Sunday, 13 December 2009

Where's the pause button please?

It's been TWO weeks since I blogged. Where on earth has that gone?  It's not that I've got nothing to say, not at all, almost daily I think 'ooh, I could do a post about...', and I've actually even taken to geekishly scribbling ideas down sometimes (s'what proper writers do, apparently), it's just that I simply haven't had time to sit at the laptop long enough or with enough brain power to actually formulate thoughts and sentences.  Even my beloved twitter has been neglected - that my friends, is the sign of a busy mummy!

And I shouldn't complain, because aside from a few really gruesome teething days, it's generally good stuff keeping me busy ( like my shiney new Xplory!! {whole 'nother post in the making}, Christmassy planning, lots of coffee dates, a couple of nights out with the daddy, meeting up with Bec & Kelly & their boys for festive fun, putting up the Christmas tree today... allsorts of goodies), but the last couple of weeks really have left me feeling like I need a time out. A day or two to myself to just chill out & catch up with the seven million and three things that need my attention. And before you all shout Duh! You're a mum now, never gonna happen! I do know it's not - but wouldn't it be nice if life did come with a pause button?

Everything could just stop. Just for a while. Long enough to drink a hot cup of tea without having to change a nappy, or dispense teething aids, or run interference between increasingly mobile baby & dog bowl. Just enough time to actually cross a few things off the perpetual to-do list and remember that smug feeling of accomplishment.  Wouldn't that be brilliant?

But of course, in real life, we just have to keep going.  And going. And I know this all sounds a bit whiney, and it really wasn't supposed to, but I guess it's the sleep deprived tiredness taking it's toll, and the niggly stupid cold/cough deelie that's been bugging me for far too long now. I just feel all a bit run down and overwhelmed. I've lost my neurotic mojo. I'm disorganised & nowhere near on top of things. And I don't like it.

Still, tomorrow is a whole new week. We're officially counting down to Christmas. I can get back on top of my game, and damn it, I will!  Because I am a mummy, and that is what mummys do. 

Bring it on.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Guilty, Your Honour.

mister maker cbeebies arts craftsWHAT a day.

It started so well - LD slept through till 7am without a peep. Awesome. We had breakfast, we played, we sang, we read, we had lunch, we watched Makka Pakka be all OCD-like with his stones. All good.

LD went down for a nap at about 1 ish. Woke up screaming at about 1.03.  Yep, seems tooth no.3 is finally on the way - right at the back, can just feel it starting to poke through. Every time he tries to sleep, it kicks off.  Poor little dude :(  He finally crashed about an hour ago. I don't have high hopes for a restful night.

But enough whiney stuff, let's talk guilt.  But the good kind.  The pleasurable kind.  That's right lovely blog readers - we're talking Guilty Pleasures.

For you see lovely @porridgebrain asked on twitter yesterday for writing workshop prompt suggestions, and she only went with my idea - woo! Given my big love for the workshop, I am super flattered!  Of course now, I must play the game & confess to my own guilty pleasures.  So, here we go:

1. Cult Teen Movies.  Honestly, I don't really consider myself a grown-up.  Even now with my 30th birthday & a seven month old son under my belt, my brain still thinks I'm 20.  And so every now & then I indulge myself and watch Heathers or The Lost Boys and imagine what life would be like if Christian Slater or Corey Haim were my boyfriend. *wistful sigh*...

2. Trashy chick-lit.  I got an A for A Level English Literature. I can converse about Shakespeare and Hardy & Austen with the best of them, and I truly do love proper novels - both of the old and modern variety.  But sometimes, I do rather enjoy just switching my brain off & reading a vacuous of tale of love and betrayal and shopping.

3. Biscuits for lunch.  At least once a month (yes, often when mother nature is a house guest), I will secretly skip anything of nutritional value at lunchtime, in favour of sitting with a big mug of tea (and perhaps one of those fluffy novels mentioned above), and work my way through a whole packet of biscuits.  Shameful? Probably.  But SO good.

4. Facebook Stalking.  There are SO many people on my friends list who are only there out of politeness. Who I rarely see, only know through friends, or just don't really care about (don't judge me - bet you have some too!), but I do quite enjoy checking up on their statuses and the like - particularly when they're bitching about other pseudo-friends they don't realise you know. It's like a little real-life soap opera :)

5. Inappropriate crushes. I'll happily tell anyone who cares to listen about my deep love for Johnny Depp and David Tennant and Robbie Williams... ... ... sorry - got distracted ;) - but I also have several less high-profile crushes that I tend to keep to myself - Andrew Castle on GMTV is probably old enough to be my dad, but he's everso dishy.  Mister Maker on cBeebies - the LD is a long way off cutting and sticking, yet we watch every single day.  And Simon Cowell.  Yes, even with that hair and those trousers.

I could go on, but I think 5 guilty confessions will do for now.

As always, all of the prompts over at Sleep is for the Weak are brilliant, so go have a peek. I may still have a go at some of the others myself, but for now, there's a little boy starting to stir who needs my attention.

While I do that - consider the comment box a confession booth - what are your guilty pleasures?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Children's Birthday Parties are *hard!*

Toy Story Alien Fancy DressAnd it wasn't even my little monster's birthday!

Today we've been to a friend's little boy's 3rd birthday party - the LD's fourth proper party, first of the fancy dress variety, and also the first one that Mummy has done solo as Daddy was at work.

It was lovely, and my chum had put in SO much effort - there were tables for colouring, sticking & play doh-ing, (all a bit advanced for the LD, but the older kids were having a ball!), plus music, loads of toys and books, and some great baby-friendly party food.  The little dude (dressed as an alien from toy story - he has been chosen - the claw is his master, oh yes!), had lots of fun, being admired and cooed over by all the grown ups, chasing balloons, commando-crawling under chairs & tables, munching tasty noms - and he was good as gold, didn't cry once!

The mummy on the other hand, spent the whole 2 hours getting increasingly frazzled - making small talk with other mummys (who all have older children, and all want to have the 'oh, when {insert their child's name here} was that age...' conversation, which is nice the first couple of times, but the novelty soon wears off whn you're distractd by trying to make sure your own little monster isn't getting into something he shouldn't be!), running interference between balloons and newly aquired teeth for fear of LD being left with a crippling fear of loud bangs, untangling him from chair legs and other people's legs, and trying to teach him it's not polite to grab mini sausage rolls off other people's plates.  Phew. 

Plus, solo party-going means no Daddy to take a turn at baby-entertaining while mummy scoffs a plate of party food & some pop- so not only was I exhausted when we left, I was starving too!

Other than that though, it really was a lovely party.  I love watching the LD learn to interact with other little people - he & the birthday boy's little sister are good chums, so they enjoyed a bit of quality time too :)

Shattered now though - and the LD is crashed out next to me too. Dread to think how tired we'll be when it's his turn for a birthday. Less than 5 months till we find out. Eek!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Not exactly wordless Wednesday...

This is me multi-tasking like a proper mummy - you're impressed, right?

The photo, counts as a Wordless Wednesday, but by cheating, and adding a few words, it's going to magically turn into my entry to this week's writing workshop over at Sleep is for the weak.  Clever eh?

I was all up for doing No.1 this week & treating you to a bit of a photo walk, but the weather had other ideas. So, I'll save that for another day & go with No.4: Tell me about something precious you gave away.

First up, here's the photo:

[caption id="attachment_182" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="scary how fast time flies when you're a mummy!"]tiny newborn babygrow meets seven month size babygrow[/caption]

The one on the bottom, is one of the LD's current sleepsuits.  The one on top, is one of his very first.

Despite being 10 days late, and weighing in at a pretty respectable 7lb, none of the newborn or 0-3 month variety we'd stocked up on fitted him - he was so skinny, the daddy had to do a mothercare run to pick up some 'tiny baby' ones so that he wasn't swamped.  Looking at those tiny little suits now fills me with a mixture of emotions - amazement that my now 18lb monster ever fitted in them, nostalgia for those early days where all I could day was stare in wonder at the wrinkly and gorgeous baby I'd just had and heartache when I dwell too long on the memory of a traumatic birth & the hard bits of those first few weeks- breast feeding tribulations, LD's trouble gaining weight, having to take him back into hospital... *shudder*.

Mostly though, it's happy memories of what seems like a lifetime ago despite being just seven short months.

As I mentioned in this post, I'm a terrible clutterbug, and too sentimental for my own good. I hadn't got rid of a single piece of outgrown clothing before this week. Now, I've made a start. I sorted through & pulled out all the tiny baby sleepsuits, vests & babygrows, threw them in the wash, and ironed the lot. I bundled them all up with a few soft toys and blankies, and donated them to our local SCBU.  Because as precious as they are to me, they'll be far more useful to the next mummy who's baby makes an early appearance & is in need of something tiny to keep them warm.

I let myself keep the one in the picture though.  Well, it's not as though it takes up much room ;)

Monday, 23 November 2009

T'was the De-clutter before Christmas...

...and all through the house, not a single space lay empty, no space for a mouse.

Okay, so I'm no poet, but there's no search for the hidden meaning here, in short: my house is FULL.  Full of stuff and things and bits and pieces that have accumulated over the years.  And, the stuff:space ratio is at an all time level of crammed since the arrival of a certain Little Dude and his many, many toys and books and clothes and other essential chunks of baby paraphernalia.

It wasn't until this morning, while reading this post over at the lovely Violet Posy blog, it really dawned on me that this Christmas (The Little Dude's first - EXCITING!) is going to bring a whole lot more stuff into the house. Forget the presents WE buy the little monkey, his grandparents are bound to go loopy overboard, plus aunties, uncles, godparents, friends... you get the idea.  LOTS of lovely presents that will need somewhere to live long after the turkey is eaten.

So, I have decided I need to take action. A pre-emptive strike if you will. Borrow a leaf from Liz's book, and embark on: Mission De-clutter.

William Morris once said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." I think that's a great rule of thumb, and I'd love to say I live by it, but I'd be telling great big junk-filled pork pies.  You see, I have a confession.  I am a hoarder.  Complete Clutterbug.  I'm a sentimental old fool & I hate to throw things away. I have a passion for fashion & HATE getting rid of clothes.  I am arty-crafty by nature and stockpile supplies. (plus bits of stuff that *could* be supplies.)  My baby is SEVEN months old and I haven't parted with a single item of outgrown clothing yet.  I am a SUCKER for pretty things and fanciful bits and pieces - my home is choc-full of things I believe to be beautiful, yet am fully aware are utterly pointless.

So you see,Mission De-clutter is no easy task.

But, it DOES need to be done.  So, I'm going to be focused, and ruthless.  My target, is to be fully de-cluttered by December 12th, that being the day the Christmas tree goes up (the daddy is a traditionalist - I'd have it up on December 1st if it were up to me, but I have to let him win now and then ;D)  I hope to be motivated by having publicly shamed myself on my blog, and I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Hey, maybe I'll even giveaway some of my clutter on here? That could be fun. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Enough of the Gloom!!

So, this week has been, how to put it eloquently - lacking in joy - devoid of merit - snap & crackle without the pop... oh you know, what I'm saying - a bit shit.

But tomorrow, sees the start of a brand new week - a fresh start, bursting with potential. See that positive mental attitude at work? Glowing like the readybrek man - grrrrreat! like Tony the Tiger.  Apparently sleep deprivation sends me into a spiral of breakfast cereal slogan-ing.  Who knew.

The point I was trying to make, is that tomorrow is a new day, a new week, and it's going to be good.

And in that spirit, and as my little boy is now SEVEN months old (meep!), I'm going to start as I mean to go on, by sharing with you 7 of my favourite things about my little 7 month old man...

1. The big gummy grin he gives me when I pick him up in the morning or after a nap.

2. The funny little noises & cute little half smiles he makes when he's sleeping.  Wonder if I'll ever get bored of watching him sleep? Doubt it.

3. His throaty little chuckle when me or his daddy make silly faces or blow raspberries on his tummy.

4. His already excellent music taste, which I fully take credit for.  He lights up at the sound of The Monkeys (as in Arctic, not Hey Hey we're the), ELO, Maximo Park, allsorts of good stuff - I love & look forward to our daily rock-out sessions.

5. Watching him 'play' with the dog. By which I mean, grabbing her & hanging on for dear life (he hasn't quite got 'petting' yet), and his little giggles when she snuggles up & tickles his nose.  I reckon they're going to be best chums as he gets older.

6. The way he holds on so tight when I cuddle him when he's upset. I hate seeing him cry, but love that burying his face into me & clinging his arms round my neck makes him feel better.  Magic mummy cuddles :)

7. Watching him learn something new everyday. He truly amazes me. I love to watch him playing - methodically bashing and squishing and gumming and thinking.  I'd love to know exactly what's going on in that gorgeous little head.  I'm sure he's planning something.

Here's to a fabulous week for mummys (and their little monsters) everywhere xx

Friday, 20 November 2009

Why you'll never hear me mention my mother...

Earlier this week, I read a very brave, incredibly honest post over at New Mummy - all about how her greatest fear is turning into her mother, and  the reasons why.  You may or may not have noticed, I never mention my mother, and inspired by New Mummy, I'm going to tell you why...

On Thursday 25th August 2005, I got a phone call at work from my mother. Which was weird in itself, as she had never phoned me at work before.  She said she needed to see me, she had something important to tell me that she couldn't say over the phone.  I arranged to meet her for a drink when I finished work, and on my way to the bar, I prepared myself for the worst - either my Nana had died, or she'd left my Dad.  It was the latter.  She'd walked out on him on the Monday, and got round to telling me on the Thursday. (My parents house was about 10 minutes away from my flat at the time.)

It hit me hard. My parents had always had a volatile relationship, but I figured after nearly 26 years together, they'd decided they loved eachother enough to see it out till death did they part. Wrong.

She'd been having an affair, for 3 months she said, the truth later came out to be nearer 18.  The bloke was a tosser.  My Dad's far from perfect, but this idiot had 4 kids by 3 women, 2 of whom he'd been married to, he'd been inside, and declared bankruptcy twice.  Quite a catch eh?  Apparently, he made her 'happier than she'd ever been'.  So, she had left her beautiful 5 bedroom home & husband of over 2 decades, to go shack up with a loser in a scummy one bedroom flat. Fair enough.  I tried to be a grown-up about it.  I told her there was no way I was going to be even civil to her new beau, but as long as she made sure I never had to be in the same room as him, I'd do my best to maintain a relationship with her.

After dropping her bombshell, she didn't get in touch with me for nearly 4 months. I called, left messages, texted, nothing.  Not even on my birthday.  I was spending all my time trying to get my dad back on his feet - he took it all very badly - It transpired she'd been stealing money from their joint & business accounts for over a year.  She had been planning the whole thing.  He was broken.  I didn't know what to do.  Dad made me promise not to mention it to her, or my sister.

Christmas day, I got a text. "Merry Xmas, Love Mum xxx". Classy.

I soon realised I was no longer a priority, and to be honest, though it started off hurting like nothing I'd ever known before, I soon got over it. I sure as hell wasn't going to keep chasing her & begging to have a relationship.

On the 9th April 2006, it aaaaall kicked off.  Friends of ours were moving to France, & had a going away party - the Mr & I went along, it was all lovely, until my mother showed up.  Pissed out of her head.  With scumbag boyfriend in tow.  Somehow, I kept my cool, and just avoided them, despite being all too aware she was making a complete show of herself & completely disrespecting me - the only thing I ever asked, was that she didn't put me in the same room as the loser who had trashed my family.

After the party, we left, quickly, and got home. I was fuming.  Then she phoned me, still drunk, looking for a row. And oh did she get one. We screamed & shouted at eachother for over an hour. She bad mouthed my dad, my other half and me. The last straw was when she told me it was my fault she'd been 'stuck with him (my dad) so long anyway' (She was 8 months pregnant with me when they got married).  I told her that was she was a cold hearted bitch & I had nothing more to say to her until she was sober & ready to apologise, and hung up.

I have never spoken to or seen her since.  Despite living in the same small town.

My Dad received his copy of their decree absolute in August 2007.  I heard from a friend that she re-married TEN days later.

The way I see it, she made her choice. She got her shiney new 'happy' life, and I wasn't part of it.  It took me a long time to get over it, but I did, and I'll never go back.

I didn't get in touch with her when I fell pregnant, or when I gave birth. I have no doubt she knows about the little dude (My sister is still in contact with her), but she has never contacted me, and has never met him, and as far as I'm concerned, she never will.  She has caused so much pain to the people I love, and left me feeling betrayed, hurt and confused.  There's NO way I'm risking her causing my little boy any heartache.  No way.

He has three grandparents who absolutely dote on him.  He's not missing out on anything.  The only person who is, is her.

And that's why you'll never hear me mention my mother.

(Sorry, that got way longer than it was supposed to!!)



Thursday, 19 November 2009

Teething Traumas

Yes, the teething gremlins have arrived chez Little Dude.

Technically, they arrived about a month ago, bringing with them great excitement at the first sighting of a tiny white sliver of tooth (bottom middle right if you're interested).  It was quickly followed by its neighbour - and a tear or two was shed about my baby boy growing up.  I was also super impressed that his first two toothypegs had made an appearance with little more than a hefty portion of drool.  Oh how naive I was.

At the risk of sounding smug & making you all hate me - I've been blessed with a really chilled out, happy little baby, who rarely cries, certainly not for more than 5 minutes.  He grumbles if he's hungry, has a full nappy, or gets overtired.  That's about it.  Or at least it was.

Yesterday, he cried for Three. Hours. Solid.  And I don't mean grumbled.  I mean properly, really cried.  Horrible painful screaming, utterly inconsolable. 

Calpol, Bickipegs, gel, teething ring, frozen carrot stick. 

Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail. 

I felt like the worst mummy in the world, there was absolutely nothing I could do but cuddle him, pace around, and cuddle him some more.  I was so not prepared for so much crying!

He finally gave into sleep just after 10pm, and then was up & grouchy on and off during the night.  I chalked up about 2 hours of sleep made out of 20 minute bursts here and there.  I'm sure I did better than that when he was a newborn!

Thankfully, today has been a breath of fresh air by comparison.  My smiley little boy is back.  For now at least.

And oh I have heeded the warning!

Some of my lovely twitter chums were on hand last night with lots of good advice, so now we are fully prepared for the next onslaught.  There's a flannel in the freezer (thank you @violetposy), we have powders & homeopathic deelies at the ready (muchos gracias @suzypink & @Wendymal), a little pot of carrot & cucumber sticks in the fridge (which if nothing else, will make a good snack for mummy when she's tearing her hair out at 2am), and as a last resort (because I prefer not to medicate if I can possibly help it) there's Calpol & Chidren's Ibuprofen (ta muchly @cafebebe & @ilovemonty).  So, hopefully, we can avoid another three hour scream-fest any time soon.  And if not, I shall try to remember the kind words of @porridgebrain & @kellyfairy & @InsomniacMummy - I'm not a rubbish mummy, teething just sucks.  Or words to that effect.

Still, I can't wait till that gummy little mouth is filled with pearly whites & we can move on to whatever's next.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Daddy says I've got to learn to dribble on it. I'm sure that's what he said."


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

One day...

Work shop time over at Josie's again!  This lovely mummy is still not 100% fighting fit, so go show her some love.  Despite being poorly, she's still put together some excellent writing prompts - because she is a trooper & generally brilliant.

So, this week, I'm choosing No. 1: Write about what you hope for ‘one day’.  Sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

One day, I'll have this whole mothering gig well and truly cracked. I'll know exactly what to do in any given situation.  I won't doubt myself, I won't let myself think 'oh-my-goodness-i'm rubbish at this', I won't assume that everyone else knows better than I do.  One day.

One day, I'll be a proper domestic goddess. There will be no perpetual pile of laundry, the ironing mountain will be vanquished, the floors will be clean, the cupboards will be full & there will be something delicious in the oven for dinner every.  single.  night.  One day.

One day, I'll cross everything off my to do list.  There will be no unpaid bills, no post-it notes on the fridge advertising the jobs I keep avoiding, no little pile of 'to deal with later' letters on the table, collecting dust.  One day.

One day, I'll have my old (ie. pre-baby) shape back.  My skinny jeans will be rocking the park & playgroup scene rather than hanging trapped in my wardrobe, dreaming of former glories.  One day.

One day, we'll be comfortable.  Living each day without worrying about cashflow, those stupid bills, budgeting, snapping up bargains, stretching every penny to breaking point.  We'll have enough to be happy and occasionally even silly, rather than just 'getting by'.  One day.

For today though, I'll make do with stretching the grocery budget & feeling a bit podgy in my 'fat day' jeans.  I'll be happy with the quick & easy chilli we're having for dinner, and that pile of washing & ironing can wait another day.  Because today, I've been playing with my little boy.  My gorgeous little man whose big blue eyes & cheeky monkey grin make me do the same - he could care less about the house being immaculate so long as can reach his toys & his favourite book for story time.  And his daddy will be home soon.  My best friend and the love of my life - who insists he doesn't care about the baby belly & actually bloody loves my chilli.  Suddenly everything else doesn't seem all that important. 

And besides, I'm sure the rest will all fall into place... One day.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Writing Workshop Catch-up...

Writing-Workshop-BadgeLovely Josie over at Sleep is for the Weak was a poorly bunny last week, which sadly meant no workshop, but was also sort of lucky for me as due to The Mr being on holiday and generally playing havock with my routines (in a good way really - love you honey!), I didn't get a chance to do anything for Workshop #4.  Soo, I shall take the liberty to do so now...

I'm picking No.1: Write about an overheard conversation.

(Please note, what follows is a true story. You can't make this stuff up!)

The Little Dude & I are in Boots, stocking up on 3 for 2 Christmas presents.  Well, I'm deliberating over presents, LD is chattering to his cuddly fox rattle.  It's all good. 

I'm looking at a set of In the Night Garden figures - perfect for a friend's daughter, when I see a little blonde boy of about 2 gleefully pressing buttons on any and every noisy toy he can get his chubby little hands on.  Cute, I think.  He gives me a cheeky toothy grin & shoots off to stare in wonder at all the festive sweeties.

Suddenly I hear someone screech 'Shandon! Get here, Naaaaa!!' - hate to sound all posh, but it was a voice that wouldn't be out of place selling apples in Albert Square.  You know what I'm talking about.  I look up to see the little blonde boy being grabbed by the arm & fastened into a double buggy next to a little blonde girl. 'You're doing my f**king head in today!!' she continues.  Nice.  I can't help feeling sorry for the little guy - he wasn't being naughty as such - I can't STAND it when people swear in front of kids, and oh my God, what sort of name is Shandon anyway?  'Just sit still and behave - be good like Moet.' ...penny drops.  Shandon, is in fact, Chandon.  And his sister is Moet.  Uh-huh, mother of the year named her children Moet & Chandon.  Altogether now, W . T . F ?

Don't get me wrong, naming your little darlings is one of the most important and personal decisions you ever have to make - and if you love somthing, you should go with it, regardless of what anyone else thinks.  But there's a limit, right?  I know us mummys are supposed to support eachother, solidarity and all that, and call me judgemental if you like, but I think anyone naming their children after beverages needs to have a serious re-think.  But then who knows, perhaps their cousins had already used Bacardi & Smirnoff?  Proper classy like.

Amazing what you overhear when you're trying to stretch the Christmas budget!

Don't forget to go & check out the rest of the great posts over at Sleep is for the Weak.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Public Service Announcement

Hello gorgeous people, how are you all?  Bit weathery out there today huh?

This is just a quickie to let you all know about my new twitter acount: @lildudesmummy

Why do I need another twitter account?  Well, the reasons are three-fold...

1. It's partly to do with the whole changing-where-my-blog-lives fandango - i don't like the idea of protecting my tweets, but i'm also not keen on tweeting about blog updates from my 'proper' twitter, because it sort of defats the whole purpose of moving the blog in the first place, y'know?  (fear not though, my existing tweetie nonsense will continue, this is just an extra way of keeping up with things of a mummy & blogging nature.)

2. I worry about boring my non-parent tweet-chums with pimping my mummy blog.

3. I'm a neurotic loony who rather likes having separate places for separate things. Great Big Geek? Why yes, yes I am.

And that's it. No more to see. As you were.  (I'll do a proper post soon, honest I will.)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Perpetually playing catch up...

evrythingSeems to be something of a constant theme that, since boarding the good ship motherhood.

I used to be one of 'those' people who was all ridiculously organised - with a terribly anal compulsion to cross off all of the days to-do's before tucking myself up in bed.  I still make the lists.  Lots of them.  But that oh-so-smug feeling of crossing everything out for any given day, has become something of a rarity.  I'm always chasing my tail.  My little personal organiser (ie. a pretty notebook of the paperchase variety), is crammed full of things that need doing, brilliant ideas that could be done, and all too many things that really really need to be done, like, pronto.

All that's a bit of a rambly way of saying sorry to my neglected lil' bloggette.

You see, life's been even more crazy-busy than usual lately - the Mr had a week off, which as I'm sure many of you can relate to, throws everything into mayhem & confusion.  And it was his birthday, which meant not one, but TWO mummy & daddy dates on the trot! (I know, shocking!), which also meant the MIL assuming the role of live-in-babysitter for 2 days - very generous, but a surefire formula for more mayhem & confusion (and converting of front room to bomb site via the medium of 'makeshift guest room').  Then we spent a few days at the in-laws - very lovely, but not at all conducive to Getting Things Done.  One of the LD's chums was the big 1-2(months that is), so off to his party we went (which was brilliant - his mummy had put so much effort in, and all the babies had a great time - LD even played his first game of pass the parcel!) - another day gone.  Then throw in all the usual coffee & playdates (including a super outing with @ilovemonty, @kellyfairy & @omgmummy - very good times, and proof positive that the four of us make incredibly beautiful children. like there was ever any doubt.), supermarket runs, half arsed attempts at laundry & ironing... well, you know how it goes. The things to do vs hours in a day ratio hasn't exactly been in my favour.

And it's annoying - because I'm forgetting to write about SO much good Little Dude stuff, which is kind of the whole point of this blogging adventure!

So, this is me giving myself a blogging report card, and it says "must do better". And I will.  Honest.

In the meantime, I'll make up for being rubbish by pointing you to the brilliance of others...

~This post by @mummytips, is incredible.  If you haven't read it yet, do.  If you have, read it again, and then check out the brilliant blog party she's hosting too.

~Dare I mention the C word yet?  Well, we are almost half way through November, and if you're thinking about making your gifts, you best get cracking. @Violetposy's Thrifty Christmas is packed full of excellent ideas.  Go see!

~Speaking of gifts, if you don't fancy making your own, why not have a peek at the Christmas Collection over at Icklebabe? Beautiful things for your little folk.

Lastly, *big thank yous* to everyone who's still reading/following/subscribed even through the change of location & the big chunks of white noise. You all rock ♥

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Settling in...

Oooh, first post in my new wordpress home - like what I've done with the place?

I don't really want to get into the whys & wherefores (spelling calamity!) of why I decided to move, because in all honesty, anyone who's not me, probably won't care, but at the same time, I feel like I should probably offer *some* explanation to those of you have kindly followed the removal truck.

Basically, I was feeling a little exposed.  Over at Blogger, my mummy blog was all connected to my business blog - same username & all, with no way of separating the two - and while I'm happy to have anyone and everyone read my business related blog, I'm a bit choosier about who reads the personal stuff.

This place gives me just enough anonymity to feel comfortable.

Now if I can just figure out where everything goes and which buttons do what, we'll be all good!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Recipe For a Perfect Day...

Writing-Workshop-BadgeIt's workshop time again over at Sleep is for the Weak (I know, where does the time go?), so go have a look for some great writing and inspiring prompts to get your creative cogs a-turning.
(Click here for the prompts, and here for the links to all of this week's entries.)
(But read mine first, or I'll pout.)

This week, I chose:

2. Write a recipe for something abstract - i.e. a recipe for a good/bad day, recipe for a perfect Halloween, recipe for a happy mummy/daddy etc.


(And don't worry, you don't need to be from the house of Nigella to give this one a whirl :D)

Recipe for a perfect day.

Start with a base of sleeping in until at least 8am, with mummy waking gently from slumber to the sun shining, birds tweeting, and baby chatting contentedly to himself.

Smooth over a thin layer of milk, plus peach & banana porridge for baby, and a thicker layer of coffee for mummy. (For best results, use proper coffee, made in a pot, not instant.) Add Nutella filled croissants to taste.

Combine with a couple of large cups of morning playtime. Equal measures of singing and dancing and cuddles.

Snuggle up with a slice of good reading and quiet time, then set aside for a minimum of one solid hour napping time.

Once rested, blend in a portion of lunch – perhaps granary toast with mushed up avocado for two, with added strawberry fromage frais. Add a liberal pinch of mess – it’s all part of the fun of learning!

Mix in a lovely walk in the sunshine, adding your choice of park or seafront. Be sure to thoroughly marinade with all the sights and sounds along the way.

Cover with an afternoon nap. Once chilled, blend in something delicious for baby’s tea and leave to settle while watching Hollyoaks together.

When the daddy gets home from work, generously apply more cuddles.
Combine daddy & baby, and gently whisk in more milk, and the bedtime story of your choice.
Place baby in cot, sprinkle with goodnight kisses.

In a separate bowl, combine mummy, daddy, some tasty dinner and at least two large glasses of wine. (Can be substituted with bottles of beer as a variation.)

After all the ingredients are combined, gently simmer and enjoy the warming satisfaction of a perfect day.
And don’t forget to save the leftovers for tomorrow!



Monday, 26 October 2009

The Six Month Milestone

Okay, actually, it was 6 months last Tuesday, but what can I say, being a mummy is a busy job, and it's been a week filled with plumbers, and coffee dates, and a mummy & daddy date, and distractions. And a stupid cold. So, y'know...


The Little Dude, is six months old. One hundred and ninety days today to be exact.

It's an odd feeling - on one hand, I absolutely understand what everyone means now when they say 'enjoy it- it goes too quickly!' - and on the other, I can hardly remember what life was like before being a mummy. (in a good way I mean, not just because of the perpetual exhaustion!)

It's amazing how much has happened in such a relatively short space of time.

My little boy has gone from a tiny little wrinkly pink bundle, just short of 7lb, who didn't care for much else than sleeping, pooping and mummy's boobies, to a wrinkle free 17lb of inquisitive little baby boy, complete with a tooth, who grins, and giggles, and is interested in just about anything and everything he can get his chubby little hands on. (particuarly my mobile, the tv remote, the dog...)

In the early days, we used to spend hours just snuggled up together - in bed, or on the sofa - the little dude feeding or snoozing - gently snoring and blowing tiny bubbles in his sleep - me, gazing in complete awe at the beautiful little person I'd made. (with a little help from the daddy, obviously ;D) From day one I was so thankful to the baby gods for blessing me with such a happy, chilled out little boy - and he was a sleeper too! I kept expecting the bubble to burst, but touch wood, it hasn't! Yay!

Now, our days are spent rocking to mummy's favourite tunes (he particuarly enjoys the work of Maximo Park, The Guillemotts, and ELO - good boy!), dancing, chattering about nothing, going for walks, play dates, and mummy indulging in all manner of silliness to encourage those delicious little giggle-fits.

He's gone from not being able to hold his own head up to rolling around the floor at will, pushing himself up, grabbing anything that looks interesting, just about sitting up unaided, and looking likely to start crawling at any minute.

And then there's the weaning! I love watching his little face each time he tries something new - and the look of sheer joy when he has a fist (and face!) full of rusk, is priceless.

In short, it's been an eventful half a year.
And it's been wonderful. Everyday brings something new, and I'm loving every minute of it.

I can't wait to see what the next six months have in store.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Everyday Inspiration...

Writing-Workshop-BadgeMummy Porridge Brain is putting us to work again in her Writing Sweatshop Workshop :D
Hop on over for more brilliant prompts to exercise ye olde grey matter & get your creative juices flowing.

This week, I toyed with opting for No.1: You get a day off. No kids, no housework, no responsibility. Where would you go? What would you do? - but all I'd do is a. sleep, b. make like a potato and veg with dvds, junk food & readables, or c. retreat to my wonderful magical room of fantasy. Given that c sadly doesn't exist, and a&b wouldn't make for terribly exciting reading, I have decided to go with:

5. Sit in a room of your house you spend a lot of time in. And really LOOK. Notice all the details you usually miss, and describe them with all the creativity you can muster. Let the every-day inspire you.
Sitting comfortably?

Me too. On my sofa, in my living room.

My living room, which, once upon a time, was a haven of carefully selected, 100% colour coordinated, classy, comfortable, chic. Deliberately positioned cushions, perfectly aligned coasters on polished coffee table, pretty photo frames and other objects dotted here and there (always grouped in threes - it's an interior design thang sweetie), no mess, no clutter, everything had it's place.

Then I had a baby.

An almighty inflatable donkey attached to a felt play mat sits on the floor to my left. To accommodate the overflow of my growing boy, he's been joined by a safari themed playmat in all the colours of the rainbow. They don't match eachother, much less the rest of the room. They are strewn with various rattles and cuddlies, a muslin square, a baby whoozit, and what looks like a lump of half eaten - yep, it's a chunk of chewed-round-the-edges rusk. (note to self - pick that up.) To my right, there's a bouncy chair. A bright blue bouncy chair, covered in frogs and turtles. That is definitely not in-keeping with the decor.

A few feet in front of me, my once Mr-Sheen'ed to within an inch of it's life coffee table, is now littered with... stuff. Let's see, there's an empty little stars pot and a bib, smeared and smelling of strawberries. There's a copy of Cosmo which I think I managed to read about 4 pages of before a certain someone decided that pretty, glossy magazines make great noises when ripped and crumpled. There are 2 cold half cups of coffee, a distinctly drool-covered remote control, and oh look, another chunk of rusk.

Other side of the table, the faux-leather magazine rack that used to be where the uncrumpled glossy magazine loveliness lived, now houses nappies, wipes, and a selection of creams. And, there's a bright blue changing mat propped up against the wall. (At least it matches the bouncer I suppose.)

Right of the coffee table, is the other sofa (those still match too. Just.), and on that, sits the love of my life. My Mr, My other half, The Daddy, My best friend. He's half watching TV, half falling asleep, and in his arms, is the reason for the inflatable donkey, the froggie bouncer, the nappies and the empty little stars pot - our son. The tiny little person who somehow comes with more stuff than the Mr & I have put together. (even including my bags & shoes. really.) Our precious little baby boy who came along and turned everything we had gotten to know as normal completely upside down.

Sure, a tiny part of me misses the serenity of the way this room used to be.

Yes, I'd love to sit and drink a whole cup of coffee while it's still hot, while nonchalantly flipping through a glossy magazine.

And no, I probably wouldn't miss playing 'hmm, wonder what that new stain is?'.

But the thing is, I'm a mummy now, and I love it.

I love the toys everywhere and the general sense of disarray & mayhem.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

(Though the neurotic tendencies do still insist on coordinated cushion covers and the groups of three - gotta have some standards!)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Josie was right - the everyday really can be inspiring! - Have a go yourself - it's very fun.

And remember, the first rule of Writing Workshop, Is that you don't talk about Writing Workshop.

Except actually, you should. Lots. To everyone. It rocks.



Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday Night Catch Up...

Dinner made by me & eaten? Check.

Dessert made by the Mr & eaten? Calorie-filled Check.

X-Factor watched & laughed at? Check. (Whitney, have never been a fan, but really, you should have quit while you were ahead.)

Baby fed & sleeping? Cutieboy Check.

Dog curled up on my toes keeping them lovely and warm? Oh yes. (Every home should have a furry hot water bottle).

Time to catch up with all those memes like I said I would? Checkity Check.

Which actually, isn't as big a job as I thought, because everyone had given me the same award!! And I'm very pleased and flattered to say, it was the one up there in the top right - uh-huh, apparently I'm a great read :) - *blush!* So thank you muchly Sandy, MrsOMGPregnant (who is now an OMGMummy to a completely gorgous little girl!), and the 2 other people who my fuzzy little brain can't remember - SORRY!! (if it was you, shout & I shall link!!).

Anyway, rules of the award are that I'm now supposed to share 10 people/memories/places/things that make me happy, so here we go...

1-3: My Man, My Boy & My dog. Between the three of them, they make me smile more than anything else in the world, every single day, and are also responsible for 99% of my best memories. I love them all crazy-lots and am so thankful for them. I'm very blessed.

4: The day I found out I was pregnant. Also known as the start of our biggest ever (ongoing) adventure. Still smile when I think about it.

5: The first time the Mr took me to Tenerife. Two weeks of sheer unedited fun. We had an absolute ball & saw the sun rise more or less every morning we were there. We've been 6 times since, and can't wait till the Little Dude's a bit older so we can go back with him.

6: Blur @Hyde Park, this summer. I had waited almost a decade to see them live, and it was worth every minute. Such an amazing day.

7: My photo albums. I've always been a bit of a shutterbug, and as a result have pretty much my whole life documented in photo-form. One of my favourite rainy day pastimes is flicking through years & years worth of memories, smiling & giggling. (And occasionally dying of embarrassment!)

8: Doctor Who. But only David Tennant ones. If ever I'm in a funk, had a bad day, or otherwise feeling sorry for myself, curling up with The Doctor & a big mug of hot chocolate will help. Actually, same goes for Will Ferrell movies. Especially Zoolander.

9. Animals! Random? A little maybe. But I have so many happy animal memories, I thought it best to lump them into one. I've seen dolphins in the wild, hand fed squirrel monkeys, held an almighty giant tortoise, had numerous parrots perched on me, kissed a baby crocodile, and lots of other fun bits and pieces (without going into all the pets I've loved & lost over the years), the memorie of which all make me smile. I adore animals, always have, and hope to pass that passion on to the little dude. (He already loves dogs :D)

10. The first time I sold a piece of jewellery. The feeling that someone I didn't know was choosing to wear something I had made was fantastic. And it doesn't get old - everytime someone buys something I've made I get the same exciteable little buzz :)

have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed doing that, it's nice to reminice about good stuff - I could easily come up with another 10, but I'll stop, and pass the love on to all the great reads on my blog list. I'm going to be rubbish though & not name anyone specifically, because having taken so long to do it myself, I'll only end up tagging people who've already done it.
So if you haven't, do!
Because you're all great reads - that's why I read you!!

Oh, and speaking of great reads, Kelly over at A Place of My Own is running a great competition to win a copy of her friend's new book, which sounds brilliant - go check it out.
(even though I'm hoping to win, obviously!)

And now, night feed, then bed. Sleep's a thing that makes me happy too.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A room of my own...

The very lovely Josie over at Sleep is for the Weak, has kindly set us all some blogging homework, in the form of some very fun writing prompts, head on over to check out Josie's surreal new conspiracy theory plus all the other great submissions.
(After you've read this one here, obviously :P)

Anyways, I've gone for option no.3:

Imagine an extra room in your house just for you. Time would freeze as you stepped through the door, leaving your life frozen behind you and giving you unlimited guilt-free time to spend there. What would you fill it with? What views would it have out the window?

Sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
Firstly, the room is going to have to be tardis like, in that yes, it fits neatly inside my house, but once you're in there, is far far bigger than any of the other 'normal' rooms.
On entering, there's a delicious waft of freshly baked cupcake smell, as low & behold, Johnny Depp, my personal cupcake chef, is hard at work in one corner. And yes, he lets me lick the bowl ;) (hahaha!! shameless, sorry.)
In another corner, I've got THE sofa from central perk in 'f.r.i.e.n.d.s', huge plush beanbags and vintage cushions GALORE, plus shelves and shelves of all my favourite books and all the sure-to-be-great reads I'm yet to get to.
To the left of the library, there's the walk in closet. Yep, just like the one in Ugly Betty, choc-full of utterly delicious vintage dresses and gorgeous shoes and bags and accessories and needlessly pretty other things.
Don't get too hung up on the couture though, we've just reached the huge bay window, where - what's that? ah yes, it's Mr Alex James, of Blur fame, sitting in my big retro egg chair, strumming a guitar, seranading me at will.
And if you'd care to take a peek out the window, I'm sure you'll enjoy the view - remember the land of chocolate & candy in Willy Wonka? Well that's my garden, uh-huh, I know, fabulous.
In the last corner (yes, I know I've had more than 4 corners - nobody said my perfect room had to be square), it's craft heaven. There's an easel set up (in perfect light, of course) with dozens of brushes and paints in every colour of the rainbow. There's a huge table, which I never have to clear, and a wall full of drawers and boxes, stuffed full of beautiful papers and beads and embellishments and glitter and buttons and ribbons... it's almost even better than Johny's cupcakes. Yes, it's that good.
And in the middle of the best room ever, for when I tire of cupcakes and art and literature and fashion (unlikely, but sometimes it's nice to take a break), there's a huge fluffy rug, and a whole bunch of tiny puppy dogs. Because no matter how bad your day's been, everything is better with a puppy on your lap.

Now then. Who do I see about having this fabulous room installed in my house please?

While I deliberate, don't forget to go check out all the other great posts at Sleep is for the Weak - and if you're not a follower over there - why not?? Fix it! And join in on the wonderful weekly workshops.
Oh I love alliteration :)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Accomplishment & Memes & Zombies...

Busy, but lovely weekend here in the little dude household.
It was The Daddy's weekend off, which is always good, because we get to indulge in some 'family time', and I get a lie in on Sunday morning (and coffee brought to me IN BED!! how i love that man of mine :D)

Also, if you're wondering what that fuzzy glow I'm rocking is all about, no, I haven't been at the ready brek, that, my friends, is the smug glow of accomplishment :) The little dude's room is officially finished! The light fitting is fixed, the new shade is up, and the black out blind is fitted. I've also gone through all his clothes, pulled out everything that's now too small, and organised everything else by size. Tidied up *all* the lingering clutter, AND put all the photos I've taken from birth - the end of August into albums. Phew.

And now, I'm even making time to blog! Check me out!! Although I am cheating a little and opting for a meme in place of actual content. It's a start.

I’ve been given allsorts of lovely awards & memes to do lately, but haven’t had the chance to sit down & actually do them yet. I will though, honest.

This one is jumping the queue though, because a. I’ve been tagged twice now, by Kelly and Lorraine (I just realised, if I’d put that the other way round, I’d have been tagged by Lorraine Kelly – hahahahaha!! Yes, it’s the little things that amuse me :D), and b. it’s short and sweet. (and easy.)

So here are the rules…

1. Collect the book that you have most handy.

2. Turn to page 161.

3. Find the 5th complete sentence.

4. Quote the sentence on your blog.

5. Pass it on to 5 other bloggers.

Well, I’m currently reading “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies”, by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith – yes, you read the title right, it’s Elizabeth Bennet at her feistiest, kicking undead zombie butt. It’s fabulous.

I don't get nearly as much time to read as I used to pre-baby (funy that!), but I do try to make a point of reading at least a few pages everyday - just to keep the old grey matter working if nothing else.

Anyway, the sentence I have to share is…

“Regard for my sister’s credit and feelings prevented any public exposure; but my honour demanded a duel with Mr Wickham, who left the place immediately.”

Have I convinced you to give it a whirl?!
If you love the original, and you love zombies, you can’t go wrong. So long as you can keep an open mind and embrace the madness! :D
You can buy it on amazon here.

As for the tagging, oh I hate this bit – I’m always late to the party & end up tagging people who’ve already done it, so I’ll just say anybody who hasn’t done it, and would like to, consider yourself tagged.

Now, back to Mr Darcy…

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Let's go to the PARK!

Last week, while the sun was still shining (seems like a distant memory now!) the daddy & I took the LD for his first jaunt to the park.
think it's safe to say it won't be the last! (not sure who enjoyed the swings more- the daddy or the little dude!)
And more importantly, there's just something immensely satisfying about being out as a proper little family, you know? Love it. 
*promise* i'll get round to a more substantial post (and all the tags i've had) very soon!! :) ♥

Monday, 21 September 2009

What a week!

Somehow, it appears to be Monday again - which means I've spent another week neglecting my poor little blog.
But I have excuses! Lots of them!

Firstly: I had a birthday. yes, I am officially 29. And 12 months. Gulp.
(not to worry though, promise I won't be going in for any of that 'proper grown up' stuff.)
Anyway, those of you who follow my twittery nonsense, will know that my Mr had the week off, and was cooking up a surprise for Saturday night... turned out to be a VERY big surprise, in the shape of a party! Had a fantastic time, still have no idea how he managed to keep it under wraps so long... sneaky little monkey.
AND, he even took care of the LD & let me sleep in till 10am the next day, and I escaped hangover free! Good Times :)
Some of my birthday loveliness.
(some of my birthday loveliness :D)

Secondly: The rest of the week was spent enjoying some quality Daddy time :) We went on a few mini-day trips, Daddy came to his first baby clinic (LD now weighing in at 16 1/2 lb!!), and we went to the teddy bear's picnic at the childrens centre (so cute :D), we went out for an awesome lunch on my birthday, and even squeezed in not one, but TWO mummy & daddy jaunts to the pub! So yes, safe to say, it was a good week.

Thirdly: The Daddy went back to work Saturday, but to cheer us up, the LD and I went to lunch with Kelly & Piran, and Mrs OMG - yay! The lovely Kelly had scored us a free feed at Pizza Express, so Three Ladies, Two Babies & A Bump, had a thoroughly pleasant time, and will hopefully be doing it again sometime soon :)

And todaaay, my poor little man had his third appointment with the nurse for a dose of evil pointy needles :( He was a very brave little monster though, and now it's all over till he's one, hooray :)

So yes, that lot, is why I've been such a rubbish blogger.
Hopefully things will be back to what passes for normal now, and I can start catching up - I have a bunch of lovey awards to say thank you for, and my google reader is bursting at the seams... who do I see about getting an extra hour in the day?

Friday, 11 September 2009

Three Magpies or Four?

Remember the Magpie rhyme?
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.

Well, on the way to our 20 week scan, we didn't see a single black & white birdie.
Big help.

I knew from the start that I wanted to find out the flavour.
Of course I was more concerned that my little space prawn was doing okay in there and that everything was ticking along as it should be.
And I honestly had absolutely no preference either way, I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child, more excitable than 20 small children full of sugar on Christmas Eve - either way, pink or blue would have made me grin like a loony, really didn't matter.
BUT, I did want to know.

1. I'm a neurotic control freak. I like lists, I like to plan. I like to be in the know.

2. I hated the idea of the sonographer knowing something I didn't. It was MY baby, in MY belly, how would that be fair??!

3. I'm not really a fan of yellow.

The Daddy wasn't 100% for finding out- one day he wanted to, next he didn't, next he'd say it was up to me... not that it mattered - I was fully prepared to bully him with the whole it's inside meeeee argument :P
But I didn't need to- the big day came, and we both wanted to know.

I lay there nervously - part scared and panicky (please let everything be okay, please let everything be okay), part inwardly squeeing & hoping the little prawn wouldn't be hiding his or her modesty.
On went the jelly, out came the proddy thing.
And there was my baby.
I instantly welled up just like I had the first time and grabbed the Daddy's hand.
The sonographer pointed out the spine, the feet, the heartbeat.
'Is everything good' I asked?
He said it all looked perfect, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I grinned at the Mr & he said 'go on then!'

'Do you know if it's a boy or a girl??!' I gushed
'I know', said Mr sonographer - a little too smugly for my liking.
'Because we only want to know if you're definitely sure.' (told you I was a control freak!)
'You're having a boy.'
'And you're really really sure?'
'Yes. If it's a girl, she's got the biggest testicles I've ever seen.'
Okay, pretty sure then.

The Mr & I grinned at oneanother, clutching our new baby pictures, gazing lovingly at our little boy.
It was like peeing on the stick all over again, our special little secret that only we knew.

Not that it lasted long - we were soon telling anyone that would listen about our blue bump, buying babygrows covered in monsters and robots, deliberating over the perfect name. So much fun.
And I loved that I could start calling the bump 'him'. Every morning when he kicked me awake, I'd give him a rub & say 'morning little dude!'.
When daddy left for work, he'd kiss the bump and say 'Bye little Dude'.
Space Prawn was a prawn no more. he was our little dude, and we couldn't wait to meet him.

And while I can absolutely understand why some people choose to wait, I'm still glad we didn't.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

You know you're a mummy when... lose the ability to frivolously spend money.

Yes, it's true. I've lost my senseless spending spree gene. Where did it go? I don't know. Will it ever come back? Only time will tell.

Let me explain...
last weekend, The Daddy and I decided to take The little Dude on his first trip to Brighton. (That's code for mummy has dropped some baby weight so deserves a little Primarni-based treat.)
The Daddy had just got a little bonus at work, and since we'd been super frugal for a few months (and did I mention, dropped a little baby weight?), he offered to treat me to a wee fashion splurge. (Yes, I love that man.)
So we jumped on the train and off we went.

First stop, Primark. Always fills me with excitable giddiness. Generally, on hitting Primark, I'll spend around £50 & come away with 2 big brown bags full of loveliness. I have a specific route I always follow so as not to miss a single rail of bargainous fashion - you may call it sad, I call it efficient. It's a big store. Basket in hand, Daddy pushing pram behind, off I went.
Forty minutes later (told you, it's a big place, and I'm very thorough), in my basket was a top, a bag, a brooch, and a necklace. Total cost: £10. Pathetic.
Upstairs to bambino goodies - picked up a few bits, but still not terribly impressed.
Queued and paid, left a little disappointed, but still hopeful that H&M would yield better results. (especially as there are now TWO branches - deep joy!).

After a Starbucks vanilla latte to energise & regroup, we hit store number one.
Come on Hennes & Mauritz, lay your couture goodness on me.
Or just three pretty dresses in the whole place, all in stupid little tiny size sixes.
We're down, but not out. There's still the original H&M in Churchill Square. Where an emo-punk-princess bomb appears to have gone off.
Okay then, H&M Kids.
NOW we're talking.
Pretty much my whole splurge budget goes bye-bye on tiny clothes covered in robots and monsters and such.
And that's when it hits me.
I actually don't mind.
Sure, I'm gutted to not be strutting home clutching bags of new pretties, but I can't wait to see my little man in all his new goodies :)
It's official, I'm a mummy.

My 'haul' for the day looked like this:

The Little Dude's, looked like this:

That's the way to do it!

Of course I'm not saying that I'm done with my wayward shopping spree ways altogether, but it seems that without me even noticing, my priorities have really changed. Which is probably a good thing, if a little disconcerting at first.
I even find myself reconsidering SALE bargains - 'sure, it's only a fiver, but that fiver would buy a week's worth of nappies' - that is scary stuff.

Got me thinking though, I'm only 4 and a bit months in - what other madness is going to creep up on me out of nowhere? So, my lovely friends, do tell- what have been your defining 'OMG I'm a mummy' moments so far?
(And somebody, please, tell me I'm not likely to suddenly stop loving loud noisy guitar based music & discover a penchant for Ronan Keating. Please?!)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

If it ain't broke... don't be a lazy bum & stay in bed!!

Today has been something of a rite of passage. Not a good one though.

Let's rewind...
Friday: Let the daddy's 4 day weekend commence! Much joy, quickly cancelled out by the dread that was the mummy having a date with the dentist to have 2 wisdom teeth yanked out. Ouch :( But an hour or so later, still numb, but determined not to waste any more weekendie goodness, we trundled to town in search of lunch & cold drinks. (medicinal purposes, obviously.)
Whilst lunching, got a text from a friend to say she'd had her baby in the early hours of the morning - yay :)
So, off we trundled to the hospital for a visit. (via mothercare for teeny sleepsuit purchasing - little minx had decided on being 2 weeks early so was weeny, very cute though. But didn't make me want another. Honest.)Finally got home at around 7pm, having been out since 8.30am. Loooong day.

Saturday: *gawjuss* sunshine, so despite much leftover dentist pain, decided it was too nice to stay in, promptly went for a long walk along the seafront with the Mr the baby & the dog, stopped off for pub lunch in the beer garden (pear cider- far better wisdom tooth painkiller than ibuprofen!), long walk home, crashed out in front of rubbish Saturday night tv. Looooong day numero deux.

Sunday: Again, scrummy weather, decided it'd be a good idea to jump on the train & go to Brighton. Much pounding of highstreet later, got home, cooked dinner, zonked. Yeah, Looooooong day hat-trick.

Monday: More sunshine? Why you are surely spoiling us Madame Nature! There was a big ol' fete/procession/charidee affair on in town, so we went & had a nosey at that, and then as is tradition on Bank Holiday Mondays, headed to the pub for their daytime-kids-welcome-karaoke affair. (My sister works in the pub & one of my best mates does the karaoke - be rude not to :D)
Got home all walked & sung out, and yes indeed, that made 4 on the looooong day tick chart.

Back to today...
the little dude was awake at 5.30am. Bear in mind that he is a dream baby who usually lets me sleep till at least 6.45, and had hardly any naps yesterday, so I was (foolishly) hoping for a reasonable lie-in. Still, he was quite happy laying in bed with me till about 7am, then started shouting for a bottle.

Here's where it all went wrong.
Usually, we get up at 7am, Dylan enjoys breakfast while watching GMTV, we play for a while, then he goes for a nap at about 9. That's been our routine since he was about 4 weeks old.

Today, I was an exhausted, sleepy, lazy mummy.
So when Daddy made up a bottle & brought it into the bedroom, I thought 'Ah what the hell' propped the little dude up in our bed, and fed him there. All good. Don't know whether he was just super comfy or exhausted from the full on weekend, but he fell asleep again pretty much as soon as he was finished, for a good 2 hours.

He woke up FULL of beans, demanding to be fed, entertained, changed - all the usual.
The window for his afternoon nap came & went.
His afternoon feed came & went. Still no sign of sleep.
We played, we danced, we listened to The Guillemots.
Nope, not tired.
We read a story.
Not tired.
Got to about 4pm & the cranky kicked in with a vengeance.
Cuddles didn't work, rocking didn't work, singing didn't work.
He cried.
I cried.
Daddy got home at 6.30, mummy was frazzled & relieved.
7pm bottle came and went.
8.30 - FINALLY, a sleeping baby.

So now, my head is pounding & I'm twice as tired as I was this morning.
Lesson learned? Do not mess with the routine.

Not ever!

Monday, 24 August 2009

We'll be weaning in style now...

{30th March: Edited to add: Since seeing how much The LD loves his Tripp Trapp, four of my mummy friends have purchased them for their own children - that's how great they are!}

In case you missed me jumping round in excitement last week, The Little Dude & I got a little lucky... we won a shiney new Stokke Tripp Trapp in the competition over at Mummy Tips - hooray!

And today as the nice delivery man dropped it off, I got all over excited again!

I ripped open the packaging and laid all the gorgeous chunky pieces out on the carpet - like a beautiful Scandinavian jigsaw. With screws.
I had a brief 'boo hiss, going to have to wait for the Mr to get home to put it together - super pout' moment, before finding my determination & convincing myself it couldn't be that hard.

I was right.
Do not let ideas of flat pack doom put you off getting a Tripp Trapp. Yes, it does come as a box of bits, but this is not your ordinary flat pack where you end up with too many 'e' screws and not enough 'g', and the pre-drilled holes don't match up, and there's always a chipped piece, and the instructions make as much sense as your favourite drunk uncle at a family wedding... oh no.

This is as simple as it is chic. Ten screws, (complete with magical alun key so no need to stress about tracking down the right kind of screwdriver) and nine pieces, which clunk together beautifully and effortlessly.

About 25 minutes later, I was looking lovingly at my little man's super chic new dining experience.
(Having only sworn once, which was my own fault for tightening all the screws before sliding in the flat pieces - silly mummy. Don't do that.)

So it looked great, but would it pass The Little Dude quality control test?

Yes. With flying colours :)
He was a little bemused at first - sort of looked at me like 'hmm, I'm at the table, but you're not holding me... interesting.' then he spotted 'Where's that monkey?' (favourite book of the moment) and his happy safari cube and grabbed at both. He looked at me with a great big gummy grin of delight, then returned his attention to his book.

The real test of course, came at dinner time. We're babyled weaning, so generally, whatever's on mine or The Daddy's plate, is fair game. Sat up at the table with us Tripp Trapp style, the possibilities were endless. The Little Dude loved it. He really semed to enjoy having dinner with us, rather than being relagated to his playmat, on perched on my knee.  He was comfortable, supported, and involved.  Safe to say, he approves.

And I certainly do, because I have a well made, great looking new (almost matching) chair at the table rather than a big plastic affair that doesn't go with anything - everybody's happy!

And of course, the best part of the tripp trapp, is that it will grow with him, as they're equally comfortable for adults. (Yes, I checked!)  I am sorely tempted to save up and replace all my dining chairs with Tripp Trapps.

Muchos gracias again to Sian, and to Stokke.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Busy busy busy...

I feel like I haven't stopped this week.
All in a good way, but also in a super duper exhausting, no time to sit down and do silly fun bits & pieces way too.
Which is probably why there are 137 items sitting all unloved in my google reader - oops :/

Well, that and my goldfish sized attention span.
And my ever-increasing list of oh, that's a good idea - I'll get on that when I've got 5 minutes. (those are on top of their friends on the really really HAVE to do these pronto list)
But I'm catching up, yes I am! Tis a slow process (much like weaning, which we also started this week!), but I'm getting there!
In the meantime, as I was playing with banners earlier for a few lovely ladies, I came up with a little something extra to share the bloggie-love :D

Sooo, if you're on my reading list, you are officially awesome, and despite my distinct lack of reading & commenting this week, I LOVE your blogs. Yes, I do.
So, I made you all this award:

There's no rules, no meme, no tagging - just help yourself & feel free to pass it on to all the other blogs you love.
Just because :)

And I promise, proper post plus a bundle of commenting coming soon :)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Oh it's a good week!

It may have started out all snuffly (and to be honest, our noses are still not entirely fixed, but we're better than we were), but it's hard to care with all the goodies that are out-weighing the sneezes!

Yesterday, we had a lovely sunshiney day - LD & I pottered round town, strolled along the seafront, and spent the afternoon in our Local Pub Beer Garden with his godfather - thoroughly pleasant :)

Plus, I'm all over the place on the internets :)

* Cafe Bebe has a yummy new look, (if you've never visited before - now's the time - it's a great site!) and if you check out the mumpreneur page - there be a link to kooky boutique - that's me that is!

* the very lovely Carol over at new mummy (another great blog that you should all be reading!), kindly let me loose on her first guest post- go read & comment - maybe she'll have me back one day!

* bumpy blogger extrordinaire Mrs OMG is hosting the BMB carnival (which Life with a Little Dude is in - woo, our first one!) - *and* just to show off & prove there are no end to her talents, she has a new project in the pipeline too (follow @BumpWearProject to stay updated), and I'm featured in it as a best dressed bump :) *blush*

* my twittery procrastination habit has paid off - I made #50 in the list of 99 british mummy bloggers, and am in very good company there - go check 'em out - and if you don't already, come follow me! (I mostly talk rubbish, but it's fun rubbish :D)

and and AND!!
Big big thank you to Yummy Mummy Tips (yes, another great blog - go read it, you'll see.) for the chance to win such a brilliant prize - I can't wait - and it's perfect timing for The Little Dude to start weaning in style :)

So yes, not a bad week really - and it's only Thursday!
Maybe I'll go buy a lottery ticket... :D

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Best Chums :)


Monday, 17 August 2009

The one where I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself...

Snuffle. Sniff. Sneeze.
Yeah, I have a cold :( As does the little dude :( Fun, it is not.
(disclaimer: don't worry, it is just a cold - no oinking or sprouting curly tails!)

I feel like this is one of those 'mummy rights of passage' I have to conquer to earn my stripes. Back in the time BLD (before little dude), getting a cold meant bundling up on the sofa for a day or two with tea, biscuits & rubbish daytime telly, feeling a bit feeble until the sneezing subsided.

Now, not so much.

Because despite having his own bout of sniffles (which I am trying to help him with, aided by what I have dubbed the 'snotinator' - essentially, a mini turkey baster designed to suck the snot out of your beautiful child's nose. They don't tell you about THOSE in the pregnancy books!!), the little dude still wants to play non stop, and be entertained, and of course there's the feeding, burping, washing, dressing et al - doesn't leave much sofa time :P

I feel like such a wuss, and I hate it! I'm really not *that* poorly, but because I've not been able to just curl up in a big sneezey ball for a while, I'm exhausted! And I really should stop complaining - the Mr came home, bearing dinner *and* chocolate, made me tea with honey & lemon in, and has offered to take care of feeding duties tonight so I can get some sleep - but then I feel all guilty because he's up at the crack of dawn for work!!

ARG! The joys of motherhood eh?

On a brighter note, even while battling with his first cold, the little dude has now well and truly mastered the art of the rollover. I'm very very proud :)
He's been trying it for weeks, but couldn't quite manage to flip his over-sized baby head, now, it's not a problem. And now he knows how, he wants to do it *all* the time. Don't think crawling is a million miles away - mummy really needs to get in shape!

And now, I must go blow my nose. I've totally lost count of whose nose I've wiped more often today. And incidentally - baby wipes make great tissues - no scratchy sore red nose is one advantage of having a baby when you have a cold!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Like Mother Like Son...

The Little Dude may only be just short of four months old, but nonetheless, it seems I am raising a shameless flirt.

He's starting to pay attention & interact with the other babies at baby club, (rather than just looking at them with the same bemused expression as when he first discovered the dog), and with the boy babies, he's very sociable - quite happy to lay on the play mat for a chill out and a chat and a stretch... all good.

But as soon as he's anywhere near a girl baby, he turns on the charm!
Making all his best noises, flipping over to say hello, stretching out & holding hands, and occasionally grabbing onto the hem of a pretty frock for rolling over leverage. (He's resourceful, gotta give him that!) AND, one little lady in particular was even given the honour of having squeaky giraffe thrown in her general direction - that, my friends, is high praise indeed!

Is it wrong that I'm a tiny bit proud of him? :)

In other news, The daddy & I had the gift of babysitting last night, so we headed out for a couple of hours of karaoke & drinkies - very lovely, and I'm getting much better at being able to enjoy myself & be decent company again, rather than compulsively checking my phone & wondering whether The Noodle is okay every 5 minutes.
I've got it down to maybe every 20 minutes now... okay, 15 max - but baby steps, right? :P

And today was day one of daddy's three day weekend - yay!
We had a stroll into town, litle bit of retail therapy, spot of lunch... thoroughly pleasant day with my two favourite men - can't ask for much more than that.

And I've still got 2 more to go!
I'm a very lucky mummy.

Monday, 10 August 2009

What a difference 16 weeks makes!

The little dude has been here for 112 days today!
It amazes me how much he’s changed in that time – aside from over doubling in size! He’s constantly smiling now (oh how I love that big gummy grin when I get him up from his naps!), getting more vocal by the day, and *this* close to sitting up unaided!

He’s so much more interactive too – with me, his daddy, other babies – the dog!
Rather than just looking all cute and dinky & sleeping & pooping, he’s developing a proper litle personality - he's a total chatterbox, grabbing everything he can get his hands on, always looking round, taking everything in. He’s brilliant.

And of course, I’ve done 16 weeks of intensive mummy-training too, and d’you know what? I think I’m actually getting pretty good at it!

- I can change even the most explosive nappy in less than a minute
- I can get the LD dressed in less than 5 – without worrying that I’m going to bend an arm the wrong way or twist an ankle! (his, not mine :P)
- I can (at a push) have us both washed, dressed, fed & out the door before 10am
- I can tell the difference between cries for ‘I’m hungry!’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘I need a new nappy!’, never believed that would happen!
- I can trust myself to know that the LD is well fed without having to neurotically set alarms on my mobile to make sure he’s feeding 3-hourly-on-the-dot-like-clockwork (I love that one!)
- I can pretty much count on getting at least 6 hours of sleep at night! (Love that one even more!)
- I can do a whole bunch of things one-handed.
- I can multitask like no ones business – loading the washing machine while making bottles, eating toast & brushing my hair? No problem.

Don’t worry though, I’m not about to get to get all smug & complacent – I’m well aware that there’s still lots to learn!

The LD will be crawling before I know it (what do I do then when I need to nip to the loo? Can’t just leave him lying on his play mat, safe in the knowledge he’ll still be there when I get back!!), and of course weaning is on the horizon (am currently reading up on babyled weaning after everyone’s advice – interesting stuff!), plus a million other new challenges I haven’t even thought of yet.

Honestly though, I’m loving every minute of it.
Who knows what the little dude & I will have learned in another 16 weeks?
All I do know, is that I can’t wait to find out.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

I weally weally wanna wean!

So the little dude is now 15 weeks old - still two weeks away from what 'they' (the all knowing, all powerful, super health professionals!), say is the absolute earliest a baby should start having solid food. (not that baby rice strikes me as all that solid, but whatever.)

The signs 'they' tell you to watch for, include:

~Attempting to put things in his or her mouth - has been attempting to get his whole fist in his mouth since day one - is now also trying my fingers, any and all available toys, muslin squares, his feet, and occasionally, the dog.
~Making chewing motions - again, since birth!
~Doubling their birth weight - check.
~Holding his or her head up and controlling head movements ~Sitting well when supported - yep & yep.
~Displaying curiosity about what you are eating. - And then some! I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, LD was sat on my lap, dropped his squeaky giraffe, as I leaned over to retrieve it, he launched himself at my sandwich!! Don't try & tell me that wasn't planned - the little monster is smarter than he lets on!!

So my question, is this:
Am I being an irresponsible mummy if I go for it at 17 weeks, rather than waiting for the more widely recommended 6 months?
Mummies whose monsters are already munching (loving the alliteration today aren't I?), when did you start?
And also, what do I need?

I'm very aware of not wanting to feed the little dude jars of processed mush - I'd much rather he had home cooked mush. So is it as simple as just blending tiny portions of whatever we're having? Or do I need to make separate cuisine for mushing up?

I know, I am the picture of cluelessness!!
All I am good at so far, is gazing lovingly at all the tommee tippy spoons, and bowls, and dinky little pots for putting stuffs in (I don't know what stuffs though), and some more cute little bowls... and maybe a sippy cup... oh, and those bibs that are like overalls! God I love baby shopping :D

Need help please!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Note to self:

Just incase I get all baby-brained in the next few months (which is quite highly likely), I am writing myself this note.
So if anyone catches me getting all misty eyed & nostalgic about being a preggopot, please point me back here!


Dear Leslieanne,

This is what's left of your sensible pre-mummy brain talking, please pay attention!

Today, you took the little dude to the weigh-in clinic, and couldn't quite believe that the tiny little person you brought home 15 weeks ago, now weighs over a stone. 14lb 4oz to be exact. We've certainly come a long way from those horrible few days back in hospital where he was struggling to put on any weight at all... in fact, that all seems like about a million years ago now.
But I'm steering away from the point.

At the clinic, there were lots of really tiny babies. As in, of the just a few days and weeks old variety, and you struggled to remember the Little Dude ever being that little.
Those dinky pink wrinkly bundles, with their eyes barely open, their arms and legs still curled up tight, their tiny little fingers... well, yes, they made you go aawww, and they made you smile.

And yes, one day, you'd very much like to give The Little Dude a little brother or sister to play with, but NOT YET!!!

So just incase you get too clucky too quickly, and before you launch yourself at The Daddy saying 'I want another one!', please remember:

1. Being a preggopot was hard work, and you promised yourself at least a 2 year break before doing it again.
2. There are no more free rooms in the house!! Do you *really* want to move again already?
3. You are *this* close to being back in non-preggo jeans. Let yourself enjoy being vaguely skinny again for a little while at least!
4. The Little Dude is now giving you a good solid 6 hours of sleep most nights - it did not start that way!! Do you really want to go back to an hour or two at best just yet?
5. The Little Dude is amazing. He is changing & learning & developing daily. He's coming up with his own little personality & picking up new skills (and anything else he can get his hands on) all the time. He makes you beam with pride on an hourly basis. Do you really want to miss one single moment of the excitement because you're too tired being all pregnant with numero deux? No.

Our time will come again, and it'll be magical all over again, but for now, let's just enjoy what we've got!

Still, can't hurt to carefully pack away all the tiny little clothes the noodle is growing out of... just incase ;)

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Great Boob Controversy... Part 2

You may or may not have read my first post on The Great Breast Feeding Debate, where I reflected on my own boob related trials and tribulations.

If not, the long and short of it, is that I am neither pro or anti breast feeding, I am, as with most things in life, pro choice.

And I thought that was it, got my little rant out of my system, contributed my 2p to the worldwide discussion, job done.

Until today.

Here are the events that led to my need for a little vent-age part deux:

This morning, we had no milk. Arg. Cannot function without morning coffee, cannot bear my caffeine black. So, scooped the little man into the pram (having failed to locate babasling - told you I can't function without the beans!!), and scooted round the corner to the supermarket.

I was casually browsing the biscuit aisle (well, I'd made the effort to go out all early, I deserved a reward :P), when a little old lady clutching a packet of rich teas peered into the pram & came out with the usual 'aaah, what a lovely baby - how old?', I smiled, said 15 weeks, blah blah blah - you know the drill, new baby = attention = polite chit chat with strangers, usually of the older female variety, all very pleasant.

Until out of nowhere, Mrs Rich Tea asks "and are you managing to feed him yourself?"
Random stranger making small talk about how sweet my baby is: fine.
Random stranger enquiring as to my boobs & their functionality? Not fine.

But, she totaly blindsided me, so rather than reply 'um, none of yer business actually!', I kept up the flawless British politeness & said 'yes, I am thanks, struggled to start with but got there in the end!' (remember - caffeine gauge is at zero, I had respect for my elders bread into me from an early age, and at least didn't go into the whole 'actually, i'm mixing boobs & bottles' palava!)

She replies "Oh thank goodness - too many girls your age take the easy route because they're so worried about losing their figures - I mean really, do they love their breasts more than their baby? It's so silly."

Again: WTF???!!!

Rather than launch myself at her and point out that
a. women of ALL ages struggle with and/or decide against breast feeding,
b. bottle feeding is by no means an 'easy route', particuarly not with idiots around who make new mums feel unfit & selfish for doing so,
c. not one bottle feeding mum I know is doing so to preserve the perfect cleavage, or
d. having just had a baby, my figure is already pretty much trashed - so breast feeding is the least of my worries!!!
I nodded politely, smiled through griited teeth & bitten tongue & said we'd best be off as the little dude was actually due a feed any minute.
(A lie, he'd had a hefty portion of boob juice before we left, but a white lie is better than an old lady with a black eye, right?)

Seriously though, what are people like Mrs Rich Tea looking to achieve?!
I silently fumed to myself the whole way home, partly because of her complete ignorance, but mostly because of my own lameness in not telling her off.

Not that it would have made any difference I suppose, she obviously knew best - having probably succesfully breast fed a dozen children fifty-odd years ago, clearly making her an expert in infant nutrition.
Choose your battles Leslieanne, choose your battles!!

Okay, that's definitely rant over. For now at least ;)