Summer Survival

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It has not even been two full weeks with the little ‘darlings’ and I am already drinking wine on a week night and waking up every morning thinking; ‘”How the hell am I going to survive the day!”. I also confess I have uttered the words “God I wish I was at work today!”. Yet again I feel like the worst mother on earth, so bloody impatient and undeserving. Am I really that bloody awful?! If I tell you so far what I have been up to maybe I will feel less of a monster.

So far us four (cos Daddy is sensible enough not to take time off) have visited the Forest and found the Gruffalo, endured a germ fested play place, tidied the shit out of the house for two play dates , endured too many rainy walks, visited the beautiful Norwich, been thrashed at scrabble by an 8 year old, pretended we had one child when visiting IKEA, swam, picnic-ed and so on!

I also carelessly reversed our ‘precious’ Audi into a 17 plate Mercedes after being refused entry to a play place because I had my 8 year old with me. That is not the reason I crashed, but if I had been allowed into a five an under play place then I would have not been driving around half of Ipswich wondering what to do next! FML! The most scary part of this was not getting out of the car to assess the damage, but the phone call to my husband!!!

ALAS, I am alive, hence I am writing this! I am also drinking wine! SLURP SLURP.

This summer I will have consumed an entire Southern Australian vineyard but for the love of that dear baby Jesus how the hell do we survive the next 4 weeks…?

I have pondered a few ideas and come up with a few helpful hints and tips! These are…

  1. Always pack a picnic and a zillion snacks
  2. Do not plan fancy dinners after a day out because you will drive through McDonald’s and throw out that meat in the fridge
  3. Be prepared that play centers are the most hostile environments and full of protective mumma lions with perfect bastard kids (I have witnessed a full on shouting match between two mothers over one child’s fisty cuffs)
  4. Stock up on alcohol and chocolate JUST BECAUSE
  5. When the other half asks what have you been up to all day, its OK to punch him/her square in the face!
  6. Wine tastes good warm or cold
  7. Tired and hungry children are irrational and sometimes violent, they are to be avoided where ever possible
  8. Play centres add zeros onto the price for the shear hell of it in the summer period, manly because they are KNOBS.
  9. NEVER EVER forget the wipes, if however you do, water and another clean nappy saves the day as I recently found out!
  10. Welly boots and puddles can waste a good thirty minutes
  11. Tidying is about as pointless as that exercise equipment you find in a park
  12. GIN is also delicious

 

If I survive this summer holiday with half of my sanity I will be bloody grateful. Even if I do have to sign up for AA meetings in September.

 

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Back to Work

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The lure of a hot beverage, an adult conversation, no maternity bra, no mum bum and not having to baby wipe my leggings is an exciting adventure for an exhausted mother of three!

To achieve this tomorrow, some serious ground work on my part has had to happen and I am not talking about the grueling task of filling in job applications to sell your forgotten skills. I am talking about all the childcare arrangements I have had to magic up.

Fortunately for me one of my best friends has crazily and rather stupidly recently become a proper fully fledged childminder, and I bagged two spaces for two days a week! Sadly she did not agree to payment in wine, or even monopoly money! I tried! The other two days I being filled by Nanny’s. Not the posh sort, the related overexcitedly crazy sort for agreeing to look after their two grand children. And then rather madly my husband agreed to sort of watch the children on a ‘work from home day’, he has already informed me that he is dreading this, so we will see how that goes!

With childcare sorted, I have then started to feel pretty bad about my forever moaning about how hard it is staying at home all day with two young children and a school aged child. I mean its not all shit! I have started to question, is this the right time to return to work? Ruby is 9 months now and Maddox has just turned two? But I know I was never EVER cut out to be that stay at home mother. Its just not me. Both academically and socially I feel I have a lot to give, and staying at home I wouldn’t be the best mother, as I could never be content and happy. I realize that sounds really bloody selfish and ungrateful for there are many mothers out there where this is all they want or long to be.

But this is me, and this the kind of mother I am. As a mother of three I welcome the judgment like a fierce lioness, because I couldn’t really give to hoots what people think of my life choices! I always ensure my children are happy first, myself next and then the dog, oh and then the husband! I don’t always achieve it, but I am a trier!

I am starting work tomorrow for 5 mornings a week but its a term time role, so the relief of the summer holidays off with the children really sold it to me and also relieved some of my guilt!

For the feminist bone in my body, I have always wanted to be a mother that worked, and I always felt that having a daughter this is important to show her I am more than just a mother. I have always disliked the divisions that childrearing still portrays. I want Imogen and Ruby to have the freedom to make choices for themselves, if and when they become parents…..yikes what a thought!

So today I have completed ones, mount Everest of ironing which took 3.5 hours to complete. I have also realized why I don’t do this that often and the clothes live in an untidy pile in the corner of our bedroom. The answer is, 1. Because we do not own enough hangers to hang them all up on and 2. They don’t actually all fit in the drawers! How is it I have a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear!

I already dislike how organized I have had to be this evening for my return to work, I’ve laid out all the children’s clothes, even mine! Don’t judge, but I have written three pages of instructions for the grandparents? You think that’s a bit much??!! Well in my defense, I had to include all the necessary’s didn’t I? Like what channel you can find Paw Patrol on and what ‘Trickle’ means and how if you cant find number two, he is behind the shed draining my water butt and soaking himself. I am helpful right? And a tiny bit anxious?!!!

I haven’t blogged for one whole month, because our evenings have slipped away and little Ruby has been going to sleep then walking up and then the dummy falls out and so on! I have been so busy doing I don’t know what, only to watch one episode of Downton Abbey and fall asleep on the sofa! So god knows how I will find time to blog about my week at work! I will however try! I will inform you all about how nice a hot beverage is and what good company real life adults are! Haha, wish me luck!!!

The End of Maternity Leave

966.JPGIn January last year, I returned to work after nine months maternity leave to a new position within the same company. Starting maternity leave for the third time was the furthest thing from my mind last year but little did I know I was already pregnant.

After thinking about various different ways to tell a new employer that I was in fact pregnant and only useful for another seven months, I braved it and told her over the phone! I wanted to convey that I hadn’t in fact tricked my new employer and I tried to reiterate that this was a very VERY unplanned and unexpected pregnancy.

I also felt quite embarrassed sporting a little bump and carrying still a very young child. I wondered what people may think, “Is she mad?”. Many people asked the question, “Haven’t you got a TV”, and commented “Oh, haven’t you been busy”. The friends that know us both very well, said that knowing we were still having sex after two children gave them hope of growing old and getting married.

The whole pregnancy, we both remained in denial. We were not ready for a baby, we still had a baby and how would we afford it? Off work again and on maternity pay just before I turned 30. Three kids before 30, I thought to myself! How did that happen.

In the same month I found out, my dear nan became extremely ill, cancer had returned and the doctors didn’t fill us with confidence that she would pull through. We hadn’t told the family yet, but I wanted her to know. Because her house was full of family, I couldn’t say it in words, I instead mouthed the words “NAN, IM PREGNANT” to watch her shocked expression. She mouthed back, “HOW FAR?” and I shrugged my shoulders.

Luckily she pulled through, but sadly only lasted another five months with us. Being pregnant around somebody that was dying was a strange feeling. I sat by her bedside night after night watching her body become weaker and her breathing slow, all the while being kicked in the stomach because inside me there was life.

Life was in there, though we hadn’t planned it and at times didn’t at all think we wanted it. IT, that’s really what it was to us a pregnancy, not yet a baby, because we weren’t having a baby were we? Six scans later and we still didn’t feel ready.

Contracting in Morrisons and an uncomfortable journey to the hospital. We are not really having a baby? Staring up at the high rise maternity building, feeling like, oh we have been here before, still didn’t help it sink in. This time was different, there was no induction of labour, this…baby was coming on his or her own.

“Abbie, I need to take your knickers off, I think your ready to push”, exclaimed the midwife. “I don’t understand”, I replied pushing anyway as I remembered what to do. A baby, there was and what a beautiful sight, “A Girl”, they said, and there it was, the moment it became real.

I asked my dying nan, what she thought my bump would be, she said “A Girl”, and she was right. I was so pleased for so many reasons and I knew that the family waiting for good news would too be pleased to hear that old Patricia was right.

I didn’t want a baby, couldn’t handle another baby, we weren’t ready for a baby. But she came during a time of sadness and despair, a time of tears and mourning and she lit a fire in me that was out.

Ruby was like a gift from above, she is our smilest baby yet, she has kept me busier than I have ever been, she has distracted me from moments of grief, she has been great comfort in the darkest hours.

She has been the best nine months of unexpected maternity leave. Please don’t let it end!

 

Epic Fails and Crème Egg Successes

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Half term is over, thank the baby Jesus. I have endured considerably less sleep due to small people with bloody annoying coughs. The housework still requires my attention and after some serious avoidance techniques from yours truly I am slowly getting back to normal.

Its funny that as soon as half term comes, you breathe a sigh of relief and relax for one evening on the promise that no morning school runs equals more sleep. However by the end of half term you come to realise you are more busy and more tired than when they were at school. So Halleluiah for school today!

My husband moans that I only have myself to blame, with all the here there and everywhere trips I take the children to. Only he does not realise that I do this to shorten what could potentially be an incredibly long and dull day at home! I am awful right? I could meticulously plan a day at home with crafts and baking but I hate the continual monotonous tidying. It is boring as shit.

When I did decide to break up one of the two days we had at home, I decided the eldest and I would recreate something I saw trending on Facebook and Youtube. Well…all did not go according to plan. We had decided to make chocolate Easter eggs and I envisaged a cool marble chocolate egg with a nest of little chocolates at the front, perfect enough to cellophane wrap or even box. Hmmm…my shoddy, half eaten egg shaped, chocolate disaster was only good enough for the inside of a black bin liner.

The first step of the youtube video instructed you blow up a balloon, well I managed that just fine because I made the eldest do this! Then you melt the chocolate and apparently wait for the chocolate to temper, aka cool down, or else something crazy like the balloon could burst will happen.Well, that happened. So one soggy balloon covered in chocolate there was. Then I tried again, with Caramac, as I am quite partial to a bit of Caramac. Well Caramac either does not melt, or I burnt it in the microwave, I am still not sure which! So one bowl of unused Caramac I ate, whilst waiting for another batch of chocolate to cool down.

Once the chocolate was cool enough I eagerly plastered this onto said balloon and hoped it would not burst! Wahey, it didn’t! However spreading on the chocolate thick like a two year old meant it all ran down, looked rather lumpy and not glossy and smooth like I had imagined! We placed the three attempted egg disasters on glasses and left to cool overnight. When we eventually got around to chopping them off the glasses that they had now stuck to, the eldest and I tasted them convincing ourselves that despite looking like poo they would taste it, surely? Er, yes they tasted just like sweet rubber balloon! Gross. So crafty mum, I am not.

However I did redeem myself on Good Friday, with a recipe from Netmums! Alas, a cheesecake…much more my forte! Not just any cheesecake however, a Crème Egg cheesecake! It was delicious and it looked like the picture, so I am not entirely useless. Must celebrate small successes to overcompensate for all the fuck ups!

Easter half term was super busy, hence why the blogging has plummeted and the fact that Ruby not so much on the boobie now is still not sleeping for a good enough stretch! Is it unreasonable that at 7 months old I want her to go at least 5 whole hours without wanting her dummy back in or another boob or bottle? As for number two, I am so done with teething now and he is two next month but this is still affecting him at night. More Gin and Wine needed. I have also consumed a lot of alcohol during the half term, in the evenings may I add! I am not a total piss head and on it during the daytime, although the thought is often tempting.

Adulting has been tough all half term, and I say that with a week of help from the other half. Tomorrow we have arranged a babysitter so that we can go enjoy a grown up film, otherwise known as Beauty and the Beast! Well that’s the plan anyway! However this last week has taught me that not everything goes according to plan, even with the best instructions!

 

Happy liking and sharing.

Half Term Bankruptcy

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The Easter holidays is upon us and I am all about the chocolate. Not so much about the three kids all day long for two and a bit weeks however! Luckily for me, this week I’ve not been flying solo, the husband actually listened to me when I asked for him to take some time off.

Half terms are financially tough, mentally draining and physically exhausting. This week has been no exception. We started our week with a farm trip, to nearby Easton Farm Park, £27 for entry and two pounds for two rides on a motorised tractor, I was glad I had taken a picnic courtesy of Aldi.

The weather was lovely, and lets face it that makes all the difference, no one likes a soggy sandwich. Number two was so excited upon arrival to the farm, spotting the train ride straight away. “N Der, N Der”, he pointed. We all waited for the bug ride first, which is a quad bike towing five little cars which look like bugs, complete with their own steering wheel. I thought he would love this ride, and after waving him off I could hear the screams around the farm! The ride was only a short-circuit of the farm but he hated it and even his sister behind him couldn’t calm him!

Somehow that day, both the small ones stayed awake until we returned to our car at 4pm. Usually the dreaded time to take a nap, however, we were all grateful for the peace especially number one as she sits in the middle of them! She often likes to reminisce about when she had no siblings and had the whole back row to herself…oh the possibilities.

Tuesday, we visited various furniture’s stores, how awful are we? However number two was poorly with what we later found out was an ear infection so we squeezed in some window shopping at Hobby Craft and Pets at Home with no intention of buying anything!

Wednesday, we had originally planned a trip to London to the Science Museum however considering how busy they usually are and how small our youngest two are we thought better of it and went to Norwich Castle instead. Prepared with another picnic, we parted with £26 for entry and enjoyed a Dolls House Exhibition, lots of stuffed birds and lots of information about Boudicca and the Iceni Warriors.

Number one has a real fear of birds, so a room full of every variety of stuffed bird you can think of, really wasn’t her favourite part of the day. Number threes favourite part of the day was the picnic and number two’s favourite was touching everything he could, and also walking everywhere. Starting to wonder why I parted with the best part of four hundred pound on a double buggy.

The best part of the day for mummy and daddy has to be the quiet car journey home! These days out are doing wonders for knackering the two smallest ones out just enough so they save sleeping until they are both in the car. One whole hour and a half to get home in blissful peace, hurrah! Topped by a cheeky KFC on route home as nobody fancied cooking.

Thursday started with a little bit of mummy and daughter time with the eldest. With a much needed hair appointment to tame her curly barnet. She has envious long dark, thick and curly hair, I would pay a lot of money to have. However as she is getting older, sadly she wanted to go shorter. So after one happy little girl had her hair cut, we headed home to check Daddy had kept the other two alive, to find they were both napping and he was fitting in some ‘much needed’ xbox time! WTF, the kids are making him think this shit is easy! Must have words with them!

Thursday afternoon was spent at home testing out Mr Frosty the Ice cream maker. Which was supposed to be my thing with the eldest until the husband wanted in on the action. That thing actually works, who knew ice would stay cold if you added lots of salt and warm water to it!!? I then baked some awesome Toblerone cookies for the eldest to take to a sleepover that evening and conveniently made enough for me to test at least five of them, just in case they were poisonous. I concur, they were not, in fact quite moreish.

Friday started with a rather early Dentist appointment for the two children with teeth, followed by a play in the nearby park and then a quick cup of tea with my friends and the children they also can’t shake off this week either! After a spot of lunch at home we went back out to the ‘River walk’ and stopped at the park…eventually.

I kid you not, poorly (although we terrible parents didn’t realise at the time) number two threw at least 10 wobblers on the ground because he didn’t want to ride his bike he wanted to push his sisters buggy. He cried because he wanted to ride the bike. He cried because he didn’t want to ride the bike. He also cried because he wanted to push his sisters toy buggy. He cried because he didn’t want to push her toy buggy.

At the park, he cried if I got off the toy train. He cried because his sister wouldn’t come on the train. He cried at just about everything! Thank god I wasn’t alone that day! Later that evening, after a high temperature and a nettle like rash, daddy took him to out of hours doctors. I felt awful that I couldn’t go and had to stay at home to feed Ruby.

After calpol and nurofen number two enjoyed his evening trip out past 9pm to the doctors and then later to Asda to pick up his antibiotics. With a suspected ear infection, I felt a bit bad for thinking that earlier in the day, he was just being a naughty little shit!

But all was forgiven by the morning as we went off to the Zoo. £61 for entry was a little painful, but again I was prepared with picnic food and pennies for ice cream bribes. This was my favourite day as it was a ‘first’ for number two and three. I had visions of number two enjoying the monkeys most, perhaps because he resembles one, however he was much more interested in the sea lions and going under the underwater tunnel to watch them swim over his head. Number three hadn’t a Scooby doo where she was, but she certainly enjoyed mummy’s twister ice cream.

Most evenings the husband and I have had a cheeky drink, the odd glass of vino before I have snored my head off on the sofa because we have both felt in ‘holiday mode’. Despite moaning at him and thinking he is a massive pain in my arse, I am grateful not to have flown solo this week!

How’s your half term going? Like what you read, don’t forget to click like so your friends can to read about our antics.

When Enough is Enough

IMG_3146Children are unnecessarily cruel at times, thoughtless and self obsessed. A school experience for an impressionable child should be a happy one, and confidence fulfilling, but sadly this is not always the case. I remember being unintentionally cruel, usually out of jealously towards other children. And being a busy child at school, there was not much time for reflection. No time to give two hoots about what you said or did to another child. When I was younger there were very few (if any) lessons on kindness and the irreversible affects of cruel words and actions.

Sadly this week, I have had to reflect on a lot of cruel behaviour towards my eldest, and consider her long term happiness and later mental health. I am not too fond of labels and I wouldn’t say what has happened to my daughter has been bullying, but what seems trivial to some children is not for a sensitive girl of 8 who has been hit by bereavement twice last year.

I have put off blogging about this issue, because it has been unresolved, and could offend or unintentionally hurt others. I am fully aware that all children are horrible and embarrassing at some point and I am certain my daughter has been too. However her personality and love of learning has altered since she started back at school in September and this week it was time to say, enough is enough.

My daughter looks different to other children in her class and although I don’t think this is why she hasn’t fitted in, I am only too aware that this could be a signal for others to treat her differently, if not now but in the future. I know that you shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, but I really do! All you ever want as a mum is for your children to be happy. Happiness comes above all other things for me.

For me, I had a positive primary school experience, I wasn’t bullied, I was fortunate enough to have many friendships, many of which remain today. I also know that I was a bit of a feisty bitch too, cruel out of jealously towards others and definitely struggled with ‘middle child syndrome’ (if that’s actually a thing!).

School is a lot about learning how to fit in, especially in high school. I had to get the right Jane Norman bag, the right pair of kickers, no two strip tracksuits allowed and never EVER did I take my PE kit in a Tesco carrier bag! However now those fuckers cost 5p, they could be seen as a fashionable must have item, no?!

We are slowly venturing into those impressionable years sadly at 8 years of age, however we are not fully immersed into this yet. Its a conundrum, encouraging individuality and confidence in just being yourself, without letting your child be that ‘bit too weird’ to fit in. How an earth do you get that balance right? Your ideas are very welcome, as I’ve got years to try to get this ‘right’. I don’t want my daughter to be the IT girl, bitchy and cruel, yet I don’t want her to be the confident weirdo who no one plays with?

In search of happiness for our eldest, we explored other schools a few months back as we noticed how unhappy she was when she came out of school. The last half term break was the final straw, as she repeated something everyday to me that was said to her just the week before they broke up. All harsh, cruel and very child like things to say, mostly trivial but not to her.

I choose a school despite my husband saying I shouldn’t, that was much smaller than we had both been used to. A village school with a brilliant Ofsted. It wasn’t just because of the Outstanding rating, but I admit that was a bonus point, but I volunteered in reception a year before our eldest started school. I choose the school because I found the children to have close relationships which appeared positive and almost like one big family. I thought that this would suit my sometimes shy 4 year old.

I chose this school over the one she will now be attending after Easter. This new school, which was strangely our local school just down the road from where we used to live which has nearly as many children in year 3 than her whole school currently has. Its size alarmed me when deciding upon where to place her. That particular year was a baby boom (obvs nothing on TV 9 months before) and for the first time they took 90 children into reception. My daughter was the kind that cried every time I dropped her off at nursery despite loving every second of her time there when I had gone! Why do they do that? Cruel, or what!

After three good years at a village school, I notice that by her fourth year, this just wasn’t working anymore. Girls fallout a lot, and when you only have eight year three girls in a class, this is the end of the world.

So I feel I have learnt a lot and come full circle on our decision of where to place our then very cute and curly haired 4 year old, who is now a stroppy, hormonal eight year old. She is now ready to be in a larger environment, exposure to lots of characters will be good for her as she develops and I feel that in such a small space of time she has learnt how best to deal with ‘those’ types of girls.

I am already nervous for her, and just want for her to be happy, fit in and grow in confidence. I hope she chooses good friends, and will be just as happy with her choices as I am today with my primary school friends I still cant shake off! Cant of been that much of a bitch, hey Kathryn, Megan and Nicola? (I hear them shout, er…YES you were).

Thanks for reading, please comment or share this post with someone experiencing the same difficulties. Love all your likes! If you like your friends will see this too!

Fathers be Mothers for a Day

 

IMG_4451Mothers Day in this house means the only day in the year that the husband attempts to fill my very large shoes. I am pretty sure he secretly dreads the burden of this day. It is the only day of the year that I don’t have to pre agree a lay in, the only day of the year for me that this is a given. The only day of the year, I do everything at an extremely slow pace and utter to words “Go ask Daddy”, “Daddy will help”. The only day of the year he shoots me with the death stares and says;”I Fucking hate you”, under his breath. The tables have turned and I cruelly relish in every moment, because Mothers day for me, is a small insight into a mans world.

Being an onlooker at this thing called fatherhood, I played out what I think this role may look like. For example this morning I had a lay in, had breakfast and a full cup of HOT tea in bed. I then kindly pointed out to the husband when I have smelt something suspicious and watched him gag and moan about the never ending pooey nappies. Poor old Cinders, aka Daddy Pig has had to wash up after breakfast, go on a dummy hunt and remember teeth and hair brushing. Poor old Daddy Pig has also had to have breakfast last, shower last and even ask Mummy Pig to watch the kids whilst he takes a shit!

Mummy Pig has enjoyed her lay in, eating some of Daddy Pigs homemade pancakes and opening all of the homemade cards, where one even read; “I hope that you become queen”! Little does my lovely eight year old know, I am already the queen of this household.

So the Queen watched the King in training, look overwhelmed by the amount of paraphernalia by the door which required packing into the car before setting off on our journey to the beach. The Queen also cleverly shouted out her requests by rewording them to helpful questions like “Have you got the blankets?”, “Have you got their dummys?”, just so she could watch the King stressfully nip in and out of every room and up and down the hallway in blind panic as he clearly questioned “Have I got everything?”.

The Queen is used to running a tight schedule however today and all set for Southwold we were clearly on the Kings time. The King had forgotten about lunchtime in 20 minutes time, and the journey is at least one hour and thirty minutes in length to the beach. The clearly inexperienced King informed the hopeful Queen that despite going for a picnic he hadn’t yet purchased any items for the picnic! Some time later, the Queen noticed that the route chosen by the King was through town and avoiding all main roads. “I thought you would like the scenic route” announced the amateur King! Bless, how sweet thought the Queen but at the same time she started to think that the amateur King was a bit of a dimwit. Firstly, no clue as to what to pack and then secondly leaving so close to lunchtime with no prepared picnic and thirdly adding precious time onto what could be hangry hell!

Well fuck me, he pulled it off with three portions of quite possibly the best fish and chips in Suffolk followed by £20 worth of every item of picnic food and even Ella’s Kitchen squeezey pouches for the small one. No one cried, screamed or did a poonami. The King’s apprenticeship has come to an end and he has passed with a distinction, its fair to say.

We had a very chilly Mothers Day walk along Southwold beach today , a wee play in the sand with the mad ones JCB diggers, a few attempts at some pictures with Iphones that kept dying and a Costa on route home in the car! Not to mention they all slept all the way home!! I’m not sure these are my children, but don’t tell anyone because Id like to keep these little darlings!

Mothers Day is quite an affair for those mothers with other half’s. It could be called “Fathers be Mothers for a Day”. For those single mothers, hats off as always because I don’t know if they ever really get a well deserved day off. For army wives too, hats off to you, especially when they have the added worry of a husband on tour. For lesbian couples also, Id like to ask, “Who actually looks after the kids?”, surely someone loses out on a day off? I don’t know, but what I do know, is I am glad I am this Mother, in this household, with this husband, my very own KING!

Hopelessly Devoted to my Boobs

IMG_2899That is Ruby for sure. Ruby sure is a stubborn little girl and quite similar to her older sister in terms of defiance. Ruby, still on the god dam boobie, clearly did not appreciate the efforts Mummy and Daddy had gone to in an attempt to escape the mad house on Saturday evening. These wonderful humans, had planned a babysitter two months in advance, had ensured all three children were fed before leaving the house and Mummy had even painfully pumped 5oz of breast milk for the occasion. Not to mention ordered two 80s themed outfits from Amazon and paid a high price to ensure delivery was on time.

Frenchy and Bettlejuice are an unlikely pair, and perfecting ones ghost like appearance took far less time than it did for Frenchy to shower, shave, paint toe nails and find a non breastfeeding bra! Frenchy was fortunate enough to have a sister who owns half of MAC and is competent in contouring to work her magic on her very tired and slightly crinkled face! With one hour to get ready, between feeding and bath time, many swear words were shouted between Frenchy and Beetlejuice, which was almost as scary as the amount of leg hair left in the bath.

Beetlejuice agreed to drive, but not on the promise of marriage to Frenchy because she was already unfortunate enough to be married to the old ghost but on the promise of something more sinister ; )! In good old Frenchy fashion, she was far too consumed by the possibility of reuniting with her old pal alcohol to truly grasp by what he meant!

Earlier that day, Beetlejuice had rather stupidly said in front of the 8 year old that he was looking forward to “getting fruity” later that evening. Quick thinking Frenchy, agreed that if he was “feeling fruity”, she loudly announced she would purchase him a Caprisun!

So after one, tight hour of pruning, Frenchy and Beetlejuice, had a spare few minutes to take the above photograph before leaving the house half an hour late to the party. On arrival Frenchy was met by the incredible looking 30 year old Sandy and her very cute 3 year old Danny. Sandy was actually married to Indiana Jones, and her parents were a giant banana and Fred Flintstone, it was all rather confusing for a somewhat easily confused Frenchy.

Anyway, the unlikely pair, Frenchy and Beetlejuice, attempted to forget about their parenting woes and ordered two alcoholic beverages. After one hour of discussing who’s outfits looked the most awesome and ridiculous, Frenchy checker her phone…phew no messages, so she ordered another drink.

After some pork in a bun (no, not a euphemism), and a few slurps of a G & T the phone is checked again. It reads the following:-

Wont settle 21:00

Can’t sit down 21.01

Wont take it 21.01

Hello? 21.23

I’ve now defrosted the other milk to see if shel take that 21.23

Followed by a picture of her wide awake.

FFS. Now back into mum mode, I am firstly pissed off by the second text ‘Cant sit down’, oh cry me a river! Secondly, I am annoyed that I am only two drinks in, best dressed has not been announced and the cake hasn’t been cut! I never miss out on cake!

Two phone calls later and waiting another half hour on tender hooks, we both decide to throw the towel in and head home, to an apparently screaming baby! In pure third baby laid back fashion, we took our time, driving through McDonalds before actually heading home!!! Ironically on the way home, we drove past what is known locally as the ‘Fun bus’. The ‘Fun Bus’ is the last bus home from town to our even smaller nearby town, which as a drunk teenager I used to get with my friends. The highlight of those kind of nights was definitely my friend throwing up in her hands and being forced to swallow it to avoid getting thrown off! Risky!

Now I smile at my grown up sensible self, devouring a Mc Chicken Sandwich meal like I hadn’t just eaten an hour earlier!

Just as we approach our village I get a ping of texts, which read the following:-

She finally asked 22.50

Asleep 22.50

Be very quiet when u come in 22.50

FFS! After three hours of refusing the bottle and screaming her little head off she got so tired and fed up that she fell asleep! Well we were home now I thought so no point turning back. I also wanted to take off the ridiculous Wonderbra which once fitted my tiny non breastfeeding boobies and unload my MOUNTAIN of milk! Good night! The husband did however win the best dressed, but the prize was a free bar for the rest of the evening, however he was driving! There’s only so much coke you can drink!

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“Shout out to my friends, your really quite the best”

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What a week already. I have been fortunate enough to see lots of mummy friends already this week and share our love of ‘moaning’, because ‘us’ women love nothing better than to moan, right?! I have also managed about 5 full cups of HOT tea, a Costa (where number two kicked off royally) and even painted my toe nails! That is quite some week already!

After having a mummy meltdown on Monday due to a lack of sleep and hormonal hell, things are now much better after talking to my mum friends who don’t pretend parenting is a wonderful walk in the park. It is about as refreshing as a vodka, lemonade and lime (my ‘old’ tipple) to hear the words, “Don’t you just wake up in the morning and think this is shit”. Followed by, “Don’t you look at your partner and hate them for going out to work”. Followed by “Food shopping alone, is my ME time”.

I can relate to all three of those statements, and I hope you can too! Don’t get me wrong, some mornings I wake up so exhausted than when I went to bed so I often feel glad I don’t have to go to work! Especially on days like these lovely sunny ones we have been treated too recently, I am uber grateful that I am on maternity leave and able to do whatever I like with the children. It is however just a few days, where I am uttering, “FML, Kill me now, not this shit again…”.

My week so far started with food shopping at Aldi at 9am on Monday morning, Ugh! But the sun was shining so I was in a good mood, and decided against the baby group so I could instead spend time in the garden with number two and three. Number three, enjoyed commando crawling on the grass in the sun whilst number two enjoyed pissing about with the water butt and kicked off when I said “NO” to him playing with a rusty saw. I no, right? I am evil.

Tuesday was my cleaning day, but I had planned to meet friends in town at Costa. So I rushed around cleaning what I could before I left the house, leaving a baby swing and Toy Story 2 to babysit the little ones. Just as I arrived in town and parked the car number two demanded to walk. I of course gave in for a quiet life, and balanced shopping for a few bits with a huge double buggy which now seemed unnecessary and a very fast Maddox on his Little Life reins. Shopping for cards in WH Smith was a little tricky, he kept saying “Monkey” and pointing at a toy Gruffalo until he spotted “Trickle”. I of course gave in again and purchased one bag of unnecessary mini eggs, just so I could entice him back into the buggy and hurry things up a little.

I thought I would be clever and arrive at Costa earlier than my friends to get a good table and feed two hangry kids. The table and the feeding plan worked well, however amusing one small boy with a bag full of toys did not. It started with a moan that the motorbike he had been playing with had got stuck under the sofa, he banged his head six times on the table trying to retrieve it and he also refused to eat anything shouting “YUCK” at everything that was offered. After about thirty minutes he got my coat and said “Come on mummy, come on”, he was fed up but also very tired after walking everywhere. I resorted to strapping him in the buggy like a terrible mum just so I could finish my half conversation with my friend and gave him his dummy to lessen the moaning! I shit you not, he fell asleep within minutes, that shit never happens! Then Ruby decided she would continue to arch her back and make mummy look all awkward and incompetent. I decided Ruby could join her brother and in the buggy she went! However her acrobatics lately are quite something, so after getting her to bend in the middle, I finally strapped her in and rocked her back and forwards to sleep. By which time, my two childless friends on their precious lunch hour had to get back to work and that was the end of that!

Wednesday, I actually managed a group despite feeling ridiculously tired after another crappy nights ‘sleep’, well…if you can call it that. I met my friend and her little boy at a baby group who is slightly nuttier than my little number two which pleases me somewhat as this kid eats everything at group; from crayons, to playdough and occasionally paint despite having a zillion allergies, he gives his poor mum mini heart attacks everywhere she goes. He is also a climber, one minute he is there and the next minute he is up a book shelf! I love that kid, he does it all with a smile too! After the group I walked to that very healthy shop they call ‘Greggs’, grabbed two sandwiches (the ones in the healthy bit), followed by two lucozades and some doughnuts and headed to my friends. My friends daughter had turned one recently, and I felt we needed to celebrate the fact she was still alive and my friend hadn’t lost her shit completely with some sugar! After a few hours of endless nattering and number two had squashed enough wotsits into the furniture and emptied every toy box, we thought we would leave their house resembling a burglary and go home to a tidy house (for once) with one sleeping child! Winner Winner, it was not chicken for dinner, but chilli.

Which brings me to, today Thursday, it is actually rare that I know what day of the week it is. I only know what day it is by the children’s clubs/activities because I don’t really have a social life of my own anymore but this week, so far, has made me feel like I have. “Shout out to my friends, you re really quite the BEST!” (in a Little Mix singing voice).

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Nostaligic Parenting

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The baby walker is officially down from the loft, washed, dusted and ready to roll with the third child in mind. However the excitement from number twos face suggested he had other ideas. As soon as we placed little Ruby in her ‘new’ walker, number two pointed at her and said “Tuddle mummy”. I replied “No mummy doesn’t want to tuddle Ruby”. So then number two pointed again at Ruby in the walker and looked at daddy and said “Tuddle Daddy”. Daddy replied, “No Maddox, Daddy doesn’t want to tuddle Ruby”! Once more number two persisted and pointed again to Ruby in the walker and said to his sister, “Immie tuddle”! Immie just laughed! It was clear to see someone had missed these wheels, despite having a thousand other wheels on every ride on you can imagine, every type of vehicle and even a ride on lion. That did not matter as this was the only ride he wanted now!

His excited little face when he finally got to jump in there was priceless and it got me thinking about all the fun he used to have in there at the exact same age. Since they are fifteen months apart it isn’t actually that long ago! The chunks out of the skirting board and scuffed walls are still there for all to see. I used to curse that the reason he didn’t crawl at six months and say it was because he was in that walker all to often, when in fact he was just later at reaching some milestones than his sister.

His eldest sister, number one also used the same walker, when it was brand spanking new and actually had batteries in the activity bit! The first child always gets the best of everything and I probably even replaced a few batteries in her toys as they ran out. Oh not, not now, we instead enjoy what peace we can get from not so noisy toys!

In fact poor hard done by number one, had to roll around in her walker on carpet, what graft that must have been! She also had far less space to roam around in, as we used to have the worlds smallest kitchen a hallway and a living room. Number two and three will continue to benefit from bungalow living, hard floors and one very, fun and long hallway to ride up and down in. I will however continue to swear about how bastard hard one level living is. Don’t get me started on the hovering and the places you can find a toothbrush! Third world problems right?

So from one well loved and well used walker, which is probably the best part of £50 quid well spent, I started to feel sad about the phases we are kissing goodbye to as they grow. With number three its all happening so fast again, something last night got me thinking about her labour (see previous post on birth stories for more) and it got me thinking about how quick that all happened and now the last six months have flown by!

Because number one is older there is a lot to be sad about as so much has gone already! Her crawling was much like Ruby’s; commando to start with, and I remember the first time she walked how choked up the husband and I were! Though I also look back and cringe a bit about the first time parents we were! We  that badge so well! Our child was the best behaved, the cleverest, the prettiest….well she was just everything better than yours! All because she was ours! Each new phase first time around is so new and exciting and also equally daunting. All my previous Facebook status’ were about all the new things she was doing and how much I loved her! I am sure I would cringe a bit if I read them now!

Poor Ruby, I haven’t even told the world of Facebook that she is even crawling! Bloody crime or what? And well Maddox, has been our little whirlwind! The child we wanted for so long, our rainbow baby and we struck gold! He is a fucking nutter, there are two ways about it. Being our only boy, he is special but he is also a little character, once seen never forgotten! I feel sad about how quickly he has grown and I feel like I’ve missed a lot of it, due to being pregnant when he was 6/7 months old then struggling with grief. He teaches himself more than I teach him, some of it is because I am so busy but also a lot of it is because his nature is so inquisitive! He has reminded me how I love this age (2 and 3). I may regret saying that as we haven’t hit the terrible twos as yet. Although, he kicks off quite easily and gets frustrated over the smallest things, some of which I feel is his age but also his nature! I think he is much like me as a child! I was termed ‘the difficult one’! He isn’t difficult, just challenging (or is that PC for saying a bit of a shit?!), but I secretly quite enjoy his challenges, as we are learning how to parent him, his way!

God I’ve gone on a bit, I apologise for that! But what I am simply trying to say in a round about way, is they are all so different, but growing up just as fast. I am missing the stages that they have gone through and feeling nostalgic about it whilst swearing about the stage they are all at now! I cannot understand half the words number two is saying at the moment and it frustrates him also. Number one is so hormonal and stroppy I don’t know what to do with her sometimes and number three hasn’t slept through the night yet, not even once! HELP! Where is the manual, and also where is the time machine!?

 

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