I wonder if I am getting it wrong. 

"He's very clingy", "He'll find it hard at nursery", "You haven't left him with others enough" .... there are plenty more and you know what?  It makes my blood boil.  Do I rise up to those that say these things to me?  No.  I am at that point where I feel that it is pointless me responding as it only unleashes more hurtful comments which makes me feel utterly helpless, useless and rubbish.



Our son craves more and more play that involves interaction; he is happy to play on his own for a while but is going through that phase where he likes to know we are there and no, that does not mean he is permanently attached to my body!  Why is his natural development not taken as such?  If I had spent nearing ten months in the company of one other person for 99% of that time I wouldn't doubt that I would behave the same.  He adapts to new situations as we all do; he will do it far better as he has no preconceived ideas or notions that we as adults have.  Do I find it strange that he takes time to warm to strangers?  Not at all.  I personally prefer him to be cautious and take his time to get used to new people; I don't treat people I've just met as though we're long lost friends so why should Munch?

Have I pandered to his needs too much?  If he has wanted a cuddle I have given it, when he has been upset I have consoled him, whatever he has needed I have delivered without question.  In making sure he has gotten my undivided attention I thought I was laying the foundations of emotional stability, trust and the confidence to make those independent explorations of the world. 

So why do I get made to feel as though I have given too much?  Why do I get made to feel that I have done wrong by giving him all the attention I have?  Is there such a thing as too much attention?  And why, oh why is this parenting malarkey such a minefield?  I am giving our son what I believe will give him the best start in life, if I am doing him harm through all the attention I shower on him then I'm not sure I understand what being a parent means to some.


Monday, 16 July 2012

The 9 to 5

If there was ever a time I wished my old job was a 9 to 5 one,  it is now.  Before Munch and Sprout,  I was very career driven; my work gave me a focus away from a life that I was not happy living in.  I had made my way onto this, that and the other committee and was making a difference.  In short, I loved my job.

As I sit and write this post, I am faced with four weeks before my phasing back to full-time work begins.  The realisation that I really will be going back has finally hit me and I am trying hard not to panic and keep upbeat.  I look at Munch and know in my heart that he is now craving the interaction of other children.  I see it in his beautiful face every time there are children in our vicinity.  He is ready to become a little more independent and make his first steps into the big wide world of others.  I do not think I am wrong when I say I think he will adapt to the changes better than I.  I spent a morning sorting things out for my return to work and it all felt wrong within thirty minutes.  I have missed being me yet it was alien and didn't quite sit right on my shoulders.  I didn't think it would be that way.  I had convinced myself I would easily switch back to the old me in work mode but I have changed.


I look forward to adult conversation and the oiling of the cogs in my brain.  I'm not looking forward to the long hours which will result in the time I get to spend with our son being an hour a day if I'm lucky.  Actually, the thought of it fills me with dread and makes me want to run and hide.  I was hoping that I would be able to not work weekends; alas that was a dream.  The offer is alternate Saturdays and I will get an additional day off in the week.  OK, not so bad but that doesn't help me in my wanting to keep hold of precious family time - family as in the three of us, not just Munch and me.  To say I am disappointed is an understatement.  I am angry, very angry that my job does not afford me the family time I want us to have.

We will make it work somehow but I will be keeping an eye out for something that suits us better.  The work-life balance is not always easy to get right but our family is now my world and I am willing to forgo the work for a lot more life.*  Who'd have thought?

* Should we win the lottery in the mean time I will not hesitate to quit!  Should you wish to donate to my cause then let me know ; )

Monday, 9 July 2012

The beauty of Twitter

There we are on a Sunday evening and a question crops up regarding the little man.  He is our first; this means we are flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to this parenting thing we find ourselves doing.  The question doesn't warrant A&E or a call to the on-call doctor but the worry, stress and panic builds.  Sprout and I differ in what and how we panic.  Calm I may be but once he starts it becomes infectious and I will head in the same direction shortly after.  I work hard to maintain a calm exterior as there really is no point having two headless chickens about the place.

Who can I ask and hopefully get some kind of answer?  Google was the first port of call; the answers were neither here nor there and didn't fill me with confidence.    How about Twitter?  In our time of needing information I turn to the group of people on my timeline and in less than 140 characters ask my question.  I wait somewhat impatiently and hope that someone responds.

Please?  If I can chat to someone in the very, very early hours of the morning then 8pm on a Sunday should be good right?  Three retweets later and replies start coming in.  This is what I love about Twitter.  Those that offered support and reassurance were kind and sincere in responding to the Mummy that was worrying.  One lovely lady even went so far as to look for an answer and send me a link; I felt overwhelmed at such generosity of spirit and I was truly touched.  The panic subsides as I read that what is happening to Munch is not a curiosity or something to worry unduly about.  I ask more probing questions as is my way and I come away with explanations and understanding.


To think, I joined Twitter at the start of the year as a way to keep myself from falling asleep during the night feeds.  In a mere seven months,  I have gotten to know a whole group of people; some from places I've never heard of; some that I may never meet face-to-face but I feel a sense of belonging and community that I've found has eluded me in my real life.  To each and everyone of you that I've had the pleasure to interact with on Twitter - thank you.  You have enriched my life in ways I never thought possible and I hope I return the kindness that you've all shown me.

For me, Twitter is a beautiful place which brings warmth and laughter amongst the tears and hardships we share.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Demons

"The sound of muffled voices filled the dark silence.  She made her way to the bedroom door and found she was not the only one to have awoken.  The three of them exchanged that knowing look and crept to the top of the stairs.  The voices were clearer here and so they sat three abreast and listened as the shadows enveloped them.

There were moments of quiet mumblings that gradually built to a crescendo as those downstairs were in the midst of yet another argument fuelled by drink after a hard day.  It would start off happily enough with laughter but invariably ended in tears and an exchange of viscous words and, with any luck, only threats of violence.  She had grown to read the signs where the mood would change without warning and she took it as her cue to usher the other two out of harm's way.

The three of them sat there transfixed as those downstairs tried to calm the man down.  There was a desperation in their voices as they spoke their words.  The threats had started and the usual talk of smashing of faces began in earnest.  The three looked at each other with tears in their eyes and fear etched across their faces.  There was always the question of what could they do?  Nothing was the answer.  They were too young to do anything and only risked having the wrath turned in their direction.  She huddled them closer together and they whispered about dreams of leaving this place."




These are the demons that haunt me.  The helplessness at not being able to defend and protect those around me.  I now know that it was not my job but at the time I felt I had failed those younger than me.  I could only watch for the tells and steer them out of harm's way.  I had developed "a look" from young; the effect was immediate when I used it.  It was a warning and a pleading in one facial gesture that would last but a moment.


I often wonder when and how I will banish these demons from my life.  The scars run deep and my reactions conditioned.  It is the past that drives me to give my son a very different childhood; I hope one of innocence, play, fun and joy that comes with being a child.

Did you have demons too?  How did you come to leave them in your past?  Or did you learn to live with them?



Monday, 2 July 2012

Farewell my bosom buddies

How do I put this?  My boobage has never been on the small side.  Not that they're the size of watermelons or anything remotely similar either in case that is the vision you have in your head right now. *mutters perv under her breath*
 
I was 11 when mine appeared from nowhere and at that time there were only three of us in the entire junior school, excluding the teachers, that had them.  I went through puberty early - go me!  Really not as exciting as I thought when I came to realise that only meant I would have to endure the pain in the arse that is periods for a long time too.  I would walk around with my shoulders hunched so as not to draw attention to myself.  There is nothing quite as intimidating and frightening as having some old* man give you that leering look when you have a chest at that age.  I hated them until all the girls started getting theirs. *old - at that moment probably referred to anyone over the age of 16!

Once the boobage had done their developing it wasn't bad at all.  They were where they should be, pointing in the right direction and due to their projection made the rest of my body seem slim in comparison.  I mean who in their right mind would complain about something that made their waist look smaller?  Not me I tell you.  I was finally comfortable with them around 16.

They came into their own when I attended university; I happened to be in a group of girls where the rest were small in comparison.  But really, it's not a confidence booster when someone is too busy sneaking a peek down your cleavage and talking to your chest rather than to you.  Given that I am also vertically challenged, it stands to reason why all my tops would carefully hide my assets as I didn't want everyone copping a look for free - only the special chosen people got that privilege.

Of course this isn't me!  No freebies remember ; )

Said boobage got bigger with pregnancy.  On the first day of Munch's life I had to get my sister to do an emergency bra shop as they'd already changed from the previous day.  Throw in the breastfreeding and I'd gone up quite a few cup sizes in a very short space of time.  At their peak, it was as though I'd had breast implants put in.  Sprout thought it was all his Christmases come true but alas they were a no go as they were on loan to Munch for the forseeable future.  How cruel that must be - all looking but no touching!  Even I was impressed with these super boobs that now adorned my chest and they cost me not a penny - my body just created them for me.  Well, not really for me but you get my meaning.
 
Breastfeeding came with its problem; I developed blisters on one side that made me wince when Munch fed so I stopped feeding on that side to allow it time to heel.  What a mistake that was and it wasn't even for a week.  Feeding on one side meant that side got bigger whereas the other reduced in size; the body is clever at adjusting supply to demand isn't it?  I ended up with lop sided boobs - yes, you can laugh I'll allow it this once.  Afterwards it didn't matter how much I tried but they never evened themselves out.  I went from having this fab pornstar-esque chest to looking mighty strange - even more keeping them hidden as they were so uneven.

Munch then started solids.  He is now on three meals a day and has started weaning himself off breastmilk.  The only definite times he has breastmilk is first and last thing.  In this past week he has dropped all his night feeds completely.  This has meant that the smaller is back to its pre-pregnancy size and the other is going the same way.  I feel .... deflated.  I had grown to love my new size and carried them proudly, the shrunken version don't have the same wow factor anymore.  In truth, they seem paltry in comparison.  My bosom buddies have stayed long enough and are now retiring until their next visit.  Farewell my friends for I shall miss you!


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Remember when

Remember when the earth used to move - a lot - in the early days of your relationship?  You go through that honeymoon period as you get to know each other and then things inevitably settle down as life gets back on track.  Add to that a baby and the earth seems to get stuck on its axis as you both come to terms with the changes taking place.  There will probably be many a false start as there is nothing that puts out those flames quite so quickly as a child demanding your attention ... there are your own parents of course but that's not what I'm talking about here.

I have read and heard about the father's being patient and having needs to fulfill.  There seem to be plenty willing to share that.  It made me stop and think.  I actually haven't come across any discussion amongst mothers about theirs.  It has to be done .... *looks wistfully around and extends hand in the air*  I'm a mother, I have a nine month old son and actually I have needs too.  There I said it.  I know that in the feeling lonely, isolated, teary states,  I have many that stand with me.  Why haven't I come across a Mum saying that your sex life changes too?





Towards the end of my pregnancy I felt fat.  My hips ached through having PSD; moving became cumbersome and I didn't feel attractive, glowing or any of the things they say in the glossy magazines.  My hair never got lush and at this moment in time I am beginning to moult (it's the only word for it) as my hormones start to change again.  Post birth was not much better.  My nether regions felt like a multitude of balloon animals had taken up residence - you know what I mean to those ladies who experienced a vaginal birth.  No-one had told me that would happen and although some part of me really wanted to get a mirror to take a peek, I controlled myself and didn't.  I cannot imagine it was a pretty site to behold; not that I can be found spread-eagled inspecting my up and unders everyday I'd like to add!   Add to that the crepe-like belly, swollen ankles, bags under the eyes and general dishevelled look I was rocking, sexy and attractive was not how I felt.

The belly and swollen ankles are now gone and the hedge backwards style only makes an appearance as a one off special every so often.  You would think we'd be back in business right?  Wrong!  It gets replaced with impeccable timing by the little man or, more often than not, sheer exhaustion.  My libido is still there ticking away in the background like an unexploded bomb but life has gotten in the way.  Would I like to work my womanly charms?  Of course, but the chances of me having fallen asleep before the man of the house has even finished brushing his teeth are very, very high.  A wry smile flickers across my face as I write this - sex would be nice.  To be awake when the opportunity arises would be more helpful though!

I cannot believe for one moment that I am alone in how I feel.  Wouldn't it be nice to feel all womanly and yummy rather than frumpy?  I have had discussions about my feelings at my most vulnerable moments with complete strangers whom I've never met.  Is sex too personal a topic? 

Someone has to go first right?  I'll start.

*gulps*

"Hi, I'm Mushypea.  I'm finding it difficult to have a sex life now we have a baby.  Do you?"

*waits for the anonymous comments*

Monday, 25 June 2012

More

Even before Munch had arrived we had decided we would give baby signing a whirl and see where it took us.  There were the opinions that it would help him communicate before he verbally grasped words and then those that thought it may hinder his actual speech development.  Anyway, we made our decision and stuck to it after careful consideration.

Since attending various parent and baby sessions,  Munch and I have both been subjected to the odd sign here and there.  The only ones that really stick with me are the ones we use a lot of; more; yes; no; finished; yoghurt; drink; hello; and story.  I did get two books from the library just the other week to add more signs to our vocabulary but never really ended up paying them much attention.  Munch hadn't given any indication of understanding anything I had been doing for the last four months; he had begun babbling more and more so I wondered if he would be an early talker instead.

Friday lunchtime.  Munch and I are sat at the dining table having our lunch together as usual.  He had eaten what was in front of him and had stopped; I looked at him and he signed "more".  Obviously I gave him more food but in that moment I was proud, amazed and emotional.  Yes he babbles away from the second he wakes in a morning but we have no idea what he is trying to say to us.  This one little sign showed that he understood and so did I.  As soon as we'd finished eating I was straight on the phone to let Sprout know of the new development; Daddy was very proud too.

The pressure was on Munch to show Daddy come tea time.  The anticipation was immense as often Munch would do something once and then not do it again for a few days.  Munch settled into his roast chicken dinner with enthusiasm then came the signing, "more", "more", "more".  Excitement that he had actually grasped a sign, smiles and praise from us for our genius little boy.  The repetition and persisting with it had worked after all.  It was the incentive I needed to continue learning and using signs with him.

Trust his first sign to be "more" for "more food".  He really does show a love for his food just as his parents do; that's our son for you!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A reader appreciation award




Time for another meme, this one passed onto yours truly from Steve at Father in Training who blogs about his thoughts and feelings about being a first time Dad.

 

What is your favourite colour?
I have had various different favourite colours but for a while now it has been red.  Not any red mind, the shade that post boxes are.  Strong, vibrant and a statement colour.

What is your favourite animal?
Orangutans.  They have such soulful eyes and one day I will see them wild in Borneo without doubt.


What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?
I don't truthfully have a favourite drink.  My mum has always said I could be a camel due to my poor fluid intake.  The one and only drink I have every day without fail is my mug of tea first thing.  My mug holds the equivalent of two and a half cups and the day goes wrong if I don't have it.



Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook is full of friends I actually have in my life whereas Twitter is full of friends that I wish I really had.  Does that make sense?

What is your favourite pattern?
Polka dots!  I love polka dots.  I don't have many clothes with them on as I look awful in it but polka dots do it for me.

Favourite number?
Hmmm,  I don't have one.  I have a liking for the number 8 because it is meant to be lucky but wouldn't say it was a favourite number.  Pass.

Favourite day of the week?
Wednesday.  To me it is that point in the week where we head full steam towards the weekend.  Otherwise right now every day is more or less the same.

Favourite flower?
Pompom dahlias - I adore these.


What is your passion?
Family.  It is the one thing I would give my last breath for. 


So, which bloggers to tag?

Mr Isaac's Blog
Motherhood and other misnomers
Ready, Steady, Mummy
BusyBee
Sparkly Mess 
A collection of random thoughts and observations
Kat Sighs
Young and Dumb ... 15 Years On
Ojo's World


As for the award well there are some rules of course:
  1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
  2. Answer the 10 questions.
  3. Nominate 10 - 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
  4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
  5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Baby-led weaning: Two months in

Do you remember me posting about baby-led weaning a couple months back?  If not, you can read it here.

Munch is eight and a half months old now and we have made adjustments and added new skills along the way.  We started baby-led weaning (BLW) when Munch hit the six month mark.  For the month and a half prior to this we had introduced him to his high chair; in part because he had gotten bored craning his neck to try and see what we were doing from his activity centre when we were eating, but also to get him used to being included at meal times.  At around five and a half months of age we started leaving him easy to grab pieces of vegetables from our meal - of course all he did was play and look at them with the odd piece reaching his mouth but other than that he did nothing with it.  We knew he swallowed some by the way they came out in his nappy.  Oh the fun I had determining the food items that had made it to his stomach.  We purposely waited until six months before going at BLW with vigour as Munch was prone to eczema - even before we started we knew we would have to be careful as he had suffered from bad bouts of nappy rash in reaction to certain foods which had passed to him through my breastmilk.

On hitting the six month mark we started with breakfast.  Fingers of toast - they found his way to his mouth and he gummed away to his delight.  From there on in BLW has become this magical journey of food discovery - Munch has this expression that he has when he tries a new food which passes as quickly as it appears and he will then quite happily take his fill.  Our eating habits were pretty good before Munch and so the adjustments we needed to make to our diet was minimal. In the first couple of weeks of BLW he did suffer from trapped wind but that passed once his digestive system had gotten the message that his diet was changing.  After two weeks on BLW, his dirty nappies changed completely much to the disgust of Sprout!


We have been very aware of the foods neither of us really ate - namely fresh tomato.  Imagine our surprise when he absolutely loved fresh tomato!  As with most adults, Sprout and I do have a few food preferences of our own but we have worked to offer these foods to Munch so that he doesn't miss discovering a new taste or texture.  Hell, I've eaten bits of hard boiled egg with a smile on my face at breakfast with him and I cannot begin to tell you how much I cannot stand them.  Maybe you think we are going to extreme but I look at some of the children we come into contact with and have noticed that they are already displaying the same attitude towards certain foods as their parents.  Sprout and I want Munch to enjoy all foods - even if they are those we don't.

We watched as he got upset and frustrated with things like rice and mince and made the decision that a preloaded spoon was the way to go for a while.  OK, at times he ends up with food all over his head and other times he will sit and open his mouth and we will feed him because he is having a lazy day.  We're not the strictest of baby-led weaners; we follow his cues so in our own way I think we are.  He has never been one to launch food off his tray even though we have a splash mat in place.  Nor does he like being cleaned up with a damp flannel after meals.  We announce that we are going to wipe his face so it's not so much of a shock but even after more than two months of this we are still met with tears! 


Meals out are a joy.  The only thing that has taken getting used to has been not having dessert.  Boy is that difficult.  A meal out is a treat in my book and I have always been one that has dessert but because we are not at the stage where we are offering them to Munch, Sprout and I agreed that we cannot have them either.  Yes, there may be fruit salad on offer but I refuse to pay for something that I can easily whip up at home.  It is doing me good but it has meant we secretly eat our treats once he is in bed for the night - so possibly not so good huh?  During the recent bout of summer sunshine we even had our first picnic together.  I was not sure what to expect as Munch has always eaten at a table but hey, no problem whatsoever.  He sat and ate without once trying to crawl away - success.



Sprout and I are used to BLW; he gags very rarely and we have learnt to trust him when he proceeds to put something in his mouth.  The hardest part I have found is when we are in the company of others - "That piece is too big", "He won't like that", "It's too spicy for babies" etc, etc, etc or even the simple act of helping put something in his hand/mouth.  I have many a time stated in my most authoritative tone that he is fine and to leave him be.  Interfering usually means he is more likely to gag or choke but try explaining that!  He eats three meals a day without it becoming a drama and I can be found trawling around the fresh fruit and veg looking for new things to offer him.

We are learning and adapting all the time.  The only thing that has beaten us thus far is how do we get the spoon back from him without a fight?  We have offered a different spoon but that normally results in Munch holding one in each hand.  Suggestions will be gratefully received!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails

Gender stereotypes.  They exist all around us from the moment we are born - how do I make sure our little boy doesn't fall foul of them?



The frustration at attempting to find gender neutral clothes because we did not want to know the sex of our unborn child was unbelievable!  There was, and still is, white aplenty; walk into any store and the newborn section is awash in swathes of pink on one side and blue on the other.  Personally, I am not a fan of either shade so the gender neutral colours that you are left with are white, cream or yellow.  This colour palette is not vibrant nor fun for a child of any age is it?  Colour choices get marginally better as they grow past the newborn baby stage but even then the pink for girls and blue for boys is enough to make me want to throw myself on the ground and throw a toddler tantrum. We have a son and no, I do not want to be limited to dressing him in various shades of blue, green, brown and grey.  Do I get much of a choice? No.

And toys?  Don't even get me started.  A walk around a toy store is just as disappointing - from a female perspective, why are all the dolls, prams, kitchen and household type toys aimed towards little girls?  I, for one, can honestly say that as a child I was not interested in dolls other than to see how easily said dolls body parts would come apart.  Sheesh, I spend sufficient time as an adult carrying out the role of homemaker to make me actually want to get my son his very own household type toys so that he does not fall into that stereotypical trap of being useless on the housekeeping front.  As it stands, it will be an absolute miracle if I do not buy him a mini ironing board, vacuum cleaner etc so that he can play house with me.



This made me think about my role in being a parental stereotype.  Am I?  My mother raised all her daughters to be intelligent, strong and fiercely independent women.  She was the major bread winner in our home and my father was the male chauvinist stereotype who lifted not a finger because it was deemed to be out of his remit.  Has this experience altered my views on what my role should be?  I look at myself and question all the things that I do day to day.  What message am I/we sending our son?

I am adamant that by the time he leaves home he will be fully capable of looking after himself - a long time away it may seem but I like to be prepared.  It makes me cringe when I hear about grown men who cannot iron a shirt or know how to boil an egg - I'm sorry but there's doing everything for your children and then there's crippling them by not giving them life skills.  It is even worse than actually being able to look after yourself but choosing to sit on your laurels.  Only just mind, but that's my opinion! 

It is not only the practical skills that I want my son to learn.  I also want him to have good emotional intelligence - none of this "Big boys don't cry".  I want him to be able and feel free to express and deal with his emotions and feelings whatever they may be.  

How much will society's expectation of what a man should be play?  Am I looking to go against the very nature of being a boy?  Does anyone have the answer?  

Monday, 11 June 2012

Bittersweet

As my son's first tooth has started cutting through it has been met with excitement and sadness in equal measure.  He has grown and developed constantly over the entire eight months of his life thus far but this first tooth marks a turning point in my eyes.




His little face is about to change forever by the appearance of not one but two teeth.  His front two teeth are cutting through and in a very short while he will go from the gummy baby we adore to the start of becoming a little boy.  We have greeted each change with wonder and amazement and we look forward to more that is yet to come.  Sprout and I have set in motion the creation of a confident, playful, energetic and talkative little boy.

The past few months have seen a fast forward in developments and it has been hard keeping up.  He has gone from attempting to roll one day to mastering it the next.  He babbles non-stop from the moment he wakes yet we still have no clue as to what he is telling all and sundry.  He makes great strides in eating and is now self-weaning off the boob.  All this is great I assure you, but as he learns to do more and more himself his reliance on us decreases.  Good, great, hurrah!?

The things he needs from us, his parents, are changing.  I speak for myself when I say that I have only just grasped what he wanted from me - the amount of learning we have done is immense.  We have gone from working down the checklists of why he is crying to actually knowing what his different cries are.  Yes, we have figured when you are playing us my son!  We are proficient at reading his subtle body signals. He may try to hide his tiredness because he wants to continue playing but we are onto it.  The night feeds (yes, we are still having to do those) - I've finally managed to distinguish when it is plain habit to when he actually needs a feed.

I am currently in this happy place where I can respond automatically as I am now a master of all this baby-ness and bam!  I'm too slow on the uptake and he has gotten tired of waiting for me to catch up.  Munch pushes on with the necessary changes he must make and we have no choice but to run alongside.



There are so many moments I will miss that I am able to rub the sand that stings my eyes as I type this.  The beautiful gummy smile that greets us in a morning, the way he holds onto my fingers during the night feeds, the look he gives when he is tired of feeding himself, the way he babbles, blows raspberries and giggles at the things we do to entertain him.  Hey, I have to believe we are entertaining him otherwise he is just laughing at his Daddy and me which is understandable too!

Bittersweet because I want to bottle these moments forever yet am looking forward to all that is on the horizon.  His first word, his first step - so many, many more firsts.  We have truly enjoyed this beginning and I will miss it tremendously.

P.S. Soon after I finished this post Munch decided to surprise us further and walk pushing his walker for the very first time!  The expression on his face on realising what he was doing was magic.  Our baby is a little boy.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Play factore

A reply to a tweet by @TiredmummyofTwo asking for any bloggers wanting something to do today resulted in our visit to Play Factore near the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

Play Factore is an indoor adventure playground suitable for children between 0 - 12 years of age, although myself and Sprout would quite happily have had a go on everything if we were able!  We arrived and the first thing that hits you on entry to the site is the sheer scale of the place.  As you wait in line you are faced with the play frame which is over 15m in height and the astra slide which is 40m in length.  It was a crying shame Munch is only 8 months old but we could both imagine him having a great time playing on that when he is old enough.  So, we get to the front of the queue after waiting in line twenty minutes and I tell the attendant that we are on the guest list. The first time I have ever had to tell a stranger that I am Mushypea - kudos to her that she didn't raise an eyebrow or snigger - not even a brief flash of "huh" fell across her face!

We pass through the entrance barriers and there is a sea of tables and chairs for parents to sit and wait whilst their beloved children run off a lot of steam and of course where lunch can be eaten.  We made our way to the toddler area on the right.  I regularly go to a soft play centre locally and I have to say the the one they provide here is excellent.  The area is gated and full of different activities for your little ones.  There is a climbing frame with two slides of different heights and has been well thought out in that at toddler age chances are the parents will also need to limber up and through the tunnels etc without fear of getting stuck.  It was lovely for us to be able to sit Munch on our laps and take him down the higher of the slides.

There was a car track area with Little Tikes Cozy coupes - Sprout spotted these and Munch was put into one shortly after.  He shows a propensity to drive like his father already; one hand on the steering wheel and the other with his elbow propped on the door.  Munch loves ride-on toys so this area was a hit.

There was an area for younger children filled with soft cubes and seesaws, there were soft handhold ledges where Munch was able to pull himself up to stand and he loved the big mirrors at one end.  Apologies to the person that cleans that by the way - yes, those slobbery hand prints are our sons!


You have to remember that this place is filled with excited children of all ages so there was plenty of joyous screaming, laughing and chattering in the air as well as the music that they have playing in the background.  At 8 months old there comes a point where they hit stimulation overload - you know what I am talking about here - that moment in time where they need a time out and wind down otherwise big trouble is around the corner.  Play Factore has demonstrated that it understands this by providing a sensory area.  The area is closed off and small enough that there cannot be too many children in there.  There was a bubble tube, various light boxes, mirrors and a sensory board.  Munch was totally mesmorised by the bubble tube and couldn't stop hugging it!


Considering we were there with Munch there was plenty that he could do especially when you consider he cannot walk yet.  Once he is, I am sure he will love it even more; give it a good few years after that and he will be up on that play frame and down the astra slide with no stopping.  The prices for entry (accompanying adults need to pay) and refreshments, the waiting time and queues to get in  and for food were the only things that would make this place a treat rather than a regular place to visit. Those aside, Play Factore is well maintained, clean and light which is good considering the place only opened in Easter 2012.  We had a great time and look forward to going again. 

I was born at the wrong time - I wish I was 10 again so I could play too!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Why?

The darling Rachel at Mr Isaac's Blog has tagged me in this meme that was dreamt up by Mummy Central.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Master Munch sends out the why vibes constantly and we have a few of our own too.

  • Why do you feel the need to practise your new moves at night when you've been doing them all day - only to wake yourself up?
  • Why, when you have a multitude of toys is the *insert any non-toy* much more interesting?
  • Why do you wake just as we are about to drift off to sleep ourselves?
  • Why is that even when we, your parents, are exhausted, you manage to brighten up the day by just being you?
  • Why do you cock your head to the side and do that whole "Look at me. I"m so cute" thing?  And more importantly, where did you learn that?
  • Why do you look at us in a disapproving manner as though your Daddy and I are the children?  Is this a sign of things to come?
  • Why did you master sleeping through the night then promptly forget you had this talent two weeks later?
  • Why can we not imagine life without you and, for that matter, remember what life was like before you?
  • Why is it you are able to motivate your Daddy and I like nothing else?
  • Why do you grow and change so quickly when we want you to slow down so we can spend longer with you?
  • Why is it you have taught us to love more than we thought possible and yet that only grows more and more each day?
  • Why do we get the impression you will be fending off the girls with that melting smile of yours?
  • Why are you so impossibly cute and beautiful even when you are upset? I mean, as parents we're not too bad but you are just on another level!
What are yours?  You've been tagged!

Steve at Father In Training
Emma at OutMUMbered
Bex at BusyBee
Becca at mums the word
Lisa at Thirty Mummy

Post your whys then link it back to Mummy Central here.

Yummy Mummy

The lovely yummy mummy who is Bex of BusyBeeMummyBex has tagged me in this meme that she started.  Am I yummy or more slummy?


What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
A visit to the toilet - those pelvic floor muscles are nowhere near as good as they were before a head got pushed through there no matter how many exercises I do every day!

Do you shower daily? Are you an early morning shower or evening bath type?
Most definitely a shower person and always in the morning but only after breakfast.

Do you wear makeup daily?
Makeup has never been something I got my head around so I have never put a face on everyday.  I only do that for special occasions or if I am going out for the evening.  I have moisturised on a daily basis since I was about five - I like to believe that is why I still get asked for ID at the grand old age of 35 ; )

What's in your make up bag?
I don't have one as such but I do have concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, lipgloss and some blusher to my name.

When you're having a slummy Mummy day what do you normally wear?
What constitutes slummy?  My "home clothes" as I call them, consist of loose fitting slouchy pants and a top of some kind depending on the weather.  They are normally clothes I wouldn't venture out in but they are oh so comfy.

Nails - how often do you get them done?
I have never paid to have my nails done  - yes, I know, but it's not me.  My sisters have shaped and painted them for me a few times but it's not something I concentrate on.  They are short, clean and tidy which is enough for me.

Your top tip for tired eyes?
Sleep and plenty of it if at all possible.

Are you a Starbucks or Costa Coffee kind of girl?
I'm not a coffee drinker but much prefer Starbucks - hot chocolate or Frappuccino?  Yes please.

How many children do you have/want & why?  
We currently have one boy, Munch, and ideally would like to add another child in a couple of years.  I am one of five and had the most fun times growing up with my brother and sisters so cannot imagine what it would be like to be an only child.  We hope to have two children in total; a girl would be nice so that we had one of each but you cannot make to order so we would be happy with either.

Where is your favourite place to shop for babies/children's clothes?
Can I confess?  We haven't actually had to buy many clothes for Munch thus far other than maybe a few packs of vests.  We have been extremely lucky in that we got given so much clothing as presents when he was born.  Munch has clothes up to 18 months waiting to be worn; he is 8 months old but is still wearing 3-6 month clothes so I think we may not need to buy until he is 2!

Everyday shoes are flats/heels?
Flats - I can move faster in them and am much less likely to trip or stumble in them when I have Munch in tow.

Are you more yummy than I?

Benlotty 
Rachel 
Anya 



Mummies need to post the rules.
Give as much detail as possible when answering the questions.
Link your post back to Bex here then tag at least three others.
Tweet #yummymummy when sharing on twitter.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Day 31/31 - Why do you blog



I started out blogging not long ago as a way to record my thoughts as I make the journey through parenthood.  It was, in part, to remind me in future times, of events that have helped shaped my adventure.


Having taken part in this challenge I have seen that I have connected with others that I may never have come across otherwise.  Blogging gives me an outlet, something that is very much mine to share with those who take the time to stop awhile and read a little.  It has opened up my world and has given me glimpses into the very different lives we all lead yet in the same breath how similar we all are too.


Why do I blog?  To connect with you, the reader, for even a moment with the thoughts that run amok in my mind.  Thank you!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Day 30/ 31 - What's in your makeup bag


I don't wear makeup everyday - I am just not that person.  I only wear makeup for special occasions or if I'm going on a night out and even then it is minimal.  One, because I don't like to feel all that stuff on my skin and two, I don't actually understand what to do with most makeup!!  I tend to go for the natural look so a bit of concealer, foundation, blusher, eyeshadow and lip gloss. 


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Day 29/31 - Where have you travelled


I have been lucky enough to have travelled well in years gone by but the world is such a big place and there are so many more places I would like to visit that I wonder if I'll see them all in my lifetime.

North America - Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Orlando, Charleston.

Charleston, South Carolina


 Europe - Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt.

The Vatican










Asia - Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok.

Hong Kong
I've also been to Barbados, Dominican Republic, Moscow and all over the British Isles.  I love to travel and hope to pass this onto Munch as we drag him all over the world!


Day 28/31 - What are you looking forward to


There are many, many things I am looking forward.  We have the numerous firsts that are yet to come with Munch from his first word to his first night being nappy free.  We have all the fun things that we will do as a family once he is mobile; I cannot wait to don wellies and a mac so we can go jump in puddles and dance in the rain.  Okay, maybe that is more for myself, but all the little things that bring so much fun and laughter when you are rediscovering the world with your child. 

I am looking forward to getting married next year with Munch in his little suit walking me down the aisle!  Just thinking about that moment makes me smile.  To marry the man that loves me and truly understands me cannot come fast enough.

There are many pregnancies at the moment, so the arrival of new babies towards the end of this year.  You just got to love that newborn smell!

The future holds so much for us and I cannot wait.


Day 27/31 - Post your favourite recipe



I forgot to add peanut butter to my favourite foods!  I love this as an easy way to use up overripe bananas.  For a special treat add vanilla or chocolate icecream.  Sprout and I could drink this every day if we could!

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie/ Milkshake from The Slow Roasted Italian.


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 26/ 31 - An old photo of you


This really is me - just not my face ; )  The "mask" is actually made of dough and was part of a celebration cake for my Dad.  One of my sisters and I saw the photographic potential of said mask so took it home.  Much fun and laughter ensued but there you go - an actual photo of me!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Day 25/31 - Your 5 favourite blogs




How do I choose just five out of the many that are out there?  Hmm, these are the ones I read religiously:

  1. She be fierce 
  2. BabberBlog
  3. motherventing
  4. Ministry Of Mum
  5. One Man and His Hob
 Take a look and see what you think!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 24/ 31 - Your favourite childhood book



Out of the many books I don't remember reading as a young child, this is the only book I can say is my favourite childhood book.  My favourite because it is the one book I searched high and low for when I was pregnant and building Munch's library.  Yes, I spent much of the latter stages of pregnancy picking up mine and Sprout's childhood favourites so that we could share them with our little boy. 


When I look at his library today, I come to realise just how much I loved Roald Dahl books!  I never knew.