30 Jan 2013

Ahhhh bliss!

I am writing this post in an empty house! I have a coffee, some biscuits and I'm listening to my friend Sarah talk about her wonderful business Archie's Boutique on Croydon radio.

Today is my first Wednesday morning with Noah at nursery. I have nearly cleaned the whole house, just the bathrooms to do after elevenses. I kept finding myself at the bottom of the stairs listI was halfway through the housework when I realised that not only will I have this precious time to do the housework, but also the house wont get in such a mess as two whole day a week there will be no one in the house! I can't stress how pleased I am we put Noah in nursery! Of course we haven't paid anything yet, so I may feel different when we are really scraping the barrel to get by!

Here's Noah posing for the obligatory 'first day at nursery' shot
I wonder how long I will go on enjoying it. Noah was really good on his first day, but he does have a tendency to be pretty rough with other kids. I may just come to find it completely embarrassing picking him up each week and hearing all the naughty things he has done!

24 Jan 2013

Baking (or not) with a toddler

I am beginning to search for structured activities I can do with Noah. He is such a busy bee and I want to try and get him to sit down and calm down so we can spend some time learning and playing together.
Today we tried an alphabet puzzle, he copied every noise I made of the letters, but his interest in the actual puzzle was none and he soon wandered off. I tried some flash cards, the have colours and number but I was just trying to get him to tell me what the pictures were of. Some I knew he knew for definite but his response was just "no" to everything!
So after he walked into the lounge and asked for the telly to go on AGAIN, I decided to crack out the big guns; "Noah we are going to bake something!".
I had a very simple cookie mix I got for christmas, so I thought it would be fine! We donned our aprons and he seemed pretty keen!
He liked mixing things and I thought he would like using the rolling pin as he likes doing it with playdough, but no, he lost interest about then.

So I pretty much made the biscuits myself, he cut one out I think, but that was under duress! The end result was good though and he did enjoy them!

22 Jan 2013

Snack time

Noah and I are completely obsessed with popcorn at the moment! We have it as a snack most days it's just us!
Sweet toppings usually involve cinnamon, my favourite being melted better with dark brown sugar and cinnamon.
Savoury has been more varied.
Today's was scrummy; lemon olive oil, raspberry balsamic vinegar, oregano and Parmesan.
So tasty and so few calories as well. It is better fresh but intend to make a big batch on a Tuesday and just flavour it as we eat it over the next few day! Noah will quite happily eat it plain, he gets super excited when I say I'm getting it!


18 Jan 2013

Thinning out the wardrobe

Like many women my wardrobe is absolutely jam packed full of clothes I never wear! Thomas' is exactly the same though!

I recently managed to add even more to it as some clothes that were in the loft now fit again. I do have lots in there that is too big now though but I hate to get rid of things 'just in case'.

So I have started a new long haul decluttering (for both of us). I have turned all the coat hangers the wrong way round, the ones that are still the wrong way round in 6 months are gonners! I'm sure it will just make me want to wear those things and it won't work at all, but I have to try!


14 Jan 2013

Travel Sickness

Does anyone have any suggestions in dealing with travel sickness in toddlers?
Noah has been really sick a few times that has clearly been just due to being in the car. Any over the counter medicines and the pressure point bands are all for 2+. We tried ginger biscuits before but he wasn't that keen and I don't really want to give him biscuits every time we go in the car!


9 Jan 2013

A big family decision

Today we took the plunge and made a big decision!

Noah will be starting at a nursery as soon as possible.

I was dreading this kind of decision, I thought it would be hard to chose, hard to think of leaving him with strangers, that I would feel neglectful. I Don't! I feel such peace about it.

Just before Christmas one of our regular Noah minders decided she couldn't do it any more. It was such a blow, I had just committed to working extra hours at work so I couldn't take the day off and from all that we knew of the local nurseries the good ones had massive waiting lists. The only solution we could come to was Thomas requesting flexible working hours. It was accepted on a trial basis; he had Mondays off and worked 8-6 Tue-Fri. It was HORRENDOUS! Well still is, we're still doing it! Thomas is exhausted, we never see each other as there are things going on most evenings, so we eat and then go our separate ways. We had planned to get Noah into a pre-school in the summer when he was 2 so we were going to look around this month and get his name down somewhere. We thought maybe we could cope with 6 months of this!

Fortunately we found that our top choice could actually take Noah straight away on our chosen days. It's the one at the hospital where Thomas works, so it's so convenient. Literally the biggest blessing going!

So he's going to go all day Monday and Friday whilst I am at work, but also he's going to go on a Wednesday morning. I am hoping I will be able to use this time to get the housework done, also to run chores, get my hair done or just read my book! Whatever is most needed to keep our sanity! At the moment the house is complete chaos, we just never have the time/energy to get anything done. I know I can hear you asking, 'so why are you sitting around writing a blog post?' Well I'm eating my lunch as well, it's the only thing on my to do list that wont give me indigestion! I also like the fact that I wont be worry about trying to get these things done in my time with Noah, and he can have my full attention.

It's going to be money we don't really have, but we are going to utilise the childcare vouchers to make some savings. I think the monetary sacrifice will be worth it, for a happier more relaxed family.

2013 is already looking better than last year.


7 Jan 2013

THE 100 Book List

For those of you who are new readers, I have been reading my way through a booklist that I compiled. I began nearly four years ago, right before we got married. Since February 2009 I have been making my way through the list. It is actually way more than 100 books as each series only counts as one book. I am currently on number 50 (which happens to be a series of six).

For those of you who have been following my progress, this blog will incorporate the list.

I will try not to harp on about it too much. I may mention when I have finished a book. Big up the ones I have especially enjoyed. Moan about the ones I hate.

Whatever I do, the list can be found on the right hand side of my page, the ones in brackets are the ones I HAVE read.

6 Jan 2013

The 2013 To Do List

Last year we wrote a to do list.

Some simple goals and aims that we wanted to strive towards in 2012. We achieved almost none of them.This year we decided to try it again, with a little more determination from the massive failure of last year! 

The list is as follows (in no particular order)
-Successfully bake a batch of macaroons
-Complete all distance learning
-Make a baby
-Tidy all toys away before tea time
-Eat at the table
-Do not use credit cards
-Adhere to a budget
-Get more crafty
-No more potty mouthing
-Get tattoo done
-Blog more
-Maintain a healthy weight (that's how Thomas phrased it, I'd like to lose some more)
-Get to 70 on my 100 book list
-Keep better contact with friends near and far
-Potty train Noah

Some small, some bigger, some life changing.

 So far it's going pretty well. Obviously the blog is going well. Other than a movie and pizza night, we have eaten at the table. The toys (that fit in the toy boxes) are going away every day. Today we saw some friends that we saw about twice last year, which was no where near enough! For the second time this week I text someone just on the off chance they were free and both times it paid off. Another text has just been sent this minute for later in the month, so here's hoping! I also saw a tattooist about drawing me up some artwork.

Thomas has promised if I count 3000 swear words I get a car, so I kind of don't mind if that one fails! He's only up to 7 though!

 I know it's only the 6th but the success we have so far is making me feel pretty smug!Bx

4 Jan 2013

Work vs. Home Life

Today I was at work. Friday is a work day, Monday, Friday and Saturday (or Sunday). And any other days in between! It was busy, and hard work, and frustrating. It was also fun, a laugh and challenging. Apparently I quite like challenging things (ask my husband!). Coming home and feeling completely exhausted made me think back on how I felt at the end of the day yesterday. I can only say OH MY WORD! Nothing, is more tiring, challenging or fun than a day at home with a toddler. Yet again, he was aggy as anything, well we both were. He pushed and pulled me around all day, not that he knew what he wanted from me. I hate it when he's like that, I desperately try to find an activity that would keep him happy. We did find some things. I did get him to sit and play on his new laptop whilst I got some tasks done on mine.
We also had our first go at painting in his magic water painting books. This was a success, he does seem to be quite craft. After the book lost it's appeal he went on to paint the oilcloth and then sat for ages really carefully painting his trunki, making sure he got water on every little bit of it!
After we both had a good nap we actually got some useful tasks done! We tidied up the house a bit and packed away all the clothes that don't fit him anymore. I felt scared by how much there was, and how big he is growing. Then I realised some of the clothes were 3-6 months and I didn't feel so bad. Actually it wasn't many clothes at all for 12+ months. He really is quite a little kid. The small tasks of home are fulfilling in a completely different way to my work life. Work is all encompassing when I am there, but I enjoy myself, I know exactly what to do and feel like ME. At home I feel out of my depth. Every moment is a new experience, it's a steep learning curve, but it fill my heart with a REAL purpose. A little person who needs gently guiding and teaching to help him along in the world. A task I often don't feel up to. I shall go on trying! Bx

3 Jan 2013

Return to Mothering - Originally posted 02/02/13

Today I was home with Noah, for the first time in about two weeks it was just us. It was lovely and horrid all at once! Firstly, after weeks of sleeping really late, today he was raring to go at 7.30. I was not. Then he was absolutely ghastly. Who knows why he was in such a foul mood, but he was and it wasn't fun. Yet again, I resorted to the child sitter called TV, and yet again I felt like a completely failed mother! It does work though, I got some things done and he actually stayed still and quiet. I consoled myself with the fact that the morning shows are reasonable educational; today he enjoyed Alphablocks and Show Me Show Me. Both of us had to get out the house in the afternoon, and we managed to combine some chores with seeing a very dear friend. As a family we have been very neglectful of our friends in the past year. Life just seems to get away from us, but that isn't an excuse. Noah of course was not really interested in being stuck in the buggy OR walking around anywhere! It's great being at home with Noah, he is the funniest little thing, he makes me laugh and be sillier than I've ever been, he keeps me on my toes and makes me move all the time! Yet at the same time, I know why I have to go to work! He's screeching when he's cross or frustrated, his whining when he has more energy than he knows what to do with, the need to constantly watch him for his safety and his pleasure. It's exhausting! A crazy busy day at work is easier. I can also see him physically grow before my eyes, and know I need to earn money to clothe him! He seems to be using a stretching rack over night at the moment! Being at work makes me happy, keeps me sane and helps sustain our family, but I find it all to easy to be there too much. Working so much over Christmas really made me miss my little boy. Today I tried my hardest to savour every minute of it. I look forward to more days just being with my little monkey!

Everyone go buy things from ARCHIES - Originally posted 17/09/12

Noah is modelling his new pyjamas from Archie's Boutique. They are gorgeously soft and organic from a company called Old Rectory. Archie's is full of lovely baby things, some really special pieces that would make a great gift for a friend's baby or a special treat for your little one! I want everyone to go and have a look and try and resist buying something. http://archiesboutique.com/

Ju Ju Be - Originally posted 15/09/12

Ever since having Noah I have been dissatisfied with the nappy bags I had. I had two problems, firstly we use reusable nappies and they take up a lot more room, and secondly I have a tendency to want to take everything with me everywhere "just in case"! So none of the bags I tried were big enough for a whole day out, and it seemed pointless to use disposable nappies when we were out and about. When I discovered the Ju Ju Be bags I thought they were so lovely. They are so well thought out and made from really good quality materials. The bags are teflon coated to keep them clean, the changing mats are memory foam and the hardware is all really strong metal. All their bags are call 'Be something'..... so this bag, the 'Be Prepared', was made for me!
It's actually designed as a bag for twins, which is slightly embarrassing, but it can fit everything I want in! It also doubles up as a weekend bag when Noah is staying at his grandparents' houses and we DO just take disposables. One of my favourite parts of this bag is the 'Mummy Pocket' or parent pocket as Thomas keeps telling me! When I'm out with Noah I never want to carry around a handbag as well as a nappy bag, but in other bags I was forever rummaging around for my phone or purse. This bag has a separate pocket at the front just for ME.
As you can see it has lots of pockets for organising your belongings. The key fob is great to stop your keys wandering, the sunglasses pouch can also clean your glasses, and there are two plastic pockets on the front for putting photos in (which I haven't got round to yet) Behind the mummy pocket is a small flat pocket, which you can tuck the front short handle into, I also keep my kindle in there for the rare moments Noah is asleep and I have time to sit with a coffee and have a read
Inside there is masses of space. Which of course I can fill every bit of!
Here's the things i have inside Jumper for Noah Small bag of first aid items Waterproof bag with spare clothes Small child entertainment Nappies A couple of emergency disposable nappies A muslin Snacks Sun cream 'Be Clean' bib 'Be Quick' zip bag
The "Be Quick" bag was possibly the best purchase of the lot! It's just the right size to fit one disposable nappy and my cheeky wipes (post to follow about those). It also has a little zip pocket which I keep bum cream and hand cleaning gel in.
We don't want to lug this monster of bag to and from the toilets, so we can just grab the 'Be Quick' and the change mat (good for a man who doesn't want to carry around a massive flowery bag). I will also just stick this in a handbag if I'm only popping out for a couple of hours. I'll just include a few pictures of the other things in the bag.... The child entertainment
The 'Be Clean' bib and it's super little pouch
Drink in the best cup we've found, and snacks which today are (from the top down)....bread sticks, raisins, crisps, biscuits and blueberries and rasperries.
A nappy and the wet bag
Nearly there! The back pocket has the changing mat in and you can tuck the other short handle in here when using the messenger strap.
The attention to detail on the bag is great. You do get what you pay for though! This bag did not come cheap, but I really do think it was worth every penny. If we ever have two babies in nappies this will be essential! It may be a little over the top for one, but I love it!

Welcome one and all

Yet again I'm starting afresh. This time I mean it though. New year, new start. Last year not the best and my mind is just about exploding. So I want to write. Talk about my life, make sure I look at the good things in everyday. I also want to stick to the original aims. I found (and still do) blogs so helpful when I first had Noah, they are a great reference point for what 'real' mums do. Some parenting things, I feel great about and want to tell everyone what I do. Other aspect I just want to know what you, out there in the world, would do! I will copy over the post I want to keep from my old blog and then say goodbye to Tumblr. I hope many people enjoy what I have to say. Please talk to me, I want to create a dialogue with any readers I have! Bx